Monday, April 7, 2014

Random Inspection and Other Randomness

March 24, 2014

Hey guys,


So this week was a good one. Tuesday, I got my haircut again. We found an old school barber shop, where there were guys just coming in and out and some secret handshakes being thrown down and American oldies playing in the background. I still didn't get that great of a haircut unfortunately, haha, but hey I'm not out here for me, right? 

   The next day we went on a hike called "sapte scari", which means "seven ladders." It was really beautiful and an awesome hike. Check out some of the pictures I took and you can learn more about it on google "sapte scari brasov". 

After the hike, we went on exchanges (switching companions with another missionary for about 24 hours). The next day, in the afternoon, we decided to contact on our way to the train station to buy tickets to go down to Bucharest (main city of Romania) for Zone Conference (We get to go down to zone conference every two transfers to have a conference with the mission president and all the missionaries in that zone). So we're walking down the street and asking people if they wanted to take a one question survey. If they said yes they would pick a card from several cards that we held out and it would have a question on it, like for example, "Why do you think God lets bad things happen to good people?" They would answer and we would try to have a good conversation about it. As we were doing this, a lady came up to us and started to talk to us. She basically told us that we were wrong. Then about 5 minutes later the same thing happened with another lady. Then about 20 feet after that, a man stopped us for 15 minutes to talk to us about investigating different churches. As we were walking away from him my temporary companion was explaining exactly what he said. 30 seconds later some police behind this van came out and stopped us. They told us to give them our passports. We asked why and they said that it was a random inspection. At this point I freak out a little bit. We are supposed to wear a case with our passport and information in it, inside our pants, just in case something like this happens. I wear it everyday, but I thought that I forgot it that day. I reach down and yes! it was there. So grateful I followed the rules there. We were there for about an hour as they checked our stuff out and called their headquarters. I said a little prayer that we would be okay and that we would get out of this. We called the Mission President and the US Embassy to see what to do. Apparently this was normal as long as they don't try to take your passport. Eventually, they got word that we were okay to go. Whew, so that was a little bit of a scare. 

   After that we still had to get the tickets for that night, so I had to call my companion to grab all the stuff I would need for the next day and we got a taxi to the other missionaries apartment and then bought the tickets at the train station and everything worked out great. 

Branch conference in Feldioara

   Zone Conference was awesome. I got to see all the missionaries that I was with in the MTC and I always enjoy seeing my Mission President and his wife because they are awesome people.  

Bucharest Chapel



Zone Conference - we meet again!

On Sunday, we had everyone from Feldioara (finally spelled that city right) come to Brasov and go to church and it was a great turn out. Some said this is the biggest meeting they have seen in Romania. 

Well that was pretty much my week :) here's some randomness:

Question: How long does it take to use a whole chap stick without losing it?
Answer: 4 months (statistics gathered by a missionary in Romania who actually did it)

Did you know?: The word for dove and pigeon are the same word in Romanian. Matt. 3:16 "And Jesus, when he was abaptized, went up bstraightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the cSpirit of God descending like a ddove, and lighting upon him:"  So here in Romania, people refer to pigeons as sacred and feed them their food all the time. There are a TON of pigeons here, like everywhere.

In his own word, "so worth it"] 
I bought a slap chop in Romania. 

They don't have three hole punched paper here, it's two hole punched in the middle.

Moldova claims that they have their own language, it is the same language as Romania (a few words are different, but not enough to make a difference) but because they hate Romanians, they renamed the language.

That's it for today. Love you guys and have a great week!

-Elder Houk <3

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