Sunday, April 6, 2014

Romania's Pretty Awesome

January 20, 2014

So, since I've been here in Romania I've realized how spoiled I am back home. So, there are no dryers here. You wash your clothes and then hang them up to dry. Kinda caught me off gaurd at first, but now it just seems normal to take your clothes from your washer to the big thing with plastic strings on it and hang your clothes over night. Another thing is that they have no zip-lock stuff. So, no food protection for a while, haha.

The water here is also pretty bad. Like the regular water has all these like micro worms and stuff that will kinda mess you up. But we have filters for that! Just don't drink any water that isn't from your apartment or bottled and you're fine. Another thing is now I have to buy food for myself! After my last email, on P-Day, we went to Kaufland. My trainer said we are buying for ourselves for the whole week. Did not know what to get at all. And the fact that every piece of food was in Romanian didn't really help. Also, my trainers motto is, "you live and you learn", soooo he helped me a tad, but I was mostly on my own. His other motto is, "we don't have a lot money, so make it as cheap as you can". haha. So I ended up getting a couple of these 2 lei packet of noodles.


They ended up having a hole down the middle of each one like a straw! haha. I seriously drank water with a noodle. That was fun. But yea, buying food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Scary. Didn't think I could do it and survive. But hey, here I am a week later haha.         

Another thing I was spoiled with was, well, a good bed. The other Elders moved out this week into the new apartment. (We lost the coin flip) That night we were happy to take their beds. So I lay down and try to get confortable, for about 10 miniutes. Then after feeling every spring in the bed and the hole that is in it I was like, Yup back to the couch. haha. But hey I've been sleeping well on it so I'm just fine. So those are the things of real life that I have adapted to and, trust me, I'm not complaining or anything. Actually, I'm kinda glad that it's harder than it was back home because it'll help me grow and appriciate more things in life to come! Plus I'm not even here for me, but for the people of Romania!
   Alright, so here's what my week has been like:
Monday- So after email, we got a şarma. mmmm. When I ordered, the guy actually gave me a compliment on how good my Romanian was! I was pretty stoked. After that, Kaufland. Then we decided to look around the mall. Everything is skinny and fashionable here in Europe. After that we checked out an apartment with the Senior couple. On the way there we got pulled over by the cops because they made a left turn on a solid line rather than a dotted line, and that's what their GPS told them to do. haha. So the cop said, "If you give me a 100 lei, I'll let you off with a warning." haha, good ole Romania.

Tuesday: Got up at 4:10 am to catch a train to another city two hours away called Sibiu for a zone conference meeting. This is a meeting with all the cities in your zone, about 3 cities for us, and we all met to discuss missionary stuff. After we finished up with that, at about 3 pm, we ate at a place called "Super Mamas" and I got a beautiful de-licious pizza for only 12 lei (about 4 american dollars). Solid day.

Our district in an elevator
Wednesday: According to my Dad (my companioin\trainer\Elder Speyer), this day was the first "real" day of missionary work here. It was about 8 hours of contacting. With lunch in between. So on the bus home, someone came up to me and was like, "Hello." Kinda through me off a bit, I retaliated with a "Buna Ziwa" He said, "oh so you don't speak English" haha. I said, yea we do, we're just trying to always speak Romanian. He ended up being really cool and talked in Romanian for a while or at least my companion talked to him and I tried. haha. I think he was a priest because I saw the black white black, through his jacket, but it could have been a tie, nu ştu. nu contează. [not sure, does not matter]

Thursday: Pretty much woke up, studied, and contacted. Lunch. Contacted. Dinner again. During contacting, we went into a store and I had to go to the bathroom. So I walked in and instantly thought, hey, where are all the urinals? I was like, oh whatever, this is prabably how all the Europe bathrooms are. (It was my first public bathroom experience) So I'm going to the bathroom and...womens voices. Yup. It hit me. Womens bathroom. So I kinda walked\ran out of there yelling "Scuzaţii-ma!!" as all the women are laughing. So I head to the mens and there's my companion, waiting for me, shaking his head. hahaha
Friday: So we flipped the coin to see who got the new apartment on Thursday and the other companionship won, like I had said. So as we contacted, they packed up and then we came back and helped them move out. After they were gone we cleaned up the place and then went contacting. Got a şarma for dinner and called it a day.
Saturday: So, at first my comp was making fun of me for sleeping on the couch, but today he layed on my bed for like 2 mins and said, "oh, I can see where you're coming from" haha. In the morning we went to our weekly meeting with the ward mission leader, Marius. This guy is awesome. But on the way we stopped and got a candy bar. Got a Snickers. Now I don't know if they're ten times better here or just way better than I remember, but anyway, here I am talking about food again. So after the meeting we got a service offer to help a sora [sister] member move some heavy logs and get real muddy and dirty. We accepted, of course. She lives in "la ţara"[the country]. It's basically not civilized and is really muddy. So we helped her and then she wanted to talk to us and Marius about something she was concered about. She is good friends with Marius. So she started speaking Romanian and then Marius spoke Romanian and my comp even jumped in there for a sentence. The whole time I was trying to follow where the conversation was going. I was pretty convinced we were talking about the Book of Mormon and so I was pretty excited because I thought, yes I understand! Well let's just say when I tried to confirm that I knew what was going on, I was just waaay off, haha. So that was a nice, humbling experience.

LDS Chapel in Brasov, Romania
Sunday: Went to the chapel for Sacrament Meeting for 3 hours. Then we went to La ţara for another Sacrament Meeting in a really small villa room crammed with a bunch of people and kids. But man, both Sacrament Meetings were awesome. These people have so much faith. You have to, to be a different religion than Eastern Orthodox here. Even though I didn't know what they were saying I could tell it was awesome by the spirit that was there and by what my companion told me happened. It was a great day.
So, that was my week. I hope I didn't bore you to death with this long email. I just have to say that Romania is totally not what I expected it to be, it's better. I'm happy to be a missionary and I'm happy to be getting our first investigator this week from the sisters, because, apparently, they have "too many" haha. But everyone is cool and loving, the missionaries and the Romanian people. I'm just glad I get to dedicate these two years to bringing people closer to Christ here in Romania!
Love you guys,
Elder Houk (Cel Mai Frumos)[the most beautiful]

The Most me, his mom <3

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