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, December 5, 2016

The Magnitude of a Missionary

Holy moly, I feel like I was in this internet cafe like a day ago! That's good, because if time flies by it either means I was in a coma or I just had an incredible week...don't worry it was the second one 😊

Elder Santa Claus
Christmas time in Romania is HERE!! And boy is it wonderful. The lights in the city are up, the Christmas music (yes, they play american Christmas music!) blasts from Primarie every evening, the shops are all decorated, and of course, our apartment is full of Christmas music and a nice little Christmas tree-equipped with lights and ornaments! Special thanks to Ami for sewing me a darling stocking that even has my name tag on it!!! Thanks Ami!! 
Christmas decorations at the apartment
December 1st memorial
Arad Lights
Concert for Ziua Romanilor
Freezing cold but celebrating freedom!
I love the Christmas season, and we are doing many things to help spread the joy of the true meaning of Christmas with others. It is all about CHRIST. If you haven't watched the Christmas video from the church- watch it! I love it because it is all about service, and that is basically all I do as a missionary!
I want to share a couple ways that Elder Giron and I gave service to others throughout the week. 
Beautiful zinnia bouquets that we delivered to sick and lonely sisters in the branch 
Bought some flowers for a member... Romanians hold their flowers UPSIDE DOWN!
There is a lady that is less-active, who is on her death bed in the creepy Romanian hospital. We had the opportunity to visit her a couple times this week, giving her a blessing, delivering her flowers, and just being there for her. The last time we went to visit, we went with the Elder and Sora Day and she asked if we could read to her from the Book of Mormon. As I read from 3 Nephi 18, she totally just started snoring!!!! She was out like a light bulb, which was actually a miracle because she hadn't gotten any sleep the night before. As I spent time with her, I thought about how if Christ were on the earth he would be visiting her and giving her flowers, a blessing, etc. I then thought about how much I have grown to love her, and then how much more God loves her! I know that we are all children of a Heavenly Father who LOVES us. 
First big snow
Old man feeding pigeons
Train set exhibit
I had another impactful experience. We visited a sick little old lady with the sister missionaries and we talked about the Resurrection. This is a really personal doctrine for me, as we have had friends and family pass away over the years, and knowing that I can be with them again brings me so much comfort. It is my own testimony and experiences that really bring the spirit into the meetings. I shared about Grandpa Ken and how I am so happy to know that I can see him again! This was a very tender moment for me and it really brought the spirit in. This lady is actually a very emotional person and has what we call a "weeping and wailing cry" and she did just that as we talked about her family and concerns. As I thought about what could comfort her, I prayed to know how I could help this lady. Eventually, the thought came into my head, "Tell her that God loves her." I did just that and she again weeped and wailed. Awkward,,,but I really felt God's love for her, as well as for me in a very strong and profound way. I never knew I could have love for people I barely even know but this is the wonderful thing about being here.
The mures river
Studying the scriptures on the train
Happy Holidays!

As I thought about this experience, I realized that my words had even more meaning than I realized. I told her that God loves her. I know this to be true. I also know that I am called of God to teach and to minister to his children. Therefore, I was being God's mouth piece to help comfort that sweet little old lady. After that realization, the magnitude of my calling hit me. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and have been called to help his children in Romania. This is a pretty dang big deal! This calling is so humbling, and although I don't always feel qualified to be a disciple of the Master Teacher, I am so grateful that I have the opportunity try and do what Christ would do if he was on the earth, even though I am no where near his level of awesomeness and goodness.
Lots of forest but not as green as the Pacific Northwest
Christ is the perfect example.  His teachings, his attributes, his love, his sacrifice... EVERYTHING he has given us shows us how to have the most happiness in this life and in the next. I am so thankful that we are on this earth to learn and grow and to become more like him. 

Finally, I just want to give a little shout out to my wonderful family... as well as my extended family... It is because of you guys that I am where I am at! I have had the opportunity to share about how the gospel has strengthened my family several times this week and I just get more and more grateful that I have you guys as my family...forever! The gospel has truly blessed every aspect of our lives and I find myself DAILY thinking about how grateful I am for my mom and dad and their example to me. The family is very important in Romania and I am grateful that I can help them strengthen their families as I bear testimony and serve them. Mom and Dad, you truly are raising us in a house that is centered around Christ, even a house of prayer, and fasting, and service...thank you. I will be forever grateful for that and the righteous habits you have helped me establish. SIBS and CUZ's LISTEN TO YOU MOMMY AND DADDY. THEY KNOW WHAT'S UP!
Sarmale at the Banateans
In other news... I had my first meal of Sarmale (cabbage rolls) this week at a members home...HEAVEN!! 

I also made a wonderful language mistake. I was explaining to a member that we were going to the fortress for pday (cetatea), but instead I said we were going to chastity (castitate)! hahaha
Cetatea Soimos
It's so old!!
Alex in his natural habitat...exploring!
So ya, we had another INCREDIBLE P-day! (Of course) We got a referral from the MTC that a guy in Lipova (30km from Arad) wanted a Book of Mormon. 
Village of Lipova
Village in Romania
Streets in Lipova

Elder Giron and I in the ruins
Elder Giron
Hiking in my echoes has become a regular thing... the are indestructible!
Inside cetatea
The pose... taken to Romania

Prepping for a sick picture
Tomorrow is St. Nick day where the kids get candy in their shoes if they were good! The main tradition for Christmas here is making SARMALE (cabbage rolls). Sooo yummy. There are various concerts and activities that go on in centru as well.


Lipove is also home to some fortress ruins... So we went to give the guy a Book of Mormon and it turns out that he had already read the whole thing but returned the book to his friend, as well as read a Liahona (magazine that the church puts out internationally) that he had. He like gave us a whole summary of the Book of Mormon and told us that he took Moroni's promise and prayed to know if the book is true and receive an answer! WE SET A BAPTISMAL DATE FOR JANUARY!!!!! I am so humbled and grateful that God is using us in amazing ways and that he prepared a great and humble man, who has a single room and a dog to keep him company, to hear the gospel. I feel on top of the world! Afterwards, we climbed to the ruins and it was an unreal feeling to think that I was in a place that is older than all of the US.. 1400's people!!! I am so grateful to be serving in Romania. I know this is where I am supposed to be!
The front part of fortress

Castle ruins


The Lord is really blessing us with great experiences here. Our teaching pool is really growing and we are working hard!

We had a "4th floor last door" experience (in reference to a talk that Elder Uchtdorf gave at the General Women's broadcast). We knocked a whole block and talked to one lady who didn't seem interested. When we were walking back down we saw her smoking outside and had a little conversation with her and invited her to English language class that we teach each week. She also said that she wanted a Restoration pamphlet! It was just a great experience because we got to share our purpose and have a meaningful conversation. We are going to check back with her this week to see if she is interested in learning more about the gospel!

I love you all! Share that Christmas cheer with everyone!

Love, Elder Ditto
Selfie at the fortress


  1. Loved the letter also! Sara, how thoughtful and dedicated to send a stocking already!! Alex, you may not think you are on the same level as our beloved Savior, but because you work "through Him" (and hold His Priesthood), you are! And, you are also developing those same great attributes that you admire because you have chosen these brave and righteous experiences. YOU are awesome and amazing!! Keep up the good (and humble work)!!

    Love, Aunt Laurie

  2. Loved the letter also! Sara, how thoughtful and dedicated to send a stocking already!! Alex, you may not think you are on the same level as our beloved Savior, but because you work "through Him" (and hold His Priesthood), you are! And, you are also developing those same great attributes that you admire because you have chosen these brave and righteous experiences. YOU are awesome and amazing!! Keep up the good (and humble work)!!

    Love, Aunt Laurie

  3. Thank you, Alex. I can feel your love for the Romanian people. I love them too because you love them. Sister G