Monday, August 15, 2011

20 Years in Bulgaria

The latest development in the Mcdonalds empire Mcdonalds in a box

All the missionaries


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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