Monday, July 28, 2014

Pressing Forward

Hey Guys,

 This week was a week alright. haha. So we have been trying to find people that have stopped coming to church (less actives) and see if they want to start coming again. We have been trying to see if we could find anybody that is on this list that we got and either they weren't home, didn't answer the phone, or didn't want to see us, unfortunately. But  the other day, this man who was smoking and drinking stopped us and said that he was baptized in England and wanted us to baptize his wife. Unfortunately, he works all week and didn't come to church on Sunday, but we still have hope. 

On exchanges this week, my companion and the other missionary met with Gabi, who we haven't been able to get in touch with for a while, and he set a baptismal date! He said that he knew it is true, but his family still doesn't know. Unfortunately, he also didn't come to church and canceled an appointment we had with him twice. 

Today, I got a haircut and the lady who cut my hair was interested in why we were here and what we are doing as missionaries and all that jazz and I was able to pretty much explain the Restoration to her simply. She wanted me to speak in English because she knew English and she knew it was easier for me, but before she asked if I wanted to speak in English to her I said, in Romanian, that I wanted to learn so I just tried to speak Romanian. We exchanged numbers and she seemed really cool, so I hope she becomes interested.

We also went to Sapte Scari today, for my second time. It was really fun and got a lot of pictures! Okay, hope you guys have a great week!

-Elder Houk
The Seven Ladders Canyon (RomanianCanionul Șapte Scări) is a mountainous canyon carved by the Șapte Scări Brook in Romania in the county of Brașov, south of Timișu de Jos village. It is considered to be one of the main tourist attractions from the Piatra Mare massif.[1]
The canyon has been carved in limestone and is composed by seven waterfalls, the tallest having 35 metres (115 ft) high. The trail within the canyon is arranged with metal stairs and platforms.[1]

To see more pics from this hike go to top of blog and click tab labeled Sapte Scari Hike Pictures.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Holy Guacamole!

Hey guys,

This week was good! We had a zone conference with the new president this week and there are going to be a lot of changes in this mission. Mostly how things are going to run. I would go in depth but, you know, it's just missionary stuff and I'm excited but you guys might be bored. haha

This week for English [class], I made guacamole for the class and everyone who stayed after for the activity. No one from Romania even knew what it was, but they loved it!! One of the members even made it for her mom and she loved it and ate the whole bowl. haha 

This week I decided to buy new shoes (pic to come) and it ended up that my comp liked the same ones that I picked out so we got comp shoes! hahaha. They are really cool European ones. haha

I also went on an exchange with an elder who just came into the field. This was the first time when I was older in the mission then another missionary. It's weird to think that I have actually been out from home for 8 months now! Weird!

Thank you again for all the Birthday wishes and I hope you have a great week.

-Elder Houk
ps Sorry for the short letter, I didn't have much time this week.

Blue birthday cake
Missionary volleyball
Full moon
Beautiful hike 

Get away from the edge! Love, mom

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Missionary Birthday

Hey guys,
Took the picture in the morning.
      Thanks so much for all the Birthday wishes! It means a lot! Got sung the "La multi ani" song from my companion. I ate at a pizza place and opened some of the members presents to me and played game of bowling! (I think they let me win haha) I'm planning on making a blue cake that my parents sent me, today. And now that I'm 19, does that make me officially a real missionary? haha

The sister's present to me. A birthday tie that Sora Ralls got for her birthday.
And it just keeps passing from one persons birthday to another.
Some cherries, chocolate and a caramel filled croissant haha.
     This past week we had an interesting encounter with a man while we were eating in the park. He roller bladed over to us while we were eating sharma and asked if we were Mormons. We said yes and then he said, "Well I'm a pirate!" (He had an open button up shirt exposing his hairy chest, haha, had a fake earring on and two plastic swords) He had a good American accent, so for a second I thought he might have been a past Elder that was here or something, it turned out that he wasn't. He said, "What do you do when you see a pirate? You run like h***!, trying to scare us in the process with his swords. haha We both just looked at him plainly and replied, "Nope, we just keep eating." He then expressed his feelings on how he dislikes religion wars and that no religion was above the law and then before we could say anything else he skated away. We both looked at each other and shrugged and kept eating. haha. We're used to these kind of things happening way too often now.

This week I had to give my first talk in Romanian about Baptism at a Baptism on Saturday. It was pretty nerve racking, but I got through it. Later that same day we actually had someone threaten to burn the church down. Sorry that was random, but he didn't so it's all okay, haha.

It's also fun when people compliment you to their friends and they think you don't understand and then you speak Romanian to them. haha Those times are always great.

Well, that just about raps up this week. I'm still here and trying to love it everyday. I miss you guys, but I'll see you soon. Have a great week!

-Elder Houk

Marius, The mission branch leader, made this for me from his name tag!

A gift from Emma, a member in Brasov.
On the journey to the bowling alley.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Hey guys,

So I am still here in Brasov, haha. It really hit me this week how long I've actually been here. In my first transfer I bought a dictionary at this book store. In the time that I have been here I saw the book store go out of business and close down, get worked on by workers and such and then just the other day it was reopened as a restaurant called "Pandamania" with the theme being Kung Fu Panda, haha. I was like whoa! I saw that whole entire process happen, because we usually pass that place almost everyday. Weird.

It has finally gotten hot here, but it still rained this week. So the weather is just being really weird. Apparently, it was suppose to be the coldest winter this year when I came to Romania; it was one of the warmest. And now it is supposed to be one of the hottest summers and it's still raining, haha.

This week for the 4th of July, we went over to the senior couple's apartment for lunch and they fed us potato salad, watermelon, KFC, and Coke. Can't get more 'Merican than that! haha. I brought a little California here by making some guacamole.  My companion is Italian and one of the sisters is Australian, so they were just along for the ride. 

On the 4th we had dinner in Centru, and we met some Belgian people that knew a little bit of English. They were telling us that they need to use our family genealogy because it is the best. But when I asked for their information, one of the men wrote the name of a Mormon man he knew in Belgium and they said that they will get it with people over there. haha We were confused, but I thought it was funny anyway. 

That was my week, I hope that you had a great week and have a great this week! :)

-Elder Houk

Graffiti that looks like it says HOUK

Stuffed peppers made by Blair himself