Tuesday, 1 July 2014

He's Home!

The Phelps Family Together Again!

Elder Phelps arrived home on Wednesday, June 25!  He had a direct flight from Paris, France (which they almost missed because the flight from Bucharest was an hour late!).  Consequently, his luggage didn't arrive with him.
Gavin and Jensen waiting in the airport with signs and balloons
It was so exciting to see him walk through the airport door and I hugged him and kissed his cheek.  I didn't want to let him go!  After hugs and welcome home wishes from family and friends: Derk and I, Amy, Jensen, and Gavin, Grandma Phelps, Grandma and Grandpa Dickerson, Stacy and Bryce and Austin's best friend, Carson, we were off to lunch at Chick-Fil-A.  That was the first thing Austin wanted to eat when he got back to America!
Mom hugs her son!

Little sister gets a hug from big brother.
Marisol, Kaden, Kiara, Sairi and Drake met us a Chick-Fil-A -- we went to the new one in Centerville since Austin had never been there.  He enjoyed his number 2 combo with a large lemonade and we headed for home.  Lonnie's family had been to the house and put up a "welcome home" sign on the porch in addition to the "Welcome Home" sign we had hung in the window.

When Austin came into the house he said, "It looks so big!"  We had completely remodeled the kitchen/living room area and opened it up while he was gone.  He took everything in for a few minutes and unloaded a few things from his carry on that he had brought back.  Then, it was down to his room (or as Carson called it, "the man cave.")  I made him a quilt out of his soccer and school T-shirts and jerseys.

He spent the rest of the evening unpacking boxes in his room and putting things away (Jensen had occupied his room while he was gone).  His bags finally arrived at 11 PM the next day!

It's so good to have him home!  His mission report will be on July 13th at 9 AM.
Austin and Grandma Phelps
Grandma and Grandpa Dickerson with Austin

Austin and the two other missionaries from Romania who came home on the same flight:
 Elder Carson Lybbert and Sister Amrie Stapley

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

On Sunday We Got to Take a Little Roadtrip

Not much new (you guessed it! ha). The week was just the usual. On Sunday, we did get to take a little road trip. A senior couple who had been serving in Ploiesti went home, and they couldn't fit all of their bags in the member's car who drove them down here to Bucharest to their hotel. So we drove up there in the van and picked up the rest of the bags. It's only about 64 kilometers, but they don't have freeways like we have, the roads between cities are more like our highways, and the speed limits are 40 km/hr going through a town and no more than 80 between them. It took us about an hour both ways. It was a nice drive. Then the next morning we got up way early to get them to the airport. Of course it was crowded. I have never been to the airport on Monday morning, but it was packed. And all of their bags were a bit heavy. So they had to do the balancing act to get them all right. And the flight was full so they had to check their carry on bags as well. Every bag was about a kilogram over weight, but we got lucky and had a nice lady at the check in counter. After they pulled some books from their suitcases to their hand bags, they made it. The guy was an inventor/business man that made bookoo bucks inventing farm machinery that packages hay, then exporting said hay to Japan and Taiwan. Interesting business, even more interesting guy.
 Here's a sunset picture Elder R. took of me from the office balcony.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

May 5, 2014

Well, I'm official financial secretary now. The Bakers left yesterday and its a three man show in the office now. 12 could work. Problem is that we're 9 hours ahead, and that's 9pm here. We could do it, but it'd be late here. I got the hats that you ordered, and also a Russian doll. I just have to make sure I'll have room in my suitcase for it all. 

We went to a Mexican restaurant for Cinco de Mayo. The new humanitarian couple called us and asked what we were doing and we told them just the normal stuff at the office. Then they offered to take us out to dinner, so free meal? Can't say no to that. The food was good, I had the pork fajitas, it came out on a sizzling platter and everything. Surprisingly there weren't many people there for the holiday.

Today we had staff meeting, which is usually boring, but wasn't all that terrible. After that I sat in on mission presidency meeting, due to my secretarial duties, I took minutes. We just have a lot to do. I have to call our accountant tomorrow and discuss what we are doing to change our ways after the area auditor rated us "not in compliance" in several areas. We still have cars to sell, cars to fix, tires to change. I payed rent for May for all the apartments. Busy busy busy.

May 10, 2014

We got to Skype with Austin for 2 1/2 hours!  It was good to see him and he is doing well and keeping busy in the office.  He was a little disappointed that he will be in the office until the end of his mission as he was hoping to get out into the field for his last transfer.  He understands, however, that the office is where he is needed.  He said the mission president called and asked him if he would please stay and oversee the finances of the mission.   We are excited that he will be home in 6 weeks!

Austin Via Skype on Mother's Day

May 19, 2014

Keeping busy as usual. Nothing really exciting happened this week. Today we went to the church and everyone played frisbee. They are trying to make some "I'm a Mormon" videos of Romanians to put on the site in Romanian, so they played frisbee for the background of it. I took a nap on the grass, because I didn't want to have to shower again... haha.

It's crazy how the time flies! Only 5 Sundays left.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Easter in Bucharest

Q: What's up? Anything new and exciting? Did you get to do anything cool for Easter this year? Did the package we sent come yet?
A: I did get the package. And we did the whole light the candle at midnight thing again. I'm pretty sure I explained it last year. But in short, at midnight on the day before Easter, everyone goes to the church and the priests come out and everyone has a candle, and spread the "light of Christ." Symbolic of the Resurrection, I'm not sure about the details, but it's a cool experience. I'll attach a picture.

You're scheduled to speak on June 29' the Sunday after you come home. So, you can start getting ready for that.

As for my talk, do you know who else is speaking, what my topic is, how long I need to talk etc. etc? I'll probably end up writing most of it here. I've already got lots of notes and stuff I can start organizing. Let me know though.

Sorry I don't have a lot to say, but it's just the same! I'm learning how to be an accountant, I'll be on my own after May 5. That's when the office couple leaves, and they still don't know about the next one coming in. They are supposed to come on June 1, but they don't even have a call yet.... So we'll see.
Enjoy the picture, sorry it's blurry, but it was dark and we couldn't hold the camera still.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

My First Meal will be Chick-Fil-A

Q: Hey, how's things? Anything new or interesting experiences this week? Have you started to train as the financial secretary? Maybe after that, you'll change you mind and decide to be an accountant, haha! I got your flight itinerary by email and now it all seems that more real and official that you're really coming home! Does it seem weird to you? It's kind of surreal. All in all, the time has really flown by for me. Strange how time works eh? How was church yesterday? Did you get the package yet? If not, hopefully it will arrive sometime this week.

A: Yeah flight itineraries came and we're all but bags packed! haha. I actually was the first person to read my itinerary. Also, I packed and sent the letter to the stake president with my certificates and release letters and stuff last week. I'm flying home with two other people to SLC and we all decided, that we're all going to Chick Fil a at the City Creek Center after we leave the airport. So, I guess you're all invited too, because that's where I'm going! haha. But overall, it has seemed fast. But at the same time, if feels like I've been here for awhile. I went to the post office today, and still no package, maybe tomorrow though. I'm slowly learning the ropes of the financial stuff. It's not too terribly hard to learn, there are just lots of steps to remember. The hardest part so far is making sure all the money gets recorded into the correct accounts (postage, gas, travel, that sort of thing) the church has a ton of accounts! So it's hard to remember which things go where.

Nothing else really to report for the week.

Here's a picture of our Sunday dinner and how we cooked it.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Tour of the Palace of Parliament or "The People's Palace"

Q: How goes learning the ropes of being the mission financial secretary?
A: I actually haven't started learning the financial secretary yet, they just had the mission audit for the year, so Elder B. had to get that finished first. I should start learning tomorrow though.

Q: Did you get to watch any of conference yet?
A: We watched the two Saturday sessions and the Priesthood sessions, and some of the Sunday morning session. The time difference makes it a little harder. I liked Elder Uchdorf's talk in the priesthood session when he told the story of him touring Air Force One with President Monson. He's always got some story about planes or flying. It was one of the easier for me to pay attention conferences. haha.

We kind of took some of our p-day on Saturday. We took a tour of Casa Poporului (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_the_Parliament). It was pretty cool. It is just giant. So many huge rooms that are decorated beyond belief. The tour only showed us five percent of the whole building. But what we did see was kind of gut wrenching. You'll have to look up the whole story of how it came to be. Lots of people got displaced, and they built it at a time where people couldn't even get bread and oil, but still used pink marble, mahogany, and all sorts of really expensive things. But the moral of the story is, is that it really is as big as they say it is. I'll throw a picture at the bottom of us there.
Me next to one of the giant staircases in the main entryway of the palace.  There is an identical one just straight across from it, one for Nicolae Ceaucescu and one for his wife, Elena.  Apparently they had it all built, then Ceaucescu came and decided the railings were too tall (he was a shorter guy), and said to rip it all out and start over.  And they did. 

Here's the view of the main drag through downtown from the terrace.  (all those tents are the same place where Roger Waters (from Pink Floyd) played The Wall when I was in Bucharest last summer.) 
As for today, we played some sports in the park, and took a car to get looked at at the dealership, and drove in big city traffic. Now we are writing our families and finishing up the work in the office.
Aerial View of the Palace of Parliament (from Google)

The People's Palace (from Google)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

I'm the New Mission Financial Secretary in Training!

Not much new here in the office, just one thing. I might be in here till the end of my mission. Our office couple is leaving in may, and there are no replacements. So, I am new mission financial secretary in training! haha. They are going to try to get someone here so I can go out of the office for my last transfer, but as of now, they have nobody. So I could be here for awhile yet. So we have another elder coming in tomorrow, and we'll start with the threesome companionship thing again.

But this week is transfer week, we have 2 new people coming in. So this week will probably give me less gray hair than other transfer weeks and I might actually get some sleep. As for this past week, we were in the immigration office one day with the new senior couple who arrived in January, we stayed in line there for 3 hours. Talk about packed, we went towards the end of open hours to try to dodge the crowd. yeah. wrong. But we finally made it up to the front and got their work done. Also we ate at the hard rock cafe too. I dunno if you remember him, but my 3rd companion, Elder M., went home last week. He's the one who came out, and went home for back surgery, then came back out. Him and another person in his group (who also went home in the middle of his mission for surgery) chose the Hard Rock as their last meal with president. Always good to have a great burger, though I'm really excited to have an Apollo burger when I get home. Though I think my first meal will be Chick Fil A. (That should be easy since they just opened a Chick Fil A in Centerville!)

We played basketball and soccer in the park for quite awhile today, the weather has been great. No signs of snow here at all. We had an activity at the church, where we were supposed to be learning how to cook Korean food (a Korean family just moved in to the branch across, the dad apparently works for the Korean space agency? So they organized a "learn how to cook Korean food night), but there wasn't enough room in the kitchen, so most of us elders played soccer.

That's about it for the week though!

Soccer in the park (in missionary attire)

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Using Family History Work in Contacting

This week was pretty standard (surprised? haha) We did have zone conference though. They are starting to try and emphasize using family history work in contacting. Which is really interesting, because there has been a proposal for the Church to digitize all the records of Romania from microfilm. It's going to be a big project, but the church has already contracted 6 million dollars in funding to support it. The early terms of the deal we know are that the archives will supply 10 linear meters of documents a day. That's basically a stack of papers 10 meters tall, lots of documents. The plan still has to be approved on several stages, but it's looking like it will be approved. From what I've heard, the records are very in depth, as the secret police kept so many generations back on every person during communism. And, there are many records in Romania that go back into the 1500s. Romania was actually one of the earliest countries to start issuing birth certificates, so that's a goldmine for people in their work.

I think that's about all that happened this week. We played handball today and indoor soccer. Some of the other missionaries have an investigator that works at a gym or something, so we go play on the big court there. It was pretty fun.

Sunset from the office balcony

Monday, 17 March 2014

I'm Learning to Play the Ukulele

Q: What's new in the Romanian mission office?

About the same still here in the office.

We were at the Mexican embassy with the sister from Mexico last week. They are helping her do some paperwork to send home to get her criminal record sent here. We went back today and finished it up and sent the documents to her dad. They'll arrive in Mexico city on Wednesday, and hopefully we'll be able to move forward with it all next week when we get the documents back. It's expensive to send documents around the world.
Q: What's the best thing that happened for you this past week?

Well we had something kind of cool happen this week. So there's this guy who's a member, and hasn't been to church for about a year . He has bought a few cars from us in the past, and he recently (over the last few weeks) has been going to lunch with us. He just calls us up, asks if we want to go with him. It's happened the last couple weeks and he just picks us up, and buys us lunch. Really nice guy. He owns a beauty salon and is a really prestigious hairdresser. Anyways, he came to church with is wife and son yesterday. First time in over a year. So that was cool. We've got to be pretty good friends, Now he just needs to keep coming to church too.

I'm learning how to play the ukulele a bit, it's kind of fun. I practice when I need a break from the office work. Elder baker knows how to play really well, so he teaches me a little here and there. 

Q: It's been a month or so since you've sent a photo. Do you have any new ones you could send?

And for the pictures, we haven't really done anything picture worthy, so I really haven't taken hardly any pictures for awhile. I'll try to find some stuff to shoot, maybe next week.

But that's all for this week!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Sometimes Translating Gives Me a Headache!

Nothing really new in the office. We got put in a threesome companionship again, which I'm not too excited about. But we found out today that he'll be leaving to go with someone else on Wednesday. And church was yesterday... haha. But it was long...... Sometimes they don't always stay on topic and they talk about stuff that doesn't necessarily apply. Sometimes I translate, but I dodged it this week. It gives me a headache haha.

I'm not sure when our clocks change here, sometime. We asked one of the members the other day, and he didn't know. We are thinking it's the last Sunday in March. We'll see though. It's real crazy that Carson is done. Seems like I watched him walk into the airport just yesterday. Weird how time works. I just have a touch over 3 months.

Nothing's really changed here in the office. I'm sure you've figured it out already, but it's pretty much the same drill here. Just taking care of the mail, visas, and whatever else could possibly go wrong. I did write a big chunk of something I could put in my homecoming talk during sacrament meeting this week, I felt pretty productive after that.. haha. We're still working on getting the Mexican sister's visa. There is lots of paperwork to gather, and when we have it all, we're putting her and her companion on a train to Budapest to apply at the Romanian Embassy there.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Joys of Office Life

Sounds like Austin has run into a snag or two this week working in the office.  He is getting good practice with problem solving skills!  Here's his update this week:

Not much is new. We have just barely got a sister here from Mexico a couple weeks ago, and us being the office elders, we have to do all her residence permit stuff. The initial thought was, based on what we found out, she just does everything the same as an American citizen would. We get to the immigration office, and turns out, it's pretty different. She has to have a special visa, that's an actual sticker in her passport in order to apply. And she can only get said sticker at a Romanian embassy. Yup, she has to go to Budapest to apply and then come back, then go back and pick it up. Nuts. And, she has to send documents home that allow her parents to obtain her criminal record for her and then have that sent to her here. It's a bit of a mess. We're slowly learning more and more though. Joys of the office life.

Also, we went to apply for some more permits with the new senior couple today, only to find out that part of the process has changed on us. The deal is you have to have some sort of health insurance when you apply for your permit, then you get long term insurance after you receive the permit. When we got to the insurance office, they told us that they don't give it anymore. So that threw a wrench in our plans. So now we have to get private insurance in order to apply, then long term insurance after they receive the permits.

That's basically the fun for the week.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Met a Member from Alabama at the Hard Rock Cafe

Feb. 20 Austin wrote:

The week was very busy, as it was transfers. We had 9 new sisters come into the mission and only one elder leave. Now we have sisters in every city, when before, there were only sisters in about half the cities. We were up really early on Wednesday morning to take Elder B. to the airport and didn't get to sleep till really late. It's been a little slower today, we got to sleep a bit and relax. 

On Monday we ate at the Hard Rock cafe with Pres and Elder B. for Elder B's going away. It was funny, while we were there, a guy just came over to our table and asked if he could crash our party. He was speaking English, so we said sure. President Hill started explaining who we were and stuff, then the guy kind of cuts in and says, "I'm a member." Turns out he's from Alabama and works for the missile defense agency (Department of Defense) and he's working on a project here. Really cool guy who travels 150 nights a year and has been all over. He ate with us and we all talked. He served in Brazil and has 3 kids.

I think I already told you, but Elder C. left to Cluj and I have Elder R. back. I trained him when he first got here and we're back together. I have 2 transfers with him and then one after that. There is also a possibility of coming home on June 11th instead of the 25th. It's still in the air though. I got accepted to the U, just waiting to see if I got in to the Honors college now.

Today, February 24 he says:

Q: How are things in your part of the world? Anything new going on? How is it going with Elder Reed--you guys got along well the last time, right? Do you get the opportunity to give talks or teach lessons in your Sunday meetings? We got a your U of U acceptance letter info. in the mail this week. Any word about the Honors program or scholarships etc.?

A: Howdy, Howdy! Sounds like the normal fun gig back home. I'm still waiting to hear about the honors college. Hopefully it'll be soon. Nothing really new going on. Elder R. is great. We got along great last time and we are getting along great this time too. Our humor is exactly the same, so we get all the jokes. It's great. I'm teaching him how to do everything in the office, because he will be here when the new mission president gets in. It's crazy, President Hill only has one day with him. He arrives on the 29th of June, and President Hill leaves on the 30th. Not much training time. But every mission president does things different, so it's a good time for that.

We don't really give talks and stuff at church, they try to have the members do as much of that as they can. We actually just got a new branch president too, him and his wife just got back from serving their mission in the Bern, Switzerland temple. He's got a lot of enthusiasm.

Sorry it's short again, but I don't have anything too exciting to say. Have a good week!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Nothing's Really New Here at the Office

Nothing's really new here in the office. The threesome companionship is getting really old, one companion is usually enough to get along with, let alone two. I'm very glad that will change next week. Elder B. goes home and Elder C. is out of the office. I do know who will most likely be my new companion though. Remember my son? Elder R. from Idaho? Yup, he's the man for the new office elder job that just about opened up. It'll be fun. I'll have 2 transfers with him, then one more and I'm done! Crazy to think about.

Speaking of college, all my stuff is sent to the U. They have all my transcripts and my ACT scores. The ACT robbed me 33 dollars to send that. Ridiculous. Carson got his acceptance letter already, maybe they'll be quick and send me mine fast too. I've been doing some research and talking to Elder B., I'm pretty sure I'll major in Civil Engineering with a minor in computer science. That's what I'm leaning towards. Maybe minors in physics or mathematics, or Spanish. I want to learn that when I get home. Then go somewhere (don't know where) and get a masters degree. I've been told by many in the mission that BYU has a good MBA program, but there are a lot of BYU alumni here as well. We'll see. It would definitely be a cheaper route for graduate school.

My mission dad (trainer) is getting married too. He's marrying a girl who served here. Kinda weird. I dunno if you remember, but about a year ago, we had a sister missionary come to Sibiu with her family and we tour guided them around for the day. I'm pretty sure I told you about that. Anyways, he's marrying her, and the wedding is on June 21st, 4 days before I get home.

But yeah, that's about it for the week. I'm almost out of peanut butter, and honey. I've been eating lots of peanut butter and honey lately.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Week Was Just Like Normal

Q: How was your week? Did the guard come to church again?

A: No more word on the guard, he goes to the other branch, not the same one as us. So I'm not sure if he went or not.

But the week was just like normal. Nothing really interesting happened. They are still trying to dig out the city from the snow. There aren't any places to put all the snow, so they have been slowly loading it up in dump trucks and driving it away. Huge piles of snow, size of our house in some parking lots. But consistent sizes of cars. kind of a mess. But it's warmed up a bit today, and the temperature is above freezing, so things are melting a bit. We're just getting ready for the new missionaries to arrive. 9 sisters coming in on the 18th, with no elders. Weird. Then after that, we have just 2, one sister and one elder coming in April. Also, on the same day I go home, 16 people go home! crazy.

It's crazy that Carson gets home in 4 weeks! Blows my mind. It's almost time to decide what to do with life.. haha.

Sorry I don't have a lot to say this week, just a run of the mill week!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Snow Removal Here is a Mess!

Anyways, this week has been snow filled. We've got about 16 inches total in the last 2 days. After church we went and got shovels, and dug out the driveway into the office, because they had interviews, and people needed to drive in. Also, we've been shuttling people around the city to their apartments, to the train station etc. While we were taking some of the sisters home, we got the car stuck. The road is kinda sketchy when there's not 16 inches of snow on the ground.... haha. Turns out they had a shovel in their place, and we got ourselves dug out in not too much time.

The snow removal system here is a mess. All the buildings were built without any parking, so now everyone just parks everywhere and anywhere. Then when it snows, the plows just plow the roads, regardless of the cars. So cars are just buried in 4-6 feet of snow because there isn't any other place to plow it. It's like that all over the place, instead of just scraping your windshield, you have to dig out the entire car. As of now, most of the main roads are clear, but all the back and skinny roads (which is where people drive the most probably) are still just a mess. The other day we got stuck at our building so we opted to park at the office and walk home. But last night we dug out a parking spot so we wouldn't have to trudge through the snow.

Cool thing though, one of the guards here at the office has been telling us that he'll come to church for what seems like months now, and he actually came. He's been talking with Elder B. and got a Book of Mormon too. The other day, he was talking to some friends and stopped us in the elevator and asked for two more Book of Mormons which we brought down and we assume that he gave them to his friends. But he said he liked church and wanted to come again.

That's about it for the week though, here's a picture of me in my new fur hat, and Elder C. in the snow right behind our building. After we got stuck and drove back to the office, and drove back to the apartment.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

My Birthday Was Good

Here's a picture of me by a big soccer ball in the mall.
Q: How was your birthday?  I can't believe you're 21!
A: My birthday was good. We went out to eat with the district at this really good Italian restaurant. My district all pitched in and paid for my food, which was nice. I had an oven baked tortellini thing which was really good. Other than that, it's been the same old same old, not much new to say. I'm not sure if I've already told you, but I have 2 companions right now. It's kinda hard sometimes, it's 3 people to agree on something instead of just two and so on. It can be a bit frustrating.

Most of this week we spent helping the new senior couple missionaries get settled in. They are from Orem, and will be our new humanitarian missionaries in the mission. They arrived about a week ago, so we've been over at their place helping them communicate with all the people in order to get all moved in. Today we helped the repair guy fix some stuff around their apartment, light fixtures, closet doors, stuff like that. They even took us to Ruby Tuesday after the first time we went over and helped them. We are just the coolest to them, because we help them with everything.

The office doesn't smell like smoke anymore... haha. (I asked if there were fire alarms in the building) There is supposed to be alarms. But when we went down the stairs, the alarms were going off on the 2nd and 3rd floors. We didn't have anything on the 7th though. That's something they're addressing though. 

That's about it. Have a great week!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Escaped from a Burning Building: Check That One Off the Bucket List!

Here's a picture of our building on fire.  We left the light on....
We've been really busy this week with transfers. Well, as you already know, we did escape from a burning building, check that one off the bucket list. It was late Friday night, we were up working on the travel plans for missionaries to follow for transfer week. It has train arrivals, departures, other instructions, etc. We were all at our computers when we heard one of the guards for the building yelling outside. Looking out the window, we saw him yelling into his phone, then 5 stories below us, the flames coming out of the window. We decided we should probably get out, we grabbed our bags, made sure the office safe was closed and went down the stairs. There was quite a bit of smoke on the 2nd and 3rd floors in the stairwell, but we made it out just fine. We were out of the building before any of the fire department showed up. And, we left our cell phone up there too, so we didn't have any way to contact anyone. Eventually a ton of fire trucks showed up and they got everything under control. They clogged up the parking lot, so we couldn't drive our car out. We walked to the other missionaries' house to use their phone to call Pres. Hill and tell him we were alive, and then we walked back to the office building, and that's when all the news reporters were there. They overheard us talking to a lady who works on the 5th floor, and that we were in the building when the fire started, and that's when they all just swarmed around us. Like 20 microphones, 5 or 6 cameras. They didn't even ask us questions, just held the microphones there and didn't say anything. It was really awkward. The fire department got the fire all put out in about an hour. We came in the next morning and there was a layer of soot over everything. But the cleaning company came on Monday and cleaned the whole office (another reason I couldn't email) they shampooed the carpets, cleaned the doors, walls, chairs, everything. The office doesn't smell like smoke anymore, haha. So that's the story of the burning office building. How did you people in Utah find out about it? Amy said it was her friend, but how did her friend find out? I'm really curious. Anyways.

That's by far the most interesting thing that happened in the last little while. On Wednesday, we spent almost 6 hours in the Immigration office waiting in lines and getting new missionaries applied for their visas. That was a long day. Everything went according to plan, for the most part. There's always some sort of hiccup, but we ended 10 for 10, so we called it a success. We have a new senior couple coming in tomorrow, so we've been preparing all of their documents to apply for visas as well. That's about it. Just staying busy getting the mail, washing the cars, getting them inspected, and handling all of the other mission problems.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Fire in the Mission Office Building

We got a one sentence email from Austin on Monday:

"I'll email you a different day, maybe not till Thursday or Friday. Super busy right now."
Apparently he IS really busy. . .

We are waiting to hear details from him, but there was fire in the building that houses the mission office on January 3rd.  Austin and his companion were inside the building when it occurred but were able to exit safely.  He and his companion were on Romanian news!  (See the attached link).  The Mission Website stated:

Vineri, 3 ianuarie 2014, în jurul orei 22:30, a izbucnit un incendiu în clădirea în care se află Biroul Misiunii România-R.Moldova a Bisericii lui Isus Hristos a Sfinţilor din Zilele din Urmă.
Biroul Misiunii se află la etajul şapte al clădirii din Şoseaua Pipera, sectorul 2. În birou se aflau doi tineri misionari cu timp deplin, care lucrau la planurile de transfer, şi care au auzit strigătele paznicilor clădirii. Au alergat pe scari şi s-au refugiat în parcarea clădirii.
La locul incendiului au venit opt maşini de pompieri, precum şi un echipaj al canalului TV Digi24. Incendiul a fost provocat, se pare, de un scurtcircuit. Un fum gros şi flăcari ieşeau pe ferestrele apartamentului de la etajul doi al blocului; etajul a fost distrus in totalitate. Focul a fost stins in mai putin de o oră.
Biroul nu a suferit pagube, curentul electric, cablul internet şi conductele de apă curentă nu au fost afectate, dar mirosul greu, puternic, funinginea împiedica folosirea lui. Luni, va interveni o echipă de curăţenie şi biroul va putea fi folosit din nou.

Google Translate:

Friday, January 3, 2014 , at around 22:30 , a fire in the building in which the office Romania - Moldova Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints .
Mission Office is located on the seventh floor of the building in Pipera , District 2 . In the office were two young full-time missionaries who were working on plans to transfer , and have heard their cry guards building. They ran up the stairs and fled the parking building.
At the fire came eight fire engines and a crew of TV channel Digi24 . The fire was caused , apparently, by a short circuit. A thick smoke and flames coming out the windows on the second floor of the apartment block , floor was completely destroyed . The fire was extinguished in less than an hour.
Bureau has not suffered damage , electricity, internet and cable lines running water were not affected , but the smell strong, soot prevent its use. Monday, there will be a team of office cleaning and can be used again .

Here are links to two different news reports: