Week 22 – Galaţi, Romania – Easter

Okay, this week has brought some exciting things here in Romania. Aside from a few days nothing has really happened and because of those few days, we are all really, really tired. SO I get the wonderful experience to live in a culture that is 90% (Eastern) Orthodox. I don’t mind at all, becuase it is fun to see all the different ways people say no to you. Trust me, I have had every single one. It is fun here! We find something to laugh at everyday! Romania has a lot of Orthodox churchs all over the place, and they are kind of scary. I mean, I think they are beautiful, but they are just…hmmm…they just aren’t as beautiful as our temples. ;).

So we get permission to go and participate in Midnight Mass at the Orthodox Church on Easter Eve, to introduce Easter (Paste!). It was really interesting, and I got to go inside an Orthodox Church! It was super cool….and I felt really depressed inside. Apparently, they don’t ever light them well, and the paintings are dark, and scary. Anyway, they have this thing, where everyone gets a candle, (you buy one), and then they pass out the fire from Jerusalem! (Apparently they fly it over to Romania! (we snicker because the priest who starts the whole thing probably just has a match stick 😉 )), then you walk home with your flame going. This is the really funny part, if you can make it home without your fire going out, then all your sins are forgiven you for the previous year! Let’s just say I was feeling pretty good that night ;). Elder Trevino though…well…he will have to pray really hard this next year ;). We had a good time, but it meant not getting to bed until 1 in the morning. I was so tired the next day, but lucky for us, Easter day was relaxing. We got permission to watch a Disney movie, and we, as a district relaxed, studied our scriptures, and watched Wreck it Ralph. It was really nice to have a day of relaxing.

Things here have been really good. I have felt a serious change within me. I mean this week I have had some pretty serious spiritual things happen, and I am very happy with where I am going. I love the Gospel so much!

Okay, for our branch activity we also did this Romanian tradition where you each hold a hard boiled egg, then one person says Hristos a inviat (Christ was resurrected), then the other says adevarat a inviat (true, he was reserurrected), then one person hits the others egg, and the one that gets cracked loses. Then you have to eat it. It was really fun, and all throughout the past few days, you could say Hristos a inviat to anyone on the street and they would say adevarat a inviat. It was pretty cool. Just some simple things from the old world over here. It was way cool to see this particular holiday come and go. I love Paste!

Things are good here too, we just keep pounding it out. We haven’t had much success here, but it has also been a pretty big orthodox revival week-end. Oh well.

I haven’t received my package yet with insanity in it, but we are going to Bucharest this week and so I might get it this week-end. That would be good. If not I will email you next week. Money, I am grateful for the update, I have been thinking about sending a package, but I don’t have enough stuff yet to send one, but with Elder Trevino doing his last days shopping I might get close. Abby will be really lucky, because leather jackets here are the style, and they aren’t expensive. Oliver, and dad are hard to shop for here. The guys style isn’t very good in most cases, but I think I may be able to find some neat Romanian things for them.

Stake conference sounds good! Just a heads up, there are probably more members in our stake, than in all of Romania ;). So be grateful ;). I love hearing about what is going on at home. Have fun in Washington D.C. Go see some sights and take lots of photos! I also updated the drive again, if you want to see some pictures of our adventures. It has been a fun few days, and getting back to work has been kind of hard. We also have been having some hotter days here, and I am shocked at the clothing items for women here. Lets just say, if I saw my daughters wearing any of that, I would lock them in there rooms forever. (not true, but maybe 😉 ).

Life is good, and I think the Lord has prepared me well for fighting the adversary in my mind. I had a moment of clarity this last week. I was thinking to myself, “oh man, I have dealt with some things for so long I don’t even know how to live without it.”  Almost instantly I received a different thought, and I know it couldn’t have been my own. “Then start living the way you want to.”  It hit me. The Atonement is so thorough that the Lord will remember our sins no more. I realized that I literally didn’t have to live with the thought of sin anymore. So I stopped. I look back a week ago, and I was a different person. I have really changed, and transformed. I love what the Gospel is doing for me. When I take the gospel, and say that the rules are my rules, and not something forced upon me, then it becomes a lot easier to follow them, because they are my rules. (“You can do it now” Pres. Uchtdorf. ) It’s something that I have been working on and it has helped me a lot. I have also read almost every magazine I own, which is basically 4 years worth of general conference talks. SO GOOD. I encourage you to read them more often, I can catch more things that way and really apply them better.

Thanks for all the support!

Love, Varstnicul Oldham