Monday, February 17, 2014

Surviving Bulgaria

First off, Happy Birthday Mom. I can't believe that time is already here. After looking at the date realizing I wouldn't be able to email you until today. 

Anyway missionary work is a lot different than what I have thought. Before, the thought of keeping members strong didn't mean much. That is completely different than what I have thought. There are 2 members that are the same age as me that I love. There name are ... and .... It's really to have lessons with member present with the numbers because they practically come to all of the lessons.

... is spiritually just awesome. He has a little tablet that he actually uses as a phone. He always play church music. "If you could high to Kolab" hymn is a favorite here. It's funny because out of all the hymns that is actually my favorite one. He has some versions of it that sounds really cool because instead of a piano is has a lot of instruments in it.
This last Sunday we had the branch president from a different area come in to do business with us (update on investigators, collect tithing slips, other things but I couldn't understand him :) ) and it's just weird because we don't have a branch president, just a group leader.
Right now I have 3 investigators. One of them actually left town for 2 weeks for work. One of the investigators are actually speaks Russian. I don't know why but I tried to talk to her and yea I basically told her I spoke a tiny Bulgarian and didn't understand the rest. The group got silent and was watching me so it was just funny and emphasizing.
Contacting or Street Teaching, that we like to call it, is interesting. I'm still freaked out to talk to random people, let alone them speaking a different language, because It's just something I've never done. It's getting easier to stop people but I still have a hard time doing it.
The language is coming better. It's definitely testing my patience. There are times were I'll be down but just keeping going. Instead of the first couple days where everything said was just mush, I can recognize a few words when spoken by people. It's frustrating because I can pick a few words but can't put the words together to make sentences. But, I know with time it will come. This last week went by really really fast surprising. Before I know it, hopefully time will pass and I'll know the language :).
One of the things that I liked here is called дюнерл. It's like shredded beef I think and fries with sauce on it. It's really good. My companion is actually a really good cook. He's made banana bread, homemade pizza and a lot more yummy things. I'm trying to learn all I can from him. He is like the dream missionary for me and I hope I can become as good as him.
For the beds in my apartment, it's actually 3 beds. 1 big one and 2 small ones. Only my companion and I live in that apartment. There are 2 other Elders in .... They have a different apartment in a different part of the city. My companion and I cover the northern part of the city and they take the bottom half. The reason why we are in different apartments is because the rules for missionaries in this country is to not really be in groups because we don't want to leave the impression that we are meeting like mafia. Yea, rules are there for a reason. The only time we can technically be with the other companionship is when we meet at the church for meetings/church.
I also wanted to mention how there is a lot of graphety. Sorry I don't know how to spell that word. It's kind of cool to see all of the artwork and some buildings have amazing artwork that is just part of the building. 
It's cool to see all of the photos of Grandma and Grandpa 50th anniversary. It's such a special time. Here in Bulgaria, the majority of people just "live together." There's no point in being married here. It's sad to learn that the culture is like that. Also, there are a lot of lessons that fall through. It's kind of annoying but we always have backup plans. There isn't that much time to waste with the missionary schedule.
So after emailing last week we went to .... Wow it was amazing. I guess you can google it and look up the history. It's pretty interesting. I'm sending some photos. I still don't know why the computer won't show the pictures that I'm sending so hopefully my guesses are right. It's basically a fortress and has a monastery. There are a lot of ruins but there are restoring parts at a time. During the night time they have huge lights lighting it up. It's cool because everything there was made out of stone. The walls, buildings, the roads. It was a really neat thing to experience.
 Also the money is really colorful. The size of the bill is increased when the amount is also increased. The 1 Lev is actually a coin instead of a bill. It feels like monopoly money because it's so colorful and the value of each bill doesn't feel like its worth that much just because it's not American bills and I'm not used to it.
There's also some buildings that are just abandoned. There's a huge building close to where I live and it's under construction. Well.. it was abandoned. It's just a building with walls and nothing in it. It's weird. Another thing that is interesting about here is peoples deaths. They post pictures of them and say when they passed away on doors and garages. Bulgarians also after 5, 10, 20 (for an example of how many years)years after the death of the person they post a picture saying how long ago they died from the present date and do it just for the memory of the person. It's kind of cool how that's the way to keep memory of them.
When we went Tracking, the elevators that we go in don't have a door that closes so you can see the wall moving while going up or down. There are a lot of buildings that are like that. Also the elevators are really small, they can only fit 4 people and that is pushing it.
Life is different. Most of the time I just stand there and I guess look pretty :) ha ha because I have no idea what is being said. Sometimes random people will talk to me and I just give them a blank stare. I actually had one of the members (a grandma) grabbing my face during scripture reading with the members on Tuesday I believe. Yea that was weird.
Another thing is it's really hard to type in Cerillics (don't know how to spell it). The MTC keyboard has every sound in similar spots and here it's completely mixed up. Also if I could get the knowledge of where ancestors came from also that would be good. I feel bad for not knowing but some people asked and I just guessed because I have no idea. Like I said before I should know and feel bad not knowing. I love all of you.
Love Elder Green

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