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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elder Austin James Ewell