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!

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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!
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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,
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