Crazy right!??? ROMANIA IS AMAZING!! I love it more and more everyday. Today for Pday we did in fact go biking through a forest close near Arad, and saw some amazing things. I am very grateful for opportunities like this to explore and understand the culture better because this is what helps me LOVE Romania and LOVE the people! Europe is just so gnarly. I can't get over it. Like really.
|Biking in the forest|
|I LOVE Romania!|
|Abandoned building next to the Mures|
Loving the people and the culture is so essential in learning the language. This has been very evident in the past couple of days. I am truly progressing in Romanian and I truly love learning. One day I had a conversation with a nice man for about 10 minutes about how the family can strengthen our world and the importance of not focusing on the past. I couldn't believe that I actually had a conversation where I understood everything and was able to convey my thoughts effectively. I was so grateful for this opportunity to help edify and be edified. The gift of tongues is real! There would be no other way that I could talk about World War 1 or how Hungaria was oppressed and Arad has a statue to pay their respects.
There really isn't anything quite like a mission. The opportunity to be fully immersed in a new culture and to be meeting people all day everyday is just so cool. This is how we find people to teach about the gospel!
|Inside a tram|
This is how we met our new friend, Alex. On our way back from Cluj, I saw this kid who had a MASSIVE Afro. Of course I had to go compliment him! After a good chat, we exchanged numbers and met up the next day to get to know each other better and share about what we believe. Three pizzas, a walk to the park, and , we had taught him most of the first lesson, gave him a Book of Mormon, and bore testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. We are sooo excited to help him increase His faith. Why 5 hours? Well he wanted to spend the day with us and I am not a "neigh" sayer! haha It was just so amazing to share the gospel with someone who genuinely wants to know more.
|Thanksgiving with the Sisters, Elder and Sora Days, and the Timisoara Elders|
There were a lot of ups and downs to this week. Thanksgiving day was hard- I was homesick! It would have been my first year sitting with the adults at Thanksgiving dinner at the Dittos. Not just that but holidays are about family!!! And I sure love my family. The cure for missing family during a holiday? SERVICE! We made cookies and delivered them with thank you notes all over Arad to members as well as people who we have gotten to know in the community.
|Elder Giron and Elder Ditto|
|Primaria prepping for Ziua Romanilor|
We walked like another 500 miles this week. I am pretty sure I will be able to sing that song by the Proclaimers to my wife with legitimacy in the words! haha
One day we were trying to find a past investigator and wandered through the labyrinth of the communist blocs for 2 HOURS! Finally...we found the bloc, only to find that the person was not there. I didn't want to give up though! We decided to ring one person's door, and the lady was not interested. I noticed her trash was waiting to be thrown out, so I offered to throw it out for her! It felt good to render an act of service, and to not let our efforts go in vain. This is a principle I have learned here. Do everything you think you can do, then do a little more, and that is what will make us become true disciples of Christ. This is easier said than done but it has a lot of applications and I enjoy trying to challenge myself.
There was one day this week where I kind of just felt like going home and playing kendama with the bros, or relaxing and watching a movie with everyone, or laughing with the sissy's! This is all awesome but right now I am here on the Lord's errand. I kept pitting myself and was having a depressed attitude about missionary work. Then, we were walking in a park and and there were some kids chilling by there bikes. I asked them if any of them knew how to do a wheelie, and they said "no." Then they were curious to know if I could do one! So I was like, "ya, like kinda..." One of the kids gave me his bike, I took a couple of practices, and finally got a good one! The kids were pretty impressed, not to brag or anything, but one kid took a video of me and asked if he could post it on Instagram! haha He then requested to follow me on insta.
So this story is not intended to put myself on a pedestal (Although how many missionaries have done wheelies on some kid's bike😃)) But it is an example of having an attitude shift! Once I forgot about my problems and focused on helping others and related to them, all my worries and discomfort went away. This is how God answered my prayer in needing to feel comfort. I think it is so important to remember that we can't just sit on our tooshies all day waiting for stuff to happen, or prayers to be answered... We need to get out and be all in!
So, I am learning and growing and struggling, laughing, joking, wheelieing, and everything in between, but the most important thing is that I know that this is where I am supposed to be... I have been called to teach the people of Romania, and bring them to the knowledge of God's plan.
I love and cherish this great calling, and appreciate all of the prayers that have been sent my way.
Let's get out and be awesome this week!
Love, Elder Alex Ditto
|Free concert in centru- a boy band|
|Prepping for Romanian revolution day|
|Elder Giron levitating|