Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter, Give Me A Dollar!

For those of you how don't know the subject is a inside joke with my family and you don't have to give me a dollar.  This week was good dispite being sick for about half of it.  So lets get started with the telling of the week.

Monday:
After writting we went around shopping for a bit and then watched Anastasia with the sisters because sister Kinkhead had never seen it.  We then had dinner and then went to work.  First we tried to find Marin and see if he had read but he was in Sofia for Easter break so we just went tracting for the rest of the night.  

Tuesday:
After our morning studies we had language study and then went and payed bills, dropped off my bike to be fixed (the pedal had fallen of again,)  Then we had lunch and did Zone Fund.  After this we went up to lozanets and walked the sisters through it to their potential investagators house which is litterly on the edge of town and the last house.  Their potential investagator wasn't there so we walked them back to a safe place and then went to our lesson with Donka Marko's daughter.  The lesson went really well, she has a sincere desire to know more and to learn more from us but it seems like she doesn't fully understand what she is getting into.  After the lesson we went street boarding again and we were told by President Roth to keep on street boarding until we are allowed to.  Luckly we didn't get in trouble because all the people that get after us for doing it were on break for Easter.  So after street boarding we had dinner and then had a lesson with Anton the investagator we have that is getting baptized on saturday (the 30th.)  We taught him about the spirit had faith and why we need it.  We also schedualed his interview for thursday at six a clock.  After meeting with him we went to meet with Antanas a potential investagator but he wasn't home so we just tracted for the rest of the evening.

Wednesday:
After our district meeting we all ate out at this american pizza restruant with real hamburgers and pizza.  It was so good you do not know how good american food is until you can't have it.  Anyway now that I have stopped drooling lets continue.  After lunch we had a language study then went street boarding again and after we were down I need to pee so bad that I barely made it back to the Forsness' Apartment (A senior couple that live near where we street board and we needed to pick up mail from them anyways.)  We then had dinner and went tracting for the rest of the night.  Oh yea I found out that sister Kinkhead had gotten some Cadbary mini-eggs in a package.  Oh so unfair, my to biggest vises Thin Mints and Mini-Eggs and other people recive them (hint, hint mom and dad)

Thursday:
After our morning studies we went out and put up posters for english since we are starting up this week on thursday.  After putting up posters we had some lunch and then went back up to lozanets to escort the sisters and have a lesson with Donka.  The sisters potential investagator dropped them because her husband didn't want her to learn about these things.  We then went and had our lesson which went really well and Donka committed to baptisim on June 4th.  We put it so far away because we want her to understand what she is getting into.  Kind of like she feel the spirit when we teach and she wants it but she still doesn't grasp the full potential that it can have.  After meeting with her we went and waited for a potential investagtor who came and gave back his Book of Mormon.  We then waited an hour for a guy to show up that wanted to be taught but he never did so we called him and said we couldn't wait anymore.  He asked if we could wait for 15 more minutes but we couldn't because we had another meeting to get to.  On the way home we saw him in his car and he stopped and he gave us a ride back to our apartment and we got to talk with him for a while.  Back home we had a quick dinner and then went to Antons interview.  Everything went great and everything is in order for him to be baptized on the 30th.  The Zone leaders had an hour wait until they had another bus back so we tried ordering from the american pizza place that Elder Morgan and I ate at on wensday.  The food never came and they had to leave.  We then went tracting for the rest of the night and then around nine a clock the pizza place called and said that they had made a huge mistake and after talking for a bit we now have a free pizza from that place that we can pick up at anytime.  We were so impressed because normally no one here would ever think of doing that.  Oh yea also I did a 3.6 mile run this morning with about a 5-10 min break at the half way mark to see the sunrise.

Friday:
After our morning studies we had weekly planning then lunch and then went out surveying for a while.  We had three meetings drop us and then had dinner and language hour we then went tracting the rest of the night.

Saturday:
After the regular routine we went adverstising again with the sisters and got about 100 posters done in two hours.  After advertising we had lunch and then went street boarding again for about 2 hours and then went back to the church to clean and have language study.  We then went a surveyed until dinner and then went tracting.

Sunday:
After the mourning routine we went to church.  Church was good and after words the branch had some eggs and easter bread.  We then had a couple meetings and then got out to work.  We first went to Dyado Ioan's to give him the sacrament and then came back and had dinner.  We then went out and walked all over Stara Zagora trying to contact people and surveing.  Near the end of the night we got a sick lesson with a guy named Zhivko.  He is sincerly seeking for happieness and we have huge hopes for him.

Monday:
Got up had a bike ride, cleaned and had personal study and then came to write you.  I am all better now except for a little bit of a stuffy nose and I love you all.

Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell



Monday, April 18, 2011

Hello Everybody

Well this week was exhausting I think I might have been channeling Robbie's energy from your trip because I don't know How I got through it.  So first to answer some questions about my companion and the area.  My companion is great and we work really well together and when I say he is working me to death it is in both the morning work outs (which I am keeping secret) and in the every day work.  Stara Zagora is doing fine but all the investagators I had were droped so  I don't get to see them but they were dropped for good reasons.  Anyway lets get on with the week shall we.

Monday:
After writting you guys we had lunch and watched a movie.  We then tried to watch confrence in english from the DvD that we got from the Roth's but found to our dismay that it was the 179th semi-annual confrence.  So after much weeping and gnashing of teeth we put in another movie and then went to work.  We met with a guy that we had met last week named Marin.  He is really cool and is actually interested in hearing more.  It is kind of funny and worrying because every time we meet with him it seems like he is going to drop us but bye the end of the meeting he is even more interested than he was before.  So that you spirit and inspiration.  After meeting with him we went tracting for the rest of the night and were really succesful.  

Tuesday:
We were on splits with the zone leaders so Elder Myrik and I went to find Marko the member I had baptized because he had disappered for a month and his phone had stoped working.  Well right before we get to his house contacting on the way (about a 45-60 min. walk) we get a call from Elder Morgan saying he needs to get into the apartment and that it is an emergency (I had the only set of key's.)  So luckly there was a taxi driving right buy us so we got in and got back to the apartment.  So what had happened is that here in Bulgaria we can't street board because techicly we have the right to advertise and talk all we want but they have the right to let us use their land for advertising or not.  So in this mission we have been trying to get permission to allow us to street board whenever and wherever and this week we had gotten a new letter from the minister of religion saying in effect that we could.  Anyway Elder Morgan, Beck, Sister Rodgers, and Kinkhead decide to test it out and it STILL DOESN'T WORK.  Anyway none of us are in trouble and Elder Morgan was just grabbing his I-D just in case.  So like I said no trouble just another attempt at being able to street board failing and having to go back to the drawing board.  So to drown our sorrows and misery about the cold-hearted police in this nation (not really) we went and had lunch a delicious lental soup that we had to eat cold because are power had gone out because we had apparntly paid the wrong bill even though we know we didn't.  It was no big deal and we got it taken care of and had power again on thursday.  After lunch we had language study and then Elder Myrik and I went and took care of some english tasks and then went to dinner.  After dinner we went to find Marko again and we found him yea!!!  We talked and found out that his phone had broken, he still is super amazing and has a testimony still, the reason why he disappered is that he had had some pension problems that needed to be taken care of, and he wants us to teach his family and baptize them!  Anyway we had a good meeting with him and it was weird because now I can understand him.  He got one of his friends to give us a ride home in his car because it was late and this guy wants to learn more to.  Let me just say we got a lot of reciveds this week.  Well we got home and planned in candle light.

Wednesday:
  Was filled with tasks.  So first thing is that we had district meeting which was really good and then afterwards went out to eat.  We then said good bye to the Zone Leaders and then started the task work after waiting for a dropped meeting.  We basicly ran around town trying to get english advertising done, registering in the city, fixing the power problem.  So yea After everything was taken care of we surveyed until dinner and then went and did our home teaching for the week.

Thursday:
After morning studies we had meeting with a Dimiter who is a less active member but he never showed.  So we went up and had lunch and language study.  We then went and surveyed all the way up to Marko's house and taught his kids.  It was a little hectic because the kids kept coming and going and Marko kept getting complicated and a little of subject but overall the lesson went well and the oldest daughter said she would come to church on sunday.  Marko then had his 11 year old walk us to the bus stop (we were in a hurry and needed to take the bus) and we had a little talk about we have to work for money and if he every wants to have a girlfriend he is going to need clean teeth.  We came back had another person not show up to their meeting and then started english.  I taught them this time Past continuous tense and how to form it and what it's bulgarian equivalant is and they still couldn't get it.  Anyway after english we went tracting till eight and then had dinner and went to bed.  

Friday:
Was fun and filled with weeds.  So after morning studies we planned for the next week and then the Haskovo elders came in and we all went up to the Dunn's to do a service project for them and then later dinner.  Our job was to put on some rubber boots (mine were size 44 and my size is 48 in Europe, and they were short as well so they did nothing practicly) and weed out their portion of the river that runs in front of there house.  It was more like a creek but it was still a good 5-6 feet across.  That took us all day because the thing was clog and choked with weeds.  Luckly they came up easly enough but there were just so many.  After finishing the weeding job we went in and Sister Dunn had made us a huge meal and some wonderful desserts.  After dinner and we were all ready to burst we had a spirital thought and then got driven back home.  (I will try to get some pictures of it from Sister Dunn so mabye I will have some next week.)  Back home we got changed and then street boarded for a little while (the people that get after us don't work past six hehehehe.)  We got a cool recived and then came back home and planned for the next day and went to bed.

Saturday:
Was filled with lessons.  After our morning studies we said good bye to Haskovo and then went to teach english.  I taught how to form past continuous tense questions and future continuous tense.  After english we cleaned the building and then went to buy food for confrence on sunday so we could provide lunch to the branch (we were buying for the branch.)  We then had a meeting with Anton our investagator and focused on how he needs to read the book of mormon because only through it can we know for ourselves if these things are true.  The meeting went well and then we went to meet with an investagator in the park but she couldn't make it.  We then came back to meet a less active and he never showed.  So we hadn't had lunch yet and it was four so we decided to have lunch but got stoped on the way home and taught a lesson to two guys that work for bulgarias national defence military.  So after this we had no time for lunch and went to meet the recived from friday while street boarding.  He never showed and he wasn't home so we went back home and had dinner.  Finally with food in our stomachs we went to meet with some new investagators but they weren't home so we just went tracting and then had our language hour and went to bed.

Sunday:
We hectic like always.  After our morning studies we went to church and watched confrence and had lunch and watched more confrence.  After church we had a meeting but we were late so she couldn't meet long and we had a short lesson.  After her we went to give Grandpa John the sacrament and the sisters came so Sister Kinkhead (Kinkhayed) could meet him.  It was fun and afterwards we had dinner and then went tracting for the rest of the night were we found a old guy and I taught him the whole second lesson on my own in bulgarian (with the help of my handy-dandy puzzle.)  We then went home and went to bed.

Today:
This morning we biked up to this really cool monument to watch the sunrise but there were clouds and we couldn't see it, but we plan on making that a regualur monday thing.  We then came back and cleaned, ate breakfast, studied, shopped, printed of some pictures, and now we are writting but I am out of time and I have to go to write you latter and please keep on sending the letters and sorry for the bad spelling but I don't have time to spell check.  Good luck and I pray for you all.

Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Last Week's Letter

Okay by home I mean my first city in bulgaria which is awsoem and I am loving it.  This week was super busy so I may as well get started.
 
Monday:
Well after writting you guys we just watched some movies and then went and had a super clean of the apartment for the next elders that were coming in to pleven.  After the super clean we went to bed.
 
Tuesday:
We got up and packed and then headed to the bus station to catch the 7 o'clock bus into sofia.  Elder Corless was coming in with me because he had to pick up his lichna carta and it would mean I wouldn't have to travel alone at least half of the way there.  We get into sofia pick up his lichna carta and then went to the mission home (I left my bags in the bus station because you can pay a couple of lev and they will hold them for you.)  The mission home was chaotic because of transferes and that the ukranians were coming in for passport work that day as well.  The ukranians have to leave country for their passport work at least I don't have to.  I had to stay at the mission home for awhile to get some pictures put together on some CD's for Elder Corless and some members and then I had to pick up the stuff for Stara Zagora that every one needed and wanted.  After getting everything I went to the Aftogara (bus station) and caught a bus up to Stara Zagora.  I slept most of the way because their was nothing else to do and I was tired.  When I got into Stara Zagora I had to wait for everybody to come pick me up and then we went to my old apartment and I had a little time to unpack while we waited for the haskovo elders to catch their bus.  After they left Elder Morgan and I started surveying and tracting for the rest of the night.  We finally got back in and went to bed.
 
Wendsday:
Woke up did our morning workout and studies and then went to district meeting.  We had the sisters their and  the haskovo elders.  It was cool being in a district meeting that big.  After district meeting we went out to lunch and then started to survey until we had a meeting with Anton one of the investagators here.  The meeting went alright and all that he needs now before baptisim is to gain a testimony.  After the meeting with him we went out tracting and then headed home for bed.
 
Thursday:
We woke up did our morning work out and studies and then went our to buy a new dresser for the apartment because we only have one and it doesn't have enough room.  We went and bought it caught a taxi back to the apartment to cary it for us and then started to put it together.  We finally got it together and then had lunch and went out to find a less active member.  We didn't find him so we are going to try some other time as well.  So we survived back to the church for english.  I am teaching level two bymyself and it has a lot of the same students that were there before.  It is a little strange the last time I was in this city I couldn't understand anyone but now I can.  After english we had a meeting with a lady that we had found on tuesday.  We met at her hair salon and the meeting went well.  She said she doesn't have much time to read or meet so Elder Morgan and I are planning on leaving a book of mormon for her salon so she can read between cuts and during slow times.  After meeting with her we came back home had dinner and went to bed.
 
Friday:
After our morning workout and studies we had weekly planning and then surveyed out to a place were we can buy a cheap lunch.  After eating we surveyed back to the church and then had language hour with Lily.  After our language hour we had to wait for a little while before we had a meeting with a less active member so Lily taught us a little turkish which seems so much easier to learn than bulgarian.  Dimiter finally came and we had a very succesfull lesson with him.  At the end of it we made a deal to run with him every monday(I will be on the bike) and to come over to his house once a week for dinner.  Hopefully we will be able to get his wife and him active again and get their children baptized.  After meeting with him we had dinner and then we had another meeting with Anton.  The meeting went well but he really needs to get a testimony.  After the meeting with him we tracted the rest of the night tell  bed time.
 
Saturday:
After the usall morning routines we had english which was fun.  I taught them some uncountable nouns like milk and how you don't plurlize them and played some games with them for practice.  After english we cleaned the building with all the people that came and then went with Lily to buy some lunch for the members on sunday because we are watching confrence in church (didn't I do that my one of my first sundays in this city before.)  We went and bought the food and then went to pick up the Confrence dvd's from city express.  We got there to find out they were closed.  Luckly President and Sister Roth were coming in that night and because they were going to Hasckovos church meeting and they were going to stay in Stara Zagora and take the sisters, Elder Morgan, and I out to eat.  So they were able to bring up a copy.  After this we went surveying the rest of the day because all of our meeting s had fallen through.  Around Seven o'clock we went to wait for the Roths and then we went out to eat.  It was a lot of fun and the mission president treated us.  After dinner we pick up all the stuff for Stara Zagora that they had brought and then went back home.  Elder Morgan got a package and inside it there were thin mints.  I was so excited and amazed and oh how I miss thin mints.  Anyway thought you might like to hear that and that was the rest of that night.
 
Sunday:
Was a disater.  We get ready for church and get everything ready have about 15 mins left before church begins and realize we don't have the dvd player.  It was disaterous, we made calls to everyone that we thought may have a dvd player.  Finally Dimiter the less active that we are going to run with said he would bring his laptop and then one of members was able to go and get their dvd player so that problem was solved.  Then it got worse.  The Confrence dvd that we had wasn't in bulgarain and only in english.  We did have the preisthood session in bulgarian though.  So Anton our investagator, Nickolai, elder morgan, and I with about 8 other women watched Preisthood session together.  It was good for Anton but still was kind of weird but still spirital.  After church we went and tried to contact some people and had no success went to Grandpa Johns and gave him the sacrament and then survied for 4 hours strait till it was time to go home and to bed.
 
Today(Monday):
Woke up went on our run, cleaned, shopped, and am now writting you.
 
Now to explain about my companion.  He is twenty-two was the free saftey on the BYU football team for two years before his mission and his name is Blake Morgan.  He is working me to death but I don't mind and am gratefull for it and we are getting along great and have had no major problems what so ever.
 
Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tranfere calls are in and I am extatic. (keep reading all the way to the bottom.)

Hello every one and how are you doing? Well as I said Transfere calls came in and I will tell you latter were I am going so you will have to wait and see.

Monday:
For Monday we basicly just watched movies again because the other two elders were still sick. After P-day was over we had a lesso with Angelina. Some cool things from that meeting and the baptism is first; when she got out of the water she was crying and we found out it was from joy in this meeting. We asked her how she felt afterwards and she said she felt like her past life had been washed away and also the little devil that used to be on her shoulder (figurtive, you know like the angle on one a devil on the other tempting you to do stuff) was gone and it wasn't tempting her anymore. That was really cool. After this we began to teach her how to conduct music because she recived the calling to conduct the music during sacrament meeting and she knows nothing of music. So that was basicly the entire night and the other elders came to help as well and she can finally wave her arm around in a semblence of the time signitures. Anyway it was fun and afterwards we went up to bed.

Tuesday:
After studies we had a meeting with ILina (I captilized the L on purpose so you would know it was an L.) She is the english student that valintina had fellowshiped. We met at her house and lets just say she isn't living to great right now. She is living in this hotel wich is basicly either 8 X 14 or 10 X 18 cement room with a seprate bathroom. Despite this she had decrated the place really nice and it looked really good for what she had to work with. The meeting went by great and after it we had a meeting with Vera (real name vyara which is faith in bulgarian.) She is a 14 year old english student that has been coming to church for about 2 months strait but we couldn't teach her because she is too young and we need parent permision. We met with her this time to see if she does have parent permission to be taught or do anything and to teach her if she does. Well she doesn't have parent permission to be taught but she always gets permission before coming to church. So we schedualed a meeting with her and her family for friday. Oh and mom you would like this she has 5 sisters and no brothers and she is number five or the second youngest. After meeting with her we took care of some finacial stuff that took the rest of the night and then had cleaning. Vera came with two of her friends that we latter found out were her sisters (all of the friends that she has been bringing to english and activities have been her sisters.) Angelina also came to help out. Valintina wasn't too happy because she takes cleaning as her own personal job eventhough her calling is just to make sure it is done. With all there help we got a lot done and accomplished. After cleanning we watch the testaments with all the kids and then parted ways and went to bed.

Wendsday:
After our morning studies we had district meeting. District meeting was fund and after it we went to Budepeshta which is a really good restruant for the last time together. After eating we had a language our and then called some people. After this we tried to find someone but is was a false addres and we couldn't find her. We then went to meet with the Lazarovie family but they were sick and we didn't get to meet that long but they did say if they were better on sunday they would come to church. After them we had to catch a bus to sofia because Elder Corless needs to pick up his lichna carta (bulgarian social security card.) We got into sofia around eight a clock and went to the office elders apartment and crashed for the night.

Thursday:
After our morning studies (boy that is getting repetitive) we went to the mission home to drop off our stuff and then got stuck there because Elder Corless' mother had sent him a refrall and because of some record mix ups and other stuff it took him and the senior office couple a couple of hours to find were the refferal was and which missionaries were the closest. I spent my time helping the AP's (Assitants to President) take apart a chair during this time. After this we went to pick up the lichna carta to find out that they had changed there process and we now needed our passport to get the lichna carta instead of our old one. So we went to a nearby sweet shop to get something to eat. It was really good. and then went to the mission home and picked up a bunch of stuff that we needed back in Pleven. We then caught a 1:30 bus back to Pleven and got back just in time for english. English was fun and we taught them some english idoms. After english we Elder Rowden and I took care of some tasks that needed to be done and then it was time to go to bed.

Friday:
First thing we did was go to slaviyanavo to visit a Nickolie and Iveta. It was fun and we shared a spiritual thought with them about tithing. They also made us beans again, I don't know what they do but those beans are delicious. Also I learned how to knit from Iveta. Yea now I can knit! Anyways after meeting with them we came back and met with Ilina againd and she commited to pray and start a regular reading scheadule for the book of mormon. After meeting with her we had our meeting with Vera's family. Vera picked us up at a bus station near her house and then took us to all of her friends that she wanted us to meet. She was really excited to have us over and she told us to invite her family to church but to not mention it was her idea. We eventually got to her house and met her entire family. They were a lot of people and every one was there but one of her sisters who was married and in greece. The family was a lot of fun and we got along great. They also had a dog whom had had puppies on sunday and they had named one Ewell and David and we got to hold our conterpart puppies. The night ended really cool though. They grow herbs and sale them which is the only thing that gives them enough money to support there entire family. So they have there own schedual and we were trying to have the father agree to come to church. We shared a spiritual thought about how the loard rested on the seventh day after the creation. A little while later the father said that he had been thinking about that and that if the Lord rested on the seventh day then he would too and that they would all be coming to church. That was so amazing and awsome. Vera was supper happy too. That was the coolest thing that happened the other cool thing was that they had slaughtered a pig awhile ago and we got to eat off of it. After the meeting with them we had to go back home. He had all of his daughters walk us to the bus stop and then we got home and went to bed.

Saturday:
Saturday was fun. We had english first thing and we basicly told them were we were going and then went over some more idoms for the day. After english we cleaned the library closet and then had lunch. After lunch we made some calls and then went street boarding with the other elders. Something really cool Angelina came to help as well which was amazing and really fun. While street boarding almost everysingle person I ran into spoke english perfectly. It was really weird but pretty cool anyways. After street boarding we came back home and went to bed.

Sunday:
Okay now this is really cool. When we went down stairs to open the church for sacrament meeting the Lazarovie family was there. It was really cool because they had come but also kind of awkwared because we had to set up church while they were there. Well all was fine we got church set up just like normal. Sad thing though Vera came and said that her family couldn't come because something came up but that here dad promised to come next week. So I guess that would be fine but it would have been cool to see the numbers double because they would be there. Church went just fine despite it being fast sunday and it was only us missionaries that bore testimonies but that is normal and fine. After church we took care of some tasks, had dinner, and then went and met the Nickolovie family. They talking on skype with their daughter in greece so we got to see her and get her information as well so that was good. I really like that family and I am said they are in such a bad situation. After meeting with them we went home to bed.

Today:
Today we are watching a little of confrence while putting some CD's together with our pictures and then we are going shopping for a bit and then watching some movies.

Okay now for the big annoucement. I am going to serve for the next two months with Elder Morgan in a city that you will all reconize. The city of two names and one of the best places on earth. Oh no my computer is crashing i m a y n o t b e .........................................................................................................................................
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Just kidding I am going to be searving in STARA ZAGORA AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Elder Austin James Ewell