Thursday, May 31, 2012

two letters from President Roth

 22 May 2012

Dear Bother and Sister Ewell,

Thank you for sending Elder Austin James Ewell to the mission field and supporting his service to the Lord.  It has been a great blessing for Sister Roth and me to have him serve in the Bulgaria Sofia Mission.  He has served with distinction and has brought honor to his family through his service.

Elder Ewell returns with a greater knowledge and firmer testimony of the mission of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His Gospel, of the establishment of the Lord's Kingdom on the earth in these latter days, and the importance of following the Savior's living Apostles and Prophets.  Elder Ewell has gained a profound love for the Lord and for all of our Heavenly Father's children.  He has learned the value of work, of personal integrity, of keeping sacred covenants, of daily personal prayer and scripture study, of planning and setting goals, and of selfless service to others.  These are lessons that will bless his life forever and bring joy to you as his parents.

Sister Roth joins me in this expression of gratitude.  We recognize the sacrifice you have made to have him in the mission field.  Thank you.  We were privileged to labor with him in the Bulgaria Sofia Mission.

We pray the Lord's blessing upon you and your loved ones.

With warm regards,

Gerold Roth, President

Bulgaria Sofia Mission 2012

31 May 2012

Dear Bother and Sister Ewell,

I am pleased to advise you that your son, Elder Austin James Ewell, has been given a new assignment in the Bulgaria Sofia Mission. As of May 30, 2012, Elder Ewell has been serving as the District Leader in the Burgas District.

Elder Ewell is a great missionary and we love having him in the Mission. In this assignment he will have the responsibility to lead his District of Elders and Sisters as they seek to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Bulgaria.

Thank you for your love and support of him and his service to the Lord.

With warm regards,

President Gerold Roth

Bulgaria Sofia Mission

Monday, May 28, 2012

Last Transfer

This week was super busy, but it didn't seem like it.  When we added up our weekly numbers we were shocked at all that we had done we even recounted because we thought we had counted wrong.  So this letter is going to be really big so be prepared for a long read.
After writing you guys we basicly shilled all day until 6 when we had a meeting with Peter.  He is a new investagator who has come to church and a Branch activity.  We met with Ivo and the lesson went great.  Ivo helped a ton and Peter is really smart and caught on to everything.  We then met with Yatsek the guy from Poland.  We had a good Plan of salvation lesson with him and he is really smart and wants to know about religion.  We are worried though because we feel like he is learning for knowledge's sake not salvation's.  Anyways we gave him a Book of Mormon in Polish which he was exctatic about and said he would read it while on his buisness trip this week.  After that we came home for the night.
Had two meetings Tuesday.  First was with a guy with Dobri.  The lesson was alright but it seems like he just wants to meet to learn english not the gospel.  Then later in the day we met with another guy named Peter.  To tell the difference between the two we call him Peter the Rock.  The meeting went really well.  We watched the restoration film and the spirit was really strong.  We commited him to read and Pray and he said he would which is great.   Other than that we contacted and tried to find people all day.  In the evening the zone leaders came in for splits and district meeting on wednesday.
Splits was a lot of fun today.  First we had district meeting and then we went out to lunch and we found a restruant that was having a 50% sale on all of its food for a month.  It was so cheap and the reastruant was so good that we ordered a ton of food and despite that we were still under 10 lev each even though we tried to go over in the hour that we had to eat.  We then contacted all day and were swamped with tasks we had to do.  It seems like that always happens with splits.  We also met with Lubomir a new investagator.  He has been coming to english and the Branch activity that we had.  The meeting went well and he wants to meet some more which is really cool.  In the evening we went to a concert that a member was performing in.  The concert was really cool and the member's dance group's number was amazing.  I have vidoe of it all but sadly it is to big to send over email and I don't have time to upload it.  You will all have to wait until I get back home. 
Met with Ivo in the morning and we did my lesson on the ten commandments which everybody likes a lot.  We then had a meeting with another new investagator.  His name is Toedor and the meeting went really well and he even prayed at the end of the lesson.  We also had english which went well.
Went out to the Petrovi family which ment a 4 hours of bus rides in totall.  They are doing good though and they are coming to church this sunday which is good that they are coming at least once a month.  We also gave them a preisthood blessing while we were there.  Once back in Ruse we had 2 meetings and contacted.  The first meeting was with the Peter from monday.  He had read from the Book of Mormon and was at 1st Nephi 17 which was great.  He also remebered a ton from it and a lot of the lesson was descussing what he learned and trying to apply it to the restoration.  He is amazing and when he said the closing the prayer he said it was easier to say prayers in the churh.  We told him that was because of the spirit and we can always have that with us if we are baptized.  He liked that and next time we plan on commiting him to baptizm.  The next meeting was with a guy named Angel.  He is searching for the truth but he also is very set into his belifes and it was hard not to argue and bible bash with him which is what it seemed like he wanted a lot.  Anyways he did accept a Book of Mormon and said that he would read it so that is good and we will meet with him again.
Well this was a really trunky day because we saw the sisters off.  Seeing Elder Kinkead off was hard for me.  Luckly we had english right after that and going back to work helped me shake off the trunky feelings.  After english we had two meetings contacting and transfere calls.  The first meeting was with a lady named Yanka.  We met her on friday buy the Danue.  She is very talkitive and also very curious.  That makes it a little hard to teach her but she is really searching for the truth and she even helped us clean the building and came to church.  After meeting her we contacte and then we we recived transfere calls what you all have been waiting for.  Well here it goes
Tell you were my companion is going to first.  He is staying in Ruse and he is going to get a greenie and be training.  Also they are going to be on their own in Ruse for about 4 weeks which is crazy since we are already super busy not including the other areas work load which is huge as well.  Alright I guess I have teased you guys enough so I am going to
I will be District leader and I will be serving with Elder Bryce.  This is my last transfere in bulgaria and I am really excited.  Also this is my first time being district leader so it is going to be intresting.  I am really excited and a little nervous but everything will work out.
Had church as always and I said good bye to everyone.  Also 5 of our investagators came to church.  It was amazing after church we met with Marika and Simiona and showed them the restoration vidoe testified and then commitid them to be baptized on the 23 of June, and they said Yes.   I am super happy and excited and this transfere couldn't have ended in a better way.  We also met with with Dimiter Drive. We haven't met with him for a while because he is super busy, but he still wants to learn and even though he didn't get the chance to read he is having a break from work soon and said he would read the whole book of mormon during that time.  We also met with Stefi since she wasn't at church and I said good bye to her.  She is seriously like my sister and I have really enjoyed getting to know her.  We then came in and weekly planned and I packed.
We did a massive deep clean today and I finished all my packing and then we came here to write.
This was  a super good week and I hope it is a precurser for how my transfere in Burgas is going to be like.
Elder Ewell

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 7

Well this week was busy but the letter is short so sorry.
After writing we went out to the bridge to Romainia and took some pictures on it (No we did not cross!)  That took most of the day and then we went contacting for the night.
We had a meeting wtih Ivo first that went well.  He has a lot of deep questions.  Then contacting all day.
From pure contacting to pure lessons.  We had 6 back to back lessons.  First was with an investagator name George. He is cool and old, but he actually kept his commitments which we are super happy about.  Then we had a dropped meeting, but a member showed up asking for help with a talk so it wasn't a waist of time.  Then we met another member for home teaching but he said he didn't remeber anything from confrence or last sunday.  We are not sure if he was joking or not and that worries us.  We then met with a husband and wife who only complain and didn't listen much.  We are giving them another shot and hopefully it will be better.  Then we had another meeting with a member who is amazing and strong.  The last meeting was one of the best.  It was with and investagator named Alex.  He brought a friend and had read a little.  It was really good to see them and the lesson went well.
First another meeeting with Ivo that went gread as always.  Then we had district meeting and lunch.  We then contacted, had a dropped meeting, English which is always fun, and finally institute.  Institute was tiring.  The Church Education senior couple were teaching and I was translating (that is why it was tiring.)  The lesson was really good but by the end my mind was a giant blob of bulgarian and english and I couldn't speak strait.
Conatacted like crazy all day and had good success.  At night we had dinner with a less-active and the sisters.  We gave him a liahona and had a nice relaxing lesson.
First was English.  After english a funny thing happened.  We were having lunch when we got a call saying two people were locked in the church.  We ran down there and found out it was two english students who were playing ping-pong.  Everything was okay though.  Then we had a meeting with a new investagator named Tsveti that went really well.  We then went contacting and had another meeting with a mother and daughter named Marika and Simion.  The lesson went great as well and they came to church this week.
A lot of people came to church.  I was most excited about Marika and Simion and Miroslav.  He came in with my suit on and it was so nice to talk with him again.  We even got a meeting for friday so more about that later.  After church we planned for a branch activity.  We are doing a scripture scanvager hunt.  They are going to use the scriptures to find clues and the final treasure.  We need help though finding scriptures.  We need scriptures still for; a bus stop, stairs, strait, narrow red brick road, a yellow house, a restruant, a muesem with a statue next to it, a purple/pink building, a ramp down to the river shore walk, a chess board at the end of the ramp, Dock achor points for a ship, and some more stairs by a ship.  Remeber english puns won't work because this will be in Bulgarian and the words are different.  Also some of the people are new members or non-members so vague scriptures or ones you have to use a background or mormon culture with wont work well.  You can use all the standard works though but try to stick to the bible and book of mormon.  Well that is everything.
Elder Austin James Ewell