Friday, April 17, 2015

Hristos a inviat. Adevarat a inviat

From April 13, 2015
So. Romanian Easter. 

This week, my comp was SICK. Woke up Tuesday with fever, chills, and basically was couch ridden with bathroom trips every 10 minutes. It was epic. 
I got a lot of reading in and thinking time. We made it a decent time. I had fun at least. I just kept Elder Reed laughing as much as possible, he fired it back. So it was solid. He wasn't, if you pick up what I'm putting down there.

We live on the top floor of our building and the windows in our apartment are like on the slanty ceiling/wall that goes right out to the roof. So I went out on the roof on a little flat part and chilled in the sun a bunch, The weather here is sooo nice. 
Winter was loooooong and cold. I forgot what it was like to go out without a jacket and hearing people running around/laughing. Seeing colors on the trees etc. The city is alive now and it is incredible. 
The mountains still have little frosty tips and we can see them from our place. It is nice. I miss hiking though! Hope we can get out there somehow someday.
I also taught myself how to make ciorba too. It is gooooooood stuff.

So we had a cool Easter Activity on Saturday. 
Mowed the grass at the church and set it up. Then we played some games and fired up the grill. Charcoal here is so hard to get going, haha. But this awesome member Marius moved back from Germany/France and is the coolest dude ever. He straight up found some wood and just built a fire on top of the charcoal and then let it get going. We went hard bbq'ing some mici and made a huge pot of Ciorba. Then we feasted. It was the bomb. Everyone was stoked, the weather was perfect and the food was good and Romanian. 
The church has a sick new video out for Easter too, so we had a cool spiritual section watching that and talking about the Life, Atonement, and Ressurection of the Savior.
The plan of happiness man, how can you not get STOKED about it? 

We went to the Orthodox Celebration for Easter at the big cathedral in Centru. Everyone was gathered around the church, everybody brings a candle. The Priest dudes in their robes all go in the church where there is a flame going, they bring out some lit candles and everyone lights it and passes their flame to everyone so the crowd slowly lights up from the center of the crowd by the front of the church. It is really pretty cool. 

Sunday was awesome too. Just had sacrament meeting so people could go spend time with their families for Easter. Then spent some time hanging out with Eugen, he just talked about pokemon and stuff forever. It was pretty cool though. He was happy, so we were happy.
Here in Romania, we harvest in a lot of different ways. So many people think that missionary work is all investigators and contacting and baptisms. It's a big part, and we always work towards it. But especially here I have a bigger focus on members and how the branch is operating. Now there is a new found spirit and excitement in the branch. It always starts with the missionaries and how their attitude works. PLUS there has to be something solid for people to come into, or else the foundation will wash away again and they will just be another name on the list that nobody knows anything about. So, it's not always just all about how many baptisms, the work goes forward in a lot of other ways.  
Today is incredible, weather is 10/10. I missed the sunshine. Centru here is so beautiful and everyone is just running around havin a blast. It is the bomb. 

My new comp is Elder Kennedy. He's just a little younger than me in the mission. I hear the kid is hilarious so I am stoked for it. We are going to do solid work. Sibiu is the bomb right now.

Life is gooooood! The weather is awesome. We go down to Bucuresti tomorrow morning and will be back Wednesday.  Elder Reed is going home. I will miss him but it's always fun when they are going home.  They are wise and productive and that usually makes it a good time.  
Spring is incredible. Nothing like it in Romania. The city is back to life and everyone is out in the city. Families all over etc. 

- Elder Boydstun

Monday, April 13, 2015

pe bune

From April 6, 2015

Cool week!
This week was pretty solid. It is crazy I have already passed my year mark now.. goes by soo fast but I am stoked I still have more time to live here and do the work out here. 
I feel like my character has improved for sure and I am striving to go all in. This next transfer will be a good one with whatever happens. This past one has been so awesome with Elder Reed. He's a good friend and we have had a great time and have done some good things. 

We went out to a small city outside of Sibiu, Talmaciu. To visit a member and his parents. It was really cool. We hung out with his dad and he talked about the rules of snooker, which are incredibly confusing. I guess he is retired from being a nuclear physicist and just smokes and chills watching snooker. Also takes care of a vineyard in his backyard. I swear if you live La tara or even have a little bit of a yard here, you have a cool garden and chickens for sure. I learned some crazy words playing scrabble in Romanian. I need to step my game up on my Romanian recently. 

We made Mici and some salad. It was a good time.

Conference was incredible. I need to watch again and study my notes, but I really liked Elder Causee's talk, the french guy. Elder Holland always delivers and really prophesies which I love, because it really makes me feel like I am hearing the word of God. 
We watched it in English on a SmartTV that we got the branch from Bucuresti because our other TV was huge and old, and also in Romanian over this broadcast system that was a huge pain... running back and forth trying to get things to set it up and hook it up to the TV and ended up not working, but we could listen/watch in english at the same time which was great. There are some members across the country that translate for the church as a living, so they do the translating and it came over the broadcast. If you go on and the conference page, you can change the language to Romanian... Check it out and let me know what you think! haha

Our district has 2 possible baptisms set here in Sibiu.  They haven't had a baptism here in over 4 years.  As BP I have extended callings to some members and they are really stepping up and feel the trust we are placing in them, which is cool. Trying to get the members to take more responsibility and it's going well. The church is growing and it is legit. But most importantly more and more people are coming to be converted to Christ and truly seeking him and understanding his fullness through the restored gospel.

The weather is major drag right now all rainy. But I planted some grass seed in the front little yard thing at the church. Can't wait to see those bad boys pop up and start making the place look great. BP life man. I can make some pretty cool decisions, haha. We planted flowers at the church and cleaned it up real nice. Nobody wants to come to a dusty old looking villa. 

So we are chilling and about to start conference and the old BP and his wife walk in. I'm just like, oh hey BRO how was GERMANY!!!!?? We shared some laughs and had a little convo. So this is going to be an incredible help to the branch. For real, it's going to be great. 

Last time I saw him, the only time I saw him, he said he was leaving the next day so... now I've got some help.

I haven't celebrated Easter yet since this part of the world is all Orthodox. We are going to be partying it up at a cool activity this weekend. Painting eggs and all that greatness. Plus teaching more about Christ. Easter is supposed to be really huge here so I am stoked!

Elder Lex (my old comp in Moldova who went home) and his family came to Sibiu to visit. It was sooooooo incredible. He is super Austrian and I love it so much. We just toured around the city for a bit and got some good food. It was a great time. He wore Lederhosen and everything haha so sick!!! I wore them too, I'll send a photo probably. I look GOOD man. haha They are comfy too.

Conference was really incredible by the way. If you didn't watch, read, or listen. Re-evaluate yourself and go feast on the good word of God! I promise you'll find an answer you really need. Tons of hits on marriage and family. I was stoked on President Monson talking about the Temple. I totally miss that place and just seeing them. If you have the chance, go and take advantage of the spirit felt there. It is true peace and joy.

Sometimes being here I miss when I was able to relax on Sunday a little and have someone share a bunch of great lessons and spiritual meat. But in return I have understood the importance of study and reading, gathering knowledge and searching for truth. "seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith."

Go get it. Search and find it. Learn something knew and recognize it everyday this week. make it a habit.

God is love. 

- Elder Boydstun

steak. one legged bikers. tigers

From March 30, 2015

I spent some more time hopping trains this week. 

And just a random insight.. KFC is way better here than in the states.

Elder Reed and I got a huge steak meal for like 20 lei. thats.. what... 5 bucks? And we grilled hardcore. It was so amazing. I was so pumped though and I ate way too much of course. Mission life I guess. Kaufland does it well,

We went down to Ploiesti for an exchange with the ZLs. Elder Montoya is the man. We had a solid day. We went and visited this dude who runs a motorcycle shop out of his house and only has one leg. It was awesome. Elder preece taught him way back when he was being trained. So like 2+ years ago. 
Ploiesti is pretty weird and I ripped my pants jumping a small fence to cross train tracks... :( oh well.
We had to run to Bucuresti to get refund money from travels and apartment bills since everyone is broke right now. And the Nelsons in the office were so incredible and took Elder Reed and I to a steak house, holy it was sooo good! They are awesome. 

Things are goin solid in the branch though. I've extended some callings and it's going to work. A super sick investigator came to church and testified how he felt like he found what he had been searching for and that we were like a family. It was super dope then he committed to baptism in a few weeks.
But this old guy also came and we were talking about family history and the teacher asked him to tell us about himself. He starts saying about how he is a hard worker and then how he is smart and put some carrots out on his porch in the rain so they would wash themselves.  But when he looked in the morning someone had stolen them. so someone asks "did you call the police?" and this young guy starts laughin hard about that question for carrots. It's funnier in Romanian I promise... 

Today we went to the zoo here in Sibiu. There were some awesome bears and some cool tigers. And there were these jaguar.. cubs.. kittens? (young jaguars) and they were in these small exhibit things with two dogs. haha I guess they help them so they don't turn into freaks when they grow up but act like dogs.. I don't know! ROMANIA. It was pretty awesome though. Eugen loved it a lot. He asked us to go with him for like 3 weeks but we were busy. So yeah he was stoked. We had a good time.

Conference is coming up. Prepare yourselves to be filled with the good word of God! INVITE A FRIEND. God is Love. 

And to all those who added on to that epic book thing my mom sent me for my year mark. THANK YOU. It was awesome and I love you guys. 

My family and Friends are awesome

Love you all,

Elder Boydstun