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!
Monday, April 18, 2011
So the subject says meow in Bulgarian! ha ha I get bored ;) Anyway, this week has been..... very interesting. Kinda a tough week for me I'm not gonna lie, but things are still going well. I don't even know where to start with this week. Sister Orr and I have been getting along really well. I love her. She is so so much like me it's funny! We always wonder what President was thinking putting the two of us together because two of me.. well let's face it! Not a good combination! ha ha anyway, we have a lot of fun together! Emona is still doing really well. She had her baptismal interview on Saturday and she passed! yay! We announced her baptism on Sunday to everyone and now Sister Orr and I really need to get going on planning every little detail for her. I want it to be the most special day of her life so I'm going to make sure everything is perfect!! We really want to have her baptized in the Black Sea (setting up the font in the church is a HUGE pain and a big big mess so we would rather not do that!) but the weather has been a little chilly this week and I just don't know what's gonna happen. It's up to her though if she doesn't mind it being a little cold than we will go ahead and do it in the sea. I've always wanted to see someone baptized there because it is so beautiful! We'll see though. It's been really amazing to see her progress from the time I met her on the street until now. It's been an amazing journey and she is an incredible girl. I am so so excited for her and I can't wait to see where her life goes. She has a lot in front of her. I will send some pictures next week when I can. Did the pictures I sent last week work? I hope so!
So this week there was a baptism in Sofia and Sister Orr was one of the missionaries that taught the girl so we went to Sofia to go see it and Sister Orr spoke at it. There was a lot of miscommunication between President Roth and some missionaries and we weren't sure if we could go and if it would work out and drama drama... anyway, we ended up being able to go but we had to leave at 5 in the morning on Saturday so we could make it to the baptism on time with our fun 7 hour bus ride. The baptism was beautiful and it was really fun to see everyone. I was also able to meet with one of Alex Harris' friends that worked at Lagoon with her a few years ago. Alex had given me her number before and so I was able to meet with her since I was in Sofia on Saturday. I was really neat and she is a really sweet girl! She is actually from a city called Dobrich with is right next to Varna so she said she would come to Emona's baptism this weekend because she is going to be going home for the Easter holiday. I'm really excited for her to see it. Anyway, we went to church on Sunday in Sofia and then headed out that afternoon to get back here. We got home late last night and we are both thoroughly exhausted now! ha ha but it was good weekend.
So... I guess that's about it for this week.I hope everything is going well! I love you all!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Here are 2 of her letters... :D ENJOY!
Okay so once again HELLO family!
So this week has been pretty great... we had transfer calls this week. Are you ready for it!!? Dun Dun Dun... ( okay sorry I just get bored) SO it turns out I am staying here in Varna and my new companion will be Sister Orr. Which is actually exactly what I predicted ha ha it's not too hard to predict where the sisters will be going here because there are so few of us, but anyway, I am really happy that I get to stay here in Varna because I LOVE IT!! and I'm super excited to be here for the summer because I hear that Varna is so so beautiful in the summer with the Black Sea and all of that. So It will be great! I am sad that this transfer is ending though. Sister Loss and I have had a lot of fun together!
Oh and mom you will be happy to know that Elder Racker will still be here in Varna with me as well. He is going to be serving as the Zone Leader still and has a new companion. His companion Elder Rose is going to Sofia with Sister Loss actually so our little group is being split up, but it's okay I'm sure next transfer will be lots of fun! They all leave tomorrow and Sister Orr will come in so wish me luck! ha ha jk I'm excited and still slightly nervous, but it will be great I'm sure!
Anyway, this week has been great with Emona, she is progressing really well and we got permission from her parents for her to be baptized!! yay!!! That was what I was so worried about and though I'm still a little worried because we didn't get to actually meet them in person, it's still progress. She is loving the church and is willing to make sacrifices and do whatever is asked of her. She is awesome. She is way way sad that Sister Loss is leaving though so I hope she handles it okay. Sometimes when missionaries leave it can be really hard on investigators so pray for her!!
So happy conference weekend!! I hope you all enjoyed it! I did... well kinda ha ha It was all in BULGARIAN so I really couldn't understand a single word of it because they spoke SO FAST!! I guess I will just have to wait for the Liahone to come out and I can just read all the talks.. but I'm sure they were all great :)
Wanna hear a funny story? So we got to the church yesterday all early and such like we're supposed to and as we were walking in, we stopped to talk to some peeps and then suddenly something white just drops out of the sky and lands right on me!!! can you guess what it was? yep that's right!! BIRD POOP!!! grunt. Luckily though it did NOT land on my head and only got on my skirt and jacket a bit so I was able to wash it off but it was still SICK!!! Radka told me that in Bulgaria if you get pooped on by a bird it means that something lucky will happen to you that day...... ha ha I don't believe it! Oh Bulgaria!
Well I must say I don't think yesterday was any more lucky for me than any other day, but I did get dinner for free so maybe that was it :) ha ha who knows. Anyway, if you get pooped on, just think of it as a good thing cause you'll have good luck! :S Bulgarians are SOO superstitious. it is hilarious! Remind me to tell you some of their superstitions someday cause you'll laugh.
Anyway, now for the biggest part of my email..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND RYAN!!!!!!! I know that I missed Ryan's by a few days and I'm a little early for Mom's but I hope this counts anyway, I love you both so much and hope you have the best day ever because you deserve it!!! I LOVE YOU!!
Well I gotta go but have a good week! I love you all Love Me
Well hello again!!
So to start off my email I thought I would share a fun little story.... so you remember how last week I told you about the dang bird pooping on me RIGHT as I was about to walk into the church!!? Yeah that was on Sunday... then on Monday as I was walking along that exact same sidewalk.... it happened AGAIN!! yes that's right. I got pooped on by another stinkin bird AGAIN!! Two days in a row! This time Elder Rose was standing right by me and got away scotch free!! Grunt. He was laughing so hard and thought it was so funny that I got pooped on AGAIN!!! grunt. those dang birds are out to get me! Luckily it missed my head again and skimmed right passed my face and landed on my shirt. ha ha it was so SICK!! I really really don't believe Rodka when she said that the whole being pooped on by a bird is good luck. It's not. When I told her that I got pooped on again she just laughed..... luckily Sister Loss had an extra shirt that I could change into but I was NOT happy! ha ha jk it was actually quite hilarious... kinda....
Anyway, this week was transfers week and I am here in Varna now with Sister Orr. She is so awesome I love her! She is like the complete opposite of Sister Loss and she's way chill. We are very similar in a lot of ways and we really have a lot of fun together! I think this is going to be a really fun transfer!! She is from Logan Utah and went to Utah State before... I thought you would like that parentals :) Anyway, I'm excited because we really get along so well. She also has been out for over a year and is really good at the language so I think she will be able to help me a lot with it this transfer. YAY! I might be able to communicate!
So we found another young girl that is interesting in learning about the gospel. She also is a genius and speaks english fluently! She barely even has an accent! ha ha Somehow I just keep finding all the english speaking investigators! :) ha ha but she is really cool and I am excited to start teaching her. Her name is Yanita and she rocks! We also got to teach Rodka again last night and this time her brother sat in on the lesson again. It was a really good lesson and I can see a little bit of progress with him. He is a way funny guy and it would be so awesome if we could start teaching him. We'll see!
So this week we went to visit this lady who Rodka saw get hit by a car! It was so sad but we shared a little message with her and played some music for her to try and cheer her up! Her name is Hadegda (not really sure how to spell it in English) anyway, it means hope in Bulgarian. She was really awesome but I felt so bad! The car hit her and drove away and then once they caught him all he has to do is pay a 100 lev fine!! I about died! They said because she's still alive that he doesn't have to do more than that! :S I don't know. Bulgaria nuts.
Anyway, Emona is doing well still. We still meet with her twice a week and so far her baptism is still on track. We are trying really hard to meet with her mom but it's hard. I'm praying everything will work out for her and her baptism. It's in less than two weeks and we are almost done teaching her everything so we're getting there! I hope it is warm enough by then too because then we can do her baptism in the Black Sea and that would just be beautiful! Well, things are going great for me here. The new district here is really fun and we have a new greenie here in our district so I'm no longer the greenie!! ha ha YAY!! I'm pretty excited about it!
Well I think that's about it! Oh except dad, when you mail me that lovely package full of goodies, cause I know you will :) will you also include a box of Funfetti cake mix? ha ha I'm really craving it!! ha ha okay oh and if you can send a football, will you send one of those small ones like I used to play with all the time!? hee hee thanks you ROCK!!
Love you!! Love Me
PS I PROMISE I am sending pictures TODAY!!!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Hello hello family! Whew! I feel like I just need to take a deep breath before I start telling you about my week. It's been insane here! Things are going well though! After finding out about Diana last week, we met with Emona and we've been having lots of success with her. I then had to write a talk in BULGARIAN because I had to speak in sacrament meeting on Sunday :s but it wasn't too bad..... I might actually say... just perhaps... that the language is kind of,... kind of starting to click.. ish :) ha ha it's getting there Oh and that whole time we didn't have water or electricity in our apartment for some reason!! So we couldn't shower there or do the dishes or anything. We had to walk down the street to a cafe to use the bathroom and use the senior couples shower in the morning ha ha. I have no idea why it happen but it went on most of the week... our apartment was pretty gross! ha ha Anyway, then I had passport work to do in Sofia so we had to take the 7 hour bus ride into Sofia for all day monday and tuesday but it was really fun because all my groupies from the MTC were there and all the sisters in the country so we had a big sleepover with the sisters and it was really fun to see them all! Well we got to work again on Wednesday but had a lot of time and work to make up for with those two days in Sofia so we've been working hard all week. Emona is doing great! This girl is incredible! I just adore her. We've gotten really close really fast and she just loves the church! She comes to every activity and church every week. We met with her about 4 times this week and she wants to be baptized!! YAY! She is super excited! She has already almost finished the Book of Mormon in just two weeks and she just can't seem to get enough of it. I'm way excited for her. We set her date to be baptized for April 23rd. Now we just need to talk to her parents and get their permission to have her baptized since she is under 18. I'm kinda scared I'm not gonna lie. From what she says her parents are way chill and they don't care what she does, but I know that the biggest opposition always comes right before someone is going to be baptized. They know she is meeting with us, but we've never gotten a chance to meet them yet. We are going to this week. Please be praying for her!! Anyway, we also had a big zone conference this week and that was really good. Pres and Sister Roth came out and we met for most of the day. It's fun to see all the missionaries in our zone and the Roth's are awesome! I love them! I've been playing the hymns for church and all the missionary meetings and such so that's been a little stressful because I hate playing in front of people but it's getting better! I'm actually learning the hymns! ha ha Other than that things have been going great. Transfer calls are coming this week. I don't know if Joel will still be in my zone or not. It just depends but it would be really fun if we got to serve together again next transfer too! This transfer has been really fun! Let's see.. what else. I always forget all the things I want to say by the time I get here to write..... mmm..... well I can't remember. But grand news... I think I'm going to go play some soccer today!!!! YAY!! I'm so excited! I wanted to try to attach pictures to this email but I forgot the cord... grunt. I'm sorry! Next week I promise!! Love you!! MEOW!!! MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW!!! Love me
Monday, March 21, 2011
So this computer has been kinda freaking out on me so I don't know if you will hear much from me this week but I will try my best. So this week has been a little crazy. First off, I spoke way too soon. It's cold again. Grunt. ha ha but it's okay hopefully it will warm up soon! They were right when they said that March weather is way up and down. Anyway, on to bigger news. We met with Diana (The one who was going to be baptized on April 2nd) on Saturday and she came in bawling. She was so upset she could barely talk. I guess she had talked with her children and they told her that if she was baptized they would no longer recognize her as their mother. They would disown her from the family. She says they are all she has in this world. Her husband died a long time ago and she literally has no one else. I don't know why they are so against her being baptized but it broke my heart to see her in that situation. She was so upset. She was shaking and sobbing and we all cried together. Her kids told her that she had to call them by a certain time that night and tell them her decision because they all live in Norway. She left really upset and crying and left her books and things behind. She walked out without saying anything so we took that as her answer. We were heart broken. She was so so excited to be baptized and I saw how happy it made her. She is an incredible women. Keep her in your prayers please!! I pray everyday her kids heart will be soften to allow her to be baptized.
Sorry to start off with such sad news but it affected our entire week. We were blessed with meeting one incredible girl this week though. Her name is Emona and she is awesome! She speaks 6 languages and says english is most comfortable for her. Which is great for me! ha ha I met her on the street and was able to teach her the first lesson on Saturday. She came to church on Sunday and loved it! She was answering all the questions in class and everything. She's already started reading in the Book of Mormon and says she really likes it. I'm really excited for her! We were very blessed to find her.
So right now I am in Sofia because I had to come in to the capital to do some passport work. It's about a 6 hour drive to get here, but it's not too bad. All the sisters are going to be here for passport work as well so I'm super excited to see all of them! We are going to have a little party as sisters! It's nice to have a break from all the elders all the time ha ha.
So I can't believe that March is already almost over. March is a fun month here in Bulgaria because they have holidays the whole month. Bulgaria has SO MANY holidays. It's really funny and they all get really really into it. They even have something called name days where a certain day of the year is your name day.. if you have that name and you give out presents to other people on your name day. It's really fun. I think I'm going to start making my own name day now! ha ha it'll be great! They also celebrate women's day on March 8th and women get flowers all day long! ha ha Here if you are going to give flowers to someone you carry them upsidedown and if you received the flowers then you carry them right side up. I like it! I think we should start doing that little tradition as well.
Well things are still going well here in Varna. Transfers are coming soon and I'm sad to have Sister Loss leave and all the fun elders in my district! I get the feeling I'll be staying in Varna, but who knows eh!? Alright well I can't remember what else I was going to tell you so that's it for now!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Okay so I heard about the giant earthquake that hit Japan and I was really worried about Nicole so I'm glad you updated me on all of that today. What's going to happen with all of that? Are they taking the missionaries out of the country or leaving them in there? Did Nicole get hurt at all? What a scary experience for her!! Update me on EVERYTHING okay?? Is there a Tsunami headed towards Hawaii and California now? I heard there was... I need you to update me on all of that because I am a little out of the loop here.
Anyway, this week has been pretty good. The best news is... SPRING IS HERE!!! YAY!! It's finally warm here and it makes me so happy!! In fact, I'M WEARING FLIPFLOPS TODAY!!!! BAh ha ha ha so brilliant! Makes me really happy! So yes things are great now that it's warm :) Also, other grand news is... one of our investigators Diana has decided that she wants to be baptized! yay!! She is awesome! We weren't able to meet with her for a while because she was having some health problems but she is okay now and is meeting with us and is wanting to get baptized. We set the date for April 2nd and she thinks she will be ready by then and I think so too. I adore her. It's funny though because she doesn't really speak english and I don't really speak Bulgarian, but we still love each other. I'll keep you updated on her.
So I forgot my planner today which had what I wanted to say in my email on it so this might be short email cause I can't remember everything that has happened this week. We have another investigator that we found tracting a while ago. Her name is Neli. She is really really sweet! Radka (the one who's brother we were teaching) came with us to a lesson and they were instant friends. We knew they would be! I feel really good about Neli and she is so so open to the things that we are teaching her. Radka's brother hasn't been willing to sit in on any more lessons, but we still come every week and teach Rodka and hopefully he listens to some of it. He usually sits on his computer, but in the same room as us so who knows if he's getting anything out of it. He's a way cool guy though and I think it's good for him to be friends with the missionaries. We were going to go bowling with him and Rodka today and some of the other elders to get him to know more of us but it fell through so hopefully someday...
Other news.....uh.....this transfer is almost over and I can't believe it!! It's gone by WAY fast and I can only imagine how fast things will keep going... I better learn Bulgarian soon! ha ha Yesterday Rodka told me that I speak really good Bulgarian! ha ha It was probably because I was saying the prayer and I'm really used to praying in Bulgarian, but other than that.. I can't really speak but none the less it still made me feel really good that she said that. There is some hope that I can learn this language! :)
Oh man, I fail. I can't remember what I wanted to write today so I will just end this before I run out of time! I love you all and hope everything is going well! Please let me know about Nicole this week okay? Tell her I say hi and I love her.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
SO I promised to update you on some things this week because my email was so bunk last week!! Sorry about that! I'm trying to do better with managing my email time here.. it's difficult though. I'll do my best. So things here are going great. The weather is... crazy. It reminds me of Utah weather actually! This guy we were teaching the other day told us that Bulgarians call March the women month because it's so up and down with being cold and hot randomly all the time! You never know if it's going to be happy and good or horrible! ha ha It's true! Some days it's like in the negatives and other days it's almost warm... almost...... I LOVE the warm days and I can't wait until summer here! I heard Varna is BEAUTIFUL in the summer and i can't wait to see it! and I really can't wait to see the Black Sea in the summer....and people get baptized in the Black Sea in the summer and I REALLY can't wait to see that happen! ha ha anyway, last week I mentioned a funny story about a gypsy lady... so one day we were walking to the church just minding our own business and as we were crossing the street this lady literally comes out of NOWHERE!! and starts yelling at us... We couldn't understand a word she said because I was pretty sure it was all in Turkish .. she was mostly just yelling at Sis. Loss and like threatening to hit her with her bag. Sis. Loss tried talking to her and she smacked her across the face with her bag and walked away still yelling. It was the WEIRDEST thing ever. It's hard to identify us as missionaries because we blend in a lot more than the elders do but I don't know what her problem was.. maybe it was because we were missionaries. Anyway, kind of a crazy experience. But we are all good! so no worries!! We had a good experience yesterday.. we went out tracting last night and good things always happen when you go tracting on fast sundays! ha ha We knocked on one door and the lady was not really interested and then the next door we knocked on was this lady whom we had ran into on the bus like 3 weeks ago. She had come up to us on the bus and asked what church we were from. We gave her a pamphlet and told her some information but we only have 1 minute because we had to get off the bus. Well.. this just happen to be the apartment of that same lady!! It was nuts!! She recognized us right off the bat, but neither of us recognized her. She let us in and fed us dinner and we got to sit and talk with her and her family for and hour. It was really neat! She is Provaslav (The main religion here- mostly just because of tradition) and says she will never change but wants to know more about our church anyway. It was really cool to be able to meet with her. It's cool being out on a mission. I was just thinking the other day how being on a mission really helps me to realize all the little miracles that God blesses me with everyday. It's funny because I think back and I know he was always blessing me with those miracles my whole life, but I just never saw them all. Being here I really can see these miracles now and I am so grateful for that. I know that God blessed everyone with so many little miracles everyday, we just have to open our eyes wide enough to see them all. Anyway, yesterday we spent the day in Pervadia... I don't know if I told you about that city but it's tiny and we have about 4 members there that actually go. We combined it with another city called Shoeman so now we have about 7 people that actually come! ha ha but the missionaries still have to do everything for the church.. give the talks, play the piano, say the prayers, pass the sacrament. Everything ha ha it's kinda funny but makes you grateful for those big wards back home!! The members there are really cool though and we meet with some less actives out there every week and I just adore them! Let's see what else is new... um... my mission president is pretty awesome!! We had a zone conference a couple of weeks ago and it was really good! He is super chill and a really funny guy! ha ha His AP, Elder Truman, was wearing some jeans with like tiny little holes in the leg on p-day when he came in to get ready for zone conference and president roth saw him and said "look at my AP" and stuck his finger into one of the holes and ripped his whole pant leg all the way down!! ha ha it was so funny! We were just dying the poor elder Truman had to try to hold his pants up as he walked home to change.. ha ha President Roth is awesome!! Oh and you were asking about Rodka's brother. Things are about the same still. That one lesson was the best we've had so far. He will come sit in with the lessons sometimes and other times he won't but I really like that we are able to get the missionaries to be friends with him. We are going to go bowling with them sometime and just really try to get him involved with the missionaries and see that we are actually normal people!! ha ha We meet with Rodka once a week though and we'll just see how things go there. Rodka is a new member too. She got baptized in October but she is incredible! She comes with us as we teach people and it's really nice to have her there! We are teaching a new girl named Nelie that we met tracting and she is incredible! We are bringing Rodka to meet her on Tuesday because I know they would get along so well! We'll see what happens! Anyway, once again I am out of email time but I think I did a lot better this week eh fam?? ha ha well I love you tons!! MEOW!!
Friday, February 25, 2011
So so sorry I didn't have time to write you a main email last week. I was just writing away to friends and then suddenly I was out of time. We really dont' have that much time to email here. So SORRY! But I realized I wasn't telling you very much about what I do here and what is going on so I'm going to be more descriptive this time. So this week has been good! We have been working hard and had some fun times.
So we do different things to find people here than on most missions because it's hard to find people who are interested here. We do something called street boarding (I know I thought it involved a skateboard of some kind at first too! Sadly... no) ha ha We stand out on the glov (which is like an outside shopping place...ish where it's a street but just for people to walk in and then with shops and stuff on the sides too. ANyway, we get a board with some kind of info on the BOM or plan of salvation or what not and stand there and tell people about it as they walk by and try to get people interested. Another thing we do is called surveying where we have a survey with ?'s asking if they believe in god or what not and then we give them a little message about the church and try to see if they are more interested. Then another thing we do to find is we teach free english lessons twice a week. That is actually really fun to do and we have some interesting people in our class ha ha but I enjoy it and even though and really don't know what I'm talking about it's still fun. Last week we tried getting them to make the "th" sound with their mouths because they never do that here and it's really funny to see them try to do it. ha ha they can't say words like health, or with (Joseph Smith is Joseph Smit here ha ha) It's great. Also, we do the usual tracting and contacting but we also have letters of recommendation that a member wrote and we make those up and deliver them to people's mailboxes and then return later to see if they got it and to see if they are interested or have more questions. Anyway, when we aren't teaching lessons we are usually doing some sort of finding activity. I don't enjoy finding very much, I'd much rather teach but I guess you have to find people in order to teach them! ha ha but it's good they are pretty fun still.
So anyway, this week we were tracting one night and we go to this door and this lady answers and says she's not interested and calls us a cult (just like everyone else! ha ha ) but then her husband comes to the door and starts talking to us.. well kinda... we couldn't understand his bulgarian OR his english. I have no idea what he was trying to say to us. Anyway, he's talking forever and we are answering questions and such and then suddenly he goes in and gets a paper and pen and starts telling us to give him 3 numbers each that he is going to enter into the lottery and WHEN he wins he will give half the money to the church. This guy was convinced that we would know the lottery numbers and could make him win. Ha ha it was so funny! We kept telling him we didn't want money... blah blah he still would not get off this lottery kick. We finally just left but it was really funny and kinda made my whole night because this guy was such a nut! ha ha People are kinda crazy here but it makes life fun for sure! ( I also think he was really drunk...)
So this week we had Zone Conference which is why my p-day was thursday last week. The conference was really fun! We had all the elders there from the whole zone so that made the p-day really fun! I started playing basketball with all the elders and we were having tons of fun. Well they started talking a bunch of smack on me cause I was the only girl so I got competitive and just had to win, so I kicked their butts! ha ha it was great! Really it was just luck that I made all those shots but I won't tell them that! deeh!! :) We then watched Toy Story 3 cause we are allowed to watch disney movies and such on p-days which is AWESOME!!!
Oh by the way dad, I got your letters that you sent on Friday if that gives you an idea of about how long they take to get here. I don't think it took too long to get to the mission home but then I have to wait until someone from the mission home like the APs or someone is able to bring them out here to Varna because we are on the other end of the country. But anywho good news is I did get them!
SO funny story (if you get grossed out easily, then you should stop reading now and move onto the next paragraph... just warning you...) So for the last three weeks I have had this big narly nasty ingrown toenail that has gotten all infected and swollen and it hurts to walk or to run or anything. So I was soaking my foot like twice a day everyday with epsom salt stuff to try to help it and really it was just getting worse. SO this guy comes into english on Saturday and says he is a doctor and was wondering if anyone had anything wrong that he could help. SO sister Loss tells him about my toe and he wants to see it. I show it to him and he's all like I can fix it!! ( keep in mind he doesn't speak english and I don't speak bulgarian!) So he starts rubbing my ankle because he didn't understand that it was my TOE not my ankle! ha ha we finally show it to him and after a few more tries he finally gets it. Then he asked for a pair of scissors so we get them and there he goes right in the church trying to fix my infected toe with a pair of dirty, HUGE scissors with his dirty little hands. OH man it was so funny and it REALLY killed! Well long story short, he really didn't do much and it really didn't help much at all but I pretended like it did so he would stop trying ha ha anyway, I got an idea from him and that night I performed surgery on my toe at home and had Sister Loss help me (I know poor girl!) ha ha it was really funnny. But my toe is feeling better after my little surgery so hopefully I won't have to do it again and I can heal up just nicely! I was able to go running on it today so that's good news!
Okay, enough of that. Well I don't have much else to say. Hopefully this gives you a little more of an idea of what I'm doing over here in Bulgaria! I've been super busy and it feels like we don't have time to breathe! The good news is I am sleeping a lot better because I come home so tired that I just can't wait to go to bed! So that's great! things are going great though! We met with a new member named Rodka last night and seriously this girl is amazing. She's one of my best friends out here. I adore her. Well we met with her and her brother last night and she's been really worried about him because he is really against the church but she really wants him to look into it. Anyway, he ended up sitting in on our lesson and it was AMAZING! Like seriously it was exactly what he needed to hear and he was way involved and we really got him thinking, touching straight to the heart. The spirit was so strong. It was awesome! (and in english so I could help! ha ha) anyway, it was amazing and I"m excited to hear what happens with that later.
Well I love you tons and hope all is going well! MIss you!! I hope you are having fun with Rodent being home! MEOW!!
For those of you who may not know... RACHEL is home from serving her mission in New York!! Rachel is giving her homecoming talk this Sunday February 27 at 11:00am in the Oakforest building. It's gonna be good! So be there.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Still waiting to find out Cara's address so you guys can start writing her again! :) Until then... enjoy her letters.
ah man I am running out of time! I thought I had more time than I do :( So sadly I don't think I will have time to write a main letter to everyone this week but I wanted to write you and tell how much I love you! This week has been great but kinda crazy! We had zone conference this week and so our pday was on Thursday instead of monday, but I will have another one on Monday so be expecting it!! deeh!! Things here are going really well! There are some hard days but also many many good days as well so I am really happy about that. I don't have a grasp on the language at all yet but I know it will come. I will just keep trying hard to do my best and I know the Lord will provide a way for me to do the things he has commanded of me. I am loving this city! Varna is really beautiful! and I love it! I don't have the ability to print out your letters but I can still read them from the computer! I don't have our address with me but I think.. yeah I don't know I"m sorry I'll have to give it to you next week sorry dad! I wanted to attach some photos today but I just don't have any time left! WE really don't have much time for emailing which makes me really sad but I love you dad and I'm excited rachel gets to come home and you get to see her! Tell her to write to me! I miss you tons and hope you are all doing well. I think about you everyday and I am always praying for you! MEOW!
On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 7:35 AM, Doug Child wrote:
Here is letter #2 for you. please give me your address as soon as you can so I can start trying to mail letters to you at least. I sure love you Babe. (let me know if you can print these letters out ok?)
Love you like flies love poop. ( a lot more than that too)
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I have finally received Caralee's first forwarded letter from Bulgaria! And I couldn't be any happier right now. I wish I could be in Bulgaria and see for myself what it is like.. but I'm just glad that she is enjoying it so much! I'm still trying to figure out what she meant by 'forgot her camera cord'.. forgot it at the MTC? or home? Either way - how do you forget something like that?! I hope it somehow finds its way back to her. Last of all, thank goodness for Ambien!
HEY FAMILY! GUESS WHAT??! I'M IN BULGARIA!!!! COOL EH?? ha ha it's so sweet!!! Okay so this has been a very interesting week for me as you could probably guess.
Let me just start out by saying how much I LOVE not having giant red blinking numbers counting down the time I have left on the computer! ha ha it's so GREAT!!
Okay so I made it here just fine. The flights were not bad... I took an ambien and literally slept the ENTIRE time on the plane, actually I slept the entire time on all three plane rides so that actually made the trip go by quite fast.. besides our two 8 hour layovers, it was great. Because of said ambien I have not had any jet lag which is beautiful!! We met president and sister Roth at the aiport with the APs and we stayed at the mission home that night. Sister Roth is an incredible cook and made us excellent dinner and breakfast! ah it was so great to eat REAL food again! Yes.. heaven. Anyway, the mission home is really nice and I enjoyed it. The next day we met our trainers and were assigned to our areas.. along with some other meeting stuff. It was bad. SO I have been assigned to Varna and my companion is Sister Loss, which is great! I expected to go here and actually really wanted to go here so I love it! Varna is a big city and it's kinda dirty... okay really dirty but still beautiful at the same time. I love it. Varna is a city on the north east side of the country right on the Black Sea! Cool eh? We are going to go see the sea today :) AND ever since I got here the weather has been BEAUTIFUL!! It's sunny everyday and pretty warm, especially for winter. It's warmer here than it was in Provo. Deeh! Makes me happy.
Okay so wanna hear something kinda funny!? Turns out Joel Racker is my Zone Leader here in Varna!! ha ha oh man it's so weird! He picked us up from the bus stop (after another 7 hour bus ride on top of all the flights! Grunt.) and it was the weirdest thing to see him here. I see him all the time though because he is our zone leader and we are doing stuff with them most of the time. So anyway, that's kinda crazy and kinda fun! It's still really weird for me to see him though, but it's cool.
So, BULGARIA ROCKS!! It's really just exactly like I expected it to be! Very European, Euro cars, Euro streets, Euro styles.. yes I love it! I don't understand a word of what people are saying to me, but I try anyway. I feel like a 5 year old when I speak and people kinda look at me like I am one too! ha ha BUT I will get the language eventually! I've already noticed a huge difference just being so immersed in the language. There is one thing however that is going to be hard to get used to. They nod their heads up and down to say no and they go back and forth to say yes. It's opposite and oh man it totally throws me off ALL THE TIME!! Ah it kills me and I just cannot get my head to grasp the fact that shaking my head back and forth is yes! I just can't do it! Though that is my goal today.. to shake my head the "right" way from now on. Ha ha I heard that's what it was like but I don't think I actually really believed it!
Sister Loss is awesome by the way! I love her. She is from Salem, Utah and we get along great. We are very much alike. We both love to run so we go running every morning and she loves to eat healthy which is really good for me.. seeing as I love chocolate!! So we eat very healthy as well. She also is a very hard worker and that's very very good for because as you know.. I like to have a little too much fun. So she keeps me on track which is really good. We work really hard all day long every day. At the end of the day I'm always so tired and my feet hurt and my back hurts and I have a headache... yet I'm still so happy and feel so great because I know I am utterly exhausted doing the best I can here. That's what I want everyday of my mission.
We went tracking last night and it was really cool. ( I can start the conversation but then Sister Loss has to take over because I don't know what they are saying to me!) Anyway, we met this old lady (a baba is what they call it!) and she had just lost her husband and kids and sisters. They all had died recently. I didn't catch how.. but it was so sad. She was just so lonely and just needed to talk to someone. We stayed with her for a while and gave her some things about the church. She was so happy to just have someone to talk to. It was so sweet. She gave us some cookies and clothes hangers (random) but it was all she had. My heart just went out to her. As we were walking home that night, I was looking down at the sidewalk because the roads and sidewalks here are so cracked and broken that you have to watch where you are stepping or you will fall. As I was doing that I couldn't help but think of how these sidewalks are just like the people here. They have been so oppressed and bruised and beaten through their lives that they've learned to be hard and calloused in order to survived. Just as the walkways are broken and hard, so are their hearts. My heart just reaches out to them as I think of all they have gone through and really they just need someone to show them some love, to fix up their broken hearts and to soften something that has been so calloused from years and years of hatred, bitterness, and brutality. It really made me just want to give my everything to help them and show them they were loved. Just as that little old baba just wanted some love, I think everyone can use a loving hand.
The members here are incredible! They are very few in number but very strong. I met them all yesterday and I love them. We have about 30 in our branch here in Varna and then we also go to a neighboring town called Pervadia for church. They are mostly all inactive and struggle. We had 4 people there besides us at this sacrament meeting and church only lasts a 1 total there. We go every Sunday though to help build it up there. That poor town struggles, they are so poor. Many of the Maxalas (ghettos) here remind me a lot of Africa because of the way they live. It's very similar. There are many poor people here and it's hard to see. There's a lot of work to be done and I'm excited to do it!
Well just so you know. My p-days are now on Mondays so I'll be emailing every monday. I forgot my camera cord but think I should be able to attach some pics next week so I will try! I will also try to attach a voice recording too if I can dad :) Love you all and hope things are going well! MEOW!! (PS there's also a LOT of cats here! They are everywhere! ha ha LOVE IT!)
Monday, February 7, 2011
She has been in Bulgaria since last Wednesday and I am still waiting! Waiting for an e-mail, a letter, a sign... ANYTHING! I miss her dearly and want to know how she is handling Bulgaria. I'm pretty sure it's not going to be anything like what they told her in the MTC. That always seems to happen. As much as I LOVE Sister Pantigoso, I'm comforted knowing that Caralee will have a companion that knows Bulgaria well and can teach her the ropes.
Speaking of сестра (sestra) Pantigoso.. We have been writing and guess what? She is an Alicia Keys fan! Oh. My. Goodness. I love her. I plan on going to a concert with her. Butttt.. you probably all don't care about that. :) However, you may be interested in knowing that the doctors cleared her and she was able to leave with her District! Yay! I was so worried about her. But all is well!
Goodbye MTC. Helllooooo BULGARIA!
До следващия път...
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Preparing for February 2nd has been so much harder. It's not like my life is going to change anymore from what it did when she left 8 weeks ago. However, knowing that she'll be an ocean away for the next 16 months is hard to come to terms with. She is leaving to B-U-L-G-A-R-I-A! I do not have hook-ups in Bulgaria where I can get a number to contact her immediatly. (Although, I won't rest until I have a number. ;)) I don't know exactly how long it takes to travel to Bulgaria, but I know it is much MUCH more than 60 minutes. And I haven't the slightest idea what she'll be experiencing in Bulgaria. Heck, I don't even know what the eat there!
But I have no doubt that is where she is suppose to be. Where she NEEDS to be. I've had her for 21 years... I think I'll manage the next 16 months without her. But I will want her back! So treat her well, Bulgaria - you only have 16 months. ;)