Monday, September 1, 2014

The work, Religion, Preperation day things

Hey everyone, another week has passed by and of course its short, but in the moment is another story. 

This last Sunday we had 3 less active people come to church and it has been such a blessing. My companion and I have been really focusing on those members and trying to help them with their needs. We basically told ourselves that, yes we're trying to find people to teach, but also we have a lot of people already, they're just lost, needing to be found to see what happened. 

Since the area has doubled in size, so has the members in our area including ones that no one knows about but that they are on the directory. We also have been working with some investigators that are actually progressing and that is always exciting to. 

It's interesting to see how the major religion here, Provaslav, what people believe in God. For a lot of people here, they honestly don't know their own believe or the religion that they say they are a part of. I guess I have just realized what they really think recently. It's for sure a different idea about who God really and what he expects of us.

Today around 4:00, my time, everyone here in traveling to ... for passport work. My companion and one of the sisters needs to do it. It's weird having only 4 missionaries in a city instead of 6. Personally, the more the better ha ha. Speaking of that, from this last transfer and the transfer before that it sounds like Visas to live here in Bulgaria have been getting "harder" to get. Elder ..., (him and Elder ... served here with the 4 current missionaries here) had a really weird transfer call because of expectations of missionaries not getting Visas. I'm just glad that no one in my group had a hard time with Visas. That's a blessing.

Another thing that we have been actually today is the process of closing down the "other Elders" apartment. The landlord is actually a member. Let's just say it took and will take a lot more time than what we expected. Yea.. I'll just leave it at that ha ha. When we met with him, earlier in the week, we looked at old family photos. He has photos of his parents being kids with his grandparents. The photos look so old and it's truly a treasure that he has. that's one of the things I want to do is learning about family history and looking for photos/information about them. It's interesting because my desire for the gospel, family work, and well... all of that good stuff has increased beyond what I even imagined. It's a blessing of just being a part of the missionary work with the missionary life here in Bulgaria. 

I'm wanting to print photos, or a lot of photos to be able to show people of family and other things. I know this email usually gets forwarded or posted to family all around, so If anyone has good pictures of family things I would love to print them off. Also any family history stories, I would love to hear more. I'll probably print photos next preparation day or whenever I have time on a Monday.   Usually, it's really busy on those days, just like every other day. I've been saying to myself I'll do that ever since I got here in ... ha ha. Life is just to busy, but the busier for missionary work, the better. 

My companion and I have 3 progressing investigators right now and also working with a lot of members / less actives. I think we taught up to 14 lessons this last week. It's been a lot compared to other weeks. I don't know the exact number due to me switching to a new planer today. It's been a blessing to work with so many people. 

I love you all, I can't wait until next week to hear more.

Love Elder Green

I forgot to tell everyone this with the desire of family history. My companion and I are trying to apply family history into missionary work more. I've translated info or the names and dates into Bulgarian. We're going to laminate the paper with all of the info and it's going to be really nice. I'll need to send a picture once it's completely done. I'm really excited for it. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Guess what everyone! It looks like I'm staying in ... for another transfer which is for I think 7 weeks instead of 6 weeks this transfer. Basically, at least for the areas, we consumed the other areas, and the sisters took some of ours. Today we went into the other area and it already feels like a new city.
To be honest I was suprised since that I stayed because I expected at least 1 from each companionship would stay. I'm so happy to stay though. It's what I wanted ha ha.
Anyway this week has been a really busy/fun week.We have been using a new approach of just going up to people and asking them what they think about Questions of the Soul (on a peice of paper copied from Preach My Gospel). A lot of people read it and it's super easy to relate it to the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, since the Book of Mormon answers those questions.
We have also been given a letter (newsletter from President Wilstead) saying that President and Sister Callister and President and Sister Bennet on October 28th. It's a long time until them but I'm super excited for that. All of the missionaries will be going to ... for that. Big conferences like that only happen 1th a year if your lucky but this will be the 2nd. Yea, I'm super excited for that. Wow... that would be getting close to my year mark as a missionary. It kind of scares me how fast time is going. Honestly, the only transfer that has felt "long" was the 1st transfer here in country but I think that was because of trying to adapt. Transfers are so fast!
On the bright side the tempeture has been getting a little bit cooler. It's still hot of course but the peak is over so I'm really thankful for that. Nothing is better than being in the heat dressed up right?
I do know Elder ..., he is such a great missionary and it's so weird that he's home back in .... He was the Assistant to the President so I got to get to know him but never got the chance to go on exchanges with him but he did go on exchanges in ... with the other Elders. Yea, I love him.
It's crazy to hear everyone leaving on missions again. It's also amazing that another missionary has been called to this wonder mission. I'm so blessed to be a part of this mission. When do they come in country and it's another person from ... I'm guessing.
Right now we have some investigators that we are working with. It's better than having none which has happened for a while until now. I also got to go on "splits" for 30 minutes with a man named .... He served a mini mission and it was fun working with him temporarly. A missionary who served here returned to visit and we went on splits because she had a brother that was a priest age and he served with my companion for a little bit. It was such a good oppurtunity to experience that missionary work for that short time. The family was really fun to talk to.
It's also going to be really interesting working with a lot more members or having them in our area. The missionary work is going to be different with that also. Yea... I'm super excited for this new transfer.
I love hearing from all of you and love having the oppurtunity to write to you all. It's amazing that we have this technology. 2 members here have phones that have the gospel library and honestly, it almost feels like living in an older time with studying everything with text books for language and of course the Gospel in the Scriptures and Preach My Gospel. We also are writing at a different place in our area on older computers so it just adds to those feelings with technology ha ha. Anyway Love you again.
Love Elder Green

Monday, August 18, 2014

This week has been a busy one. I got to travel to ... again for another Zone Training and those are always great. It was the first time my companion has got to go to ... and he was super excited to see the city because well.... a lot of missionaries like ... ha ha. There are 4 zones, 3 in Bulgaria and 1 in Turkey. I've always been in Zone 3 so every month I have traveled to ....

With the transfer, well.... actually last transfer, 2 people in my MTC group are serving in a place called ... (which means loud in Bulgarian) and is in zone 3 so I got the oppurtunity to see all of them in .... It's always great plus the things that we learn. We talked a lot about using the first vision and to be honest I never spent the time to memorize it in Bulgarian. I have been studying it for the past week now and almost have it down where I can mumble through it but will continue until I can pop it out. I have been changing the way I study for things that are more important or at least thats how I have felt so things are going good with studying.

My companion and I have been changing the way we do missionary work or trying new things. It's interesting to try different things with approaching people and other things. We currently don't have any progressing investigators but have been busy with meeting with a lot of random people and teaching lessons on the street.

It sounds like a ton has been happening back home. I can't believe school is starting back up. It still feels like summer, well at least for the heat here in .... Yesterday it actually rained a little and got really cold compared to what the temputure usually is. It felt so nice and I hope it continues to be that way but most likely not.

Instead of going out to find people on the street we had a lot of phone numbers from the past couple of days. We tried calling a lot of them the other day because we had a branch activity which was themed Fiesta. It was a ton of fun. Anyway, a lot of people that we invited didn't show up so it was a little sad, but we "cleaned" out the phone a lot because of those conversations. We called about 20 numbers and for some reason everyone was willing to meet. We set up times, dates, and places. It's a blessing that we were able to set all of those lessons up. I've never had that experience before here in the mission.

Thanks for the family history stories, I just want to get everything I can get my hands on. It's one of the new approaches we're taking in trying to help the branch becomeing more strong. We planned an activity, sort of, or mentioned in Church that we wanted to have an activity of just sharing stories to help everyone bond more together. The church here is so different because of the size. It's interesting to see challenges and how big the missionaries have an impact on the branch/groups here in Bulgaria. It's a blessing to be a part of it and especially to meet the members. I love the members so much.

This next Monday is transfer day or we'll know to prepare for things the following day. It's going to be very interesting what happens here for .... We're going to be meeting as missionaries to discuss boundaries of the new area of splitting the city in half. There is already a map for 2 areas but President ...recommended in making a new one make things more effective with members.

Anyway I got to run. I love all of you a ton. It seems like everyone is growing up with the new things with getting older and also big activities. Love you again!

Love Elder Green


Doonuv river (Romania behind the river) and a really cool building in "Center"

Monday, August 11, 2014

Family history

Hey everyone it's good to hear from everyone. This next transfer is going to be interesting. The reason why is because well multiple factors. This transfer is a week short because of people going home for school. Also there has been 2 Elders here in Bulgaria that ended up having to go home early due to medical reasons I think. I'm not to sure but it's effecting the town here in ....

Right now there are 4 Elders and 2 Sisters in .... When I originally started living here they planned on only haveing 4 missionaries total with 2 Elders and 2 Sisters. We're now losing 2 Missionaries because of the 2 that left and the area I live in and the area the other Elders are living in are going to be combined or in otherwords the Elders area will double. I wonder who will be living and who will be staying. Either way it's going to feel like a new city wether I go or stay because whenever I work in an area that I haven't served in it feels new. An example would be going on exchanges with the other Elders. There area feels like a different city than the ... that I know.

Anyway, for the missionary work my companion and I tried being more relaxed with talking to people to see what happens. It turned out that we didn't like that. Sometimes you have to try different approaches to talk to people to figure out what works and what doesn't.

This next week will be busy. I might be traveling to ... for a baptism that my companion help taught or he might be the one baptizing and also to ... for zone training. It's exciting for both of them and it'll be the first baptism I'll see in Bulgaria. We still don't know if we're going to it or not so we'll see what happens.

I have been meeting with a lot of great, fantastic people but none of them have been progressing. I love seeing/meeting with people consistantly to see them grow in the gospel, but it hasn't happened recently.

Somethings that have happened here this week is going on Exchanges with Elder ...(from Idaho), President and Sister Wilstead came into town for district meeting and helped with some lessons, and increasing the amount of service done as missionaries. We helped paint someones house and it was a lot of fun. They bought a huge pizza, the biggest I have ever seen. It was a lot of fun and we helped carry stuff from a car to a little store. I've never done service really before because I've never seen oppurtunities here. Whenever you ask Bulgarians if they want help with something, while they are doing it, they'll decline. We actually started helping with the carrying things after the person denied us but ended up being very greatfull. It's really nice to do service and it's something different to do.

We had an activity with ping-pong and also playing Jenga. Jenga isn't here or the game isn't but my companion got it from a missionary from England. Everyone loves it and it's great to play. We do family home evening playing that game. It's always been hard to have family home evenings and for this transfer it has been happening each week for the most part. Before, it there was a lot of weeks of just trying to find a family to do it with. It's a blessing to have the oppurtunity to do it. It's truly a time for the family to have a fun time with each other in the business of life. It's worth doing for sure.

I love all of you again and will look forward to more emails. I pray for all of you.

Love Elder Green

Another thing we have been doing is family home evening telling stories about our families.

I would like to ask that if you know any stories or if other family knows stories from anyone in our family I would love to hear it. I know I haven't done really anything about it but I'm trying to learn and would like to be more participant with family history. Love you

Love your son Elder Green

Monday, August 4, 2014

Such a great week...

Wow.... it seems like a ton of things are happening back at home. It sounds great and busy. I fill like the same way. I've gotten to the point in my I guess self conversion that I really want to study all of the scriptures, books that we have. I just don't have the time for that so that is a thing that is testing my patience ha ha. I've started reading the New Testament. My goal is just 1 chapter throughout the day if I ever have free time. My personal study is more based off other things, 1 chapter Book of Mormon, Scripture Master ( I really wished I would have memorized that before but I know where all the Book of Mormon ones are :)), and topics according to people that we plan on meeting up with.

It has been crazy how many different people from different countries that I have seen here in .... ...had a ton of people from different countries but here it just seems like there are a lot more. When looking at license plates it's like playing the game, where you see another state you mention it to everyone around you and sometimes slug each other. For here you can litterally do it with different countries just walking to different places. It's crazy. One of the people that we are teaching is actually from ... (don't know spelling). He's ... which is super not common here. He only speaks English and he loves the Bible so we have been talking a lot about it. I actually learn a lot from my companion because he is really familiar with the Bible and same with my last companion. I just want to read it really bad, along with Doctorine and Covenants. The Book of Mormon I read everyday and it's of course mind blowing. I wish I had this passion for the scriptures before the mission. Well... better late than never.

The mission as a whole feels like it's changing. My companion and I have had a really good week with what we have done in general. I think we got to the point where we focused to much on the key indicators and forgeting to really listen and try to help a person become more developed in the gospel. It's hard to explain in words, but it's something that changes my perspective. The mission is for sure a roller coaster ride. When your down that's when change happens. We come to the realization that there are things we can do better. I'm sure there is a reason for those ups and downs.

It's such an exciting time for Bulgaria. I've never saw how much goals matter and being well... consecrated. My companion mentioned how bless we are to be able to be in such a great mission. Sure the baptisms are hard to get but this mission as a whole is still a pioneering country with the gospel being involved. It's interesting to learn about the history of this country with it being under communism. People really don't understand religion and have a hard time accepting anything else besides the dominant religion here. It's amazing to find those that are willing to learn and how for a lot of people we have been recently had lessons with have been in deep thoughts during the lesson. You can tell that they're truly searching their own soul and their relationship with God. Wow... it's just amazing.

It has been a really great week. It just makes me feel like I'm on top of the world. I know it's not going to always be like that but I'll enjoy it while it lasts... and like before... try to learn why things aren't working by changing.

I love all of you so very much. Sorry I actually got a lot of emails this week which I love I just don't have the time. Time is so precious for everything that we do.

Love Elder Green

Monday, July 28, 2014

1st week with a new companion/Food!!!

Hey everyone!!! To be honest it has felt like the last time I emailed was a month ago but yet.... this week has gone by so fast.

The baptismal date we had fell through. We have taught a sister everything and was prepared for baptism... but now we can't even meet due to her being busy and other things. This week has been focused a lot on finding people. I have been getting more "receives" for the key indicator higher than I ever have. Elder ... is fantastic with talking to people and setting up a lesson. He used to be the zone leader for zone 1 in .... I'm in zone 3 and have never left zone 3 so far. I have so much to learn from him.

At the current time we have no progressing investigators and a few other investigators. Meeting people has been hard but the work will go forth. It's interesting how the feeling of time has changed with companions. There are some where during meal times we have a lot of "extra" time and there are some companions where it seems like we don't have enough time. To be honest, I fill like when we have no time, it feels like we're working harder and better. Really focusing on the people around us even if it means sacrificing random things in the schedule. It's not easy, but It's a good feeling of fulfilling my missionary purpose. For an example, we had no time for diner yesterday, so after planning and doing the area book we cooked chicken and ate, but even then we didn't have enough time to make other things to fill us up. Don't worry we're not starving, just well... running out of time ha ha.

Another thing we learned together while street teaching is trying to listen to people more. We had a conversation with a man that basically at the beginning just complained about money and it being hard. We actually had him talk for a while and he said he didn't have faith. We said some simple, I guess, inspiring questions and he completly changed to being a more sincere and accepting person. We plan on meeting with him, so we'll see what happens. It's not the first time that has happened and it's amazing to see how the spirit works on people and can truly change a person's attitude in such a quick minute. I'm so thankful for the spirit, it's hard work and it may not seem like things aren't working the way there supposed to but when the spirit is there, everything before doesn't matter. It's a humbling experience.

Here in ... has been well.... very, very hot. I know I said I'm used to it but basically it's at the point where if there is shade, I'll try to walk in it and clouds are very nice when they block the sun. It feels like your sweating just standing in the sun. During the middle of the day, the city almost feels empty because everyone is inside. It's interesting.

Sounds like a lot of things are happening back home. With cleaning out the basement and also Kaylie's birthday. Sounds super exciting... well the birthday part. My new companion is a lot more cleaner than my last companion so I'm not complaining. I love having a clean apartment ha ha. Each week we get an email from President ... about random things and a thing that he mentioned is based off what the First Presidency said. About having homes dedicated. It mentions in the missionary handbook briefly about how the Holy Spirit can reside in the home and where family members can find safty, grow spiritually, and other things. When the home is clean it brings more harmony. It's hard but it's worth it. It also talked about the goal of having every home for members here in Bulgaria to be dedicated. It's exciting.

Anyway I got to go but I love all of you.

Love Elder Green


I forgot to mention about how my companion is helping me live the actual culture of Bulgaria with food. I have tried a lot more things with him and also ate out at a sit down place. I've never had any companion do that and we order of course Bulgarian tradition things. It's so much fun. So far I have tried a cucumber with a yogurt, milk thing soup that was delicious. Also we had sushi, which was based off where a current investigator works and they happened to have it. I thought it was funny because you mentioned a Sushi place in the email. That's the first time my companion had Sushi in Bulgaria so it's not a thing here. Also this morning I had a thing that is basically a giant crape which was fantastic. Also I had fries with a SeranAd (Bulgarian cheese). I thought the cheese was ok at first but now it's super super delicious. I'll be trying more things and I'm excited for that. I would send pictures if I could but the computers that I currently use have a restriction that prevents that. Ugh. Anyway love you all!

Love Elder Green

Monday, July 21, 2014

The end of Transfers again....

It's crazy that it has already passed another 6 weeks. It seems like I just got here in ..., let alone Bulgaria. President ... was in Turkey so only companionships with changes got a call since it's expensive from Turkey to Bulgaria. So what happened... we got a call. I'm getting a new companion and my companion is leaving .... I have loved serving with him. He is a really funny companion and love telling stories. I feel like out of all of my companions I have had the best relationship with Elder .... I'm going to be serving with a person in his group and also is the current zone leader in .... He'll be district leader for ..., so I'm excited to serve with him. His name is Elder .... He's really good at chess... yea he played in tournaments in Utah, and thats about all I know. I talked to him on the phone and he says he wants to run every morning. I'm excited for that, but also I'm pretty sure everyone in the mission that I know knows that I'm a runner. It's who I am ha ha. I'll be traveling tomorrow for 10 hours of bus ride... fun. ha ha.

This week has been really fun and exciting because well... whenever someone transfers, getting lessons are a lot easier ha ha. We have been able to reach our district goal or at least for the companionship with 6 lessons with a member present. I had one of the most akward lesson with a group. Originally we got a information about a family so we set up and went to the lesson. We then were told by a girl around 22 that they were at a small playground. We then talked and the mother of the family said not interested and pointed to 3 22 year old girls. We talked to them but it was just akward. It was an interesting lesson and I'll keep it at that. I've had lessons were we are standing the whole time and it just doesn't work. The enviroment just wasn't right. Other lessons have been fantastic.

There is one, actually the only progressing investigator, that we have been meeting basically everyday. She has progressed faster than any person I have ever seen. It is super exciting and she has a baptism date. Then she didn't come to church, then when we called she said she didn't want to meet. It broke my companion and I hearts. We don't know what happened. The last lesson was good and now she has a complete different attitude towards us. There are some people around her that arn't to found about her. Hopefully things can be repaired by trying to meet with her in the future. I've heard stories about people progressing and the week of the baptism everything just falls apart. It has now happened to me. It's unfortunate but the only thing you can do is trying everything you can do and keep going forward.

It has been an interesting week. I finally caught up in my journal ha ha. Now it's the end of the transfer. It only took 6 weeks to catch up or at least that's how it feels. Keeping busy with the work. I also wanted to mention that missionaries have a lot of junk to. My companion has had a hard time fitting everything in luggage. It's hard to get rid of junk and I've noticed that I have a lot more things than what I started with because of left behind things from missionaries. I actually got a nice backpack like Dad's from a left behind that I use all the time for travel. I just have to carry it by my side because it's against rules to wear it because it's not professional. Rules are necessary and good but sometimes I don't like them but I know they're there for a reason.

Answers to some quistions: The tempeture in well.. hot. It's the hottest town and the coldest in the winter. We do have a clEmatEk. I don't know how to spell it so just sound it out and you'll get it. We have it on all of the time. It doesn't cool down the apartment at all but the one room. I'm used to the heat but it's still annoying ha ha. Humidity it feels the same but I don't know if that is because I'm used to it or not. It also rains in ... once a week and personally I like it when it does because it's cooler on those days. The language well... it's coming. Slowly but surely, it's easy to be a little down because of it being tricky but it's better than before and eventually I'll get it. Just need to keep being diligent in learning it.

Anyway, I love all of you.

Love Elder Green

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Busy week with traveling

This week has been a busy week for sure. It seems like I have been doing a lot of traveling with things that are going on. This week we had Zone Conference in ... so it was fun to go there. It's a total of 6 hours to there and back for that. Also, I'm heading to ..., most likely around 2:00 my time, for my companion to work on his passport work. It'll be the first time I've gone in for that for not myself. It's a 5 hour drive there so I'll be coming back to ... tomorrow after the work is done. Today is going to be busy because trying to do the normal things for Prepareation day and leaving in the middle of it for ... is well.. just not a lot of time. We might have to shop for food during diner hour another day. 

Right now we have a baptismal date for a lady for the 26 of this month. She is well prepared and she is also older. We have had lessons in her home and outside in parks when we don't have a male member with us because of rules. We have taught her the first 2 lessons with Plan of Salvation first then Restoration based off her needs. She has had a husband passed away 2 years ago that she struggles with still. She is so sweet and she also cooks things for us to eat when we meet. She is so wonderful. She has also came to church this past Sunday and also a branch party that we had.

The branch party we had was the first time I had a "party" with a branch or group here. It was so much fun. We had a lot of food, people, games and other things. We actually had a thing called Super Saturday, when we work with the members with daily missionary work for 2 hours. There wasn't enough members for everyone to go on splits with them (1 missionary with 1 member as a companionship) so I was with my companion the whole time. It was interesting because the members have a different Idea on missionary work, good intentions, just don't know the basics of it I guess. We might start up a Preach My Gospel class to help teach the members how to share the gospel better.

We also met up with the other missionaries here about changing the zone areas a little bit because there are some problems with how it is set up right now. It was fun planning that because Elder ... made Carrot Cake, he was figuring out how to make it for the branch party, and we had a lot of snacks and food while we discussed about it. All of the Elders got DoonerE so we ate that to. It was great.

Sounds like a lot of things are happening at home, with fishing and with Trek coming up. It was a fun experience doing those things and well... it feels like forever ago since I've done either. It's also interesting to hear about the people who spoke Romanian at Dad's trip to Wyoming. There is actually one sign here that is in Romanian and that is because Romania is just next door. It's cool being able to see it from the apartment window 12 stories up. It just makes me think... Wow, I'm actually in Bulgaria. It still amazes me that I'm here, and I love it with the members and the people here. I think I've gotten to the point where things that are usually not normally seen in America that I've seen well... gotten used to it. Still an amazing feeling to see but not nearly as strong as when I first got here. But.. there's still a lot of amazing things to see here.

I've adjusted to the city. I'm familar basically with all of the area that we usually work in. Some areas not so much if I haven't been there but well that's self explanitory. I love working with my companion Elder .... He has been one of the funnest out of all of the companions I have worked with. He is also the district leader so it's interesting to see the things he has to do that I haven't seen in past companionships.

I have 3 memory cards for my camera so I'm not in need of any. I filled one up but it was the smallest size memory card. The other ones are 4x the size so I still have to take tons of pictures to be able to fill those up.

Anyway Love you all

Love Elder Green

Monday, July 7, 2014


As usually the week passed by just like that.

Anyway, currently, well actually an investigator that was basically dropped for a while we picked up again. The thing that is amazing is that she came to church yesterday, even though our lesson fell through. We were planning on trying to set up a way for her to come to church. She has 2 kids, and one of those includes a baby. We call them the "Family" in Bulgarian of course because its 3 families living under one roof. It's suprised my companion and I at church and it was great.

I think I forgot to mention this last week but when we got back from Varna to help with the flooding there I accidentily left the keys to my companion and I apartment. We ended up having to live at the other Elders apartment in ... because no one had a spare key. I  didn't have the best attitude because of me making that mistake but we got the keys delivered from someone that was originally planning on coming to ... from Varna. Anyway, for church it's required to wear a suit coat. Well... it was in my apartment for my companion and I, so we had to wear extra ones the other Elders had. My companion it fit fine but  for me of course it was super big. I basically held my sleeves skrunched up by my side. Just a funny story, well... it's funny now but not in the moment ha ha.

Anyway, because ... is such a bigger city, the use of buses are so nice. In ... I only took the bus when I went on exchanges in that area, so only like 2 times. Here it's almost everyday. The ticket is a little more expensive here being 1 lev. It's interesting, groceries have been a lot cheaper because of my companion, but the transportation expense is so much higher.

Yea.. happy 4th of July. I still can't believe it's already July. Also transfers calls are on the 19th. I can't believe it's almost already here. This transfer is going by fast. I haven't really heard of any holidays happening here, but I never know. They happen quite often it seems.

Oh another thing that has happened was I lost my daily planner. Ugh... it is so annoying. I use it to write in my journal. I'm usually on top of it but because  of trips and also zone leaders staying at  my companion and I apartment I got behind. Then... I lost my planner so now it's not nearly as easy to try to include everthing. I'm hoping to get caught up today though. It may not happen but who knows.

Another thing we are doing is playing ping pong with the other Elders in this district with  a really really cool member named Bro. .... He speaks English and has the strongest testimony that I have ever heard from a Bulgarian. The first time I met him was on exchanges with Elder .... He loves futball or soccer and I really want to play with him but he wants to play with the whole district but because of rules here that can't happen. I wish it could though.           

Also random things. I don't know if you know how to get on my facebook but if you can figure it out, there is a member in ... that wants to be friends. If you could accept that I would like that so I can keep in touch with him after the mission.

Anyway, Cross Country camp sounds fun. I would love to be able to run in the mountains. I keep on thinking about running and training when doing random things throughout the day just because it reminds of randoms things I did while running.

Anyway...   I always love emailing and  hearing about everything that is happening. I love you all.

Love Elder Green

Displaying DSCF4692.JPG

Heres a photo of the Black Sea from the Bus in Varna

Monday, June 30, 2014

Wow... What a week...

I think out of all of the weeks in the mission, this has been one of the most busy, and with some of the biggest things I have seen here in the mission field. This Thursday everyone in Zone 3, there is 3 zones in Bulgaria plus 1 in Turkey for the mission as a whole, went to Varna to help with some of the clean up there. What an experience with actually helping with a natural disaster.

I think when the actual storm took place was around Friday of last week. Let's just say there is still a lot of work that is needed to be done there. The group split in half and I got to be with my MTC group again except for Elder .... I think I've never done so much physical work in one day. I think the only other time I used so much energy in the day is Ragnar, but with Ragnar you don't get that much sleep. Anyway, the group I was with all we did was clean a basement. There was actually a car that got sucked into it, and yes, it's not a grage. It got in by knocking down the wall of the building. The mud when we started was basically an inch below my knees.

We were there for 2 days total, so worked all day saturday with proselyting at 5-9 at night then the same for saturday except the proselyting changed for riding the bus back to .... We dug all day and hit the bottom of the ground at the end of the day the first day, then the 2nd day the height of the mud and water was back to the same level. All of the water came from the seperation of the mud. We had lines of people passing buckets to a huge bucket that trucks would deliver, and people skooping and digging when the water would be to low to scoop. We also helped with a store that well... the basement is completly ruined. Things on the top floor was fine but yea... it was a mess. We did the same thing and my group was really determined and we got a big bucket filled in about a 30 minutes. It was tough work, and my body for sure feels that work the day after each work. It's also been harder to wake up both morning of those working days (physically) because I'm not used to working so hard.

I wonder if we'll have the oppurtunity to travel there again to help. I loved it. It's also sad. Where we were working there were rows of huge trucks taking out dabre (don't know if spelled right) and branches, mud, and I'm pretty sure they were knocking buildings down that were unsalvagable. The main place where we actually took all of our breaks, and yes the only time we took breaks was when we didn't have a bucket filled, used to be a restraunt. It explained why there was a tiled floor on the side of the road. There wasn't any walls at all so you wouldn't be able to notice.

With that cleaning up that happened I had the choice of either going to a baptism, or staying there. Yes... ... got baptized! It's the first baptism that I got to help with, but still didn't go even though I could have. It was hard choice for me and even now it bugs me a little that I missed it but not nearly as much as when the choice was being made. It also didn't help that he got baptized in a river in the town. It would have been really fun to say that the first baptism of a Bulgarian I saw would have been ... in the river. I figured, I'm here serving a mission, when people are baptized that is fantastic. If I could be helping with service in Varna with the disaster or watch the baptism, I felt like I could be more effective in Varna. They could use the help from anyone they could get there hands on. Like I said, it bugs me a little but I'm still happy with the choice.

I don't know if I'll be able to send photos this time because my companion and I switched computers because he wanted to send photos and the one he was using which is the one I'm using now doesn't allow the normal way to send photos. Hopefully that made sense ha ha.

It's also crazy to think that today is the last day of June. Before I know it, the summer time is going to be over. Time flys by as a missionary. The mission is truly short.

The tempeture well is hot. ... is actually known to be the hottest city in Bulgaria and also being the coldest during the winter time. I'm used to the heat but still sometimes have that yuck feeling from working the whole day in it. Also masquitos here are terrible. The city actually have trucks going around every now and then spraying a chemical to help with the misquitos. It totally makes a different. Usually I'll be getting bites then that happens and it'll be a while until I start getting bites again then usually the day after I see one of those trucks. It's kind of interesting.

I want to share my testimony on the Book of Mormon. Wow... I don't even know if I can express it. Before the mission, yea I tried to read a little maybe every few days and then some weeks everyday then back into the bad habits of saying to myself, "I don't like reading anyway." But... know I just don't have enough time to read it. I want to do certain notes and mark in certain ways that will take to much time to do. There was a challenge to finish it today, but unfortunatly that's not happening for me. I switched half way to just reading instead of marking a ton in a Book of Mormon I got at the MTC and also with notes. I got really behind because of that but I'm still close. I'm currently in Mormon 8 right now. I'm hoping to have it done within the next 2 weeks. Also, my desire for wanting to read the other scriptures, Doctorine and Covenants, The Bible, Old and New Testaments, and Pearl of Great Price is actually really strong. I wish I would have been reading on my own during Seminary. Seminary was fantastic but I feel like I didn't contain anything based off my own arrogance. Anyway, it is truly does contain the fullness of this great Gospel.

Anyway I'm running out of time, and sorry I haven't answered all of the questions. I'll try to answer them next week and try to remember. If I never answer certain questions in emails, keep asking and eventually I'll get to them. There was just a lot to write about in this email. I love all of you so very much.

Love Elder Green

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Crazy end of the Week

This week has been a crazy week or at least the last part of it. It was really special we had a mission conference in Sofia with President/Sister Lawrence. President Lawrence is part of the 70. All I can say about what I learned is wow wow and wow. The words of Gathering Israel has completly changed for me. The thought of general things about the Plan of Salvation has also deepened. It was a mind exploding learning experience. We also learned more about the lost 10 tribes and also the tribes of Israel more. When I fill like I have learned so much, I feel like I'm at the tip of the iceberg. The gospel is simple as a whole, but can go so deep where when you learn of the deepness I guess, your perspective of the gospel changes also. Like I said, it was mind blowing. I was in Sofia for 2 nights and a day for that conference also.

Since I have been here, when the summer time came or the transition from cold to hot, it has been raining a ton. I asked my companion, Elder ..., how often it rained here in Ruse, and he said it averaged 1th a week. ... it has rained sometimes 3 times a week for a couple of weeks in a row and even Bulgarians who we talked to during that time said it was a lot more than normal. I did hear about ... having that disaster. We actually got a phone call from President Wilstead, about a day or 2 after getting back from the conference about that. We almost went to ... to go help with the disaster. But... when we called all of the transport places (Bus and Train) we had to leave within 10 minutes when we got the call or in the middle of the night or the morning after. That wasn't conveniant for us to go with those options, so we ended up staying. I think it would have been a day activity if it would have went through, I hope everything is ok in ... now, I'm sure the missionaries are extra busy with that on there hands.

I also learned from talking with my Old Companion, Elder ... at the conference, about how the investigators in ... are doing. The person named ... that was so close to baptism when I was there, actually got his date moved up to being done on this Saturday. It was originally planned for next week. He should be completly ready this time because he learned already about the interview questions from the last time I was there. I'm so excited for him. Also, I may have the oppurtunity to watch the baptism by going back to ... for a day. I would love that to see the baptism and also to see the members again.

Today, we got a text from President Wilstead talking about baptisms for this month. So far the mission goal is 10 for this month and so far this is only 4. It basically explained that anyone that is potential ready to try to aim for them to have a baptism this week. There is a family that was dropped but recently Elder ... and I started teaching again. They have been taught everything and we had a lesson with them that went really well. One of the members of that family may be ready for baptism, and we didn't really consider it before now because of that text. It's something that my companion and I are aiming for, so this weekend is going to be busy. It's an exciting time.

Elder ... and I went on splits again when we came back to town because my companion and Elder ... companion, Elder ... (from Idaho) had interviews with President Wilstead. Interviews happen every few months by the way. It was fun to serve with him again. Also with the conference, I saw my whole MTC group. That is probably the only time that is going to happen in the mission besides when we finally go home. Also, I think I forgot to mention this but Elder ... (very first companion) is training right now. It wasn't originally planned but it changed with the Visas going through that were expected not to go through.

Sounds like it's a busy time at home, or at least doing fun things. I'm happy that Lexie was able to go to Coranna house in Oregon. It was a beutiful place to run in with all of the nature when I went there for Nationals. Also a lot of rain, which is funny because of what I said earlier. Also with Kaylie and Allie fishing with grandpa, always a fun thing. I wouldn't mind doing a little bit of that when I get home. And also hiking in the canyons. Since I got into Bulgaria, I decided I love being in nature and it's not to hard to do that here or at least in ... it wasn't. It's harder with the big city but there are still parks around. Yea... I love ....

I can't believe Luke's farewell is coming up. I have been keeping pretty good contact with Benson. Not to often do we email each other, but when we do it is great. I probably email Blake the most out of all the friends that I do email which I love also.

The new city is a little bit hard because started out with no investigators at all. It felt like when I first got in country in ... , but things are looking really good with what has happened this last week. There are also some members that I'm already good friends with. One of there names is Bro. .... I still have a hard time pronouncing it right in Bulgarian ha ha. I can fake a rolling "R" sound but can't hold it. Maybe eventually I'll get it down ha ha.

For Preperation days, we haven't done to much. I just want to explore but it doesn't sound like there is to much to explore or at least that I don't know of. There are some beutiful places that we always pass by that are beutiful based off structures and architecture of buildings. It's a place called "Center". There are a ton and I mean of ton of people there during the day. I got some pictures during the morning run. Yes, my companion and I run a tiny loop around center each morning. It only takes 10-15 minutes to do so at least it's a little bit of running. I love excercise time in the morning now because of it. Before, I well... didn't like excerising on a mat for a hour.

Anyway, I could go on more but running out of time. I love all of you and hope everything goes well with "normal" life.

Love Elder Green (Yes... I remembered to sign it this time)

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Life in the new city

Hey everyone, it's weird to think that I'm in my 2nd city now and Wow, I didn't realize how small ... is. Instead of being in a small town surronded by forests, I'm in a huge city. There area 4 Elders and 2 Sisters here, so a total of 6 missionaries. Another thing that is kind of exciting is Elder ... (from Finland in my group) is serving here in the same city.

Before, it was originally planned for him to go to another city than ... and his companion. Originally planned they weren't going to be here. The reason why is because it was believed that the new group that just came into country was thought that they would be delayed due to Visa problems. But, it went through ok so that's why the extra 2 missionaries are here. They got a call on Monday night saying they were changing plans on where they were going, and that didn't sound fun to me.

Like I have said ... is a really big city. Also the apartment that I'm staying at is on the 12 floor. I can see Romania from my window and the river that seperates the 2 countries. It's cool to see. My companions name is Elder ... if I didn't mention it. He is super smart in the Bible and just in general. It seems like everyone I'm put with is one of the smarter people in country. I like him, but when I arrived the apartment was a disaster, in my opinion. Ugh... ha ha. I guess I got used to haveing a clean or mostly clean apartment with my past companions. I'm hoping that today we can "get things in order." I guess I got a good habit of being cleaner with general living.

The people that I'm working with right now in ... isn't much. It seems like all of our investigators are ones that live in the other Elders area, so we have to "hand them over" which also includes a family of 4. I've never met them either. Basically my companion said "We're starting over" with Investigators. That made me sad. I loved working with the people back in .... I still pray and hope they'll all progress.

Another thing about my companion is he likes to cook everything in the kitchen and basically controll it. I'm not picky and I'm fine with it but he does cook, well... different things that are ok. I've liked other food that past companionships have made. I've only been here for half a week, so I'll see what happens with regular food I guess.

The church in ... is a branch. The building is a lot bigger than .... There are also 25-30 members. It's also self reliant or can run without missionaries, which ... well... heavily relied on missionaries for everything to run smooth. Church is also 3 hours instead of 2 hours like the other city also. I really liked church, even if I'm still lost in it. I also got to help set some people apart for callings. It was a really neat experience. Another funny thing, 2 of the people that were members I've seen in ... during Sunday. It was good to see them again, and I look forward to getting to know them better.

It's defianitly an adjustment to the city. I don't know where anyone or anything is. Also having it be a "big city" doesn't help, but learning will come in time, but I still don't like being in that feeling of being lost.

Another thing that happened is the other Elders are both new to the city, so they have no idea where anything is. At least I have an experienced companion. Because of that, we went on companion exchanges. I got to serve with Elder ... for a day. That was interesting because both of our Bulgarian language is well... not the best. We actually had a family laugh at us, just because we were struggling. But, if it makes them happy, well, I guess that's good. I have a wonder time serving with him. I loved it, we both kind of just walked around, talking to people to the best of our ability, even had a lesson, and we tried our best. He has only been in town for a day or 2 and for me it was 3 days in town. It was interesting ha ha.

Here some photos of the city from the window of our apartment.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

transfer day

Another week down, and also transfer day is going to be here tomorrow. Guess what... I'm moving. It's crazy to think that I have been here in ...for 4 months already. I'm so excited to go to another city but at the same time I'm super sad to leave the great people in this great city. The city that I'm going to to .... It's the farthest north city opened for missionaries along a big river that separates Bulgaria from Romania. I've heard that I'll be able to see that country from the distance and that the apartment is 12 stories up and is fun. One of the Elders here, Elder ... from Cedar Hills (I think I've mentioned him before and yea he lives close) served in that city in his 2-3 transfer here in Bulgaria I think and it's his favorite city I think.
There is so much going on here, it's hard to leave. It's interesting, there have been weeks that my companion and I struggled with trying to reach our goals for the key indicators but this last week was, well Wow! We have the most lessons this whole transfers, had some of those lessons happen without planning it, and other things.
Right now for my companionship, we have 2 investigators with a date, one for the end of this month and the other for the beginning of the month and we are also teaching 4 others that don't have baptismal dates. I feel like the same thing happened during the last transfer. It's an exciting time, I just hope that the baptisms will go through. The only problem is after the baptismal date, both of investigators are leaving the country. One to England, and the other to France. There are so many people that come and go and that are great people to meet with. It's hard when that happens because I really want to help grow the group here in .... It's still great to meet with those people and hopefully can prepare them for the church in the areas that they are going to.
We recently met with ... girlfriend ..., I don't know if I mentioned it last week or not. She is fantastic and also for church she has been coming and also brought one of her roommates. She is studying in college right now to be a elementary school teacher. She is fantastic. I wish that I could meet with her and ... more. The only thing is she is leaving also on the 20th for a Cello (village) close to Sofia.
Also this Sunday was the best Sunday since I have been here in Bulgaria. We had 4 of our investigators come to church which I've never had that many come before. Also the ... are back. They are a family that is originally from Ireland and live here and are retired because they feel like this is the right place to be. Bro. ... had surgery in Ireland and took some time to recover before returning. We had 17 + a baby at church. I don't think we ever had that much. To become a branch you need 15 people coming consistently for 3 months. It helped having the 4 investigators being there and also another that ... invited. It was such a great experience.
I've learned so much from my companion Elder .... I feel like our strengths and weaknesses are similar, so we've both learned how to overcome some things together. Also, everyone (missionaries) say that Elder ... is the best in the Bulgarian language than any other missionary. Both of the companions I have had in country are so good at the language. I might eventually get there ha ha. I've improved a ton this transfer in my opinion also. I've started to do followup phone calls which I haven't really done before so it's good. Some times I have no idea what the people are saying but practice makes perfect right.

I forgot to mention in the last email about the gardens here in Bulgaria. Basically, if you're lucky to have a very small yard, basically if you even have a yard, it's just a garden. The gardens are small, but some are larger than others and some look actually really nice. The biggest thing here is grape vines. Everyone have them, even for apartment buildings, they somethings have a vine that has grown to every persons balcony. It's crazy. They have structures to make the vines grow above the person, usually for covering the whole area of there little yard. They use the grapes to make RakEya. It's a Bulgarian drink that contains alcohol in it. The yards are usually around this size on average I would say, the area with the gardens. Some are a lot bigger but others are usually that size. I think a lot of farming is done in the Cellos (villages).
Here's another random photo of the sign on the mission home. I went to Sofia again for passport work and got my LEchna Carda. Basically my residential card for a year, then I'll get another or renewal when I'm here for the other half of my mission. It's kind of cool.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

6 months

Wow, I didn't even realize that I have been out for 6 months now. I've been telling people that I have only been out for 3.5 months and that's just saying in country. It's interesting to but the MTC months into the equation and also how this past month or the other half has flown by. Before I know it, I'll be at the year mark. There area a lot of missionaries that will be surprised that it is there "year mark" in country.
This week has been short, but long with a lot of street teaching/tracting. We didn't have a lot of lessons so it makes it longer, but that's just for the day not the week.
A cool thing that I was able to go to was a Europe broadcast with Elder Bednar and other General Authorities. It was held in Russia, which apparently things like that is always held in Russia. Anyway it only happens every couple of years I think, so it was a cool experience. It was a live broadcast and they actually had people in Salt Lake translating while the conference was taking place, so it came from Russia to Salt Lake, then to Bulgaria. It's interesting because that means it traveled basically the whole world before coming to Bulgaria. Everyone in ...(English spelling) went to ... (English spelling) to watch the broadcast which is south ....
It was a super fun experience. When we went there we actually took a train for part of it, then switched to a Bus, then back to the train. Basically the train is the format of the Harry Potter train. There was a hallway on one side and we sat in a room with big seats. Just because of the style of the train it made me happy ha ha.  

This is the last week of the transfers, so we'll see what happens whether or not I'll move. It's crazy that it's already that time again. It feels like I just got a new companion. Usually from what other missionaries have seen in the mission is that people usually move 4-8 months out of there city. I'm going to be in that range so, see what happens. I always get excited for transfers because of the possibility to be able to move cities and explore more. That's all I want to do on P-days.
Right now I currently have 3 investigators. There names are ..., ..., and ...(English spelling) Wow that's funny I never really spelled there names in English and it looks really funny ha ha. Anyway, has a baptism day for July 5because the week after he is moving to England for schooling for the summer and then coming back. actually ... girlfriend and we just barely met here. ... is an older lady that actually feeds us lots of snacks and gives us tea whenever we have a lesson at her house. She is so nice.
I don't know if I mentioned this in my last letter but  my main pair of shoes (I've been wearing the ones from Missionary Mall the whole time) ripped in half side to side. To be honest, they don't bother me unless it's wet outside. When that is the case, at night time when I get home I take out the padding and let it dry out and wear another pair until it dries out. I'm probably going to start switching it each day because I would like to be able to go throughout the whole mission and not have to buy a new pair of shoes or just use the 3 that I have. I may not have a choice if they all get trashed, but will see.
Here is a photo of a guy named ... (English spelling and say "E" in his name for pronunciation) He knows English, Bulgarian of course, and is fluent in Russian. He moved to ... :(, but he was fantastic to work with. He is so cool. His mother is actually Russian also. He has the strongest values and everything that the church has to offer, but his main concern is that he doesn't want to join a church because he doesn't want to have "responsibility". He would help the church so much here but it's hard with that concern. I love him, such a great friend. 

Also here is another photo of me in "Old Town" it's a really cool place in ...also.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Alphabet Day

Hey everyone. This week has been fast also, well actually weeks are really short and days are long but I think I've already said that a million of times. It's interesting how the time as a missionary is like.
These past couple of weeks I've been focusing my language study with the grammar instead of doing just words. Actually come to think about it it was already a month ago. Wow time flies by. I feel like I understand Bulgarian so much more with the grammar and it's making more sense, but I'm still learning little by little and still have a hard time understanding but at the same time I can understand a lot depending on what subject it is on.
For ... (English spelling), the one who is so close to baptism, is getting his baptismal date moved back :(. He has a problem with one of the commandments but is good on everything else. We talked about his baptism and we both agreed to not have a baptismal date until he has more control over an addiction. He is such a great guy and such a great friend. I love him so much. I just wish I could understand him more but I still have a good connection with him, or at least that's how it feels.
Happy birthday Grandpa Randall. Hope you have a great birthday 
I'm glad to hear that Richard was able to find a lot of things he needed at the missionary mall. It seems like a good place, everything was just to big for me ha ha.

This week has been an interesting one. Actually, yesterday there was a lot of people dressed up and I have no idea why. It was younger people so maybe it was a Prom thing for the end of school here. That is my guess but I could be completely off. Also elections for someone was yesterday also. Yea... I have no idea who ha ha. Anyway, another thing or Holiday that just recently past was Alphabet Day. My companion basically wished everyone a happy holiday because it was that day, but I didn't see any special thing done because of it.

Answer to some questions:

1- I do have 3 pairs of shoes. Sorry for the misconception from my past email

2- If I end up buying a lighter jacket, I'll buy one here. Don't bother on looking for one and sending it.
3- I'm lucky in this mission, I do have every book in Bulgarian for scriptures. I have a triple copy with every book and a huge Bible that is bigger than the triple combination. I did get every book in the MTC. If I remember, I'll take a picture and send it to you. The Bible or the books inside of it is in a different order and the names are harder to recognize with the language switch. In the triple it's super easy to recognize prophets names in where the Bible is harder. I know other groups in the MTC going to other countries didn't have everything translated, so that's why I said that. Sister ... (in my MTC group but went to Macedonia) actually has the Bulgarian Book of Mormon because there isn't any Macedonia Book of Mormon because there isn't enough members in the country to have it translated. I think there has to be at least 50 if I remember correct from the MTC. It's interesting.
4- My English scriptures are fine, I don't need a small set. The only time a take it out of the apartment is for zone trainings/conferences which that only happens 1th a month.  

The last Preparation Day was a really fun day. We visited ... (English Spelling). I got a tone of fun photos, so those are the ones that I'll be sending with this email. One is in front of the main building on top of ... (English Spelling) and the other one is me is in part of a tower. It's not me in the ... building. Inside the main building has a lot of creepy painting of old religious stuff.

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Creepy paintings I was talking about and One of my favorite at ...