Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

Hey guys!

Well, probably the most exciting thing that has happened this week is that I've inspired pretty much everyone in my district to try gymnastics.  I've already taught pretty much everyone handstands, 1 person a backhandspring, 2 people backflips, and didn't kill 3 people learning to do backflips.  So I'd say it's been pretty successful.  My companion and I also decided that since we're absolutely dead in the morning that we'd do some static workouts.  For example, I'm working on getting a planche (where you hold your body parallel to the ground while supporting yourself on just your hands).  This is awesome because it's way less intimidating and you actually feel like you're working toward something.
Another thing that's new is that my companion is teaching me to play the mandolin.  It's really cool because it uses the same tuning as a violin so I know all the strings and where all the notes are so that makes it easy.  It's been pretty fun and we're hoping to use it in contacting soon.
In other news, I'm probably going to have to email on Tuesday next week because we have a meeting scheduled for Monday so we'll have to push pday back, just a heads up so you know.
Sorry I don't have too much this week, hope you guys have a great week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 18, 2014

Well, let's start out with our most interesting contact from this week, which happened when we went out to get our daily tip top.  This will take some explaining.  So when I first arrived in my current apartment it was a disaster.  As in, I walked in and there was a more trash than floor.  So after casting out all of the trash devils in a literal sense, battling the encrusted month-old-food monsters, eradicating the colony of dust bunnies, making sketchy mafia-style deals with the actual mafia of spiders to relocate their headquarters, I was left with a large trove of treasures that was buried beneath the rubble.  Treasures, meaning: coins.  Lots of coins.  $20 worth of coins.  And that's a lot for Romanian money.  I didn't know what to do with it all, so I just left it in a jar for a while.  Later, upon discovering a place called tip top located directly beneath my apartment that sells strudels for 1 leu apiece, I knew what I had to do.  I formed all my change into little piles of 1 leu each and every day on our way outside, I get myself a tip top.  I started this 2 months ago and I still haven't finished off my hoard yet.  So now that we're caught up to this week, my companion and I were busy deciding which tip top to eat, and this lady comes up behind us and goes, hey I know you guys.  We get this not that often, but often enough that we have a pretty much set response for when that happens.  So we start talking to the lady and telling her that we've never actually met her before but some of our colleagues might have.  She insists that it was definitely us, so we just accept that and move on.  She told us that we set up with her to do family history work but we never ended up doing it.  We seized the opportunity and set up with her again to do family history work for this thursday.  Missionaried.

Just Romanian Things
We had a fantastic moment this week.  While walking out of our apartment to go to the metro, we go past the most interesting area probably to ever exist.  It's a huge jumble of just normal people living in the area, people selling (probably stolen) cigarettes, which they let you know they do by approaching you and telling you as quickly and as quietly and as repetitiously as possible (tigari tigari tigari tigari tigari tigarrrrrrri), people selling really old books, people selling really new books, store owners, shoppers at the piata downstairs, zipper fixer dudes, you name it.  We've pretty much seen it all.  We thought.  When we walked out of our apartment one day, and as we approached the street corner, there was a guy standing there who doesn't normally stand there.  We know everyone in the area, so this was unusual.  As we got closer, he seemed to recognize us and then started to wave at us.  Well, it actually wasn't a wave, which we soon found out.  His wave seemed to displace itself from his hand to his arm to his shoulder, through the torso to the hips, to its final resting place at the legs.  This continued as we passed, morphing into various other dance moves, which were most definitely directed at us.  All of this took place without a single word or sound.  Imagine the most amazingly awkward dance you can and double it, then put it in a strange guy wearing a coat in summer and have it danced at you.  That was what it was.  The thing is though, my companion and I both walked past without a second thought.  Only after we passed Silent Dancer did we realize the strangeness of the activity.  I discovered that I've become calloused to the wonderful exoticism that is Romania.  Now my goal is to realize and cherish the beautifully uncoreographed performance that is Romania.

Sorry I forgot my camera this week, so no pictures sorry.  Hope you guys have a great week!  At first I wrote great idea on accident, so I decided that would be good to add too.  Hope you guys have great ideas too!

August 11, 2014

Well, here's the story of the week:
We had transfers this week, and so as a result, we had the new batch of boboci (new guys) come in.  This time there happened to be 14, which is a TON for our mission.  To help you understand how many that is, the layout of how our mission is situated right now is that there are 20 trainers and 20 trainees, 4 russian-speaking elders, 12 zone leaders, and 4 elders in the office.  That's a total of 60 and there are only 70 elders in the mission.  10 people are just "normal" missionaries.  I'm not training, that's important to know, not really, but you probably want to know based on where my story is going.  Anyway, for all the new trainers, our mission president holds a trainers' meeting and then announces who will be with who, and then sends them on their way. So I happened to be at the after of the trainers' meeting and so I got to witness the formation of alliances.  It was epic.  To fully understand this, you have to realize that our new mission president was a football coach. So after the meeting, we're all gathered together, waiting impatiently.  He gets up on a chair so that his voice would carry or something.  He then starts to talk about how great all the trainers are and how great the new missionaries' experiences will be.  He introduces the area in which the first boboc will serve and then announces his trainer.  We all erupted in cheering.  It was great.  President continued to do this and it got more and more intense every time until it got to the point where he nicknamed a missionary Jumpin' Jarmin and we exploded in chants of Jump! jump! jump! jump!  That was pretty much the highlight of the whole day.  Afterward, president said "I really didn't expect that, but I guess it went well."  It was great because now the new missionaries know that we're stoked that they're here and that they're going to have the time of their lives.  That's all I got for this week, but here's the pictures:

oh and the senior couples here made a facebook page with pictures so you can look at that it's called like friends and family of the romania/moldova mission or something like that

August 4, 2014

Well to start off, we now do this thing where we do a conference call with our mission president every sunday, so now I feel like Dad all the time.
This week we start a new transfer.  Number 10!  Double digits!
This keyboard I'm using is sticky, so I'm fed up with it.

Just Romanian Things
We've been trying to meet with some less active members, and we were able to meet with some this week.  We found this guy who hasn't been to church in years, and he totally was receptive and willing to have us over.  Turns out, he's a really faithful member and has a really strong testimony.  He just lives in Italy some of the time for work and he goes to church there.  But what about the time he's NOT there?  Well, that's the tragedy.  He hates gossip.  (barfa, remember?)  Anyway, there was a rumor like 10 years ago spread about him and now he hates the members here in Romania.  He'll go to church in Italy no problem, but here, no way.  He says it's the communist mentality.  It's really sad, especially because that's the common thread we've seen among most less active members.  They all just leave the church because of gossip or the members.  They still think the church is true, they just can't show their face in the church because of the other members.  On a happier note though, he used to own a pizza place and he's going to teach me how to make pizza.  So that'll be awesome.

Two Truths and a Lie
Last week the lie was the bird one.  A guy in our English class has a super cool dog who he trained to pick up trash and throw it away. We were all thoroughly impressed.  The cat one was also true.  I like taking my showers with the window open because it doesn't steam up the bathroom so much and the nice cool air with the warm water feels great.  Well, our window opens up to the inside of the bloc, where it's just a hole with everyone else's windows.  I open the window and there's just a cat sitting on one of the window ledges just staring at me. Yep.  So for this week:

  • I managed to get some 80's film into my 80's camera
  • I drank 5 L of water in one day
  • I went to the top of the tallest building in Romania