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: