Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014

I've been dying to finally get some snow here, and we totally did!  It basically shut down the entire city, and it made it hard for people to come to the baptism that the sisters had this week (!)  and the recent convert almost missed her confirmation due to the weather.  The baptism was awesome.  It got moved to earlier because the investigator just couldn't wait any longer.  So now we have a new member in our branch here!  Also, we gave a baptismal commitment this week in a lesson and he totally accepted!  So we might even have a baptism here pretty soon!  We're pretty excited about that over here.
The other day we went bloc-knocking and usually when you do that it just ends up being doors slammed in your face and people yelling at you in a language you're pretty sure isn't Romanian or earthly for that matter.  But this one guy we talked to was actually really nice!  He even agreed to meet up with us sometime, which was totally unexpected.  He kept telling us to be quick because he had friends in the other room.  I kind of stumbled through a first approach since it had been so long since I had even gotten that far, but he took a Book of Mormon, accepted a meeting, gave us his number, and we're planning on calling him tonight!  Best bloc knock experience I've ever had.

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

Well, my companion got ET'd out of here to Chisinau, so I got a new companion.  The last couple days have been super crazy because of that.  The best story I've got for you this week is that one time we went out to lunch and you can get ice cream cones from mcdonald's for 1 leu each, so we always get them.  Anyway, so we got an extra one on accident and one elder in my district put it on my companion's nose, and so he got angry and put it on that guy's head.  Then that guy took it off his head then shoved it back into my companion's face.  Later, we found out he got cut.  By an ice cream cone.  So remember kids, never shove an ice cream cone in someone's face because you will bleed.
In other news, we did some bloc-stuffing and poster posting and card dishing and taping and all sorts of other things this week to prepare for our upcoming English classes.  Should be good.  Hopefully our efforts will pay off!

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

Hey so this week, nothing too exciting. We had a good time in a two-hour branch council meeting which I had the opportunity to translate for the senior couple, so that was great. It was the most argumentative meeting I've ever been in and I got to say every word of it. It motivated my companion and I to want to work extra hard this week and in the coming weeks as well. We're planning on working really hard this week with our investigators and hopefully we can get even more as well.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Ballad of the Pig Jello

December 23:
The other day one of our English students gave use a traditional romanian christmas meal and it was, well, horrible.  First of all, pig jello.  PIG JELLO.  DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS??  It's literally pork meat and then they use the fat from the pork to make a gelatin and then they put the meat in the jello and put it in the fridge and then you eat it.  I'm puking right now thinking about it. She brought it out and I could tell immediately that it was Satan himself who invented such a concoction.  Then this super old guy took it upon himself to serve us and watch us eat it.  So he just like cuts up this nasty cookie sheet from hell and scoops it out onto our plates for us.  The smell is enough to kill a horse and the fact that it's green doesn't help. And the jiggle.  Oh the jiggle.  It just sits on your plate jiggling with laughter at your plight.  It knows what it's about to do to your body.  So once we got it on our plates and we were done puking in our mouths a bit, we all took a forkful and ate it at the same time.  It was the most incredible thing I have ever eaten.  The rank stench/taste penetrates even the deepest darkest corner of your mouth and it just kind of squishes in there with a moisture that is unparalleled by any other substance known to man.  Never have I ever wanted so badly to not swallow something, but he was sitting right there, so we had to keep our nice faces on while trying to force our throats to paristalsitize the "food."  And then we had to tell him that we actually liked it.  I don't know why, because he wasn't even the guy that made it.  Anyway, in the meantime, while we're doing our best to cover up the fact that pig jello is not normal and that I'm pretty sure feeding people that is against the Geneva Convention, he's just wolfing this stuff down.  He absolutely LOVED it.  I can't even believe it.  I actually swallowed mine, unlike some people. Anyway, now my bowels are feeling the full force of fury that comes with eating pig jello.  I won't describe it.  Anyway, BY FAR the worst thing I have EVER eaten.

January 8, 2014

December 16:
Hey!  Well, after an exciting turn of events, I am now back in Romania.  Ploiesti, to be exact.  I think I set the mission record for "shortest time serving in Moldova" for a grand total of two weeks.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get sent back up there soon.  It all kind of feels just like a vacation now. sigh.  Anyway, so now I'm companions with Elder Cloward, and serving in Ploiesti, the strongest branch in the mission.  Being in a branch this large is almost like being back home.  And having church in an actual chapel and in a language I can understand doesn't hurt either.  So yep, back in the motherland.  It's kind of weird, because Moldova was so different than here.  There are TONS of gypsies here, unlike Moldova.  Also, every morning, there's a woman who just spends her energy screaming out her apartment's window, so that's just a nice addition to a cheery morning.  However, there's a lot of missionary work to do here, so that's always a plus.  All in all, it'll be good to serve here.  

We had our zone conference/christmas party last monday, and President Hill ended up doing a rendition of If I were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof.  

January 6:
Well, this week was exciting for us.  We had New Years, which is a medium-to-big deal here.  We went to a member's house and we were allowed to stay up until 12 so we could properly celebrate the coming new year.  We stood at the window waiting for the fireworks to start, and once 12 rolled around, start they did.  It wasn't at all how we were expecting.  We were expecting there to be an organization that sets off their own fireworks show like in America.  Instead, everyone here sets off their own.  There were tons of fireworks going off all around the city, on all sides, for about an hour.  There were fireworks hitting blocs and even some being shot off right outside the window, close enough that the sparks and smoke came in through the window.  It was like being in a war zone.  

So then a couple days after we got our pday moved to Friday so we could go up to a town called sinaia with one of our investigators.  It was incredible.  It's the home of Peles Castle, the most beautiful castle in romania.  I'll show you pictures.  Words cannot justify.  So after we toured the castle, our investigator, Alex wanted to show us a cool place that he knew near there.  He said it was a bit of a hike, but we were game.  So we start trekking through the woods and then about 10 minutes into it we just ditched the trail and started climbing the mountainside.  It wasn't too bad and we made it to a stream, which we followed for a bit, and then we reached a giant cliff, which we commenced to climb.  Okay, we didn't literally scale a rock face, but it was pretty close.  It was really steep and slippery.  Alex just charged on ahead and the rest of us crawled after him.  Once we made it to the top of the cliff, we asked if that was it, and he said no, we had to do 2 more.  The second cliff was the longest and steepest of the 3.  Alex easily reached the top and I eventually made it up there with him.  Once I caught my breath a bit, I turned around and saw the havoc.  People were tumbling and sliding down the mountainside like nobody's business.  Eventually, we all did make it to the top.  We took a quick break and then forged on ahead toward the summit.  Huffing and puffing, we made it up there and it was immediately worth it.  The view was incredible and the air was so clean.  Incredible.  We stayed up there for a bit, basking in our glory and the warmth of the sun, and eating salam and squeeze cheese sandwiches.  Nothing better.