Week 8 – Bacău, Romania

Bucharest_01_1200Well, where to even start. Our plane ride was very long and very boring. I spent a total of 15 hours in the air, and a total of 21 hours in travel. Things went pretty smoothly after that though.

The country is really beautiful, but the cities are not.  They are trying to cram hundreds of thousands of people in small areas, and so things are dirty and graffiti is e

Our first night we were with the president and his wife and talked about some logistics. We then stayed with some local Elders and basically just waited till the next night when we would learn who our trainers were. I was put with a fun elder who is from Utah. He is so funny and has an amazingly positive attitude about the work here in Romania. I think that it was a blessing to have him and his optimism here.verywhere. I still like it though! It is pretty fun!

Mission_President_1000That same night we took a five hour train ride north east to the beautiful city of Bacău. We arrived around two in the morning a

nd slept till eleven. As of right now we are staying with two other Elders in their tiny apartment because they haven’t found a place for us yet. That kind of frustrates me, but the city of Bacău has never had four missionaries in it at once! I thought that was pretty cool!

You won’t believe who I am staying with though.  The first Elder is the Branch President, and also served in Bacău his first transfer. So, they think that I will eventually be back here to fill that position. ;). The next I kind of laughed about, he is the other blog guy that we read from before my mission! He is super funny and I enjoy their company a lot. However, living out of my suitcase is a little disheartening because it doesn’t feel like home.

So, Bacău has the highest rate of baptisms in the entire mission, and to show you how much that is I am going to share with you the statistics of sacrament meeting. total: 9 (4 missi

onaries, 2 visitors (already members, just in the city), 4 kids). Total of 9 people really. ugh. (I’ll ask him about his math skills later-DO).  The work is so very tough.


Oh fun fact. The largest Orthodox Cathedral is in Bacău! Hurray! It really is pretty, but it stands as kind of like a beacon of well…over all the color brown. (name that movie!).

So far I have not taught one lesson and it is very possible that I may not teach

a lesson for a very long time. We have two main categories of work. One, contacting hours. Everyday we try and talk to people on the street or door knocking for as many hours as we can. Typically this isn’t very successful, but we have had decent luck so far. Maybe the Lord is watching over us with the three phone numbers we have received. The second is potential investigators, or anybody that gives us their number or address to visit. I have had three potentials, which we can’t get a hold of. It is tough, but the Lord will provide a way.


We have had some very interesting things happen even in the short time we have been here. My first day here we had family home evening with four of the members and it was fun. We played uno and my companion and I gave a small lesson on faith. I enjoyed it and participated by reading a scripture! I can actually read Romanian pretty well, I just can’t understand it. We spent the next few days just living and street contacting. I am learning new approaches and am building my confidence in speaking. Slowly I have been able to understand what they are saying and so I am not lost in conversation, but forming sentences in my mind takes a little time, and by the time I think of it, the conversation has moved on. I am getting better though, and the more grammar I get down the better I will be!

Sunday was pretty great! I bore my testimony and it actually went pretty well. I took about thirty seconds and sat down. Nothing serious, but I did my best. I am getting better at door approaches, but there is a specific time frame for it, which we learned last night through some weird conversations.  I am working pretty hard and I am looking up, but it is so hard to even get lessons here. People don’t like change in any way shape or form.

A funny story might lighten things up though. So, on Thursday morning our heating went out and so my shower consisted of five pot fulls of warm water I dumped on myself in the tub. Then thirty minutes later the heating came back on because of a simple fix (the electricity just wasn’t working so they plugged it into a different outlet and BAM). It was nice and refreshing…and cold. It was fun though.  So much happens when talking to people and I wish I could tell you all about it, but it is so hard to write down all the conversations and crazy things people say to us. I will say one thing though that led to a positive illumination. We went block knocking, and came across an English teacher, so we talked for a little while in English and started talking about our message. She said she was comfortable in her own religion, and went on to tell us that most people spoke English here, that we will have little or no success, and that we should stop wasting our time.  We then realized that we hadn’t really testified to her about our message but only tried to have her feel comfortable and not close the door on us. We both got hit by the same impression wave that basically said that we need to start testifying and explaining why we are here. We are going to try and do that more tonight when we go block knocking.

I love being out here and the food is so amazing! Everything just tastes fresher and more delicious. The fruit is so good and the juice is silly good. The Salami is better, and breads are better. Food isn’t an issue, so I am going to start working out harder in the mornings so that I can eat more. ;). I really do like being out here and I am learning so much already. It is just a very hard mission. My companion only had one potential investigator his entire last transfer. Oh well. The Lord will prepare a way and we just need to keep working at it.

I love the gospel so much and I want to work really hard.

I think my cold came, back. I just want to be healthy and to be able to wear my contacts again. I will work on trying to get more sleep.

I hope things are going well at home.  I only get my mail at transfer time, or when I have interviews. That kind of ruined my day today. I am looking up and I think contacting may help, but I am pretty bummed about the mail.  I cheer our triangle on silently at night in my prayers, and work hard for the Lord during the day. I know that what I am doing out here is right. I know that this gospel is true and I love it so much. It is so easy for me to see the good that it can bring people, and it can be sad to have people turn you down, but the Lord is planting and growing here, and it can be seen in some of the people we bump into, even if they don’t give us their numbers.

I need a nap on a real bed, and not the hard couch mattress thing I sleep on now…and good health. I love this adventure I am on, and am trying to serve my best. The Lord will see that and bless me as He see’s fit. I love you all so much and I pray that you will be blessed. I will continue to work hard in hope that the future our Lord and Savior has planned for me has good times and the desires of my heart in them, as long as they are righteous (which they are). ;). I know He is very careful on who he sends here.

Elder Oldham.