Tuesday, May 26, 2015

adio sibiu. forza zu!

This weekend was pretty miraculous
The weather is getting waaarm and it's been so solid. 

Zoo; conference; concert; transfer...
We had a cool time. We got some friends and went out to the zoo. It is a pretty cool zoo. The lions were going wild and I gave some baboons popcorn. Those things are straight up freaks! But the little baby baboon there was awesome. 

The hugest concert in all of Romania was in Sibiu this week. The stage was enormous and pretty much every star of Romanian music was there. It's called Forza ZU, and they hold it once a year. All of centru, piata mare, was filled. Probably 10k people there no joke haha.  A cool member kid from Ploiesti was here so we went with him for just a little bit. I went to go rain dance english cards to everyone in the crowd. It was epic haha. Romanians love music. There was this one group of like Romanian bon jovi/aerosmith, it was hilarious cause everyone just went insane. 

We did some hard preperation for branch conference. ya know... cleaning and trying to mow the lawn... but lame european electric mowers ruin the day, and busted extention cords. But we did have a miraculous turn out. (and I made some soooollllidd chili that everyone was stoked on after all the meetings and stuff.) We set this goal to get 23 people at church outside of us 6 missionaries, it was a pretty solid goal. My brother Gray sent me a book for my b-day called Drawing on the Powers of Heaven. It talks about setting goals and accomplishing righteous desires, I totally followed it and used faith hardcore this last week to accomplish a goal of getting 23 people (outside of missionaries) at sacrament meeting. We average 15-16 with missionaries. So that's double and some. I set the direct, distinct goal. Set the plans/resolves of how to accomplish it. I set out the help we needed from the Lord, and the commitments to be worthy to receive it...being obedient and praying distinctly for the goal to come to pass. Help being to soften hearts and prepare teachers/speakers etc. It worked!!!! We had 23 people exactly when sacrament started, including an investigator, two english students I invited, and 2 random Americans working in Romania and a member from Ploiesti and one from Cluj. It was craaaazzy when I realized it. Also, By the end of sacrament we had 36-38 people there. That's almost triple our average!! yayyayglh;oawtgaio;erh!!!!
God is good! He made it happen!
Sooo epic. I was losing it, I was just so hyped. Because that left them all hearing some solid messages. I got to speak, and I tried to call everyone to Jesus. It was the best. For real, this is THE path. DO IT. You're only going to get eternal happiness, no biggie. It just makes me happy to see other people get stoked and start learning a lot of really awesome stuff. It's all about the love! 
Elder Smith (Sr) came and it was awesome. We are pretty tight. He is such a solid friend. He has helped me so much on my mission. I just want to get as much wisdom from the guy as possible. He has the whitest hair ever, he has to be a wise guy.
And... I got released as BP... It is time for my comp Pres. (Elder) Kennedy to take over. Anyways, Elder Kennedy is the new BP. He is gonna kill it and do good work. He's going to grow a lot too, haha.  e randul tau amiculeeeee! 
This place was the BEST and most insane thing that has ever happened to me. I love it so much, ahh. I'm going to miss it and these people... all friends!

oh yeah,
PS.. I am getting transferred to Bucuresti. I am out to the big city.  I will be with Elder Lybertt, he is from Canada and I'll be in the Panduri branch.. I hear he is awesome, so I am stoked. It's going to be insane going from tripping out and planning Sundays to go well and asking people to speak etc.. to a branch of like 70 people and stuff. 
I am going to be a zone leader or whatever now.  Basically I just want people to get stoked on life and have fun working hard this summer, making friends and teaching em about the sickest message/life ever. I guess I am also in district with the office elders and APs, which will be sick since there are some serious homies there! I'm in this new International district.. so I guess I work with a lot of people from outside of Romania that live there now. Like these Malaysians that came up to Sibiu with President Ivory. 
Buc life is about to get crazy! Summer will be epic. I'm going to miss friends that go back home this transfer... it was real. 

Life is good. God is real and he wants you to be saved. 
Get some spiritual healing this week and turn outward. It is the best.

va iubesc pe toti
iubesc Sibiu
iubesc Romania

- Elder Boydstun

Road Trippin

From May 18, 2015

It was so awesome to talk (Skype) to you guys. You all make me happy. 
I have been learning a lot. Lots of balance between justice and mercy. Leading by example and trying to lovingly push people to improve.  
This week was so sick.

The rain at the beginning was a bummer.
But I got to skype the FAM. Soooo coool man. They're so awesome. I was stoked to see em and talk. And hear all their crazy pronunciations of Romanian cities and what not. Incredible :)
I love you guys!

I guess I'll share some stories.
There's this member Gogu. Typical Romanian in believing in this mystical disease thing called "Curent". There are many rules to avoiding this perilous illness. One is by stuffing your ears with cotton. But most importantly, you must never have two or more windows open at the same time. One is fine, but as soon as that second one opens.. you are doomed. You are pretty much required to freak out and tell everyone why you are running around complaining and shutting windows. The airflow causes many problems like headaches, jaw aches, spinal problems etc.
But check this out. This dude comes in wearing pieces of WOOL taped on his back and on his shirt. Like literally slabs of lamb skins. I ask him why he has so much raw wool on his back and he blames Curent. 
The best is when you just say okay and accept the weirdness, then he starts trying to explain himself really hardcore as if I thought he was insane. Incredible.

The APs came up to stay with us. It was the bomb. I watched the craziest lightening storm take over the city from my window waiting for them to get in. Chilling with Elder Brown was awesome. We were in the same district back in my Arad days. Elder Brown is hilarious and from Bountiful/Centerville, went to Viewmont and we have a lot of mutual friends. He is a good friend. Also, Elder Allphin. He is from Lone Peak area and played on their national championchip b-ball team. He's the man.  
We had a dope mini-exchange and it revived me back to my adventure and meet cool people style of missionary work days.
We met this cool dude doing photography and shooting a sick video for a wedding in Piata Mare. He built his own mini helicopter for a go-pro with a balancing system and everything. He showed us it all and was so hyped. I was stoked. Sibiu IS incredible! 
We then proceeded to go on a road trip on the way up to Oradea for Zone conference. We were able to drive with them through some AWESOME moutains on the way from Sibiu to Oradea stopping in a little mountain village called Campeni. It was fun. 
We cruised  through some amazing mountains and canyons. This place is so beautiful, I just want to adventure the hills and crazy villages scattered amongst them. Sibiu - Campeni - Oradea.
The construction at the end of the drive was soo lame though, we were all done and just wanted to get there. It was funny. My tongue ended up being destroyed at the end of the drive from eating so many sunflower seeds. 

Zone Conf was legit. I needed it big time. Anyways, President was being awesome and dropping wisdom. We had some cool talks about being an Agent or an Object.. How we are free to choose liberty, freedom etc. or captivity and unhappiness. Are we acting or being acted upon? I am just stoked, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Just whether or not we are acting or being acted upon. It was awesome.  Things are so solid right now! 
President got us a personal driver to bring us back to Sibiu so I could make it to the Skype session we had for all the BP's in the west with a guy from the Area leadership in Europe (German dude). It was so cool. There was this part about how many times in small numbers we may think "there is just nobody else, that's why I am in this position" but we have to remember that God knows his work...  and there is purpose in why YOU are there right now! So it was cool and uplifting to realize.
They had these talks and just went all in talking about being there for individuals and not just doing work to say you got it done.. I guess Elder Bednar was at this seminar for Mish Presidents and had a personal talk with President's son Ellis. It was such a sick story. 
This Germany guy let us give feedback and ask a question. It was cool to get some legit guidance like that.
I have been more diligently using the "success formula" of our mission. Vision - Goals - Plans - Work
I sometimes have had a hard time with this when my goals don't end up working out like I planned. Like when the work I have tried hard to do here has changed to be a bit different than how I originally thought it would have worked out. And I feel like this discourages many missionaries - the results don't always come as we think. It's not as easy as it may seem, and I've worked even harder to include the Lord more. I've got my vision, my goals (righteous desires) and then I have my plans (resolves of what I can do in my power) and then I have the help I need from the Lord, and my commitments of what I am going to do to be worthy to recieve his help. This way we don't rely so much on ourselves - especially in this work. And you can revise the goals and such as you go forward. AND things are happening!  I feel really good about what we've accomplished here in Sibiu - with more to do. Transfer boards come out this Saturday so it's going to be crazy. I am pretty nervous to see what happens to this place and if I am going to leave. 
Another cool principle I will leave you all to think about is the toothbrush principle.
What do you do when you have nothing to do? What do you think about when you brush your teeth? 
God answers prayers. Involve him in what you do, you'll be happier. JUR FRATE CREDE-MA!
Check out the new "Mormon Message" on lds.org, you will like it. It's awesome.
Spiritual healing is gained by turning outwards!
va pup pa pa

- Elder Boydstun

Monday, May 11, 2015

black pigs and more sisters

From May 4, 2015
This week has been wild.

Lots of rain kinda destroyed my plans but we got some good stuff done and talked to a lot of cool people. 
There is this cool adventurer dude in our English class that has a The North Face sticker on his folder and talks about coconut oil and swimming. He is cool and asks me hardcore gospel questions before he leaves. It is awesome
The older ladies in our English class make teaching awesome. They just teach me new Romanian stuff while I teach 'em English. Sometimes I throw down some tongue twisters and they try so hard hahaha, it is great.

Din pacate, we didn't get to visit Mihai's garden, but he came to church and participated in my on the spot sunday school lesson. It's always cool when the sunday school teacher just asks if you are teaching today, you reply with aren't you? Then he just walks away. Thanks E!
I am not that good at Old Bible Romanian.
It goes well though. I just try to make people think. 
The other set of elders here in Sibiu got emergency transferred out and replaced with another set of sisters. The sisters were in a bad situation in their other area - being followed, etc. The elders here had an investigator on track for baptism and we have other male investigators we are working with and are the only branch with a missionary BP and the branch is mostly unmarried men! I was worried about everything with a lot more men to work with and then have 4 sisters and being down two elders. But President replied and said I should always tell him what I am thinking and that I need to put the Craciun family (old BP) to work. I just called him as the branch mission leader actually. So that was cool. And just that the Lord is in charge of this work not him or me. That was cool too.  And something I do know. Said that things will come together as they should.  
The sisters are great sisters and will do solid work. So I'm going to let it happen and go forward and let God do his thing! 
I am studying priesthood now and it is awesome, a little confusing but really cool and helping me understand how to be a righteous leader. And how to fully obtain the priesthood. A common misconception is that as soon as we get ordained we are just ready to go and it's all done and in ink. But really we still have to work to recieve the fullness promised by the father. We read about it in DC 84 & 121
My studies have been awesome. Like to the point where I sometimes have to just sit back or lay down and gather my thoughts. I get almost overwhelmed by it, it is so awesome. D&C 93:36-37 have been some of my favorites. I might have written about them before.. But it applies so much to repentance and coming unto Christ. He wants us to understand! We just have to fight for it and he will make us like him!
Today we went to the church to help out Roger.. the old english dude who lives in the boonies and holds a cool little group in a sat called Loman. Ya, so we got a ton of chairs from the basement of the church (super sketchy) and gathered them into his trailer. Then piled ourselves into the backseat of his car because some RANDOM other English dude named Christ came along. Like really, just some random one-armed dude staying with him in the middle of Romania came along.. Then we cruised out to his place. We made him PB&J sandwiches, he had never had one before. And we played with his dog. Ran along these cool hills and I trekked into some forest trying to find a creek.. Failed but happened to find ourselves on this old ladies property after climbing under a fence chasing the dog.. she was incredibly nice though and started up a great little convo while raking nothing on her big grassly plot of land. This lady looked like she was at least 80 but had a sick satellite TV set up. 
And getting back to Rogers palce I chased a huge black pig up the hill over the other side of the fence to these old farm boys.
it was hilarious man. Romania rules.

I have to go. But I hope your week rules! 

Love you all.

- Elder Boydstun

barbeques and frisbee

From April 27, 2015
This week has been really awesome.
The weather is buna and everyone is happy. Occasional rain storms in the evening or morning. This city is great man. It almost feels like California. 

English started a week early so that is awesome. We usually get there a bit early so we can set stuff up and I usually challenge Eugen (member..) to a chess match. 
Met a cool dude that wanted to know a lot more about Joseph Smith and also got invited to this Rotary Club party anniversary concert thing that we are going to tonight. I am stoked haha.

We barbequed about 3 times this week. It was awesome. just throw down a BBQ for lunch then we invite some Friends/investigators to go play ultimate frisbee in the park and it is way fun. Life is the best when you are out just making friends and loving these people. Then we just drop the hammer on some awesome spiritual thoughts at the end of the activities we do or at the end of English Class. I love it. Sometimes it ends up really awkward, like a lady saying.. "So what do you guys say about repentance or sins? I study it and I just don't know.. Like what if I don't think I have ever sinned?" then all the other older ladies in the class just go "oooohhhhhhhh myyy" and it was ridiculous and we just try to chill everyone out and teach. It is incredible hahaha

I also had the chance to mow and trim the lawn at the church this week. I am really actually happy about it. Keeping the place looking nice and staying out in the nice sunshine and cool breeze. There are some awesome cherry trees and apple trees in the back of the church, and they are blooming and looking real beautiful. 

We had some awesome lessons this week. Really getting people to dive into the scriptures. Get stoked on the gospel and just gaining wisdom and stuff. It is the coolest. And the best part.. it starts with us, so more of a reason to go hard figuring out the mysteries of God. 
The Craciun family here is the coolest and we had a sick convo with them for a while. Gettin to know them and introduce ourselves.
I was thinking my Romanian was sucking but after talking to them for a few hours I was feeling pretty good about it again. I love Romanian man. it is cool!

my memory is really bad right now, so I hope this email covers all the awesome stuff that happened. I guess when we were playing frisbee there was this wedding going down by the park and they were playing this cool Reggae music so I felt like I was somewhere tropical. it was the bomb! 
Oh, we met up with the old BP and his wife. They are so cool. They actually like studying hard and figuring stuff out. So I am stoked, finally someone to converse with about some deep interesting stuff. And we visited another member we are working with.  I had a cool district meeting with the missionaries where I talked about D&C 93: 36-37 in correlation with the change of heart made in Mosiah 5. Cool stuff. Then 2 Peter 1: 4-9
I wish you could understand what it is like here. But I don't think anybody could without experiencing it. I mean, you can say that about any mission.. but this one really IS different! haha. It hasn't really been stagnant at all like it might seem. Ups and downs, crazy stuff, drama, almost baptisms, people coming back. Things are going in the right direction here now. Lots of great potential being realized and praying hard to know what to do.We are trying to make a theme and calendar. Kinda like the thing they did for stake conference back home. Getting a theme and something to remind us throughout the week, etc.  And trust me, lots of praying!
We have been making some cool new friends (investigators) and members are getting more stoked. We just want to make this place happy, uplifting spiritually, organized, interesting, inspirational and fuuuunnn! 
This week will be awesome. 

I love Sibiu.

va iubesc. stati cu minti

- Elder Boydstun

Sibiu round 3. Loman

From April 20, 2015
This week has been great really. 

A new transfer starts. I am staying in Sibiu, I am glad.
I got a new companion, Elder Kennedy. He is a cool dude. Lots of laughs, so that is sooo solid. It's crucial to stay laughing out here! He was in a smaaaall city named Alexandria and was basically running the branch there. So word on the street is that he is going to replace me here.. dun dun dun
I am for sure more committed to leave it all out here in Sibiu and love these people to the max. I love this city and I have learned a lot here. Ups and downs have left me in a greater state than I was when I started here. I am nervous for what might happen next transfer and that I will leave Sibiu, so I am going to do more solid work and love these people more than ever!

Saying goodbye to Elder Reed was a bummer, but good. He is such a solid friend. He taught me a lot of good stuff. keeping your sense of humor is so crucial out here I swear! Grateful for people like him, especially out here in the mission. I learned a lot from that guy. We had a goood time together and got some good work done. 
Planning on keeping that rolling. We have some solid plans for this place. 
Sora Huffaker came into Sibiu, she was here for 6 or 7 months before and came back for her last transfer. She has a lot of knowledge of the branch which is a good help. It was a little rough trying to step up and fill a position without knowing anything that is/was going on here.
But we are all stoked on life and to be in Sibiu.  
I have noticed sometimes how lightly some people take stuff and the effect it has on others, especially their families. Many people take so much of the gospel light anymore. Whether it is scripture study, serving/loving others, or prayer, etc.
We sit here and prophesy about all these incredible things and a perfect Savior, but many times we are slow to remember to have respect and keep even the simplest commandments. Or we prophesy about a boy who labored over the word of God and sincerely prayed with a question and faith to receive an answer.. but yet we don't think that we deserve responses, or think that we can't ask questions! And especially that we too don't need to labor over the scriptures. There are so many truths and mysteries that we look past.  I have kinda had to speak with a little sharpness recently. I just wonder why people take the basics of the gospel so light sometimes and don't care about laboring over the word of God and prayer etc.  We all need to work on it. It is the bomb. Missionaries especially should be realizing that!
I love when I become as a child and totally submit to the Lord. He is the best one to guide our lives. So many people think they have to have boring, dry, and even mundane lives if they let the Lord live them. But it is totally not that way. He wants us to be STOKED on LIFE and he makes it the best. I have started really diving harder into the scriptures and praying hard for wisdom/intelligence.. so worth it. I love the scriptures. They rule. 
We went to go do some service for this dude Mihai this week. oh man he is so sick. We show up and the sisters are already there just goin to work. then we see this old wrinkley dude from a distance.. getting closer we realize.. The guy is straight up only wearing black underwear and boots hahahahaha. Still just workin hard and tilling some land with a shovel. I was dying. He is hardcore man.
I also had to put a baby mole rat creature out of it's misery because it's face got chopped off...

We went to this little village, Loman in the mountainous hills near Sebes. It was so amazing. We had to bus to Sebes and get a ride to Loman then piled into this guys car to go up to his home ontop of one of the hills. He is a member from England and has been here doing service in Romania for like 20 years. He is the coolest dude and tells awesome stories and is just trying to do good for these people. He holds church up at his place with a small group of people. We hungout with him and BBQ'ed a little then played with his Lab puppy and ran around the hills and looked over incredible valleys dotted with cottages and shepherds. I was in love. So amazing to get back in nature and just be away for a little bit. out of the city and noise. Fresh air and tall pine trees. 

D&C 93: 36-37  ...Intelligence is the glory of God. Receiving through... laboring to know God, studying his word, and prayer! - These are the things that put away the temptations of the "evil one". Thus we have a true change of heart, thus we turn to Christ and are turned away by the thought of sin as the people of King Benjamin in Mosiah 5. it is good stuff. Live it.  
The gospel is incredible. The restoration is so real. Coolest part, is that it is still happening. Like Elder Ballard said in Priesthood session, we need to raise the bar!  Hey, we are all serving him! 
God needs you. 


- Elder Boydstun