Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10/8/12 FIRST WEEK IN THE CHISINAU (Kee-shi-now)

Привет моя семья! 

I've been in Chisinau for 6 days (1 in Bucharest), and I am loving every second of it! I can't believe I'm finally here, but it sure does beat the MTC by a long shot. Traveling over by myself wasn't too bad. The layovers were short, none of my flights were delayed, and some of them were even earlier than they should've been! I guess I'll go day by day from when I got off the plane to where I am right now...
First day: My flight from Amsterdam to Bucharest was nice and short. I got off the plane and had no idea where I was going and couldn't understand anything. Eventually I found my way to the baggage claim, got my luggage, and made my way outside to find my mission president. Boy was it sure nice to see them! They (President and Sister Hill, and the two Romania zone leaders) greeted me with smiles and hugs. To be honest, I can't really remember much because I was SO tired... But they helped me take my luggage to the car and then we drove over to the mission office. Driving here is insane, everybody uses their horns constantly, and the streets/cars are tiny! And this whole time I'm thinking to myself, "What in the world is going on?" Being exposed to this COMPLETELY different environment gave me the most overwhelming feeling of "culture shock." Anyway, when we got to the mission office, the first Elder I saw was Tyson Awerkamp! I totally forgot that he's in this mission! It was so good to see a familiar face, and I think it helped a lot with transitioning into the mission field. I basically sat around all day at the mission office, talked a lot with Elder Awerkamp, and took some naps. Yes, NAPS. I couldn't believe it either! They said that they usually took new missionaries out contacting their first day... But I didn't speak Romanian, so I got off the hook. That night I stayed with the zone leaders, got 4 hours of sleep, and took my first COLD shower in a LONG time... It was not the best way to start my day!

Rest of the week: So I traveled to Moldova in a tiny airplane haha it was awesome. The airport here is really small too, and the Russian Elders up here are seriously the best. All 7 of them were on a bench in the airport waiting for me, I told them how happy I was to finally be here and they all gave me hugs! And this is where I met my companion, Elder Smith. He's an awesome guy, and really quiet. He's been here for a little over a year, and we're definitely getting along well. Our apartment is WAY nice, and we have hot water AND a washer! As for the missionary life here, every morning we have 4 hours of study, then we go out and teach/find. The weird thing though is that we haven't contacted or tracted yet... I thought my companion would have shown me how it's done by now, but maybe this week we'll pick up the pace and get a lot more investigators. I LOVE my investigators already. We have 2 progressing investigators and their names are Eugene, and Azamat. Eugene has been working in America for the past 6 months and he just barely started up the discussions with us last week, and he seems really interested. He speaks English really well, and loves meeting with us. Azamat is an investigator Ct. Smith has had for a while, but he knows the bible really well, and says that having the Sabbath day on Sunday goes against the commandments... But it doesn't, so don't worry! ;) Oh yeah, I've had 2 lessons in English, and 1 in Russian. I'm kind of nervous for the upcoming Russian lessons, but my Russian is slowly getting better! We travel on buses and walk A LOT. It's definitely not like the MTC! But the meeting house here is basically just a 3 story house, and that is where we watched conference this weekend. I was afraid it would be in Russian, but they told me that they had it in English. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT ANNOUNCEMENT THOUGH!? Young men at 18, and young woman at 19?! It's so cool!! I was so excited to hear that news, and I hope Matt (and Braden Conrad, and David Blocker) are getting ready so they can go as soon as they can! :) Conference was great though. I think it was the first time I had ever stayed awake for every session and took notes on every speaker. I look forward to the next General Conference, and by that time, I'll be well into my mission! 
I love you all very much! I love it here already, and the people too. Life here in Chisinau is fantastic, and I feel God's love and support stronger and stronger every day. Hopefully by next week I'll have a lot of cool stories to tell, but I hope you are all doing well and thank you for your prayers and support.


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