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.


Love,
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.


Love,
Austin James Ewell

Sunday, November 21, 2010

4 MONTHS AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.


Love,
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."





PART ONE: IDENTIFICATION

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?________________________

PART TWO: FAMILY

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:___________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

PART THREE: DATING HABITS

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 _____________________________________

PART FOUR: PERSONAL

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) __________
____________________________________________________________________

PART FIVE: MISCELLANEOUS

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.











FIRST TRY SECOND TRY FORGET IT!!!

PART SIX: ESSAY QUESTIONS

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

____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

PART SEVEN: LAST REMARKS

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)

______/____________/__________
(date)

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,
Susie

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
5.  DISNEY MUSIC
6.  A group photo of moms side of the family and dads side of the family please.

that is all Merry Christmas
Love,
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.


Love,
Austin James Ewell

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pictures

Giant Flame Statues

Boosluja


Happy Halloween

This was a busy week.  But first I need to answer some questions.  First there are three zones in the mission.  We have the Sofia Zone (Zone 1), the Plovdiv Zone (Zone 2, I am here),  and the Varna Zone (Zone three.)  They are basically the west side of the country the center and then the east.  I think there are 14 missionaries in my zone and there are 44 in the entire mission.   Now what do I want for Christmas give me a week to think about it and I will get back to you.  Now onto my investigators.

This week went by incredibly fast.  First of all none of our appointments came through even though we had a ton planned.  Even Marko couldn't meet because his daughter got sick and he had to help a friend move.  Well I exaggerated a bit we did have 4 meetings so it was okay.  The first one was with Gosh and Haydiyalka (I have no Idea how to spell that in english here it is in bulgarian ????????.)  We showed up on Tuesday not really expecting them to be there but to our surprise they were.  So we sat down and gave them the first three principles to the first lesson but we didn't get farther than that because Gosh kept on trying to show off his religion and how much he knew.  It was hard not to shot him down in the water because everything he was saying could be easily disproved through the bible.  We didn't do this though because that is bad, but instead we listened to him and then shared our belief and scriptures with it and that helped control the situation a little better.  It is frustrating though, we have only met with him twice in three weeks and we are still on the first lesson.  Oh well its now that frustrating and I am just happy he is so interested.  Our second meeting was on Thursday with a guy that came up to us and just asked about the Book of Mormon.  He gave us his address which is in the middle of a completely messed up area of streets.  Me and my companion got lost for a half hour trying to find his house.  We finally found it and lets just say I can't call it a house.  When we walked in the "house" was basically four walls of concrete and a roof.  He has a kid and a puppy for the kid.  With all this he only makes 35 Lev a month and he only makes that because he has a child.  He says he is looking for a job but he hasn't found one.  Well we gave him a quick Book of Mormon Lesson and then offered a prayer where we prayed that he would find a job.  The experience was very humbling and it makes me solom just thinking about it.  One problem though is that he likes to share how poor he is which makes me and my companion cautions because we don't want to get a money convert (only gets baptized for welfare.)   So we are going to structer our lessons accordingly to avoid that so that he can become a strong faithful member and be blessed by having the Gospel in his life.  The third meeting we had was with Marko (Finally) on Saturday.  When we had meet him he had gotten a hair cut, shaved, was wearing a button up shirt, nice pants, and sports Jacket (I don't know what else to call it but it was nice.)  He looked really good and dare I say a stud.  For the first five minutes of the lesson he begged us for forgiveness because his daughter was sick and he had to help his friend move.  We said it was alright, that things like that happen.  We went on with the lesson after that which was fun.  We taught him about prayer because he tends to do the lords prayer at first and then goes into a real prayer.  We are 99% certain he got it because at the end he said that even though we pray morning and night it seems like we should always have a prayer in our hearts.  He is really amazing and it still gets better but later on not during this lesson.  Our fourth meeting was a meeting with a member that we had to go see to take of some branch stuff.  It was fun and nice to meet with a member.

Okay on to our Halloween party.  The Halloween party was a blast.  Most of our english class came and even Marko did but he had to leave because his work called our something (I was doing the interpreting.) Any ways it was a lot of fun and our branch president is so funny it and a great party planner.  Well the next day was a lot of fun as well because Marko came to church (It feels like my week revolves around my investigators doesn't it.)  It was really cool because during priesthood/Relief society we had a little testimony meeting about how the church has helped you and Marko actually got up and participated.  His testimony was how he feels that he is part of a big family when he is at church and his life is better because of it.  I was so happy.  Another cool thing about church is that one of our members was a Army Buddie of Marko (Am I the only one that hears "It's a small world after all.")  After church we meet again with ????? ???? (Grandpa John) He is always fun to meet with and he is very creative.  He showed us a drawing he made of the plan of salvation and it was like a big circle and really intricate but simple.  He did give me homework this week though and that was to talk about the prophesies of Daniel (Vague isn't it) so wish me luck.

Well sorry that this isn't as long as last week but I hope it is enough.  So tell me what is going on, how is life, and how dare you go to Oregon with out me.  Just kidding have fun while you are up there.  Sorry that you don't have my help with the walnuts and garage (but I am not (just kidding, maybe.))


Love,
Austin James Ewell