Sunday, December 26, 2010

More Pictures

Austin said that they went to the old capital of Bulgaria on Christmas Eve.  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day and Pictures

The Opera he went to

The mad goat

It was so fun to talk with Austin today. We got to hear some great stories. He looked fabulous and sounded great. I am so grateful that he is doing so well. Here are some pictures he shared. I could only download a few but as soon as I can download the rest I will post some.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Short Letter

Well this last week was really busy and I don't have much time to talk so this is going to be short. On thursday we had a meeting with a potentionl investagator named Nadezhda (means hope.) It went alright but we couldn't teach because she talked alot. We then had english and now onto friday. Friday we actually had some snow YEA!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally but because of this we had to go and shovel the walk way to the church and Ice it so that took a while. We then had a meating with our investagator Roomen. It went alright but we still can't get him to commit to baptizim. After that we went to have a meeting with a enternal investagator which was fun and we hopefully got them started on the way to baptism.

Saturday was english and the christmas party The party was great and a ton of fun. Sunday was great and we had a good turn out from the christmas party there too. Monday was weird because it was a work day and we basiclly contacted all day. Tuesdasy we contacted meet with a young investagator who had come to church for the last two sundays. She is really smart and already thinks this church is true.

A cool thing that happened on Sunday is that a lady waited outside of the church until we talked with her and she said she wants herself and her family to be baptized. That was really strange but the other Elders meet with her and apparntly she is liget and she has a date for the 19th of feburary.

Anyway back to tuesday. We meet with Roomen and we are 90% certain he will come to church now Yea. Wensday was fun we got to meet with Youly and his wife Julie who are very nice and very smart. After the meeting with them we went to the church were some very nice potential investagators held a traditional Provoslov christmas for us without the incence or Icons (pictures of saints they pray too.) It was actually really cool and full of sybolism that if I had more time I would explain but it is all in the jornal and planner and I will explain in my Phone call home.

Thursday we went caroling on the glav which may not of gotten immedate referals but it increadbly helped our image and we hope to reap the benifts for weeks to come. I was singing strait for 2 hours my voice was shot but it was fun. We then had English and went to a ligit opera concert that we were personaly invited to by the administrater of the theater and which we got permision to go to. It was amazing and alot of our english students were there as well. There was a Austrailian singing in the the concert as well and we actually got to talk with him afterwords. The concert was really good and I was really impressed. And now I have caught up with mondern day and today we are going to Velio Turnivo which is the old capital and seeing the Giant catsle/fortress there that should be aton of fun. Sorry this was so short but I get to talk tomorow so yea!

Austin James Ewell

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Austin's Zone and the Christmas Star

Late Letter

Alright lets start what is going to be a long email.  First lets start off with my last P-day.  It was alright.  We had to wait for a guy to come and tune the piano in the church so we basicly watched movies all day.  It was good though because I needed a vege out day because I had been running every were on my first transfer.  Anyways the piano sounds great now and that was that P-Day. 

 Now onto Tuesday.  Tuesday was a good day.  First of all after our morning routine we went to go meet a lady that wanted to give back the Book of Mormon.  She never showed so we went back to the church to grab the street boarding stuff and eat lunch.  After we grabed the table and board we went and set up and started street boarding.  How we were set up is that we have the street board on the stand and then we have a table that says free library that has book of mormons and paphlets on it.  It was a ton of fun and it was my first time actually doing it for more than about a half hour.  The greatest part though was that we took out around 15 Book of Mormons and about twenty of each paphlet and after three hours (two with just me and elder Patterson and one with elders Rowden and Korless there) we had to pack up because we were out and with every Book of Mormon we gave out we got a number.  YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!  

Any way that was basicly tuesday and it was amazing now onto Wensday.  On Wensday we had our district meeting and after it we decided to go street boarding again because of the succes we had yesterday and also because we only had one lesson schedualed and that was in the evening.  So all four of us go and start street boarding.  We bring out about 15 Book of Mormons again and started working our magic.  About an hour and a half after we started and we had given away about a third of our Books of Mormons and paphlets the police came.  They wanted us to get out and stop doing what we were doing.  Elder Korless showed them the letter from the national police force to prove that we did have permission to prosilite in this way.  The didn't care and tried to tell us that the letter only applied to Sofia when it clearly had the seal of the national municapality on it.  So because we wouldn't move they gave us a citation that said we didn't have the right documentation when we did and that we were saleing religious materail in public when our sign and actions clearly showed that it was all for free.  They didn't listen to us and said that if we have a table it means we are saleing something.  Anyway that may sound like bad news but is infact good because all across Bulgaria there have been similar problems but with this citation we can now do something about it and if we can't fix all the country at least we can fix Pleven.  So that was last Wensday my runin with the police. 

 We also had a lesson that day too with an progressing investagator.  We were teaching him baptism and we asked him if he would be baptized but he said no because as long as you belive in christ you are fine.  Arrrg oh well we will just have to keep working with him.  We have already decided that he needs to have his faith built more so we are going to work on that.  By the way his name is PYMEH (Roomen.)  

Now onto Thursday.  The beging of Thursday we had a meeting with a guy that we had found while street boarding on Tuesday.  He came which was good but he basicly took over and just told us about his problems for two hours.  That was our bad but now that we know what he is like we can act acordingly and hopefully our next meeting we can actually teach a little bit.  

After this meeting we went to attend the closing of an humanitarin project that the humanitarin couple had been working on in Pleven.  It was at an Orphanage for 3-7 year olds.  We had bought them two press irons, four washing machines, and two dryers because when the couple first went there the place were the kids were was imaculet and wonderful but the landuray room was just filled with clothes because they only had one working washer from the 50's and nothing else.  Anyway when we went the landuray room looked amazing and very organized.  After wards the some of the childeren there put on a little dance for us that was really cute and then we got a tour.  All in all it was really cool and fun.  I sent a picture of the dance to my Mom. 

 After that we went back to the church to begin English class.  The third level went great and we actually had some printed out homework and notes for them that helped a ton.  We covered should with them because bulgarian doesn't have that word you have to use a certian phrase for it.  Okay now onto Friday.  Well Firday was alot of planning for this week and then some contacting and tracking.  While tracking we found a really cool guy that has a family.  He asked us actuall questions and he also thought about our answers.  He agreed to meet again if he could keep Elder Patterson's pen so we agreed and we are going to go meet with him tonight.  That is all of Firday so now onto Saturday. 

 Saturday we had english first thing which was fun because we played Jeporday with the class and they got really into it especially since it was Boys against Girls.  After English we had our language hour and then waited for a meeting with a guy and his friend that we had meet on Tuesday while street boarding.  They never showed but when we went down to the church we found Elders Rowden and Korless there and Korless had a chello.  What had happened is that while street boarding Tuesday Korless met the conducter for the thearter that we always street board infront of.  He was a Chello player but he no longer had time to play with his new job so he told Korless he would loan him his Chello for the Transfere.  Elder Korless was so happy and we are already thinking of a million Ideas on how to use it to help us in our work.  Well after waiting for Satoslav and Boriss, the two that we had a meeting with, we decided to finish the Block that we had started the previous day.  Well next door to the cool guy was another almost as cool guy that we talked to for a while.  He didn't agree too another meeting but he didn't seem aposed to us coming back again so I guess that is a half-recived.  Alright almost done cause now we are onto Sunday wait I forgot this isn't a normal P-day week.  

So Sunday was very good.  First we had church and there were five non-members there.  Two were investagators and two were from English that said that they would come.  After church we had to catch a bus to Sofia for Interviews with the President.  We got to Sofia around 6:00 a clock and got to the mission home at 6:30.  The Interview went great and it is always a joy to have one.  Well we stayed in the office elders apartment for the night and then came Monday. 

 Monday dawned and so did zone confrence.  We had to be in the mission home at 9:15 because we had to practice a song that we were suprising the President and Sister Roth with.  The Sofia Elders were going to sing two verses of joy to the world in german and the rest of us were going to sing the first verse of it in bulgarain and english.  After we were done practicing we waited around for zone confrence.  One exciting thing we did find out during zone confrence was first the new plan of salvation paphlets that the office missionarys had been working on were finally done and ready for us.  That is really cool because now we can pass out that information too when we meet people instead of talking about it only.  Zone confrence went great and another piece of good news is that because we have reached our goal of 48 baptisms President Roth decided to give us an extra P-Day on Christmas Eve as well.  So that meens I can skype on either the 24 or 25 depending on what you like but I will send more details later to my family.  

At the end of zone confrence Sister Roth did a fun activity were we made a christmas star together and then had a testimony meeting.  It was really spiritual and wonderful.  After that we watched Mr. Krugers Christmas as a Zone and then Rowden and I finally went and got our Lichna Cartas.  Yea, I am finally legal.  After getting those we got a bus back to Pleven and went to bed.  Tuesday came and it was a regualar work day.  We did all of our studys and then went out.  First thing we did was a little contacting while we went to go meet a another person we met while street boarding.  Her name is Hedezhda and the meeting went alright.  She talked the entier time but she is really smart and doesn't have any crazy ideas about the bible.  Our only concern is that one of the reasons why she is meeting with us is that she wants finacial support so we are going to have to adjust accordingly but she does have a lot of potentionl.  After that we went to have another meeting with PYMEH (Roomen) at the church.  The meeting went great and I am looking forward to are next one with him.  After that we stayed to help a member clean because we had the keys and then went up had a chicken for dinner and went to bed.   

Done yes.  My companion is great he is a musician and very funnie.  He has only been out for six months so I have to try harder because I can't rely on his knowlege of the language but that is fine.  I am doing great and I love all of your letters they help make my week.  Grandpa Ewell I love the quotes you send and that chrismas link is great.  Well until Chrismas.

Have a Very Merry Christmas Love,
Austin James Ewell

Monday, December 6, 2010

Elder Ewell's First Baptism

First Week In Pleven

Well even though is titled first week in Pleven I am actually starting with my  last sunday in Stara Zagora.  Our district leaders came up for the day because they were just going to catch the bus from Stara Zagora to there transfere areas because they would have to come up here any way to get anywere because most buses come through us any ways and they wanted to spend a P-day in Stara Zagora.  After writting my very long letter we went to the new mall in Stara Zagora.  It was huge yet really emptie because they didn't have all the store fronts filled in with stores yet.  We looked in some  of the stores and I found a hat I really wanted but they were one size too small.  Curse my incredibly smart and large brain because of it I can't find any hats that fit right or look good.  While we were in the mall we went to the techno market.  Techno market is bascilly a Big buy here for electronics.  First I was crushed because they had Star Craft Two and it was 119 lev!  That is about 80 dollars.  Oh well I have two years and hopefully by then the price will have gone down.  We also found the new Xbox controllar.  This is the Kinect and it is a camera.  You stand in front of it and your body becomes the controllar.  It was a ton of fun and suprisingly good .  We got to play a demo game on it and I am excited that two years from now it will be cheaper and all the bugs worked out. 

Well after that we went and watched Star Dust because Bennet had never seen it and I didn't mind because I like it enough to watch it multiple times.  After the movie we all got ready and went to the Dunns because they wanted to give us a good bye/thanksgiving dinner.  It was really good they had a turkey and you guys would be proud because I tryed the cranberry sause and broselsprouts and I actually liked them.  I am going to be coming home and I will beable to eat everything.  After the dinner they drove us back home and we went to bed.

 The next day Racker and Bennet went off to the Aftogara (bus station) to catch there bus to there new cities.  Me and Spence didn't need to leave till 2:00 in the afternoon so we finished packing and preparing the Area book for the next pair of elders that were coming in.  They new pair that were coming in were Myrak and another greenie.  After finishing packing Davis, Truman, and Brown stoped by to drop off Brown while they were heading to Sofia. We said our goodbyes and then because we had some time we went to one last restrant that Spencer had wanted to go to the entire time we were there.  When we first got in they asked us if we wanted smoking or non-smoking.  I was shocked because that never happens in Bulgaria.  Well we sat down and they actually had some really good food for some really good prices.  After that lunch we went and caught our bus to Sofia and Brown to Haskovo.  After a very boring 3 hour ride we arrived in Sofia and then I had to run to catch my next bus wich left in 15 minutes I said good bye to Spencer as we parted ways me to Pleven he to BPship in Blagovgrad. 

After another long 2 1\2 hour ride we finally arrived in Pleven and I got to meet my new companion Elder Patterson.  Elder Patterson is really funnie and he is Canadian.  He is from the Vancover Island which is right above Seattle.  After settling in for the night we went to bed and woke up to my first day in Pleven. 

First of all I found an Milka Advantcalander for 7 lev in Metro (their version of Costco) so that morning I finally got to break into it.  It just isn't December or Christmas without my Advantcalander.  Okay onto normal day things.  We got up and did our normal morning routines and then went down stairs to the church (we live above the church here!)  At the church we had our district meeting which was basickly a get to know the city meeting because only Patterson was left from the previous missionaries that were here.  After the district meeting we went around and tried to finish all the tasks that we need to do for moving into a new city. 

First on the list was get new hangers because Pattersons last companion had took all of the ones that were in my side of the closet.  I didn't bring any because according to Spencer the apartments usally have a good supply for people that come in.  After trying to find some and doing some contacting on the way we meet with a potintail investagator named Youly (means July in Bulgarian.)  He is a incredibly nice guy he took us to a cafe and paid for a hot chocolate for each of us.  I also had my alarm clock because my first night here the transformor blew.  He was a electricion and I thought he could help but he into construction not circut boards but he did make a few calls and found a place five minutes away that could fix it.  So after the little meeting we had he took us there and the guy looked at it and he said that the transformor was completely dead and I would have to buy a brand new one if I wanted to fix the alarm clock.  I don't have the time or money here to do that but mabey back home I can fix it so I am keeping it. 

The next day we had English classes.  Here they have three seprate levels for their classes.  Rowden and I were in level 3 wich means that they can speak english and just really need to practice it.  It was fun like always.  After english we had one more class because level 1 and 3 are taught in the same hour just different rooms but then level 2 comes and hour after the end of level three.  My companion Elder Patterson and our DL Elder Krowler teach level two and one together so Rowden and I were in the other room cleaning out the closet.  That closet was were the libary was and it was a mess but now it is nice and organized after haveing been cleaned up by me and Rowden.

 I don't remeber much of Friday other than we planned for a really good week and met another investagtor.  Something really funny happend actually.  Well it kind of morbid humor but still it is funny.  Okay so with this investagator Evan we told him that we belive that we will be able to see our families again and beable to live with them forever.  He then told us that his wife was on vacation at least that is what my companion thought he said.  So Patterson said good that is great Evan than said no it isn't shes dead.  Apparntly the word going on a vacation means rest as well and if you use the perfected form it means you are resting for life or basicly a nice way to say that somebody is dead.  Oh well that is my first lesson mess up while I was here.  Luckly it wasn't too bad and he understood that we had misunderstood him and the rest of the lesson went well.

 We also meet this couple who the husband is english and the wife is bulgarian.  They were really fun and nice and we talked with them for a while and they invited us to there house for dinner on sunday.  That was Friday on Saturday we had english and then contacted all day which was fun. 

Now we go to Sunday.  Sunday was alot of fun first we had church and it was also testimony meeting so all of us new missionies went up and interdused ourselves and bore our testimonys.  The Sacrament Meeting was good and so was the Sunday school.  In Preisthood we discussed the goals for the next year and than after church we had a lesson with a progressiong Investagator.  The lesson went great and near the end when I was explaing the Five principles of the gospel (Faith in Jesus Chrits, Repentance, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, Reciving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and Enduring to the End) I didn't stubble once in the language, it was great. 

We than had our dinner with Steve and his wift (they are the half English half Bulgarian couple) dinner was great and the lesson went well except that they seemed to only listen to be polite and not to learn anything.  Oh well we will just have to keep trying.  Sorry this letter isn't as detailed as normal.  I forgot my planner and couldn't use it to give me refesher of the week. 

Austin James Ewell

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Golden Temple

The Golden Temple

A Sweet Car

transfers ahhhh!

Alright lets see how long this letter will be.  Get ready for an hour long read.  Just kidding but I have a lot to fit in and a busy day ahead of  me.  Now that my finger stretch's are done I will begin.  First lets start with Monday.  After writing to you guys we went and met all the other missionarys from Zone Two too wait for the bus.  While we were waiting for the bus I went down and bought a water for the day at a gas station nearby.  While I was there I got a big suprise.  The gas station had Dr Pepper.  We only thought that Sofia, Varna, and Plovdiv had any.  When I showed my companion the can (offcourse I bought him one it would be mean not too) his face lit up with shock, suprise, and great happieness. 

 After that we went to the bus place to see why the bus was an half hour late.  When we got there they called the driver to find out that he was still asleep.  Well he came and we finally got on our way an hour late which threw our whole day off.  Well we started to drive up.  On the way we listened to Michael Jackson and just had a blast talking and parting.  We first hit the golden temple in shipka.  I took some pictures and walked around some more but other than that it was just all fun and games.  After the golden temple we went up to shipka monument.  It was incredably foggy which was cool because you are walking up and you can't see any thing and then there it is, but it was terrible because you can't see the amazing view from on top of the monument.  Me and Sister Rogers were left behind because we are both a little out of shape when it comes to climbing stairs and there were a ton.  Once we got to the top me, Spencer, and Rogers decided not to go into the memorial but I did get some cool pics on the cannons out side.  After the monument we went back down all the stairs and had some soup at this soup place that made really good soup but I didn't have that much of an appatite so I couldn't finish mine.  We then went to boozlooja.  We first stopped at the flame statues at the bottom and then spent about 20 minutes convincing the bus driver that you could drive to the top.  Once we got him convinced he took us to the top and then we spent time exploring and taking some pics.  The light was better so I could finally take some pictures of the mosaics don't worry they are on there way.  It was really cool up by the windows because if you waited for the fog to clear you would see that you were on top of the clouds and you could see a mountain or two poking up in the horizion.  I am sending a picture of that too.  We also went down and explore the basment.  It was cool though a little creepy. 

 After all the exploreing we went back to the bus and drove back to get dinner ready and eat.  When we got back we paid the drive went and bought our ten pounds of potatoes and every thing else.  After we got all the food we split into teams and cooks and gofers I was the gofer with Elder Walker for the sisters in the church but the didn't need anything so we just watched Stardust with bulgarian subtitles.  When the dinner was finished we all went up to eat.  There was a bunch of stuffing, about a truck load of potatoes and a half chicken for every one there as well as a ton of pies.  I managed to eat my half chicken and a good helping of potatoes and stuffing.  Offcourse I had pie too.  My tranier Spencer ate 3 and a half chickens because nobody could finish their own chicken.  After the dinner we talked and sister Or showed us a neat trick.  You put whipped cream on your hand then hit your arm.  The whip cream flies up and you catch it in your mouth.  It mad a mess if you didn't catch it or if it didn't go up all the way but it was a ton of fun to try it.  I couldn't do it though.  After eating we cleaned up and then every one had to run to catch there buses back.  They didn't catch them so the sisters got a hotel room and all 12 of the elders slept at our apartment.  It was a riot but it was still fun and I enjoyed it very much.  

Now onto Tuesday.  After every one got back home in the morning we started to have a normal day.  First we went and payed our bills and then we had lunch.  After lunch we went and met with a guy that me and Bennet had found when we were on greenie splits.  He was really cool and seems really interested in what we have to teach and agreed for another meeting.  After that we went up to Evan's house to teach him the last half of the plan of salvation which we call the three pillars (The creation, Angency and Fall, and the Atonment.)  The lesson went really well except his little puppy would not calm down no matter what I did.  After Evan we went to meet with Marko at the church to teach him the Titanic Three commandments (What I call the Law of Chasity, Word of Wisdom, and Law of Tithing.  For just two of those three I call it the Terrible Two and then if it is just one of the three I call it the Back Breaker.)  The lesson went great.  The reason why is that we had told him before that we had to teach all of the lessons before he could be baptized.  So he went home and reachered all of the lessons and commandments and basicly said I make 1000* lev a month how much do I need to pay (*number has been changed for saftey of owner?) We told him that he had to then pay 100* lev and he said alright thank you.  We then took care of our zone fund and then had dinner and went to bed. 

 On to Wensday.  We woke up got ready and then went to district meeting were we were having speaclized traning from President and Sister Roth.  The meeting went really good and President Roth was impressed with how much me and Bennet had progressed in the languge.  The traning was on how to start of  the first lesson and he gave us some really good advice.  He said the biggest thing we need to worry about was to make sure that everyone was comfortable and than ask them a question that would lead into the lesson no matter what the answer was.  After that the President took us out to dinner which was fun and delicious.  We than went back to the church so Elder Racker our district Leader could interview Marko for his baptism.  The interview went great and afterwards Marko went and bought some Coke and Cookies to celebrate with us. 

 After celebrating we went and caught our bus to Sofia so we could go and do the second third of our passport work for our lichna carta.  We got into Sofia found the Center apartment and went to bed.  Thursday We woke up I had 9 biscutes and gravy which was delicious and then went out to the passport place.  When we got there we had to wait an hour for them to look over all of our information so all of the nine missionarys there went to a nearby Dunkin Donuts and hung out for an hour.  We than went back for a wait from 11:00 Am to 2:00 Pm for a chance to get our pictures taken.  It was a long wait.  After the passport work we went out to Chinease food which was really good especially the fried Ice-Cream. 

 We than went and got a bus back to Stara Zagora.  On the way back Elder Spencer accidently punched a girl while streatching and then she started talking to us saying that there was something different about us (Yes! My angle light was on.)  She was really interested and we set up a meeting with her on Sunday.  Once in Stara Zagora we went back home (it was around 9:00 Pm now) and went to bed.  We woke up on Friday and did our normal morning routine.  We then went to meet a member at church to help them with a couple things.  We then went up to Evans but he wasn't there so we talked with some store owners nearby that were interested in our message and set up a meeting on Sunday.  We than came back home had lunch and then went to the church for a language our with Lily.  She had us read and translate a poem and then a recipie for Mysaca.  I got a ton of vocab from it that I now have to memorize.  

After the language hour we had one more meeting with Marko were we covered the rest of the commandments and went over how to reverantly say a prayer.  After Marko left we went up stairs and set up the font.  We had to go find duck tape to attatch the plug to the drain but it went well.  We then hooked up the hose to the sink and started to fill it up.  

While hooking up the hose we got our transfer calls.  I am going to Payson, Utah in 1 year and 10 months and Pleven for now with Elder Pattinson who is Cannadian.  My companion Elder Spencer is going to Blagofgrad and he is cleaning up my grouping Jensen and being the new Branch President their.  He is excited.  After getting the calls a guy came up and wondered if he could meet with us.  We took him down stairs and watched the restoration video with him and invited him to the baptisim.  At first he thought we were going to baptize him and said he wasn't ready yet and still need to be taught but we told him that wasn't the case and that we were baptizing somebody else (Marko)  and that we needed to teach him before he could be baptized.  

When we got back up stairs we found out that our font had a leak and spent the next hour fixing it.  In the end I ended up under the font holding a chair up with my back so that we could actually find the leak (it was on the bottom with about a half foot of water in the font) while Spencer made a fancy patch out of duct tape with a little of my grunted input.  After that was fixed we said a prayer that it would hold, had some coke floats, found out were everyone else was going, put in the heaters and then at 9:30 Pm turned off the water and went back home.  We ran to the church Saturday morning to do our excercises and put some more water in.  When we got there we found out two things: our patch held, and the heaters had worked.  The room looked like a steam room because of all the steam.  Sad thing was only the top layer of water was hot.  At least the font wouldn't be freezing for the baptism.  We than turned off the water and went back home to eat and get ready.  We than came back to the church for English class.  We turned on the water and then went down stairs to teach.  My lesson with the bulgarian that doesn't know any english went really well.  We told our enlish class that we were both moving and they were all really sad to see us go. 

 We than went up stairs to find out that the font was a little too full so we drained a little of it and then ran around Stara Zagora buying all of the reffeshments and getting the programs made for the baptism.   Despite all the hecticness the baptism went great.  And here is the really cool news I got to baptize Marko in the font.  I had practiced the prayed all Friday night and all day Saturday and it payed off because I didn't have to do it twice.  We had a good turn out and the guy that came last night was there as well which was really cool.  After the service we went home and went to bed I am so happy that Marko finally got baptized.  

Now onto the last day Sunday.  First the Branch President wasn't there because he was at Haskovo which is part of our branch.  So me and Spencer were all by ourselves getting church ready.  Only fifteen people came but that was alright because Marko was there and got confiremd and Evan finally came to church.  The girl from the bus (Annie) couldn't come because she was away so we are going to have to leave her to the next pair of Elders.  After church we went home and packed and tried to get the Area book up to date so that way nobody was lost between the cracks when the new Elders come in which are Myric a office elder and another greenie that is going to be interesting.  We than went and met with Grandpa John and then to the two store owners by Evan.  Their names are George and Jacob.  The lesson went really well with them and they are willing to meet more with us.  We then went home had dinner and went to bed.  Now I am writing to you on a Monday morning.  I am out of time so enjoy the letter sorry it isn't as detailed as normal and that it isn't spell checked and have a great time.

Austin James Ewell

Monday, November 22, 2010

week 7

This week was busy so lets start off with the beginning.  First is Monday.  On Monday we had a regular P-day except that our district leader Elder Racker came up with his companion my MTC groupie Elder Bennet.  They spent the P-day with us because Elder Racker had to go on splits with me and Elder Spencer.  So they decide that they would spend P-day with us go on splits that night with me and on the next day go on splits with Elder Spencer and let us two Greenies loose on the city of Stara Zagora.  Then on Wednesday have district meeting and then see Elder Racker and Bennet off to Haskovo.  

So now on to Monday.  At First we came to write and then we went off to the mall here in Stara Zagora to eat and do some window shopping.  After the mall Elder Spencer and I went to a members house to help them move out a old heavy couch and a new bed in.  All I will say is that she lived on the sixth floor (my poor little arms that coach was heavy.)  After we finished with that we went to the church to pick up the DVD player so we could watch a movie for the rest of the day.  When we got there though the church had been vandalized again arrg.  It was nothing serious just some graffiti on the wall that was easily taken care of with some paint.  Well when that was done we meet back up with Elder Racker and Bennet and watched the last half of the movie then went out on splits.  Splits weren't that successful that night both of the appointments we had set up had fallen through and even though we talked with a ton of people we couldn't get a single one to give us a number and return meeting. 

 All well the day was still fun now on to Tuesday.  Me and Elder Bennet were on splits Tuesday and surprisingly we did really well.  We got two referrals despite us not knowing much of the language.  For you guys back home that is a impressive number for Bulgaria even though I wish it could be twenty.  We contacted for half the day and then went and wrote up a L.O.R (Letter of Referral) that a member had made for us.  That was fun but even though we tripled checked to make sure that we had typed it up right when we showed it to Elder Spencer and Racker it was still wrong.  Just goes to show we can't speak perfect Bulgarian yet.  After writing the letter we decided to go find the zoo park and do some surveying there.  We got up to the park that the zoo was in but it was more of a little forest with a ton of different paths going through it.  Lets just say we didn't find it but we did get lost and talked to a lot of people.  We eventually found our way out and went back home for some dinner which was a marvelous and delicious Mycaka (Moosaka.)  Moosaka is basically potatoes with fried hamburger, onions, and tomatoes on top with a cap of cooked on yogurt and egg mixture.  Plus any spices you so wished to add.  It was Delicious and then we went to bed.  

 That brings us to Wednesday.  We woke up did our personal and companionship studies and then had district meeting.  District meeting was fun as always and we always learn something new.  After district meeting we went out to eat with Elder Racker and Bennet.  We do this every Wednesday and it is like a little treat for me.  We went to a really cool restaurant that looked and had food that was of Bulgarian Authenticity.  After lunch we sent off Elder Racker and Bennet and then went to meet a investigator.  The investigator was Evan but he wasn't home, but on the way up we met some guys that invited us in and we basically taught the first lesson.  We plan on walking up and meeting with them again some time.  After that we had English class which is always fun.  We now have about 10-13 students that come so the class is always lively.  We also had a guy come that knew no English at all not even the ABC's.  We weren't prepared for that but we invited him back saying that we will take him a side and teach him from the beginning.  I was in charge of that but I will tell you about that later.  After English we went back for our own language study and then had dinner.  

Now after snoozing for 8 hours we wake up to find that it is Thursday.  Nothing much happened on Thursday.  We had a meeting with Evan and it was nice but it was more of a testimony meeting for him which is great except he had Elder Spencer translate for him so I couldn't focus on the testimony because I was getting distracted by both English and Bulgarian at the same time.  Oh well  we then had lunch and language hour and then went to meet with Diko and Angel both members here.  The meeting were fine but Diko was an hour late so we were basically waiting for him for an hour at his house.  After the meetings we went off to metro with the store owner below us because we were in charge of getting the groceries for the thanksgiving dinner that our zone was going to have.  Well when we got there we actually found some frozen turkey by the frozen chicken and we called the Zone leaders to see what they wanted and when we called them they had changed there plans so the trip was basically a waist.  Except that I found some Cheddar cheese.  That made me so happy.  

 Now onto Friday.  Friday was fun we finally got to meet with Marko again and finished giving him the third lesson.  The lessons with him are always great and I always have a lot of fun with them.  He is really smart and always stops while reading the scriptures to point out important insights the half of which are ones that we were going to show him anyways.  We finally found out how he had lost his eye.  Apparently when he was 21(he is 54 now) he was chopping wood and a sliver of metal flew up and went into his eye.  Now that that mystery was solved we can go onto the rest of the day.  We did our weekly planning ate dinner and then went up to meet a potential investigator that we had given the Book of Mormon too.  When we got there he said he read a couple things and wasn't interested and gave us the Book of Mormon back.  We think it has more to do with false rumors about us than with lack of interest but who knows. 

 Now onto Saturday.  Saturday was busy We had meetings packed in and barley had time to attend to our own lunch and studies but we managed anyways.  First we had English.  For this batch of English I had the opportunity to teach the brand new student from the very beginning.  The lesson went great but two of the level two students decided to sit in and kept asking for words and complicated grammar that wouldn't make sense to the new guy or pertain to what he needed to learn.  Elder Spencer told me that if that happened again to just say this is level one if you want to learn about this stuff go to the other room.  All well we will see what happens next time.  After English we went to pay the power and water bills to find out to our defeat that they were closed on Saturdays.  So we went up to Evans and taught him a really good skeleton 2nd plan (Our nickname for the basic out line of the plan of salvation so only: Pre-existence, life on earth, spirit world, resurrection, judgment, and the kingdoms of glory.)  After Evan's we went to the church to meet with one of the referrals that me and Bennet had received.  We got there and waited for 15 minutes but he didn't show so we called him.  Apparently he had the time wrong or I wrote it down wrong and had come an hour early to find out that we weren't there.  He rescheduled with us for the next week and we will see were it goes from there.  We then went to the Internet zala to fix up the L.O.R that I had tried to copie.  We also meet with another potential investigator but he wasn't there. 

 Now onto Sunday.  We had a regular Sunday meeting except the Hascovo group came up and Mission President Roth was there.  In Priesthood President Roth gave a really good lesson on Home teaching that should get this branch to start doing it .  After church we had some lunch and President Roth gave a announcement.  We finally have a new building that is on ground floor and not above a casino YEAAAAAA!!!!!  After that we went on the splits with the Hascovo missionaries (Elder Racker and Bennet)  because they were staying over night because today (this Monday) we are having our thanksgiving which I will overview later.  Me and Elder Racker went out to meet with one of our investigators named Gosh.  Gosh has been dropping out on our meeting and hasn't kept the commitments we had given him.  Well he was there tonight and Elder Racker basically laid down the law and gave and amazing lesson.  We got Gosh to promise to come to church next Sunday and to read and pray about the book of Mormon.  I think that lesson was exactly what Gosh needed to take us seriously.  Now onto Monday.  Today is a Mini zone.  Basically all our zone gets together and does something fun and we get a all day P-Day.  Today we plan on going up to Shipka and Boozluzha and then having a big thanksgiving dinner.  This day should be fun and I have been looking forward to it.  A little weather update.  It hasn't dropped yet below 65 degrees Fahrenheit here yet.  It feels really weird.  Especial since you guys are getting snow and we should have had some already but haven't.  

I am all typed out and my time is up so Good by.

Austin James Ewell

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I can't believe that it has been four months the time has flown by here.

Blast From Past

I was printing some pictures to change up the magnet board  and I found this.  I thought it would be fun to share.  We miss you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

6th Week

This week has been fun.  First to answer the question about the passport there is no problem with it.  Here in Bulgaria if you plan on living here for longer than a couple of months you need to get a lichna carta which is basiclly an ID/Social security card.  So that is what was meant by passport work.

  Lets see were to start...  I know lets start with Monday.  As I have previously mentioned Monday is my P-Day.  This previous P-Day me and my companion had to go up to Sofia to do our passport work as previously mentioned.  I had to get my first lichna carta and he had to get a new one because until you get a permenant one (you have to live here for five years and some other different things) you only get temporary one year cards.  We woke up in the morning and caught the first bus to sofia.  Once we got there I sent my email to you guys and then started the day.  The first thing we did was go and play football for about 2 hours.  I did really well (yes I know suprising but it gets better) I scored 3 of our five touchdowns and got about 5 to 6 sacks.  After that game I was exsausted and we went back to the mission home to relax for a bit. 

 On the way there one of the elders told me that they were having a ward activity at the Ice rink and wondered if Elder Spencer and I would like to go.  I hadn't been Ice skating for about 7-10 years so I imeditaly said yes and Elder Spencer said yes too so we both went.   The ice rink was a lot of fun there were about two investagators there and one of them couldn't skate so we spent most of the time trying to teach him.  By the end we had him making slow little circles around the outside wall without holding on.  I did a little better though I was still extremly rusty and it took me a good ten to fifteen minutes to finally be able to skate well again.  It didn't help though that my pair of skates kept slipping no matter how tight I tied them and the insole was basicly non exsitant.  

After that we went back to the famous center apartment that is foretold of being amazingly nice.  It was and it was fun being there.  Now onto Tuesday.  Tuesday was the day in which we went to the passport place to fill out the paper work.  The paper work took about 5 mins but we had to wait there for 2 hours basiclly doing nothing arrg.   After the passport work we went and stayed at the mission home until our bus home arrived at the aftogara.  We than had the three hour bus ride back to stara zagora. 

 Once we got home we had to make haste so that we could keep the dinner apointment that the Dunn's had made with us.  Sister Dunn always makes a ton of food and I can't ever eat it all and it makes me sad but other than that it is always fun to visit them.  Oh and I forgot to mention in my last letter I finally got to weigh my self and even though it was a afternoon weighing I had lost 4 kg since I got into country.  I weighed my self when I first got into country and I was 108 kg in the morning when I went to weighed my self I was 104 kg.  For all you that aren't on the metric system that is about 8-9 pounds.  

Now onto Wensday.  The first thing that happened is that we missed are bus to Hascovo and had to reschedual district meeting for thursday.  It was alright because we got to do some contacting (Finally this week) and had a couple lessons to teach that day.  Only one pulled through which is Evan.  That meeting was a disastor mainly because his four year old kid was out of control.  Anyway we just had to cut our lesson short and decided to teach him the second lesson again and the first because of the distractions that he had in the other ones, just to make sure he understands everything.  He did say he had read and prayed about the book of Mormon and he knew it was a true book.  We also contacted two referals that we had recived from a member in Varna.  Only one was home but he was interested enough to reschedual for another meeting.  Now lets take a look to the fourth day of the week Thursday. 

 On Thursday we finally had our district meeting which was a lot of fun.  We also had a Apartment inspection which was hectic because for the last two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) our power was out because we had the wrong information when we went to pay the power bill because when the missionaries before us moved they forgot to update the power card that you use to pay the bill with at the post office.  We took care of that on Wednesday but the power wasn't going to be on for another day.  Don't worry there is another apartment in stara zagora because in about a transfere or two we are getting another pair of elders so we basiclly camped out there over night.  So in the morning we had to work very fast and clean before the senior couple came to inspect but we still weren't done when they got there.  Luckly they were kind enough to let us finish before they inspected us.  We did alright for a rush job they said and we got a B+ mabey a A- if they felt nice.  

Other than that we contacted the two contacts that I mentioned before.  Sorry I got the wrong day.  We had to break out new planners this week and I forgot to bring my old one.  The contacts names are Grigore and Hristor.  That is it for Thursday so onto Friday.  On Friday we did a lot of planning and contacting.  We also said good bye to a member that was visiting from Flagstaff, Arizona.  His name is Peter (Pronounced: Petur.)  We also had our weekly language our with Lily a 23 year old member.  I always learn a ton from those because she is a very good teacher.  Other than that we had a quick meeting with our 83 year old member Grandpa John.  

Now onto Saturday.  Today we met with Evan again and finally had another meeting with Marko our investagator with a baptismal date that had to be moved to the 27th because that is the only date on which a presiding athourity could be there.  The lesson was great and fun mainly because he does hes homework and is very smart.  He is currently on a job contract so he can't meet as often but we have worked out a good time in which he can meet with us and all should go well now.  We also had our first meeting with Grigor and Hrictor.  It was more of a book of Mormon drop off thought since neither of them had time to meet with us that night but they did reschedule with us. 

 Finally we are on to Sunday.  First we had Church which is always fun.  Evan showed up but he had left his son Yuly back home because we had forgot to mention to him that we had primary so he had to go back to look after him.  Our bad oh well at least we know he is willing to come to church.  After church we basiclly did a bunch of contacting to make up for the little amount that we had done in the week.  We also met with Grandpa John to give him the sacrament.  We also met with Gosh finally and finished the first lesson.  He was really cool and we scheduled another meeting with him for today at night after our P-Day is over.  That is my whole week and boy is this letter long.  Hope you all are having and amazing time and thank you for all your letters.  I am kind of typed out so I am going to end my letter here.

Austin James Ewell

Something funnie I found in our apartment.

Just read it and print and send back if you want.

Dear Miss ___________________________

Due to the fact that there is such a great demand for returned missionaries even so that there is confusion among the Daughters of Zion, we, the Elders of Israel, have established the RM-7000 form, which we feel will greatly eliminate the confusion which now exists.

Your complete cooperation is needed in filling out this form. Use only the most correct and the most pertinent information. Please circle all appropriate answers and explain, in detail, all "other" answers. Feel free to add pages to appropriately answer any questions. Please use and ink pen (HINT: use a bright color.) Do not use crayon or lipstick, except where requested.

You are encouraged to return this questionnaire as soon as it is possible and convenient for you. Please return it to the address on the envelope. It is also required that a recent "keep-a-missionary-happy" photo of yourself be included with this completed form. Please!!!

In filling out this form, dear sister, we ask that you be yourself. Don't write what we want to see, write what you are. And keep in mind 2 Nephi 9:34 which reads: "Wo unto the liar, for he (or she) shall be thrust (not pushed, not shoved, but THRUST) down to hell."

Thank you for your cooperation

Sincerely Yours,

Elder __________________

Missionary for The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints

P.S. In the event that you have already obtained your "Mrs." degree, we ask that you not return this form. Instead, please pass it on to a female friend and instruct her to fill it out and return it. Of course, if you have not received your "Mrs." degree, we would like to remind you that it is crucial to maintain an "open mind."


Full Name ____________________________________________________________
Memorable Names (describe origins) _________________________________________
Address _____________________________________________________________
Phone Number___________Age (remember 2 Nephi 9:34) _________ Birthday ________
Birthplace__________________________ If from Tasmania does your family tree fork Y/N
Height____________ Weight _________________ Eye Color __________________
Bust _______________ Waist ________________ Hips ____________________
Dress size _______________ Ring size _______________ Shoe size ________________
Hair Color __________________________ Natural Hair Color ____________________
Is your hair: long, short, wavy, curly, straight, ratty, Afro, gone, other?__________________
Were you: born, hatched, adopted, found on porch, washed ashore, kidnapped, and Angel descended from heaven, other?______________________________________________
What type of girl are you: farmer's daughter, city slicker, hippie, cowgirl, beach bum, suburbanite, Molly Mormon, rural rebel, bishop's daughter, other?_____________________
What is your lineage: Ephraim, Manasseh, Judah, Cain, other?________________________


Where is your family from: Utah (you poor girl), Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Sweden, Venus, The Amazon, other?_________________________________________________________
Does your family have a history of: cancer, aids, mental illness, horse thieve, alcoholism, inactivity, cannibalism, other? (explain any circled answers) _________________________
How many brothers do you have?____ Sisters?____ Can they be bribed: Y/N
With what and how much: _________________________________________________
Do your parents approve of returned missionaries: Y/N If not, why are they so hard-hearted?
Does your father own a gun: Y/N If yes, how big?______________ Is he a good shot: Y/N
Does your father hunt? Y/N Would you like to hunt? Y/N
What is your father's occupation: ________________ Your mother's: _________________
How many times have you moved: _____ Where:________________________________
How many dogs do you have:______ Do they bite: Y/N if yes, how hard: ________________
What is their (its) favorite treat: ___________________________________________
Do you own any interesting pets: Y/N Explain:___________________________________


What would you like to do on our first (next) date: go to the movies, go to a drive in, go park, go dancing, play Nintendo, go park, play chess, go bowling, go park, go to a concert, go play miniature golf, go park, go on a picnic, go to a musical, go park, walk along the beach, go park, cook dinner for me, watch a football game, go park, read poetry, wash my car, go park, elope, other, go park?
Will you kiss on the first date: Y/N (Notice the direct "Will you" question. If no, please explain.)
When kissing, do you : close your eyes, keep your eyes open, close one eye, cross your eyes, other(why is that?) ______________________________________________________
On a date, are you: nervous, calm, cold, happy to see me, warm, abusive, friendly, affectionate, aggressive, passionate, "Oh Boy!", other? ______________________________________
Is it important that our first (next) few dates have a car? Y/N Why: ____________________
Do you have a car: Y/N if yes, what kind and what condition: _________________________
What are your preferences for dating transportation: Porsche, VW, Lexus, BMW, 4x4 truck, mountain bike, skateboard, roller blades, bus, motorcycle, horseback, shopping cart, walking, horse drawn carriage, baby carriage, piggyback, other _____________________________
What are your favorite foods: Macaroni & Cheese, tube steak, Happy Meals, veal, BBQ chicken, sandwiches (white or wheat), calamari, shrimp, curry, liver & onions, oysters, other _________
What are your favorite drinks: water, 7-up, Sprite, (come one, is there really a difference?), Coke, Dr. Pepper, Milk, Jack Daniels, other _____________________________________


How often do you attend church: never, everyday, every week, 2x/month, once a month, Christmas & Easter (Wow! A Catholic Mormon, nice to meet you), only for weddings and funerals, other _________________________________________________________
Are you a member of the "only true church upon the face of the Earth": Y/N
If not, will you be baptised this Saturday at 7pm? Y/N (Again, notice the direct "Will you" question)
Do you smoke: Y/N Have you ever: Y/N Did you get caught Y/N
If yes, by who: ___________ Explain ________________________________________
Which of the following have you completed: college, high school, girls camp, elementary school, school for the deaf, other __________________________________________________
What school(s), if any, are you now attending: ___________________________________
What are your musical preferences: Mormon Tabernacle choir, Mormon Youth Symphony, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, The Corrs, B* Witched (if so, burn this form!), Baby-Face, Back Street Boys, The Off Spring (Again, burn this form!), Kenny G (AGAIN!!!), other _______________________________________________________
Describe your sense of humor: ______________________________________________
Are you presently employed: Y/N Where: ______________________________________
How do you feel about early retirement for husbands: ______________________________
Can you cook: Y/N if not, will you learn: Y/N List your best dishes _____________________
Can you sew: Y/N Sew what? _________________________ If not, will you learn Y/N
Do you were your own clothes: Y/N if not, whose do you wear: _______________________
What do you like to wear: dresses, skirts, jeans, mini-skirts, shorts, t-shirts, sweaters, bikini, nothing (1 Cor. 11:15), other _______________________________________________
What type of reading do you enjoy: romance, mysteries, westerns, sci-fi, fantasy, text books, comic, bathroom walls, newspapers, love letters, obituaries, Cosmopolitan, other, Scriptures (I see what you circled last!)
List any and all instruments you play: _____________________ Will you serenade me: Y/N
What is your favorite form of recreation: swimming, tennis, basketball, parking, horse-back riding, camping, volleyball, hunting, golf, tic-tac-toe, water/snow skiing, other _____________
What topics are you knowledgeable in: cars, sports, music, art, massage (10 pt. bonus), Earth science, physics, drafting, carpentry, welding, remedial spelling, boys -- (for the sake of peace, we ask you not to name them,) me (would you like to know more: Y/N like what:___________
Have you ever attempted to wait for a missionary before: Y/N How long did you wait: 10 days (poor guy), 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 7 months and 1 day (poor guy), 1 year, 18 months, 23 months, 2 years (you poor girl), other _________________________________________
Who dumped who, and why: _______________________________________________
Did you date him when he got home: Y/N Is he a recluse: Y/N is he bald: Y/N
Would you wait for another: Y/N Explain: ______________________________________
Do you want to marry in the temple: Y/N Why: __________________________________
Which temple: ______________________ Why: ______________________________
How long of an engagement do you want: 2hrs, 3 days, 2 wks, 1 month, 2 months, 6 months (come on, lets not play hard to get!), other ______________________________________
Describe your ideal honeymoon (feel free to add extra pages for any details)
How do you feel about polygamy: ____________________________________________
How many kids do you want: 0,1,2,3,4,5,8,15,50,144,3630 (Ezra 2:35) other______________
Why ________________________________________________________________
What field would you like you husband to be in: __________________________________
Why? (what exactly am I going to go through for you) _____________________________
Will you help out with any financial difficulties: Y/N Will you cause any Y/N
Where do you want to live: __________________ Why: __________________________
Do you have relatives near there: Y/N
Will they visit for long periods of time: Y/N
Have you ever been dropped by a boy Y/N Why: _________________________________
Have you ever dropped a boy: Y/N Literally: Y/N Why:____________________________
Have you ever backed out of a an important agreement: Y/N If yes, explain ______________
Have you ever beat up a boy (besides family): Y/N if yes , explain(for my saftey) __________


What are your favorite bumper stickers: _______________________________________
What, if any, hobbies do you have: ___________________________________________
Are you a sweet spirit: Y/N In your own choice way: Y/N explain _____________________
Do you keep a diary: Y/N Am I in it: Y/N If yes, what does it say: ____________________
Which games do you like to play: Risk, Life, strip poker, Snakes & Ladders, Trivial Pursuit, roulette, twister, D&D, Scripture chasing, truth or dare, spin the bottle, quarters, Monopoly, duck-duck-goose, chess, Mother may I, other ___________________________________
Are you hard to live with: Y/N Why: _________________________________________
Have you had your tonsils removed: Y/N Would you like to Y/N
Do you currently have a boyfriend: Y/N How big: ____ Does he have a 4x4: Y/N
Does he have a gun: Y/N If yes, how big: _____ Does he know martial arts: Y/N
Do any of your ex-boyfriends fit the above categories: Y/N which ones: _________________
Are they the jealous type: Y/N Will they act on their anger: Y/N How: __________________
Do you were curlers at night: Y/N How many: _______ How big: _____________________
Are you susceptible to: flattery, tender loving, sweet nothings, age, money, a runny nose, masculine charms, drugs, animal magnetism, older men going bald, the Spirit, other _________
Please make lipstick kisses below. If flavored, please specify.



Use separate sheets as needed.
In 100 words or less, tell how you feel about (insert Missionary's home town our mission)
In 200 words or less, tell how you feel about returned missionaries.
In 1000 words or more, tell how you feel about me. Don't get carried away. List all the great things you've heard about me. You may need several extra pages.
Will you be available on my release date on (insert Missionary's release date)? Y/N



This is your space to remark on anything you feel would be of interest to me. Any special interest, activities, or talents, that might make you stand out from the rest of the applicants would be helpful. If there is anything that you can do to help us come to a quicker decision, please let me know at this time. Good luck!
(HINT: Use your imagination.)

Again, dear sister, any cookies, candy, and photos would be most helpful, and certainly necessary to help classify your application, besides boosting the moral and gaining the undivided attention of this elder. Thank you for your cooperation and your words of encouragement through letters, post cards, care packages, and phone calls. Keep up the good work!!!

I, ____________________________, do hereby certify that all the questions and reports have been answered to the best of my ability and so hereby certify them to be correct and honest to the best of my knowledge.

(Hint: Perfume of a special scent has been found to aid the receiver in the tallying and filing process.)

(signature of applicant)

(signature of first witness)

(signature of second witness -- 2 Cor 13: 1)


Friday, November 12, 2010

Elder Spencer and Elder Ewell

A Note from Elder Spencer's Mom

Dear Ewell Family,

First off, I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you. I got your email address from an email sent to the parents of all Bulgaria Sofia missionaries regarding Christmas packages.

I’m Susie Spencer, the mom of Elder CJ Spencer (your son’s companion/trainer). I was looking on CJ’s Facebook page yesterday and saw a few fun pictures of them in Sofia this week that a member there posted and wanted to forward over to you.  Also attached is one of the two of them that CJ sent me when they first became companions. CJs been out for a while now (15 months tomorrow) and I’m always bugging him to send more pictures, so when I get some that I can share with other missionary families, I always try to do that.

I also wanted to let you know that CJ is absolutely loving the opportunity to train your son. He said that your son is full of energy and loves the work. He also said “He is way brave and despite the fact that he is a greenie, he will stop anyone and try to talk to them when I tell him it is his turn.” So thank you for raising a wonderful son that my son could have the chance to meet and work with. From reading CJs letters each week, it sounds like they are doing great work in Stara Zagora.

I won’t keep you long, I really just wanted to send you the pictures and introduce myself. Also, if you have any questions about the mission, sending packages, etc. that you haven’t already gotten the answers to, let me know. I’m happy to help out if I can.

All My Best,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas List

Alright here is my christmas list 

1.  Zip fizz
2. Chocolate chip cookies
3. MUSIC!!!!! on CDs.  Send me hyms, christmas, DISNEY, disney, and anything else you want that you belive would be mission appropriate and won't bring in a spirit of contetion.  You don't have to worry about a CD player or speakers I have inhereited some so I am  set.
4. Beef Jerky
6.  A group photo of moms side of the family and dads side of the family please.

that is all Merry Christmas
Austin James Ewell

5th Week

his week feels long.  I thought about why and I figured it out.  This week has been long because we could only meet with one investigator this week.  Mapko (Marko) our main investigator finally found a job and as a result he couldn't meet with us this week.  It was really great but at the same time not espically since his baptism was supposed to be this weekend and we still had to get through lesson three and four.  Sadly but luckily we had to push back his baptism because no presiding authority could be there till the 27.  Well we will get to meet with him a lot more this week so everything should work out.  

We were only able to meet with one investigator this week.  He was Evan the really poor guy.  We finally got through the first lesson with him which was a relief.  His little dog though is tortured by that three year old of his.  Every time that three year old comes into the  room the dog goes running and tries to hide unsuccessfully.  Other than that all has been well and I am excited for the next week.  

Another reason why I have had a long week is because my seasonal cold came because we are flipping over into winter.  That slowed me down a lot but all is well and I am tons better especially since my companion  Elder Spencer taught me a amazing trick to get rid of my soar throat.  You just have to gargle warm salt water I do that 2-3 times and my sore throat is gone all day.  Now I just need to figure out a quick fix for my nose like that. 

 We did get to go see a baptism in Varna this week end though.  The three investigators that were baptized were found by my wonderful comp and taught for a the majority of the time.  So we got the privilege of being able to go and see the baptism.  My comp actually got to baptize one of them.  The baptism was really well organized and went incredibly well.  After the fact we had to empty the font which was fun we were on the third floor of the building and we had fun dumping the water out onto the zl's car and making the alarm go off until he moved it then we tried to get him.  We didn't but it was fun. We then had a fabulous Sunday were I was in the primary/nursery for two hours because they wanted a missionary in there to help and make sure everything went fine and my comp needed to translate. 

 Other than all of that I am in Sofia right now for passport work and will be here till Tuesday night so wish me luck.  

Now for some answers to questions.  One I am doing amazing and I love it here, and two How to Make a Light saber picture:  First you need a camera, second you need one of those multi-lead marking pencils with the different colors, next take a picture with the lead fully out and positioned so it looks like in the hand of the potential Jedi/Sith.  Finally make sure the flash is one and enjoy.  Now how are you all doing and its great that you are all having fun and a amazing time.  Sorry for the short letter this week but I am out of material to write about.

Austin James Ewell