Hello and greetings from a winter frozen land. Well as you can most likely deduce it has been freezing cold here. It has snowed every day this week and the sky is still covered by clouds. Luckily I am set so I am not freezing that much. Even with the best winter coat standing in freezing temperatures all day still get to you. So this week we have been doing a lot of tracting because it is warmer. Tracting is warmer because they don't have individual houses here in the cities they just have giant communistic apartment blocks and the inside the block it is at least above freezing. Anyway I am rambling and you probably want to here about my week.
After writing to you guys we got some chinese food and chilled at the church (literally and figuratively.) When it was time for me and Elder Corless to go out and work we went up to the north-western part of town ,called Storgozia, to tract. We actually had some success we got a return appointment with two 18 year olds who are renting out the apartment for school and an old couple with the family name Lazarovie. Other than that it was a pretty unsuccessful night so around nine o'clock we headed back on home.
Was AMAZING! Okay I might be exaggerating a little but I was so happy. What made me happy is that after our morning studies we were making some phone calls to see if anybody could meet with us. While going through the area book Elder Corless got an impression to call Angelina an investagator of mine and Elder Pattersons who had disiaperd off the face of the earth. She answered. I was so suprised and happy. She was at school and schedualed a meeting with us for the next day and I will leave it at that for the moment and continue on with the rest of the week. After the calls we had language study and lunch. After lunch we met with an investatgator name George. We met at his house and visited for a while. Basicly he is really impressed by the missionaries and like us and our church a lot which is why he comes, but he doesn't think there is any hope for him. Hopefully we can change his mind in the near future. After meeting with him we went and registered me in the city of Pleven. Now Bulgaria knows were I live for at least the next month. After registring we tried to contact a lady named Rusitsa, but she wasn't home. We then tracted some more for the rest of the night until cleaning at the church. When cleaning came we went to the church and after cleaning it was time to go to bed.
After our morning studies we had district meeting. District meeting was fun and my Bulgarian made a huge jump forward today. I don't understand why it happens like this. It is like I am learning and learning and then I a hit a wall of mud and I am stuck trying to swim/dig through it. Then one day it is just gone and it is like my mind is in sprint mode and I am learning 2 to 5 times faster. Anyways at least the wall is gone and my bulgarian is getting better. What helps me a ton is translating. Oh translating bulgarian to english and visa versa helps so much. Anyway back to the day. After district meeting we had lunch with the other elders and we set up a meeting with a potentional investagator named Ivo. After lunch we had language study and tried to contact Rusitsa again but she wasn't home again. We then had a meeting with Mima. The meeting was great and she is so ready for baptizim we just haven't felt like it was the right time yet. After her meeting Angelina was supposed to show but she didn't which bumbed me out. We tried calling her but she didn't answer. We will learn more latter though. After the supposed meeting with Angelina we waited for Ivo but he never showed. We called him and found out that he had not come into pleven because of the weather. So we went tracting and then to bed.
After our morning studies we called Angelina again and she answered, Yay! Aparantly she had to do somthing at school and couldn't make it, but she said she would come to english on saturday. After that we had language study and then met with Zhivko the guy that got a baptizmal date last friday. The meeting went well but midway through somthing set him off and he started talking about his back and how much it hurt and we couldn't stop him. Anyway we did learn that he is a very devote Provoslav (Greek orthadox) which is great if we can turn that devotion towards the right direction. After the meeting with him was had lunch and then went and tried to contact the Lazarovie family but they weren't home. So we went to a meeting with the other elders investagotor who was going to teach us all how to make banitza. For once though she wasn't home so Elder Corless and I tracted a little while up in Storgozia and then came back for english. In English Elder Rowden and I fininshed making the story we had started last time with our class. After english we had dinner and went to bed.
After our morning study we got a phone call from sofia about some law changes in passports. They said that the office elders were going to come up and give some stuff to Elder Corless so he could take care of these changes right away so that they could get him his new lichna carta before his old one expires and he becomes illegal. Don't worry everything is taken care of and Elder Corless won't have to be deported. Any way after this call we caught a bus out to Nickolie and Iveta's house to home teach them. They made us some home made Kufteta (flat meatballs) and mashed potatoes with onion. It was really good and afterwards we taught them a little but had to leave early because we had to meet the office elders. We met up with them at the aftorgara and then while Elder Brown and Corless were taking care of everything I took Elder Bishop on a little tour/contacting excursion were I set up a meeting with Ivo for saturday night. We then met up with Elder Brown and Corless and took the office elders out to eat. After eating we planned for the week and then went to a charaty concert that the potentional investatgator (Eflogie) who is the admistrater of the Pleven orchrastra had invited us too. We were allowed to go because it helps our image in bulgairia. The Concert was fun and there was some good singers and a really good young opera singer and some not so good ones. One of the not so good ones was this old bulgarian star that came out and sang along to a old song of his and he was wearing a white leather with pistacio green fringes suit. Oh it was disgusting but hey it was still fun. After the concert we went home, planed and went to bed.
After our morning studies we had english, and Angelina showed up yea. After our english class were we discussed the holiday coming up in bulgaria called Baba Mart (Grandma March) we were able to talk with her a little. She said she was sick and that it happens every year but that is about it and it seemed like she didn't want to dwell on it. We didn't but she did promise to come to church. After english and talking to Angelina Elder Rowden and I had lunch and then started to organize the pictures in the closet. It took forever but now the closet is completely organized in the church and everything is easy to find. After this we called some people and then waited for the meeting with Ivo. He didn't show at first so we called him and he said he would be a little late. So we waited till around 8(PM) and then called him to find out he had gone home. We then went up had dinner and went to bed.
The first big news was non of the people who had thing to do in church were able to come. So church was basicly missionary run. It was fun and Angelina came and we were able to get a meeting with her for tuesday, so her story will continue next week. I am really happy that we have found her. I have prayed really hard that we would be able to find her and it brings me no end of joy to have been able to have found her again. After church were we had 13 people total (that is including us four missionaries) Elder Corless and I were stuck in the building doing branch work for the next several hours. After the hours of being trapped we called some people and then went out tracting. During tracting we found one jehova witness who was fun to talk to and a guy that was realy sad and actually cried because he had a son die 4 years ago and even though we tried to tell him that he would be able to live with him again he still didn't want to listen because it was all just words. So when he closed the door I left one of our plan of salvation pamphlets in his door and I hope that he gets it and reads it. Other than that it ws pretty uneventfull other than that we were able to meet the Lazarovie family who couldn't meet for long and hadn't been able to meet earlier because the wife had a fever. So we got their phone number so we could call and then finished tracting and went home to bed.
Well we did some studing and then cleaned shopped and am now writing. After writing we are going to go by some Martinitsa. They are little braclets of red and white that the bulgarains use to celeberate Baba Mart. Baba Mart begins on Robbies birth day the first of March. On this day all the bulagarians put on their braclets that they have bought and recived. When they see the first stork or flower of spring they then take off their braclets and put them on the nearest fruit tree. I am looking forward to it and if you wan't to know more look it up because that is all I know. I will update you on the holiday next week.
Well that is my week and thank you for all the letters. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBBIE.
Austin James Ewell