Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Transfers. Trains and Sunshine

This past week has been pretty crazy.

Had to say goobye to my good austrian friend Lex.. and my Italiano Baielli. I love those guys!
This was after taking the 14 hour train to Bucaresti.
In Buc we were walking around downtown to a bookstore and I saw these old white haired guys cutting hair in this old-school barber shop. So I had them cut my hair. I got cleaned up with a straight razor and one of the most solid hair cuts I've ever had. 

It was awesome to see everybody from my MTC group. We hungout and traveled around the metro to get food together with everyone, it was a good time. I've got some solid friends here. Transfers are always crazy, but a good time. 

Anyways, we had to get 3 cities worth of Christmas transfer stuff into the train back to Chisinau. The border dudes cut open the ones in the sisters room and opened everything including all their wrapped packages, hahaha.
We hid ours like champions, I guess. 
My companion is this cool kid Elder Bateman. He is a surfer/photographer from Florida. so we get along pretty well. He is a funny dude with the driest humor ever. Like epic amounts of dryness at times. it is awesome, haha. We have been talking about the weird slang used in surfing and snowboarding and it is hilarious.

We have some really cool ideas that we are going to be using instead of dying in the cold and doing normal grinding work. So we have been looking for hardware stores that have the supplies we need to build some streetboard display type things. Literally just traveled into the depths of a part of the city. I had been walking around going in these weird construction warehouses and shops trying to ask them where this mega-store is someone told us about. It took 3 hours to find it, but it was crazy. Like Lowes/Home Depot but bigger. 
The most annoying part is.. the weird toothless old russian man, first guy I asked, at the first bus stop told me the right directions all along. Everyone else was very floppy with their directions, haha.

We also had to find a guy that made grommets, like eyehole things in vinyl. We looked all over the middle of the city. We finally go into this flea-market store thing. We go up to the 4th floor.. all of it is fabrics and womens scarves. Elder Bateman asks this lady and tries to explain it, then shows a photo. She points us to the end of the hall through a random door. We go through and then we have to turn right and duck under a ledge, go down a ramp.. then enter a clothing repair shop. This guy is randomly in a small room in the very back of this shop. haha it was crazy. I was laughin pretty hard over it. This guy breathed like he was snoring and spoke mostly Russian but we worked it all out. 
He said we spoke perfect Romanian, this guy didn't even speak Romanian that well, haha.

We are going to be doing some epic stuff this next week, so I am excited. 

Christmas is coming up. and it's a great time of year. Watch He is the Gift on and remember that He is the reason for tha Season! He loves you. I love you. you deserve the joy he offers. Follow him, and you WILL be where you NEED to be.
Go on an adventure this week and meet some strangers!

Love you all.
Elder Boydstun

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Transfers. swiss-german. auf wiedersehen LEX


This week was pretty awesome as Elder Lex's last week.
We made incredible food everyday and it was great

It has been freezing rain and it is nuts now. Like it rains and as soon as it hits the ground, or whatever it touches... everything freezes. So watching people eat it and fall way hard was both sad and hilarious. 

I got these custom fitted shoes this week, and I was pretty sad about it because they were so hard and my feet were not happy.. but now they are like gloves and I love them. So yeah. this little semi-crippled dude named Constantin is a little shoe wizard. Missionaries have been going to him for a while and I guess now he is doing some service project for the church.

Yesterday this guy who is a world traveler came and said goodbye to Lex. He is the most awesome guy ever.. He randomly came to church one time before I got here because he had never been to a Mormon church before. Then he talked  to Lex forever.. This guy is from Switzerland and has dreads and a cool beard and is so happy. He speaks english really well and speaks swiss-german and high-german and austrian-high-german and learned turkish from living in turkey for 6 months. 
Yeah... there is apparently many variations to German. Anyways, he tried to read the Book of Mormon in English, but said the old-world American-English is way too hard and he had to try so hard to understand that it wasn't making sense. So we got him a German one later that night after traversing across the hills of Botanica in the ice rain. We talked about amish people and his adventures. I have a photo. I will probably send it. 

We showed all our English class the new "He is the Gift" video. A missionary in the office translated it into Romanian. (#sharethegift, don't hashtag in emails, this is an exception)
It really is a cool video. Go check it out... share the love of Christ. it is real and brings us together as humans despite our many differences. 

I also got an incredible letter from my friend Elder Minor from the mtc. 
The fact that we are all different is something we should embrace as we all are on our journey to Know Christ. Meaning we shouldn't stress so hard or worry so much about conforming to this perfect mold of the person we think we need to be. Not meaning we shouldn't strive to improve and grow as much as possible, but to take in our talents, our gifts and our differences to give something new to the world.
Christ doesn't just make up the difference. He is the difference. His grace is sufficient. follow him, and you'll be where you need to be. 

Anyways, transfers are happening. Elder Lex goes home to Austria. We both go down to Bucuresti today and it'll be a good time. I am stoked to see some friends and a little bittersweet to say goodbye, for now to a few others. 
My new companion will be Elder Bateman, I don't really know him. He's in his 4th transfer or so and I heard he likes surfing and is from Florida. So we will get along. 

Christmas is soon. There are an epic amount of lights and trees everywhere in Centru here. This transfer is going to be awesome. 

Oh yeah, I am staying in Chisinau. wooo

eine dose mitleid fur ELDER LEX. bloop! ooohhh...

Have a good week. Celebrate the 14th in remembrance of me. 
Does this mean I have to be an adult now?

Elder Boydstun

Monday, December 1, 2014

Knockin blocs

Thanksgiving was solid! 
 Lex and I made poppy seed cake, Lex's favorite thing ever haha. it was good. 

Chisinau is awesome, I love it here.  Anyways things have been a little slow for Lex and I.  At least on the number side of things. No lessons this week, but we did some good    stuff so it's alright...just keep goin forward!

Branch was still pretty solid, it'll get better from here on out too. some bumps in the way are expected, no stress! Anatolie is the coolest guy ever. 

Ps. I always wonder how you guys pronouce names of places and names :) haha 
Elections were yesterday, so I don't know what happened yet. If you can figure it out, let me know haha. hope the commies didn't win!  There are Posters with a  picture of these Moldovan political leaders meeting with Putin and it says "TOGETHER WITH RUSSIA!" and it all solcialist and stuff it's crazy haha 
Sometimes it is annoying to think that we don't get many lessons and stuff, but the things we do do here many times are small works that will lead to bigger things. So, it is awesome once you just relax and figure it out. It's funny to me getting emails from people (other missionaries) in the Americas saying "crazy 3 hours where we didn't know what to do since all our lessons were falling through so we knocked some doors and tried to call some people, then finally someone answered ..... then mid lesson it was amazing and we committed him to baptism in 2 weeks."   I am here like... yeah I knocked on 5 whole apartment buildings and one person talked to us for maybe 2 minutes outside their door asking us if we liked the beautiful Moldovan women. hahaha 
We spent a good chunk of time contacting this week and knocking blocs. There is always really weird things in blocs. I've always heard "if you want good stories from your mission, go bloc knocking."They are just huge apartment buildings that are sketchy and awesome, filled with all types of interesting people and things. So from helping some guys carry a massive, seriously massive, sack of potatoes off the almost death trap elevator - to getting yelled at by old women in Russian…it's wonderful.
Anyway, we were walking along, trying to find some potentials.. knocking some doors and getting lost, normal. On our way back to our place, we see a girl  from the branch working in this stand thing handing out flyers, so we stop and say hello. Her friend/co-worker looks at us and says "where are you from?" Elder Lex says "Austria, and he's from America".  She looks a me and says "so you speak english?" "Yes, of course I speak English." "Where'd you learn Romanian?" "Romania." Then she proceeds to hand me a small piece of paper and a pen. "What's this for?" Another girl in the back says "PHONE NUMBER!" So I laugh and give her my name and an english card and she gives me her number. I still got game SON! haha it was hilarious.. and most likely just because I'm American, but whatever! 
We also got permission to watch dispicable me with the branch, so that was incredible of course. that movie rocks haha.
We also found a street board at our church we've been using. Basically a wood structure with pictures of Christ and temples and some info on it. We just stick it in the front of the park in the middle of town. Some cop came at us, and I thought we were done for. But he was cool and just wanted to make sure we weren't doing a flash mob, hahaha. 
Something I've wanted to do for sure is just to become a better teacher. Sometimes you wonder if you're just not teaching well.. but always having to remember that his sheep will hear his voice! So as long as you're teaching the truth and testifying, you are doing what's right!
It's super cold and snowed a little bit and I was so pumped. I got a mini snowball to the head and I wish it would snow more. For now, it's just freezing cold. 
Sunday was awesome as the first week with the split branch. Bro. Cociu gave an incredible super heartfelt talk and I loved it so much. He is the coolest guy ever... we still had a solid turn out in members coming as well and it's only going to get better. 
Moldova is incredible. As I said, the elections were yesterday and I don't see any crazy public demonstrations from whoever lost, so I'm assuming things went well, haha. we'll see though! 
Today will be awesome though we are going to play soccer in some indoor place and I am pumped for it. 
Hope all is well. Hope Thanksgiving was filled with tryptopahn and love! 
va iubesc 
- Elder Boydstun

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lasi, Baptism, Moldova vs Lichtenstien

This week was incredible.  So many good things are happening it is crazy!

The baptism happened. It went really well, I was so stoked to see one for the first time here. Cool thing is, we have one scheduled every week now for the rest of the transfer... cool, huh?
Chisinau is awesome, and President is putting a ton of trust in this place and things are happening.
We had a cool mission conference in Lasi this week, it was super cool. Elder Kearon from the 70 came. He has been a member since he was 26 and was called to Second Quorum of 70 when he was 48. Crazy.  (It took him 2 years of lessons before he accepted baptism)
He had a lot of really great things to say and I wish I brought my notes so I could remember and share them with you. A lot about consecrating our time and efforts and taking the Setting Apart literal. Stepping it up and taking it to a very real level of setting ourselves apart from the world.
He also talked about uniting in prayer. The past few months, President has asked us all to unite in prayer. So we pray together at 6:30 am, 10 am, 10 pm. as a mission. It is cool and we've already seen blessings from it. Elder Kearon is literally incredible. I learned so much.. even in just the first 5 minutes of noticing and noting his composure and demeanor. So composed and sincere and so much love being expressed. Everyone felt like he was talking directly to them and for them. He formed his lesson around our needs and our desires, taking stories and questions.. asking for our imput but not a "guess what I am thinking" game. He is English so he also said I bunch of funny British mannerisms like "niggles"hahaha. But really, it was awesome. Lasi is a cool city, too. We didn't see to much. Pres is very business, get in, get out, get to work. I like it though. It makes me feel like the work is most important, which it is. 
Kearon said that he felt something here and he explained it to the zone leaders and sister training leaders at the mission leadership council in Bucharesti. He said there is something that he felt in Cape Verde (or something) in Spain. and he said that Romania/Moldova will be like the "Brazil of Europe"
Crazy coool. It was a good time!
I am doing well, feel good. Probably not going back to Romania for a while. That's fine though. I love this place.  I think we are going to have a Thanksgiving thing together with the two Senior Couples here in Chisinau. So we'll see how it goes.
English started, so that is crazy and cool and we had a ton of people that came. So basically we had a solid weekend of fast/prayer last week. Ended up getting 10 people that are interested in learning more about the church. So sick!  So, at the end of English (Lex and I teach beginners) we were announcing the 2-min pause and then a spiritual thought. Then this guy just asks "So what religion is this? What church? What makes you different?"  Elder Lex started explaining and we said the name of the church or otherwise known as Mormons. Then I said one thing that is different about us is we believe in the Restoration of the gospel. Elder Lex backed me up and explained Christ establishing his church and then it being lost and then JS. Then I explained how he had a question and that is how it began. And our offer to the world is to read the Book of Mormon and to ask God if it is true and then if it is.. (insert implications). Etc.
It was crazy. We just testified hardcore to like 15 people just sitting and listening. Then after, some guy came and gave us his info wanting to know more. SICK!!   What makes you different"?  Oh let me tell you, man!
When we went to Lasi, we had to take a Maxi Taxi there. So basically a sprinter van filled with bus seats, like the party van things. But anyways, the roads in Moldova are the worst in the world. Like that literally might be a fact, look it up for me haha. We crossed the border and all. We got there fast since driving here is just a free for all blitz wherever you are going.
Elder Kearon from the 70  dropped some sincere and loving WISDOM. I loved it so much, I learned a ton from him. He talked WITH us about consecrating ourselves and setting ourselves apart from the world, to become the men/women we can be. Living on a high standard. He stressed big time a solid Morning Routine. Getting up on time, work outs, eating well and attacking the day. He says that if you go about just lazily and mediocre, you will have a mediocre (at best) day. Then that reflects to the week, month, year, life!
So that is my challenge to you.. Go out and get it!
We got voie to go to the Moldova/Lichtenstein Euro Cup match this Saturday, after a baptism so that was incredible. Off course it was mostly in Russian but that's just fine. Moldova ended up losing off a FOOLISH free kick goal right infront of the box.. perfect upper 90 shot, I got it on film. It was incredible though, just seeing Moldovans get crazy and support their insane little country. So stoked about it. haha!
Of course I got an awesome Moldova scarf.

Yeah but basically that's all I can even remember. 
I am tired all the time, but so stoked on life. it is cool...
"Be happy, but don't be satisfied." 
Push yourself to do something incredible this week.
Elder Cole Boydstun

Sunday, November 16, 2014


From Monday Nov. 10, 2014

Time is flying by.. 

Moldova is awesome. it is crazy and a bigger city. it was cold the beginning of the week but has warmed up!  Chisinau is still crazy. Russian is still everywhere. This email miiiight be shorter

We were English contacting, like handing out English class cards and stuff. This guy stopped and talked to us for a second about English and he wanted to give some cards to his friends or something. Then saying goodbye he straight up Nazi saluted us. Like yelled "heil!" and did the whole wave thing. It was nuts! haha I died laughing for a while.

A lot of the main streets here are filled with street merchants or whatever they would be called. They sell a lot of random stuff.. onions, branza (cheese?), slippers, home made beer, fur hats, etc. Sometimes they are just old ladies that put out a bunch of stuff on blankets and don't even try to sell it, just sit and talk to other old ladies. Or like the random old dude that is selling military fold up shovels. 

But today, we went and got fitted and described to this guy and woman for custom shoes. they are way cool and legit handmade. and they would probably total up to like 30 USD. got to get some shoes for winter, why not get them fitted to my foot?

We've had a lot of planning to do this week and brainstorming to use this upcoming week. We are focusing on doing some cool contacting with some crazy new methods or something.
Being bold.

The whole communist party thing is getting crazy. They have tent things set up and hand out their flyers all over. Same with the EU guys. I guess elections are coming up.

The only time I get bummed out is maybe an hour or two wishing I could utilize my opportunity and find people that are open when things are slow. But we have been fasting and praying to find a way to contact people and find those who are prepared. Being a missionary is awesome, you'd like it.

The sisters here are way cool and funny. The branch here is awesome and they have institute, FHE, and sports night set up weekly. People come and are involved…a solid branch. We had like 60 people at church this Sunday so it's a lot bigger than Arad. Still work to do and strengthening and finding, of course.

People are poor for sure, some are okay. It seems like Corruption is a big problem in Moldova since there is advertisements against it all over and in the city buses and stuff.. so there isn't much of a middle class, ya know? Also it's crazy that the communist party is a legit thing haha, they have tent things set up handing out flyers and posting them across the city and some drive around with commie flags in their car windows. Elections are soon here. 

We had a really cool meeting with our Branch President this week. He FED us... whoa man. It was some really good pasta that he learned to make when he was in Italy. He went on a mission. Super cool family, I got fed for the first time by a member and we had a cool message that I will write in a second.

We also met up with the Cociu family and they are incredible man. My comp just had them baptized last transfer.  They are the happiest little family here and their two kids are awesome. Lorenziu and Maxim. They were just being typical little kids, trying to long jump off the bed over their dad and then playing catch with a stuffed cow toy. I love families. Something kinda rare here, sadly!

Anyways, something Elder Lex has taught me.. I will probably use forever. 
A method to setting goals to reach a vision or idea. We shared this with our Branch Pres.
First, you have to create a vision... where you want to be, what you want to do, who you want to be.. think it out and envision it. Somewhere you aren't yet, but want to be, and believe in.  Something that brings joy into your little ol heart.
Take that vision and think of what needs to happen to achieve it, the goals you need to set to make the steps towards the vision. 
Then take those goals and make plans on how to reach the goals. Maybe something you need to do daily to achieve the goal. numbers are annoying but they help.. step outside your comfort zone. reach towards your potential.
Then, it's going to come down to Work and Accountability.. man up, and take responsibility. It's your life, Live it!

Take it as a challenge to set a vision, whether it is in your family, career, school, world adventures, whatever... sit down, pray, think and dream a little and make it happen. Read a book, and learn something cool. 

Most important, know that God loves you. He wants you to be happy, he's got your back and he knows exactly what is going to last. Turn to him and you will find life eternal.

I love you all. Thank you for the love you send my way and the friendship. Keep it real! 

- Elder Boydstun

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I am going to Moldova

From Monday October 27

This week was awesome. Solid way to end the transfer.

Let me tell you

We were walking to the tailor down the street from our place to pick up my comps pants and such, and this real random BILLY GOAT is just bahh-ing at us from inside this garage/gated off place right next to the street. That was crazy! He had full fledged ram horns and everything.

We met up with our investigator friend Ghiti. Incredible. He is the man, and I am going to miss this guy. I've been meeting up with him weekly for probably 5 months now. 
But it was basically a "where are you at and how can we help you grow even more". We conversed, he gave us some juice, and talked about work, blah blah. Then we started talking about faith and the legit transformation he has gone through the past 5 months into a happier and more Christ-like guy. 
That is the stuff that makes me happy, when people actually change and find joy and peace in their lives. Not just the numbers of lessons. 
But he stepped out of the room, I looked at my comp.. we both say "so are we going to set a baptismal date or what? "13th or 20th of December?"
He comes back and I challenge him to take the step to follow Christ and to grow closer to him and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by being baptized on the 20th of December.
He agreed. It's going to be a work in progress to help him prepare, but it's going DOWNNN. So stoked.
It was the most flowing relaxed cool conversation. He testified to me about how this is the Church of Christ, and his testimony of the Book of Mormon.
Incredible. WORD to my brother Dustin for hooking me up to be bold.

We had a cool Halloween party, I wrecked everyone at a competition of eating some nasty ginger cookie off a string and got my face painted like an old man.
My branch pres got convinced into bobbing for apples. Oh my, one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
I'm going to miss this guy. I can finally understand his crazy mach 10 Romanian super slurred talk and now...

I'm getting transferred to Chisinau, Moldova! Soo stoked. I am going to be with Elder Lex. He is incredible and from Austria. I wanted to learn Italian, but I guess I'll be picking up on German and Russian now. Whatever works. I am super pumped though. I've heard only beautiful things about Moldova (if you know what I'm sayin) hahaha. 
The branch there is way cool, I guess. It'll for sure be different than the little city of Arad. Going from a city of 200,000 people.. to a City/area of 800,000. 
I hear Moldova is incredible so I am super lucky.  Everybody in Oradea (they've all been here longer) keep telling me that we are "the companionship" now and it's going to be incredible.  So I am way stoked!

It was tougher than I expected to say goodbye to the people here…I love them. But, I've got time to come back.

Today, we went to Timisoara, it is such a sick city. A college city so there's a ton of young people and it's way cleaner than Arad. Way cool Centru that is super open. And a bunch of cool graffiti everywhere. 
We had some good talks, and some crazy discussion about some theories about the 3 wise men. 
Today was solid.

I can't remember everything that happened this week, but that's the gist of it. Gray is killing it in Med school of course. Baby is chubby and white and healthy, haha. The cat outfit is solid and Gray's chili peppers shirt rules!

I'll be heading to Buch tomorrow and get in Wednesday morning, then leave later that day to Chisinau. 
I guess they stop and wake you up at the boarder to check passports and whatnot. and I guess they actually have to lift the train up and switch the train wheels because they changed the train tracks at the boarder in case of war times. 
So that'll be cool. I'll send pictures when I can! 

Keep adventuring, because life is boring with out it!
 oh and... It's not an adventure unless something goes wrong!  Super cool, huh?

Keep doing your thing, be obedient in following Christ. Seek him and you'll figure life out>

Love you,
Elder Cole Boydstun

Saturday, October 25, 2014

zimura-cuz. ceramics. siria.

It rained this week and was not warm at all…absence of heat was real. It was a solid week. We had a lesson with this new guy from English. Not toooo interested in religion but there's always potential!

I'm really not that stressed! I was just wondering why the work is so different seeming here, but that's just the way it is. 
I tried to meet up with our main investigator this week many times, G but              everything was just not letting it happen. Like the super weird dude that came up to us with an uneven stache, talking about Morgan Freeman. I don't even know. I really wanting to push hard this last week of transfer to get some good things in and hopefully meet with G a couple times.  Arad is still going and rolling. the momentum is still here and especially with Less actives and organization we have in the branch now. We need a solid foundation to bring people into! 
We got into this theology school to try and talk to the big boss guy about doing a Christmas concert, but he wasn't there. Another random holiday in Romania I guess. I would've thrown it down if he was there though. Everyone was blown away we were just chilling in this Orthodox Priest training facility.   
We had Fam Home Evening, nobody really came haha but we had one guy there that stayed from after english and he's a member. We played some games, shared some riddles. Some kids were there and they are all types of crazy. They went crazy trying to get me to give them candy for some reason. Like serious, malicious attempts to shake candy out of my arms. Sora Smith gave them hard boiled eggs, hahaha - solid replacement, right? 
We went to this small town outside of Arad called Zimura-Cuz to do some contacting. We get there and it is a really odd, poor farming sort. We just start goin' down the street... nobody has doorbells besides a few. I talked to about 3-4 people though. Then went down this street and a real old lady was standing in her doorway and started yelling towards us, some gibberish. I asked her to repeat 3 or 4 times.. I literally could not understand if she was actually saying words or just noises. Then I finally understood as she mustered to get out "What day is it?", hahaha. I was dying, but I let her know it was Wednesday. She confirmed a few times that it was Wednesday and then said thank you. One of those "where am I, hahaha" moments.   
Thursday was Elder D's birthday. We had a lesson and the dude was just really confused or something about when to meet up. He got there at 9:30 and said the gate was locked so he went home. I called him and asked if he was still gonna come. He thought we were having a lesson with multiple people or something so he thought people would be there already.. anyways he was an hour early. I dunno.  It went pretty well! But AFTER, we were walking home and got a call from the sister's investigator. Cool girl, she speaks english well and was wishing Elder D a happy b-day. Then we got invited to go to a ceramics class with her. Of course we went. I made a cool bowl on the wheel and a couple other small things. Basically just us, her, and about 12 really young little girls.. oh and one little boy. The teacher was really nice and told us stories about greek mythology.   
I started reading "The Infinite Atonement" by Tad R Callister. it is incredible.. check it out. 
We went to Oradea on Saturday for a fireside. the temple president from Freiburg came and it was super cool. It was so good for the people from Arad that came.  I realized how much I have come to seriously love these people. They are incredible and I am super grateful for them and this experience.  
Seeing everyone was way cool. I saw the homies from the MTC (Elder Dronyk and Sora Honey) and we all had a good time. Missionaries here are all pretty sick, not just a normal place. I love it!
Anyways, we had some cool people approach US at the train station. it was cool and I was happy about it. And I packed my over night stuff in this SICK wood paneled briefcase. I felt like a business man, it was cool.  
Today we went to this town called Siria. There was this way cool fortress ruins on top of the hill and it was super cool. I will send photos soon. I don't know the story behind it, though. The city is really cool, though. It was founded in 1129 or something like that! And had a cool outdoor theater. We adventured!  
I felt soooo good to be in the mountains and trees and not hear cars and city noise, laying in grassy hills and watching a guy herd his sheep, eating some rice and carrots on top of castle ruins. 
On our way down, there was this little herd of nice cows. One let me pat him and licked my hand, haha. Cows are super weird, haha! We also explored an abandoned church on the hill side.  It's a good life!
I've for sure grown a ton. It's been a good time. Language is going well, still want to know more. I just always want more, so that's the problem, haha (not really a problem). 

Crazy it's been 6+ months I've been gone now. I've got my own kid out here already...I have potential to be a great-grandpa, haha in my mish family.

I am preppin for halloween! We have an activity at our church on friday and I hope it is epic!! I'm pretty stoked for that. We will see how it goes :) 
The church is true. God loves you. Stay close with him. 
I love you too.  
- Elder Cole Boydstun!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Limbi.. apartments.. ruins.. grave digger

From Monday, October 13, 2014

This week, I went and moved some furniture out of our HOMIE'S basement. His family is jewish and stuff. We find all this crazzzy old stuff and we asked him what is up. "Oh yeah this place was a shelter for a couple jewish families in WW2." 
That was crazy.
We had to move out of our apartment and get into the other guys place here in Arad. So that took a bunch of time. They finally got a place and got out and now are in Oradea, just north of here. They left us this chocolate cake that is death. Basically just ten heart diseases in a loaf. Tastes crazy though.
Parents sent me an incredible package, with a halloween decoration that got destroyed hardcore.  The only part that survived was a part that said "REST IN PIECES" so it all worked out anyways, right?
Our English classes have been going pretty well besides the insane random gypsy kids that come and just say real weird nasty stuff the whole time. So that's definitely not that cool. One of them made a bracelet and called me his friend though...
I've been put in situations many times this week of pulling clutch lessons on the spot. So that has been cool.
Wow, these stories have been so not cool like usual. hold on...

I went to this school for little kids, and learned some french from some random girl. So I can tell people my name and that I don't speak french that well. $$
There, I also taught some kids how to ollie on this real oldschool, less than walmart quality skateboard. That was cool. They just sat down on it after trying a couple times and pushed each other around, haha.

We are going to be moving apartments again and found these incredible ones up by the soccer stadium and they are filled with students. Met some cool guy from italy and I told him I didn't speak italian in italian so that was way sick, too.

We threw it down in this crazzzy conversation with a Jehovah's witness guy that is less-active. The Senior couple missionary went sssuuuper hard with these way bold questions and I was translating just wondering when this guy was going to just get real mad and kick me in the chin. But it ended way good and this guy was mind blown for the rest of the time and his wife was just like c'mon guys stopppp! haha super funny.
After this, we were driving in this random neighborhood because there was a cool looking church and behind it we discovered these ancient, random Roman Ruins! whoa. They were just these walls and stuff left, I wonder what it was though back in it's prime. ?
Vladmirescu, the weirdest suburb ever.

I dug a tree out of a grave site this week, too. I don't know what the deal is but nobody keeps up with the cemeteries here, they are all overgrown. But I was going super hard for about an hour and got that bad boy out of there. Then it was round two on this thicker one next to it and I was borderline KO'd. Then this random 60 something year old guy comes out of nowhere and asks if we want him to do it. uh Sure dude? knock yourself out.... He gets this crazy shovel and starts going super hardcore just tearing it up and I'm offering this dude help and he refuses it... just being a real man about it. Then he offers some real nice service to clean it allll up real nice, and asks for 20 lei.. that's like 6 bucks. He was stoked about it. This guy was probably 5'8" and 130 pounds. He had a great stache though.

I learned how to do church finances finally, just kinda got tossed into it and it was intense. Our branch president kills me though, he is a fuuunny dude. Just imagine a 6 foot, 300 pound Navajo looking dude with disgusting teeth covered in gold caps slurring crazy Romanian at you and calling you his love. haha

Sometimes it is hard to not get discouraged, I just wish I knew what to do and how to get the success I see so many people find in other missions. When I am here struggling to get numbers and lessons. Like we didn't get any investigator lessons this week. and I understand every mission is different blah blah. I understand that well. But what makes this place so different? Just wanting to  figure it all out.

Still being positive. not down.. just wondering. 

I ate sloppy joes on Sunday. and potato salad. real american. and a grilled cheese. dang. Some lady with gross chin hairs stopped us and was real adamant about us helping her find a husband in America and I guess she had been to church because her psychiatrist told her she needed to ask the Mormons how to get a spouse. We are pros, apparently. $$$$
Some dude also told me how if we aren't amish, we must be aliens that somehow just landed on earth after the big bang. He tried talking to me in french too. I just said OK MAN OK OK then he quoted me like it was something really profound I had said. 
I'm learning Italian from this Italian/Romanian dictionary I found. I like Italian a lot.

vi voglio bene
va iubesc!
je m'appelle -
Elder Cole Boydstun

Monday, October 6, 2014

Yom Kipper - Conference Weekend

Every time I write these emails I wonder what I even have to say. 
then I think.. oh yeah, this place is madness!

We went to Vera's place again this week (jew/christian lady that takes care of 3 mentally ill old ladies on her on pension). I think it mentally scarred my comp hahaha, his first skeeeetchy old romanian madness. We drank some cocacola out of some extraordinarily dirty/dusty glasses. She yelled at my comp for standing on her weeds, hahaha. Old dude who was there (she saved him from jumping off a bridge) talked to me forever about how he kept bees forever and had 4 WHOLE BOXES OF THEM.  We tried to help her move stuff around her house/courtyard but she refused because we only had time to praise God together. So we listened to her say the 10 Commandments in Romanian and even memorized in English. She is so nuts. She had a dream that she needs to learn English.. so she somehow came into contact with us, I think she just needs to find the gospellllll ooooohhhh!

But hey, English started too. We actually got some people interested in faith from it too, cool beans. Two even came to watch conference… whoaaa!
BUT check this out. Catalin. My HOMIE... Myler and I started teaching him English back in May. He hardly spoke any at first. I may have said this another time, but he got a job offer to go work in England last month. AND he just left to Bucharest to go there yesterday!!!! SOO SICK AHH. that dude just started a whole new life and I am sooo stoked for him. NUTS WHOA WOW 

We went to visit Sora Krista in the hospital again. It was incredible. One of the coolest spiritual convos I have had yet. Her husband was a real solid member once, but got offended. I was talking about not letting others affect our faith and how people aren't perfect and to not be offended… money, I know. And she raises up her hand on her little bed and points at him when he isn't looking, haha. Then we threw it down on sharing a story from a Mormon Message video. it was CLUTCH, too. Her husband was feelin the spirit, I know it. I was so stoked about it!

I talked to my homie from Italy. Elder Minor... the homie. It was real cool.

Met up with Ghiti this week at his Langos stand. He has that, and is transforming his basement into a restaurant for his son to run it. He is the man. He introduced us to everyone there and invited them to church. We talked to some dude in his neighborhood for a while because he stopped him and said "Hey whats up! Look, I'm with my brothers from the church!" Then proceeded to get his number so he can bring him to church sometime. He is the sickest ever.
This was on exchange w/ Baielli so it was sick because we met him together in my first transfer. He also showed us his sons pitbull that is YOKED. No joke. It runs around like a short super ripped dude and has bulging muscles and is insane. 

I also watched one of the most odd plays I have ever seen. "Life as an Easy Game". The lady gets cancer, is pregnant, husband is real sketchy, she gets real depressed, then they are super happy together, she can't move arm but half-way through setting up a table for dinner it works fine again, then she leaves him randomly, he goes nuts.. wakes up drunk on the floor to a call saying his wife loves him and they have a healthy baby boy. play over.
We thought it would be so cool since it was in this huge theatre in Centru.. so we get tickets and then they usher us up into this tiny studio room and there are 2 actors... what the heck, man.

I also went to a Jewish synagogue on Friday. It was sooo cool. I wore a yamaka (or kippa) and everything. The Rabbi dude said a few things in Romanian at first then just went OFF for an hour in Hebrew. Some dude next to us went up to the front to kiss these manuscripts/scrolls or something.. then when he came back he opened this box thing in front of the benches you sit at, and replaced a pistol back into his chest holster. haha secret pistol wielding man.. 
We were with Gabi and he just laughed so hard.

We missionaries in Arad all made a ton of food on Saturday for the Conference sessions. Branch Pres filled his mouth full of Mici (sausage stuff) then asked Brown with chipmunk cheeks if there was more, hahahaha. Some crazy gypsy kids cracked a window at our Vila.. they were wild and took forever to leave. 

Conference was all in Romanian and I haven't been able to watch much of the English versions yet. But Jorg Klebingat's talk was incredible CHECK IT OUT.  I also liked Hollands about turning out to those less fortunate, he is the man!  Also, Callister's was really good!

"Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis is probably a way cool book. Check out this quote from it!

"Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work: I want You. All of you. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man, but to kill it. No half-measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather, I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart"

Love you all. Cherish Conference. The words from the Prophet and Apostles are the guidance we need to take heed of.  Listen to, follow, and Love God!

Alma 29 is real cool too. I read it last night. So you all read it, too. We are so united.

Hey watch out for the Eclipse soon!

va iubesc
saptamana placuta sa aveti

- Elder Boydstun

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Drummer Quits the Band. Nadlac. Tisa Nou.

From Monday September 22


This week… interesting!

We are getting this sick location right next to the Primaria, so like straight up in the middle of the busiest part of the city for english classes.

The next day or something, we head down to this lady Maria's place. Lesson it up with the sisters and stuff… I'm coming in super hot with gospel knowledge, goin great. Maria talks a ton and tells us sad stories of depressing times. At the end of lesson, we give her a blessing so she can quit smoking and get baptized. She is sick... blessings are sick.

Every week, I have to teach the senior couple Romanian with this dude named Paul. He is Romanian but basically just has me teach it because he goes super hard and makes it so confusing so I have to try and explain some of the madness he says. 
I don't know why I included this but it's already typed out so...

Gabi (spy) hooked it up again this week with traditional langos and stuff. He also taught us this crazy combat move you can basically destroy anybody with. You have control of them on your back so you either break their back in half or if they struggle they strangle themselves. it is crazy. He also told us insane stories about experiences learning these things from an 80 year old Sensei in Japan. And he learned acupuncture in China by watching some dude for like 3 months or something. He invited me to his cabin in the mountains of Norway..... yesss

We went to a city called Nadlac, a member is out there. She lives in a small house with no electricity and it is probably negative infinity degrees in the winter. She has 2 cool goats, 3 cool pigs, a bunch of cool baby chickens, and a bunch of ducks.. and a LAME dog that is afraid of everything. It was cool though. 

Then we went into the tiny town and tried talking to people.. some dude persistently talked Hungarian to me until he closed his gate in my face...that was cool. Then we had a 30 minute convo with some old lady, gave her a Book of Mormon and such. She was cool.

Also, I heard a cool prayer in Slovakian, so that was sick.

Reed/Dronyk (comp in mtc..) are in Oradea but came to Arad from bucharesti since there wasn't any trains straight there. It was a good day. Reed is going to go on cool adventures with me around the globe when we get home. (ps mom, that's what I am going to do… adventure)

There was a "Parade of the Minorities" in town the other day.. that was real interesting. They also danced on a stage. Gypsies, Serbs, etc.. gettin real crazy...

We went out to this sot Tisa Nou, small town.. visited this member family who are super poor, but it was sick. We gave them the sacrament and such and set up to come back like every Sunday. It was pretty cool and sad.  They lost their father/husband a while ago and haven't been visited... they talk about crazy stuff and have maybe 15 teeth collectively as a family.

I have been much more relaxed about the responsibilities I've been asked to do now. Just doing it, no reason to stress about it too much. Responsibility isn't a bad thing :) 

Things are still going well! ZL's are still around a little but will be leaving, they are up in Oradea today looking for an apartment... so hopefully they hurry up so I can move into their old place. They have a dryer!!

in Zone Conf, Pres talked about the enabling power of the Atonement. Look up the talk "In the Strength of the Lord" if you haven't already! Way cool talk.

 D&C 8: 2-3... Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
     Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.  

These are the scriptures Elder Smith used before Ghiti had that way cool prayer. Scriptures are RAD! 
So yeah, it's been a good week. 
Rainy today, in the 60s all next week. So you know… livin the life.  Love being a missionary!

- elder boydstun

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Don't even Know what Happened this Week!

I basically cannot remember what happened this week.

I had some really cool spiritual experiences with lessons and stuff.  We were teaching and Ghiti got hardcore spiritual and he randomly felt like we should pray mid-lesson. Then he prayed hard but short.  He got a huge confirmation from the spirit.  It was incredible. He teared up, and he got kind of embarrassed. We explained it and it was a way sick experience. I was so stoked about it.

We got fed pastiers by a cool german guy, named Bivald. 

I taught Romanian with a Romanian dude.

 We went to Oradea this weekend for zone conference with Arad, Timisoara, Oradea, Cluj, and Sibiu.  It is a beautiful city.. for real. And they have an American joint there that this dude from Jersey started. It rules.

The river there is incredible.  It has all sorts of sick bridges and such.

We had a zone cultural event on Saturday. So I heard the Italians sing their national anthem, a Tongan girl do some island dance, some Polish lady sing polish stuff, a Hungarian lady sing some hungarian, some Irish stuff, Australian stuff. And the sickest Finnish folk song ever. We went and sang some sick songs in the park with the Finnish homie Elder Hokkanen (AP), he played guitar. It was radical
I'll try to get pictures from people and send them to you.

I had to sprint across a city, get a taxi and run and jump on a train last second.     
That was cool, too…
I mean, theres so many adventures daily it's hard to really explain it well...

Come to Romania and you'll get it once you are here.

As for transfers… 

I am staying in Arad. and things got 500 times more intense for me, haha.                     
Some of it I don't understand at all, but whatever! 

I am staying, Dunkley is staying with me, and our sisters are staying with us. The ZL's (Baielli and Brown) are going to Oradea, and there's nobody coming to replace them in Arad. So I  have to learn how to do Finances for the branch now.. in Romanian.  AND I will be a counsler in the Elders Quorum, and I am still training Elder Dunkley and still District Leader haha.. oh and PS I am only going into my 4th transfer. 

So this will be a really intense 6 weeks, haha. I am really kind of hoping I don't lose my mind with all this intensity. But I am just going to man up and take it on.
I don't have any choice but to grow big time, so I am going to do it!  

Anyways, we had a cool week. District meeting we did a thing where we all got a paper for each of us.. wrote on one side something we admired about the person - on the other side  something we noticed them work on or improve on. So it was cool and good for everybody. 

We got a lot of good work done in Arad this transfer and picked it up out of the hole it was in when I first arrived in Romania 3 transfers ago. So things are going to start bumping here! Just crazy to me that as soon as that happens, they take two missionaries away and put them in another city.. but I guess Pres is trying to support the District President that is in Oradea - and he needs counselors. 

I heard weather is crazy back in the states. It is rainy and cold here so I made a mega pot of chili. Now I am just trying to stay awake from the exhaustion I am experiencing.

Send me pictures of mountains and pine trees and stuff. I miss seeing that stuff. 

I love you.
"In the Strength of the Lord" - Bednar
Check it out ^

I pray for you.

va iubesc..
- elder boydstun