President Hill and I were thrilled yesterday afternoon to meet Elder Barney as he arrived in the Bucuresti airport with his MTC group. He seemed very happy to finally be in the mission field after 12 weeks in the MTC. He was a little tired after his long flights. But we had an enjoyable interview where we learned more about this wonderful young man. It is evident that he comes from a very loving, supportive family. Thank you very much for sending him to us. We were impressed by his maturity, faith and determination to be a great missionary.
After our interviews and some pizza at the office, he began his visa work. Today, after breakfast at the mission home, we visited Cismigiu Park, where Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated the land of Romania for teaching the gospel. I'm attaching a picture of us there. Then, the new missionaries spent the day waiting for visas but were unfortunately pre-empted by a group of refugees from Syria! Our good office elders will help resolve that problem, and get them long-term visas before the 90 day visitor visa expires. Elder Barney will labor initially with Elder Knapp in Constanta, the only city in our mission on the Black Sea.
Thanks again for sending us such a wonderful young man. We could instantly tell he will be a very good, faithful, hard-working missionary.
...and no we haven't gotten our travel plans yet!! I'm so mad too cause I want to know!!!! Hopefully we get them soon (like today!!) Oh guess what!!! I finally got to be a host where I pick up the missionaries!! It was funny because every car that I helped was all sister missionaries! So I didn't help a single elder come into the mtc ha ha I get to be a host missionary next week too so maybe I will help an elder then ha ha :)
Okay so this weekend was awesome because of conference!! It was funny to watch President Monson make the announcement about the missionary age. Everyone was going crazy here in the mtc. It was nuts, which is funny because the announcement doesn't really affect any of us cause we are already on a mission, but it was still crazy! The rest of conference was amazing! My favorite talk was probably the talk by President Monson when he spoke after Jeffrey R Holland (which is my second favorite talk). The talk given by Uchtdorf on Saturday was really good as well. Also if you get the chance, go to lds.org and look up the song "Love one another" by the priesthood choir that sang during the priesthood session. It is so so so good! I just LOVE conference. It was awesome because we have devotionals every tuesday night here in the MTC and this week David A Bednar came and spoke to us!! It was like conference all over again!! It was amazing to see one of the apostles in person. All of them talk with such power and authority . . . which is probably because it's not their words they are saying. It's the Lord's!!
It is so crazy to think that in like a week and a half I will be off to Romania!! And not just there to visit, but to actually live there. Kind of a scary thought especially cause I'm still just learning the language. But I'm actually not that scared. I'm more excited than anything else! It's amazing how much knowledge I have gotten here. I have not only had so much help in learning Romanian, but also I have learned so much about the gospel and about God's purpose for me and for all of us. I'm so happy that we all get to be as a family forever!! I get to be with you all for eternity! It's going to be one fun party up in heaven with everyone :)
Anyways, I love you all so so so much!! Thank you for all the packages, letters, love, and support that you all have for me!! I love you all so so so much!!!! I miss you all!! You are all in my prayers just like I know I'm in yours! Have a wonderful week this week and I will write you next p-day!! :)
Okay so this week we get our new Romanian missionaries and it is a pretty crazy situation. There are only two missionaries coming in who are going to Romania. Both of them are foreign missionaries. There is a sister coming from England and an Elder who is from . . . Italy!! Yeah and the Italian Elder only speaks Italian so it's going to be pretty difficult for him to learn Romanian!! I'm way excited though!
So on Sundays there are movies that play after we have a devotional and usually they are just different talks for us to listen to from past conferences, but sometimes it's an actual movie. The one that was playing last Sunday is called The Testaments: of one fold and one shepherd (or something like that). You should definitely buy this movie!!! It's actually really good! It's about the people in Americas waiting for Jesus to come to the Americas (and of course the movie ends with Jesus coming) but it is actually a pretty good movie! It's got some pretty quotable lines that our district loves to quote.
I'm excited that I only have a couple of weeks left! I think next week we are going to get our travel plans so that I can know where I'm going to stop for layovers and such as I travel to Romania! The last district who left to Romania had a layover all the way in Amsterdam! I wonder where I will get to end up :) but basically I'm so so so excited for the day where I'm going to be at the airport!! I'm going to get an actual meal!!!! I'm so excited to get a real Diet Coke (not this caffeine free crap that's here in the MTC) . . . also I heard that the church came out and said that caffeine isn't against the Word of Wisdom. Apparently tons and tons of BYU students are trying to get caffeine drinks on campus. I would totally join them in trying to get real drinks!!!! ha ha :)
I'm super excited for General Conference!!! (partially for getting out of class all day Saturday!!!) Plus I just want to hear from the Prophet and Apostles!! It's going to be an amazing conference for sure!!
Romanian is still super hard!! Sometimes it can be really frustrating. Actually the only frustrating thing is that there will be times when I want to say a certain thing like in lessons but I just don't have the vocab in my head to say it. Plus it's hard as far as sentence structure goes. Basically I have to think like Yoda. Like if I wanted to say "I love you" it would be "te iubesc" . . . which literally translates to "you I love". Basically I have to change how I structure my sentences for Romanians to understand me!! That's going to be super hard. But I really love learning new things about the language and the people! I'm super excited to go and live in Romania!! Apparently they had the worst winter last year. It's gonna suck having to live in a place that actually has a winter. But!!! I get to wear one of those awesome Russian fur hats so that kind of makes it better :) In class the other day we practiced talking to random people on like a tram and I have realized that I am gonna need to learn how to start up conversations!! I'm not one to be a small talker and that's basically what I'm going to have to do! It's gonna be fun though! :)