Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

hey guys! I had a really good week, but now i'm thinking I'll wait until Wednesday so I have some fuel.. haha
To answer your questions though- I have been able to teach a couple lessons this week, but nothing really promising. We're working with one guy that wants to get baptized but I don't feel right about it. He's really nice but has got some serious problems and doesn't really grasp what we're trying to tell him. That's totally what I imagine I'd look like if someone asked me about the gospel.. haha, I was realizing the other day how little time I have left to learn Romanian. I was teaching a lesson and could see the drastic difference between when we switched from friendly conversation, to gospel. I've had so many chances to make friends out here and so few chances to teach lessons that I really suffer in that category. kinda sad...

Save some for me! I'm excited to chop wood in the spring. As far as cooking goes, I guess I've been experimenting a bit. My diet has consisted of hummus wraps on lipie (I usual put shredded carrots, tomatoes, and peppers on those) Dahl, which I think I told you about. It's an indian lentil porridge you put over rice. I absolutely love the stuff. I make a lot of curries too, but those are a little pricier so that happens more at the beginning of the month. I made some pretzel bites the other day. oh, and I also made up this grit and kiwi cake a couple days ago. I wasn't expecting much out of it but it turned out really good. have you been able to experiment with anything lately? 

Sorry you guys are sick, especially at Christmas! dang.. 

haha, Isaac's back.. Sorry kid! looks like you'll have to keep him in a salt mine. 

Talk to you guys soon! Sorry this email's a little rushed, I've been trying to write something for caleb this whole time and now I'm trying to speed through things. 

Love you!  

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Hey there guys! 

I've been down for a lot of the week totally dead, but I'm feeling pretty good today and i think I'm on the mend. I had a pretty bad cough for a while there and I was sure that being sick had made me susceptible to the TB. But It's already getting better, so I think I'm good! I'm getting really homesick spending another Christmas here, I want to spend it with my family! But I have a pretty cool district here and I know we'll have fun. Bucuresti is beautiful again and the lights are incredible. 
I was able to talk with a reprezentative of BYUI the other day and I got things figured out. Since I've already been accepted in the spring semester I just have to register for online classes and pay by the credit hour. If I'm only doing that for one semester I don't even have to enroll as an online student. I also found out which course I need to take as a prerequisite for the math 108. 
Yeah, and if I don't start working until a couple weeks after I get home, then I can spend some quality time with everyone and then get busy once I'm not the novelty item any more and everyone can fall back into routine. I'll start thinking about what I want to do with you guys and we'll talk it out over skype, sound good? You guys have to make a list too though! 
Let me tell you, I am so sad I don't get to see Caleb. I almost want to try and have a lay over in africa to see him. Ivory's let it happen before, but he's a big favorite picker and I'm definitely in no position to ask for a favor. We'll see what happens ;) I want to sit him down so bad though and have a good missionary chat with him. It kills me that he's going to miss my big moments.

Elder Busche's great! He's a really funny guy and likes sports a lot so we're having a really good time. 

On Saturday we had a huge Christmas concert at Panduri. I've missed a lot of the practices so I was worried, but I was the only one that really knew the bass to begin with so I didn't stand out too bad ;) We had a couple guests, like freaking antonia and alex velea! Those are two of the most famous people in Romania and they're my heros. You should look up alex velea's song, "din vina ta." one of my favourites, and I'll translate it for you once I get home. We had some amazing talent among the missionaries too. Makes me wish I had taken guitar more seriously. One of my really good friends, Degraw, sang a cover of amazing grace mixed with a couple other songs that was absolutely unbelievable. If I had recorded that I could listen to it every day without getting bored. 
We went caroling for some of the senior couples that missed the concert. We had a lot of fun with that and came up with a couple fun tunes on the spot that they enjoyed. I love singing at christmas time because it's the one loophole in the social rug that allows public displays of art without an ounce of awkwardness. I can sing at the top of my lungs while walking around the city and it's not as weird as the rest of the year! 

I'm excited to talk to you guys! I might be able to skype you Christmas eve and christmas.. Would that be cool? I'll go to an internet cafe and skype you for a bit the day before christmas, and then the next day the senior couple wants to have us over to skype and to feed us, and we can finish our conversation then and I would be able to see dad. We'll figure out times next monday :) 

Love you guys so much! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

Hey Mom and Dad! 

Thank you so much for gathering all that advice up and sharing your thoughts mom. I'll still be thinking and praying about it until it's time to apply for classes and make my mind up, but I'm still really leaning towards staying home for the spring and summer.. I might go stir crazy going from this to that. I think I'll freak out going from romania to america, and honestly going back to a small town really scares me. But I'm not going to be bored. I have so much to do. For one I'm hoping to get in 8 hours a day at the factory. Brother Condon said he's holding my place if I want to just come back and work. I'm hoping to take about 3 internet courses which will take probably 4 hours out of my day. There are a couple other things I'm planning on researching once I get home, just a couple ideas i've had out here.

That's going to take ALL of my time, I'm afraid I won't even have time to be a good brother. I've also developed a couple other things that'll take the rest of the time I'm not spending with you guys.. I feel like I've always been a kinda creative kid, but I didn't start writing down my ideas till I came out here. Now I have a billion notebooks with every idea that comes to my head for stories or music. They look like journals of crazy men, but I'm really excited to sit down with my sara jasmine and try and turn these lyrics into tunes. 

I'm crazy excited to be home and see you guys, but I haven't idealized the idea in my mind. I know it'll be rougher in some ways compared to college, but I don't think me wasting time will be a problem. These are just the thoughts I've been having so you know where I'm coming from.

That story about the christmas tree is incredible! I can't wait to share that one this week with my buddies! 

I'm staying in Buc! and I'm really happy about it. I'm in a really good district, really big but awesome branch, my apartment is legit and actually situated directly on and across the street from the two biggest piatas in Buc. I can buy everything from halva and fruit to bedsheets and rifles (probably). 

A guy named elder Busche is coming down to serve with me. I haven't met him yet but I've heard really good things about him and I think we'll have some fun. I'll have more to report on that next week! Can you believe I'm starting my second to last transfer?? oh, and I'm coming home march 4. I don't have a ticket yet, but that's what it's looking like. If the ticket says something different I I might end up going a little early, but they can't extend the time unless I request it and, yeah.. 

This week's been a little rough cause I've been in bed with the flu. I felt super bad because I've been keeping my comp inside the house for the last couple days of his mission. Luckily laititi and bonner were willing to take turns staying with me so that he could get stuff done and go to church for his last sunday. I'm feeling pretty decent today. I don't have a fever anymore but I'm still really out of it. 

When do you guys want to skype?? I still haven't heard a plan concerning christmas so you might have to give me a couple weeks before I can put down a date. December 26 might be nice because all the WoW junkies'll still be drunk from the celebrations, but we'll figure it out later ;) 

I'm really excited for Christmas though. Bucuresti is amazing in the winter and they go all out on the lights.  

BTW. The whole package thing? Changed my mind. Getting a package from you guys would be sick! haha.  I thought it wouldn't be a big deal since I would be seeing you guys soon, but at the office the other day, I saw I recieved one from you guys and got super excited. Am I supposed to wait until christmas to open that, or did i already allow the puppy inside to suffocate, leaving it in the closet? I didn't mean to sound like a butt asking for money, handwritten and packed goodies always transcend. 

I love you guys so much! I can't wait to talk to you! 

Elder Collison

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

Hey guys!

I've had a really good week, but we didn't get a whole lot done. Elder Whitehead was sick at the beginning of the week, then we had exchanges with the ZLs on Wednesday. That consisted of going out to red dragon (china town of bucuresti) and hitting second hand shops in preperation for the thanksgiving activity the next day. The Red dragon is the large piata of imported goods, so it's where all the asians buy there counter tops, steamers, food, clothes, and everything else you could ever want. I could completely decorate and furnish my house from that single store, and I left with a mental picture of what I want my kitchen to look like.. I also got way too excitied when I found curry spices I'd been looking for. On thursday we had a turkey bowl early in the morning. Missionaries from Craiova, ploiesti, and alexandria had come into buc the night before to celebrate so we had really big teams. I thought the game itself was retarded because it just turned into watching the same three kids trying to relive their highschool days while the rest of us ran up and down the field. But after two hours of that we played a game of tag and I had a chance to redeem myself. We got cleaned up from that, and then went to the church for a huge feast the senior couples had prepared. They prepared nine turkeys and a billion other dishes. I subconciously refilled my plate so many times I was beginning to feel like I was at hogwarts. We had a small talent show, but they had only alloted a half hour for it so not very many people were able to participate. We held a choir practice for our concert at the embassy and then a the dude in charge of designing all the temples came and gave us a special fireside. We'd been contacting people on the streets for this thing for a long time, but I'm really glad none of our contacts showed up because it was kinda weird.. The speaker was a cool guy though. I also just ran into one of my best friends, paul from nigeria- the guy i met in cluj. If I take nothing else from this mission, I've established a hundred friendships that make it worth it. When I saw that guy I literally yelled and sprinted for him. He's going to the states soon for school (leaving about the same time I am) and we're going to try and hang out. 
On Friday we had another exchange with the other elders from our district. We had a bunch of fun cause they're the coolest. I was with elder laititi, a samoan guy I'm super tight with, and we had a good time. 
I went to bed feeling gross and woke up on Sunday with the stomach bug so I didn't go to church. It made for a super boring day, but I was able to work out some lyrics and read. I was feeling alright by that evening and now I'm in tip top shape. 
haha, yeah- my hair's getting long. it's still technically within the rules, right? and I really really want to grow it out long once I return, so i'm hoping I can make it by a couple more months without getting it cut.
That leather coat was just a snake leather, woman's coat I found for 5 lei at a thrift store. I bought for that single picture ;) 
I don't really have plans for christmas yet. It really depends on how cool my next companion is because Whitehead's going home next wednesday. but I'm looking around for some cheap light to dec my apartment out, and I'm going to nab a tree from the delta one of these nights once I get my hands on a hatchet.
Gabey you're so tare cute! I can't wait to see you buddy! Can you guys believe that my last skype call is already coming up and how little time I have left after that? It keeps hitting me how soon that is, and then other days it feels like forever away.
Thanks for all the stories! I love you guys so much!
Elder Collison