We did not receive an email from our missionary today so I decided to share our email we sent to him. Elder Josh Barney will return home Wednesday evening at the St. George Airport!!
Dear Elder Josh Barney,
As I sit here and write you for one last time I have thought about what I would write. First and foremost I want to tell you that I love you with all my heart. I want you to know that I am so very proud of you!! This journey has been exhilarating, rewarding, difficult, scary, and much more but you have served faithful, honest in heart, and stood as a witness of God and our Savior for the past 24 months, so now as you end your mission I have one important thing to say to you --- It is time for your work to be done there and you are welcome to come home. :) With Love and great respect, Mom
Dear Son. This is your Dad. Your mom told me , that she told you, to get your BUTT home!. I love you son, and hope top see you soon. Love Dad.
Brother :) see you wednesday.. love you :) -Swag Master
Brother bear :) :) PPPPAAAARRRRTTTTYYY TTTTTIIIIIIMMMMMEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY CRAP IT HAS ARRIVED!!!!! I can't even believe how soon you will be home!! I can't wait to see you! I'll have to tell you all about the recent trips with the boys! I love you so much! Party on wayne :)
First of all.... 9 DAYS!!!!! I get to see all of you in 9 days!!!! :) :)
This week has been pretty good! It's been crazy to think that it's all coming to an end soon. This is my last full week here in Romania. Now I just gotta make it count!! ha ha :) I don't know if the letter you guys received is the same letter that they handed to us missionaries, but I'm assuming that it is. Yeah they both served in Italy and met in the MTC... Psh they are one of THOSE couples ;) ha ha yeah I'm sorry for the no pictures! You will see all of them pretty soon though. Yeah this week I gotta put together all my luggage and everything. I just hope that I can get it all in and under the weight limit!! Momma you are getting SOOOOO OLD!!!!! ;) ha ha eh I'm just kidding momma! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I guess my birthday present will just be me coming home.... sorry if it's a late by a couple of days :) Momma I miss you so so much and I can't wait to see you soon!! :)
We are still having fun with the english classes!! They are always fun to teach. We also had a zone conference this past week!! It was actually a really good conference. I finally got to meet President Ivory for the first time. He is actually a pretty cool guy! It's kinda funny though because I had an interview with him and I was like "yeah I leave in just a couple weeks". I kinda wish he was my mission president for longer because the things he is changing in the mission are pretty cool. He's leaning towards a different way of doing missionary work and stuff. I could type it all and stuff but I'll just wait to tell you all in person. Oh the other really cool thing about zone conference is I got to take a picture of 4 generations of missionaries! So like there was me, Elder Hokkanen, Elder Lenhart, and the newest missionary Elder De Luna. Hmm what else, so we still aren't sure about what is happening with the sisters here in Iasi. Elder Bonner asked President and he said that he didn't know himself yet... so we will see what happens. It's sad to hear about Chalet's daughter Kylie. You're right though, she is definitely in a better place now. Well momma I can't believe how close it is till I am home with you!! I miss you so much!!
Hey momma!! This week has been pretty good. English has been going pretty great so far! We have a couple of new students who are really cool. We might actually start meeting up with one of them this week and talk about the church, but we will see what happens. We always try to play games in our class, it's always more fun that way! :) ha ha So the thing with finding an apartment has gotten even more stressful... so apparently President Ivory is going to get rid of all the districts in the mission that are "dating districts", where there are an even amount of elders and sisters. We have 2 companionships of each, so next transfer we are either going to lose the set of sisters that just came in or we are getting another companionship... and until President decides which one he wants we aren't able to sign a contract for the new sisters. I mean, they might leave next transfer due to this new rule so for the moment the sisters just have to stay together. The crappy thing is that if President decides to put another companionship in Iasi, then the district leader will have to find 2 apartments!!! Luckily for me though I will be home by that time so I'm not worrying about it :) Geez don't even bring up mosquitos with me!!! I have sooooo many scars from those blasted creatures!!! You'll have to see them when I get home ha ha but yeah things are just going great. It's weird to think that I'm so close to the end. I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can though!!! This week we have Zone Conference, so I finally get to meet President Ivory. I'll have to let you know how that goes!! Well I love you so so much momma! I can't wait to see you soon!! :)
By the time you are reading this it will be less than ONE MONTH till I will be home!! PARTAY!!!! I honestly can't believe that the time is coming up. I'm only going to email you guys like 4 more times or something like that! Then I can just tell you in person about what has happened. This week we have worked hard to find an apartment for the new sisters... and we haven't had much luck!! The hard thing about finding an apartment for 2 people is having enough space for 2 separate beds... we have found plenty of great apartments but they all have just 1 bed (you know... for them married couples). So we are still working on the apartment! English starts tomorrow and we are really excited for that!! No I haven't met President or Sister Ivory... I'm only going to meet them twice before I'm home! Once in a couple weeks for our zone conference and the last one for when I have my "leaving home" interview. He has already changed a lot of rules and stuff about how we do missionary work... and it's only been a week!! We are having more of an emphasis on helping the members and doing service for them than to just do contacting and finding by ourselves. Like even if the members don't give us a billion referrals, Ivory just wants us to help and serve the members. Which is something that I completely agree with! There's a lot of little stuff he has changed but I'll just wait till I'm home to tell you guys all about it. It's much easier than just typing it all. So the reason why there are BYU students here is they have this service program where the students help out at an orphanage. Speaking of Elder Farnworth, he goes home this week!! It was nice to see him at last transfers zone conference. It sounds like things are going great at home. I can't wait to be with all of you soon!! :) I love you tons momma!!
Hey momma!!! This week has been pretty good. It's been a lot of apartment searching... which has been a little frustrating!! We looked online at some apartments through this real estate agency and when we found one that we actually wanted to look at we tried calling the agency... and nobody answers! We've sent them emails and kept calling them but they don't seem to want to respond to us. So we are still searching for an apartment for the sisters. That's probably what we are going to do later today. So yesterday we got a text from the AP's saying that President Ivory got into the mission and is offically the mission president! President Hill left the country today. That's really weird to think about!!! There haven't been any crazy announcements of big rule changes or anything like that... but who knows what's going to happen!! But yeah it's super crazy how the mission is winding down!! I'm glad to hear that you guys have started making signs for me!!! That'll be fun to see when I get back :) It sounds like it's a HUGE sign!!! I forgot to write about the whole jury duty thing that you sent me!! I think that's hilarious!! I hope you kept the letter so that I can read it myself when I get back! ha ha Well I miss you tons momma!! :)
Well hello there everyone!!! So basically the main thing that happened this week is we found out about transfers!! I'm going to be staying in Iasi with Elder Bonner for my last transfer!!! It's really weird knowing about how the rest of my mission is going to play out. I mean freak, it's only 6 weeks left!! That's crazy to me. The other elders are staying the same (McAllister and Harper). The new thing though is that we are getting another set of sisters here in Iasi!! So we have two companionships of Elders and two companionships of Sisters! That's gonna be something new! And apparently we have to spend the next little while looking for a new apartment for the new sisters... so that's probably all that I'll be doing for the next week. Church has been great. It's been great with the students from BYU here... they bring the attendance up by 12 or so which helps a lot. We have church at 10 AM. Heck that would be legit if we got some unicycles!!! I would have to learn how to use a unicycle, but it'd be worth it! I'm sad to hear about Grandma and Grandpa. I'll be sure to pray about them! Geez getting old just sounds terrible. I have heard from Elder Knapp a couple of times and invited him to my homecoming, so hopefully he is able to come! We will just see I guess. I'm pretty sure that President Hill leaves in a week or so. That's weird!! Well I'm not really sure what to say as far as words of wisdom for the ward... just go read a fortune cookie or something ;) ha ha well I love you tons momma!! :)
Hello there momma!! So this weekend we find out about what happens for my last transfer and then next week will be transfers! I'm hoping to stay because I love the branch here and I love my companion, but at the same time it wouldn't be too bad to visit one last place in Romania before I go. I guess we will just see what happens!! I'll try to send more pictures if I get a chance. I hope that daddy had a fantastic Father's Day!! I'll make sure to tell him happy fathers day. I'm glad that you invited Grandpa and Dot over for dinner (and a pretty delicious dinner by the sounds of it!!). I forget that Brian Jones is getting home here pretty quick! And I'm not far behind him!! ha ha Yeah President and Sora Hill have about 2 weeks left in the country... actually I don't think I will even see them again before they leave. The new mission president is having us missionaries have another zone conference next transfer so that he can go around the mission and visit with everyone. So I'll meet him at least a couple of times before I go home. I guess we will just have to see what happens!! I miss you tons momma!! :)
Happy Father's Day Daddy!!!!! Well technically it has already passed, but I figured I'd still tell you now!!! I love you so so much Daddy!! Thanks for everything you do for me :) Love you tons!! :)
Hello everyone!!! Sorry for the delay on this email, but I was busy with stuff like the zone conference and english classes. The zone conferenece was great! Going back to Chisinau was a fun experience too because I have been there many a times before. When we were up at Chisinau we first stayed at the hotel that we stayed at last time, then the next night we just stayed at missionaries' apartments. It was all pretty fun!! This was President Hill and Sora Hill's last zone conference. They won't leave for another 2 or 3 weeks... something like that. That's pretty funny that Pres Hill added me as a friend on Facebook!! ha ha That's great though! Things are going great with Bonner and I! I'm kinda hoping to be able to stay with him for my last transfer. But I guess we will see what happens. English classes are going about the same as usual. One of our students brought Elder Bonner and I Sarmale because we always talk about how much we love sarmale... so they brought us some!!! It's was cool!! It's definitely HOT here... I'm always just sweating!! I'll definitely bring home some romanian stuff that I use for keepsake. It doesn't surprize me that Austin Morris got his mission call changed after all that has been happening in Ukraine. It's crazy to think that I was in Moldova which is right next to Ukraine!! Crazy!! What's with this belly laugh stuff?!?! But yeah I've had many belly laughs this week. I don't really feel like writing them down though (sorry to dissapoint!!) Geez time certainly is moving by fast!! I'll be home soon ha ha Well as far as reading stuff goes, I'm almost done reading the Doctrine and Covenants in Romanian... I'm at like Section 134 or something like that. Then in the Book of Mormon I'm going through... the Book of Mormon ha ha I'm hoping to at least start the Book of Mormon in Romanian before I leave. Anywho momma I miss you tons!! :)
I had no idea that it was Father's Day so soon!! Happy Father's Day Daddy!!!! Hopefully the rest of the family gets you something nice! I'll definitely make sure to think about you. well I miss you tons daddy!! Love you!!
Well hello there everyone!!! Things are going just the same with me. English classes are going now. Those are pretty fun to teach and stuff. That is crazy to hear about Braxon and his mission!! That kinda sucks that he won't be seeing Tylan for 4 years... that is just WAY too long!! ha ha That's cool that you got to see Dillon Cafferty!! Yeah I'm sure it is a huge different with people on the streets and stuff. I mean, it will definitely be something different with me because there are tons of people who walk around here especially compared to home. It is true though that my whole life it's been like "mission, mission, mission"... and soon it is going to be over!!
I'm glad that you are proud of what I am doing!! I'm sorry that I don't really have much to talk about though... it's just all the same stuff for me day in and day out... so I just feel like I've already told you about how life is ha ha I'll try to take some more pictures!! And of course I'll be praying for the Spirit ha ha :) I love you momma!!
Oh gosh momma!! Sooooooooo many questions!!! ha ha hmm lets see here... This week has been great. I'm feeling better, but my allergies are still terrible. Sometimes my eyes itch so bad from the allergies that I find myself scratching my eyes non-stop for a couple of minutes... basically my eyes are just red all the time ha ha I don't get why my allergies are so bad but whatever. I take allergy pills for them but it doesn't really get rid of them. My companion and I are doing great! I'm sorry for the lack of pictures... I'll try to send some later if I remember. We start english classes again tomorrow. Hopefully they turn out great. My guess is that I'll stay in Iasi till I go home, but I won't find out till the end of this transfer. We don't have any new investigators. Just Kevin and Robert. Yes momma I still write in my journal from time to time. I'm sure it's starting to get real hot at home... it definitely is starting to get pretty hot here!! I'm starting to get a bad tan line where my shirt collar usually is ha ha again I'll try to send some pictures later for you guys!! :) I love you and miss you too momma!!
Well this week has been okay. We went to transfers in Buch and I only brought my short sleeved white shirt and it turned out that there was a nice rain/storm the whole day I was there... so now I'm paying the consequences and I've gotten a cold!! And with my allergies acting up real bad!! But everything besides that is great! My new comp is pretty cool. His name is Elder Bonner. He is from Utah. The whole rest of the district is great too! So yeah I'm now 21!!!! WAAHOO!!!! I didn't really do much for my birthday at all. We just traveled back to Iasi from Buch and just sort of got settled in. I'm glad to hear that people wrote me on Facebook!! Um so of course I got my itinerary on it!!!! Ha ha nice job calling the 11:05 arrival momma!! I thought it would at least be like 7pm or something like that. Also you better make sure that we meet up with Bangerter that night!! Even if we have to stop by his house before going to In n Out!! Make sure it happens!!! That's cool that someone got their mission call to the same mission as Mitchy!! Maybe Mitchy will train the guy! Who knows?! Well I guess God does.;) So I haven't had to speak in church for a while... but we will see what happens in the near future I guess ha ha I really do love the church here though. There are lots of great members. We aren't doing the english classes right now because the transfer just started, but we will start next week. We met up with Kevin yesterday. He isn't really progressing too much, but we are still working with him. Our other investigator Robert has all his exams this week at school so he hasn't really had time to meet up with us. We're still trying though!!
It was SOOOOOOOOOO nice to be able to see you all!!! I definitely love you all and miss you all a ton!!! I'm definitely glad that I was able to skype all of you. I'm just surprized that this is the last time that I will be skyping you all until I get home!! CRAZY!!!! I definitely am happy and enjoying my mission!! Thanks for the birthday wishes!!! It was hilarious to hear you all sing happy birthday to me while sucking helium balloons!! That was fantastic!! Speaking of stuff from the package, French and I just tried making the cake that was in there. We still need to frost it, but it turned out ok. Our oven doesn't heat everything the way it's supposed to (like different areas of the oven are hotter than others) so the cake didn't turn out like it's supposed too... but I'm sure it'll taste good (I'm going to go and eat some after this!). I'm glad you got to talk to grandma and grandpa Barney for me!! Momma I hope that you had a wonderful mothers day and I hope you always remember that you are a wonderful mom!! I love you tons momma :)
Well hello there everyone!! Well we decided to not go on our awesome excursion to visiting other places because of the weather... so I don't have the awesome pictures for it. We are wanting to go later when the weather is better so it will happen sometime!! I do have a couple of pictures to send though so hopefully you enjoy them! This week has been a pretty good week. We still are meeting with Robert and Kevin whenever we can. This past week we had interviews with President and Sora Hill... it's weird because they are the last interviews that I will be having with them! They are leaving at the end of June. Then the new mission president will be here and after that I'm basically gone too! So this week we find out the transfer board on what is going to happen next transfer and then next week is transfers. French and I are hoping to stay together so hopefully we do!! Lets see... so next week you guys are free all sunday morning so we can just plan on Sunday morning at around 9 in the morning for you guys. It might be a little earlier or later depending on what happens, so just make sure that Skype is up on the computer so that if I happen to call you guys will hear it and then we can all talk!! I'm so so excited to Skype you guys!!!! WAAHOO!!!!! Question: How has the mission changed your life forever?? Well momma that question is definitely a deep one!! ha ha just ask me the question when we Skype because it will be easier to explain stuff than just typing it! It's not as fun typing things as it is to just say them!
The first one is of us at the Easter Orthodox service! Gotta love the candles!!
The second one is a couple of us from our Easter sunday church walk! The one on the far left is a member. The one on my left is the Branch President. Then there's me (in my new suit I bought not too long ago). Then to my right is Elder Reid, Elder French, and on the far right is our new investigator Robert!
The last picture is us missionaries at a members house for an Easter meal!!
Well things are going great here. Just the usual stuff I guess. We are still teaching English. The branch is doing great still too. We haven't really been meeting with Kevin much because he has been busy, but we have started meeting with another cool guy named Robert. He is from english and he is really cool! We have only taught him the Restoration, but he took it really well! Well the food that I make myself is basically just pasta, soup, and sandwiches. Basically the stuff I would make at home ha ha I would like to learn how to make Sarmale. I'll try making it sometime soon before I leave. I guess they do look like egg rolls, but they aren't really at all ha ha oh and they boil them. The candy bars are great here! I really love Milka bars, but I think my favorite candy bar is called a Lion bar. I'm going to buy some before coming home so all you guys can try it. I usually drink Coke if I have the chance, or Mountain Dew. I haven't had a Diet Coke in months though so that will be something weird to drink when I get back. I can't wait to see you guys for Mothers day!!!! WAAHOO!!!! Well it sounds like I could Skype you guys at any time, so I will write you guys next week and let you know when I will be doing it. I'll have to talk to French about when he is able to do it with his family. Well momma it's not like the 1 hour church is how it is every week (although I personally think it should) ha ha I'm glad you are still enjoying the primary! Actually speaking of the articles of faith, that is what we talked about in church this past sunday for Priesthood. The Branch President asked us missionaries how it was learning the Articles of Faith in primary and of course I told them that I learned all the Articles of Faith from you when you used to tuck me in bed as a kid. They thought it was something cool ha ha It definitely made me miss you momma!! ha ha It sounds like there are real problems with the palm trees at home!!! Are we going to get some new palm trees or what?!
I miss you all so so much!!! I can't wait to Skype you all soon!!!! :)
Well Happy Easter to all of you too!!!!! Easter was pretty great. Just like last year, we were able to go to an orthodox church service... at midnight!! It was great (mainly because I got to be outside past curfew)... it was a lot of fun. I did take pictures of it but I won't be able to send them right now. I'll try to send them later if I remember to do it. For our church service, we just had an hour for sacrament meeting and then afterwards the branch just went on a nice Easter sunday walk to the park. Best Idea Ever! ha ha It was all great though! After the walk we went to Sora Lidia's house (a member) and she gave us some good Romanian food. Lots of eggs! That was fun! This past week I also got what us missionaries call "The Death Call"... basically all the call is is that the mission office calls us and reminds us of our release date and asks us what airport we want to fly to. Then the ask for a parent email so that they can email you guys my travel plans (I think) and other stuff I guess. So basically if you guys get an email that tells of my travel plans, I kindly ask that you forward it to me so that I can know too!! But other than that things are still going well. We only were able to meet with Kevin once this past week. We are hoping to meet a couple more times with him this week.
Well hello there everyone!! Things are going about the same as usual. This past Saturday we had a meal with the whole branch at the church for Easter. The members made some delicious Sarmale (google it). This coming weekend is Easter for us in Romania. So on Saturday night I get to go to a midnight Orthodox service for Easter!!!! Partay!! One of the few times that I get to stay out past the usual curfew (I still don't like curfew momma!!!) so I'm excited!! So Iasi is basically known for being one of the most Orthodox based cities in Romania. There are seriously TONS of churches around here. They do have a college campus here but it's not really around where we live. Yeah I know that I'm supposed to be sending more pictures, but I just never seem to take any. I'll try to get some to you eventually! Things with Kevin are going about the same. We still meet with him from time to time. I feel like he is slowly (but surely) progressing. I guess we will just see what happens over time!
Well things have been roughly the same around here. We had transfers this past week so we have a couple of new people in the district. French and I didn't get to go to Buch for transfers because we are staying together, so we have just been staying in Iasi for this past week while everyone else was doing meetings and stuff in Buch. I guess the only real different thing this week is that we had General Conference!! I only got to see the morning sessions of Saturday and Sunday. Later this week I'll have to go and watch the rest of them. But the ones I did get to see were pretty good!! I definitely loved Uchtdorf's talk about the bread and the restaurant. It was good. Monson's was good as usual. I hope the other sessions were as good as the morning sessions that I saw. The other cool thing was that our investigator kevin came to watch the conference with us. I hope he really felt the spirit while listening to it!
And as for my flying in date, I actually don't know the exact time or anything on when I am getting in. The mission office is supposed to be calling me either this transfer or next transfer to ask me where I want to fly in at. So I guess I'll just have to wait for them to call me.
Hello!!! So I found what is happening with this coming transfer... and I'm staying here in Iasi with Elder French!!!!! WAAHOO!!!! I'm really excited because I didn't really want to have much of anything changing. So yeah I'm staying another one here in Iasi!! Well I guess that's like the major news that I really have for this week. We have still been meeting with Kevin. I actually really love the branch here. There are a lot of great members here. The weather is getting better here!!! That's really great because now I actually want to go outside and walk around. I just got to take advantage of the weather before it gets burning hot!! Yeah sorry for the lack of pictures.... I just never think of taking pictures. I'm pretty sure that I have forgotten all the articles of faith by memory... I mean it's been quite a long time momma since you used to tuck me in at night and help me out with them!! ha ha I'm definitely looking forward to watch general conference. I'm not really sure when I will be watching it but oh well... just think though, the next general conference I'm going to be at home with all of you!! WAAHOO!!! Well this coming week basically it's only going to be French and I here in Iasi because the other missionaries are going to be in Buch for meetings and stuff. Anyway, we will see how things go this week!! ...
Hello there family!!!! This week was pretty good. Just a typical week here in the mission. We are still meeting with Kevin every so often. This past week we have been teaching him about the Plan of Salvation!! It's been good. I'm glad you liked the pictures I sent. And yeah I was wearing my glasses because whenever I have to go somewhere else for a couple days I just wear my glasses. It's easier that way! Things between French and I are going great! This week we find out what is happening with transfers, and we are both hoping to stay together for another transfer. So yeah we do get our hands on the conference talks, but a little while after conference. But we get to use internet every week so I will be able to read it and watch it when conference comes around. Anywho, I'm glad you all are super proud of me!! I definitely miss you all so so much!!! And as for something inspiring.... Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer!! There's nothing more inspiring than that!
Hello again everyone!!! So yeah this past week I was in Chisinau again!! It was a lot of fun to be back in Chisinau for a couple of days. The zone training meeting was pretty good. Just a typical meeting where President Hill, Sora Hill, and the AP's get up and talk about some stuff. When we were in Chisinau we got to stay the night at a hotel!!! It was pretty fun!! The hotel wasn't as nice as they are in America (obviously). I'll send you a picture or two with us in the hotel. I also bought some cool stuff when I was there. I'll have to show you all when I get back. Well with those winter boots, I have already gotten rid of them. I think I just left it at an apartment that I was in. It was too big to put in my suitcases!! Geez from hearing about all these changes back at home, I'm sure that St. George is completely different from what I will remember about it!! I guess we will see when I get back home!
I love you all so so much!!
here's a couple of pics from me and my moldova trip! The first picture is (from left to right) Libbert, Van Dyke, French, Rose, and Me!
The other picture is French and I in our hotel room!
I guess you can say that I'm doing a "mini Spring Break" this coming week. We have a zone conference that is going to be in Chisinau! So I'm going to go back to Moldova for a couple of days for a meeting, plus to look around Moldova to see if there is any other things that I want to get from there. It will be pretty fun. It's just amusing to me that I have to go to a completely different country just for a meeting. Sounds like a partay to me!! This week has been pretty good. We have met up with Kevin a couple of times this past week. He is still doing good and wants to learn. That's always good. English classes have been going good too. We haven't had anyone who wants to meet up and talk about the gospel yet, but we will see what happens in the next little while. And momma, I'm pretty sure I have told you in the past, but Dryers basically don't exist here. All the apartments I have had have all had washers and then a drying rack for drying the clothes. We don't share our apartment with any other missionaries. For some reason, our mission tries to avoid pairing up companionships into the same apartment. It would probably just be too much fun for us!!! I'm pretty sure that this past week was the first week in AGES where the sun was out!!! WAAHOO!!!! I'm hoping that the sun is just going to stay and that winter will just be gone completely!! Yup I definitely love that Chunky Monkey Ben n' Jerry's!!! Yummy!
Things are going pretty well here in Iasi. Sorry momma, but I still haven't taken many pictures. I'll try to work on that!! The only thing I have heard is that Ukraine is having some riots, but I didn't know that they have started moving the missionaries out of Ukraine. That's some pretty crazy stuff!!! It's weird that it is so close too. Well this new convert is named Danuti. He is about 19 or so. Well for last p-day we went bowling. We were thinking of doing the same this week but we might just end up going to the church and play some games. We'll see. The weather is terrible. It's not snowing anymore, but everyday is just cloudy, and gloomy skies. It's really taking it's toll on me too. I miss the sun. I haven't really seen it for a month or two. It's funny that the weather can have such an effect on me!!!
Anyways, this week I would say that the main things that have happened are that we had zone training meeting. Pretty typical zone training meeting. It was fun seeing a lot of other missionaries though. My whole galati district is still in this zone, so I was able to see everyone that was in Galati. That was fun. The other main thing this week is that we have been meeting with this kid named Keyvun (Kevin). Keyvun isn't his real name. It's his "rapper" name. Keyvun wants to be a rapper someday. He is pretty determined too. He is learning english so that he can learn how to rap in english. He knows english pretty well so we usually talk with each other in english. We have met with him a couple of times. Usually when we meet with him he just wants to talk about music and english, but this past time we talked with him he said that he actually wanted to talk about the gospel!! French and I weren't expecting it at all, but we were able to pull together a pretty good lesson. It was really cool!!!
I'm still working hard to find people to teach. It's been great though here in Iasi. I feel like there are more and more opportunities here. It's been good.
Ha ha I'm glad that you all enjoyed the magazine pictures!!! It was a lot of fun making. But yeah things are going pretty well for me here. I'm now in my new city Iasi. Momma I don't know why you were thinking that is an "L" because it is an "I". Well I guess a lowercase L looks like an I. But yeah that's how you pronounce it. Yosh. Ha rhymes with Josh! Anywho we live about 30 minutes walking distance from the church. There are 4 elders and 2 sisters. French has been in the mission since last summer. The branch is pretty big. Well compared to Galati. But yeah this week we had transfers, so I was in Bucharest for a day or two. Then on Saturday here in Iasi there was a guy who got baptized!! So that was pretty cool to see a baptism! We haven't started the english classes here yet because we just had transfers. We will start them up in like a week and a half or something like that.
I've been hearing quite a lot about the riots happening in Ukraine. I wonder if it will get bad enough to where they have to take out the missionaries. I pray not!! That's terrible news that all the palm trees are dying off!!!!! I love palm trees!!! Well just make sure there are some when I get back home ha ha
daddy, you definitely are hitting the nail on the head when you talk about happiness. It's the coping skills of being able to take on anything life hits us with. No matter what happens we can always find a greater peace. But yeah daddy, I'm still working on the language!!! Actually I got a pretty good compliment from the branch president here in Iasi. He said that he was surprised that my name wasn't a romanian name because I was talking to him just like a romanian would. He said my accent was great and everything. Pretty good language compliment if you ask me!!
Monday, February 17, 2014 Well this week was a pretty eventful week, I guess you could say. We had interviews with President Hill. It's always fun to be able to meet up with him and talk with him for a little bit. I think the biggest piece of news though that I have this week is that we got the transfer board... and I'm getting moved. AGAIN!!! I went to Bucharest for 6 weeks and then moved me to Galati, and now after 6 weeks in Galati I'm being moved again!! Geez it's like President doesn't know what to do with me or something!! ha ha But yeah so next week I will be in my new city. I'm going to a city called Iasi. I have been to Iasi for like a day for a meeting but other than that I haven't really been there. It's a pretty cool city from what I remember. My new companion is going to be Elder French. Elder French is awesome!! He was in my district back when I was in Buch. He is from Cedar City, so we were able to talk a lot about home and stuff like that. So now I get to have (at least) 6 weeks with him!! I'm pretty excited about that! The only sad thing is that I'm leaving my awesome district that I have here in Galati. I have had a blast with Elder Van Dyke, Middlebrook, and Rose! We all got along really great and had a fun time.
I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THE OLYMPICS ARE GOING ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love watching the olympics and I can't do anything about it!! ha ha actually I remember vividly when it was the summer olympics right before I left for the mission. I was bummed that I knew I would miss these winter olympics... geez I can't believe that the olympics have already come! You all will have to keep me updated on whatever happens!
This week seemed to just zoom by really fast! This week we spent a lot of time searching for a new apartment. We are getting a companionship of sisters this next transfer and so we have to find a place for them to live! We have been looking a lot online and visiting different areas around the city looking for an apartment. After quite some time, we were able to find one. It was really different because I'm not used to using romanian vocabulary when it comes to apartments. It was fun though!
Okay... yes I have had an opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting here in Galati. On the second or third sunday since being here I was asked by the branch President (Elder Rose) to speak a little bit. Nothing too bad. We switch off teaching sunday school. Elder Van Dyke and I taught two weeks ago so we will be teaching again here pretty soon. We are about a 5-10 minute walk away from the church. Things are going great with Elder Van Dyke and I. We get along really well. Actually our whole district gets along really well... which is always nice.
I don't really remember if they celebrated valentines day last year when I was here in the country. If I remember right, romanians acknowledge that it is valentines... but I don't think they go all out and buy candy and flowers and stuff like that. Plus it's not like it makes a difference seeing as how I'm a missionary.
Well I'm glad that everyone is doing well!! Yeah the dead of winter is just terrible. One night it got to -18 degrees Celsius, which is like -4 degrees Fahrenheit or something like that. Super duper freezing!! The cold sort of affects everything dealing with missionary work. Like we have been trying to do english classes this transfer, but with the snow only 2 people show up. One person is an advanced student and the other is super beginner. So we can't really have a good english class with that to work with... so we aren't going to be doing english for this transfer. I feel like english is the most "fun" way that I have done missionary work and now I haven't really been able to do it for 2 transfers or so. Oh well. The only missionary work that I feel like we have been doing lately that has been effective at all is that we have been helping members shovel snow. It's not a whole lot, but it's something. Yeah I haven't really taken any pictures lately. I have taken a couple of how much snow we have gotten but other than that I haven't really taken any. I'll try to take some more though! Oh and when I said that we have a missionary as a branch president, I meant that the missionary is as old as I am. In fact, it's Elder Rose from my MTC district. So that's a little different. Yeah I was able to watch Frozen! It was really good. I liked it a lot.
Geez I can't believe that I have missed another super bowl! Well I guess I should say that I have missed another round of super bowl commercials because that's really why I watch the super bowl ha ha hopefully there will be some good ones next year!! . I've just been getting used to a whole city having just a handful of members to make a branch! It's just funny that back home there are just soooooo many members of the church. Even though it's freezing cold outside, I still love being here in Romania!! I love the people and I love the chance to be here for two whole years... even if I only have 6 months left. I feel like these next 6 months are just going to fly by.
Well basically all I can really say is that winter has finally came here in Romania. There is snow EVERYWHERE!! It just reminded me that I just hate the snow and the cold ha ha we basically walk everywhere here and so we spend a lot of time just walking in the cold. Luckily I have some decent clothes to keep me somewhat warm, but it just is cold. So we haven't been able to meet with our investigator. He has exams at school for the next couple weeks so it will be hard to meet up with him. He did show up to our english class last tuesday. We haven't been able to meet up with anyone to have a lesson, but we did have some investigators come to church, which is really impressive seeing as how there was a buttload of snow outside. We were surprised that people showed up to church actually ha ha So Galati is a somewhat small city, especially if you compare it to Buch. So just like almost everywhere in Romania, the church is just a rented out building. We don't have a chapel here in Galati. With the cold weather we don't really do much fun stuff for P-day, but today we got a call from our zone leaders saying that President has given us permission to go and watch Frozen! I heard Frozen was really good. I have taken a couple of pictures but I don't have a converter with me for my camera... Sorry!!
Hello there everyone!! Things are going great in Galati. I'm still doing great with Van Dyke. I'm sorry to report though that I don't think I have taken any pictures since coming to Galati!!! Sorry about that... I'll try to get some more pictures in to show you all my companion and my district! The new branch here is pretty different in the sense that we have a missionary branch president. We have about 10 or so people who come to church. No one can play the piano, but thankfully there is a piano at the church that has some of the hymns programmed into it so that we can still have some piano playing. And since I know how to work the piano I guess it makes me the pianist! How's that for not taking piano lessons!! So my district is just me, my companion, Elder Rose, and Elder Middlebrook. Elder Rose is from my MTC group. He went to Harvard before coming on the mission. He is a really relaxed and fun guy. Elder Middlebrook is a really cool guy too. He is from Australia. He actually finished all his college schooling before coming on the mission so that makes him on of the older missionaries who are out here on the mission. Our whole district is pretty cool. We don't have sisters, but I think next transfer President is going to be putting sisters here. I guess we will see.
Hello there family!! This week has been a pretty crazy week just with transfers and everything. It's been fun to be able to come to a new city and explore things! It has also been fun to catch up with Elder Van Dyke. It's crazy to think that we are companions... again! We haven't been able to do a whole lot of missionary work just cause of transfers and stuff, but we were able to have a lesson with this guy. We call him Flo. He had a baptismal date set before I got here to Galati but it was set for this past weekend and it didn't happen. He still wasn't fully prepared for it. He did come to church though and we just talked with him after church. He had a lot of random/hard to answer questions for us. All in all it was a pretty good lesson. Elder Van Dyke came in the mission when I started training Hokkanen back when I was in Craiova. So he has been here for 6 or 7 transfers. Something like that. Anywho, that's a cool article about how Orson Hyde made his way over to Romania! I had no idea that he came all the way out here to Romanian especially here in Galati! It's pretty awesome if you ask me. Oh and the way you pronounce it is G-Ah-L-Ah-Zz (like the two z's in pizza). That's the best way I can really explain it. I will just have to tell you all in person when I get home how to pronounce stuff in romanian.
Well hello there everyone!!! This week has been a pretty eventfull week. New Years was so so so much fun!!!! Basically what we did was we all got together at the church to play some cards games. Then at around 11 at night we headed over to the huge government building called casa poporului. Basically it is like the white house of Romania. You all should look up pictures of it cause it is cool!! But anyways we made our way over there and outside of casa poporului was this awesome romanian concert that was going on. We got to enjoy listening to some awesome romanian music and a legit concert before waiting for the firework show to happen at 12. Anywho, so it gets around 12 and everyone and their dog just starts counting down 10,9,8..... and then after counting down the COOLEST firework show starts going off right where casa poporului was. It was a pretty epic and really long firework show. I think it was about 20 minutes or so. I recorded it on my camera so I will have to show you guys when I get home. I tried sending it earlier but the video was just too big to send over email. But anywho, the firework show was awesome and New Years was just a blast!! Of course this week of New Years means that nobody was out and about for us to talk to about the gospel... but oh well. It was a lot of fun.
Casa Poporului, Bucharest Romania
I guess the other big thing that happened is that we got the new transfer board for this upcoming transfer. To my surprise, I am actually leaving Buch. It's kind of weird because I have only been here for one and I'm also training so I thought for sure that I was staying. I'm not super mad though because my next companion/district is going to be super fun!! I'm going to a city called Galati and My companion is Elder Van Dyke!!! Yup I'm going to go be with my very first MTC companion!! Then the other two missionaries in my district are really cool too. I will write more about them as next transfer happens though.