Monday, May 20, 2013

Week Nine! (Two Months!!)

Hello my beautiful family! It sounds like you only got two of my pictures last time, and I tried to send like 6. That alone took like, 1/2 an hour to upload and then it was super glitchy. Maybe I could just try sending one picture a week or something? I also just bought a flash drive so I could start backing up all my pictures, so you'll for sure see them all as soon as I'm home!
So, my week.. it was amazing! We were in our apartment eating lunch (The attic of the church) the sisters were downstairs with an investigator teaching a lesson, and then they called us saying there was a man asking for us.
Let me just tell you about this guy. His name is Valentin, and he and his family live an hour and a half from the nearest church building (which happens to be ConstanČ›a). He's had a really rough life. I couldn't really make sense of most the conversation, but I know he's got cancer right now and that's why he was up in our area, for treatment. He's a man really concerned about religion, and 8 years ago he got his hands on a book of mormon, or maybe it was even just a book of translated excerpts..? and that's how long he's known the church is true. A couple months ago he had a couple minutes to blow before a doctor's appointment, and he had this prompting to walk through the park. That's where he met the mormon missionaries who were able to give him the address for the church before he had to dash for his appointment. 
So we met with this man, and he had a couple hours to blow before his bus left so we gave him the first couple lessons. I can't say I was all that much help, but I was able to recite the first vision and bear my testimony to him. He has a baptismal date for July 6th.
I really don't know what's going to happen yet. Because he lives so far away and has so little money, he might have to wait until the church opens in Mongalia. He's just a super happy, positive, jovial guy- and sincerely wants to grow closer to Christ. I'll definitely keep you all updated on how this plays out!
So, an update on my life! we finally got a new apartment! after 8 years worth of missionaries living in the church, we closed that apartment down so the members could use it, and we spent Friday moving into a nice apartment right on the black sea. (to be honest it looks a whole lot like lake michigan, plus all the ships and ports.) I don't think there's a better apartment out there for elders- we're on the black sea with an incredibly beautiful view, but right after a small garden and path there's a small cliff face and then the beach is all rocks. So were on the sea with no nudity! this morning we ran for the first time in our new area, and we did roughly eight kilometers on the sand. Maybe like, 4 miles..? anyways, I found out that's not an easy thing. every step forward is a half step back and I'm kinda dead right now. It was a lot of fun though! running up on the big grassy hills with the sand trails reminded me of trying to sneak an "H" back in gobles, minus dodging all the sleeping hobos.

I really like the new place. It's a lot smaller than the last apartment, but it's not like we're home all that often. there are a couple things that bother me a bit- like the stove that won't even fit a 13x9 pan, or the washing machine that looks like it got cut in half. (all the washing machines are super weird here. they're all tiny, super noisy, and it takes like- four hours for a load) oh. and there's no toilet seat, so I'm going to come home with very muscular thighs. Nothing else new really. I'm loving the work and I'm having a lot of fun with it, as hard as it is to communicate when their English is as bad as my Romanian. I think I'm entertaining a lot of people though whenever I try to speak. There aren't a whole lot of people trying to learn Romanian, so it's not like back home where everyone's super accepting towards the million people attempting to learn English. 
Most of my time has been spent contacting, either in the city park near the mall or in city center. basically all I do is try to stop people with "buna ziua, nu va supra"- then my companion saves me and I'll jump in whenever I can.
That's about it for this week, not a whole lot has happened since Wednesday.
Love you all!
Elder Collison

Aubrey Boyer! I don't really have any stories for ya other than what I just wrote in my mass email and what I put in you letter, which should be there soon..? hopefully! hmmm.. So, I'm going to come back totally euro-ed up. I already bought myself a man purse, and I AM SO MAD I bought all my clothes in the US! seriously, I spent so much money on everything cause I'm going to romania and I didn't think I would see clothes other than sack cloths for the next two years. and just in the city I'm serving in they have two of the biggest malls I've ever seen in my life, with the nicest clothes, and they're so much cheaper than what I bought . everything's cheaper here. and all my clothes are way out of style. even my fitted pants and shirts are way too baggy to fit in. haha, I'll have lost so much weight by the time I get back (guys generally lose a ton). anyways. That's so cool you're learning about communism and stuff! I wish you could be here to see this. what everyone lives in, they're call the blocks. there cement color less buildings that smell like cat pee. they're all identical for the most part. (all though some are cylindrical and they vary in sizes) but they're bigger than any housing complex in america, and the cities are just built to cram as many people as possible in here. I actually live in the first floor of a block, where a previous owner purchased the land around it and added on, so it's really nice. I've been in blocks where it seriously feels like azkaban. and there are usually only single light bulbs every other floor or so, so most of the stair wells are coated in grime and almost pitch black. haha, I don't know why I'm rambling about this- but it's really cool. I also saw the place where cecescu (I know I didn't spell that right) made his last speech, standing on the ledge of a building. they killed him and that's when communism ended.
Have a good week, I'm praying for you.
Love you so much aubrey, talk to you soon! 
good luck with this week, keep smiling and making people's days!
Elder Collison

Here's my picture of the week! this is in the outskirts of București some of the smaller Block buildings, just to give you an idea of what it looks like. annnd, you can see some of the craziness of Romanian driving here. I won't go into deep details til I'm home and safe, but imagine 6 lane highways with no lines and a million drivers with death wishes.

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