Week 67 – Brașov, România

A trio companionship is a very interesting thing. There are lots of things that you can not avoid because you are only with one other guy. Little things that involve communication. However, when you are in a trio, you seem to communicate more than a normal companionship, so things work out. We are working really hard, and things have been looking good for us. We have a family of sorts that are interested. He is a really cool guy, and would make an excellent member. However, we all face our trails and converting to another church here in Romania has a consequence. He would almost lose his job entirely. He is a performer for weddings. He plays the accordion. He told us though, that if he converts and becomes “pocait” (Pocainta=repentance. being called “pocait” is actually offensive here…it is a way of saying that someone is better than everyone else, because he “repented”…we are called “poicaiti” all the time, and it hurts). There is an unwritten law that if you are “pocait” in Romania, you can’t perform. It is really frustrating. The Orthodox church has basically become the culture of Romania, which makes people feel like they are leaving their culture behind too when they become members. We are working with him, and he has told us that he believes that it is true. We just need him to make the connection that baptism is the next step. It will be good.

Brasov_14The couple we used to be teaching are now not my investigators anymore, and the other guys haven’t met with them in a little while. I am bummed by that, but I think they will take a little work when it comes to the Gospel. They are really good people, but faith in a new faith can be hard. Things will go good.

We have lots of people who do our 30/30 program. Which is 30 minutes of English tutoring (free 😉 ), and then 30 minutes of Gospel teaching. People really get a kick out of that, and we are starting to meet with a few new people in this program. We have high hopes. I wish I had more stories for you, but this week seemed pretty normal. We worked hard and we felt good and bad here and there. We had high moments and low ones, but we always ended up on top. Things like that.

It snowed last week and things are still a little cold here. That bothers me. I am ready to pack up my snow stuff and send it home. It is bulky and annoying sometimes, but it keeps me warm. Can’t complain about that. ;). Ah spring break…I wonder what that’s like…I have spent some time thinking about things at home and I have realized that I can’t even imagine how to do certain things at home. I mean I remember doing them, but I can’t see myself doing them anymore. I have tried to picture driving…I cannot. It is so weird. I can’t imagine a drying machine, or a dish washer. I can’t imagine not having a bidet (It’s a french bottom washing thing…it looks like a toilet with a faucet. It’s nice 🙂 ). I don’t know what certain stores look like, or even picture certain foods. I also can’t picture the outrageous prices of things. I mean the USD is now 1:4 in Lei. that is really good for us.  Which also reminds me. I talked to the camera guy, he cannot fix my camera. I am going to get it back and figure out if it worth keeping. I turned on and was taking pictures the other day, but it was all wacky on the screen, clearly a glitch of some kind. However, I did go to the store and find my exact camera for sale. 500 Lei (130 ish dollars). Literally my exact one, except black or red. I will probably buy a new one, and if that is the case I want to do that sooner than later, meaning tomorrow perhaps. I don’t know what that will take from you guys, and I am sorry for the inconvenience. I need a camera though. I feel all business like…eew.

Bran_01I am glad that things are going well. I really hope that Madison finds what happiness really is. That may sound kind of crazy, but I am learning out here that somethings in this life just aren’t worth my time. Period. I have much better things to be doing. I have more people with which I can help, or cheer up. There is so much more around us than we can even see. When was the last time you walked somewhere where you didn’t put your head down and you smiled at people as they caught your glance? It is hard to not put our heads down, but that smile could make all the difference in the whole world to someone. Heavenly Father knows who among his children will be the smilers, and to them he will send those who need help. Why would he send someone who needs a smile or something more when he and I both know that I won’t even lift my head once? There are things that just need our attention. One of the most evil ways I think Satan tempts us, it by making the most important things seem silly, or not important. Sometimes the very thing we need to be doing is the thing we don’t want to be doing the most. I learned that one from Emily, and it still stands to be true in most things we do as missionaries. We do pretty weird things. We talk to strangers that hate us. We challenge people to change their lives. It’s hard work. Physically and spiritually. However, we do it because we are driven with a purpose. We know too much. ;). I am not amazingly wise in the ways of the world, but I don’t think I need to be. I think that if I can live simply, laugh often, and love deeply, then I will be a success. (of course I will work hard to provide for my family and stuff, etc…). Maybe that is something that we all need in our life. A little less “things” and a little more laughter. I have noticed that when I show my love for those around me, by little things here or there, no just saying nice things, my attitude and those around me changes into a happy mess. The Spirit thrives in positive attitudes. I truly believe that. It is amazing to see the difference in someone who is positive and someone who is negative. I just wish more people realized that being positive is something that they can change into.

Madison, Oliver, Abby, Lilly, Mom, and Dad, we all need more service. We all need more love and more laughter. We need the Savior. We need to be His hands. It is amazing how quickly we find answers to our own problems when we focus on someone else’s. I don’t know if that would help, but the fact of the matter is that we choose to be alone. It is a lot easier than we think to just be a friend to someone. It just takes a little courage, and humility. We may even have to do things that we aren’t used to, but it will help us grow. We will become saints even. I am so grateful for the Gospel and that it is in our lives. We have such a head start on lots of people in the world. Why can’t we see that? I don’t know why, but I don’t want to take for granted the blessings that the Lord has promised to those who keep his commandments. I hope that you guys have a great week! It is a great time to be alive!