Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Celebrating Easter in Romania (and another transfer)

Me and my candle
Whoa. Bit of a crazy week this last week. It is Wednesday, and I'm writing today. We couldn't do it on Monday, because everything was closed for Easter. But we got to Pitesti on Thursday, then just started to get settled in and I got a little sick. So we took it easy on Friday, then got out and did some exploring and contacting on Saturday.

And as for Saturday. It was Orthodox Easter. We got permission from Pres. Hill to attend their candle lighting ceremony. It started at midnight and was a really cool experience. We went to this monastery in a forest/park on the edge of the city, it's really cool, situated on top of a hill in the forest. So everyone brings a candle to the thing. Then at about 11:45, bells start ringing, and the priest start singing, then right at midnight, they bring a flame from inside the church. I'm not really sure where it comes from, I think they believe that it's called down from heaven or Jerusalem, not quite sure. But either way, they come out with this huge flame singing: Veniti sa primiti lumina lui Hristos! Which means "come and receive the light of Christ." Everyone lights their candles from that flame, and then they pass it on. See attached picture of me and my candle. They then proceed with a sermon and reading from the bible. The priests then tell everyone to go home, drink a glass of wine, eat and go to bed. Then in the morning, to go take their candle (which burns all night, ours burned from about midnight to after church about 2 pm the next day) to the cemetery to take the Light of Christ to the dead. Super symbolic, and kind of mysterious at the same time. It was really cool though, being with tons of people, a member from the branch actually went with us too. We participated and everything. Definitely something to remember.
All the people at the monastery, you can see the flame in the doorway, the priest is walking out with it
Sunday, we had church. I met a bunch of the members and we only had sacrament meeting, then an Easter Dinner as a branch in place of Sunday school and priesthood/relief society. My companion and I were both feeling kind of sick after that, so we studied and took a nap Sunday afternoon. For p-day, there is just nothing to do here in Pitesti, and it was the day after Easter, so nothing was open at all. We went to the mall, looked in some book stores and ate at McDonald's. And there is Subway here too, so we ate there a few days ago. But we did some window shopping, but didn't buy anything. Then we did English contacting for the rest of the day, probably one of the lamest p-days, but that's how it goes sometimes. 
Pigeons on the edge of the fountain.  They stand there and let the water flow over their feet and dip their heads in. Super funny!

Tuesday we went to Bucharest for our Zone training meeting, since we are in the Bucharest zone now. Early train, long day of metro traveling and meetings and zone contacting activities. We got on an evening train back to Pitesti, and got home to bed.

Wednesday is where things get interesting. We were almost done with studies, and President Hill calls us. He tells us that my companion will be receiveing a new companion here in Pitesti, and I will be joining another companion out in Tmisoara. Part of an emergency-ish transfer plan that's happening now, because we have several missionaries leaving in 2 weeks. My new companion is one transfer younger than me in the mission. President Hill told me I'm going there to help the English speaking branch president with translating and to be his counselor. So my stay in Pitesti is short lived and I'll be in Timisoara Saturday morning. We leave Friday and I'll be on a sleeper train from Bucharest Friday night. Big surprise, I just barely finished unpacking, and now I have to do it again. Anyways. This is a result of the mission losing missionaries, and not having enough people to fill the spots, this is why Pitesti is a 2 man city right now, it usually is 4.

Crazy week!

No comments:

Post a Comment