Week 18 – Galaţi, Romania

I am grateful to hear your voices and see pictures. Mom and Abby: you sounded wonderful!!

I have only a few stories to tell and it is one of those things where as missionaries we turn to each other and say “Only in Romania”. (I have been writing in my journal, but sometimes at night we are so tired that I only have a few sentences for the day…so, I decided to start taking small notes in my planner of crazy things that happen, so I won’t forget to write it in my journal…) I can sum up all we do in one Word…Work! We have worked so hard this transfer. With keeping up with two investigators (really only one…one of them doesn’t seem really interested), we still have almost managed to have 80 hours of contacting this transfer. We are really, really, close to that goal.

People here are very blunt, and I have learned that not knowing the language has made me laugh a lot…afterward. Last Sunday was a wonderful example of how crazy Romania can get. It started off pretty normal. We woke up ate breakfast (I stretched…I have really started to love stretching and can almost place my whole hand on the floor!!! When my legs are like this… /\ spread open…) We only have time for one hour of study before church, and we always do companion study because we plan our lesson (we are the Sunday school teachers). We then went to Church and it started off strange. Our investigator who has not seemed very interested showed up, which was great and we were happy! Priesthood, kind of turned into a “ask the visitor to read everything” and seemed uncomfortable. Half way through priesthood, two random guys came and sat down with us. Random dudes…15 mintues later one couldn’t take it anymore and left. The other left right after priesthood… Wow. already way bizzare. Then, our investigator left halfway through our Sunday school Lesson (which left us bummed). However, Our investigator who does seem really interested came and brought his sister to sacrament Meeting. Afterward, we wanted to have a lesson with them, but they had no time. (He bumped us twice this week so that was frustrating. It’s okay, we still have high hopes for him.) We went back and ate food, probably eggs…we eat so many eggs… Then we hit the pavement and went out and contacted, this is where it got crazy. We got stopped by a guy who, in a conversation I didn’t really understand, asked if we would help him feed his LIONS and TIGERS!!!  We said we would see if we would have to ask if we could. Then we kept going. We stopped another man who had the trunk of his car open…he started talking, and my understanding only goes so far. He then pulled out a knife, a fillet knife (for fish), and started waving it around, but there was no panic in my companion and he didn’t sound like he wanted to hurt us…he used it to cut fishing line (don’t worry). Here is the best part of that conversation though. (When I don’t understand, I ask my companion.) He told me that the guy had talked about intentions, and joked about killing us… Yeah… Only in Romania. It was a fun day, and that is pretty much it.

We work hard, and we rely on the Lord to buoy us up when we can’t go on. I have learned so much about Personal revelation, and what it means to have the Spirit with us all the time, and then have it leave, because of a distracted thought. I have also learned more and more about the lonely path of a Leader. It was a speech given by President Hinckley, and it applies to us as we try to live exactly obedient. Some seem to want to bend and twist the black and White rules to make grey. I am here to put an end to that. I live in a white and black world…period. I want to be exactly obedient. (try to be at least…I am not perfect…well…se poate 😉 ). I am learning to stand up for what I believe in even with my friends. Life is fun here, and I love everything about the work.

My Language skills are increasing more and more, and I am starting to be able to have conversations without any help from my companion!!!!! It is crazy. I am right now trying to work on Vocabulary, that is where I have been falling short. Dad…this language is so hard. It is difficult, and frankly I am blown away that I can speak what I can. Go and Talk to Carlos!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Not a bad idea though, if you are serious about learning. There are so many little things that just don’t make sense.

I have eaten some fun things, but I will bring back Sarmale!!!!!!!!!! It is way good. My P-Days have actually been pretty lame except for one… we went on the ferry over the Danube!!! it was cool, and gross.  P-Days are not really that fun if you have nowhere to go, and Galaţi is too far away from anything to go and visit. Some missionaries go and play paintball here!!

I am going to make cinnamon Rolls for conference!!!! It should be way fun. There are Lion bars here that you can’t get at home…its like a twixt, but with another crunchy layer of goodness around it. hmmm… All the fruit and veggies here taste better than at home. We eat a lot of fruit…mainly apples.

I heard about Megan and Tanner. Congrats to them both. I bet the Miller Family is super proud of her. She really will be a very good missionary. Same with Tanner!! Oh man, we are all learning a different language!

Va Iubesc!!!
Elder Oldham