Monday, October 28, 2013


On Thursday night the Hills took us out to dinner in honor of my companion who leaves Thursday. SUch good food. We ate at an Italian restaurant and I had some kind of seafood pasta dish- shelled oysters and crab and whole shrimp and calamari. Dang it was good, although I decided while eating clams that I'm not a huge fan of eating 14 bodily systems in a single bite.

I think we really are going to Mogosoaia (mow-go-show-ah-ee-ah) today! And I plan on sending some pictures this evening, although I can't promise anything.. But we're going to head up there and have a picnic and just mess around for a bit. I found out none of the buildings are unlocked on Mondays, but that also means no one's there to give you a hard time and we can just chill outside the palace for a while.

Man, for some reason I can not remember anything about last week! It was packed with just random stuff and none of it's coming back to me. My journal writing has died since I got to the office so now you can see the raw power of my memory alone ;)

Umm.. I saw three Lamborghini's last night! I was sitting on a bench next to bird man (huge statue out side of Parcul Herastrau in the center of a huge round about) waiting for the sisters, and two white, beautiful cars zip on past emitting the most lovely sound. And I jump up yelling in English, "Guys! hey, everybody look!" And then as soon as I sat down a yellow one raced past the other way going stupidly fast.

Hey, you asked for details! Haha

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week 30!

This last week has been the most crazy and exhausting ever, I'll give ya the rundown from the beginning.. 

So. Wednesday morning- I was doing the dishes before I was supposed to get on my studies. I hear Elder Ealy from the other room as this all plays out; he gets a text from Elder Ormsby (One of the office Elders) saying, "When are you coming in for training?" Elder Ealy asks him what he's talking about and he's like, "Come on, putting it off isn't supposed to change anything!" By this point Elder Ealy is freaking out, thinking he would have to spend his last 6 months in the office. So he calls him and throws the phone at me after a moment, and he's like, "You were told you were the new office Elder, right??" 
So yeah.. That's how I found out. And since then it's been crazy! Here's why.. 

In the office, the term is 6 months and there's a 3 month overlap between each elder for training. Last transfer there were three Elders in the office- Elder Whitehead who was being trained for the office, Elder Ormsby who was the trainer, and Elder Green who is going home halfway through this next transfer. An elder went home early a couple weeks ago and Elder Whitehead had to go take his place, and Elder Ormsby was assigned to organize the Aviatie District (which is evolving this transfer from Buc North) 
That leaves me, the newbie in the office, with a guy that has 5 weeks of experience here and leaves on Halloween..(And then I'll be training a new office elder here.) It's been kinda crazy, I got my two transfers worth of training in about an hour, and I've just been sitting here sinceWednesday reading old documents and bits of instructions that could give me a hint as to what I'm supposed to be doing.
Everyone's been really nice here and putting up with all my questions- and Elder Ormsby will be living just a couple minutes away from the office in the same apartment I'm in now, and President Hill made it clear that I could pull him out of his duties any time I needed help. So I haven't totally been thrown under the bus ;)
I'm in charge of getting the Visa's, Health insurance, and medical appointments figured out for all the recent and incoming missionaries. I'm also in charge of phones, name tags, making pass-along cards; and really any other project no one else has time for.

It's been wEiRd. You know how I always said you would never catch me working in an office or behind a desk? I'm still the same person! It isn't any more appealing now than it was then, but a mission assignment isn't exactly something you turn down. :) I keep jumping up every couple hours or so, "What am I doing!? I need to get to work!" Then it's like, "Hold up. I AM working. This is work now..."

But anyways, it's been fun! Sorry for the mass of details, just wanted to give you a feel for what's going on ;)

We've got a couple of skype investigators; just people that are living in other European countries that don't speak the native tongue or English so they get referred to us. I got to teach a man on Friday in the Czech Republic who was recently baptized and that was super sweet. I finally got to teach a lesson! haha
Yesterday I went church in Mihai Bravu for the first time because that's where the office Elders are supposed to go until Wednesday when we officially become part of the Aviatie district. So it was really cool meeting a bunch of new people and afterwards we went to a sister's house for lunch. She's this old lady that cooks a huge meal for the missionaries every week. She's super goofy and we had so much fun. A while ago missionaries started giving her money for the food to help her out, and now I'm pretty sure she's turned it into a business.. Missionaries bring all the bread and the suc, she makes soup, then everyone pays her 10 lei at the end. Smart, right?? haha  But it was super fun. We had about 10 missionaries there and we ate ciorba and sarmale, then just hung out and sang hymns with her. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Week 29!

Hey Mom and Dad!
I actually did get to watch conference! They broadcasted it live at the Mihai Bravu chapel and there were enough English Speakers there that they set up another room for us. So we had about 5 Romanians show up to watch it in the chapel and about 20 missionaries to watch it in a small classroom upstairs ;) I hadn't really thought about the time difference until then. It was so weird to be watching conference when it was pitch black outside, knowing that you guys were watching it in the morning there. So I watched the Saturday morning session at 7pm, Saturday evening at 3pm on Sunday, and then the Sunday Morning Session at 7 on Sunday. So I still have a couple I need to watch, but that'll happen soon enough :) I've gotta say that my favorite talks were from Brother Dube (cause he's just a boss and for some reason that kinda hit home) and president Monson (naturally) But talking about missing his wife and his testimony of eternal families was really powerful.
This has been a week cram packed! I'll just give you a nice little overview :) On Wednesday I was on an exchange with Elder Lybbert, my district leader and I got to teach a lesson for the first time in forever! It's been two transfers of disinterested people so it was so good to teach. Since it's been so long I haven't really been able to track my progress with the language so it was way sweet seeing the leap. It went from my first transfer being able to contribute almost nothing, to this where I was able to understand the entire conversation of philosophical theories and contribute 50 percent. Yeah, I gotta a little cocky over it until contacting again where I finally have to admit "Never mind! I don't speak Romanian.."  ;)
Eugen came down on Tuesday and we spent Wednesday and Thursday with him. He went contacting with us and showed us a lake called "Lacul Muri"; which as far as I understand means "lake; you die!"
We had zone conference on Friday which was great. A lot of changes were made, a lot of new ideas were presented. Because the traditional missionary approach isn't working all that great everyone's trying to think outside the box a little bit. But it really renewed my fire and it was a great preamble to conference.
On Saturday we were able to do a little bit of Vila knocking with the Sisters after English and before conference started. Once you start getting out of the city all of the blocs turn into houses. So we went up to Buc Noi (the place we visited last Monday). Hard to describe, but it's basically like a secluded village tucked away in the middle of a huge city. It felt a lot like Hillsdale except this was where all the rich people lived and it was NICE. It's a lot different than I imagine knocking houses would be like back in the states. All of these Vile are surrounded by huge walls and you can't see into them. So you call into the video intercom and talk to the person from outside the wall, or yell (politely..?) until someone comes out. They can see you but you can't see them, and it's actually kind of awkward. We only had a couple people come out and talk to us and no one really cared. But they were Kind! Instead of hearing "I'm orthodox, stupid!" all day, it was a lot of - "not today sweetie"
New target; Old rich people! haha
Love you!

Elder Collison

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 28!


My week's been pretty great! I've been kinda sick (sounds like just the same stuff you've all got) and it's just been nice and rainy. I'm loving it! But I haven't had the chance to buy my winter accessories yet and I'm freezing my digits off.

This whole roofing thing sounds like a crazy process.  But the county fair, on the other hand, is something I can be jealous about, especially since so many of my siblings wasted precious ride time looking at animals. I mean, who does that??

Here's my week starting today and moving backwards-
We did our "3 hours missionary work" this morning instead of this evening like it's usually done. One of the sisters in our district has a birthday today so we're going to have a pizza game night kinda deal and try to make it special. I made a berry cheesecake that I'm kinda proud of; I haven't tried the finished product yet, but I cleaned the bowl out three times with my tongue after making the cream cause it was kinda irresistible. 
I'm going to jump back to Friday really quick- We had a meeting with President Hill on Friday; trying to get a feel for expectations, organize a boundary, hear his plan-that kind of thing. And there he asked us to explore a part of the city in our proselyting area called New Buc because missionaries had never been up there. So that's what we did this morning! Haha, it's only an inch away from where we live on the map of Buc, but it took us about 45 minutes to get there by bus. We then just kinda got a feel for the community; proselyting possibilities and that kind of thing. It is nice up there! I didn't really feel like I was in Romania, it was just like a little secluded city of rich people. 

Church went well yesterday. I'm getting better at conducting and I'm not getting better at translating.. haha
I was asked to translate from English to Romanian which proved to be super hard. President Iacobescu (who lived in America for a while and speaks perfect English) filled in for a lot of it and fed me better words to use because I wasn't moving fast enough. But it was a nice mental stretch ;)

Saturday we had a service project planned. We got a call from a member saying he needed some help with his renovation. We were expecting to go and help him paint or something (and I was in my grubby shorts and a T-shirt on a freezing cold day). We got there and the member throws his winter coat on and tells us to follow him. So we just kinda walk in silence, with him a little ways in front of us down a road - after road, after village, after road - through the park and around the lake. And then we get to this wood shop after about 30-45 minutes, where he buys a big piece of plywood. Then we back track. Picture my companion and I weaving through people in a park, dodging traffic, trying to follow him as he darts across the street, and we're carting around a wall of wood. Man, my forearms hurt.. (guess I can't complain to you roofers, can I? ;D) Then we get back to his place and he's like, "Alright, see you boys Sunday!"
It was kinda funny looking back on it and talking about it with Elder Ealy, but really I'm just grateful for the chance to serve- people don't believe in service projects here! 


Elder Collison