Week 42 – București, România

This week…hmmm. Where to start… Well, things here are going good, as always, but we are finding ourselves in this little rut. No one EVER picks up their phones…That has been frustrating, but we are still working hard and I am trying to rely on the promises of the Lord more. We have started meeting with some less actives more, but we are finding a common thread among the reasons why people aren’t coming to church. One: they have some physical problem that makes it difficult to impossible for them to come. Two: Their wife/husband is orthodox, and anti. We are grateful for these people to still consider themselves to be members, but I think we will work on being more bold, and see what we can do about spouses. ;).

Oh, we also started doing some recent convert lessons with a family. On their teaching record we read that every time missionaries went over there, they fed them until they were sick. Sort of. They got fed a ton. Anyway. we went over with the branch president, and they were all correct. We started off with fresh veggies and sandwiches. (Please not that after this portion, I was actually very content). Then they let that settle for about five minutes then brought out slabs of meat, and steamed veggies. (of course we as missionaries are stuffing our faces). During this time, they kept filling my cup with juice. I love juice, so I kept drinking. My thought process was “If I finish the glass, they will know that I am not thirsty.” Wrong. “Oh his glass is empty, he must need more.” I kept drinking and drinking. It gets better. Now at this moment, I have eaten a sandwich, two pork chops, probably a plate full of vegetables, and 6 or 7 cups of juice. I am thinking, this is the end of me. I was going to explode. then they said, oh wait we have dessert. …dessert…*stomach kicks kidney in anger* We keep eating and they bring out these different cakes and place like a square of cake (five different ones to be exact) on my plate. I eat them all of course, but at that moment I really was going to die. THEN…(IT HASN’T ENDED YET). They bring out this juice…oh no…I have seen this juice before, when I accidentally bought it thinking it was orange juice. They brought out 100% grapefruit juice. If you know anything about grapefruit juice you will know that it is bitter, bitter, bitter. A bad instant taste, an okay split second middle taste, and bad after taste that lingers for an hour. I realized that this was the juice that we used in the quit smoking program to help people not want a cigarette. It is so powerful it truly makes you not want a cigarette. I was in this phase of “if it’s empty they’ll stop filling it.” I had three cup fulls…When I got home, I hunched over and laid on the ground for a minute. Once I felt stable I made all the proper arrangements for bed. Food comma. It was so good though…that was the problem. It was so good, I had to keep eating. That was kind of funny. My companion and I looked at each other a few times and we both had the same expression. “Will we live to see America again?” It was fun.

On Friday we had sports night, and it was kind of overcast and a little wet, but we decided to play soccer! Anyway, we got super muddy and were slipping all over the place. It was so much fun! That was really neat. Oh, I also received a wonderful package. 😉 I am very grateful to all of you that wrote stuff. ( Camden is still a punk, I am now not his biggest fan…*Does a little pout* ). I don’t know how I will eat all those Kit Kat bars, but that was a good choice. ;).

Our sisters here actually have a baptism this week, but things have been super crazy with that. We thought it was going to be on Saturday (normal) then last night I get a call, hey our investigator won’t be here on Friday or Saturday, because someone in her family died. SO now we have a baptism on Thursday this week. The reason why I am freaking out is because, as the district leader, I get the opportunity to do the baptismal interviews with all investigators in my district. I am nervous, and also not really. I think it will be very good. We are just busy running around making sure things are in order.

Bucharest_10_1200That was kind of some cool news. Then lets see…oh I might get to go to some cool palaces in the upcoming future.Who knows? I am not sure what else there is to tell you. We are just working hard and leaving it up to the Lord. I know He has some people here for us to find, teach, and baptize. I know it! We just need to keep working. Faith is the first step right. 😉

It is interesting that Abby is saying that. I don’t know what I did. She is right though. In this case I think that it would hurt Oliver and Lilly, but frankly if it is what the Lord wants, then lets jump in with both feet. The Lord is always there no matter where you go, so it is okay to jump. The Lord wants us to be happy, and that is completely our choice. So be happy! I have no say in this, but I think it would be weird to give my return talk to people I don’t really know. I would still try to get up to Brainerd actually. if that happened. I think it is an adventure, and moving can have a huge impact on bringing the family closer to one another, but it can also have some effects of pushing people away. I would just go with the Lord, He is always right.

It is so nice to hear about Oliver finding something he likes to do. I am telling you if he finds what he loves, he will blow that market out of the water. He could be very good at whatever he chooses to do. I worry about him sometimes. I hope that he reads his scriptures often and delights in them as much as I do. There is just so much you can get out of reading your scriptures that come nowhere else.

I sure hope I end up in Cluj! I have heard it is a beautiful city! I am actually happy wherever it is that I serve. The work is the same ins’t it? I will tell you guys if that happens though.

Bucharest_07_1200Being a district leader is hard. I will be honest. It is a lot of responsibility, but I feel like I am adjusting to it well and I hope that I am making an impact on the missionaries in my district. I have actually seen a change in me ever since getting this assignment. I am actually getting mature! ( shhhhh…not really ;). There are things that I must take seriously, and that has made me step up to the plate a little bit. Especially because I don’t want to be a good district leader, I want to be an awesome one! I want to have those missionaries walk away going, “…wow…” I want to astonish someone! I think this position deserves a type of person, and I want to step up and fill that role. It is neat, and I am having a lot of fun with it! That’s step one actually, having fun. ;).

Fluent…NO. But getting there…maybe. I can talk to people and for the most part understand them, and I can respond back intelligently. There are just so many words to know, and there are so many things that change what a word looks like and sounds like, that it makes it hard to keep things straight. I am getting better though. I am starting to make a ton of flash cards and I hope that helps me. I really want to work at it though. It is kind of cool though to understand someone when they speak. I like it anyway.

Poor Mom! I hope everything was okay today! Oh, I had my first sushi in Chisinau, and I really liked it! I had caviar (you know the fish eggs) on the outside, and they are surprisingly sweet. ;)…I literally ate nemo’s bro’s and sisters…they were red balls too…sad.

Bucharest_03_1200I love you all so very much and I hope you all know that the Lord really does have a plan for everyone, and if we have a positive attitude with our perspectives towards eternity, then even our problems here will seem small, and meant for our growth, rather than our stumbling. I am learning that more and more. I also know how close Jesus Christ is willing to come, and how much He loves us. I have felt it out here and if you stand still and look around you, you will see it there as well. He is our Savior and our advocate with the Father. The Gospel is his plan for us, and it WILL guide us home again. Not only guide us home to peace and happiness, but it will show us how to have happiness here on this earth as well. Follow Him and everything will be for our good.

Love, Varstnicul Nick Oldham