Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 93

Dear Family,

This email might jump around a bit, I have a lot of things moving through my head and I don't know how well it will fall out haha.

First thing first. Missions are super cool. It is a time where people find out who they truly are. It is also a time that people try out new things. New hairdos, new cloths, new confidence. So, back story, once upon a time, two sister missionaries told me that they read on my blog that I had waxed. Well, I was thoroughly confused as I think I would remember such a traumatic experience. I  looked everywhere to see if I could figure out what they were talking about. After a lot of searching, I finally got that they were just kidding "forehead slap." Well, now they don't have to be. Yup, waxing hurts. It hurts a lot. It hurts like you were forcefully removing each hair from each follicle in a forceful manner. Yup...waxing hurts :)

Although it sounds like there are a few things that the house needs, it is good to hear that things are moving forward. I got my flight plan today, and you should have too. I fly into SLC at 355 from Paris. Time is moving by so quickly.

Wait! Who is Dad working for now? You never told me that he left Thyssen!

 And finally, I was reflecting back to the beginning of my mission in Timisoara with Elder Harrison. I was thinking about the goals that I had for my entire mission, some of the things that we had been working on and the progress that I have made throughout my mission. I thought about some of the things that I wish I had done better at, things I can still accomplish (and will accomplish) and things that have pasted. But one of the most powerful things I can remember is from my first transfer here in Romania. I was thinking about block knocking. Now, some of you may think you know what "block knocking" is, but you are probably wrong. We don't walk house to house and knock a city block. Oh no, we go into a giant communistic cement building. One where the walls are thin enough to hear through. We go door to door, trying to share our light with others. At this specific time, the part that I want to share, we were in a very poor block. One where there were only extremely small rooms. Think about your bedroom. Most of your bedrooms are bigger than their entire apartment. We knocked on the door of M and I (I am pretty sure that those were their names). "I" opened the door and asked what we wanted. When we told her our purpose, she politely told us that they had no money to pay for electricity, but if we wanted to come in for a bit, we could. We walked in to find a dark room, kitchen in one corner, bed in the other. Next to the bed was a crib with a 3 month old baby. ​The room was slightly cold which was pretty impressive seeing as how it was in the negatives outside and blocks are not known for their insulation. I's husband came in and we gave them a short lesson. I don't remember what we said, or what they said in return, but I do remember what followed. M offered us an apple each. Although I didn't much understand Romanian at the time, I understood two upraised apples. How could I, a young man from America, consider taking an apple from this couple. I pretended to not understand, and as I did so, I thought back to all the comforts of my home in the US. I thought about Mom and her cooking. Dad and the home for which he provided. I thought back to all the food that we had back in our own apartment, and I just couldn't take the apple. I politely refused the apple, but Romanian's will not let you leave unless they give you something, anything to eat. After another refusal, Elder Harrison turned to me and said "Take the apple." I knew it was all they had to eat. I knew what a huge gift it was. I was humbled to the core (no pun intended). As we left the house, I placed the apple in my bag. We had just started a fast, but I knew the first thing I would eat when I ended it. The next evening, as I sat at FHE, I opened my bag. Ending the fast with a prayer, I pleaded with my Father to bless the family that had given me that apple. Tears fell down my face as I took my first bite, and I knew that God was aware of their lives. He knew them, much better than I knew them, and had sent us there to plant a seed. I never saw the fruit of that seed. I don't know if I will ever know in this life if they become converts, but I am so grateful for the lesson that I learned. We are truly a blessed people. I feel ashamed, sometimes, when I think of all the amenities and blessings that we have of which we never acknowledge. Find something this week that you are grateful for and tell your Father why you are so grateful for it.

Much love,

Elder Ormsby

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 92

Dear Family,

Wow, it sounds like you have having a very crazy time! The house looks really nice and I am so grateful that everything has finally started to go through. I asked a few of my really close mission friends to add that to their prayers, so good job team!

Not a lot has gone down here in Bacau. We are still trying to figure life out with all this new freedom. President has asked us to move away from the standard blocs and street contacting (not really, but at the same time). I feel like I am in a box that is way too big, and I have no idea where to start​...creativity is not my strongest point.
We just got our water turned on this last week, and that has been such a relief. Oh ya, I forgot to tell you guys. So last transfer the ZLs were out of money (normal) so we didn't pay our water bill till they came down. They payed the bill and then took the original receipt with them for finances. Well, we got a huge bill a few weeks later and then all of a sudden we have a guy at our door saying he is going to turn off our water if we don't give him a 50 ron bribe. I am not down for giving bribes (it causes problems later when more people expect it), so I told him no and Elder M and I lived without water at our house for the rest of the transfer. We paid the bill in full the next morning (after the bribe guy) and the lady told us to wait for 5 business days.  Well, Elder C came and we waited the five days, then five turned to seven and we were getting tired of not being able to shower at our house (I should clarify, we were showering and what not at the church). We finally went back to the bill lady and she laughed as she said we were supposed to go write up a cerere, a request, for them to turn our water back on. Oh my headache haha! After a lot of travel and no water, we finally came home to our water turned on. I will have to send you the video. Water is one of those things that you never think about being an amazing blessing, but you try living with out it for 2 weeks and you will see differently.

That's about all I got. Have a great week and I will see you soon!

Elder Ormsby

Elder O walking ahead of the group.

locals washing their car

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 91

Dear Family,

Movin' movin' movin'!!!! I know how that feels. I have moved eight completely different locations in the last two years! It is very interesting to see everything that you own in a few suitcases (or storage sheds). 

Ooooh, a turkey dinner with all the fixin's sounds soooo good! We have a new sora, Sora R, from Mexico (she is in the same group as Soras P and L) and she is super cool! We are going to do a lot of district dinners to learn some quality Mexican food. The turkey dinner, however, would beat everything out of the water (especially with grandma's beans (did she make yucky rolls?)!)! Hows that for a lot of () and ?!? :)

My new comp is Elder C. He is from Michigan. He is a champ, super optimistic and a really talented person. He can do some pretty amazing stuff, isn't afraid of showing it, but doesn't show it off, if that makes sense. He was in the office right after I was, so it has been really funny to exchange office stories. Elder C could potentially be the new BP, but we haven't gotten any info from Pres on that.

Sora B is being trained by Sora M in Oradea. I didn't get the chance to meet her, and chances are slim that we will see each other before I leave.

Elder C's brother was just called to Uganda! I called it the night before. ​Just thought Grandma and Grandpa would like to know. Plus, the Ps said to say "Hi" to Grandma and Grandpa. They are the water project managers for eastern Europe. They said it about a year ago, but me being a very forgetful person, I didn't remember until I just wrote Uganda haha!

I love you all.

Elder Ormsby

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Week 90

Dear Family,

Another transfer come and gone, with only two left. How can time go by so quickly. It seemed like only yesterday I was wondering how communism took the happiness out of Romania as I looked upon the fog laden airport. I was wrong about happiness being gone, and I have learned so much about the people here. Life, eh?

Sorry this is so short. We had to help one of the sisters get her stuff on a train to go home, so I will continue writing you later.

Love y'all!

Ok, now I have a little bit more time to write letter.

Life is going really well. We found out this weekend that Elder M will be leaving Bacau and will be working in Craiova with two companions. I am super sad to see Elder M go, he has become one of my best friends in this mission. I am so grateful for my time with him, he has helped me to keep calm and just keep moving forward. He will do great in Craiova. Elder C is going to be my new comp. He has been serving as a partial BP in Galati (they have a member BP who was baptized less than a year ago), so he knows the basics of being a BP. No word yet on if he will be the new BP here in Bacau, guess we will find that out next transfer board haha. 

The members are all right. We have tried to work with the Bs, but they didn't responded to my call. I am going to try really hard to get them back to church this next transfer. We don't have any investigators, but we have a really good friend, D. He plays World of Warcraft for a living. You read right, World of Warcraft. He is super legit, totally cool. One of the members was talking about a YSA conference that will be in August and he asked "Wait, where are we going?" The member at first didnt think that he could go, but after a second thought invited him to come and he is! He doesn't believe in God, but really respects us for the fact that we are here in Romania. The other day we sang "Domnul sa te Aiba-n Grija Sa" "God Be With you till we Meet Again". He was very excited about how well we sang. As good as that was, we were all impressed even more when he bowed his head when we said a prayer. It was super cool!

Well, love you lots and I will see you soon

Elder Ormsby