So, everyone. You may or may not remember from my last letter, but one of my companions from the MTC and I are serving together and WE’RE ONLY IN OUR THIRD TRANSFER people!!!! Crazy stuff. But it’s been so legit so far. Here’s my week in review:
Tuesday we visited with Brielle like normal and I got to say goodbye to her and little Gidi, her son. I spent some time packing, and then we had a branch activity that night. It was great to say goodbye to people one last time. For those who know how much I pack, it will be no surprise to you that the rest of that night was spent packing…ce să fac?
Wednesday we took a 6:20 train to Bucuresti. Marius came to see us off and ran alongside the train as it left, haha so great. We got into Buc and waited at the gara with some other missionaries. Elder Boydstun, Elder Weis, and Elder Dronyk from my MTC district were all there! I hadn’t seen Elder Boydstun since coming into the country so it was a great reunion for all of us. Our little group went off to get our visas so we can stay here and then did some errands around Buc. It was just like old times in the MTC being all together! I definitely have the best MTC district ever. We all agree on that. 🙂 Sora Honey got to Buc around 12 and that was one of the best moments! We can’t believe we’re serving together already – it feels completely unreal and we feel so spoiled! We did some business at the mission office and then we were on our own all the way back to Braşov. Some amazing elders helped us with my bags (they pretty much have their place in heaven secured with that act alone – no one should ever have to lift my bags) and we got settled on our train and were off. We talked about our transfers and caught up for about the first hour. Then the train conductor came over to get our tickets. He ended up coming back and talking with us for the next 3 HOURS of our train ride, all the way until we got there. It was the coolest experience. We were both worried about how well we would be able to communicate with people without a companion who was a little older and knew the language better than we do. But all our fears were gone after successfully talking with this man for the train ride. It was SO COOL! We talked about what we were doing here, gave him a conference Liahona (the office elders had played a joke on us and given us like 30 copies!!) which he was really excited to read. He told us that we were doing a great work here, helping people to be happier and bringing happiness wherever we went. He showed us some books he was reading, and they were near death experience books. I thought of you Mom!! He was really spiritual and although he was Orthodox, he was so so open to anything spiritual. I’m sure that God let us have that opportunity to speak with him, to help us know that we could do this transfer together and not worry too much about how we would communicate. And Sora Honey and I work so well together! What I don’t understand or know what to say, she does and vice versa! So it works perfectly!
We got into Braşov and the senior missionary Elder, named Elder Bair picked us up. We had lots of help from nice people at the gara getting my bags off the train and under control. Seriously, anyone who helps me with my bags is automatically an angel in my mind, whether or not they’re drunk, high, whatever. They’re awesome in my mind, haha.
So Elder Bair got us and took us to our apartment. Elder Bair is awesome! He totally reminds me of my Grandpa Huff, corny jokes and all. He even likes overly salted popcorn too! We’ve bonded over our love for food with lots of salt. 🙂 He’s fantastic, as is his wife. They are a huge blessing to the work here in Braşov and I’m so enjoying working with them so far.
Thursday we got up and ran (YES!) and then got cleaning supplies. We cleaned the entire apartment from 8 until 4. Yes it took us that long. And Sora Honey wants me to say that the mess wasn’t hers!! 🙂 There literally wasn’t even a place for me to unpack my things really before we cleaned. We deep cleaned that apartment so hard, but now it’s beautiful and feels so open and light! We also had NO FOOD. There was only a carton of eggs in the fridge and some bread, because we basically threw out everything else, it was so gross. The Bairs took us to buy food later that day, so we could be ready to just go to work. We felt so much better after cleaning and really felt that now we would be able to work and feel the Spirit at home now that it was clean.
Friday we had lessons with people here. It’s taking me a little while to remember everyone and their backgrounds/stories but I already love them all so much. We visited a member named Ioana, who is just the most darling old woman. You can tell her anything and it won’t matter, all she needs is to just feel loved. She is so sweet. Then we got to meet with a younger member named Veronica. She was so cute! Her sister had just had a baby (we’re pretty sure that it had literally just happened in their little house!!) so we couldn’t talk long but she was excited to meet me and we’re going to meet with her again in about 2 hours. Before we met with both of them though, Sora Honey took me to the Centru here to get a Gigi’s. It’s this amazing patisserie where they sell the best covrigi cu ciocolata EVER. It was the best thing in my entire life.
It was kinda rainy that day but we walked around Centru just talking with people. As we walked around, I heard some people speaking English. The guy sounded British, so I told Sora Honey and we went over to talk to them. He actually was Australian and his girlfriend was from California. They were traveling and were lost, so they were SO happy to find people who spoke English. We directed them to their hostel and talked on the way there. We told them if they needed anything to just call us and gave them our number. They were super nice and so grateful. After our lessons we got a call from them inviting us out to dinner with them. We were eating as a district that night, so we just went with them and didn’t eat. It was such a great missionary experience. We talked the whole time about what we were doing here on missions and about the church and just about life and what they believed. It was a really great experience. They told us we gave Mormons a good name! 🙂 Heck yeah! We had dinner that night with our district in Centru. Elder Houk is training a new missionary which is so fun! We got to hear a bit about the MTC and our teachers which was great.
Saturday we had correlation and I met the branch mission leader, Marius. He is amazing. He is such a great missionary and does so so much to help us out. We talked about a lot of things that will help the work here and how we can better missionaries. If any of you have not seen the new Mormon Message called “The Hope of God’s Light” you should go watch it! It is amazing, especially for those who are questioning if God is even there. We ran quick to Kaufland after correlation to grab suc for the first Linger Longer the branch was having that Sunday and then went home to weekly plan. We have SO MUCH WORK to do here, and I can’t wait to do it, especially with Sora Honey. It’s going to be amazing. There are so many people to love and I can’t wait to love them. That’s honestly my favorite thing about a mission. I get to love SO many people! It’s such a blessing. We went out to a village called Feldioara to try and visit with some less active members but neither of them could meet. We were disappointed and felt bad because the Bairs had driven us out there. But they didn’t mind at all! In fact, they were happy because they got to then show us some fortified castles/churches out there. 🙂 We came home and kept weekly planning and then went to bed in our wonderful clean apartment!
Sunday was amazing!! We had 51 people at church which President congratulated us on. We had really tried to contact as many people as we could in the couple days preceeding Sunday and it was a success. One of the women we had tried to visit on Saturday came and she was wonderful. We sat together the whole time and she told us that she wants us to come over and bring Preach My Gospel and study it with her. There are such wonderful people here in this branch. I am so looking forward to getting to know them all and serving them and loving them.
This mission is the best place in the entire world! I am so so blessed to be here and to serve with one of my best friends! We have so much fun that we feel spoiled. But we are working so incredibly hard this transfer as well. It’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to start!
I love you all so much! You are always in my thoughts and prayers!! Stay safe, and stay classy 🙂
Sora Emily Marcheschi