Alex's Mission Address:

Elder Alex McLean Ditto

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

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Missionary Marathon

Wooo dawgy that was a crazy week! There was never a dull moment. Here are some of the highlights from this week...
Elder Ditto
Arad and Mures River
Mures River
  • It all started with me "dedicating" a Book of Mormon to our friend, Mihail... the one who we went to yoga with last week. Then we meditated and listened to a creepy recording of a voice that I had no clue what it was saying... needless to say we didn't go back! 
Gai Monastary for the Orthodox church

Gai Monastary with Elder Ditto
  • After 3 attempts. finally got my visa paper work all filled out! 
I am feeling very Olympic today!
Jamaica loves me!! dead?  (favorite lines from the movie "Cool Runnings)
  • One day I talked to a gypsy and asked how much I could by a gypsy skirt for. (They are very colorful and beautiful) she said 3000 lei of course, and I used my Tarzan Romanian and bartered it to 1500! On my way to becoming a good salesman. Ha! 
Pigon Graffitti
  • Dinner at the Elder and Sora Days' (senior missionary couple serving in Arad)... they made Candied Chicken. I was so surprised that they made it because mom said that I would die for it!!! Thanks mom!!

Candied Chicken

5 Chicken Breasts (sliced into 1.5 inch thickness)
2 cups dry Italian bread crumbs

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
¼ cup prepared mustard
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¾ cup water
10 pineapple rings

  1. Dip sliced chicken in bread crumbs. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; dredge chicken in bread crumb mixture and brown in skillet, about 3 to 4 minutes each side.  Layer chicken on a greased 9x13 inch baking dishes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and water.  Bring to a boil, and pour over chicken.  Cover baking dishes with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in preheated over for about 25 min, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.  Top each piece with a pineapple ring, and serve.  (You can make this ahead and just wait to do the final cooking in the sauce to the day you are ready to eat.)

  • We volunteered for a triathlon in Arad, and set up the course! Such a great way to find and talk to people.
Service - setting up for the course

  • Speaking of Triathlon... Elder Giron and I RACED in a 2k Saturday. It was so much fun. We ran like a total of 5 miles that day, mostly in out proselyting clothes, running to the race because we were late, running to the church because no tram's came, etc. It was pouring rain but a great experience and we met many awesome people in which we shared our purpose with. 
Cross 2k with Paul


Gold Nuggets!!!

  • I made a taco and danced while doing it for my talent at the talent show for the branch! Every one loved it. The theme was Mexican food and most of the people had never had Mexican food. They are all fans now!
Picture courtesy of Elder and Sora Day

Noaptea Talentelor
  • We also got chased by a lion dog or something... I couldn't tell because we ran down 6 flights of stairs, with our lives on the line! There are so many dogs here, and when the owner says a command to the dog in an aggressive way... ya. You should run!
Old rowing shack thing
The FIVE rings!!
For p-day we tried to go to a fortress...turns out it is military base right now and we could not enter. 

The theme of this week was running. That's why I am calling this week a "missionary marathon!" In long distance races, there are times where you feel good, and more times where you feel exhausted and ready to give up. It requires a constant feeding of hope to the mind, reminding yourself that the race is worth it. Knowing from experience, when you give your all in a race, you can look back with satisfaction and gratitude for being able to endure the hard moments of the race, and see the rewards for doing your best.
Streets of Romania

This weeks marathon had its' fair share of hills! There were a couple days where we just didn't have much success. One day in particular, three of our appointments got cancelled. That day we hadn't really had any success in sharing the gospel, and all the cancellations for that night just made it harder. I have been really trying to live with greater hope. We all need hope in order to carry on through life. If not, what would be the point of our lives? Sometimes it is hard to have hope as a missionary, especially in an area that seems like everyone is stubborn in their ways. I think we can develop hope in many different ways, but the way I try to focus on is through my attitude. I am convinced that if we live our lives with a more positive and optimistic attitude, we will be happier, more successful, and overall better individuals. 

Keeping this in mind, I tried to race with hope. This required a conscious effort to endure and be happy, even when it got difficult. All of this hoping paid off, though! 
Streets of Romania

One day, we were walking to the park, when we ran into a member of the branch who said that he knows of a lady who might be interested in learning about the gospel. He said he was going over to her house right now, and that we could come! The meeting with Livia went awesome, we got to answer her questions through the first lesson of the restoration. We even got to help take apart a bed for her! Livia is now interested in learning more about the gospel-  a new investigator! 

After enduring and having hope, Heavenly Father placed in our path someone who needed the gospel. This was such a testimony builder for me! I KNOW that God will bless us when we have hope and trust in His timing. I hope we can all live with more hope this week.

This reminds me of a scripture in Alma 26:27:
Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

... the Sons of Mosiah were about to turn back, when the Lord comforted them and told them to be patient in their afflictions, and they will be made instruments in His hands! I felt like I experienced a little of that this week.
Companion selfie

I would write so much more, but I don't have anymore time! I will try to be more efficient next week!  
Corn, Egg, Bacon pizza - SO GOOD!

The Book of Mormon is true. God is real and hears and answers our prayers! 

I love you all, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Missionary work is the best!

See ya'll next week!

Love, Elder Ditto
Elder Giron

Are you eating at home or eating out more? 
  • 50/50 it seems like. I am trying to do more at home
How is your cooking?  Is Elder Giron a good cook?
  • He is a great cook. We usually do a pasta together maybe twice a week. I do a lot of sandwiches and fruit/veggies with granola bars.  Elder Giron is going to try and be vegetarian for a while so this week we did our grocery shopping separately.
What is your money allowance for the month?
  • I have 1000 lei... about $250 USD a month. It is definitely enough! I usually get a little pastry every other day or so too.  I use my own personal money mainly for clothing and souvenir type things are what I need to spend my own money on. I am planning on buying some shoes today and getting my pants tailored! 
What is your daily schedule like?
  • So we wake up at 6:30 am and are ready by 8 am. Personal and Companion study till 10 am, and then we are out of the house. Most days we don't come home for lunch. Back to the apartment by 8 pm for language study and wind down for the day. We have "mission prayers" where everyone in the mission prays at the same time (10am and 10pm). Kinda cool! We proselyte from 6pm to 9 on p-days but we switched it to 3 hours during the day this pday so we could actually be out when there are people. All about creativity!
You mentioned getting your pants tailored - are you getting them taken in or out?
  • My pants are fitting just fine! I got all of them tailored... each were like $5 dollars to get done. Such a good deal!  They are more European now - the legs are narrow at the ankle.
What the weather like?
  • It actually snowed a little bit today! I am staying warm though... my two jackets that I bought are incredible!

1 comment:

  1. Kate is here today and came in while I was reading this. She said, hey, that's my cousin! Grant thinks he looks like Tyler from power rangers. I love reading his letters! So many memories and a love for those missionaries. It's hard work!!