Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 23, 2015

Despite our new advertizing tool, we had about the same number of people show up to English this week.  We think it's because the weather is so nice that no one wants to sit around inside anymore.  They've got better things to do.  However, our core students from last class all showed up, so at least that made us feel like we're good teachers.

This week I got to give a talk in church and of course I forgot about it until saturday night, so my performance on monday was a full wing.  I got some scriptures that I could use and I found a cool talk on the subject.  But it was in english.  So I decided I would look it up in Romanian when we got to church and then use that.  However, that talk of course wasn't translated in Romanian, but I liked it so much that I decided I would just translate it myself as I was reading it.  The member who gave a talk before was supposed to take 20 minutes for her talk and then I would take 20 as well, but then she ended up wrapping up 10 minutes early, so I was blessed with another 10 minutes of speaking time.  I've never given a full 30 minute talk before, but you know, I figured I could do it.  I prayed for help and after that I was feeling pretty confident.  So I get up and just go for it.  I had no problems until I started reading from the talk in English.  I learned pretty quick that translating in real time into a foreign language is pretty tough.  But I made it through that and continued giving the talk.  I got into that flow zone where you don't even hear yourself talking or think about what your saying it's more of just your brain talking for you.  I think the translating sapped my powers because once I got to about 25 minutes in I realized I just couldn't even understand what I was saying.  Once I realized that, my mind just shut down and I kind of stuttered to a halt.  But I was able to recover with a great scripture coupled with a metaphor and dismounted gracefully with a testimony and stuck the landing.  After the fact, I had the greatest post-talk relief wave of my life.  I wasn't really nervous to begin with and my audience wasn't huge, but the relief was great all the same.  I realized then that that was the longest talk I had ever given, regardless of language.  And I didn't prepare it hardly at all.  I was pretty proud of myself after that because there was NO WAY I would have been able to do that before the mission.  Even in English.  My prepared talks usually crapped out at around 3-6 minutes.  Now I'm cruising with the 30 minute foreign language fully winged talk.  And it felt pretty great.  God was definitely with me, there's no way I could have made it otherwise.  So the moral of the story: don't be forgetful.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 16, 2015

Well first of all, Orthodox easter is different than our easter, so it comes a bit later.  This year it's april 12.  Easter is a pretty big deal here, it's actually bigger than christmas, so it's huge.  But pretty much the biggest thing that happens is the midnight mass.  Everyone goes to the church where they have a flame (indirectly) from Jerusalem and you light your candle off it and take it home with you then put it in your window.  Then there's also the easter egg WWE where you take your boiled eggs and say Jesus resurrected then someone else responds yes, he resurrected.  Then you smash your eggs together and whoever's egg didn't smash is the winner.  They also have the nice little easter markets where you can get really cool painted eggs and other spring-y stuff.  Oh and of course there's the easter feast where you HAVE to eat lamb.  It's the traditional easter meal.  So yeah, there are some romanian easter traditions for you.

In other news, the Alstons, a senior couple that used to be here in Timisoara came back for the weekend because they're going home in a few weeks.  They were here last time I was here and they're pretty much the coolest people of all time.  It was super awesome to be able to see them again before they go back.

Also this week we were officially given permission to make a facebook page for our English classes with the help of the Masons, that family that lives here.  We put it up exactly a week ago and now we have over 500 people on the page, so hopefully we get some good english classes this week.  We're working on honing our skills as teachers so the classes are worthwhile and make people want to bring their friends and come back.

It's been dreary and cold this past week but then it got warm today and everyone seemed to come out of hibernation.  The streets were incredibly packed and everyone went out to eat at whatever outdoor restaurants were open this week.  We're really hoping that the weather stays this way because everyone is actually outside and we're not just walking around a ghost town.

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015

Well here it's been pretty good.  We got to visit a member this week and she made us sarmale, which is the greatest stuff ever.  I'll have to make it for you guys when I get home.  She told us that her son, who's about 23 wants to come back to church!  She said it was out of the blue and she didn't prompt it at all, he just totally wanted it all of his own volition.  I thought that was pretty cool and can't wait for him to come.  We also got to visit a family who lives out in the boondocks.  They're not members, they're just a really great family and we met them through english.  They're really cool and incredibly nice.  Hopefully, now that we know them, we'll be able to visit them more often.

A missionary from 2001 visited the branch this sunday and he was pretty cool.  The members kept giving him a hard time for being fat and bald because apparently he used to be skinny and had hair. He showed them his wife and they asked him if he was the only one who eats in his house and told him to let his wife eat some.

We're also teaching primary here to the american kids.  It's pretty fun and we're teaching them how to sing I am a child of God in Romanian, but now I know why they have young couples teach nursery.

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 1, 2015

So this week, we had zone conference in Cluj.  That was my first time going to there and it seems like a really fun city.  It's kind of like Timisoara, but more hustly and bustly and more college students.  But I really like it here in Timi, which is why I'm glad I'm staying here for another transfer.  I only have one shot left to go somewhere else now, since I only have one transfer left.  Pretty crazy right?  I still don't really know anything about where I'm flying in or if I even get a choice or anything.  Aparently, those in the group ahead of me also have no idea, so yeah, I guess that's pretty reassuring.  I hope they figure it out or let us know or something.

Well, today we went into the cathedral here for the first time since I've been here and it's incredible.  Apparently it's the tallest cathedral in some region, like Romania or something.  Anyway, it's really tall.  And the inside is completely hollow so it's that much more impressive from the inside.  My companion was wearing his had when we walked in and some lady came up and scolded him for wearing a hat in the church, and then she kept coming back to us to tell us stuff.  Eventually, we got her to take us upstairs, which was really cool.  Then she said that if we came back tomorrow she would take us to the bell tower, which would be super cool so we're definitely going to do that.  After the cathedral today, Elder Cooper decided he wanted to try to catch a pigeon because people do it all the time here and birdman has trained the pigeons to not be afraid of people.  So we thought it would be easy, right?  Well, not so.  It eded up being really tough.  We all thought Elder Cooper was just being too timid, so we all tried to prove that it was easy.  You kinda get stagefright when you're out there though because so many people watch you bend down to try to pick up a pigeon.  I ended up punching a pigeon (on accident!) and after that I gave up.  We ended up not getting a single pigeon, which was sad.  And Elder Coopeer ended up kneeling in pigeon poop.  But we walked away having learned an important lesson: only birdman can catch the pigeons.

We also found a korean restaurant this week, and since it was full of asians, we thought we'd try it out.  We walked in an were greeted by the cook with a cheery "bu-a eewa!"  so we knew we were in for a treat.  The only non-asian there was our waitress, so of course the food was really good.  We were quite pleased with our find.