Week 28 – Galaţi, Romania

Dear Wonderful Family,

You are all really truly wonderful. I wish I could tell you all about my wonderful fun filled adventures I am having here but there isn’t much this week with crazy things. We have been working hard, and things are kind of moving forward. We had a very normal Sunday. Which entailed of listening to a lesson in priesthood, then having a lesson (taught by us, which I still can’t read the manual), then having a very nice lecture again…it was fast and testimony meeting. Oh there was some excitement when right at the end of the meeting (sacrament meeting), the new Branch President was struggling to get some words out and another brother in the back yelled at him to have courage and all sorts of jazz. It was actually really hard to sit in. It was basically a call the new BP out on everything day. So that was an event. Then we had our District dinner, which is every week having a pot luck with the missionaries. That has been fun and the food is really good. We also get a chance to let off some steam.

This weeks excitement has really come in the form of Zone Conference. Normally we have Zone Conference around 11 or 12 in the morning/afternoon, but this time they changed it to 9 in the morning. That creates a problem for us as the Galaţi missionaries. You see in the past we have taken a train to Iasi, then with our zone, taken a maxi taxi into Moldova the DAY OF conference, then having our conference, stay the night in Moldova, and have P-day in Moldova. However, we can’t do that this time because of the early morning start time. So Galaţi is in a pickle. We have many options but, none of them include us staying for the normal Sunday services. This means the Galaţi Branch will only have two priesthood holders, and no Sunday School teachers. They could survive, but here is the hardest part. Our investigator needs to come to church at least twice to be baptized, and he hasn’t come yet, which means he has to come to the next two for sure or it won’t happen on the 21st like we have planned. This is a problem because his first Sunday will have no missionaries, not enough priesthood and no Sunday School teachers. WE have been going back and forth with all this stuff with the zone leaders to figure it all out, but it moves up the chain very slowly. We now just wait for tomorrow night to figure out the fate of next weeks Slujba. That is pretty much it.

No threatening this week…bummer. We did have a really cool contact this week. So I did get to go on an exchange with one of the missionaries who was in my MTC group with me and we went out contacting. Now we both don’t speak the language very well, but we were both willing to give it a try. We ended up running into this man who spoke English pretty well, and he told us that he used to live in California, and has flown into Salt Lake City many times and had tours there. He always wondered what the big white building was. :D!!!!!! So we bore testimony of the temples gave him a Book of Mormon and got his number so we can call him back! It was way cool, and a nice little break from Heavenly Father.

We work hard here, but the recent rain storms have “dampened” our work outside, and we have a clean apartment right now! That is good. I started the “Max Interval Training” in Insanity, and I feel so good right now! It is such a hard work out, but it feels so good! I will have to take a video of what we do, and send it to you, especially now that I am in decent shape ;).

I really wish there was more to tell you. It is hot, humid, and bugs are everywhere…sounds like Minnesota! Oh, last thing. I have started reading Jesus the Christ. It is an amazing book! There are so many things that I didn’t know or didn’t really realize. For example. We can all understand that gifts are more or less required when approaching or entering the home of a person of higher class than you during the time of Christ’s birth. I read, and find interesting, that there is no account of the “wise men from the far east” presenting such gifts to Herod, but clearly gave their gifts to Christ. Does this mean that these wise men were considered or were greater than Herod? It left me wondering. I have had many wondering moments when reading that book. It is just hard to read because James E., Talmage has a very large vocabulary, and so I use my English dictionary for a lot of words.

Things are going great. I am amazed at who all cares about what I am doing out hear, even if it isn’t anything they are interested in religious wise. I am always interested to hear about the boys soccer team and coach, and how things are going with them. I really do wish them all the best, and maybe they will get a winning season! So get this…a few years ago the Romanian team played Greece, and some missionaries here got to go and watch it! I wish I could get a chance to go and see a World cup game! I can’t believe Klinsmann cut Landon! However, it shows that one player doesn’t make a team great, but that the whole team is needed. I wonder if there is more to that story than just that.

Good for Oliver for finishing out seminary! It can sometimes be a real drag, but those are the days where you can have the most spiritual experiences. Especially here in the mission field. it is the days where nothing is going our way, but we keep going and pushing, until finally the Lord has to bless us because of all our hard work! Granted He blesses us in ways that we may not see, like He may bless us with no success for weeks, but in that time we learn how to have a good work ethic, and other examples like that. The Blessings are always what we can see, or what we think we need, but they are always perfect for what the Lord needs for us. The talk Windows of Heaven by Elder Bednar is a good example of this. I am growing so much spiritually, even if I don’t see it every single day. I look back to the person that I was a year ago, and I am shocked at the change. I remember where I was a year ago, and that really felt like yesterday! The time goes by so fast!

I bet the kids are super happy about school being out! That is weird that school is almost out in general! Ah! I Love you guys very much, and I hope you do many fun growing things during the summer, and if those fun things are to happen you must plan those out now, because as missionaries, if we don’t plan anything out then normally it doesn’t happen…ever. We are busy people! Learn kayaking (Oliver and Dad). Go camping more! Do something crazy! I am so happy that you are all happy too, and the pictures from the ballet recital are nice. You are all changing!

Love, Varstnicul Oldham