well it's been quite the week... probably like the longest week of my life!! Things are tough here in Stara Zagora. I'm sure I will adjust though and things will get better but for now.... yeah. I just struggle. Anyway, Sister Pantigoso and I are both scared and lost here ha ha. We are both so new and I did not expect to go with a groupie this early. She speaks really well... way way better than me but we still struggle a bit. The entire city here has been white washed.. meaning all the missionaries here are brand new. There hasn't been any sisters here for a few weeks cause the last on got sick so we came here with nothing to work with! We had no investigators, no potentials, we aren't allowed to use contacting tools here because they get mad... yeah it's hard. We are figuring things out though.. slowly. By the way I never told you but Stara Zagora means "old forest" in Bulgarian. Not sure why they would name a city old forest but they also have a city named new forest... Bulgaria...
So when we first got here we found out that the elders had decided that they wanted to move into the sisters apartment so they did. They gave us the elders apartment and.. yeah I don't blame them for not wanting to move into that apartment. IT WAS DISGUSTING!!! Can I just say... elders are disgusting!! ha ha I have never seen an apartment that is so gross! I don't know how elders live that way!! I was walking around on the floor and my feet turned black it was so dirty! There were dead bugs all over the place, dirty socks and underwear just hanging out everywhere. The place hadn't been cleaned in months! The toilet seat was broken and the shower didn't work... ugh it was bad! Sis. Pantigoso wanted to make the elders switch us back but I felt too bad so I wouldn't let her ask them cause I knew they would do it. So we spent two full days just trying to clean this place and make it at least livable. By the end of that... I didn't care anymore. I told Pantigoso that she could ask them to switch and she did. We offered to buy them dinner and ice cream and they finally agreed. SO after cleaning for two days straight, we had to pack everything back up and move all of our stuff down the street again to the sister's apartment. ha ha it was such a pain but oh so worth it! We have AC in this apartment and the shower is so nice and I don't feel bad cause the elders had a clean apartment to move into (had is the key word!! It's a mess again!!... ugh elders)
Anyway, we picked up one investigator this week. His name is Ivan. He seemed kinda cool at first, just a little weird but ya know.. a lot of people here are a little off their rocker... anyway, we kinda discovered yesterday that he is really way more interested in me than he is in the gospel.... he's a little creepy and by a little... I mean a lot. So I think we will be dropping him soon. He wanted to meet with me alone at his house.. not happening! ha ha Sometimes people can be creepy here. Anyway, that was our one and only investigator this week. I guess we'll just have to keep looking and doing more finding out here. I haven't decided if I like Stara Zagora yet. It's been hard and I miss Varna so bad! I miss the sea... sigh... anyway, things will get better here I'm sure. I just need to adjust to everything. anyway, I love you all and miss you!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Alright.. Hello family once again!
So it's only been a few days since I last wrote you because we had a p day on Thursday last week and now it's only monday and we have another one! YAY! But somehow it's felt like I haven't written to you in over a week. Anyway, the reason for having p day on Thursday last week was because we had Zone Conference on Friday. It was really good! I loved it! We had some good lessons from Sister Roth and President Roth and the Zone Leaders and AP's also gave some really good lessons for it. I always love the Zone Conferences that we have. They really encourage me to keep going and keep trying.
On Thursday we had all the elders from the cities around here come in for the Zone Conference so we all spent p day together. It was really fun! We went to this little carnival thing in the sea gardens (I think I've told you before what those are) and we went mini golfing and played on the bumper cars! ha ha it was really fun and my neck is still sore from the bumper cars! I also got to play some football with some of the elders and that was the best! I've really missed football! We looked very American though.. ha ha oh well we always stick out here as being American.
Last night we went with Elder Racker and his companion to Radka's house for a dinner appointment. It was really fun and I realized just how much I'm going to miss her when I have to leave Varna. She is an incredible girl. We had a really neat lesson with her last week on the beach watching the Black Sea. It was way cool! Oh and I forgot! We put on this big devotional thing on Saturday night all about Joseph Smith! We did a slide show with candles representing Christ and His apostles and read scriptures telling about His life and crucifixion to lead into the apostasy and from there we led it into the restoration to talk about Joseph Smith and we showed the Joseph Smith movie afterwards. It turned out really well and our investigator Ogie was there with his wife so I think that was really cool for them to see.
The weather here as turned from nice and warm to intensely humid and hot! I can't walk outside for more than two minutes without feeling like I need to shower again! Hopefully that's only going to last this week.. but I doubt it! Bulgaria gets pretty hot in the summer so here it comes!
Anyway, I think that's about it for now! I love you! Enjoy all the rain you are getting! Go out and play in some mud just for me ;)
Saturday, May 28, 2011
So I'm sorry that I didn't write you to on Monday. We have p-day on Thursday this week because we have Zone Conference tomorrow. I am really excited for it! Anyway, this has been a great week! I can't remember exactly why it's been a great week because I can't remember everything that I was going to tell you, but just know that it was great! ha ha The end of the transfer is coming up and I was super sad to be leaving Varna because I knew I would be leaving. I have already been here for 4 months and it's not very common to stay any longer than that. I thought for sure I would be going to a city called Starzagora with Sister Rodgers. Starzagora is in the middle of the country and it gets really hot there in the summer! Well I found out yesterday that Sister Rodgers is actually going home this week because she is having back problems and they decided it would be better to just send her home. She was way sad and I feel really bad for her. This means that there will have to be three sisters in a companionship this next transfer and it will likely be in Varna because this apartment is the only one with three beds. So that means I have a good chance of staying here in Varna again for another transfer and being with Sister Orr again which would rock cause I love her! But we'll see! Who knows what will really happen. It'll be interesting this transfer.
So the weather here has been really hot this week! It hasn't been raining as much so I haven't been able to go out and start playing in it... hee hee :) anyway, it's been about 25 degrees here most days which is about 87 F so it's been pretty warm but I know it'll get a lot hotter as the summer goes on. It's been beautiful though! I love being by the beach... well most of the time. It gets a little hard in the summer time because people decide that they don't have to wear clothes on the beach.. or walking to or from the beach.. or really at all. So yeah. Not pleasant but what can you do?! It's Europe!
So we've been continuing to meet with Emona and she has started to come with us out contacting! It's really fun to have her there especially cause she can actually speak the language! ha ha but she's already being a missionary and it's awesome! She said the other day that my accent was worse than the greenie that just got here.... that was humbling! ha ha I guess I need to work a little harder at the language! It's coming.. slowly! ha ha
Our investigator Ogie has been doing really well and brought his wife to the mission tour last week so that was really cool! It was awesome to meet her and I am really excited for both of them. They both are actually in New York right now because their son lives there and they went out to visit him. So we won't be able to see them for a couple of weeks but I am excited for them.
Anyway, I can't remember what else I was going to tell you about this week.. oh dad you asked about the pictures I sent last week of us in the flowers. That was on the way to Sofia from Varna. Bulgaria really is really beautiful in the summer time. There are just huge fields of flowers all over the place. We passed fields like that the whole way over to Sofia. I'm excited for later in the summer because they get huge fields of sunflowers all over the place. I can't wait to see that. The country side here is gorgeous! I love when we can escape from the city for a little bit and see the beautiful country side! Well I love you tons! And miss you all!!
PS the subject says "hearty greetings from Varna!" ha ha I just thought it sounded cheesy so I had to put it :)
Okay so this has been a bit of a crazy week full of lots of funny stories and adventures!! So I'm just going to tell you some of the fun stories that have happened from this week
First off, the weather this week has been really up and down. Sometimes it has been really warm.. (almost too warm! but I love it!) and other times it has been raining and hailing and thundering.. all that jazz. Well so the other day it just started to pour like no other! You wouldn't believe how much water there was running down the streets and flooding everything! (plus they don't really have gutters here so that didn't help) It was nuts and there was so much water and hail...... so naturally I got really really excited and just couldn't help but go out and play in the rain!! Luckily, my companion is the same way as I am and we both just went out and played in the rain! We were soaked but oh man it was so much fun!! I love the rain! I have attached a picture for your enjoyment :)
Oh and to add to that... I also got really sunburned this week on the sunny days!! ha ha fun stuff..
Anyway, another day Sister Orr and I happen to be sitting on our coach eating when we looked out the window and I got this sudden urge to bark... so I did! I started barking out the window and Sister Orr thought it was hilarious so I taught her how to do it and now she it a natural! ha ha She's loves barking out our window now and well.. people think we're nuts but what else is new.
We had to travel to Sofia this week because we both had some passport work to do so that was two days of traveling and that is why I am writing you today instead of on Monday. We had a lot of fun in Sofia and it's always fun to see people when we go out there. The traveling gets really exhausting though because it's 7 hours in and 7 hours back the next day... so yeah lots of fun! But we had some fun seeing the beautiful country side on the way. Bulgaria really is a beautiful country and I love seeing the sights out here.
We are still meeting with Emona all the time and we had a really good lesson with her on Sunday. I cooked us all dinner (yes that's right I cooked! I know amazing eh!) and we had a really fun lesson after wards. I love seeing her progress! In fact I have an appointment with her in a few minutes so I have to go , but I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Enjoy the pics and know that I am always praying for you!
PS I'm sorry this email was a little scattered......MEOW!!
PSS Another funny story... Sister Orr and I are convinced our landlord is in the mafia here!! ha ha sketchy stuff I tell ya!!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
So this has been a pretty good week. We had a big mission tour this week with the area president, President Schwitzer and his wife. He is a member of the second quorum of the seventy. He is a really cool guy. We had a zone conference with them on Thursday and it was really good. I really really enjoyed the whole thing. He talked a lot on repentance and teaching that to our investigators and how we are here to change lives and to touch the hearts of the people. He was a really good teacher and I loved the whole thing! I played a musical piece on the piano for the conference and President and Sister Roth talked as well. The whole thing was very uplifting and very motivating.
Let's see.. what else. Emona is doing very well since her baptism. She is very happy and I love being able to meet with her still. She continues to progress and I just love her. She makes my days a lot better when I get to teach her and spend time with her. She is one incredible girl! We are still continuing to teach Radka each week and we've also starting having a weekly language study hour with her so she can help me with my Bulgarian! ha ha because really I need it! I love Radka though and I really enjoy the lessons we are able to have with her. She is such a new member but she is so spiritually mature. It's incredible!
Anyway, last monday we spent our p-day in a city called Balchik. It's a way pretty city right on the black sea and we had a lot of fun! I'll send some pictures of it with this email. We got to each lunch at a restaurant right on the sea and we hiked around some mountains and looked at all the cute little shops. It was a fun day. Oh ha ha so funny story..... the other day guess what happend!? Racker's companion got pooped on by a bird!! hee hee hee and then right as they were coming back to the church after changing his shirt, Racker got pooped on too!! ha ha ha I know it's sad but I couldn't help but laugh! They all made fun of me for getting pooped on so many times, it's about time that it happens to somebody else!!
Oh and the sad news for the week... I found out this week that my favorite food out here.. called Lutanitsa (I don't know how to spell it in english) it's like a red sauce thing that you can eat on bread and such... anyway, I'm basically addicted to it! Well I eat it a lot and this last week I had no money so I didn't eat any cause I couldn't afford to buy any and it was the first time that I wasn't sick.. turns out the Lutanitsa makes me sick to my stomach! I had some yesterday and got sick again! grunt. I'm quite sad that I made that discovery! Oh well Guess I just can't eat it anymore! ha ha
anyway, that's all for this week. I love you all and hope you are doing well! MEOW!
So this week has been pretty great. It was super super busy but still really good. First off, Emona was baptized this week! I didn't realize how much planning would really be behind planning a baptism, but it takes a lot of work! It was fun to plan it all though! The baptism was on Saturday and it was beautiful! We didn't do it in the Black Sea though. I went down and felt the water and it really was WAY too cold to have her baptized there. I don't want to torture her! ha ha
So we set up the font on the porch of the church and it was a beautiful sunny day so everything went really smoothly! Radka gave a talk, I did a musical number on the piano, another elder here gave the other talk and it all went really well. Emona leaned over to me during one of the talks and said she really felt the Holy Ghost. It was really cool. I could tell she was really happy and it really turned out to be a special day for her. I am really excited for her and the progress she has made. It's been really neat to watch the changes in her since I first met her out on the street up to today. I was so happy that everything went smoothly for the baptism and the spirit there was really so strong. It was so awesome! And the food we made was delicious! ha ha I'll try to attach some pictures today if I can. We had her confirmed yesterday at church and that was really special to watch. I'm so happy for her.
Anyway, that was the biggest news of the week and really what I've spent most of my week planning for. I don't know if I told you in the last email but the city of Pervadia that we were traveling to each week for church and to visit less actives was finally shut down. There just weren't enough people coming to church. The last week we went there absolutely no one came to church! ha ha it was just us four missionaries sitting there waiting for people to come. The other weeks it's only been about one or two people that have come. It's a bummer that they shut the church down there but we just can't keep going out there and having no one come. It takes a lot of travel time and money so they shut it down. It's sad though because I am worried for the members out there. I have grown close to them over the last three months going out there to visit them twice a week. I guess we'll just see what happens. Things in Pervadia have been going down hill for a while now so I guess it had to happen. But I won't be going out there anymore. We'll just be working here in Varna from now on.
So other big news! Radka's brother is awesome! Sister Orr and I keep running into him randomly on the streets and the other day we saw him down near the beach and we hung out with him for a good hour just talking and hanging out on the beach. He is such a cool guy and I love that we are able to get him at least involved with some of the missionaries! Last week we were in Sofia so we weren't able to go over to Radka's to teach her a lesson and I guess he was really bummed that we didn't come and said he thought he could learn a lot from us! He still pretends to not listen while we are giving the lesson to Radka but he always stays in the room now and he'll sit and talk with us for hours about different things. He is a way smart guy and I know he's been searching for something more with the religion. Anyway, it's slow but I really do feel like we are making progress with him and at least giving him a better idea about the church here in Bulgaria. Bulgarians have a really bad outlook on the church here. Everyone thinks we're some kind of cult that eats children or something. When people see us coming down the street they will yell out "secta!" which basically means cult! It's a little strange but slowly we are trying to change people's opinions of the church here.
Anyway, that's all for this week. Love you all!