Man there is just so much to day! Sora Hettinger always tells us that if we don't have a good story to tell by the end of the day, we are doing it wrong... thankfully I have too many stories to tell so that is a good sign 😊 I really wish I could explain more about this whole mission switch thing and everything that I have learned. I am excited to tell you all more soon 😊 I wrote down a couple of experiences that I have had over these two weeks.
|I love Europe!|
evening of last week, Elder Welling and I were checking in for our flight back to Bucharest from Budapest, Hungary and happened to make friends with the guy checking us in. It started with a compliment about his watch, and you could tell he was really proud of it. We then started to say the five words we knew in Hungarian and he got a kick out of it! We shared with him why we were here, and then left to go through security. We didn't think anything of it until we boarded the rickety old prop plane.
Here in Eastern Europe at least you still take a shuttle bus to your plane and then board by stairs. Kinda cool! Anyways, the flight attendants started checking everyone's tickets for some reason. Apparently someone was checked on twice. Who could it be? They got to this guy sitting right across the aisle from me named Catalin Dit... and then they went to me and saw that I too was, in fact, Catalin Dit! During all of this everyone was getting cranky and making fun of the Romanian way of doing things, saying that they are not apart of the resistance, etc. So it turned out that I had never been checked-in, and I realized that it was probably because we were having too much fun with the man from the original check-in counter! They got it all figured out after I gave them my passport. Everyone got there complimentary sandwich and drink so we all left happy. Funny little experiences like that happen all the time.
|Bogdan on his baptism day.|
From the pictures last week you might have noticed that we had a baptism! For the past two weeks it has poured rain several times, and that there was actually a torrential down pour! We were praying that Bogdan would still make it even in this crazy weather. Sure enough, he made it twenty minutes early! We joked that all he needed now was the baptismal prayer because the rain had already immersed him in water 😃 Bogdan was found by Elder Welling in March, and since then they had been teaching him. I had the blessing of taking part in teaching him the last couple of weeks helping him prepare for his baptismal date. Bogdan is a seeker of truth and has a never ending desire to continue to learn about God. We really included the members in teaching him and is has really paid off. We need the members help if we want our new converts to stay and remain active!
|My brotha from Washington!|
Elder Hoisington and I had an exchange . Super fun to be with him. I remember when he first came in to the mission now almost a year and a half ago I have looked up to him for his commitment to teach repentance. We had a great exchange and managed to get some cool exchange pics 😉
|T I M I S O A R A|
|Elder Dahl and Innis...missed these guys!|
was zone conference in Timisoara... it was so fun going back to the west again! Our day started very early at in order to catch our plane... needless to say Elder Welling and I took advantage of our pday today and had a nice long nap. I am well rested for two more zone conferences this week! Sora Hettinger taught a beautiful truth during her opening remarks at the conference. She said that, "Overarching principles are most often the solution to complex problems." The same goes for the gospel of Jesus Christ... by living the teachings of Jesus Christ we will have greater happiness and peace in our lives. The Gospel of Jesus Christ can help us solve our complex problems in our lives if we humble ourselves!
|Incredible architecture...very similar to some of the things I saw in Budapest.|
I think I might have already mentioned that Romania received a patriarch, Elder Orton. He recently finished his first trip and round of blessings here, and last Saturday he gave a little fireside. He told the members that there will be an "explosion" of membership in the church here in Romania... but it depends on our efforts! Our mission focus right now is to "foster unity between the members and the full-time missionaries." This is our topic of the zone conferences as well. We as a companionship, and all over the mission, are really improving the way we include members in the work. Sometimes I have looked at the members and have thought that they are not going to be a help for the people who we will teach. This is the wrong mindset! Each member of this church must be involved in this great work, and sometimes they might need to just be shown how! I was so excited to hear how mom was able to help those two girls on their journey to baptism. I hope that we can all think about what we can do to do our part in gathering Israel, and work closely with the missionaries!
|Pizza... at least that is what her friend's call her! She randomly came up to us as we were villa knocking and was curious what we were doing.|
President Doru is our branch president in Panduri. He is the man! His energy and enthusiasm for missionary work is so contagious. Yesterday we had a family history work contacting activity in Cismigiu Park with all of the members... it was so cool! We had a street board, Book of Mormons, Family History flyers, and lots of people. Pres. Doru asked if all missionaries could find a member to be "companions" with during the activity. I saw Sora Geta, a very nice older lady from the branch, that was passing out flyers and having little success. I suggested to do it together, and by the end of the night, we met a nice mother and her daughter that were very interested in the gospel. Because of that instant connection that Sora Geta had (being Romanian and a former orthodox), they were able to become friends and now the sisters and Sora Geta will meet with this mom to teach her the gospel. I think that is so dang cool! I know that Patriarch Orton's blessing will come true as the missionaries and members work together in unity to establish Zion in a country that President Nelson has said is, "rich with the blood of Israel."
I am having a blast in Romania. I appreciate all of the encouragement... I am working till the end!!!