Week 17 – Galaţi, Romania

Well Moldova was really fun! I have a couple really crazy stories about it too. This trip ended up being a five day fiasco with much, much, much travel.

Galati_Depot_01_1200Now just a heads up, Moldova has the worst streets in the whole World, and it is absolutely true. We took a train on the 12th I think, to Iași where we stayed the night. The next morning we took a Maxi Taxi to Chisinau, Moldova. This is where it got interesting. Getting over the border was really easy and not a big deal, but the drive while in Moldova, was scary. A maxi Taxi is a miniature bus. I can stand in it, but it can only seat 14 people. No seat belts. I looked. I wanted one really badly, but they don’t exist because they are as used to buses as in Romania. So we are bouncing all over the place, falling out of chairs and it was fun! A couple times I looked out the window and thought…”we are going really fast…”. It was fun, and we all made it okay.

Moldova_06_1200We had a wonderful Zone Conference, which was a six hour event with much learning and lots of spiritual things. We had President Hill with us and I learned a few more things about him. He basically ended a half billion dollar scam that was worldwide. He was also a sharpshooter in the Army, but later designed poison gas that was actually used. He thought that it was too immoral and left the army because of that. Now he is just this completely awesome man who loves everything!

Moldova_10_1200Sorry… I am back to Chisinau. The Meeting basically lasted all day, and so food was needed, and so was sleep. We stayed in the hotel Cosmos, which was this slightly sketchy hotel, that was probably built during the Soviet Union. Okay, it wasn’t that bad. It was nice to have a room, with a bed. That’s all that mattered to me. We slept well, and got fed a wonderful breakfast…FREE! That doesn’t happen very often here in Romania. It was nice, and it started our day off really well. We then basically shopped all day. They have these little vendors all over the place and when there is a lot of them in one area it is called a piaţa. We found some cool stuff there. A lot of Soviet Union stuff!! It was really fun just to walk around and see the cool traditional things. I got souvenirs so don’t feel left out! We spent the entire day, pretty much, shopping around. it was nice to have a day off. I love missionary work, but man I needed a long break. Then at the end of that day we got back on the Maxi Taxi and headed home.

Moldova_Hotel_01Again with a bumpy bus ride to the border. Now…Oh man… I had a real adventure here. Getting into Romania was harder than getting out. Go figure. So we stop at the Modovan border and eventually we have to hand up our passports so they can get them stamped. We are still on the Maxi Taxi at this point just waiting to get our exiting stamps. The boarder guard comes back with one passport and gets on the taxi. I look up and one of the sisters calls out my name…he his holding MY passport. I am thinking I will be stuck in Moldova forever! Everything went through my mind. He came back to where I was sitting and told me to look at it. I looked at my picture page, and I heard someone say check my signature. So, politely I showed him my signature. (He spoke very broken English so I couldn’t understand him). However, he said “no”…flipped to my back page of my passport and said “this”. I looked down and I saw my 100 U.S. dollar bill. (it is just wear I keep it for safe keeping…I had forgotten all about it). I am confused for a second, then I grab it and sit down. I didn’t really recognize the gravity of my situation. When I sat down it hit me. It looked like I was trying to bribe the Moldovan Border Guards!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it…and then our bags got searched…probably because of me… oh well. It was a very scary moment for me. The rest of the trip was normal…except for me in the back freaking out because I could have lost my 100 dollar bill, or worse! Oh man… It was a lot of fun, but at the end I started to miss missionary work, and I am glad to be back at it!

One of our investigators is progressing and we actually set a baptismal date with him! June 21st. Which is a little ways away, but he needs a little more time. The other gentlemen we are teaching, is pretty new, but he will open up as soon as he starts reading the Book of Mormon. I know it! We work hard everyday, and enjoy the life we get to live now. I like serving here in Romania, and I am grateful for this chance to serve.

I miss Tucanos! However, some of the food here is pretty dang good. Something is always happening at our house, from tree climbing too anything! I love our house!

Elder Oldham

Other Photos from my Moldova trip.