Week 77 – Ploiești, România

I am so glad that we were able to Skype. I am grateful for technology and its’ wonderful uses. I am freaked out that that was my last time, and that pretty soon here I will be back at home, and talking to you guys about my adventures in person. I can’t believe that at all. Maybe a little… Because of the Skype call I realize that there isn’t a whole lot you guys don’t know about my week! I will summarize very quickly. It was a learning week where I wrestled with a few new things that came up in my life and I have come out on top, and stronger than ever. I think the adversary was working hard to try and take me down this week, but I am no easy target. I fought really hard against a lot of personal emotions and little things involved with being a missionary. I understand that missions are hard, but I didn’t think that they could get this hard. I think it is okay to talk about how hard it is because people should know. I don’t think people understand how much we sacrifice and do for the name of Jesus Christ. This week brought lots of angry people and very few happy conversations, and seeings how that’s all we do as missionaries is talk to people, that can be pretty hard.

Ploiesti_Hike_08_1200I think one story is okay to share. My companion and I were standing at a bus stop and this guy got off a bus and shouted that he had a ticket if someone wanted to use it. (You need bus tickets to ride the buses, or you will get fined pretty heavy). I thought that that was illegal, but a kind gesture. He then turned to me and asked where I was from. I was a little bit startled that he would even talk to me, but I said America. He then saw my name tag. He looked me in the eyes and told me that I was the biggest problem for the Romanian people the world has ever known. He ripped into me. I had only said one word. It wasn’t a huge deal, because that kind of thing happens almost every day, but this time it really hit me. Sometimes, someone yelling at us will actually hurt a little bit. Most of the time it doesn’t, but this guys word’s stung. I am trying to help the Romanian people, not “terminate” them, as he put it. I was upset. That only gave the voices in my head fresh ammo. It was a hard day, but through it all I learned something valuable. I learned this idea this week, but it has been a principle that I have relied on frequently, it was only reaffirmed to me this week. We never walk alone. I was hurt a lot this last week. There was a lot of silly people out there, but through it all I knew that Christ had suffered worse. In fact the people he taught actually killed Him. I felt a lot better, and comforted knowing that my Savior had been through something harder then my own situations. It was a good week.

Ploiesti_Hike_11_1200The newest thing is what happened yesterday for P-day. We decided to do a hike. So we woke up at 3:30 to catch a train and hit the mountain early, so we could be back at a reasonable hour. We decided that we wanted to hike to the Hero’s Cross in Busteni. It is a massive, metal cross built on the very tip of a mountain in the Bucegi (Carpathian Mountain range). It is a spectacle, and we wanted to hike it. They had a gondola thing that could get us close, but it was really expensive, and we have no money. Hiking it was! We mapped out trails up and down and we started on our hike. Our little group consisted of me, Elder Speyer, Elder Contos, and Elder Reed. It was a good little group and we laughed a lot up the trails. We also went really fast. Which hurts now… Oh well… The trail up wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and it took us only a few hours to get up it. I took lots of pictures. 😉 It was so amazingly pretty. Ploiesti_Hike_01_1200The clouds were moving all around us too. It was so weird. After a little while, we ended up on the plateau part of the mountain. We even had to walk through a forest of trees that were so intertwined that we could hardly get through them. It was cool because they were just barely taller than us. It was basically huge bushes really. That was fun, and brought frustration, and lots of laughter. We got to the first point and found an abandoned hut, where it looked like the “Salvmont” or mountain rescue team, used to live. It was cool, and super filthy. It was a cool view though. The hike to the cross from the plateau wasn’t that bad. It was like walking up some hills, as opposed to hiking steep trails. It was so gorgeous. We stopped for lunch. I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They were amazing. The cross was SO COOL! It was also literally right on the cliff edge. I mean two feet from the structure and WHAM, a fall that would kill you. It was scary, and really cool. The view was amazing, and everything about the landscape was breathtaking. It made me think about how God felt when he made it. I think I would have to agree with Him and say it was good. I loved it so much, and I tried to take a lot of pictures. I also made a few videos too. 😉 Ploiesti_Hike_10_1200Then we made our way down. The trail we decided to take was actually pretty dangerous and we had a few scary moments with some snow. Needless to say, after those parts, and our adrenaline went down, we were all ready to get home. The hike down was also gorgeous. We had chosen a different path down than the one we came up, because going up was on a different side of the mountain and we wanted to see both sides. It was really cool. We all made it home and safe, with only a few scratches. We all are still wondering how that happened. We got ourselves into a few pickles, and we were protected by the Lord. I promise that one.

We are here in Ploiesti now, and we are going to find out transfer boards this weekend, and move on from there. I will get a new comp and I will hit the road yet again! I love you all very much and keep reading those scriptures!

Love, Varstnicul Nick Oldham