Alex's Mission Address:

Elder Alex McLean Ditto

Romania/Moldova Mission
Bdul. Primaveril Nr. 19-21 Et.1 #13
Sector 1
011972 Bucharest

Email -

Monday, March 19, 2018

Livin' the Dream

Hey fam!

Well, its a bummer but I am going have to write my first meh letter... the funny thing was that this week was not a lame week at all, especially this preparation day! We headed out to to Brasov and another little town next to it called Rasnov, to see some of the country side of Romania. I feel super blessed to have had the opportunity to see the truly beautiful parts of Romania in terms of nature throughout my mission. Today was no disappointment!
Breakdancing in Brasov


Inima Carpatilor 

The 5th narrowest road in the world!

Biserica Neagra

Just a 2.5 hour drive from Bucharest, you can enter into the heart of the Carpathian mountain range. If I was not a missionary, I would have gone skiing or mountain biking or rock climbing in a heartbeat, but doing some exploring was amazing!
Adventure is out there!

Hai Romania! 
Hipster pic

Love these guys!

Nicaieri nu-i ca acasa!

Posin' at the top of the fortress

Some o' the bros

Strada Sforii

The Dacia flag

This week we also participated in a little activity for Syrian refugees. Brother Frimu helped put on the event. It was a really cool experience to be with a bunch of little kids that didn't look Romanian, yet spoke Romanian! 
Playing with the Syrian refugee kiddos!

Elder Trottier being a goof!

Elder Dahl roping Elder Trottier

Though their original home is far away from Bucharest, it made me smile to see that they are happy and enjoying their new home. It made me think about our relationship with God, and how no matter where we are on this earth, his love is the same for us! 
Checking out the Ion Tiriac Collection

Ferrari F40

The collection!

Amidst office work, a couple of film sessions, and zone conference- we also got out on the streets and in the blocks, talking with everyone! I have felt a new surge of energy for finding those who are ready to receive the restored gospel... I know that when we have a correct understanding of God's plan for us, we are happier and have greater purpose in life. People notice this in us!
A creative lunch created by us.

Love you all, have a rockin' week!

Elder Ditto

Monday, March 12, 2018

Iubirea unei Mame

Hey all!

I don't know how the weather is in Yakima, but in Bucharest, spring has arrived! The whole week we had nothing but sun and the sound of chirping birds- a blessing because Elder Trottier and I had several projects that needed to be executed outside! 
The Team

We had a lot of fun working on our two most recent projects- a mother appreciation video for Ziua Femeilor (a day which everyone celebrates the women in their lives), and an Easter video in order to promote a big concert that we will have next month. 

For the Mother's Day one, Elder Trottier and I decided that we would use our charming personalities to ask people how their moms have helped them. Surprisingly enough, we had great success, and were able to have some great conversations about our beliefs as a result. Something that I love about the Romanian culture is the emphasis put on the role of mothers. Romanians are very pro-traditional family oriented, and it is not uncommon for the grandmother or parents to live in the same block or apartment as their posterity. I love that Romanian mothers are liberal at sharing their love towards their children, and will do anything to make sure their kids have a better life than they ever did.  Fathers are great, grandmas are the best, but there is nothing that compares to the role of the mother...
Elder Trottier

... It was past 8 pm, and Elder Trottier and I, along with the other elder companionship in our district were on our way back to the car after a great session of block knocking. I heard the phone ring, and it was Mirela! Like Mirela Minunata! She had a request to make. Her daughter, Emilia, was about to head back to England, and she wanted to surprise her by meeting her at the airport before she was to board the plane. She asked if we would be able to go with her and take part in the surprise. I hadn't seen Mirela in over four months and about that amount of time had past since there have not been missionaries in Craiova. We felt like it would be a good use of time to support her in her quest to show her love to her daughter. 

Mirela made the trek up to Bucharest early Sunday morning, in time for Sacrament meeting at Mihai Bravu. Sora Radulescu is also staying in Bucharest for a little while, and she came to church as well. What a special opportunity it was to sit by them, and to be amidst so many brothers and sisters in the gospel. God has truly blessed me with a spiritual, righteous relationship with the people whom I serve. 
Mirela Minunata... surprise-planning master!!

Right after church, we booked it to the airport, and got there in wicked time. The whole time, I could feel Mirela's excitement and anticipation to make her daughter's day. On the way, we reminisced about the great times we had in Craiova laughing and smiling all the way. I stood amazed at this woman, who eight months ago was searching for lasting happiness. 

Finally, Emilia arrived with her boyfriend and dad, but did not see us immediately- perfect! We made the best entrance ever. Emilia was ecstatic to see me, but when she saw her mom, she broke down in tears! For the next three minutes, they embraced each other with the biggest hug ever. Elder Trottier and my heart melted, seeing pure daughter-mother love take over. This image was even more priceless, knowing of the hardships and experiences that these two women have gone through. At this moment, I saw the true joy that comes from being a family. I imagined my mom and the reunion that we will have. I know that my mom loves me, and that she is proud of the work I am doing, and I saw the same thing in Mirela towards Emilia. 
The sign reads "Don't forget Coca Cola"

This little Sunday afternoon experience made me reflect on the reality that our families are blessed when we choose to live with an attitude of gratitude, when we serve one another, surprise one another, laugh with one another, and most importantly strive to follow Jesus Christ in all of our words and actions. 

What will you do to follow Mirela's example of love? What can you do to be a better brother, sister, dad, mom, grandma, uncle, or friend?

John 1510 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 14 Ye are my friends...

I love you all! (especially you mom, thank you for your never ending love and service to me and everyone around you, you are my hero!)

Love, Elder Ditto
Vio and me

Monday, March 5, 2018


Good day, my fellow men!

Woo nelly, last preparation day seems like forever ago; the week really did go by fast. This week the new missionaries came into the country and Elder Trottier and I had the key logistical role ensuring that everyone was in the right place in the right time, while working on their visas, and helping all the other missionaries get to their new cities... it was kind of madness! Thankfully, we got everyone to where they needed to be and we are back in the office doing crazy stuff.
Martisor is a day to celebrate spring time! The women receive cute red bracelets or broaches from their loved ones. Romanians sure do love to spoil their mommas!

Alysee asked me what I am eating these days, and I am proud to say a variety! Lunch is usually take out (KFC, or something from the grocery store), and we also try to make rice and chicken with mango sauce if we are feeling  "healthy." For dinner Elder Trottier and I have been living the simple Romanian life, eating mamaliga cu branza de oaie si smantana (Polenta with sheep cheese and sour cream). Super cheap and super Romanian! 

I could tell a yarn about all the work that I have been doing in the office, but it's not really relatable to the reader. I will say this though- I never thought I would use all my gopro and video editing skills on my mission, but the time has come!! Our mission is trying out Facebook and Elder Trottier and I are in charge of running the page and publicity stuff. With this, we have been asked to make some in-country content. You probably already saw the soccer video, we are currently working on another one and getting ready for the Easter campaign. I have really enjoyed this and am seeing the potential of a new kind of missionary work. That is the interesting thing about being in the office- being that I am not always out on the streets, I have been discovering how to manage my time better, and find ways to make the activities that I am doing to help people come unto Christ. It's safe to say that these first two weeks have unveiled some weaknesses, but good thing that the Lord knows how to make my weaknesses become strengths! There has been loves of growing and self analyzing.
A little martisor market

Bucuresti are inima mea!

One day particular this week I was pondering about my relationship with the Holy Ghost. It had been bothering me that I am not always interacting with people and helping them come unto Christ, and I started to be worried that maybe I was doing something wrong. (Note: Really though, some days you are working so hard to help the mission run, and not enough time for regular missionary work). Elder Trottier and I made our schedule so that we would have an hour and a half to block knock at the end of the night. We didn't have too much success knocking, and as we walked back to the car, I saw a man holding an IKEA bag, walking past our car. I had the thought to talk to him, but I thought to myself that he was too far away. I hopped into the car and that was when I saw we were going to derive right past him in T-minus three seconds. 

"STOP THE CAR AND ASK HIM IF HE NEEDS HELP!" I yelled to Elder Trottier.

A half-push on the break followed by a slam on the break was all it took for him to stop the car and roll down the window and ask this man if we could help him. The man laughed and said, "What, you think I am homeless?" A little embarrassed, we replied that we are missionaries here and like to help people. He immediately liked us and told us that he too likes to help people. Without even asking, he gave us his number and told us that he would love to meet with us next week. 

WOW! We rolled the window up and just looked at each other and started laughing with joy. The spirit had whispered to my heart what I needed to do, and without hesitating, I acted. And that resulted in a miracle. I was thankful for Elder Trottier for being trusting and supportive, as sometimes that can be hard! Often times we question or doubt, but to be a first responder to the promptings of the Spirit often requires you to step out of your comfort zone. 
A fresh pic of Elder Trottier on a cold sunny day.

As we talked about this experience, I realized that I need to do as Elder Bednar says, "STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT!" 

As we live in harmony to God's commandments and do everything we can to be like the Savior in our specific circumstances, we need not worry if we are in tune to the spirit. The promptings will come, and we must act. 
Super Eastern European

It doesn't matter if you are twelve year's old, a full-time missionary, a mom, a dad, or even a grandma! The Holy Spirit will guide us, and that is awesomeness. Do everything you can to remain worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost! Set little goals, have a personal self-reflection- God will inspire us with ideas as to how we can draw nearer to him.

I love all y'all! Thanks for your prayers and thank you for being examples of choosing the right!

All my love,
Elder Ditto

Monday, February 26, 2018

The New Bucharest Life

If I didn't think I was a real adult for the first year and a half of my mission, I do now!
Elder Ditto is in the house!

Life here in Bucharest is a lot different compared to the last time I was here with Elder Bontempo and Elder Jacobson. I am bouncing around from police station, to train station, to buying plane tickets, filming things for our Facebook page, and ensuring all missionaries are safe and always with a companion during transfer changes- every day is equipped with a new challenge and adventure!
Filming Sesh [Elder Welling] for the new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Facebook country page called 

Biserica lui Isus Hristos a Sfinţilor din Zilele din Urmă - România . It was really awesome to get back in the video editing world!

Elder Trottier is my new trusty companion. He is also the office guru, serving here for like five transfers throughout his mission as an office elder. I have been able to see him throughout my mission and am really looking forward to serving together. We will most likely be together till the end of his mission (July), and then I will have one more transfer after that. Elder Trottier is a great guy- super funny, always looking for ways to draw closer to Christ, and has a knack with people and the Romanian language. I am SO pumped for this adventure!
Elder Trottier hard at work.

So coming from Chisinau, Moldova- I had been "in the trenches" so to speak. All I had to do was worry about making sure I was finding new investigators, helping those who I met with come unto Christ, and strengthen the branch. Being the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency really gave me some great insight on what it will be like serving in church callings back at home. I felt like I was out of my mojo this week because what I am doing now really isn't just those three things! As an office elder, we are in charge of all the travel in the mission, ensuring everyone is legal and does their visa work, we are spear-heading some social media projects, and then basically do anything else that is needed of us.

It has been a treat getting to know the Hettinger family (mission president for Romania/Moldova mission) over the past seven months, and when President called me about this new assignment, I was giddy at the thought of spending more time with them. President Hettinger has a real way of connecting with people. When you talk with him, you feel like you are the most important person on the planet. He is a man of stalwart faith, and is a humble servant of God. Sister Hettinger is also one of a kind. She has reinforced the fact that you can have fun, and be obedient. She is a great example to me of following the words of our called church leaders whatever the costs. They are a great team and I am happy to be part of it.

Coming back to the Mihai Bravu branch this Sunday was SO awesome. Fratele Lucian asked me to say to say the closing prayer at sacrament meeting and when I got up I took a little glance into the congregation and felt peace and a great love for these Romanians. It was so fun to rekindle all of my relationships with many of the members. When you make a real friend here, they are truly friends for life! I feel so privileged to be back in a branch I love, and seeing the growth made even in the three months since I have been gone, gave me so much hope for the church here in Romania. 

Amidst all the craziness, we did our best to get on the streets and in the blocks to do good ol' classic missionary work. The Lord really did bless us with several opportunities to proclaim The Good News. 

The best one was getting let in by a family after one of the members suggested we try and block knock a particular block. The family had a relative that married a less-active, and were so curious as to what we believed. I know that God loves each one of us, and that the principles of Jesus Christ truly do bless our families. Eight year-old Flavia, jumped for joy and hugged the Book of Mormon when she found out that we were giving it to the family. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God! 

Here is to another great week! Keep calm and love it all!

Elder Ditto

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

End of a Chapter, Beginning of a New

Hey all!!

This was a whirlwind of a week. I don't really have a crazy story this week, but I do have a few highlights and tender mercies that we were blessed with as Elder Meek, Elder Atkinson and I worked our tails off. Winter decided to come back and we had to face snow storms, sickness, and new assignments, but through it all we kept on humming "Called to Serve"... one of the most special things about being a missionary is the "missionary mantle." We are endowed with power, ordained servants of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring souls unto Him. This calling is the most rewarding, and joyful thing I have ever done. Every time when I think I can't go on, or I have learned it all... the Lord always gives us another trial or opportunity to grow and come closer to him. 
Sora Gorzo

Here are some of the highlights this week while being a missionary in the land of the Republic of Moldova:

Exchange to Orhei

Our zone leaders felt like it would be a good use of our time to join forces with Elder Baker and Elder Wilkes in the small town of Orhei (45 minutes north of Chisinau) for a half a day. On Monday night, we had a lesson, and then grabbed our night packs and searched for a "maxi taxi" (ghetto shuttle bus). Much to our chagrin, the maxi taxi station was empty, and it didn't look like we were going to be able to get to Orhei. We then saw a little maroon Dacia Logan with a green "taxi" light. We asked the guy if he would be able to take us all the way to Orhei. The man didn't even hesitate and within two minutes we were on our way! I won't say if there were seat-belts or not in the back seat, but we did make it to Orhei safely and ended up paying the guy 400 lei ($25). 
Street Boarding on the only "big" street in Orhei!

The next day we labored with all our might to bring souls unto Christ, despite battling the freezing temperatures, and my cold. We gave away THIRTEEN Book of Mormons, and found several people that were interested in the unique promise contained in the book. 
Just like old times

Elder Baker is the best!

Alex Temporal and Spiritual

Alex had been coming to our advanced English class for a while and one day confronted us about taking private lessons. We agreed to teach him English for thirty minutes and then to teach him for thirty minutes about what we believe. One meeting turned into many, and within a month, we were able to set a baptismal date with Alex for the 17 of March
The Elders and Alex

Alex is unique as I have been able to help him develop spiritually, as well as temporally- helping him prepare for an interview with his dream company. Something that I love about our church is the attitude of ensuring that self-reliance. The modern-day prophets have emphasized this in so many ways throughout the years, and seeing people struggle in Moldova temporally has echoed this truth to me. I am grateful for the humility and desire that Alex has to improve his life so that his family might have a better future is inspiring to me. I know that living the gospel of Jesus Christ is truly the way to true happiness- following the council of the prophets ensures safety in this life!


I met with Andrei [the man that had lost the church for five years after being baptized in Czech] at the new market just the other day. Andrei told me that he has been coming home with empty pockets- that he hasn't been able to provide his family with income. 
Andrei Gondiu - My brother.

This man has rock solid faith- he like Paul glories in his infirmities, but recognizes that he needs to find a way to provide for his family. I shared with Andrei a scripture that I had recently read.

Mosiah 24:1414 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

This scripture truly calmed his soul. I testified to him that the Lord knows his sufferings, and will provide a way to provide for his family. Like Alex, Andrei is a true warrior and an inspiration to me as who I want to become as a father.

Restoration with humble family

We were able to meet with a family who I met on the street last Sunday in their home on the 9th floor of an old block on the outskirts of Chisinau. There we had a traditional Moldovan meeting with fruit tea with organic honey, fresh walnuts, cookies- the works! We taught them the message of the the restoration and testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and showed them how they too could receive this witness.
The Best Two Years

I love missionary life, and I love Chisinau. 
Action shot
I made the Elders heart pancakes for Valentines day!

...and that's why the Lord sent me back to Bucharest!

SURPRISE!!!! Yup, I took an early morning plane and arrived this morning. 
Peacin' out of Chisinau

As I walked up the airplane stairs onto the plane, I took one last glimpse at the hills around Chisinau. The Lord truly put me through a refinement process I never would have imagined here in Chisinau. Now I am closing this chapter and beginning another one as an office elder in the capital of Romania. I am excited to see how the Lord will use my talents and what I will learn in these last six months as a full-time representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hurrah for Israel!

All my love,

Elder Ditto
Brother Virlan... I look up to this man

Dorin... my first friend in Chisinau!

Elder Griffeth... a life long friend

Elder Walch
Visiting Fratele Hanganu

Victor gave his first lesson in Sunday school... he rocked it even at 84 years old!
Elder Rybitsky
Elder Sargysan