Monday, April 28, 2014

Ce s-ar întâmpla dacă aș scrie mesajul meu complet în românește?

Translation of title: 
What would happen if I write my message completely in Romanian?
Some headaches and angry readers, that's for sure.

Well, I got the Easter package! The Hunts went to a leadership meeting and were able to bring it back from there. Thanks a ton! The clothes fit perfect, too, and are really cute. I wore them on Sunday and got some compliments.

Our District at Pizza Hut

Getting to hold a bunny for Easter!

Transfers are still a couple weeks away, on May 14th. So Mothers Day happens before then! What time do you want to set up? My companion says her family is really flexible, so it's really up to you. Are we going to try to get both me and Daniel at the same time? We have the Hunts to use their computers so that will be nice.

Family Home Evening, we had a lot of people show up this week!

I read Daniel's email and couldn't help but giggle. The ward that he described is basically every single branch here in Romania. The missionaries run everything, pretty much. Well, brother I HEAR YOU. Lol, it's hard, but you can do hard things! Plus you get really close with all the other missionaries in your districts because you're working with them so much. It's not too bad once you get used to how things run differently.

Me and my companion with our candles at Easter Mass. 
Mine was still lit in this picture
My makeshift "candle" after my other one burnt out
My makeshift candle
We were all out past hours . . . Whoops!

Fantastic Mr. Fox is an American movie, actually. In fact I saw it once a long time ago at Taft's house. But I had to go home right before the best part so I forgot about it. Oh gosh, it's so funny. It looks so stupid, made with stop animation puppets and super cheap budget. But it's probably now one of my favorite movies.

Sick day last week!

Kelsi is going to Jacksonville, that's so funny, and isn't that also where her now brother in law served? It's a sign! And I'm so happy!! Nate's planning on going, HE SHOULD COME TO ROMANIA!!!!! I'll be waiting for him.

Haha, Happy birthday to everyone! I'm saying this for everyone all year this year, too, because I'm sorry, I am so bad at remembering birthdays. Generic birthday message. La mulți ani cu sănătate, ceva ceva, și fericire, am uitat toate cuvinte, la mulți ani să traiesc! (That's the Romanian birthday song but I actually forgot some of the words, oops. I'll have to sing it to you for Mother's Day, it's crazy.)

This week was a little boring, no pigeons breaking windows or blowing up ovens to report. Sora Lee caught a little bit of my fever so we were in all day Wednesday. Thursday we were out again and had district meeting and Elder Middlebrook had the Alstons taste his vegemite. He called us in the morning to suggest we bake them brownies to cleanse the flavor out of their mouths. I think he secretly knows vegemite is disgusting, lol.

Sick day, permission to watch Disney Movies

I also hit my nine month mark on Wednesday. I partied.
Not really, I would have partied, but I was too tired. Being a missionary sometimes does that to you.

Friday I made more brownies. They've been turning out really well lately. I gotta say, baking food in Romania is really hard because all the ingredients are just different enough to throw everything off and I haven't been able to bake anything like I used to. It's frustrating. But I think I adjusted the brownie recipe enough that they're almost as good as when I make them at home.

I also ended up cutting Elder Morby's hair, he was getting shaggy. Let's just leave that with cutting Sora Merkley's went a lot better. In a week it will look pretty dang good, though. Lol.

About to cut his hair... lol, trashbag for keeping his shirt hair free.
It didn't work. It just looked silly.
It'll grow back, right?

Then no one showed up for Institute, even the Hunts and Alstons were out at the opera house. So us missionaries just sat and ate all the brownies.

Missionary life.

Saturday we had English and we had a really good turnout, especially compared to the two and three that have been coming the past classes. Now that the Easter holidays are over, people are less occupied.

Then us missionaries with the three girls and Wilson Kneeshaw went to play soccer. Wilson is the professional soccer player on the Timisoara team. I was ready to make a fool of myself. But when we get to the turf, it's already taken by some people. But it's totally street soccer, teams of 5 switching in and out so the elders with Wilson and a random Romanian guy team up and play street soccer against all these other Romanians.. it was exciting and Wilson totally showed them up, it was fun to watch. And our little England-Australian-American-Texan-Romanian team actually won a few games, it was cool!

Let me explain this next photo .... yes, that's my purse.... yes, those are a couple of joints in the pocket.  When we were playing soccer one p-day, a young romanian kid comes over and asks to play with us. He has his phone and keys, so he asks if he can keep his stuff with our stuff to stay safe.

Lol, this is what happened..........

Sunday I translated for Sora Alston again. I like getting to do that, it's good Romanian practice. And she doesn't mind when I have to say sometimes, "I totally didn't catch that." "Nope, didn't understand that one." or "I have no idea what naldojges means."

Then I got to spend the rest of church in primary. Familia Tamas moved to Spain, but Familia Ungreanu has come back from Italy and they have the cutest two little girls, so we have a primary again! We talked about being thankful for trees and grass and flowers.

Springtime in Timisoara

I am thankful for trees. Trees are nice. And flowers. And bushes. And carrots. And pineapples. I don't really care for mushrooms, though.

Reading to Claudiu, Sora Mitin's grandson

Yeah, that's like, all that happened. Not too exciting. I got to play volleyball with a professional soccer player, though. And "hang out" with him, I guess that deserves something. Some day he'll be super famous and I can say, "hey, I like, spent a Saturday in Romania with that guy," and everyone will be jealous. 

Or not.

Have a good week everyone, and nobody get hit by cars.

But if you do happen to get hit by a car, try going to institute anyway.

Sora Smith

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter in Timisoara!

Hello all,

To answer a few questions: Arad is about 1-2 hour train ride from Timi, and it's the zone headquarters so yeah, most zone events are over there. And no, werewolf we just played in Timi for FHE :) and we'll probably play it again today.

During interviews we're usually asked things like, "How are you? Are you getting along with your companion? Have you quit smoking those cigars yet?" Just to kind of give Pres the gist of what's going on in little old Timisoara :)

I haven't gotten the package yet, I probably won't until transfers. But it's cool, it just means I get to celebrate Easter twice.

I am feeling loads better. I had started a slight fever last week but I still felt good so I went along and even played a ton of sports with the elders. I guess that wasn't very smart because that evening my fever was at 102 and I ended up staying in all day Tuesday. I rested, sweated, and even got permission to watch a couple of movies so that was fun, haha. I still went to English and FHE but I made sure not to contact anyone.

But by Wednesday morning it was down to 99 again, so we tried doing more but still took it easy. I felt good, though. We met with one member who made us this yummy cake with pudding and whipped cream... and it was seriously one of the best things I've tasted in Romania hah..

On Thursday we had district meeting, and we got a surprise visit from the ZL's who, when making their way to do exchanges in Oradea, got onto the wrong train and ended up in Timisoara instead. So after the meeting, Sora Hunt, Lee, and I went to Sora Mitin's daughter's house, because her daughter wanted us to continue to read to her son and Sora Mitin's grandson, Claudiu. That was cool. Then we went out to eat with all the Elders, as per usual when there's an exchange.

Friday we couldn't do a whole lot, because everyone in Romania is so busy getting ready for Easter. Easter is just as big as Christmas here. Everywhere was closed and we had no one show up for kid's English. We really just had institute, but all three girls came, even Elida who hasn't shown up for a while.

Easter Bunny sitting in a nest
Egg Dispensing Machine

Saturday morning we got up early to (surprise!) greet the new senior couple. We had only been told that they were coming here the day before, so that's exciting. This is the Hunt's last transfer, so we're glad the couple was sent here. They are really great and friendly so I'm excited.

Waiting to greet the new Senior Couple coming in on the train
We had to take two trips to transport all of us

We took Sora Alston to find some langosi while waiting
Success, we found a langosi stand, they are all over in Romania

Later we teach English class, which only Damaris and Edina show up because it's the day before Easter. So by English class I mean we talked about Romanian and American school systems for an hour. It was fun.

Then for the spiritual thought after English, we got an Easter video started when there's a huge CRASH-SHATTER from the church window and we're like, they've found the Mormons! One of our windows had been shattered, by a rock or something? But splattered on the window looked like mashed potato. The elders run outside to see where the culprit went. And then we notice, there are feathers in this potato. That's not potato. And, on the outside of the church, a dead, decapitated pigeon lied there in a pool of ketchup. I guess he wanted to hear the church message about Christ really bad, he failed to notice that GLASS IS NOT ENTER-ABLE. AND IS VERY SHARP WHEN BROKEN.

And then we went out to lunch. We stayed away from anything potato. We got permission to watch a movie for Easter, so we watched the Fantastic Mr. Fox. again. I can't get enough of that movie, it's so funny. Then we kind of hang out until midnight because we had midnight mass at the cathedral! We all bought candles, and as part of the Mass the priest lights his candle and passes the flame to the next person, and everyone is passing around the flame candle to candle saying, "Hristos a inviat! Adevarat, a inviat!" until everyone is lit. We then stood outside and watched the sermon, burning our candles out. It was awesome. BUT MY CANDLE BURNT OUT SO FAST by the time we took pictures, I had no candle left haha.

Going to Easter Mass
People gathering for Easter Mass
Picture of the Savior at the Mass

The Priest at the Mass
Each person lights the next person's candle
Our group with our candles, mine was already burned out
All of our district with candles

Sunday we had church, and because I'm mean I roped all the missionaries into singing an Easter song in sacrament meeting. I also spent all three hours translating for Sora Alston (the new couple) and that was good Romanian practice for me. Until she bore her testimony and I said "I am I thank that to be here" and Elder Speyer won't let me live that one down. I mean, he did say that the first step of the gospel is "repentance in Jesus Christ" the same day, so we all make mistakes.

Some of the members made us colored eggs to crack. In Romania you can hold a competition where you hit your eggs against each other and the one that doesn't break is the winner. Also, in Romania during Easter time, the greeting changes. Instead of just "good day" or whatever, everyone says "Isus a inviat!" (Jesus was resurrected) and you respond with "Adevarat a inviat!" (It's true, he was resurrected!) It's really cool. Everyone does it. Later we all had dinner at the Hunts with the Alstons. It was a lot of fun.

 Monday the Oradea and Arad missionaries came to Timi to play laser tag. Unfortunately the place was closed for Easter, so they were all stuck in Timi ha,ha. The Internet place was closed, too, so that's why I'm writing a day late. So we ended up going to the park to play more soccer and basketball. The elders also tried a lot of slacklining... Later we all went to another soccer game! Poli Timisoara vs. Cluj. Timi lost again... But! We got to see the elder's investigator, Wilson Kneeshaw play. It was pretty awesome. Kneeshaw singled Morby out in the audience, I'm pretty sure that made his whole mission.

And that's this week.

Easter is a great holiday. Isn't it so perfect that it's celebrated in springtime? Just after the earth life has slept over the winter, the flowers and grass come out again. I love the energy and refreshing-ness of spring.

I don't like the bugs, though.

I love you all! Have a good week!

Sora Smith

Monday, April 14, 2014

Zone Conference in Arad

Hey family and friends,

Sorry I don't have a lot of time to write today, I'll try to get to the important details . . .

Here's the temple picture I told you about last week
and me in my new glasses, the wind was blowing
Notice which temple they "borrowed" for their store front?

This week we had Zone Training Meeting in Arad. Again. It was... normal. Boring. I said a prayer.

Arriving at the Zone Training Meeting in Arad
Me and my companion at the Zone Training Meeting
Our hotel room in Arad
We played a pretty brutal game of werewolf (you know, like mafia but with more rules.) It was intense, and I don't think Elder Middlebrook is going to forgive me any time soon for throwing a cookie at him. Oh, sorry, "biscuit," my bad.
At the end of the week we had interviews. I know, already?  They went great.
Waiting for President and Sister Hill to arrive
President Hill
The Hills arriving at Timisoara
The last couple of days I've been fighting a fever, so it's been a little slow work wise. Don't worry, I'm fine. But maybe I shouldn't have played soccer and basketball today... but it was a lot of fun with the Elders and the random Romanian kid who wanted to play with us!

Our Zone out Street Contacting
My companion and I in a scary elevator
District Meeting
No "see" food please
Guitar Street Contacting
So a cool thing happened, remember how we went to see a soccer game? Well, the Elders contacted one of the PROFESSIONAL players on the Timisoara team, who is from England and doesn't know Romanian, so the Elders are going to teach him Romanian. Isn't that legit??
Our Zone at the Soccer Game
Our investigators with us at the soccer game
Our tickets to get into the soccer game
As far as the ping-pong competition with Morby is going.......... let's just say I haven't won yet but he says I've been getting better!

Our Last Zone
Anyway,  that's about it. Hope you all have a good week, I miss you all, and don't do anything stupid!

The church is true, the book is blue, Jesus was a Jew and you can be a Mormon, too!

Sora Smith

Saying Goodbye to Elders Montoya and Ormsby

Elder Montaya

Elder Ormsby is now serving as the Branch President in Bacau

Some Pictures from our paint-balling trip to Arad