Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Are You Ready For Christmas

Sorry Blog followers!  i have been a slacker about posting his letters.

Hey everybody.  Are you guys ready for Christmas?  This week is going to be a little hectic because of it but I guess you guys can get the full update next week.  This week was really good and I have a large letter for you guys so be prepared.

Monday:
After writing you guys we relaxed, packed, watched a movie and got ready to move the next day.

Tuesday:
Well the morning was hetic because Elder Rowden had a bus at 9 am he had to catch and we didn't know what bus station it was leaving from.  So a long taxi ride, the wrong station, and some fried nerves later we got him to his bus with five minutes to spare.  Then Elder Brown and I were the only ones left and we did some tasks and then contacted together until the new missionaries showed up. They showed up around 6:30 pm.  That didn't leave anytime but to unpack and have dinner.  Okay so some information about Elder Young my new companion.  He is from Logan, Utah, he plays the; bagpipes, Piano, and ukalailie, and he is laid back but a good worker.

Wednesday:
Well an exciting thing today was we got to meet our new District.  Elders Bishop and Furtado my groupies are in it (they were in the MTC with me.)  Elder Gaffeny and Brown along with my new companion.  They are all good workers.  After District meeting, lunch, and language study we had a meeting with Georgie.  It was good to meet with him again.  We did an overview of the restoration and commited him to come to church.  Then we contacted until we had a meeting with Dimiter.  The meeting went really well.  We taught tithing and fast offerings to him and he fully accepted it.  He even said he would pay tithing when he was a member.  There was some good news and bad news though.  The good news is he said he was going to fast abut baptism Thursday.  The bad news though is he won't be able to come to church the next 3 weekends because he is spending them with his parents.  He can't really come to church on those Sundays because his parents already don't like us.  We have a plan though.  We are going to ask him if we can come over christmas eve or the 23rd and do a christmas oreinted family home evening.  We will bring treats and try to make it really spiritual.  We are calling this operation "Brown Nose" in hopes that their hearts will be softened and they will like the church and not be opposed to Dimiters baptism.  After the meeting with him we went shopping for some food and then it was time to be in.

Thursday:
Thursday was more laid back because we just had contacting all day and English.  Before English though we decorated the church for the branch Christmas party that Saturday.

Friday:
Yea basicly contacting, contacting and weekly planing.  We did get a cool recived though and a lesson from it as well for monday.  Apparently they already had a book of mormon that they had found.  Apparently it was in the trash or somebody was throwing it away or something and they took it instead.

Saturday:
First was english, then contacting, then the Christmas party!  The christmas party was great.  We had a ton of people there and us missionaries didn't have to plan a thing.  Even though we didn't have to plan a thing I still had to do all the tech stuff so we could watch a part of the christmas devotional.  It was fun though and one of the other elders got a recieved from it as well so that is good.

Sunday:
Church was good as always and Georgie actually came.  YEA!!!  For church we actually watched the Christmas devotional and then had priesthood.  I was again incharge of the tech setup but it was good and a really nice sunday to have a investagator there.  We were stuck at church though almost all day though because of a new mission rule were we are supposed to be the last people out of the church building and tithing settlement was going on.  Anyways Sunday was fun though and in the night we just tried to contact some less actives.

Monday:
First it is wierd having to wake up and work on your P-Day.  Your whole body is saying no it is my relax day what are you doing.  Anyways we did get some work done though. We went to the village of the recived we got on Friday.  After being lost for an hour or two we found their place and it turns out they are complete beggers.  It was really said because one just kept complaning about money, another just didn't care, and the only hope was the grandma but that is a smidge if anything.  We then came home and contacted the rest of the day.

Well I will write you all next week.

Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving

Well I have to apoligize for the short letter this week because I am a little sick and so I am not writing for long.

Monday:
Well as I said last week we went to a fortress before writing and then after writing we went to strait to work.

Tuesday:
We basically were contacting all day but we were on splits for the afternoon.  At 6 we had a meeting with Dimiter.  He is amazing he had talked about baptism with his parents and said he knows the Book of Mormon is true.  The only hic-up is that his parents are against him being baptized.  So we did a lesson on fasting and prayer and at the end he committed to fast and pray about baptism to know if it is God's will that he be baptized. He is so cool and I hope he fasts and gets an answer. 

Wednesday:
Out side of district meeting we contacted until a meeting that we had with Anna a member.  The meeting went well and then we were at home and made a whole ton of pumpkin soup and homemade eggnog for thanksgiving the next day.

Thursday:
Because we had blown away our goals (the goal was six lessons a week and for three weeks we had an average above 7) across the mission, President Roth gave us a all day thanks giving P-Day.  So Thursday was a lot of fun. The whole zone came in and at 9:30am we went out to go see a amazing huge natural arch, a giant cave called the Devils Throat, and another cave called Strawberry cave.  It was a ton of fun and I thoroughly exhausted my self going all out.  Then we got back in and had a huge thanksgiving feast with everyone.  There was chicken, eggnog, pumpkin soup, bread, root beer, potatoes, amazing gravy, and a ton of pies.  That was a good day.

Friday:
Well after a big party you have the aftermath to clean up.  So in the morning we cleaned up and ate the extra food (I did most of the eating which is probably why I am sick.  Can you say two litters of eggnog.)  After cleaning we had language study and then went out contacting all day until our meeting with Dimiter.  We were having Institute at the same time and we thought it would be a good idea that for the lesson that he would come to institute.  Well it was alright but none of the young people came.  After institute we didn't even get to talk with him because Valaria the teacher and member wouldn't leave us alone and wouldn't stop talking so we never got to find out if he had fasted or not.  Anyways it didn't go as planned but it was alright.

Saturday:
Well woke up during the night with bad diarrhea and it continued through out the day.  So you can guess what we did, yea for staying home (it sucks being sick on the mission because you can't do anything.)

Sunday:
Woke up and I was felling alright but Elder Rowden had a 101 fever.  So we called sister Roth and she told Elder Rowden to stay home but that I could go with the other elders to church as long as we locked Elder Rowden in the apartment with a phone.  So we did that.  When we got to church though I wasn't feeling that well again so I stayed on foyer duty and stuck it out  At the end of church though Sister Roth (Her and President Roth were visiting) took one look at me said I was yellow and told me to go home immidietly on my own.  So that was fun I went out and grabed a bus since it was cheaper and quicker than a taxi and went home.  It was kind of strange but I made it home safe.  Then it was napping and and attempted sleep all day. 







Monday:
I feel a little bit better but I am still going to be taking it easy and just staying at the church all day Watching movies.

Monday, November 7, 2011

This Week Was Fun

Well first I forgot my planner again so this letter will be really short.  Sorry about that but next week I will remeber it and send some more pictures.  So lets get started with the week.

Monday:
Well we went gokarting on monday after writting you guys.  It was a lot of fun and I got the best time as well which was suprusing because the others are a ton better than me but they were just playing around and not trying when I did for a couple of laps.  After gokarting we had some food and then went to the church to watch a movie.  We then came home to change and then went to sofia for passport work and stayed the night at the zone leaders apartment.

Tuesday:
Yea tuesday was fun because I got to see all of my mtc group in sofia and we got to be together for the day.  Everything went great and around 2 we came back home and we had a meeting with our investagators.  They are Dimiter and Angel (the "G" makes a ga sound still.)  They are really cool and we went over the plan of salvation with them.  The lesson went really well and they had some good cool questions.  That was about the day outside of contacting.

Wednesday:
We had district meeting and then lunch.  Then we just contacted all day.  Oh we did have splits which was fun.  I got to know Elder Brown better and it was fun working with him.

Thursday:
Nothing exciting much until english.  We just contacted all day until english and then for english I didn't have enough students so I cleaned the missionary closet.  After english we met with Dimiter and Angel again.  They actually brought their friend Maria which was really cool.  It did throw off our lesson though but all was good and we still had a good lesson about the gospel of jesus christ.  Their only problem is that they need to pray to know for them selves other than that they are really cool.  After the meeting with them we went home for dinner and bed.

Friday:
Yea contacting all day.  Though all the locks are being changed at our church building here so that there is just one master key.  So we got to help a little in the morning with that.  The only bad part about the locks being changed is that we don't have keys for a couple of days which can be frustrating.  So other than that we contacted and weekly planned.  Also the other elders stayed over because there water heater broke.  That was fun and it was a good night.

Saturday:
First we had english which went well and then we had a baptism for two investagotors of the zone leaders.  They are really cool and they are going to be great members.  The baptism went really well and afterwards we cleaned and set up the building for mission confrence the next day.  Why they were teasting the satelite though they got onto the BYU channel and the old TCU vs BYU game was on.  That was really cool but man that game sucked.  Anyway it was still interseting to see even if it was only a couple of minutes.  After that we came home for dinner and bed.

Sunday:
Mission confrence.  Okay for mission confrence we watched a live transmission from Salt Lake.  First it was cool because all of zone two was there so I got to see all the members from Stara Zagora there and it was really cool.  Second a live transmission now that was interesting to watch.  We did have a couple of problems though with the sound.  At first the sound wasn't working so everbody started call around to find out what the problem was while I just went and checked the equipment.  Well by the time I decided to help it had already been 30 mins.  When I checked the equipment I noticed a aduio cable just hanging around not plugged in so I plugged it in and nothing happened, but the Branch president got mad at me and I asked him where did it go then and he pointed to the other end that was were it was supposed to be and touched it slightly pushing it in.  At that moment the sound turned on.  I was amazed that no one had even checked for about 30 mins if the cords were even plugged in all the way.  Anyway that was fun and a little hilarious as well.  Anyway Mission Confrence continued adn afterwards everyone socialized and then the other branches had to head home.  After everything was cleaned up we went to a members house to celebrate her cousins birthday and get to know her since she is a non-member.  It was fun and I think she might start investagating now.  After that we tried to find a less active member with no luck and went home to bed.

I love you all and have a nice week.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Long Week

Well this letter is going to be really short because I don't have much time and nothing happened this week.  Because of that there will not be a day by day account this time but I don't have much to right so sorry.  Well this week our whole mission was on a huge push to get six lessons all across the mission (that is a average count so that means everyone would have to get six lessons each.)  There are a couple reasons why first of all our goal for the last year has been 6 lessons and we have been at 5.7 for the last while.  So President Roth decided to give us a little incentive if we managed it.  So we were all excited for the week and we even had 12 lessons planned out and ready to go. 

Well that makes the week sound exciting, but hear comes the bad news.  Every one of our lessons couldn't make it this week.  So we were scrambiling all week to barely get 6 lessons so we could do our part.  So basicly we worked as hard as we could and barely got our 6 lessons.  Lets just say I was really frustrated with everyone of our investagators and the less active members we were working with.  Well we did get our lessons in and the ones we got in made up for all the hard work. 

First we met with Vasko a 9 year old who is the son of a member.  He is really cool but not well behaved.  Are lesson mainly consited of making the gospel (and missionaries) cool for him, because he doesn't like missionaries much because they would be strict with him because of his attitude.  Well the lesson went well and he really likes Elder Rowden and I now but his mom doesn't want us to come by for a while because of some stuff that they are going through. 

Are next lesson was with Georgi who is a new investagator.  He was pretty cool and interested, but other than that the lesson was average. 

We then finally got to meet with an investagator named Youly.  He is really smart and knows his bible really well.  That is a problem though because he is stubborn and likes to bible bash.  Well I tried something new I picked up from a talk I have listened to.  The talk is from Le Grand Richards and it is about his mission experances.  In it he says if you can tell our story right then there will be no arguments because they can't argue about it.  I also have been talking with Elder Rowden about how our church just makes sense.  So when Youly would bring up his bible bashing subjects I would just use common sense and telling the story strait to answer back (and maybe a scripture or two) and that would end the argument.  For example he would argue that God is just this mass of energy.  So first I asked him if he belived we were the spirit children of God.  He gladly agreed.  So next I pointed our how in life a human gives birth to a human, a dog to a dog, cat to a cat, and so on and so forth.  And I asked him if that was true or not.  He agreed.  So I then said alright then if we are the spirit children of god and are made in his likeness (like it says in the bible,) and also that like begets like, then it follows that God is not a form of energy but he is a perfected man because we are not blobs of energy (at least I don't think so,) but we are human and in the form of man.  It worked perfectly and he agreed with me.  The conversation didn't go exactly as quoted but the procces was roughly the same.  It was really cool though because it just ended the bible bash and got him to accept a principle of the gospel with out having to argue about it but just by listening to the spirit and useing common sense because the gospel makes since.  Well that was a long explanation but the lesson was really good.  Other than that we also met wtih 3 less actives and they went really well.  

Also I forgot we also had a halloween party.  It was really cool and a whole ton of fun.  My faviort thing though was a game that they played that was just hillarious.  Basicly you had people sitting accross from each other and then you blind fold them.  You give them each a contaner of yogurt and then they have to feed each other the yogurt.  It was hillaryos and I wished I could of participated but it may not have been the best missionary game to play.  Anyways the winning team is the team to finish the yogurt first.  I will send a pictue or two for my mom to put on the blog so if you want to see the halloween picks just  visit my blog at http://www.twoyearsinbulgaria.blogspot.com/  Well that is everything and I wish you all a great week.


Love,
Elder Ewell

Monday, October 24, 2011

Busy Week

Well this week was really busy.
Monday:
It was 1 degree celcious so we just watched movies  since we didn't want to freeze to death.  Then we went contacting for the night.
Tuesday:
This day was busy too.  Manly because we were contacting all day.  We did have two meetings though.  One was with an investagator.  His name is Iliya.  He has amazing faith and we actually have a date for him on the fourth of december but he can't read.  So we are working with him and if does everything we say he will be able to read by his baptizim.  He is going to need a lot of work though so please send your prayers his way.  He is really faithfull and extreemly nice.  Other than him we also home taught a member.  She had an inactive friend over so we got to teach them both and the lesson went really well.  That was tuesday.
Wednesday:
We had district meeting first and also got some A&W root beer from some american soilders in the area.  It was amazing and it made our week (we each got 4 cans.)  Then other than lunch and language study we had a lesson in the park near out apartment with some new investagators.  The guy is Dimiter and he even brought his roomate Angel (Yes that is a bulgarian name, but in bulgarian the G is pronouced and it doesn't make the J sound.)  They were both really interested.  So we gave them both a book of mormon and shared a little bit about it.  Then we schedualed another meeting with them for friday and then we left because a park isn't the best place to teach.  We than did some contacting and met a member at the church to home teach him.  His name is Ivan and he has recently become active.  He is pretty cool and the lesson was a lot of fun.  After the lesson we contacted home and then had dinner.
Thursday:
Yea we were contacting all day and then English class.  English was fun except a student got into an argument about economics with me.  I didn't argue about any economic moves being made I just simply said if people would live within their means and save a little money, water, and food for rainy days, that there would be no problems with economics.  He would not belive me even though I told him that the previously metioned method was proven by scientists and specialists.  Anyways there is a new rule in my english classes were we will not discuss politics, economics, or other subjects relating to these.  So after english we went home to bed.
Friday:
Outside from contacting we had two meetings and a ton of prep work because Patriarch Neueschwander was coming into Plovidiv to visit and we had a baptisim on saturday along with a fireside.  So the meetings were with Iliya and Dimitur and his roomate Angel.  Both meeting went really well and even though Dimitur and Angel got lost trying to find the church when they finally got there they loved the building and it was really cool to see how amazed they were (have I metioned that having a reall building is amazing.)  Other than the meetings and all the prep work we just had a normal day.
Saturday:
Talk about busy.  First of all we had english which was fun.  Then we had lunch and the whole rest of the day was preparing and holding the baptisim and Fireside.  The baptisim was for a girl that has been taught for 8-10 months (I can't remeber exactly.)  She is really cool and the baptisim was awesoum.  I was incharge of taking all the pictures so lets just say there is an over flow of pictures that I took.  You will hopefully get some too since I figured out a way to get pictures from this computer zala it will just take me another week.  So yea the whole day was really great because of the baptisim and the fireside (I didn't get to attended because I was too busy cleaning up the baptisim with the others.)  I did get to meet the Patriarch and his wife and they are really cool and I like them a lot.  After everything was done we went home to bed. 
Sunday:
Well Sunday was a suprise because at church we watched all of priesthood session of genral confrence in priesthood.  From what I understood it seemed amazing and I can't wait to read it in english.  So that made church go super long but it is alright.  We then had to stay afterwards to take care of a couple of things.  Then we went to a members to drop off the baptisimil pictures so she can make a really cool slide show for the new converet Maria.  Then we still had to weekly plan and it was 5:30 so we contacted home and planned, ate dinner and went to bed.
Dispite how busy the week was it was a really good week and I enjoyed it a lot though I am ready for my P-Day.
love,
Elder Ewell

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hello from Plovdiv

Well I am have now served in Plovdiv for about a week and despite winter like weather I am loving it here (alright I love the cold so that is a good thing too.)  Alright lets answer some questions first.  First of all my companion is from my same group which means he was in the MTC with me.  As I said before he is from Canada and the city is Kitchener which is about an hour from Toronto.  He is really fun to be around and we get along really well and he is really easygoing.  Oh and about the whole senior companion and junior companion thing, he is senior because he is older.  Since we are groupies it doesn't mean much but hey it is kind of nice to be a junior again.  Anyway this week was really fun and good and I am looking forward to the rest of the transfere.  (Oh I forgot my planner again so I will try to add some detials but don't expect much.)
Monday:
Well after writting to everybody we went off with Ayri again.  He took us to this village name Nickolovo.  We went to a park near it that was really beautifull and very peacefull.  I would send pictures but I don't really trust the computers here so give me a week or two and hopefully more pictures will be on there way.  Oh also there was two bears in the park too that we got to see (don't worry they were in a cage not just roaming around.)  After this we got back home watched a movie and then went to cleaning.  Since it was the last P-day of the transfere we were supposed to do a deep clean for the night instead of contacting (it helps with transfere numbers.)  So we did clean for a little but also we went to Miroslav's so I could say goodbye.  We had some Home Made Concord Grape Juice.  So Mom and Dad I did manage to get some this year.  I also played chess with him again and got thourghly beat again.  Then we talked a little and we headed home so I could finish packing.
Tuesday:
Lets see got on a bus at 8:30am with Elder Neuenswander stopped in Sofia and caught another bus to Plovdiv and got to Plovdiv around 4:15pm.  We then took our bags to the chaple (yes we actually have a building in Plovdiv.  It is so nice and wonderful.)  We waited there for about an hour for the other elders.  When they got there Elder Rowden and I had a lesson which was kind of desapointing.  The guy was going to be baptized this Saturday, but something came up and he had to go to England on Friday and he didn't know when he would be back.  So we are going to stay in contact with him and as soon as we know where he is in England we will direct the nearest missionaries to him.  After that we had another no show lesson.  Then we dropped my bags off at the apartment and went shopping for food for the week.  When we got home I unpacked and we went to bed.
Wednesday:
Lets see we had a bunch of dropped meetings and contacted all day and that was about it.
Thursday:
We had district meeting in the morning thursday instead of Wednesday because our District leader Elder Brinkerhoff was sick on Wednesday.  District meeting was good and afterwards we went to a turkish restruant that was just amazing.  After lunch we had language study and then contacted to a office supply store to get more whiteboard markers to teach english.  We then got back to the church to teach English.  English was alot of fun I am teaching 3rd level again and even though I have only 4 students they all like to particapte and understand english well enough that I can talk at full speed.  After english we went home for dinner and bed.
Friday:
Was fun.  We surveyed all morning and then we had a lesson at the church with a guy named Stefan.  He is really cool and actually interested to learn more and to actually read and pray at home.  His only problem is his only free day is Friday so maybe some extra prayers his way so he can be able to come to church on Sundays.  After the meeting we contacted till lunch and language study then we went out and did a power hour which is something new our mission is trying were for an hour (and it doesn't matter what type of contacting you are doing) you put forth 200% effort and just burn out.  It is really fun and I like it a lot.  Also it reminds me of when I was with Elder Spencer because we would do that all the time (this was before it was a mission thing.)  After that it was time to go in for weekly planning.  Elder Rowden as part of his mission tradition made homemade rolls for weekly planning.  They were really good and after weekly planning they made for a great dinner. 
Saturday:
Well Elder Rowden had a baptisim in Sliven so we traveled there and went to it.  The Baptisim was an old investagator of his and it was a really nice baptisim.  After it we came back home and had language study, dinner, and bed.
Sunday:
Was amazing.  I didn't have to do anything because the branch is big enough to support its self (around 45 active members.)  That was the first time in my mission that it was like that.  Also we were in a reall chaple and not just a rented office building or something else like that.  So as you can tell I thoroughly enjoyed church and it made my day.  After church we had two home teaching appiontments with president Cherpolkov (he is part of the mission presidency.)  They went well then we had dinner as well.  OH I forgot.  Two American Air Force soilders came to church this sunday as well because they were in Plovdiv for some training.  They brought with them two Giant bags of Marshmellow Maties and to huge jars of Extra crunchy Jiff Peanut butter.  So even though we are sharing the merchandise with the other elders it is still amazing and made my day as well.  Anyway after the home teaching appiontments we had lunch and after lunch we went contacting too a less-actives house to home teach him.  He was really nice and just wasn't comeing because he just stopped coming not because of any major thing so hopefully we can get him to come again because he is a really nice guy.  After that we hurried home changed and then went to the zone leaders place to have dinner.  We had pizza which was really good and then we came backe home for the night.
Monday:
Well we cleaned, studied, and now we are writting you guys.
Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell

Monday, October 10, 2011

Transfers






Well this week was a lot of fun.  First we had a great P-day, then transfere calls, and finally I finally after a year got to listen to confrence in english.  Though only the Saturday sessions.  And also even though I wasn't there the Payson temple ground breaking happened.  If anybody wants to see pictures of it or any of the other temples go to google and type in lds temples and click the first link.  Then put payson in the search bar our anyother temple.  Anyway lets get on with my week.

Monday:
Well after writting you guys we went to another cave monestary and an old fort with Ayri a member.  It was a lot of fun and I will send some pictures that will be put on my blog.  After that we got back watched a movie and then went to work.  Nothing else very exciting though.  Oh I did pick up half of my clothes that were being refitted and found out that the guy could custom make me a suit for 115 lev.  I will wait till the end of my mission but that might be an opption that is thoroughly explored.  We are going to check out his fabrics today actually. 

Tuesday:
In the morning we contacted people and then went to city express a mail servic to pick up Ayri's mission forms so he can go on a mission.  It will be so cool to see him go on a mission and we are doing our best to help him prepare.  After that we had lunch and then language study.  After that we did a small service project to fix a members tolite but we didn't have the right tools or proper expertise to do it so we told them we would have another member come by who knew how to do it.  We then went and met Ayri at the church and started filling out his mission papers.  That was a lot of fun and just as stressfull as the first time.  We then had seminary with everybody which was fun and a good language study.  That was the night.

Wednesday:
We had district meeting and then we went back to our apartment and made burgars all together and to celebrate my year in country mark and losing 50 pounds I bought a whole No Comment Cake (one of the best cakes in the world) for every body to share.  It was all so good and then we all started to make a Pinata for the branch activity we were having that saturday.  I will also send pictures fo that to.  We also went on splits and after making the Pinata we had a meeting fall through and did some contacting.  That night we added another layer to the pinata.  Oh and we had a amazing smoothing basicly cake, ice-cream, and milk.  It's a cake shake so unhealthy but so good.
  
Thursday:
Elder Neuenswander and I went and payed bills first thing because a day later and they would be late.  We then had a lesson with homeless lady that is actually smart and has her head on her shoulders, but you can't sit within five feet of her.  She is really sweet though and tends to understand the gospel.  We hope she can get a job and a place to stay soon.  After that we sent something of to Sofia and then had lunch and language study were I added another layer to the pinata.  We then switched back to our regular companions and did some contacting and had english class.  Oh right before english class we had transfere calls as well.  Normally we would have them on Friday but President Roth was going to be in Burgas on Friday and he wouldn't have the transfere board with him to make anouncments.  So here is the news I am going to Plovdiv with my groupie Elder Rowden.  I am really excited because Plovdiv is one of the cities I have been wanting to serve in and I really like Elder Rowden and belive it will be a good transfere.  For everybody else: Elder Dropla is staying in Ruse with Elder Walker my groupie, Elder Seymor is staying in Ruse with Elder Bennet my groupie, and Elder Neuenswander is going to Plovdiv and is being zone leader with his groupie Elder Carson.  Outside of transfere calls english was alright and I am excited to be moving.  Oh year Elder Rownden is from Canada near the great lakes area.  I can't rember the exact city and I want to be correct so next week there will be more information.

Friday:
In the morning we had a meeting fall through and just contacted.  Then after lunch we walked out to members house to home teach him got lost and then eventually found his place (the adrress was wrong on the branch list we have.)  We didn't have much time though so we didn't get to stay for long.  After home teaching him we came back home and went to play basketball with some members and investagators but no one showed up so we went to the other elders apartment and started decorating the pinata since we were already in gym clothes.  That was the night.

Saturday:
Elder Neuenswander was sick again (I think because of all the cake.)  So that ment that Elder Dropla and I had to get everything ready for the party.  So we had to cancle english and all morning we were shopping and cleaning and pinata decorating.  We then had lunch and a lesson fall through so we contacted for a little and then had the party.  It was a lot of fun and everybody enjoyed it.  We first demolished the pinata, then we had tacos, then we taught everyone how to make their own Pinatas.  Everyone liked it and we had about 12 people there which is a good turnout for Ruse.  We are a pretty small branch and we don't have very many people so 12 at a party especialy since half of that were non-members was a good turn out for us.  We then cleaned up the party mess and went home. 

Sunday:
Sunday was really good.  We got to church around 9:15 and got ready to watch confrence.  Confrence was amazing since a member named Krasi, who knows perefect english, brought here phone with confrence sound recorded on it then she synced up the sound with video that we had so I finally after a year got to listen to confrence in english.  I loved all the talks but I would have to say my faviort part was President Monson anouncing the temples.  It was good to hear his voice and see his energy and it was really funny/cool to hear the gasp when he annouced the Provo tabernacle temple.  Other than that I love confrence and hopefully next week I will be able to listen to the sunday sessions in english as well.  Well we will see.  After Confrence we cleaned up the church and then went and dropped off some food at a members house.  We then did a little contacting and packing before going to bed.

Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell

Monday, October 3, 2011

October

video
Bats!

It Must Be October

Cave Monestery

Sunset

Someone's Roadkill
Hello everybody.  Well to answer the big question, no, I will not be able to see confrence for maybe another two weeks if not a month.  And then it will most likely be in bulgarian so I will have to wait till next month or even later for the Liahona issue.  This week was pretty crazy though so it was good anyways.

Monday:
After writting you guys we went on a trip to a cave monestary with Ayri a member which was a lot of fun.  When we got back we just hung around for a while and then went to work.  It was a good evening though nothing special.

Tuesday:
We contacted about all day and had a meeting fall through.  At six we had seminary and then on the way home there was a classical rock concert in the center of town on the way home.  It trunked me out but the band was really good so it was okay.  We got back home and started to realax.  It was around 9:45 and I am reading in my bed just getting ready to go to sleep when I here one of the annoying bugs, that are like little green beatles, come into our room and flying into the walls (they are really stupid.)  I don't pay it any mind and continue reading when all of the sudden I hear a swoosh swoosh.  I look up because that is not a bug and as soon as I look up a bat flies infront of my face.  I yelled and got out of the room and by the time I was out there was three bats in our room trying to get the bug.  We took some pictures and then realizing they weren't going to get out on there own we tried to help them.  Okay I tried to help my companion just took a broom to one and almost killed it.  But after looking like an idiot for about 15 minutes I finally managed to get them all out.  Well that got me up and it was even funnier because none of my stuff was harmed but my companions bed was pieed on.  Lets just say it was revenge for the broom attack.  Well that was fun and pictures and hopefully a video will be on the blog.

Wednessday:
We had district meeting and made some plans for a branch activity next saturday and then just contacted all day and home taught Tihomir.  He is doing good and he is incredibly smart and it is always fun to teach him.

Thursday:
Well the day was just normal contacting except for lunch.  We had lunch with the Americans that are living in ruse.  The boy is named Chris and his girlfriend is Hanna.  They are here because Hanna has a scholarship from American Goverment to teach english in bulgaria.  They are a really nice couple and hopefully with continued contact they will be interested in the gospel. Other than that nothing to interesting.  Oh yea we home taught our branch president which was a lot of fun.  He is a good guy and it nice to have a branch president that cares about the members.  Also we had english which was the same as always.

Friday:
Basicly contacting and weekly planning.

Saturday:
Well after our morning studies we had english.  English was exsasperating.  We were teaching past tense but to teach it was have to use incorrect bulgarian sentences because they don't have correct translations if we use correct bulgarian.  Well half of our class are bulgarian grammar teachers and they couldn't and wouldn't let us use the examples and just kept trying to teach us bulgarian.  It was argravating but it was alright.   After english we contacted a little and then cleaned the building.  After cleaning the building we found out we had no sacrament cups and so we had to go buy some cups and make some so we could use them for sacrament.  We didn't have any normal ones because the mail service that we use here was closed on saturdays and we were supposed to pick it up on saturday.  We then had a lesson with Miroslav which went really well.  We taught him about being a member missionary and service and he understood everything just fine.  We then came home for bed.

Sunday:
It was a good day.  Church was good especially since Miroslav recieved the Aronic Priesthood.  It is really cool to see someone recive and the priesthood and hopefully next week he will be blessing the sacrament which will be really good to see.  After church we went to go find a member I have been trying to find for the last 4 months and we finally got to talk with him.  He is really nice and has actually been to america and knows perfect english.  He has completely lost his testimony though and it was really sad to see that and hopefully as we continue to work with him he will regain it.  Oh yea his name is Roman.  Other than all of that we just contacted all day.  One funny story from contacting is that we stopped one guy and his daughter to talk with him and when we asked him if he we could he asked for his umbrella from his daughter and then acted like he was going to beat Elder Dropla with it.  He then stopped and sad he was joking but it gave us a little scare.  He was actually really nice and cool.  He just has an interesting personality.  That was sunday for you.

Well sorry that this letter isn't that long this week I forgot my planner so I had to do everything from memroy and didn't have a reference to help me rember. 

Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26

Were those my pants?

The Birthday Party

A castle

Ruse At Night

Our Baptism

Reballing
Hello everybody and I have some fun pictures for you all that hopefully my mom will put on the blog so check it out if you want to see them it is http://www.twoyearsinbulgaria.blogspot.com/.  Well the last couple of days were really hetic but a whole lot of fun so let me get  on with them.

Thursday:
After writting you guys we went reballing at the mall with all the elders.  Reballing is basicly paint balling but with rubber balls.  It was a ton of fun and even after an hour I could still play more.  It is so great getting thin because I am in shape (almost but better than before) and I can do so much more.  After reballing we ate some lunch and then went back to the church for haircuts, movies, and interviews.  My interview was great and it relived a huge wieght of my shoulders and I feel like a new missionary.  Oh how I love interviews they are my faviort part of zone confrences.  After interviews we went to the apartment we were staying at and went to bed.

Friday:
In the morning we went and did Yoga on the beach.  It was fun but I am still a little sore from it.  We also before Yoga had a little time so we made a sand castle on the beach with three bridges that survived all the way through yoga.  After yoga we changed and got ready for zone conference.  Zone conference was a lot of fun and we got a new tool to help us.  It is a white board to write all of our investagators on and their problams and solutions so that we can better keep track of them.  I like it a lot and think it will help a ton.  After zone conference we got a ride back to Ruse from the Ap's which was a lot of fun.  Back home we got a pizza for dinner and then went to bed.

Saturday:
Woke up and baked all of the cookies and then it was time for english.  English was fun but I had to teach it alone because Elders Neuenswander and Seymor were in Varna for a baptisim that they had to attend.  After english we got everything ready for Miroslavs baptisim and then we had the baptisim.  We did have one hick up though.  The programs were messed up but that is nothing major and the baptism went great despite it.   I had the same feelling as always after Miroslav was baptized.   That is like when you send a kid off to school for the first time.  Basiclly he is on his own now I can support him a little but now it is up to him and it is a happy feeling and a sad one too.  But it is what he needs and his life will become so much better because of it.  After the baptism we cleaned everything up and then it was time for bed and I slept lik a log.

Sunday:
Found out that Elder Neuenswander had a stomac virus and so we went to church with out the other elders.  Church was good and it was great to have Miroslav conferem and reciev the gift of the holy ghost.  It is always such a special and amazing thing to have somebody be baptized for it really is the most important decision in their life for it is the turning point and there is no turning back.  I had to teach Gospel Principles but with Mitko's help (young, cool, member) the lesson went great and then we had priesthood and church was over.  After church we talked with the members and then went back home.  We then had lunch and planned for the next week breaking out the new white board and then after planning we went out surveying.  It was a good surveying session and we got to talk with a lot of cool people but we still didn't find anybody who was interested in learning more.  After surveying we came home for dinner and bed.

I love you all and thank you for all fot he support

Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell

Sunday, September 25, 2011

September 22

Well this long fast of letters wasn't to bad for us because we managed to keep busy and the time just flew by.  I am glad to see that eveybody is doing great and I hope you all continue to do well.  Well lets get on with the week.  Oh this will have a little less detial than before because it is 10 days and not just 6

Monday:
Well after weriting you guys we went window shopping, gokarting, and bowling.  It was a ton of fun adn a good start to a 2 week stretch of missionary work.  After the fun and games we went to work and had a lesson fall through.  So we contacted with little success for the rest of the night.

Tuesday:
After morning stuedies we street boarded until lunch and language study.  While street boarding we met a American that is going to live here for a year.  He is good friends with Mitko a member here and he is really cool.  After lunch and language study we surveyed until our meeting with tihomir the member that made a complete 180 degree turn around.  He had been inactive for 7 years and against the church, but now he wants to become a faithful active member again.  We don't know were the change came from but we are reteaching him everything.  After the meeting that went really well we met with Miroslav.  We found out he couldn't come to church on sunday so we had to push his baptismil date back to next saturday.  At least it is just work that he can't get out of and not a morality or worthiness issue.  We taught him the ten commandments and obedience to the law of the land.  The lesson went well and after wards we came home for dinner and bed.

Wednesday:
After our morning studies we had district meeting.  District meeting was a lot of fun and after wards we had lunch.  After lunch we went surveying all day, except an hour for language study, until 5:30.  At 5:30 we went on splits and I got to work with Elder Simor the Greenie.  We had a meeting with some inactive members that went well.  They are really poor but love the gospel and it was fun to teach them.  After the meeting we had dinner and went to bed.

Thursday:
Basicly contacted all day until english.  English was fun as always and afterwards we went back with our origanal companions and had dinner and went to bed.

Friday:
All day contacting and weekly planning.  We did get a call though saying Elder Dropla needed to be in Sofia on tuesday for passport work.  Well that makes Monday and Tuesday real nice and full of travel.  At least it helped the week go by a lot faster.

Saturday:
Because most of level one couldn't come in the morning we moved their class to six, but second and third level were sitll at eleven.  So Elder Neuenswander and I had language study while the others taught.  We then had lunch and surveyed until it was time to clean the church and then we had english  while the other elders language studied and then dinner and bed.

Sunday:
Had church which was good.  After church we went to Ayri's house.  He is a 22 year old member and we were helping him fill out his mission papers, but we need President Roth to unlock the papers online so we can do them.  We will talk to President Roth about it tomorow though at Zone confrence and hopefully we will be able to get the ball rolling.  I am very excited for Ayri and it will be great to see him on a mission.  Anyway after that we went contacting all day until dinner and bed.

Monday:
Yea P-Day!  Oh wait its not until thursday!  Nooooooo!  Actually monday wasn't that bad.  After having a meeting get dropped in the morning we contacted a little and then got on our bus to Sofia.  Got to Sofia around seven.  After getting situated and everything put away inthe apartment we were staying at we went to bed.

Tuesday:
Got to the passport place around 9:30 and droped off Elder Dropla with his groupies to get their passport work done.  Elder Kariya and I sat at a sweet shop and studied while waiting for them to finish.  After they were all done Elder Dropla and I got a bus back home and in the evening met with Tihomir and Miroslav.  We taught the word of wisdom and the law of chastity to Tihomir and the Priesthood to Miroslav.  Both lessons went really well and it was a good end to the day.

Wednesday:
We went contacting slash shopping for a Birthday present for Mitko a member here who was having his party today.  After that we had a little lunch and then set up for the party and had it.  The party was a lot of fun and Chris the american and his girlfriend came since they were friends of Mitko as well.  It was fun to talk with them and Mitko loved the party.  After cleaning up the party it was 6:20 so we headed home so I could prepare food for Miroslav's baptism since I won't have any other time.  After makeing every thing it was time for bed.

Well that was the long fast week.  Today should be fun since it is a zone p-day and we are all going R-balling.  Anyway one good thing about the long fasts is that guess what Monday is around the corner and then I get to write again.  Yea!!!

Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell

Monday, September 12, 2011

Get Ready for A Long Fast

Hey I guess you are wondering what the subject heading is about.  Well I will tell you.  Next week we are having a zone confrence in Varna on friday, because of this our P-Day is temporarly being moved to thursday.  This means that I will not be able to write you guys until the thursday of next week.  Yea it is going to be terreble but hey it is only for one week and then everything is going back to normal.  Anyway lets get started with this week.
 
Monday:
Well you already know about monday and the trip to Veliko Turnivo.  Well after writting you guys we caught a train back and instead of two and half hour travel time like in the morning the train took us 5 hours to get back home.  Well that was unexcpected but we were still able to get out and work for about two hours before bed.
 
Tuesday:
First thing we did after our morning studies was that we meet with the other elders to go over the former investagators in our area book to see if any of them were people that they were teaching.  Well after looking through the area books (yes we have two one just filled with former investagators and the other is the normal everyday use one) we only found about 4 and then we split ways and went and had lunch.  After lunch we cleaned our apartment because we didn't get a chance to on monday do to the train taking way to long.  Also our apartment was turning into a disaster zone and we needed to get it done.  After cleaning we went out surveying/tracting for a while.  Something funny that happened is that we gave a book of mormon to a lady and then she tried to pay us ten lev for it.  After talking with her for about 30 minutes on how we couldn't take it we finally were able to leave her.  We then had a language study before our meeting with Tihomir.  He is the member that was inactive for a long time and just mysterosly turned around.  We are meeting with him once a week to reteach him everything.  This week we retaught him the plan of salvation and the lesson went really well.  We then had a meeting with Miroslav our investagator who is getting baptized.  Elder Neueswander went with me to meet him at least once before the interview.  We taught him about prayer again and the lesson went really well.  After the meeting we got our companions back and went back home for bed.
 
Wednesday:
After our studies we had district meeting and then it was basicly surveying and member hunting the rest of the day with little success.
 
Thursday:
In the morning after our studies we went surveying and then had lunch and language study and then more surveying.  Then we had the baptismal interview with Miroslav.  The interview went great and he is all ready to get baptized this saturday.  After the interview we had english class again.  And to answer some questions at english class we give a spiritual thought at the end of the class and then we will invite them to church and to take the lessons.  If there is somebody that we feel needs to be taught or shows interest in the spiritual thoughts we invite them personaly.  Angelina from Pleven was a english student so it does work it just is slow and like everything else her the people aren't very reciptive to the gosple.  After english we went back home for dinner and bed.
 
Friday:
Basicly contacting/surveying/tracting all day until four o' clock.  At four we weekly planned and then had dinner.  After dinner we met with Miroslav to plan for his baptisim and who he wants to do what, and he wants me to baptize him.  I am happy and excited for that, but I also wish he would have picked a member so he could have that special bond with them.  Anyway I am really excited for the baptisim and it should be amazing and awesome.  After the meeting with him we went home to bed.
 
Saturday:
We had english right after our morning studies and ten we had lunch and surveyed all day.  We did clean the church at 3:30 but other than that it was just surveying and surveying.
 
Sunday:
Church was good.  I taught gospel prinicples and since Miroslav was the only investagator there and we hadn't taught him about priesthood.  The class was a lot of fun but I always feel like I am buchering the language whenever I have to teach our talk for a long time.  At the end of church we had lunch and then went and taught Irie a member that knows perfect english and used to work for carnivel cruise line.  The lesson was really cool and at the end of it he asked us if we would help him fill out his mission papers.  We instantly agreed and said anytime anywhere.  It will be so cool to see him go on a mission.  After the lesson Elder Dropla was getting a fever so we headed back home and where inside the rest of the day.  His fever broke before we went to bed, but it did get high before then so it was a good idea to head in.
 
Monday:
Well the other elders are in Sofia for passport work again and so we aren't going to be traveling today.  We are actually going to take it easy so that Elder Dropla can fully recover so he doesn't have a relaspe.
 
Everything is great here and I am having the best time on my mission with Elder Dropla and it feels amazing.   I hope you all are doing great back home and are keeping the spirit with you.
 
Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell
Miraslov and his new suit!

Ruse at night


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day

Hello everybody.  Sorry but this letter is going to be short because I don't have anytime to write because we are in Veliko Turnivo to see the fortress since we are the closest city to it and it is P-Day.  Today has been a blast and I have had a great time.  Pictures will be sent later.
Monday:
It was a fun P-day because we had about 4 kilograms of pizza while watching a movie.  It was fatty but a lot of fun.  Also I forgot to say this but as of last week I have lost 48 pounds in bulgaria.  I am at 189 pounds as of right now.  Anyway after p-day was done we put up the baptismal font to test it and after a lot of apoxy glue it was fixed.  That was monday.
Tuesday:
After our morning studies we surveyed for a while and then we had lunch and then went to go do a service project but once we got there we found out it didn't need to be done till thursday and that it couldn't either so we home taught the member and then went home changed and had a meeting with a new investagator that is amazing.  Her name is Nickoleta and she knows perfect english.  The lesson went really well and I have high hopes for her.  We then had another dropped meeting and then we went surveying until bed time and dinner.
Wednesday:
After our morning studies we had district meeting and then we had lunch and then all day it was surveying until dinner time. 
Thursday:
We did some surveying in the morning because we had a the service project again in the afternoon.  For the project we organized a members wood that he had got shipped for him.  We worked a little to fast for him and we had to take a forced brake for a while which was funny.  After the project he fed us and the other elders shared a spiritual thought.  We then went back home and had english class.  English was amazing we had 71 People there and it was huge.  We only had 37 for first level but it was still fun teaching that many people.  We then had a language study and then went to bed.
Friday:
We surveyed in the morning and then we had lunch, language study, and fixed the white board in the church because it broke during english class which was kind of embarissing.  We then surveyed a little while and then had weekly planning.  After weekly planning we had a birthday party for a member we were invited to and we went and it was a lot of fun and we got to share a little about the gospel with her aunt and uncle.  After that it was time for bed.
Saturday:
After our morning studies we had english and that was dissapointing.  We had only 7 people in first level because it was a working day and nobody else could come.  We then had lunch and language study and then went surveying until we had to clean the building.  After cleaning we had a dropped meeting and then went surveying until dinner time.
Sunday:
Church was a little sad because a lot of members were at a youth confrence and so we only had 10 people at church.  Other than that it was alright and then we had to do some branch work with the branch president.  After that we contacte all day until 6 when we had a meeting with member and then we had a meeting with Miroslav.  He is so cool his family and friends had given him some anti matierale but that didn't even bother him and he was just more worried about that he had no proper clothing for church.  So I gave him one of my old suits and it fit perfectly.  The meeting went well and I have to go because we have to leave.

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29

Well this week was a long week filled with dropped apointments, but it was a fun week and flew by and I can't belive it is monday again.  So let us get started with the week.

Monday:
After writting you guys we had some branch fund to do and then we had lunch and walked around the city window shopping with the other elders while looking for things to see.  We then went to the church and watched "Tangled" to cool down and then we went back to the apartment to clean.  After cleaning we went to work were we finally put up the last of the english posters and then got some good soild surveying time in.  The survey changes every once in a while and we are prototyping a new one right now.  The basic process behind it is we ask some questions like do you belive in god or are families important.  Then at the end we use the information we got to give a short little message about why we are here that should apply to them.  If all goes well we get a number from them to call and set up an appointment.  If not well they just get our number and a small brochure incase they are interested later or have a friend who is intrested.  It is better to get a number because nobody ever calls the number.  From my whole mission I have only had one person act on their own and use the information on the brochure to come to church.  Surveying though is my faviorite finding tool because we get to be outside talking with people and I belive other than street boarding it is the best way to find people here besides member refferals (and we don't get any of those very often.)  After surveying we went in to bed.

Tuesday:
We surveyed in the morning and then had one meeting drop, lunch, language study, a home teaching appointment, and another meeting drop.  So we then had dinner and surveyed a bit till our meeting with Miroslav.  After being owned in chess we talked about the baptismal covenat and went over the interview questions.  Then we asked him if he would like to be baptized on the 17 and he said yes!  And to answer your question dad he would make the 4th person that I have had influnce in teaching get baptized.  I have seen 6 baptismal services and 8 people baptized if this one goes through.  Yea this mission is really difficult to get numbers so just a little something for little Max.  Despite survying hundreds of people and only 1 lesson the week wasn't too bad.  But I don't mind about the numbers because it makes every success all the more sweater, this mission is young and when the hight baptizing missions *cough* (brazil) were young they were growing about the same rate we are now, and I am haveing to much fun here on the mission.  The thing that prevents so many people here though is tradition of there fathers.  I cannot tell you how many times I here I am provoslav (orthodox in bulgarain) so I don't need anything else, and then you ask why they are orthodox and they say because it is tradition.  I would be fine with that if they were all faithful but they are only orthodox in name they don't even go to church except for baby blessings, and maybe easter.  Anyway I love this mission despite the difficulties and it makes me think that my work is really doing something because it feels so hard, and once something happens it makes it all the better.  So I am very excited for Miroslav and I can wait for his baptisim just keep him in your prayers.  After the meeting with him we went back home for bed.

Wednesday:
After our morning studies we had district meeting with the zone leaders who were in for splits.  District meeting was really great and I have come to love any oppurtunty I have to be able to sit down and listen to others teach.  After district meeting we had lunch and then another dropped meeting.  We then surveyed for a bit and then for 3 hours we were at the church for english sign ups.  We got around 50 people who signed up which means we will have around 70-100 at english which will be great.  It gives us a chance to teach people here that we are normal and that we are the true church.  It was really funny to see Elder Dropla's and Neuenschwander's reactions to one english student.  She is around 25 and gorgous, also lets just say you have to focus on her face while you teach because the clothing will just distract.  Well they freaked out and it was hilarous.  Anyway that was about the highlight of that day.  After english class sign ups we went home for dinner and bed.

Thursday:
We went surveying again after our morning studies and then had lunch and language study.  After these we had a english planning meeting and then another dropped meeting.  We then surveyed until our meeting that night with a less-active member.  The meeting went fine.  Her name is Boyanka and between work and care for her mom who has Alzhiemers (or something like it) she says she has no time to come to church.  We committed her to once a month though and she agreed.  Lets pray and hope that she follows through this time.  We then had dinner and bed.

Friday:
In the morning while it was cool we surveyed and then had lunch and weekly planning.  Oh while surveying today we finally got 2 reciveds for us.  We had gotten about 4 other reciveds (that is contact info) throughout the week but three were for other missions (India, England, and California) and one for Varna, so it was nice to finally get some for us and they are really cool their names are Anna and Nicoleta.  Please keep them in your prayers.  After weekly planning we surveyed some more and then had a meeting with less active named Tihomir.  The meeting went really well and he knows his church history better than I do (at least with the dates.)  I really hope he stays active because he is great and normal so please keep him in your prayers as well.  After the meeting with him we went to see if we had a lesson with Miroslav because we couldn't remeber but he was in his village.  We then came back home and made the best mashed potatoes ever.  They had hamburger sausage, eggs, Cirane (like feta cheese), galic, milk, and butter in them and it was so good. After eating we went to bed.

Saturday:
We had english in the morning and I was teaching first level with Elder Neuenshwander.  First level is so much fun to teach because you can actually see them progress in the language.  After english we had lunch and then waited for some stragling english students because our posters had two times up for saturday but we had changed our plans to just one.  So we waited for the others to see if they would show up.  Some did and we taught them and then told them the change in plans.  After english we cleaned the building and then went surveying until dinner and bed.

Sunday:
Had church and then branch funding we had to do.  We then had a home teaching meeting with the other elders and then surveyed and tracted all day.  We did get let in by a muslim and he just talked about his faith and wouldn't listen to us but even though it was a waist of time it was very educational.  We then came back for dinner and bed.

I love you all and sorry about the hard time max it is just funny and frustrating to read your numbers some times.

Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Transfers

First of all this letter is going to be really short because I don't have much time.  So lets us all the time I have and get to work.

Monday:
Just another regualar P-day.  During the working hours we did our deep clean and then there was a small gettogether of english students so the other elders could say good bye.  We then had dinner with a member that was really good.

Tuesday:
Basicly traveling all day and settling in my new companion.  His name is Michael Dropla.  He is from Columbia, South Carolina and he his full of energy which is really refreshing.  He is really good at the language despite only being out for about 2 months.  I am very excited to be working with him and I belive this transfere will be a good one.

Wednessday:
After we had morning studies we had our district meeting.  It was really good and I am looking forward to working with this district as well.  My district composes of me, Elder Dropla, Elder Neuenschwander, and a greening Elder Simor.  After district meeting we had lunch and then language study.  We then went and surveyed for about 3 hours and then advertised for english. 

Thursday:
After our morning studies we advertised for english again by putting up posters and then then we had lunch.  While advertising though somebody didn't like what we were doing even though we were following the law and they tried to take our Bucket of glue.  They couldn't so they kicked it destroying our bucket and spilling glue everywhere.  Anyway we just bought a new bucket and it is just a fun story to tell now.  After advertising we had lunch and then language study.  We then went surveying and then had a meeting with Stefi.  The lesson went well but she doesn't have the spark to continue on her own so please pray for that.  We then went street boarding with the other elders and that was the night.

Friday:
All morning was taken up with weekly planning and then we had language study.  We then went street boarding with the other elders and then had dinner.  After dinner we met with Miroslav and had a really good lesson with him.  We watched the joseph smith prophet of the restoration film with him and the spirit was really strong.  I am hopeing to commit him to baptizim in our next meeting so please pray for luck and success.  We then went home for bed.

Saturday:
After our morning studies we had a lesson with Stefi that went terrible.  We got the information across but it just didn't feel good.  I am really loseing hope for her so please pray for her.    We then had a planning meeting with the other elders to prepare for english and we organized the missionarie and english supplies in the church.  We then street boarded for a awhile together and then went advertising for english again.  We then had dinner and bed.

Sunday:
Church was super busy.  We had a member that was less active for years come to church and we got a meeting with him for friday.  Also there was a lot of buissness that we had to do as well.  And then I met with a member and Elder Simor so Elder Simor could practice giving the first lesson.  He did great and he was really good with the language.  We then cleaned up our area book and went surveying for the rest of the night.

Again sorry for the short letter but I don't have time for a bigger one and I will right more next week.

Monday, August 15, 2011

20 Years in Bulgaria

The latest development in the Mcdonalds empire Mcdonalds in a box

All the missionaries

Dinner

Walking the streets

Me, My Grandfather, My father

The members
Well this letter is going to be a little short this week because of the 20 year celebration.  Just because if I tried to write everything it would take me forever.  So lets get started.

Monday:
Really a normal P-day we wrote, shopped, and then we made enchiladas with the other elders.  The enchiladas were really good and after that we went to the church to do a family home evening activity that all of the members had begged us to do.  Well only two showed up.  Anyway it was fun despite that and after the family home evening we went home to bed.

Tuesday:
After our studies we went around surveying and had a lot of fun doing it.  It was one of my better surveying sessions and I don't know why.  After surveying for a couple of hours we had lunch and then language study.  After that the day was fill with phone tag between us and our investagators and some surveying.  That took up most of the day.

Wednesday:
We had a meeting fall through in the morning and so we surveyed until lunch.  Elder Rothisburger was in Ruse with his family because his family had come to pick him up for his mission.  His whole family was there his brothers, sister, and parents.  It was really fun eating with them and they were really nice.  After lunch we had district meeting and then we had language study.  After that we surveyed for a little until we had a meeting with Miroslav one of our investagators.  We taught him the law of tithing, chastity, and word of wisdom.  He took it really well and seemed to understand it all.  After the meeting it was time for bed.

Thursday:
Most of the morning was taken up with packing for the 20 year celebration because we had to travel to Sofia spend the night and then go to Plovdiv were the celebration was in the morning.  So the morning was taken up with making sure we had everything we needed for three nights away from home and then we had to catch a bus all the way to Sofia which is about 6 hours away by bus.  We got in around 7:30 and went to the mission home were I finally got my package.  Thank you so much I love the otterpops I just have to controll my self now and I love the mesuring cups but most of all I love the photo album it is great and perfect.  Thank you so much mom.  Anyway we then went from the mission home to the elders apartment that we were staying at and the place we were staying at was were my Tranier or in mission jargon Father's apartment is.  He is heading home this transfere or according to mission jargon he is dieing.  So it was great to see him one last time.  Anyway that was the night.

Friday:
We got up at six in the morning so we could catch our bus to Plovdiv.  After we got to Plovdiv we first went to a shop so Elder Spencer (my father) could buy a Guveche pot that he could take home and then we checked into the hotel we were staying at.  All of the missionaries came in for the celebration so President Roth basicly bought out a whole hotel for us.  It was fun staying in a hotel and the place was pretty nice.  At twelve o'clock we all met down at the church and it was cool to see all of the missionaries.  I also got to see  my traniers cleanup companion who had came back to bulgaria for the reunion (according to mission jargon that makes him my grandma because cleanup companions are mothers, usually it only goes that far but some missionaries *cough* me add in brothers and cousins and stuff like that.  Most don't because it gets really complicated eventually but I have fun with it.  So technicly I have been serving with my half brother for the last transfere.  His tranier (father) was my clean up (mother) and because of the role change I add the term half.  Anyway I probelly get into this to much but this should help with the rest of the letter.)  After saying hello and all that we began a meeting with all the missionaries.  We first had lunch and then we all went on "rescue visits" basicly all of the missionaries spread out across Plovdiv and between us all we contacted every single inactive member and filled out either a addres relocator if they didn't live there anymore or invited them to church.  Elder Olmsted and I had five people to visit and 2 of them didn't live there any more and the other three we got to meet and invite to the event.  After the storming of Plovdiv we all met back to gether and then went to dinner.  The mission had resevered a Turkish restraunt for all the missionaries to commemorate Turkey being added to our mission.  Dinner was a ton of fun and the food was really good.  Something funny though is that we all walked there together and it was amazing to see 50 missionaries walking the streets of Plovdiv.  I don't know if that helped our image or not I don't think anybody was quite brave enough to heckle us when there were 50 of us there.  After dinner we walked back to the church and then had a two talks from the first counsler of the area presidency and his wife.  The talks were really good and I took some extinsive notes in my talk journal.  After the talks we heard the dieing missionaries testimonies and then went back to the hotel for bed.

Saturday:
So many people!!!!  Wow there were a ton of people there.  We got up and then went to the hotel were the celebration was being held and I stood by the doors to guide people in and greet them.  There were tons we had around 400-450 members there.  It was so cool to see everybody and I was so happy to see my former investagators from previous cities baptized and unbaptized there.  Sister Lawrence (the area presidentsies first conseler's wife) said in her talk that the joy she saw in members greating past missionaries was a type of the pure joy we will have in the kindom of god and I can say that it certanly felt that way.  After everybody was seated we listened to some talks and from the mission presidency and area presidency and then we all went to the church building for lunch.  We got to socilize there and also I got to meet my grandpa on my fathers side.  His name is Robbie Briggs and My father Elder Spencer killed him (served with him his dieing transfere) and it was so cool to see him.  I have a family picture that I will send so you will get to see him and forgive him for the beard his razor got stolen on the way to Bulgaria but other than that it was so fun to see him.  After lunch and talking with everybody we went back to the church to here testimonies from some preselected members and then we heard President Lawrences testimony and he gave the mission and country a blessing that was really cool to hear and I wrote all the main parts down.  We then had to run to catch a bus back to sofia and then a train back to Ruse.  It was hetic and we finally got home around 3 in the morning.  So we went to bed as soon as we unpacked.

Sunday:
Woke up finding out I had slept past my alarm by half an hour and then we got ready for church.  Church was short because of the night train we had to take because we wanted the members to be able to get some sleep.  So we just had sacrament and going away testimonies from the leaving missionaries.  Oh yea I forgot we got our transfere calls on Friday while we were all together.  We got them in a personalized letter from President Roth and I am going to stay in Ruse and I am going to clean up Elder Dropla, so I am going to be a mom YEA!!!  Anyway after church the other elders said there good byes and then we went home for lunch.  Oh a miricale that happened is that a member that has been inactive for years because of a doctrinale issue came to church and he said he would come again next week.  That was amazing and all of the members were shocked.  Anyway his name is Tihomir and please pray for him.  Anyway after lunch we surveyed all day and then had a final dinner with the other elders.