Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

Well, this week has been full of fun.  First of all, some other elders in Bucuresti gave us a call the other day and told us there was a guy that wanted to meet with us.  So we meet with this guy and he is really cool.  First of all, he's pretty young, like mid-20's, which is really unusual.  He has decided that he wants to be baptized because he believes in the church, but he wants to get to know all the information he can first.  We were pretty much super stoked about that and we set up to meet with him twice a week now.  Gonna be great.

Another thing, I was on exchange this week, and we were in the park trying to contact for our english classes, but there was some event with tents and stuff and tons of people.  We decided to check it out.  I still don't know what the event was exactly, but I think it was like to promote certain clubs and stuff in the city.  We got to talk to the science clubs and stuff and we even got some sweet ISS buttons.  Then we found these parkour guys doing some demonstrations and stuff.  I don't know why, but they spotted me out of the crowd and were like hey! you wanna join?  so I did.  I got to do some stuff on the bars and the floor and whatnot.  Stuff that I haven't done in like 2 years.  I was super scared but I had to.  Also, I was in pros clothes, meaning a shirt and tie, cardigan, and slacks.  That made things interesting, but it still worked.  Anyway, now I'm buddies with these parkour dudes and they asked me to come train with them.  It was definitely one of the high points of my mission, just being able to go out and do stuff with those dudes, even while wearing a tie.

Yep, that was pretty much my week.  Hope you guys had a great one!

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

So this week, we spent a lot of time preparing and setting up our "country" activity on Saturday.  It was supposed to consist of a chili contest, teaching of a line dance, bobbing for apples, donuts on a string, and the wearing of fake mustaches on sticks.  And it did consist of all those things.  Except the chili contest because no one wanted to bring anything, except for a few.  However, I made a chili which turned out to be really spicy because I put in 4 tablespoons of chili powder instead of 4 teaspoons, which is what the recipe called for.  Since Romanians really hate spicy things, I tried to salvage it by putting in more stuff and some milk and tried to cool it down.  It kind of worked, but this chili was really really really spicy.  Like singe your eyebrows and make your eyes water by just smelling it spicy.  I couldn't really do anything else, so I just took it to the activity with a sign that said Attention: really spicy, only real cowboys can eat this.  And surprisingly, no one complained about the spiciness.  However, we had way more people stay than we thought would have, so we completely ran out of food.  So I guess that was a good thing, in a way.  All in all, the activity went really well.  Everyone had a good time, and even the branch president, who is probably around 70 was getting into the dances.  It was probably the best activity of my mission so far.
In other news, I'm getting transferred again this week, but I'm staying in Bucuresti, just going to the other side.  There are two branches here in the city, so now I'll be in the other one.  I'll be really sad to leave this branch, but it'll be good.  It's cool because as missionaries, we generally only get to know one side of the city because of the way the branches are set up and we just generally stay on our one side, but now that I'm going to both, I'll know both sides and be the King of Bucuresti.  It's been really great being in this branch because the members really got to trust me here.  They were so sad to see me leave and they even told me (and my companion) that it was up to us to teach the other missionaries Romanian and how to get involved in missionary work. I took that as a huge compliment because that shows that they think I know how to do missionary work and speak the language.  Feels good, man.  Also, I played God Be With You Till We Meet Again for the closing sacrament hymn, and while I was playing the intro, I decided that since it was my last time playig on the organ for a while, I should go hard.  So I added the pedal part, which I hadn't actually done in sacrament meeting yet because I wasn't confident enough with it.  Luckily, that song has really easy chords so I just played the base note of each chord with the feet and it worked out pretty well.  It was interesting sight reading with the pedals and I definitely messed up a ton, but in the end, we made it.  Some member came up to me after and said it was the best organ playing he had heard in years at church.  I thought it was funny because he has only come to church twice in the 3 months I was there which is evidence of his lack of knowledge on the subject but still, it was nice.

Two Truths and a Lie
the answer from last week's was I didn't drop the tomatoes down the stairs.
For this week:

  • I almost got kissed by my branch president on the cheek
  • I almost met Jackie Chan at the mall
  • I almost went to the mountains with one of my old investigators


Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014

This week, we went on an exchange to Constanta, which is a port town on the Black Sea.  Actually, it's the biggest port on the Black Sea, so that's pretty neat.  While we were there, we went outside the city to teach some kids English in a nearby town.  One of the kids was this 9-year-old girl who was probably the sassiest person I have ever met in my entire life.  She was probably the smartest kid in the class too, but that's beside the point.  Every time she answered a question she would wear this incredibly smug little grin on her face and she would always pull candy out of her little flower purse and just look way too pleased with herself.  So we were teaching them body parts for this class, and we were having them repeat after us when we would say the word.  We came upon the word foot.  Now, we all know how to properly say foot in English, but when you're learning English, it's hard to tell the differences between all the different kinds of "oo."  There's "oo" as in foot, or "oo" as in boot, and I'm pretty sure there are more but I just can't think of them right now, but you get the point.  Well, all these kids would pronounce foot with the "oo" from boot.  Normally, you wouldn't think that's a problem, except for foot when pronounced like that is actually a naughty word in English.  So we would have them go one by one and say it out loud and every single one without fail would say foot incorrectly and every single time our 9 year old sassypants would just laugh and laugh like it was the funniest thing ever.  When it came her turn to say it though, she still said it wrong and still laughed at herself.  After class, she wanted to take us to get those little gummy hamburgers from a nearby gas station, since some people really wanted them.  When they bought their need, they tried to be nice and give her the change to put in her piggy bank or something, and she just looked at them and said what am I supposed to do with that?  and wouldn't take it.  It was really funny because we were all just so surprised that she didn't want it at all.  Then we realized that since we didn't serve there and we didn't go there that often and that we were in a small town where everyone probably knows everyone else, it probably looked really weird for 6 CIA agents to be walking around and buying little gummy hamburgers from the gas station and getting bossed around by a 9 year old.

Two Truths and a Lie
It's back

  • I ate a whole raw tomato (which, if you know me, is impressive)
  • I dropped all of my tomatoes down the stairs right after I bought them
  • I ate spaghetti for 8 meals in a row

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

So this week, I was able to go up to Ploiesti, my old city, on exchange and it was great.  I got to meet up with one of my old friends from up there and I ran into a ton of members while we were out contacting, so I was stoked about that.  I happened to be wearing a square-bottomed tie that day, and EVERYONE came up and asked me "did you cut your tie?"  "no I didn't cut my tie."  "are you sure?"  "yes, I'm sure."  However, the best comment I got was from a member, who said, "Harris!  You came back!" and after my response, "and you learned Romanian!"  So that basically made my day.  I've actually been putting a lot of effort into learning the language because my companion inspired me with his love of Romanian.  I kind of gave up on learning the language for a while, actually.  I saw some older missionaries who still struggled with the language and I just was like well, I can get by, I might as well just keep it at that.  STUPID!  WHY WOULD I EVER DO THAT??  I'm here in Romania, the coolest country of all time, learning the greatest language ever and I just gave up?  I wish I could go back to past me and just slap him in the face.  I'm incredibly stoked to be here and to be in this crazy culture learning this language that makes no sense but makes so much sense at the same time.  I'm putting a ton of effort into it, because I realized that I have a TON of energy to put into it with my brain not being saturated all the time with engineering and physics and whatnot, so it's just thirsty to get some delicious Romanian.  So that's my thought for the week.  Whatever you're doing, throw your whole self into it.

In other news, our mission president encouraged us to not think of our investigators as investigators, but as friends, because that's what they are, right?  Of course.

Sorry I haven't done two truths and a lie for a while, it just takes so much more chef than the rest of the email.  I'll get back on that next week.

Hope you have a great week!