Monday, December 24, 2012

I really like it here!

The new area is way cool I really like it here, it is way smaller than Sofia and it's pretty cold which really stinks because we only have one investigator and that means we're outside almost all day contacting but it's all good I've got a warm coat and all so no worries!
The branch here is way cool.  We have some way nice members (there aren't any wards in Bulgaria yet), we had about 11 members at church on Sunday (there are more some are just gone for the holidays).  I didn't have to speak at church this week, we watched the Christmas devotional from the first presidency after the sacrament. Since it's so small, I've already met most of the members between church and the Christmas party we had on Sat. and I am way excited to be out here!
Our investigator is way cool, he is from Pakistan and he is Muslim which is pretty tough but he is way nice and a great guy. My new companion is cool, he is from Idaho and he actually is only one group ahead of me so two months ahead. He's the second youngest in his family and he played the trombone in marching band and he did wrestling and was pretty good at both of those. I'm not really sure what else to say.
Half of the district here (6 missionaries) are from my MTC group, two others are from the group ahead of me and the district leader has been out for a bit over a year so we have a really young district! My MTC companion is out here too so it is good to see him again he is way fun and everyone here is super cool so I am pretty excited for this transfer!
For Christmas they have pretty much the same traditions as in America, I haven't really seen or heard of anything different except they do hand out little fortunes on the streets because it's Christmas time.
New years here is way bigger though, they have some interesting stuff like hitting their grandparents with decorated sticks and singing a song then they get some money or something from them. Ha ha it's not bad though they have thin little things that babas sell on the street and they don't really hit them it's more of a light tap thing.
Yeah so... have some good questions for tomorrow because we've got 40 min and I don't know what I would talk about. Have an awesome Christmas eve and morning and I will talk to you tomorrow!

Love you all!
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, December 17, 2012

Heading over to Burgas!

This week I get to head over to the sea to serve in Burgas with Elder Peterson so I will leave tomorrow for that! That Christmas package was huge and don't worry I didn't open it yet but I did have Elder Wheat check in it to see if there were individual packages inside.  It was good to find out that there was, it will be a little bit easier to transport it like that!

From what I have heard Burgas has some way awesome members and I have met a couple already and actually the clerk here in Sofia is from Burgas, when I was helping him out yesterday he was telling me all about it and he actually is going to be out there for Christmas so I will see him again on Sunday! It is kind of strange to think that I will be leaving Sofia, it is so cool here and we have some way awesome investigators but Elder Babbitt will be staying and take care of them. I will for sure miss Sofia but I am excited to go to Burgas! We will be able to skpe on Christmas day so I will let you know next Monday when I write what time for sure we will call around!

It's crazy to think this time last year I had just been finishing up my first semester of school.  The time goes by way fast and I'm very excited that Ethan and Nick and a bunch of people from Oregon are going on their missions! It really is an incredible experience and I am glad that they are going too!
So this last week was really good we had some pretty good lessons at the beginning of the week and we had a lot of contacting for the last bit but it is pretty hard to get people to stop when it is so cold out. I hear it is warmer in Burgas though so that will be good! We got to have dinner with President and Sister Wilstead last night and the assistants and they are so cool I am really glad I will have them for the whole two years it's too bad that I'll be way out in Burgas, I probably won't see them around quite as much . Other than that things have been pretty normal and it's all going well out here!

Have an awesome week with one Elder Maxwell returning and hopefully you will be able to get everything all set for Christmas, it will be a busy week! I love you all and thank you for all you do!!

Love from,
Старейшина Максуел

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I love zone conferences!

So we had Zone Conference yesterday and it was really good I love zone conferences and I also am extremely jealous of dad and my companion because last night we had an investigator we had invited to FHE at the mission home and I couldn't go because dad would be there meeting the mission president. So I was on splits with a different elder and then that night when I got back with Babbitt he told me he had dad in a lesson with our investigator because he speaks french like our guy and so they had him help translate and teach because the investigators English wasn't perfect. I'm pretty jealous of all the elders here who got to see him and all so I might have to repent with you mom!

Disclaimer from Mom:  While I was writing to Christian, I asked Ian if there was anything he wanted to ask him and Ian said to ask him what he was doing "right now", which would have been 3am Christian's time.  Christian's answer made me laugh so I had to include it in the blog!

Ian, I would have been sleeping but a giant spider got into our apartment and tried stealing my bed so I had to wrestle him to the ground and tie him up with his own web so he couldn't bite me then I cooked him up and I tossed him out the window into the snow for the dogs and cats to fight over. It was pretty cool, he was really big and hairy.

This week was really good, we've been really working on getting a lot of members involved in our lessons and I wish that I had done it sooner. Members are so important in missionary work so be sure and keep up with the misisonaries and make sure that they know you want to help with their investigators! And Ben and Alan for sure you should go out with the elders and show them how its done! Sorry dad I didn't let you know about the weather we actually got our first snow last Monday and it has been pretty cold since then I was actually worried when I thought about you coming from India that you wouldn't have anything too warm to wear I'm glad the layers worked for you! We've been doing a bit more tracting especially after dark because it's colder and not many people will stop and talk, it's not my favorite and there isn't very much success from it either but there is some.

We got to watch the Christmas devotional from the first presidency in church and it was all translated into Bulgarian but I could actually understand what they were saying!! Oh and also our older guy that was baptized got to pass the sacrament this week for the first time and that was way neat having the members and all teach him how to do it and to watch him pass it!! There's not really too much else new I guess... we get transfer calls this weekend so I will find out if I am staying in Sofia or going somewhere else! The work is going good and I am glad to be here in Bulgaria to help build the kingdom of the Lord!

Love you all!
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, December 10, 2012

No letter from Christian, but...

Christian had Zone Conference today so I am subbing in a letter from his dad, who happens to be in Bulgaria on business...

Today I am in Sofia Bulgaria.  Someone forgot to tell me it is cold here.  I looked at the weather report a couple of weeks ago when I was packing for my trip to India and Bulgaria.  I distinctly remember seeing temperatures in the 50s (10-15 degrees Celsius).  I packed accordingly and brought a nice little black hoodie.  When I arrived in Sofia last night, having traveled from 35 degree Celsius weather in Cochin, India, it was a whooping 2 degrees Celsius here in Sofia.   Burr, I was definitely not expecting that.  Still, I put on my hoodie and took a walk down Vitosha Blvd to check out some of the sites in the center of the city.  It was cold, but manageable.

I also decided that today I could walk to Church.  It was only about a 20 minute walk I figured, and it would save me having to pay for a taxi on the Sabbath.  I enjoyed the brisk walk to the church, and managed to stay warm through creativity.  I put my hoodie on under my suit coat.  I am sure I was quite the sight wearing a nice suit with a black hoodie coming up and out of the suit over my head.  I went to the Sofia 2nd branch at the direction of the mission president here, President Wilstead, and apart from having a little bit of a hard time finding the entrance once I was at the address—I finally ended up following someone else dressed in a white shirt and a tie that I figured was probably a member—I had a great time at Church.  Elder Maxwell was not there, since he is assigned to the 1st branch, but just about everyone I talked with, knew Elder Maxwell.  And, amazingly enough, they had great things to say about him.  : )    Actually, I was not surprised at all, the Elder Maxwells of the world are great missionaries!   

There were 4 missionaries at the branch.  Two were in the same district with Elder Maxwell at the MTC, a third has actually worked with Elder Maxwell on splits and knows him from those experiences.  The family that had the missionaries over for Thanksgiving complimented Elder Maxwell on being quick to jump up and help with dishes.  That is always a sure sign of a good person—right Opa?  A couple persons took their picture with me so they could share it with Elder Maxwell when they next saw him.  I have to say that I was really impressed with the kindness and goodness of the Saints.  I was very glad to be there.  Not knowing any Bulgarian was not an issue either.  Because a couple families in the branch also don’t speak Bulgarian, they already had interpreters set up for each of the meetings.  They even asked me to say the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting.  I also picked up my first words in Bulgarian.  I can now say thank you.

The Church was cold.  The heaters weren’t working so all they had were a couple small electric space heaters to try and warm the place.  By the end of the 3 hours I was really cold.  I walked back to the hotel after Church with another member who lives near where I am staying.  She speaks pretty good English so I was able to learn more about Bulgaria and the Church in Bulgaria from her.  She walked very slowly though and the wind had really picked up so by the time I was back to the hotel, I was frozen.  We passed a thermometer display on the way back and it read -5 degrees Celsius.  With the frigid wind it felt even colder.

I warmed up for an hour or so in my hotel room (it is a very warm room), and then decided to venture out again on one more walk.  To ensure I stayed warm, I put on two pair of socks, and a pair of pajamas underneath my clothes.  It worked great!  I took a walk over to the Vasil Levski National Stadium.  I know Elder Maxwell had once commented that his apartment was near the stadium, so while I knew I couldn’t seek him out to see him (since it is against Church guidance), I figured I could at least walk some of the same streets and see some of the same sights.  I am glad I got to do it.  Sofia is a beautiful city.  It is almost like I am walking down a city street in Germany or France.  Except for everything being written in Cyrillic and me not being able to read any of it, it feels very much the same.  It started snowing while I was out and there was probably a half inch on the sidewalks by the time I returned. 

Elder Maxwell, the elder, returns home in just over a week!  It is impossible for me to believe that it has already been two years!!!  The time passes so quickly.  It really reinforces the point that we need to live every day to the fullest.  There is not a moment to waste.  It is so easy to let a day pass with idle or unimportant work, we just can’t afford to do it.  Every day we need to strive to learn a little more, live a little better, and love and serve a little more completely.  Perfection can only be reached with a lot of diligent effort, and of course an amazing portion of God’s grace.  How thankful I am for the gospel of Jesus Christ, for His restored Church, and for a family that embraces light and love as we help each other and those around us, down the path towards perfection.  Nothing gives me greater joy than the promise of an eternal family.


Elden was also able to meet with the Mission President today and deliver our Christmas gifts for Christian.  He had some fun experiences teaching Christian's investigator in French, with Christian's companion and also meeting many members and missionaries at the mission office.  (All while working carefully to NOT run into Christian!) 

Monday, December 3, 2012

This week was pretty good, it had a lot of ups and downs.

This week was pretty good, it had a lot of ups and downs.  One of the senior missionaries passed away but fortunately they had just gone home for one of their sons sealings and that weekend before they came back he passed away in his sleep which was a tender mercy to his wife to not have to worry about getting him back home and being able to be home with family. We also had a few really cool people that we got to meet with this week and we have some sweet new investigators!
Oh and this week - crazy story - we were heading home for dinner and it was pretty dark and I saw this rat run past and a cat was chasing it so... we followed them!   The cat cornered the rat but then the rat jumped up and attacked the cats face and totally scared it off! So then... I went over and stomped kinda close to the rat to try and scare it off and it jumped at me and was all hissing and growling at me, then it ran off it was pretty cool! But otherwise the week has been good a little bit rainy but the work is going well!

Love to everyone!
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, November 26, 2012

Have a mnogo dobre sedmitsa!

So I get to write again and it's only been a few days!

The baptism was actually quite exciting because there was another girl from the other branches missionaries who was also getting baptized.  We were having it in the evening so she would be able to get there in time from work but then she ended up having to stay at work a bit late so she got there way late.  The speaker basically had to stall until she could get ready but she got there in time so that's all that is really important.  When we went down to the font (Elder Babbitt and I had filled it up at lunch), it was only half full because the plug was a little loose or something so that was a bit scary and it took a few tries for both of them on the baptism because they basically had to lay them down to get them all the way under but it worked out. It definitely wasn't the smoothest baptism but it all worked out!

We had some good lessons and such too.  I found this way cool guy too.  He is pretty interested and he teaches fencing!  We also had a lesson with a couple of African guys, one of them only speaks French and the other speaks very little English.  There is a member here who speaks basically every single language fluently, so he was able to translate for us and we should be meeting with them again this week! I wish I remembered more French, I could understand a bit of the words but I can't remember any grammar at all!  Austin you are crazy learning two languages on your mission, every time I would try to think of a word in French all I would get is Bulgarian!

I did get a coat, finally!  We had tried three weeks in a row already but we never had time and it was getting pretty cold out. But it is all good! I have a coat so there is no need for dad to get one.
Have a mnogo dobre sedmitsa!

Love from,
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, sorry I couldn't write on Monday but we got to have a pretty good Thanksgiving! We got to play some American football this morning and we had an awesome meal with all the good Thanksgiving stuff: turkey, potatoes, gravy, rolls, pie and tons of other good food, at the Schultz's and we had basically everyone that is American and LDS in Sofia there. It was really good and sorry to everyone else but I probably won't have any time to write you, I have very little time before we have to go and meet someone for a lesson but I still love you all!

So we are super busy all the time!  We have had tons of people who we would try to set up appointments with that wouldn't show up but we also were able to meet with a lot of really cool people! We have our investigator getting baptized this week.  He is so cool and so prepared! He knows so much already and he is so humble and awesome I am way excited for him!

Lets see it's gotten a lot colder this week but still no snow.  I really need to get a coat for winter -though it is hard finding time though to do that.

Also, this week, we did some tracting - knocking on doors when it gets darker and colder but it is pretty interesting although I don't think it is as effective as just talking to people on the streets but we found some pretty cool blocks to tract. Here in Sofia everyone basically lives in an apartment and they have big concrete buildings or the older ones are sometimes brick and each has a couple vhodes ( "fodes") that have a number of apartments on each floor usually they are locked so we just walk till we find one that is open and then work our way down from the top. It's pretty cool but it's hard to get people to listen.

Overall it's been a pretty good week. I'm so tired all the time though but it's okay. I'm doing work and having a good time!

But yeah I've got to run now, off to more work! I love you all have a super week!
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving in Bulgaria!

At this season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for members that love and care for my sons as they serve the Lord and I am thankful for mission presidents and leaders that not only care for my son but also care about mothers who worry!

The mission office sent this note to us this morning:

Dear Parents,

     Due to Thanksgiving Day this week, Preparation day has been changed to Thursday.  A wonderful America family in the Sofia 2 branch has invited all of the missionaries in Sofia to enjoy a traditional home cooked holiday dinner with them.  Although they will not be with their families, they will be well fed.

Unfortunately they will be not be emailing home until Thursday this week.  We did not want any parents to be worrying when your usual email was not received today!  Sorry for the short notice.

       Sister Segeberg
Bulgaria Sofia Mission

Monday, November 12, 2012

I don't feel so lost...

The week has been really good, we had a good number of lessons and a lot of first lessons with some very interesting people.  We had two different people who say the see like the auras of people or something and they kept saying how we are like lighter and things like that it was pretty interesting meeting with them. Although, it is always tough when we teach people who notice the difference the gospel can make for them but they are to afraid to give up things in their lives to fully accept it, especially when they are in a culture where that is all they have ever known. But it has been really good.

I had some exchanges at the beginning and end of this week while Elder Babbitt was doing some zone leader stuff and it has been a bit colder but otherwise it was just the usual stuff. The language is coming along really well, I don't feel so lost all the time when people talk anymore but there still is plenty for me to learn!

Have an awesome week! I love you all!

Старейшина Максуел

Monday, November 5, 2012

We met with a few really awesome people!

I'm glad to hear that you all are fine, a few of my investigators were asking about my family and I would just say you were fine because you were pretty far from the coast and I'm glad that I was right!

So this week was really good, we met with a few really awesome people.  One guy that I found, turns out he has had a Book of  Mormon for a number of years and has read it a few times and so in our first lesson we committed him to baptism! It was really cool so we will have that in a few weeks and he already knows so much, it is very easy to teach him and he is very willing to do whatever he needs to to prepare for baptism!  We have a couple other younger people that are pretty interested and we will get to meet with them some more! So the work is going really well.

It was a bit colder at the beginning of this week but there are still a good number of people out. Yesterday afternoon we were contacting at НДК which is a big cultural something or other building and they had some big Red Bull biking event there where they had a course through the building (you can probably check on YouTube the next couple weeks and they will probably have it on the redbull channel there!)

We have a good number of people that we are teaching and when I contact I like to use a survey which is just five questions I can ask people and then from that go off into something else and see if there is anything they would be interested in learning about. It works really well and it is a lot easier to get them to stop and listen to us.

The Halloween party was good we had some fun games and we had a pretty good turnout mostly it was just a few members (I don't know why most didn't come), some investigators and then a few people we just had met and invited. But it was good and it all turned out well! Halloween isn't too big here mostly just younger kids know about it.
Have a great week!
Love you all
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, October 29, 2012

This week was really good!

Hey sorry I am writing later today, we went to the Shultz's for breakfast and it was raining really hard all morning so we ended up just staying and playing some games with them instead of going on a hike like we planned. But that was really fun, they have a son that will be turning in his papers soon so they are taking extra good care of the missionaries here!

So this week was really good, it feels like it was super long.  We got a lot of solid work in and Elder Babbitt is a great missionary and a good hard worker. He is from Arizona and he has three younger siblings(I am pretty sure.) He really likes planning a whole lot and he is great to work with!

So the baptism on Saturday went well I got to baptize him, it was a bit weird doing it in Bulgarian but it was pretty cool, and also he had me confirm him on Sunday and I was a bit nervous for that but it was good. Also this week we met with a lot a cool people and had some great lessons and we found some more nice people. Now we just have to get them to actually show up to the lessons!

So, we made a council for the Halloween party this weekend and we got some of the members involved too so they can help us out and be involved and it should be pretty good with games and food and costume contest and all we are inviting pretty much everyone that we meet and we are telling the members to bring all of their friends so it should be a really good opportunity to meet and work with a bunch of people! I am really excited for this transfer and getting to work with elder Babbitt.

So I don't really have much time today, but I love you all and have an awesome week!

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Mission picture!

Last Sunday at the MTC - the Turks and the Bulgarians

Monday, October 22, 2012

We will be pretty busy these next two weeks!

Sounds like a pretty awesome week for all of you and there's no better house than a full house! It's not too bad being with a companion all the time it is pretty cool being with elder Gardner but he leaves tomorrow! It is going to be weird not seeing him for two years or more.
I am going to be staying here in Sofia and I will be with Elder Babit, I'm not really sure how it's spelled but he sounds like he is pretty cool and Gardner says that he is very organized and loves planning which is a bit of an opposite from Elder Gardner, he prefers to just plan a bit last minute and he isn't super organized so it will be good to be with Babit especially since as of yesterday I am in charge of getting everything ready for the baptism on Saturday ( We have 2 people getting baptized!) and also next Saturday we will have a Halloween party that we have to plan and get everything set up for so we will be pretty busy, for sure, these next two weeks! Which is good because this last week was a bit tough at the beginning because Elder Gardner was sick for like three days in a row so that was hard not being able to go out and trying to find stuff to study and clean all day. But for him it was hard too being his last week.
We had a great ending to the week we had some solid lessons and also yesterday the Schultz's invited us over for dinner, they are a couple working at the embassy and they are in the other branch.  They have a huge sweet house on the edge of Sofia and they had some really good food too!
Oh so another funny thing this week, there was a Levski and Sesika game which are the two big rival teams here in Sofia so there were cops all over, all day because a lot of people get really drunk and are very violent about their team plus when they get in the large groups the smart factor really goes down. So, going to our apartment we would take all the back roads and such to avoid the worst of the people but we were heading to a lesson at the church and one guy we passed was calling us some rude stuff so we stopped and were going to try and reason a bit with him but then a couple girls came by and started yelling some stuff. Then everyone at the cafe across the street started yelling and stuff so we basically ended up with the whole street yelling at us it was like a domino effect so we just had to walk off. 

So that's a pretty quick summary of my week!

Love to you all!

Старейшина Максуел

Monday, October 15, 2012

This is my last week of my first transfer!

We didn't get to talk to the boy, we had a lesson set up but he wasn't able to come because he told his parents and they went all crazy and said that we were all evil and he wasn't allowed to talk to us which is tough. That is probably the biggest problem here we have so many younger people who are interested and willing to learn but so much of the older generation is just so blah about us and it makes it really hard to work with young people in a lot of cases.  But there isn't to much that I can do about that just keep being patient with the work and try to resolve as many misconceptions as we can for the anti's. There isn't much I can say to change how they feel about us but the spirit and testimony can change a lot of bad feelings.

We had a okay week here my companion was sick for a couple days again but we were able to get some good work in too. We got to meet with this one guy he is really cool I found him around the end of Sep. and we finally met with him and he brought his friend too that was with him when I first got his number and they both are pretty interested and we should be meeting with them again this week!!


We also had a branch excursion thing on Saturday and we had some investigators and members that were able to go and we hiked up Vitosha the big mountain here next to Sofia and it was super pretty with the leaves all changing color and all it reminded me a lot of the woods in NY kind of mixed with a little bit of OR it was so nice to be in the outdoors after being in the MTC and in the city for so long!

Funny story from the hike though at the end of the trail there was this waterfall and cliff area where you could see out over all of Sofia and there was this kind of pool at the top of the falls and so Elder Ferwerda was taking a picture of Gardner next to the stream that came down into the pool and he went to give the camera back and he slipped and fell and the camera went straight into the stream and into the pool so he quick gets up and is trying to find it and he slips again and slides down this rock into the pool so since he was already in up to his waist he found the camera and got out. It was pretty funny and the camera sort of still works and he still has all of his pictures too so that's all good he wasn't upset since he's leaving next week anyways.

So this is my last week of my first transfer! I should find out who my new companion is and all on Friday, so on Monday I might write at a different time because of the transfers but I will still write! I can't really think of anything else, I really liked the second half of conference and Elder Holland went at it again, I like his talks! So that's all I've got for this week, have a super week!!!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The "Companion Quiz!"

Emma (Christian's sister) makes up great quizes to see how well her brothers know their companions.  Here is Christian's quiz about his current companion:
  1. What is your companion's full name?
  2. Where was your companion born?
  3. What career do they want to pursue?
  4. What color is their toothbrush?.... and please tell me they do brush their teeth ;)
  5. Did they play any sports in high school? and what sports would that be?
  6. How many, if any, siblings do they have?
  7. Are they cute? if so, feel free to mention me. ha ha, just kidding! They are kind of old and that would be awkward :P
  8. Is your companion allergic to anything?
  9. Do they have any habits that are annoying? ... or maybe you just prefer not to dwell on thoughts like that :)
  10. When is their birthday?
  11. What is their favorite color?
Christian's Response:

1. Bryce something Gardner
2. Born in Oklahoma on Indian res. his mom is part native
3. Mechanical Engineer
4. not sure but he does brush
5. Yes soccer and track and he is crazy good at soccer he played in Germany for a bit
6. Two older brothers
7. um
8. not that i know of
9.when he cooks he just pours tons of spices in and doesn't taste it or anything so it usually has very interesting flavors not always very good
10. not sure
11. Don't know

Conference was amazing!

Conference was amazing - at least the Saturday sessions, because that is all I have seen so far but next Sunday we will finish!

That is way exciting too for the mission age and I am way excited for Emma and Allegra to be able to have that opportunity. But a mission is a lot of work and now more than ever we need good obedient strong missionaries! I cant remember if it was from general conference or from zone conference but it was said the time for casual missionary work is over and that is so true.

Oh and sorry I am writing a day later this week but we had zone conference yesterday so today is our P day.  Funny story from zone conference, my companion, this was his last zone conf. so he got to bear his testimony at the end and when he first got up there he said "don't expect me to cry because I can't, I was born without tear ducts" then as he was talking he started getting a little teary and then he was all "it's not possible!" it was pretty funny but he is super great. I am glad I have been able to have him as my companion!

I agree though about how the world is becoming a tougher place to live in.  That is why they talked so much about the family I think, the family is so important in teaching and developing good values and principles. Especially now that the mission age is so young, I think it is important to be ready for a mission so much earlier and to develop personal testimonies earlier in life than ever before. There is such a high standard for us to live now and we cannot come down even a little bit or like Lahonti in Alma when we come down even a little bit Satan will trick us and poison us by degrees bringing us to a spiritual death without even fully realizing what is happening.

Whew!  It was a pretty crazy week for me I actually didn't even get to sleep in my own bed from Monday to Thursday! My companion had a lot of zone leader work this last week with splits and zone leader council and such so I got to serve with a lot of different elders this week! At the beginning of the week we had everyone from my MTC group come in to Sofia for passport work and we had an awesome soccer game on P-day with a bunch of them that were in! Then I was all over Sofia serving with a couple of my fellow first transfer elders and I had a day with one of the assistants and that was lots of fun getting to try different styles of work and approaches with them and to find new good ways for me to be a better missionary! Me and my companion also got to have dinner with president and his wife one night and that was cool. President is solid and a fun guy to be around, I am glad I will be able to work with him for the next two years!

So we also had conference on Sunday we just watched at the church they had it in both English and Bulgarian so that was nice and we got to see the Saturday sessions and we will watch the Sunday sessions this next Sunday!

Also, pretty cool thing from Sunday that I never really expected to happen was that afternoon when we were doing some contacting I stopped one boy and as I was talking with him he asked what church I was from so I told him I was LDS or Mormon and then he got crazy excited and was telling me he really wanted to join our church and he wanted to know how he could join and I was absolutely stunned I didn't know what to say, I was so surprised, but then I told him he would have to be baptized and take some lessons from us, he was so excited he didn't know that the church was there in Bulgaria so that was way cool! I got all his info so we will meet with him this week. He told me that he had found our church online and had talked with some of the missionaries online so that there is proof that technology really can be a great blessing in moving the work forward but there are also many great dangers with technology if we do not use it correctly so to all my little siblings be wise with your use of the computer and phones they are a great blessing!

We also had zone conference yesterday which was super good and I think this mission has a lot of good things coming and will really be doing well as we follow the direction of our president and obey the guidelines set forth by the prophets and apostles! So I am very excited to be here now and to be a part of this great work!

Have a super week everyone I love you all!
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, October 1, 2012

I am definitely looking forward to this week!

 I am excited for General Conference this Sunday ( we have it the two Sundays in a row), hopefully I will be able to understand most of what they say!

So my week has been good.  It's kind of ridiculous how hot it still is, I don't like being so hot all the time but it is good for the work because there are a lot more people out to talk to.

Our transfers are every 9 weeks so I've still got a little bit of time as a greenie! We weren't able to meet with the guy we gave a Book of Mormon to this week, he was out of town for work and didn't have a chance to read but we will meet with him this week probably! We had a lot of new people we were able to meet with this week and an older guy that I've been teaching has a baptismal date for the 27th now so that is pretty exciting!

For splits when my companion is visiting other areas, it's both, sometimes I stay in my area and sometimes I go to another elder's area, it mostly depends on who I'm going with but this week my comp will be going on a few splits so I'll probably be all around Sofia for my lessons and theirs.

It's kind of weird to think that I am doing the tithing same as dad.  Funny thing though, this week they just got the computer and computer system to do the tithing with but the clerk doesn't really use computers ever so I had to get it all turned on for him and help him with that!

For Sacrament meeting talks, people will speak somewhat often but there's enough people that it's not too much.  We do have the 3 hour block but the blocks are a little bit shorter so it's not completely 3 hours. Oh and this week we met with this one lady I found who was baptized forever ago but traveled a lot for work so she would only be able to go to church sometimes but she is planning on settling down here in Sofia now so we got her to come to church now we just need to find some friends for her in the branch! 

Today there are a bunch of missionaries coming in from the sea to do passport work.  My old companion (from the MTC) will be in too so they are going to stay at our place tonight so that is going to be super awesome and we have a bunch of really cool people that we've contacted and are planning on meeting with this week which is super cool. So, I am definitely looking forward to this week!

Love from,
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, September 24, 2012

I think my brain just gets tired!

So I've been in Bulgaria for over a month now!

The language is coming along pretty well I can understand most of what people say but speaking is still a bit tough. I am pretty used to the schedule 6:30 comes way to early every morning but once I'm up its not too bad. The food is really good, we don't eat at members really ever.  I have once and that was with the elders from the other district when my comp was on splits or something.  It was good but they don't have a ton here and people just don't really invite people to their homes. The bread isn't really that special it's okay if you get it fresh from a bakers or something but otherwise its just bread. Doners are really good though, I haven't got time to describe them today but remind me next week!

I'm not positive, but I think this is a Doner.  It is a fast food in Bulgaria and it looks like something he would love.

This week was good Gardner was off to Blagovgrad for splits on Wednesday but otherwise it was pretty normal. We only street contact now, door knocking isn't super successful so we only do it when it's too cold for people to be out on the streets.  I found a few cool people this week and we got to meet with one and give him a Book of Mormon already so that was cool.  We should get to meet with some others and probably him again this week. We have a lot of investigators right now so we've got a lot of people to meet with which is nice.  It is nice not having to spend super long periods of time contacting because after a couple hours my Bulgarian seems to get worse I think my brain just gets tired!

But yeah that's about all for this week, Have an awesome week!

Love you all,
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, September 17, 2012

That will come, I am sure of it!

This week nothing too exciting went on.  My companion, being a zone leader had to go to Pleven for splits, so I was with a different Elder here and that went well. This week he will probably be going to Blagovgrad too so I will probably get to serve with lots of different Elders while I am here but that is okay it is cool seeing how different people work and learn different things from different Elders!

I had a lot of time contacting this week although not a ton of success in finding new people, that is always tough but it is always the best finding someone who is interested and then being able to talk and discuss with them.  I have yet to have a second meeting show up but that will come, I am sure of it!

It has really started to cool off here, which is nice, and the last couple of days we have gotten a lot of rain! But yeah nothing too new or super special this week, the work is going well!

Lets see... for a little spiritual thought from my readings in Alma this week, especially the war chapters, I really liked how Moroni first prepared the people spiritually then he had them build the fortifications and I think that is especially relevant in our lives as we spiritually prepare ourselves we will be able to withstand and make it through spiritual trials but we will also be able to make it through physical trials because as we have faith in the Lord and are fixed in our minds to do what is right we will receive strength from the Lord to help us though the hard times. I have seen the Lords help in my life as I have had challenges - with no one listening or other people who just want to argue or mock us and I know that that help is there for everyone!

So yeah, have a super awesome week and remember to read the scriptures every day!!

Love you all,
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, September 10, 2012

That's basically this week.

Ian (age 6)  gave wise advice to his missionary brothers this week, "I want to say one thing: Both of you - I hope you are having a good time and doing the things you are supposed to do. Austin - I hope you have a good time coming back and Christian - I hope you have a good time in Bulgaria and send us lots of good messages about what you are doing there."

Christian's response:

Okay Ian, here is a message about what I did this week in Bulgaria!

So it was a good week, we had a lot of contacting but it was a hard week in getting people's numbers and finding those who are interested. But I had a lot of really good conversations and it was good in helping my Bulgarian improve as well as helping me be better at answering hard questions I had a lot of those this week for some reason. But cool experience with that though, so one day after a long day of tons of contacting with no success and feeling like maybe I could have had a bit more success if I was better at answering questions, I was going to read some in the BoM and so I said a quick prayer to be able to find better answers to questions and just be a better missionary.  As I just started reading, I was able to find all the answers that I needed and that were giving me the hardest time! The scriptures are amazing and they can answer our questions and bring us comfort, whether we are missionaries or not. So yeah, that was cool.

We were going to go to the game on Friday with Sophi but the friend with the tickets ended up going to Greece because they had a long weekend for some holiday so we didn't get to go.  That was a bummer, especially since that night during language study I could hear the cheering from the stadium across the street. Oh well, maybe some other time.

So yeah, that's basically this week.  We had some good lessons although there was one afternoon my companion was sick so I just cleaned the apartment for a bit. It's strange how I feel like sometimes I just want to take a break or something but then when I can't do any work - all I want to do is work!  Two years is not that long, I plan on getting as much work done as I can!

Love you all, have an awesome week!
Стьрейшина Максуел

Monday, September 3, 2012

This week has been good!

This week has been good, it's crazy though, it feels like I have been here forever but also like it was only yesterday that I wrote last.

The language is definitely improving I can understand more and speak a little bit better but like I seem to say a lot - there is still much more for me to learn.

This week I got to meet the rest of our investigators and they all are super awesome, we have some really solid investigators.  We had a good number of lessons this week, my first lesson that I set up with someone I contacted, didn't show but that's not too unusual.

We took some food to a баба (grandma or older lady)  this week and she was super nice.  She lives alone with her four cats.  She has a couple kids and grand kids but I could tell she was a bit lonely. We had asked about her family and she went into the other room and brought out these two, way thick, books of pictures of her her kids and other missionaries and such.  She has been a member for quite a bit, so we were there for a couple hours while she showed us the pictures and told us about them. She also read us a story from a book that her grand kids like and got some pictures with us.  ( I didn't have my camera but I will get a picture with her later)   That was way fun!

So my companion is way cool, he is super good at teaching and all and he is a good help for me in learning the language and keeping me involved in the lessons. He really, really loves vinegar though as well as spices.  Everything he cooks is just loaded with both of them, it doesn't taste bad but it's kind of like being punched in the mouth a lot when you are eating it. Our apartment is nice and good sized there is plenty of room for us.  The kitchen is pretty small, I wish the stove was a bit bigger but it is good enough. The bathroom is pretty sweet, it's like everything is tile and there is the shower attached to the sink and you basically shower around the sink and the toilet, so that is pretty neat.

I was kind of disappointed I didn't see the roaches last week but I've seen some around now, they aren't too impressive they are quite small, we luckily don't have any in our apartment though so it's all good.

The branch is really cool, we have some pretty cool members.  We are working with a recent convert , he is an engineer and he is so solid and awesome it is so much fun to teach him and work with him. Church was a lot better this week I wasn't nearly as tired and I could understand a bit more so that was good. Oh, one lady, I forget her name, she is super energetic though and way fun but while we were waiting at the church for one of our lessons (the no show) she was there cleaning and my companion, all the sudden, was like, "Hey, will you practice with him?"  So she pretended to be a stranger and I would have to stop her and all that jazz and she made me do it like a whole ton but she gave some really good advice too between each one, that was cool and pretty helpful but I definitely wasn't expecting that.

Oh and this week we were going to go to a soccer game, Levski vs Cherno moray, with one of our investigators Sophi (super solid investigator probably not baptized because mom is not super into her getting baptized), because her friend had some free tickets but then they didn't allow any fans at the game because at the last game the fans were so bad with fighting and other stuff that they had to be "punished" or something like that. So we didn't get to go but this week, at least I think it is this week, she also has tickets to Bulgaria vs. Italy so we should be going to that one!!

So yeah, that is whats up in Bulgaria right now, the work is going great and it is awesome to see how the Lord blesses us as we strive to be better, whether we are trying to be better missionaries or just better people. I know that He loves us all so much!!

Love to everyone!
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, August 27, 2012

I've got a lot to tell.

   Okay so I'm just going to go right into my week I've got a lot to tell.
   First of all Bulgaria is awesome and super fun but it is a lot of work especially the first couple days getting used to the time change. The language is way crazy I have a hard time understanding anything but the simplest sentences which makes contacting kind of hard but it's still fun.
    My companion, Elder Gardner, is way cool.  He is from Texas and is a great missionary.  He has been out for 22 months so I will be his last companion but he is very nice and patient with me as I try to learn the language. We are serving in Sofia the First Branch and me and my companion are the first and second counselors in the branch presidency.  I don't really do anything but sit up on the stand and try not to fall asleep and then after the meetings I help the clerk with tithing but that's about all.  So, church was cool it is mostly old people we probably had around twenty or so people there and it was alright but I literally had no idea what was going on the whole time.   They did have me introduce myself and bear my testimony, it wasn't very good - it's like as soon as I got up there I forgot all the Bulgarian that I had learned!  That was pretty sweet but I'm sure they don't mind too much. So that was church. 

   Going back, on the first day we got here, we did paper work and some contacting then we went to a park and talked about the history of the mission and stuff.  Then we had dinner and we had shopksa salad and moussika, the salad is cut up tomatoes and cucumbers with like a feta cheese and the moussika was a potato and meat casserole type dish they were both pretty good - although I like the moussika a bit more. Then the next day we had a mission orientation and got our companions and where we were going to serve and since we are just in Sofia we went out and did a bit of contacting and had a lesson with one of our investigators Hristo. 

   Friday was way cool we had a lesson with Sophi, she is way cool and speaks very good English so that was cool and we had a lesson with a recent convert Lyoudmil, he was super nice and a is a very good guy. Then we went and we got some groceries for one lady who can't afford on her own and took them to her. Her apartment was probably one of the sketchiest places I've ever been ( and Bulgaria isn't the cleanest place) there were flies all over and spiders and my companion says he saw some roaches behind me when we were sharing a message with her but she did have a cool cat that could open doors on it's own and she was very nice and patient with my Bulgarian so that was a pretty cool experience.
    So yeah, Saturday were were just contacting all day that is a lot of rejection but it is fun.  There are some kind of rude people though, one guy spit at my companions feet and one lady went kind of psycho on me although I had no idea what she was saying so I had to ask my companion and he says she was just all "you need to work and this isn't work" or something like that. 

   So yeah that's about all, Bulgaria is way sweet and I am having a good time! 

 Love you all, have a great week!
      старейшина максуел

Monday, August 20, 2012

I am super excited to go!

Hey!  Sorry this is kind of a later response, we were packing most of the morning! So, I am super excited to go but kind of bummed because Ammon will not be traveling with us the Turks have temporarily been re assigned to the New York, New York south mission (Turkish speaking) because the missionaries are having trouble with the visas in turkey, the missionaries that were there are back in Bulgaria for a bit now too.
Okay so this week went by crazy fast and it was really good, we got to see most of our teachers mission pictures and hear some stories and then they both guessed where we will first serve. For me they guessed Sofia and Ruse.  We will get to see our last teachers pictures and all tonight!

I am super excited to get out to Bulgaria but my luggage is very close to the weight limit but I should be fine, they give us way too many heavy books here at the MTC. I am also glad to get back to cooking and eating real food everything is the same here and they just repeat every few weeks.

I cannot wait until I get to invite the people of Bulgaria to come to Christ.  Hopefully, they will be able to understand me and I will be able to understand some of what they say. I love teaching here at the MTC especially in the TRC, when we get to teach other people than our teachers, and I can't wait to teach those in Bulgaria!

Real quick experience this week: so me and Elder Von, in the TRC, got to teach a RM who just got back like two weeks earlier and it was so much fun to teach him.  His Bulgarian was sweet to listen to and the Spirit was there so strong.  After the TRC we get feedback cards from the person and it is cool to see how the Spirit can guide a lesson to fit a certain individuals needs!

I am out of time but I love you all, have a good week and hopefully I have some good stories for next week!
Elder Maxwell

Monday, August 13, 2012

We got our travel plans!!

Okay so this week we got our travel plans!! We leave the 21st, our flight is about 9 so we have to be at the travel office by 6.   We fly from Salt Lake to DC then to Frankfurt and then to Sofia.   It'll take us about 24 hours of travel with a couple hour layovers. And the Turks are flying out to Sofia with us so I'll get to travel with Ammon! It is so close I am so excited!

Also this week, in the TRC, we had a native Bulgarian come in and my companion and I got to teach him!! He was way cool he has been in the US for about 5 years for school and he was converted here so he had never read the Bulgarian Book of Mormon or even prayed in Bulgarian.  We got to share some scriptures with him and teach him how to start his prayers in Bulgarian because he didn't know! That was way cool and he told us a lot about the country too.

We've finished learning all the grammar principles that they are teaching us here at the MTC so now we will just be reviewing and learning vocab and lots of practice! Other than that nothing really new just lots of studying and class, it's a lot of work but I know it is worth it to be able to share the gospel with others and to strengthen my own testimony, there is nothing else that I could be doing that would be better for me than this!
Love to you all,
Старейшина Максуел

Monday, August 6, 2012

Not too much new!

Hey Everybody!

Okay, so this week not too much new, definitely ready to head out - only two more weeks!!!

So lets see... we found a praying mantis at the field and we named him Ivan and kept him in an empty licorice tub for a couple days.  We would catch bees and feed them to him, it was way cool watching him catch them and eat them.  He is pretty awesome but we let him go after a couple days cuz we're not really supposed to have pets. He was pretty big, he ate five bee's in one day once.  He was pretty awesome, I'll have to send a picture of him.

The language is coming along well.  I love teaching in Bulgarian! It is so cool teaching and being able to talk and teach even at a basic level! We have committed both of our investigators to baptism!  (even though they are just the teachers acting as one of the investigators they had, it is so fun being able to get to know them and teach them of Christ and the gospel!)

Well I'm almost out of time but thanks again for the letters and don't worry about everyone else getting more than me.  Some of these people just get ridiculous amounts of mail I think it's going to be tough for them in Bulgaria only being able to get the mail like every two months at the zone conference. But yeah, anyways...

Love you all, have an awesome week!!
Elder Maxwell

Monday, July 30, 2012

I am so excited to get out to Bulgaria!!

This week has been pretty awesome and this P-day has already been super good we finally got to go back to the temple this morning!  I saw John Wilson after I got back too, he is working for BYU and he was refilling some vending machines so we got some free ice cream from him 'cuz they have to throw out any that have holes in them so he just gave them to us!
The Olympics sound like they had a good opening I wish I could watch them, I love the Olympics!
Oh well, lets see... also this week, one of the new elders in our hall is the boy who played Joseph in the restoration movie, that was cool. Oh and one night, me and a few other guys from our district, hid in a room under the beds and in the closets, then when Elder Wall was going to sleep we all jumped out and like dog piled him, it was pretty fun.
Other than that nothing too exciting, just classes and all. The language is coming along well I feel pretty comfortable teaching the lessons and understanding and answering questions although I'm still not very good at just talking, my non-gospel vocabulary is pretty small. Still having a good time here at the MTC but I am so excited to get out to Bulgaria!!

I know that if we will study hard and seek to do what our Heavenly Father wants us to do the Spirit will guide us! Our Heavenly Father loves us and has given us so much!

And yes, please do write, these other elders are making me look bad with all the letters they get! Ha ha, just kidding but I would love to hear from you all!
Love Старейшина Максуел

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My MTC District

Okay, so this is my district!
(except for the middle sister, she is a solo sister going to Poland so she is companions with our sisters) 

For the Elders... (from the left):
  •  there is Elder Killpack, from Idaho Falls, he is way cool and loads of fun
  • then there is Elder Bellows from Spanish Fork, he is interesting and a good elder
  • then Elder Wall who is from Michigan, this guy is super smart and he's already basically fluent in Spanish and he is learning Bulgarian super fast!
  • Next is Elder Straton, he's from Layton, UT and he is crazy organized, he's the one who got this picture for everyone.
  • Then there is Me!
  • Then my companion, Elder von Niederhausern, from Florida.  He is super fun and a great missionary.  He did Air force ROTC and wrestling so he is pretty buff and he loves eating all the food here. 
  • Next is Elder Greenacre, from southern England.  He is way funny and he used to be a model so he loves getting in everyone's pictures!
  • Then it is Elder Mock, from South Carolina, he is great and super cool.
  • Then it is Elder Goodwin, from Washington, he played in BYU's marching band last year.
  • Next is Elder Forshee, from Highland, UT he is crazy good at singing
  • On the end is Elder Hoy, from Canada, and he is very Canadian, lots of fun
For the Sisters.... (from the left):
  • Sister Frame, from UT, and she doesn't like making normal faces for pictures.
  • Then Sister Packard, going to Poland, she is crazy buff and she wants to teach PE when she gets back.
  • Then there is Sister Roper, she is super nice to everyone.
So that is all the Bulgarians at the MTC, plus a Polish Sister!  This was from our first weeks temple walk, that is why the sky is so smokey.  So, yeah, lots of cool people to work with for sure!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's still going by crazy fast!

Okay - so this week has been pretty good too.  Pretty much the same as the other weeks.  It's still going by crazy fast, the language is still coming along pretty well.  I really enjoy teaching in Bulgarian.  Having such a simple vocabulary definitely helps keep the lessons simple and basic although, I do wish I knew how to explain some things a bit better.

This week in one of our gyms I got a bunch of guys to play softball.  I hit a ground ball and my companion went to get it but it hit a dip and went straight into his face and gave him a bloody nose! It was pretty funny but it didn't hurt him bad so it's all good.

The temple finally opens up again next week it will be good to be able to go back again it's going to be a long time, once we get to Bulgaria, before we will get to go to the temple again!

Other than that, this week wasn't too eventful.   My companion and I get along real well and I really enjoy working with him! I know the Book of Mormon is true and I enjoy reading it everyday I know that by doing that I learn more of Christ and our Heavenly Father and their love for me and for everyone! The church is true!

I love you all and I hope you all have a good week!
 старейшина максуел

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's Crazy...!

This week went by super fast!  It's crazy how much I feel like I have already learned in Bulgarian but I still have so much more to learn! I could say the same about my testimony too, I thought I had a pretty good testimony before but seeing how much it has already grown and how much it can still grow through obedience and faithful study I never want to stop living a life like I do here! All you siblings' be sure and read your scriptures every day they are awesome and they can teach you so much.
Yesterday for our devotional we had Jenny Oaks Baker come and talk and play.  That was really good.  Her family was there and all here little kids (5-12ish or something) played and they are all crazy good too.
Oh and this week I found a black widow on the soccer field and that was way cool it was huge and Greenacre, the British elder, was freaking out, he doesn't like spiders. So the supervisors caught it and took it somewhere else.
That's pretty much all from this week! Love you all have a great week!
старейшина максуел

Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm amazed at how much the Lord blesses me!

I don't usually include Christian's "family" messages but I had to include his advice to his sisters this week.  It is SO Christian and SO funny:
Emma you can't turn 16 yet you'll have to wait till i get back before you start dating cuz that's just weird.
Allegra (and Emma) sounds like you had a good time at the dance and watch out for cheesy pick up lines, real men would never stoop to using those.
And now on to his mission report!
Okay so this week has been pretty good.  Today, since the temple is on shutdown for cleaning, we went to help with that instead of doing a session so we were there for a few hours cleaning. They really get everything super clean, they literally gave us toothpicks and q-tips to use while we were cleaning the lockers.
On last Thurs we had our first TRC teachings and those went pretty well, mostly just RM's from the mission came in for that but we taught a couple twenty min. plus lessons to them.  Although I'm sure our grammar was terrible, we were able to get our messages across! We teach lessons almost every day, if not to one of our Teachers( investigators) then we are at the TRC.
For the fourth of July we had a special devotional thing then we got to go outside and try and watch the fireworks through the tree's. It was okay but they planned it over our gym time so that was kind of upsetting having to sit for a super long devotional after sitting in class all day instead of going to play soccer or something.
I'm almost a third of the way done here at the MTC, I cant wait to get out into the field but I still need to learn a lot more first even though I think we are making very good progress. I don't know if I told you last week but I've seen Elder Tidwell a couple times (he's like your cousin right?). It's way fun teaching with my companion, we get along really well and between the both of us we usually are able to understand what is going on in our lessons and what to say. We are working really hard on the language and setting goals and such for what we want to learn and how we are going to learn it each day and that is helping a lot. 
Oh and so every Sunday we all prepare talks then they call a couple up to speak after the sacrament so yesterday I had prepared my talk on repentance because that what I though we were supposed to prepare for that day and then after the sacrament they said that I would be speaking after one of the sisters and that the topic for the day was faith in Christ so I had like four min to quick plan something in my head, I don't know that it was the best talk but oh well. 
I am so excited to be a missionary, every day I am amazed at how much the Lord blesses me in this work and I'm not even out in the field yet!!
 Love you all, 
старейшина максуел

Monday, July 2, 2012

Loving the Work!

Okay so this week was good. Tuesday,  we got up early to go to the airport and flew to LA.  We got to talk to a few people. ( A large group of missionaries tends to attract attention!) Then, we went to the consulate and got all our stuff signed.  We went to the LA temple for a bit and then we went back to the airport and flew back.  When we got back, the bus driver that picked us up was late and he had droped a group of missionaries off at the wrong place so we had to get them and take them to where they were supposed to be and that took forever so we didn't get back till very late and we ended up missing dinner and everything, that was a pain. 

We had classes all week and one of the class periods we had one of the Swedish teachers, Brother Harris, sub and he taught Austin when he was in the MTC. I also met a couple of Sisters who got in this week heading to Rochester, so if you get and fresh Sisters in the ward in the next couple weeks be sure and feed them!

I get to see Ammon all the time, he is in my zone and just down the hall from me.  Their classroom is also pretty close so we get to talk lots. Oh and last week they had the mission president training stuff so they had half the cafeteria all closed off and they just had paper cups so every meal we would take like five cup each back to the room.  We built this awesome arch thing around our door and labeled the top (keystone) the Book of Mormon in Bulgarian but then the room inspectors took it all down the next day which was kinda lame but I got some pictures of it.
My disrict is totally awesome!  We all get along real well, it's like we are a family and we have some really good times.  Last night we had a devotional thing where this guy did this act as, I think it was, Willard Richards (or something like that, one of the guys who was with Joseph at Carthage jail). That was sweet and the spirit was way strong and after, we sang, Praise to the Man" and that was absolutly incredible!  There is no doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who restored the gospel to the earth in these latter days and translated the Book of Mormon, through the power of God.
Thats all I can really think of that's had gone on this week, the time sure is flying by, loving the work!!
старейшина Maxwell

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

All is well at the MTC!

All is going well here at the MTC, very busy all the time but that is good. The language is pretty tough but it is coming.  We should be getting some new elders in our hall this week because some left today and supposedly the last group of Bulgarians were pretty awesome, everyone always was talking about them, so we've got to live up to that with the new elders!

It's hard to get a solid workout here although my companion and a few other guys get up at six to do workouts so we get some in then and our district has put together a pretty good sand volleyball team during gym time.

My companion, Elder von Niederhausern is from Florida ( Swiss ancestry) and he is loads of fun and a great companion.  Our district is 11 Elders and 2 Sisters, all going to Bulgaria  (Bulgarian speaking) and they are all awesome and great missionaries to work with.  My room is me and my companion and Elder Greenacre, from England, and Elder Bellows, here from Utah.  They are all super fun and especially Greenacre is way funny (and his accent is pretty awesome too!)

The MTC is way awesome, the spirit here is incredible and we have had some amazing speakers already!  Although, tomorrow, all of the Americans in our distric fly to LA to the consulate there to get stuff signed, which is cool but, we are also going to miss the special devotional tomorrow afternoon where a good number of general authorities are guarenteed to be.  That's a bummer but not much I can do about that.

It is very crowded here, especially since they are training all the presidents this week.  Half of the cafeteria is closed off which makes getting food a very long process, the food isn't too bad but it all is very similar.

The language is hard and we've already had to "teach" two lessons in it!  I dont understand a thing that our investigator ever says, but I've been able to learn some phrases and my ability to read faster is definately better. We spend a good portion of our day in the classroom and studying. The days are very long and very busy, but they do seem to fly by!

Lets see... something funny that happened... was last night one of the Elders that left for the field this morning had a confetti bomb thing that shot confetti out of the end of it and so we all went into the bathroom to watch him shoot it off but he held it backwards on accident and shot himself in the groin, it was pretty funny!

I am very glad to be here and learn of Christ and the Bulgarian language.  Being here has really strengthened my testimony of the spirit as it consistantly helps me with my studies and testifies the truth of the things that I learn.  I know that Christ knows and loves each of us and that His atonement is for everyone.  I cant wait to get to Bulgaria and share the message of Christ with them!
Elder оr Cтарейшина (star-ay-shee-na)