Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 98

Dear Family,

Life is pretty good. I sitting in an internet cafe at Timpuri Noi and I just got the new info for my homecoming. It is pretty crazy to think that I don't have much longer. I don't feel anything. Is that bad? I am not sad to leave Romania. I am not stoke to go home. I don't know if my mind/body even knows that I am going home...Ah well, what are you going to do? 

We still don't really understand our role here in North Buc. We are kind of making it up as we go. We have met this really cool guy, J, from Nigeria. He works near this restaurant by our house. I say "near" cause he is actually not employed anywhere. He puts crates in front of public parking and when people come looking for a spot, he moves them. He doesn't ask for money, but lives off of tips. I can't even imagine. He literally lives off of maybe 100 ron per week, if that. He is like every other Afrikaan, however. Happy, humble and living life. He never has any time to meet, since he works from 8-8 most days, but we have been talking to him. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He really appreciated it and told us that he will take the time to "digest" it. Every time we walk away after talking with him, Elder C hums the tune "Hey Jude" by the Beatles haha!

Something that I am sad that I will miss is one of the things that we are trying to put together. We are planning an interfaith christmas concert. I am almost done with taking inventory of the entire missions talents (musical, artistic, stagework). I need to have everything set up and ready to go before I leave, or else it wont happen. There is a lot of work yet to get done. We need to approach the other faiths, find a venue and set up the missionaries. Its a lot of work, but i know it will be an amazing experience for everyone who attends. Think about it! A few hundred people, all coming together and celebrating a commonality between them: The birth of Christ. I might even try and come back if this goes through. We are going to visit a lot of other churches this week and talk with the pastors. We would like to find an interfaith council and meet with them as well. We'll talk with Pres. Ivory about it this week. We are hoping that the Orthodox, Catholic, Baptist and Pentacostal churches will join in. We'll see!

We have a few other plans set up, but we are keeping them a bit more secret. I'll tell you more about it next week ;)

Love you all and ill see you soon!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 97

Dear Family,

First of all,  I have to apologize for not writing you  last week. I was packing and planning on writing you Tuesday just before we left, but the power was out at the church. I was pretty frustrated with that, but that's life sometimes. I have moved into my old area of North Bucuresti. We are in a "special assignment" which really means that we are regular missionaries that "might" do some different things. Right now we are working with the new senior couple, the Ss, and are helping them with a few projects. We are going to redesign the Youth Centers, which are located under the chapels in Panduri and Mihai Bravu. Other than that, there isn't a lot that has happened. We all went to District Conference on Sunday. They broadcasted the session to a bunch of other cities (including Bacau and Ploiesti). Apparently I am pretty tall compared to Romanians because I received calls from Bacau and Ploiesti with members tell me they saw the back of my head during the intermediate hymn haha! It was a really good session, full of amazing talks. One of my favorite talks was by G, a member in Panduri who has limited use of her legs. She talked about staying faithful during trials. Last year, she stood up without the aid of her crutches. I don't remember exactly what she said, except it was close to "I don't need to be strong when my faith is strong." The Spirit was so strong as she bore testimony. Then a young lady played the violin. She was amazing! She played "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." She was born in Romania, but adopted at a young age. I loved it, and I felt a confirmation that, "Yes, I Know that My Redeemer Lives." As the conference continued I kept thinking that President Ivory would randomly call on me to give a talk, so I thought about what I might say. He didn't ask me to talk, but in an after meeting he did ask me to bear testimony about the trials of members and my gratitude for them. I was really grateful for that moment because I had two special people in that meeting. G and M. I met them last year when I was here in Buc. We were preparing to rent one of their apartments and they were some of the most amazing people ever. Very prepared. They were baptized after I left thanks to the efforts of the Baker Family. I had the chance to talk with them after the main meeting and I shared my joy that they had been baptized. When I bore testimony and gratitude for the members, I was able to share how the joy of them being baptized give me more hope for the future. President came up to me afterwards and thanked me for my testimony. He told me to meet with them as many times as I could each week. They are super amazing. Its good to be in Buc, even if it is too big.

Thats all I have for you this week.

Oh wait!!!

I have a new comp.

His name is Elder C.

He is from Boise!

He went to CHS.

And he is super legit!

See you soon!

Elder Ormsby

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week 96 - No letter this week. Why?...

(Note from Mom:  We received a short email saying that he had to pack and would email the next day.  All we know is that he is no longer branch president in Bacau and is being transferred somewhere else for his final 6 weeks.  I doubt he could write today because he is most likely traveling to Bucharesti, getting a new companion tomorrow, and then traveling to his new area.  We'll plan to hear from him next week.)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 95

Dear Family,

The house looks great! I am excited to see it. Do you think my room will be done by the time I get home? Oh, I miss that dog. Seeing her wag her tail was awesome! The Love Magnet is still a favorite for the sisters. I told one of them that I miss her more than almost everyone else (she is the love magnet, after all). 

Sounds like the ward is really cool, I can't wait to meet them. 

There isnt a whole lot that has changed, here in Bacau. I am still the BP. I still have some interesting members and very interesting Sundays. We don't have any investigators, but we have fun. We have a really good friend here who we meet a few times a week (English, FHE etc.). I used to think that it would be frowned upon, meeting with someone but not having lessons, until I read something President Ivory said. Here is an excerpt from Pres. Ivory's email to me. "Strive to have meaningful gospel conversations with people every day. You should not bring up the church until either they ask or you are prompted to. Just get to know people. Contacting needs to be fun. Try some unique approaches but the key is to discover the uniqueness of each individual and for them to understand the human side of missionaries. Once rapport is established, then a meaningful gospel conversation can happen." I was very surprised to read this, but I am glad that he said it. I believe it is the best thing he could ever say. I really hate the monotonous routine of "Buna numesc Elder Ormsby" Instead, he wants us to be people!!! I always thought I was a rebel for doing that anyways haha. We used to play bball everyday with these guys. It was great! We would get our exercise, and at the same time be ourselves. They never knew we were LDS until one day they asked us why we were there (in Bacau). They were surprised to find out that we were missionaries, but didn't hate us for it. Why? Cause they knew we were regular people! They were surprised because they thought that missionaries wer these really weird people who never did anything fun and never got married (the last one was their main point lol). Sometimes you don't need to give someone the lessons. You always need to be someones friend.

Speaking of friends, I am so glad that I went on a mission. You really do experience 40 years during your time. One of my favorite parts of being a missionary is meeting so many amazing friends. I am not usually the person to go out of my way to meet new people and befriend them. Being a missionary hasn't necessarily changed that, but it has helped me to find people that I will be friends with for the eternities. I love them, all of them. I miss some of them every day that I am not with them, but I know that I will see them again. Missions are amazing. You won't miss out on anything if you come, but you will miss so much if you don't. 

See you soon,

Elder Ormsby

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 94

Dear Family,

Sorry I wasn't able to write you yesterday. We went to a place called Red Lake. It is such a beautiful place and I wish the camera could actually capture the real deal. After being on the lake, we decided to hike to the top of a mountain. We basically ran straight up the first part and then hiked the rest at a more reasonable pace. We made a three hour hike in about an hour. It was pretty amazing, being able to see everything around you. We met some visitors from Austria, Hungary and New York while we were there. They were trying to order something when Elder C turned around and asked if they wanted any help. "Oh look, its our Mormon friends!" Lol, they had seen Sora R's name tag and had also been to the musical in New York...hopefully  we set a good example :).

We had a really good activity on Saturday to close the end of Summer. We had hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans and watermelon. I don't think you can get any more "summer" than that! We had two nonmembers show up, including the mother of one of the members. I was really proud of the members as they made this member's mother feel like she was home. This is something that I don't usually see here in Bacau, so it was very refreshing.

I gave a surprise talk this week. I was banking on another member coming, but he was a no show. I only had two minutes to prepare the talk, but I think it went fine. When you serve in Deva and have to come up with a talk every other week (sometimes every week), you get pretty good at preparing a talk really quick. I first talked about forgiving others, seeing as how none of us are perfect. I then talked about less actives. Pres. Ivory really wants us to work with everyone, to balance out our days. Speaking of the less actives, I asked the members to think of someone who has lost their way. We are all brothers and sisters, a family, and we need to watch out for each other. I could see each of the members thinking of someone who wasn't with us at that meeting. I also talked about the saying that we have in the family, "No empty seats," meaning no empty seats in heaven. 

I will send you some pictures of Red Lake. Could you send me some pics of the house and neighborhood?

Love you all!

Elder Ormsby