Monday, 25 November 2013

Meeting with a "Big Cheese" of Romania, the Minister of Cults

Here's a picture of me and Elder B. at the Romania vs.Greece game.
Sounds like Elder Phelps had a good week. Apparently, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is considered a "cult" in Romania! Here's the story:

Well this last week was good. We stayed busy as usual. Just preparing all the paperwork for the new missionaries who arrive tomorrow. We had a cool experience today though. So there is this huge stack of difficult to obtain documents that every missionary needs in order to apply for a visa. One of those documents is an invitation from the Ministry of Cults for each missionary to stay in the country for the duration of their mission. Usually we drop the documents off, and then come back about a week later to pick up the papers. This time, the papers didn't come through. The lady told us she'd call us back this week. But, we have so much stuff hinging on these documents that we needed a specific time. Because if nobody has the document, they can't apply for their visa before they leave to their different cities around the country. We went in on Friday, the guard said the lady had already left. So, we went back today, same guard told us that she wasn't there. This time we brought a Romanian missionary with us, and he said if we can't talk to her, we need to talk to someone. Right at that time, a man with a bag and nice suit asked us what the problem was. Elder G. (the Romanian) explained it to him as well. Then he invited us upstairs. Turns out that guy was the assistant to the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Cults. He leads us upstairs to a really nice office, then a conference room. We sat down, then the well dressed man said, "Gentlemen, The Minster of Cults." And an older guy walked in and sat down with us. He was the real Minister of Cults. The head honcho, big cheese, boss of bosses. He's actually the boss of the guy that signs our papers. He asked us what the problem, Elder G. explained and he told the secretary and his assistant to call the lady. They told him that it was on the computer in the office and it was locked and they needed a flash drive and so on. He basically said that he doesn't care about the computer or the office, just get the documents. He was really nice to us and said that he was Orthodox, but he respects all religions, especially because that's his job, to promote unity and cooperation between them. After about 10-15 minutes of him asking us how people treat us here and how it is as missionaries, the documents came and we were on our way. When we got out of the office, Elder G. explained to us that we just met with a VERY high ranking government official. They also left us with both business cards, the Minister and his assistant, and they told us to call them if we have any problems or want to discuss something and we can set up an appointment. Probably one of the most important people I've ever met in my life.

That's the cool story though. The next few days are going to be super busy for us. We have to take missionaries to a ton of different places around the city in order to get them applied for their visas. We are just running around all day tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday. get up early, stay up late, sleep all day Friday... haha. Not. We're always busy doing something.

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