Monday, March 31, 2014

Finally a Real Missionary!

 A member had his bike at the church and let me take it for a spin
( I'm a real missionary now that I've ridden a bike in a suit!)
This week was pretty good, our investigator got baptized and confirmed!!!

We need to find some new investigators though, we've been talking with lots of people and getting contact from them but they either keep putting us off or don't show up to our lessons! But we will keep trying and seeking for ways to improve and the investigators will come, hopefully with their families!! We went to Pazardzhik this week to do a baptismal interview there and that went well, it's a nice little town and then we had to hurry back to get to our lessons, we almost missed our train getting back but luckily we made it! We had some pretty good lessons this week although we are still trying to find more less actives to work with. It is the same with a lot of them as with our potential investigators they either are busy this week or they don't show up or are never home when we stop by. But that won't stop us, we will figure out a way to meet with them!

Also, a cool experience from this week, but first an explanation so we in the mission are really pushing to have FHE (Family Home Evening)  with the members investigators or really basically anyone we can, so on Monday we had planned to go and have a family home evening with a family in our area and with one of their friends and about an hour or so before they called and cancelled on us so as our back up plan we a had a family we had tracted into that we thought to go try. So we bought some treats and went to go see them but we couldn't get in with them. But we still wanted to have a FHE and we had prayed to be able to have one before we had left so we decided that we would try finding another family through tracting so we were talking with all the people we met on the streets and trying all the blocks but all of the blocks in the area were locked. That went on for a half hour or so but then we saw a man coming with his son and we stopped him and started talking with him and out of the blue he invites us to come over to his apartment! So we went with him and his son had a little FHE with them!!

Things are going well, the weather here is nice, a couple days were a little chilly this week but overall it's quite nice. It is good serving with Elder Gustafsson he is a lot of fun and a very good obedient missionary! He makes Swedish pancakes every Sunday, they basically are the same as crepes just a little bit more sugar and he cooks them with a lot of oil. you may have to check with Austin on those I think he just does that because his pans back home weren't stick free. But however it is they are good!
Love you!! Have a great week!
Elder Maxwell

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tomorrow I will probably have a different favorite tie.

Ian my favorite tie is long and a few inches thick at the bottom but it is skinnier at the top. It has some blue on it and some grey and some black. Also tomorrow I will probably have a different favorite tie.

So spring pretty much is here, it's getting pretty warm.  Today is a bit cloudy but overall the weather has been very pleasant. They already are hanging up the martinitsi (tassel things) that is from baba marta (grandma march) which is the first of March.

So a little bit more about my new companion, he is from Riverton, Utah and his dad is Swedish.  He says he knows a little Swedish but has forgotten most of it as he has learned Bulgarian. He is a chess player and that is what he did before his mission, tournaments and teaching chess lessons, so by the end of this transfer I hope to be a little better at chess! He is super enthusiastic and energetic so even if I wanted to be trunky, there is no way that it would happen, but I would never want that, there is too much work to be done and the time is running out quickly!

So we have a baptism this Saturday with an investigator we worked with back in January who had a couple barriers preventing them from entering into the waters of baptism but they have overcome those now and this Saturday will be able to take that next step!! So we are very excited for them.

Other than that, the week has been good.  We have found some great new potential investigators that we should be meeting with this week so we hope to have many new investigators working towards baptism by the end of the week! Our other investigators are doing well and we will keep working with them and striving to improve and help them even more!

Thank you for all that you do and for your shining example! Have a great week!

Love ya,
 Elder Maxwell

Monday, March 17, 2014

I am grateful for what I got.

So, for transfers I am staying here in Sofia and I will be serving with Elder Gustaffson. I've met him before and have had role plays and such with him when I have visited his city on exchanges for district meeting and also in zone meetings. He is pretty cool and I am excited to work with him.  He is like a chess champion or something too so I probably won't ever play him in chess so he doesn't think I'm really dumb or something. But yeah I am pretty excited for this transfer we have a few investigators that I think will be ready for baptism soon ( took 'em long enough) but it is better to baptize someone when they are ready because that is a big commitment and we don't want to baptize a burden for the branch. So I'm looking forward to this transfer!!

This week was good, we are working to find and get to know all the members in our area.  We have a lot of them here in Sofia and our area is pretty big, size wise, because the members aren't super concentrated in one area so, we had lots of teaching on the buses and walking inbetween members this week!

Our investigators are doing well, one cool thing from transfers (shows that they really are inspired) we have an investigator who works here in the city but basically lives in Pleven so whenever he isn't here for work we couldn't meet with him but Elder Parkinson just got called to Pleven so now our problem is solved and we will be able to teach him everything he needs to know before his baptism!

Other than that our week was pretty good we got a couple new investigators that are really cool although I'm still looking for a whole family to teach!


Food from this week, we had a member make us шкембе чорба (shkembe chorba) it's a type of soup that they have here made from milk and other stuff and with stomach meat... but she didn't have any "shkembe" so she just made it with mushrooms (гъби-gubi)! It was pretty good and I bet if she had made it the real way it would have been good too but at the same time, I am grateful for what I got.

I love you all! Have a really good fun week and eat some nachos for me!
Elder Maxwell

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wondering why I had never done these things before!

I think you sent us a bit of your cold weather or something because its snowing again here! Well it snowed this morning then it mostly melted and now it's snowing again but it's not super cold so it's not bad. Although I wouldn't mind some sunshine and warm weather!

I can't believe that another week has gone already gone by!  The time just flies by, it was weird this last week we had a correlation meeting (as an office elder we had to attend) and they were talking about preparing for the June group passport stuff - that was really weird, they're already getting ready to replace us!

So this week we've got the monthly zone training meeting that Elder Parkinson and I get to teach so that will be good and then transfer calls are on Saturday  so I will find out then what will be happening, I think I probably will be staying( I hope so!) but we will see what the Lords plans are!!

Ian here is a rhyme thing for you (it's like the bubble gum, bubble gum one) you can practice it if you want:
онче бонче
счупено пиронче
риба щука
махаи се от тука
едно две три, кой излезе... ти!

(or phonetically)
onche bonche
schuupeno pironche
riba shtuka
mahai se ot tuka
edno dve tri, koi izleze... ti!

(and the translation)
eenie, meenie,
the fish Pike
go from here.
One, two, three. Who came out... you!
This last week we have really been working on getting the members to help us more in the missionary work and it is starting to pay off! We have one member who went and visited a less active lady who lives nearby her and the less active wants to meet with the missionaries (her husband and maybe daughter are not members) and also when the member was there the lady's cousin came and also has interest to learn more about the church! So we have meetings with both of them this week and we are doing everything we can to find and teach families!! We actually have one family we are working with, the husband isn't a member and they have 3 little kids ( oldest is 7) and it is going well with them.  The husband was a bit reluctant to meet at first and we couldn't really have lessons with him but then we had a couple FHE's with them and the husband has really opened up and is beginning to progress!!
Other than that nothing too new this week we are trying to work with an older lady in our area and her son who isn't a member but the son doesn't want to have a "lesson" with us so we are going to see if we can get them both to the activity we are having on Saturday!!

It is incredible how much potential there is with less actives and part member families I feel like my whole mission has been just trying something new from "Preach My Gospel" that we may not have applied before and then afterwards wondering why I had never done these things before!!
I Love you all! Have a great week!!
Elder Maxwell

Monday, March 3, 2014

Photo of the day!

 Me and a couple of Elders from my MTC group at a training meeting.

Being in Sofia has it's advantages!!

Thanks for the heads up on the time change it's always good to be prepared and as a missionary you can't really look up these things you just find out about them the night before when the assistants realize that everyone needs to be reminded about it.

The American family had us over for a late breakfast today so we had a wonderful meal of pancakes, biscuits and gravy and American cereal so being in Sofia has it's advantages!!
Whew, March, time sure does fly. This week was pretty good, we had a couple really awesome incredible days and the rest were pretty average but I guess the average days really help you to appreciate and be grateful for the days where everything is super good. Although every day is filled with miracles you just have to look for them sometimes.
We spent a day in Pazardzhik on exchanges working with the Elders there.  I got to work with Elder Watson and he's a great missionary and we had a great day!! Pazardzhik is a pretty small town at least in comparison with all the places I have served but in some ways that is nice, they still are only a group there but they have potential to become a branch soon.
Also, we found some great new investigators this week one was a former investigator who had lost contact with the missionaries somehow but we had a quick lesson with him in a park and committed him to baptism the end of march, so that was incredible! He got sick though this weekend and wasn't able to make it to church but next week we will make sure that he can make it! We also had a contact who we had met on the street a few weeks back and we finally were able to meet him and he brought a friend and before our lesson we gave them a little tour of the church and explained all about the rooms and we ended at the baptismal font then we baptized them! Not really, but we did give them the tour and the spirit was so strong they aren't very religious but they have a desire to learn more and I am sure that the spirit touched there hearts in our meeting. We committed them to be baptized but we didn't get a date but I expect this week to set a goal with them for that!
Everything is going well for us we have 2! Family Home Evenings we are going to tonight one with some members and their friend and another with a less active and her non member husband and kids! So remember FHE is a great missionary/ activation tool!
My companion is doing, well no sicknesses or anything and he hasn't gotten tired of my cooking so we're doing well. we get along well and it's all good!
Not to much new, I love you all!! Have a great week!
Love, Elder Maxwell