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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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Learning to Listen

Wassup familia mea!?!?!

Man another wild week in good 'ol Romania. Elder Forsyth and I traveled a whole heap again, as we were trying to figure out where we are going to live in Otopeni. I guess you could say we went house shopping. It felt kind of funny because I could see myself doing this in a couple years down the road... crazy how missions prepare you for life. We had help from a wonderful new member in the Otopeni area, who was fundamental in helping us find what we were looking for. 
My new villa in Otopeni

We found a gorgeous villa (we will live on the first floor) that is spacious, modern, has a working shower, no traces of communism, and even a patio with a barbecue! Ya, I'd say we are pretty taken care of☺ Super stoked to making new friends and growing the church in the northern Bucuresti area. I am confident that the Lord needs me here, and has prepared people for me to find! Woot!!!! 
Living Room


We have a grill!!!

Outside of all the traveling and busy work that we had to do this week, Elder Forsyth and I tried to use the time we did have to its' fullest! It felt good to work hard and to know that the Lord is happy with our efforts. I have made it a goal to actively look for ways to serve others, and also to have a constant prayer in my heart, praying that I might be able to listen to the promptings that the Holy Spirit gives me. I have noticed that we often overlook "spiritual promptings," meaning we expect to be given revelation or clear signs that we need to do something. The spirit does work like this sometimes, but in my life I have realized that positive thoughts or impressions are more regular. 

I had a super cool experience that demonstrates this idea.

Elder Forsyth and I were knocking some communist blocks, and we had a really cool conversation with a lady who had never heard about our church. She said that she would love to learn more and for us to come back the next day. So cool! That is a pretty rare experience here in Romania. We said a prayer of gratitude as we left the block, thanking the Lord for giving us a ray of success on a gray, rainy day. 
Elder Forsyth

The next day was Sunday, which meant church! The branch president who had been in Germany for the past 5 months, came back, and it was so wonderful to see him in action. Although having missionaries conduct a sacrament meeting is kind of cool, there is something so special about having a Romanian who has the same priesthood authority, conduct the sacrament meeting. Sacrament meeting was wonderful- Elder Forsyth and I sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" in Romanian with the guitar. That's right- I played the guitar in sacrament! The two members loved in so much that they wanted another one haha. All together we sang "Come, Come, Ye Saints." There was such a joyful feeling as we sang together. Kind of unique for a sacrament meeting but when you have two members you gotta keep it interesting! By the end of Sacrament we had three others join us and that made it a little more interesting considering one was baptist and the other a creepy dude. Despite this, I felt uplifted by the end of the meeting and everything was fine and dandy. 

After church we went home and cooked up some killer creamy spaghetti; then we prepared for our lesson with the kind lady that we met the day before. I was a little bit nervous because I hadn't taught a lesson to a Romanian in a long time! We said a prayer before we left our apartment,\ and went forward with faith.

We got to the block and knocked on the lady's answer......shoot! Well, I guess no surprise there. We started writing a little note to leave her and as we did so a middle age man walked right passed us and opened up her door and slammed it on us. Ha! So funny when people do that. What did we do? Well we rang the doorbell again of course!....and still nobody came. We decided to knock on the rest of the doors of the block and then started for our way back home. 

As we began walking I felt like we hadn't done enough. Yes we prepared, prayed, and acted, but just giving up after that one block didn't feel right! I then had a little "burning in my bosom" feeling and realized that we need to do another block.

I told Elder Forsyth what I was feeling and he agreed so we tried the very next block. Most of the blocks that you encounter in Romania have a little keypad that you have to ring in order to get in. That means ringing a random person and hoping they will be nice enough to let you in. 

So, we got in (FIRST TRY!!!) and started from the top and worked our way down. Twice, as I explained why we were here in Romania the person stopped me and asked my companion if he knows Romanian better. WHAT THE HECK THAT TICKED ME OFF. Romanians are very blunt and direct but to be told twice in the same hour that your Romanian stinks is kind of discouraging. Rest assured, my Romanian is not that good, but I do feel like I can communicate effectively, and I can definitely understand pretty well. But, apparently Romanians don't think so because the same thing happened a couple other times earlier that week. I try to change that negative energy into motivation to work harder at the language but it is till kind of hard!
Flowers to celebrate the first day of spring

So we kept going and I kept trying to have positive thoughts about the people in this block. It was my turn to knock and a kind older lady answered. I told her that we are from America and came here to share a message that has changed our lives. She told us that some similar people had came to her door a while back and that she wasn't that interested. She finally decided to let us in but only for five minutes, of course.

This lady seemed pretty lonely and we could tell that we had the opportunity to make this lady's day. She was so kind and served us some interesting cake with cheese filling and mineral water, of course. Then we just started talking. We talked about her granddaughter who got married, about Romanian history because she was a history and geography teacher, and then somehow the Book of Mormon was mentioned and we had a wonderful conversation about what we believe and how it has blessed our family's lives. We stayed for 5 minutes plus 40! We had a ball and left the kind lady with a smile on her face. She may have not been too interested in our message but that isn't what matters. God sent us to that lady to bring some light into her day, to be edified through conversation, and to give her an opportunity to learn about the message about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! 

We left with our bellies feeling kinda weird but our souls happy and grateful that we made a difference in somebody's life. God truly cares about all of his children! 

So back to following even the little promptings... I am reminded of a scripture in Moroni 7:

13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God

Amen to that! By following even the little positive thoughts that come into our minds, if we follow them, we are being inspired by God- we are following promptings from the Holy Ghost! And as we continue to follow those promptings God grants us with more. 

Listening and following promptings of the Holy Ghost is VITAL in all of our lives. This is a way how God speaks to us! What a miracle this is. I thank my Heavenly Father for the direction he gives me in my life and pray that I might be able to listen more intently to the promptings that he gives me, that perhaps I might be an instrument in His hands.

Follow the positive thoughts that come into your mind- I promise that you will have a greater happiness and purpose and life. God always blesses us for choosing the right, no matter how small the choice or prompting might seem!
Puterea Missionarului

All my love,


Goodbye Alexandria apartment!

For car lovin' bro

Check it out, Coop!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful letter and wonderful advice!! I am so grateful he's in a better area. Many prayers being said for you Alex ❤