Week 14 – Galaţi, Romania

Well, Galaţi is very interesting. It is larger than Bacău, but uglier. I don’t mean that in a bad way and I love it here, but it isn’t as cool as Bacau. Oh well. I do like it here and the Danube keeps the city cold, and windy. Hooray…

Galati_City_01_1200We have had a hard time with a lot of missionary work lately because there is a lot of permission stuff we have to have before we do things on streets. We are also teaching English classes which is a major influence in the community and we get potentials from it. The branch here is about the same size as Bacău, well maybe a few more members, and it is strong. we have 6 missionaries here. Four of us are completely new in the area, one is a new new sister. Then my companion and I, another elder who is the Branch President, and his companion. His companion is Australian, and we had a really funny thing happen to us. Okay, so in Australia they eat this stuff called Vegimite. It is this paste thing, and they eat it like peanut butter. So we all tried a little, and it was the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten in my entire life! It was salty and tasted like yeast. It was so gross. My companion freaked out and his reaction was caught on film! I will try and get a copy of it.

Galati_City_02_1200We are going to keep trying to find those who need the gospel here but it is really difficult. I have actually struggled a little bit with discouragement, and I have often felt like a failure. I mean we have zero success on paper, and that can be really really irritating. I want more than anything to share what I love so much to everyone who will listen, but no one wants to hear it. We talk to a lot of people and nothing. I am trying and trying, and still nothing. I get so frustrated with myself and I can sometimes be hard to be around. I sometimes don’t understand why we are not being blessed, and in fact I have felt that I am being wasted here in Romania. I know the Gospel very well, and I can teach it in English very well. In our role plays, we sometimes speak English, and I am amazing at it (or so my companion says 😉 ). Why am I here in a place, where no one wants to hear it? The language is hard and I feel weak. I have really prayed, and I am waiting for my answer.

However, I have already received my answer. Sometimes, we pray and I think Heavenly Father laughs, because we already know the answer to our own prayers, and even how to fix our own problems. I have never in my life needed more change in my soul. My Heavenly Father loves me and I know it. I am here in Romania, because someone here needs me. I am here because I may need to be humbled a little bit. I am here to look at my life and see where I can change and become the person Heavenly Father knows I can become. I am not frustrated about where I live or where I serve. I wouldn’t trade being out here for anything. I know that what I am doing is right. More than anything I know that I am being shaped by Heavenly Father into the man I NEED to be for when I get home. Not the person I want to be but the person I need to be. I just need to focus, and work my heart out.

I have been trying so hard to forget myself and get to work. I still need to continue to do that, and I honestly believe that when I master that, I will become the missionary that I want to be and I will change completely. I love being out here so much, and I will try to have more stories and experiences next week, but we have to leave and catch a train to Iași for zone training meeting. I love you all so very much.

Elder Oldham