Monday, January 27, 2014

Whew! It's been quite the week!

This week was really good as we had a lot of meetings with members and those all went really well and we have been very blessed! There was one less active guy who came to church (hadn't been in over 10 years) and we set up a meeting with him and his family and they fed us dinner (catfish shish-kebabs and octopus/shrimp/shellfish rice dish, and a couple other normal salads) I sat down and saw the food and just thought, "oh no, that's a lot of fish/seafood", but sometimes you just have to forget that you have taste buds and eat what is in front of you!  The food wasn't bad, besides the fact that it was from the ocean. (He manages a seafood restaurant) But the night went really well he has two sons, deacon and teacher age, and a very nice wife (all non-members) and we shared a message with them and they want to meet again. The father actually drove us back into center and while we were driving he told us he feels responsible to teach his family about the gospel especially his children!! So that was an incredible miracle that he just came back to church out of the blue, although sadly they live in the other Elders area so we will have to transfer the family to them to be taught. But the important thing is that they get the gospel and that it blesses their lives!!

We also have a couple new African investigators one that we found tracting and another from one of the members who has been helping us out a lot in our lessons and introducing us to his friends! And things are going well with them we have our lessons in English and it is a bit weird teaching in English but also very fun. I also have learned a little bit of African English "Ow you de? -> I de fine = how are you -> I am good " !!

Other news from this week we have snow now, finally so we'll see how long that lasts.

Oh, another cool story from this week, we had a former investigator from a year ago call us up to meet because he had some interesting experiences and he wants to continue to meet and learn more and prepare for baptism and he brought a friend who also wants to learn more and they are both young guys in their 20's!! It is incredible how the Lord prepares people to receive His message and truly no effort is wasted in preparing our friends to receive the gospel and there are thousands of people out there who are ready and prepared by the Lord to receive the message. So keep up the great work in sharing the gospel and praying for these opportunities and the Lord will place those who are ready in your path!

Whew! It's been quite the week, lots of meetings to and fro and lots of blessings!! This next week we probably will be down in Blagoevegrad for a day! Other than that, not too much new!
Love you all have a great week!!
Elder Maxwell

Monday, January 20, 2014

When Ian asks a question...!

I asked Ian if he had any questions he wanted me to ask Christian and he said to ask him if he had any peanuts for food.  Okay... kind of a strange question but I asked Christian and here is his response to Ian:

Ian I tried eating some peanuts for food once but they started to grow inside of my belly so I let them grow tall enough to be able to grab the top of the plant and pull it up out of my throat and then I planted them in a pot on our balcony and they grew really big and turned into a jungle and then President came over and saw the jungle and the monkeys and all the animals that came to live in the jungle and told us that we aren't allowed to have pets so I had to buy a machete and cut down the jungle and fight the monkeys so I could get my bananas back. Since then I haven't had any peanuts for food.

Yep, Christian's sense of humor is still with him!  Oh, how I love that boy!

Things are going well, looking for the elect and building up the branch here!

So this week was pretty awesome, zone conference was incredible and we had a lot of success finding!

Like I said last week, President Bennett from the seventies (he is in the East Europe Area presidency) was here for zone conference and it was very enlightening. And on Sunday, he was here for church and he taught the second and third hours.  He was talking about the blessings of having a stake and how we will get to that point (through member missionary work).  Towards the end, he had all of us missionaries come up to the front and he was all, "these missionaries were just taught how to lead and teach fun family home evening lessons" (one of the things from zone conf.) and then he asked, "who would invite a friend over and have a family home evening with the missionaries?" and he continued until all four companionships had plans to either work with or teach members every night of the week!! So tonight we've got a couple families we are doing FHE with and we have a busy week ahead of us! It was wonderful being able to listen to President Bennett teach at zone conference and in church and this week I am lucky enough to have a mission council with him too!

The work is going really well here in Sofia, we have great members who help us out and now even more members and we have some pretty neat investigators, (hopefully soon with baptismal dates) and our branch mission leader is amazing and inspired! 

For P-day today, we went and played soccer with a couple other elders and some of the African refugees that are members here in Sofia, which reminds me of a cool story - we found one guy from Africa tracting this week, he is here playing soccer and has been here for 10 years, we are meeting with him again tomorrow - he also has a giant dog and a brother named Moses!

Things are going well, looking for the elect and building up the branch here!
Love you all!! Have a great week!!
Elder Maxwell

Monday, January 13, 2014

We had a lot of success ...

So, it'll be a little quicker today with this letter I haven't got much time, but I am glad to hear that Dad made it home finally and that Allegra enjoyed her trip to BYU! And yes, the batter on top of the moussika is one of my favorite parts! Pretty good huh! Way better than Swedish food! You will have to make some stuffed peppers, technically they are Turkish but they are way good (filled with rice meat and veggies and tasty spices/sauce then baked to perfection!).

This week was pretty good, we had a lot of success in finding new investigators and have quite a few new people we are working with! And all from a bunch of different sources, too: part member families, less actives, personal contacting and former investigators! Other than that, it's been a pretty normal week, we did have exchanges up in Pleven so now there's one more city that I've been to! It's a nice city another pretty small one and it was super foggy while we were there but it went well and we had some good success!

It is going well with Elder Parkinson, he is a great missionary and I learn a lot from him every day!  And he loves water polo!
This week will be a good one, we have zone conference and President Bennet from the area presidency will be here for that so that will be exciting!
Love you!
Elder Maxwell

Monday, January 6, 2014

6 dinner appointments!

This week was good, we had 6 dinner appointments, only one day we didn't have one and that was because we had to come in early on New Year's Eve because it can get a little dangerous with the fireworks and drinking people. So that was very good and tasty!

Oh and we had one interesting dish last week from some of our investigators they called it salina it was raw pork skin with all the fat on it that they layer in a barrel with a bunch of salt and let sit for a month or more, it wasn't super bad but cold salty fat isn't my favorite!

We also had a lot of sermichki this week whick is either the pickled cabbage or grape leaves that you fill with rice meat and veggis and boil, they are pretty good.

We also had some moussaka this week from a member which is one of my favorite bulgarian dishes, so that was real good!

The american family had all the missionaries over for new years day and we had a giant ham which I haven't had in such a long time, so overall we were very blessed foodwise this week and we saved a ton on groceries!

This week we did a lot of less active work because many of our investigators and contact were too busy to meet and sadly we also had a lot of appointments not show but that is part of missionary work and that is why we make back up plans! I think this week will be better now that all of the hoidays are over but we will see. We've got mission council tomorrow and we have exchanges in Pleven this week so I get to do a little bit more traveling but luckily all the cities in the zone are within a couple hours. For zone conferences they always come into sofia we've got a big building we can do it in here and it is the most convenient.

We also had a thing that they do the first sat of the month where the members come and split off with all the missionaries and we go look for or visit less active members/ investigators. It is way awesome working with the members like that, you should see if you can do something like that with the missionaries there, maybe I will organize something when I get back!

 Everyone be good and eat lots of peanut butter ( I gave on of my things of peanut butter to this recent convert family and they loved it, at least the older ones the younger ones said it tasted like flour and oil or something like that. But the dad wanted to try making his own!)

Love you!!
Elder Maxwell