Crazy how much time flies on the mission field. Last one for me. Lol. This past week was good we had Zone Conference this past Monday. Gave my dying testimony. Celebrated Elder Perretts/Haws Bday. Made alot of last minute visits with members, less-actives, and friends. Honestly, my journey out here on my mission has taught me so much in life. Things that I didn't even know I was capable of. I am truly thankful and blessed for all the people that I have met thus far. The amount of trust and faith I put into Lord the more I have seen the changes in myself throughout my mission. Thankful for all my companions/missionaries, branches, and cities that I have served in. Shoutout to my awesome District and Pitesti Elders for making my last transfer memorable for me and Elder Swafford. Hahahah. Again, S/O to v.P, v.H, v.S, s.B, s.A. you know what it is. Luau 2.0. I have learned so much and gained a stronger testimony of this Gospel. Something that I know I will continue and share with for the rest of my life. Thanks again everyone.
This past week was jam packed busy schedule for us. Visiting people, organizing the Luau, and Missionary Worldwide Broadcast. We were lucky enough to have the Elders from Pitesti come down and help us out with the Luau. Basically they stayed over almost a week. lol. We had the Missionary Worldwide Broadcast this past Weds' which was really good. The sequencing idea of Repentance comes through living it. Practice what you preach when it comes to preaching the gospel. They put heavy emphasis on Repentance and I loved how one said that different people have different timeline. A great deal of Patience comes through the people we teach like our investigators here in Ploiesti. Eliud finally got to meet up with him and talked a heavy load about the bible and how we may not see things eye-to-eye in gospel but we all believe in Christ. He is 7th Day Adventist who strong headed and reminded me alot with a previous investigator I had out in Constanta. He is from Ghana and well educated. We look forward to meeting up with him this week to talk about his views on Repentance. Once the elders came down from Pitesti. We had a mini exchange. So Elder Swafford and Elder Huntsman had a lil father son reunion round 3 again. They went all out with their visits and missionary activity with the members here. I had Elder Perrett and we ran around getting things situated for the Luau making visits with members. That Hymn tho we sang for Sora Banita was on point. hahahah. jk. The turn out for the Luau was a great nite. From practice, setting up, cooking heaps of Chicken, and doing 100 other things was a good stress for me. lol Couldn't have done it without these awesome members here, dope districts, plus extras from Pitesti. hahaha. Can't forget about the backstage kitchen crew. RS was on point. President Popa was the perfect MC for the nite. Performances and videos from most of the South Pacific Islands was solid. Highlight for me was the DJ. After party was hilarious and a fun night. Sharing the Meet the Mormon segment of the Costa Rican family was key because we wanted to share with the people here who we are and more of an island feel. This Luau meant alot to me to share my culture and who I am with them. Same with our fellow Aotearoa missionary from Australia. You know its something about this gospel that unites all people to come together share the love for one another. Alrite then everyone peace and love.
Most Positive Mission on the Planet'
Ofa Lahi Atu'
This past week has went by really fast. Lets see we went on exchanges which was pretty chill. Didn't know we were dropping off one of the APs' Elder Bekher at the airport until exchanges. It felt weird dropping him off. Super funny Elder from Israel who served out here as a Russian speaking elder in Moldova. One thing I will remember is his laugh its just one of kind. Other than that we met alot cool people during our exchanges we started by apartment hunting for another set of Elders who will be opening up a new city just north of Buc. Otopeni' really nice small little city with so much potential. They will be shutting down Alexandria. We met this cool travel agent couple Mohamad from Egypt and Lisa from Romania. They live in the states and travel back and forth. We talked alot about who we are and what we do while the ZLs and Elder Kohler talk about the place and scope it out. Went from one apartment to another. Later headed back to their apartment to figure out what we had planned. Lets just say the new place for the AP/OE is super nice. Spoiled. We went picture contacting in the metro trying to take as many pictures in front of as many metro stops. Super funny I just left my lil trio still within sight and sound inside the metro talked with this filipino lady Mica and started a cool convo with her. She thought I was filipino talked with her about culture and family. Talked with her about our purpose here in this life. Busted a lil mini plan of happiness on the metro. Its funny I have to talk hecka loud in the metro so that she can hear me and the whole metro. One thing I felt stupid about was that I didn't have my number memorized. When you in Buc its easy to meet alot of people and just talk with them. The transitioning part into the gospel comes in naturally through time. The more I have put myself out there with people the easier it gets. Making it personal and more of a one on one can either hit or miss within the first few minutes of the conversation. We met up with a few of our Less Actives inviting them to our activity this Saturday. Alot of our investigators have bunged us but we went hard on our Area Book with our Sisters. This week we look forward to meeting up with a few of our investigators. One in particular Bogdan and his family, I am happy with the progression they have made so far our BP Andrei went over and followed up with him and talked about how he felt coming to church with his family for the first time. We look forward to meeting up with them and talking about the Plan of Happiness. We hope that everything goes well with a member visit or doing FHE with the Musats or Foteas. Other than that we had unfortunate news that Elder Day passed away last week. Serving around Elder Day has been a blessing and truly thankful for all the things he has done for me, missionaries,and the branch of Arad. Wish Sora Day all the best and the family back home. His plan is eternal and families live together forever.
He lived a positive life was full of light and truth. He shared with all of us his gentle insights and clear understanding of the gospel. Through his example he taught us how to accept direction and graciously move from where we are to where we ought to be. He taught us that true leadership is based on love, caring and kindness. The Lord wants us to lead with these characteristics.
Thanks again, look forward to this Luau this Saturday and talk to yall next week.
Lets see this past week for us has been great. We met up with alot of our members and less actives here. For me its been cool meeting each and every single one of them. One thing is they stories to tell for days. Talking about how they found the church, family and being a member of this church. It has made me feel like I have known them like their whole life. Familia Marlan is an amazing couple who is smart and hilarious nonstop talks about the places he has been. Their son has drifted away but we look forward to catching up with him. We went a bit far outside of Ploiesti to familia Blegianu. Felt like forever finding their place our taxi driver sucked at finding the location until he just dropped us off at the end of the road. Eventaully, we found their house and man were they happy to see us. He laughed because he knew I was Tongan because his son-in-law is Tongan who got married to their daughter in the states. The Blegianus have been to almost all the states and have lived out there for over 10 years. We left them with a message and I was thinking back to a Bednars Light of Christ video. Just listening to them share their point of view made us feel that they were uplifted even more not just seeing us but that the message was on point. Lastly, one of our investigator family has made great progress meeting up with them and talking about the Plan of Happiness was probably bad timing because I feel that the grandma was like boss of the house. But inviting them to church and shockingly they showed up was a surprise and blessing. We rushed trying to see who can sit next to them as I was sitting next to another investigator. The unity of this branch is amazing Sora Fotea sat next to them and Musaț daughters greeted Razvans daughter with open arm. Maria the grandma was slowly opening up sitting next to our Relief Society President Sora Banița. Everything fell into place and we look forward to meeting up them this week and talking more about the gospel.
Other than that English class was sad. Just allows us to find more students. But more showed up this week probably because of the snow is slowly melting. The Luau prepping is funning seeing it come together and us inviting almost everyone we see and all the less actives getting stoked and excited. Happy to do it here and members pull everything together. Expectations now from branch council is a 100+ but I hope its less because too many hangry people here in Ploiesti. Na just kidding. It should be great from the performances from missionaries and members. Special visit from the Pitesți branch that day. Especially the food mini L&L hawaiian food style, music, and photo booth. We just hope to seek out so many potential investigators here and sharing the Polynesian culture here in Romania. #MeetthePolys2.0 Hope yall have a good one.
Hope everyone is staying warm this time of year. Romania don't play when it comes to snow especially here in Ploiesti. My first week here has been fun meeting with alot of the less-active, members, and investigators. We had a high amount of people to meet up this week then later within the week alot of them have either bunged us due to the freakin snow or didn't show up. But that didn't stop us, luckily we found people at bus stops and the buses. I know I talk hecka loud but when it comes to bus ride there can be that awkward silence for a second. It was cool I started to this dude from the Ivory Coast asked him alot of questions like what he is doing here and so forth? and Elder Huntsman stepped up by talking to someone we established good meaningful convo. Then once we hopped off we recapped on who we talked with and set up lessons for the following week. But its been cool meeting people in coffe shops, malls, and bookstores CATURESTI my favorite place. We have some dope sisters Sora Andrus and Sora Boyd both from Utah and such a crackup those two. We met up with the Branch President and wanted to set some goals for this month and wanted to make sure that we continue to build up that branch unity. Crazy him and his wife are young couple both RMs' and the same age as me. I know Im still hecka young. Both met on their mission. But excited to work with him and see what we can do to help make this branch better. One thing that I liked he wanted to emphasize was "Hastening the Work of Salvation" here in Ploiesti.
Watch IT' yall need IT'
I loved the message as we strive to work with members see themselves in the work as they live the gospel joyfully and as they invite others to participate in activities, Church serves, and other occasions. But other than that I am excited for the work here and I just decided we can just do a LUAU here. Please for me. hahaha. The members are excited and stoked so its like Meet the Polys 2.0 compared to last few years ago. Excited to have the members involved moreso reaching out to our Less Actives and our investigators here. Need a little warmth here so why not. Happy to do it here for my last transfer. It should be a good stress for me. Other than that I hope yall have a good one. Talk to yall next week.
One of the members here showing us some vintage pics back then
Looking like a missionary in some photos'
This past week we finished off with everything from English class to last minute visits with members here. We both knew it was bound to happen that one of us will leave since being together for 2 transfers. My last three months in Timisoara has been amazing experience for me. Culture Capital 2021' I have learned alot from this Timi and my comp Elder Dunkley. He has helped me to deal with people and to CHANGE for the better. We head back home the same time all I can say is dueces toko. I will miss the city alot and the members especially. The members there have been one of the highlights of my mission thus far. It maybe a small branch but their spirit and faith is so strong and firm in the gospel.
I am off to Ploiesti for my last transfer its crazy to even think of. I am excited and sad that its near the end. Once we found out I packed my bag and we set to go. We gave one of our members Sora Jureschi a blessing before I left and sang a hymn for her "I Need Thee Every Hour." By the time we booked it back to our apartment and headed to gara we missed our trains.Thanks dingy. lol.jk. But we were lucky enough catch a taxi to Arad and make it to our sleeper train to Buch. Probably the last time I will see the West Zone but happy to leave from Arad Gara. Made it Buch met my comp Elder Huntsman from Anchorage, AK. He is super cool elder, funny, and nice. He is a good listener because I talk alot probably too much. I know that we will do great things here in Ploiesti. Happy to finish off in a big branch especially here where members are actively invovled in everything. Hope that everyone is starting off the new year in a good start and making CHANGES.
Ofa Lahi Atu'
Christmas has been a blessing here in Romania. This past week we had Zone Conference in Cluj. The 9 hour train ride there was long and tiring but worth it. Got there early morning freezing and it was nice to see familiar faces and catching up with the other missionary. Zone Conference was good and the takeaway I got from it was the word "convert" being that in order to fully understand this gospel one must be truly converted with the Book of Mormon no just reading it but having a strong testimony for yourself that this gospel is true. Just like in Ether
12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
The joy of Christmas of sharing with everyone. Caroling this time of year here is like Halloween they sing with joy and laughter. It was funny watching bands dress up and dance in town going extra crazy. Wished I recorded it. We continue share his light through the message we have with the people here. Happy I got to Skype my family back home and glad to know they alive and still eating. lol. Happy Birthday Mom! I love you and thanks for being an example to me and sharing your light with people nonstop. We got to go up to Arad for a post Christmas dinner, card games PIG' favorite game so far (taught them mohe uli) lol, and we watched Jungle Book. Funny thing I realized how I hate people who talk through movies and usually its me. But this time it wasn't me it was the sisters I laughed it off with my comp because I looked at him and saying to myself "oh now I see." See yall next week.
Until Next Year'
Ofa Lahi Atu
Hope everyone back home will enjoy the holiday spirit this week especially Christmas coming up this Sunday.
"Without ChrisT there would be no ChrisTmas, and without ChrisT there can be no fulness of joy."
-Ezra Taft Benson
Just wanted to make sure the capital T' was emphasized and never forget because of Him we live.
This past week has been really productive with working with our Relief Society and planning out our Christmas party. With the week of my comp still recovering and being sick somewhat we still were able to push through it. This past Saturday we had our Christmas party. I must say being in a two man city and a small branch there is alot to think about and plan out. But I am happy we have the strong headed women who love to take lead and help out big time. From shopping, decorating, planning, inviting, and doing activities it was all worth it in the end. It was a good stress for me but happy we were able to pull it off as a branch. Funny when the members here were thinking only 5 or 10 would show up to our activity. You know it just gives me push and trust in the Lord to go all out. I like the feeling of having more than expected amount of people showing up to an activity. We were lucky enough to have 37 people total show up more of which were our students and investigators. It was nice to see our members talk with them and build up a relationship towards them. It allowed me and my comp handle other things going on. My comp delivered a great spiritual message on the meaning of Christmas and how we should never lose its true meaning. We watched Christmas musical from the tabernacle choir and sang Silent Night' all together...fail. lol. Ate alot of sarmale, smantana, ciorba, salata de beouf, and PAINE. Look it up if don't know its really good. Leftovers consist of SARMALE for days. Happy its done no more dealing with little kids activity and my comp doesn't have to listen to me telling him to DO this and DO that. But we learned from it and happy that our members were able to how much of a success it was. Thats' about it for me and excited to Skype the family next week. Sorry don't have much but heading out to Zone Conference in a few hours.
Ofa Lahi Atu'
We in the last month of the year! December tis the season of Joy and Lights. Sorry didn't have time last week. So hopefully I can catch yall up. Happy that it snowed once on the first of December "Ziua Națională." December 1st Romanian Holiday. Nice lights, festive decorations, and trees. Center here was live and filled with so many people. It was great opportunity for us to share with people there the Christmas video through the church. We try and use it as much as possible with everyone, members, and our investigators. Lets see English class this two past week was ok. We had a lil miscommunication but got it situated. Had to cover for my comps class because he had strep throat. It was sad to see but now he is doing ok. We didn't know what the cause is but I made sure he stayed far away me but close within sight and sound. We had to reschedule most of our meetings with members and investigators due to my comps sickness. Gave me time to go over the area book and go through previous teaching records. But the highlights for me this week were one we met up with Razvan who has been progressing and prayed what should we have discussed with him. Being in his mid-30s', single, and loves to travel we really got to know him more as we discussed more about his life. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and watched a short segment of Meet the Mormons with him. After watching the film, he expressed to us how much he wants to be baptized he sees Mormons living a standard for the lord and that we are like all people. We hope that he makes commitment to be baptized on Christmas or first week of January. One of the less-active family decided to finally show up to church the Munteanus' loving family but they knew there was something missing in their lives and that was the church. We taught Repentance during Sunday school and fratele Munteanu bore his testimony of the blessing of Repentance and how it ties into our Savior. He knew he needed to come to church and bore the basics of this gospel. I can tell he truly loves the church and broke down crying saying he knows he needs to come to church more often. I hope that we can continue to help him progress and make him a pillar member in the branch. I love every moment here and the people that I come across. Hope that everyone will share the message of Christ and continue to Light the World in any way.