Thursday, December 5, 2013


My Momma and Poppa! 

Fastest and most exhausting week of my life! 
Haha, I'm just going to swamp you with details from my journal, cause a lot happened. Sorry...
Last week was one of the most stressful of my life, I’ve already forgotten most of the less than great stuff but some of those details aren’t the ones I want to remember as part of a mission.
It was transfer week and it started on Tuesday at 1305 when the missionaries' plane touched down. In our ignorance we had scheduled a health appointment at 1400. We executed the exit plan flawlessly and dashed back to Pipera only 3 minutes late for our appointment.
What happened later that evening is lost to me, I know we did a ton of running- oop! Here’s what happened. Elder Ormsby was going to drive to the Sisters apartment to help them move and he needed a second car. I was going to go along with them, when a couple other people bored to death in the office decided they had to go too. So we had to take three cars. As soon as we got off the roof Elder Barclay realized his car didn’t even have enough gas to make it to the sisters which was only 10 minutes away. So we worked our way back through traffic into the gas station. It had just begun snowing and the roads were SLICK right at the point of the usual rush hour. So getting to the sisters took us 45 MINUTES! As soon as we got there we got a call saying they had just finished loading the stuff and we should meet them at the new apartment, so we turned back around and worked our way back into the mess. The rest of the evening was Elder Phelps and I running back and forth everywhere on exchange- from the gara to the mission home, back to the office, then to the store. I love it, I love the feeling of helping other people but I was dead that night. Then Elder Phelps and I finally got back in contact with each other and were able to meet up at the office at 10 and decided to head home so that we could get a little bit of sleep before the big day. We realized we should probably go over the papers one last time to make sure we had everything for the visa process and health insurance. Sure enough- we had forgotten to have the incoming missionaries sign their health insurance cereres for our appointment early the next day. So we set off at 11, waking up every jetlagged missionary in Buc until 2 in the morning. By then the roads were kinda awful and we saw a couple accidents. We crawled in our beds as soon as we got home and enjoyed a couple hours of sleep before we were woken up by our phone. The Chisinau Elders had ditched the sisters in their district at the Gara and neither sister knew their way around Buc de loc. So we went and picked them up at 5:30 and dropped them off at the Aviatiei sister’s apartment. We then had to start the health insurance process down by Aviatorilor. 

That was hilarious, but I’m so glad she gave us such intensely detailed instructions. Everyone else walked in there looking around, not knowing what they were doing and we entered with a swagger and a script, knowing exactly what window to go to. We’re now the second missionaries in the history of this mission (according to Violeta) who had all the documents necessary to apply in the first go.
Wednesday was the big one; Visa applications for the 3 Sisters that had their appointments on Tuesday, and Health appointments afterwards for the rest.
I’ll cut down on the details and just say that there were about three days in a row in there where I was living off three hours of sleep a night and one meal a day. Friday was a recoup day. I slept in until my body felt good again, then I cleaned the apartment that smelled like dirty men and looked like it might have had four living in it at one time. A couple hours later we had our first district meeting, then we went to IKEA for lunch and for what turned into a six hour shopping expedition. My companion wasn’t very happy about that but I sure had a lot of fun just helping the sisters pick out things for their apartment.

So for my Thanksgiving I was at the visa office from 6-12 trying to get everyone applied for. After all the double checking and making sure the documents were in order, we got to the visa office and rejected one of the housing contracts because the landlord had forgotten to sign his part! That was enough to make it invalid and now I've got to go back through and redo 6 weeks worth of documents for two missionaries with the next batch that's coming in next month. 
After we finished up at the visa office we went over to the Bensfields house. That's where we hold church every Sunday, I'm sure I've mentioned the name before.. But we got there and socialized for a bit, but that's when we had to dash to the gara to pick up a sister leaving on her mission. A couple hours later we were able to return and eat some Thanksgiving leftovers at their house, then we continued running people all over the place and helping people move. I was really glad to be busy all day long because I didn't have to think about home too much. We got back really late, and that's when the homesickness hit me and I had to open my Christmas and birthday packages. I only opened the ones you suggested! But just looking at the letters (I didn't read any, I was just looking) was a boost. Man I miss my family, that's where I'm supposed to be at this time of year. But I'm glad to be here too. I'm really glad I'm in a position right now where they actually DO need me right now and I'm constantly busy and I'm not just trying to fill my time with random little things- as bad as that sounds.. 
We also got our first bout of snow this week! It was supposed to be raining all week long, but on Wednesday night it turned into a sleet which slowly evolved into a steady snow, while we were taking our midnight signature runs of course ;) 
I'm am so excited for Christmas! All of the sudden it's cold and there's Christmas music playing everywhere I go. I'm trying really hard to get everyone else excited. I'm planning on have a constant supply of eggnog in the fridge, and I think I have the office staff convinced into buying some christmas lights to cover the office in. haha, it should be fun ;) 
Yesterday was Romania's independence day. I didn't get to see anything because they had church going on during the ceremonies and parades. I was just sitting in church listening to gun shots and explosions all around me and itching to get out of there to see the action. We did get to explore the Arcul de triumf though and I'll send you some pictures of that. It's a really beautiful monument that was open yesterday for a tour. 

I'm grateful for my family! That's what I realized this Thanksgiving. It wasn't my first Thanksgiving without you guys but it was definitely the most lonely, and I guess it makes me appreciate having an eternal group of elites that love me all the more! haha, you guys are great and I'm really happy you were able to have relaxing week with our family. I'm grateful that we were placed in circumstances where we could grow up with and understand the gospel of happiness so that we could learn real joy and grow into something bigger than what we are. I'm grateful for the responsibility we have to share it! We're talking about a win win situation here when we're sharing happiness and increasing our own at the same time.

I love you guys so much! I'll probably send you guys some pictures in a bit, I just wanted to get an email sent off before I go play some soccer. 

Love you!

Elder Collison

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