Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 37

Dear Family,

I am writing this at the end of the transfer day (almost, its only 5 o'clock). Such a crazy day. Up at 4 am to get the departing missionaries to the airport. 

Last night I had a thought about our purchasing card that we had used before for some DVD players for the missionaries. It didn't work and I had a talk with Elder B, our Financial missionary here at the office, and we decided it would be better to bring money as well as the card, just in case. Well, morning of, as we are walking out I thought "That cards not going to work, better grab a whole lotta cash", but we decided that it would indeed work and just left. We get to the airport to find out that the APs were already there and although the card had worked for the first two missionaries, it wouldn't work for anyone else. Missionary-forehead-smack-shoulda-had-a-V8 deal. So after some frustration our valiant new AP decides to use his personal card to buy everyone's luggage. For reference, each departing missionary gets 2 free bags by the church but only 1 by the airline. We pay for one, as long as it is underweight. By the way, extra bags are expensive! I had no idea before coming to Romania. 

So that's all done, we head home for a glorious 25 minute nap before going to a notary. Part of the process for getting missionaries visas now includes getting insurance (social) before you apply for a visa. We took all of this group and all of last group (20 missionaries) and took them to a notary to say that they had never received a visa before this day. Fun fact, in Romania a Notary is a full time job and requires a 4 year degree. Getting them all there was CRAZY! I was ready to become a MLB pitcher with our phone, the way it kept on ringing. Everyone gets there right as I take a different missionary to go pick up his visa with 2 sisters, one of which was picking up her visa. Picking visas up is such an easier job than applying (unless its not ready). 

We went over to Cismigiu Park to grab my comp and met up with the new missionaries right as they were reading the dedicatory prayer. I love that prayer, it has so many great blessings for the people of Romania. For those of you who read this and have your missions dedicatory prayer on hand, I highly recommend that you read it and think about what has been promised for your area. It may not seem like it is coming to pass for your mission, but one of my parts about the Romanian dedicatory prayer is that of the prophecy of "water springing up in the wilderness". To my understanding/view is that water doesn't explode out of the ground, it can but usually not. Instead it slowly comes, steadily increasing until you have an oasis. Romania will be " a Citadel of light" for the surrounding countries. It will take time, but it will come if we continue to work the area. After we were done there, we went to do some more treaba. Let me tell you, Romanian missionaries have an unlimited amount of treaba to give us on transfer day. At least we always have something to do. 

We eventually made our way over to the mission home where we mooched off of the new missionaries lunch while listening to their "incoming missionary" talk. So strange to think that was over 6 months ago. This new group seems like a bunch of really good missionaries. It will be very cool to see how this mission progresses with a new change of missionaries. That's about it for today, we might go group contacting in a bit over at Parcul Tineretului. We will see if there are any other emergencies for the day.

This is a hello to the R family who apparently read my blog. The above mentioned sister who received her visa today has your last name on her missionary tag. She told me that you keep up on my blog, so I decided a shout-out was definitely necessary.

Elder Ormsby

Yesterday we were able to have a great district meeting at the President's house. The office has its own district. The Aps, President and Sora H, the Bs and us. We meet at the Presidents house every Thursday and start with a simple meal and then have a meeting. Elder P is a great DL and always incorporates all aspects of the teaching guide. We had great conversations about goals and how to set them, plan for them and then accomplish them.

Today we grilled. Ribs, oh so good! Elder P knows how to grill, even with the dinky little thing we have. Ribs and garlic mashed potatoes. Mmmm, then we were able to teach a man, who is in Norway, through Skype. It can be such a blessing to be able to teach someone so far away, but it can also be frustrating not being right there talking face to face. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 36

That is some really good advice Dad, its good to hear that you wrote a bit about your mission. I have talked to a few missionaries and one of the biggest things that they wish they could change is that they wrote more in their journal. I am trying, but it can be a bit difficult to think of things that I would want to remember. I just need to buckle down and do it. 

I have had a much better few days. I am still working on being a happier missionary (probably always will) but I am doing much better. 

Glad the package got to you safe and sound. There is some great chocolate over here and I will be sure to bring some home. 

I have been wanting to go camping ever since we saw a man cleaning out his car from what was obviously a camping trip.   A float sounds awesome! Tell Secondborn good luck getting into the kayak, its small for me and I think it will be replaced when I come home. 

The Love Magnet's party sounds really fun. We will be having a party on the 28th just in her honor...ok, its actually Elder P's birthday too, so we are going to do something fun. 

I have told every missionary companion Uncle B's story about that fight. It is such a great inspiring story. This week we are just getting ready for transfers. It is getting crazy with all of the missionaries who are leaving. One of them was in my first city and is/was the AP. It is crazy to think that was 6 months ago. 

I have recently been trying to do all the work that needs to be doing, even if it doesn't need to be done for another month or two. This has helped  to stay focused, which is always the best thing for a missionary.

How is the rest of our family doing? Is Grandpa's health doing any better? How about Grandma Great? I remember seeing her out on the back porch on summer, towards the end of the day when the sun was setting. I asked Grandma B what she was doing and she said that she was "thanking God for every blessing that she has". She must have sat out there for a few hours before coming in. I agree that her example of the relationship she has with God is amazing. 

Would you please find out how Sister H is doing? I want to send her a letter, but I don't know where she is living right now.

Love you all and hope you are well,

Elder Ormsby

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 35

The 20 year celebration here in Bucuresti was awesome. It was really cool to see all the different mission presidents bearing testimony on Romania, and then also being able to see the growth that has happened since them. I will never forget how old the Romania mission is because its only a few months younger than me. 

It was great to see the F's (they came down for the celebration) and to talk to them. They will be leaving Deva soon to move to Ploiesti. This will be a great move for them as they will be closer to Bucuresti and also be around a much larger group of people who all love them and share their beliefs. It is sad for Deva though, not really sure what will happen there with them gone. 

Right after we sang at the 20th anniversary celebration, Elder P and I had to leave to have a skype lesson. We didn't get to see the whole celebration, which is sad because I heard that there was some sweet performances. Did you see the member who played the cello? Man, that performance was so good, and then with Sora Ewell. We have some incredibly talented people here in Romania. 

The hamburgers that we made were half pork-half "beef". It is unknown what "beef" is here sometimes, but this time it had a lot less bones/cartilage and they were really tasty, so maybe it was really beef. Besides, horse cant hurt you all that much (haha i really hope that some newly called missionary is reading this part (the food here is great, I promise!)). 

We were going to go paint balling today in a wooded area here in Buc. It would have been really cool, but people opted out till next week (when we probably cant go because of transfer stuff) but both Elder P and myself were reminded of camping, so i am very jealous of Dad and Secondborn. It sure sound like you all had a lot of fun up there. 

It is so great to hear that the ward (almost wrote "branch") is engaging in missionary work. I was thinking back to when I was home and couldnt remember ever hearing about the missionary work. I am very excited for the work to really push forward, especially seeing members step up to the plate. I think it was Elder Bednar...maybe, I forget, but an Apostle said that it is not the missionaries job to find people, it is the members of the ward/branch. How much more effective this work would be if we didn't have to talk to 10000 people before we found the one who wanted to talk to us. One of my past companions put it this way "we can knock on every block, talk to every person on the street and maybe find 1/1000 people who wanted to hear what we say, OR lets say a member or investigator has 100 friends and helps us to talk to them all. 1 of those people wants to hear our message. Then the process begins again with their 100 friends." The theory is sound, but it needs the members, as well as the missionaries, to work. 

Our skype lessons have been going great. The people from Austria seem a little bit distracted, but have brought a friend or two to the lessons where they couldn't really be in front of the screen (that was fun!). Our investigator from Czech came down to Pitesti and went to church there with his wife and family. From what it sounds like, they love it and want to be baptized. Our investigator said that he would be baptized if his family would join him, but our missionaries in Pitesti feel like he still has reserves, so we will try and help him out with that when he gets back to the Czech Republic. We also just got a new investigator in the Oslo Norway mission. The sisters there are super cool and found this great guy. He is very spiritual and can really understand all that has been said. He is pretty funny, the sisters had to use a lot of hand gestures and what not with pliants...booklets? (whats the word), and they thought that he didn't get all that they were saying. But when we talked to them, he had it all down. We hope that he progresses really quickly. I made the joke to Sora Hill that we had gotten voie to fly out to Austria, Czech and Norway to baptize them if they decided to do so, apparently that's not going to happen ;). So that's life. Keep praying for me, i have been hitting some rough patches and need to find my feet again, but I've put some goals into action again, so I know I can do it.

Love you all and hope you are "surviving" without me,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 34

I heard that the whole western United States is on fire (as in really hot, not actually on fire, minus Arizona). Record heats right? 

It sounds like you all had a lot of fun watching the fireworks. We didn't have a chance to see fireworks here (till yesterday for some random reason) but we did have a mini barbecue on the balcony at the office. I will hopefully be able to send you pictures.  

I was going to say that I don't remember ever seeing sister missionaries in our ward, or in our area for that matter when I was in Idaho.  But it is cool that, because of the influx in missionaries, you are getting more sister missionaries. President Hill has just requested 18 additional sister missionaries and it was approved. That means a set of sisters in every single city and multiple in big districts! This is crazy, we were told not to expect any additional missionaries from the influx.

I will probably see the F family this Saturday at the 20 Celebration. If you want to watch it too, I will send you the link that they are broadcasting for the old missionaries in SLC. 
Unfortunately Secondborn hasn't written me in a while. I will have to check, but I am pretty sure that I was the last one to write him. It would be cool to hear about his time in SLC. 

Love you all and hope you are doing well.

Elder Ormsby

And now for some 4th of July celebration pics...

 The two above look like a printout of some sort but no explanation.
 Forming burgers for a bbq.
No Montreal steak seasoning, but Elder O found this.  I've never seen it in America.
 Burger fixings
Elder somebody.  the smallest grill we've ever seen.  Are they truly going to grill 16 burgers on that?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 33

It was such a treat to receive those pictures from The Love Magnet and an even bigger treat to get those video clips. 

Sorry that you had to drive back to Idaho without any AC, we have heard about the record heat waves that have been hitting the west. We have had nothing but rain here. Its a little ridiculous. I didn't think I would ever see so much rain at one time, but it has been raining non-stop for the past 2-ish days. It is clearing up now, so that is good. The drainage system here isn't the best, so we have rivers, literally, in the streets when it rains really hard.

I cant believe that A is going to be in the MTC soon! It is so good to hear that more and more people are going on missions. President just told us that we will be receiving 18 additional new sister missionaries over the next 3-9 months! This is some really good news because it means that basically ALL the cities in Romania will have a set of sister missionaries and we might even get multiple sets in every district. Now that would be crazy! 

Good to know about D, I will be sure to add him to my fast. Fasting is such a great gift that we have. I have such a strong testimony about fasting. It is such a simple thing, go without food or water for 24 hours, having a desire(s) in your heart and having faith that, because you are making a sacrifice, God will bless you for your efforts. Before the exchange that I had in Brasov I started a fast the day before. I have had a really hard time understanding people here in Romania. Its mostly because I focus on all the words that I don't know instead of all the words that I do know. But I went into that fast praying that I would know how to help the elder I would be with (who was only a week old in the mission field) and also to have the gift of understanding. Although both of our lessons fell through, I feel that we prepared ourselves for both of them. When we were on our way to one of them we took a taxi instead of the bus...we were a little late. It was one of the best conversations that I have had in Romania. Although he didn't want to hear about the Church at the beginning of the ride, he eventually got curious and then confused on why we would come to Romania, without pay and talk to people. So I told him what we did, why we were here and a little bit about what we did. Although it wasn't a perfect contact, it helped to give me the boost of confidence that said "yes, I do know this language and yes, I can understand them." I know that extra help came from fasting. So many people don't understand how/why we fast. If they did, it would no longer be a chore, but a pleasure.

Office work will be office work. Not much to say except we have done all the visa work, minus the healthcare stuff. We will figure it out as we go. As it is, we wont be able to do anything until we have a few guinea pigs. We need to get a move on it though. 

Thanks for sending that transcript to BYU, I just need a few more things and it will be off for review. I am taking my time (cause I have a lot of it). We will see what happens there.

Love you all and I hope that all is well. Make sure Secondborn and Thirdborn write me!

Love Elder Ormsby

 The rainstorms are huge in Bucharest.  This was taken from the office window.

The streets become rivers.

Elder Ormsby showing he still has the wherewithall to brave the elements.