Monday, November 25, 2013

Someone Must Trust Me A Lot . . .

It was supposed to snow today, but it's just rain and it's not all that biting cold yet. It's thinking about it, though! Our proprietor was able to come and turn on the heat, so instead of freezy popsicles, we're toasty banana breads.
So, Fridays are apparently the typical transfer board day when they post it online and everyone finds out where they're going (if anywhere). So we were all excited on Friday, and then we are told we have to wait until Saturday.  SO, we wait another day, and the board is supposed to come out at 11:00 but right at 11 Google Drive crashes. There were 90 people in Romania on Saturday at 11:00 going crazy. Transfer boards are as exciting as cast lists. We went nuts. What's funny is normally English classes are on Saturday at 12:00, but there was a meeting in our building so our English class was moved to four. Once the transfer board came out by 12, we were the first ones to see it.
Some of our English students! (That's Maria and Gabriella sitting in the middle row on the right side)
So here's the news (and the explanation of my title): I am going to open yet another city! This time it's another 4 missionary city, my new companion is Sora Ralls, and two elders who I don't know yet.
We're going to a city named Craiova, where apparently there are only four members. FOUR. MEMBERS. This is what president Hill said to me about that: All we're asking you to do is find us a new branch president, a couple of counselors, a RS president and a bunch of members. Should be a piece of cake! 

I have my work cut out for me. President Hill must trust me a lot, I'm only in my third transfer and I'm already opening my second city. Well, at least I know how to do it this time. Maybe, lol.

I've met Sora Ralls, she's been in my zone, and she's really great. Bob would like her, she apparently carries a little ketchup bottle with her everywhere she goes.  I like her. I'm excited to get to serve with her.  (She is the sister missionary on the right).

Transfers are tomorrow, so I've been packing like crazy. Ask me how I fit all of my clothes into my suitcase the first time?

I don't know.

Obviously, Romania doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, but we have permission to take extra time for lunch and we get to watch a movie! So Thursday will be fun, apart from moving into another apartment and seeing a new city.

So every day Sora Gerhartz and I pass by a store by our apartment with a lot of little toys in it. There was this one Spider-man pillow that, whenever we passed by, I'd pretend shoot webs out of my wrists (sound effects and all). So, last week, we're having district meeting in the church when Elder Lake gets up to pull a Book of Mormon out of a cabinet, and he pulls out a Kaufland bag and goes, "What's this?" and next thing I know, that spider-man pillow is in front of me and they all start singing "La multi ani" (the romanian "happy birthday"). That was a nice surprise! I'll be in Craiova by the time it's actually my birthday, so I really appreciated that.

This week was a little difficult. We didn't manage to get any lessons. We were bummed by Viorica, and then by Silvia just a couple of days later, and then Francisca had to cancel so Kevin could do some homework. So, no lessons, no progressing investigators, and I'm sad I have to say goodbye to the great members and Francisca.

The weekend has been a little crazy, though. Not only with transfer boards and having to pack, I was also called on Friday to prepare a talk for Sunday. I gave my first talk! In ROMANIAN! At least it was on a simple subject: Ce inseamna sa fie fericiti? (What does it mean to be happy?)
The majority of the Oradea Branch
I worked really hard on that talk. Not only do you have to prepare it, but you have to translate it and then make sure it's correct. I spent a long time, but it turned out very well. All of the members told me what a great talk it was, one of the bishopric counselors even said it was the best missionary talk they've probably ever had in that branch. And one of the members wanted a copy of it... haha, I dunno, I suppose it was good:) I'll type it up and send it to you when I have time later. I'm going to bake Elder Lake a cake for helping me, too, because he went through it with me to make sure it was correctly translated.
Me and a member named Anda
Last Sunday in Oradea with the relief society president, Sora Costea.
I think she's crying in this picture :( I'm going to miss her.
Me, Anda and her Mom
I'll try to get pictures of the Christmas lights in Oradea, but I don't know if I'll get much of a chance. I'll get Sora Gerhartz to send me some, though, once I'm gone.

So a couple of days ago, Sora Gerhartz and I were working hard doing a lot of contacting when we decided to go get some food. We remembered there was a new place that just opened that had "American" burgers, so we decided to check it out. Once we get there, it's not open, but just before we leave, we realize that it was going to open in just a few minutes - for the first time. AKA - Grand Opening. Total random happenstance. And then a Romanian woman starts telling us about this restaurant- that it is built by a man named Alex who came in second on the show Master Chef. Who is from Oradea. So basically, this restaurant is his childhood dream place to have a restaurant in his home city. And we had no idea. And then we figure out that the first 200 customers get their food made by Alex. We were just hungry and wanted something to eat, it turns out we are the first customers in a brand new restaurant, run by a celebrity chef, and he made our burgers.
The funniest part is that his first two customers in his home town "American Burger" restaurant are, you know, Americans. They were pretty good burgers. You don't get that in Romania.
Us with Alex in American Grill. He put his arms around us last minute
(I wish he didn't, though, so you could see his tattoos).
Later that same day we're meeting with a referral named Ramona. She's a young blonde lady who we thought we were going to give a Book of Mormon to, but apparently she believes that she doesn't need it because everyone is already perfect and God lives in us and that even stealing is okay, if you look at it the right way. I don't think we're meeting with her anymore...

So that's pretty much how this week went. I'm getting pretty good at the language, my understanding gets better and better.

I get this feeling that I may be perpetually opening cities for the rest of my mission....

Sora Smith

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