Another week has passed here in the wonderfully damp world of Bacău. It has been pretty damp, but it has been much warmer than past years, and today it rained! I think we are getting an early spring which I am perfectly happy about. This is week 9 and it really doesn’t feel like it. As of today I only have 22 months left!!! That is not a lot of time and I want to make the most of what I have left. I have a wonderful example though of sticking out to the end in the form of my trainer. My trainer is down to two transfers left and is almost “dead”. However, everyday we talk about how we can improve and he works harder than any missionary I have seen. He loves being out here and I am so grateful that I get to soak in his spirit. I have learned a lot from him but mainly just how to keep working hard. I actually had a small fear, and it was that perhaps my next companion won’t want to work as hard as I want to. I want to work really hard and I am not letting anything stop me.
I am starting now to be able to break the barrier in contacting on the street and am able to understand most conversations. Church for me is still a little confusing because I don’t know all the words they say and so keeping up with talks or lessons is actually pretty tough still. I do have a few pretty good stories about success and some frustration. Here in Romania we get the best of both worlds within minutes of each other. One minute we can be talking with a gentleman who is really interested and then be laughed at by a group of people the very next minute. We just laugh with them and know that our Heavenly Father loves them…and is probably preparing them in some way.
We had zone training in a city called Iaşi. It was pretty interesting and afterward we went to the second largest mall in the country for food. It was huge! (Not Mall of America big, but big for Romania). The food court has this really cool view though. Sitting at a table I got to stare at a castle for an hour! This castle was so pretty! On our way back my companion talked with this gentleman on the maxi taxi ( like a mini coach bus, taxi thing ), and got his number to contact him. We contacted him a few days ago and he agreed to meet us at the church for a lesson!! We were so excited…until he didn’t show. We decided to leave the church and head on home to eat. On our way there I kind of whispered under my breathe “all right Spirit, where should we go”. We came to a four way stop and one of the walk lights was green in front of us. So, we walked forward and when we reached the other side the walk light for the crosswalk right of us turned green. I felt that we should go that way. (Not a strong feeling but I know that it was the Spirit now…I didn’t think that then). Not even ten feet passed the crosswalk we stopped this lady and talked with her for 40 minutes about the restored gospel! She had been asking herself which church is right and has been reading about religion for a while. We don’t know what will come from this, but it was a gift from Heavenly Father to be able to teach the lesson we had prepared for the other man about the truthfulness of the Gospel.
We have not found a place yet, but we have visited a lot of different apartments looking for one. The only catch with them is that they are always missing something important, like a small kitchen with no counter space, or no oven or washing machine. We are getting close and everyday we get to go and see more. It is a process. Slowly but shortly we will get one. Sleeping has been really rough for me and the couch is really not good, but I am not going to complain about it to anyone. I am merely going to work harder in finding an apartment. I did discuss the importance of finding one and the problem that I have with my companion and he feels the same way.
Ah… life is just really good right now. I have been thinking about it the past few days and I realize that I could be somewhere else and busy doing something like school, dating, sports, and so many other things. I am so happy here because I know that this is right for me and that I am learning how to become a better person for the future. I think about my family present and future and how they are being affected by my choices now and it helps me work harder. I love the people out here and even the ones that slap our English cards out of our hands, or get mad at us. We balance it out with little things back at the apartment. We laugh a lot and always are having a good time. Fun isn’t a problem out here, and we are good about working hard as well.
I got a little frustrated with the mail. I will get mail anytime I am in Bucharest or anytime we have interviews with AP’s or the President. Everything gets sent to the mission home wether it be a package or a letter, and then distributed to us. I don’t really like the system but it is safer than sending it with in country mail which is not super reliable with packages. It is what it is and I will just be patient for any type of mail.
Exercise is tough because we only get thirty minutes, but one of the other Elder’s I am living with has the workout insanity and we do that. I almost passed out this morning from it. It really is insane. I also go running when my companion wants to, which is a lot of the time. We continue to serve the Lord and live our lives. It really is fun out here and there is so many little things that happen in one day that I will miss a lot of them. I try to write them down in my journal but I can only remember so many in a day. I love you all and I will write next week with even more adventures. I will also try to get some pictures to you!
Love, Elder Oldham