Monday, March 3, 2014

Answers to questions and responses to Email.

Here some answers to some of the questions.
The schedule for a missionary in Bulgaria is sure busy, but that's for every missionary out there. 6:30 wake up, exercise for half hour, shower/breakfast for the next hour. 
8:00 we have personal study
9:00 companionship study 
10:00 second companionship study (for the first 12 weeks while I'm here then I wont have it)
11:00 lunch (usually, it changes if something else is planned like lessons ect.)
12:00-3:00 lessons, tracking, or street teaching (contacting)
4:00 language study
5:00 dinner 
6:00-9:00 same as 12:00-3:00
-The schedule can be very different depending on the day, and some days have English class, Scripture study class, Clean church, Church, District meeting. I think I mentioned all of the big activities. Some of the activities most missionaries wouldn't do like scripture study class and cleaning the church, but in ... the ward is 12 members that is on average including 4 missionaries. The attitude is if the missionaries weren't at the activities those activities would fall apart. Hopefully, with time, that can change with the church strengthened with more members. Also in this town we are trying to find families to join because there isn't really any families in the group for the church.
-I haven't heard anything about Ukraine. I haven't really heard any news since I have entered the MTC. Also about Russia, if anything is going on there, if I'm reading your email correct.
-Scripture reading is 1 time a week for an hour. 
-English class we just teach about 20ish words, give a spiritual message in English and in Bulgarian so they can try to understand the English saying. To be honest, there are a lot of people that speak English here. Also random people sometimes try to speak English to us because we have that English look I guess.
-Most of the time we have ... as the member present. He doesn't have a job right now and has nothing else to do, and he loves helping. He works at a restaurant but it's under construction and he has a lot of stress because he's not working. He was also an orphan too, which doesn't help. He's a really cool guy around 22ish years old. I love him so much. 
-Laundry, we have racks in the apartment that we hang our cloths to dry. My apartment is actually really lucky because it has a dishwasher also. It's also one of the best in Bulgaria from what I've heard from all of the Elders here. 
-I love the food here. There is similar and completely different. I love дюнер I think I've mentioned it before. I don't know if it's just a Bulgarian meal or if other countries have it but America doesn't have it. Similar, earlier I had lasagna and a lot of other things. 
-For the March celebration for spring, for the past week or 2 they have been selling red and white bracelets and dolls. The 1st of March ... и (and) ... gave all of the missionaries bracelets. Elders aren't supposed to wear it but can accept them and wear them for respect until we leave their presence, then we take it off. Since ... и ... know about that rule, we can't wear it when they give it to us. Anyway, once you see a stork or bird you tie the bracelet to a tree that you think will blossom soon. I've seen a few bracelets tied to trees so far. 
-The head nod is opposite. When my companion would answer he would have it switched and it threw me off because he said yes in Bulgarian which I recognized and would be nodding no which oppose each other or at least in America it would be opposing. I'm more used to it now but saying no with heading nodding up is still a really weird feeling.
That is super exciting for Richard. Reading my patriarchal blessing while on the mission has really helped me because some days are long and sometimes depressing, but other days are good too. I can't wait to hear when he gets his call and to where. It's exciting to have a group of missionaries in the family.
Know to what is happening here in .... Everyone is getting sick. It's terrible, every morning my companion, Elder ..., has been not feeling good. Each day for a week he felt worse and worse until he just slept in while I did the normal routine. After scripture study class, we turned in early calling Sister Wilstead. We have to call Sister Wilstead anytime we turn in early. Sunday came and we went to church, went back to the apartment and stayed there the whole day. It was long staying in there for the whole day. I worked on memorizing words and reading the Book of Mormon. I almost read the whole thing, I have been taking deep notes, so reading it through is taking forever. I think I could have read it through 2-3 times if I just read it through, but I understand the story so much more. I'm hoping to finish it this next week.
This week we have done a ton of tracking. We discovered a group of buildings that my companion missed when he was with his last companion here in this city. We got about 5 people that seemed decent and got return dates to meet with them again. When we went back, they weren't home and so far we haven't been able to contact them again. It's frustrating, yesterday we planned on trying to contact them again but my companion was sick so it didn't happen but hopefully this week we can contact them. We only have 2 investigators right now. We lost contact with ... (one of my companion and I investigators) she has a friend ..., that is in the ward but she lost contact with her to. So it's not that she is just ignoring the missionaries but disconnected from a lot of people. She has bad back pain, that is the "sick" that I mentioned in my last letter. I feel bad that she has that pain. It makes it really hard to meet with her. ... (Turkish Muslim guy) has been doing really well. We got a Turkish Book of Mormon for him that we are planning on giving him later today. The only problem with him is that in a couple months when school or college is done he's going back to Turkey and a part that the LDS church isn't in. He lives close to the boarder of the end furthest away from Bulgaria. My geography isn't good sorry. I'm just hoping to find more investigators because when we have lessons that don't fall through. The day goes by some much faster.
I can't believe I have been in the country for a month now. I've learned a lot but there is a lot more to be learned. My companion, is basically a genius. While back at the apartment, when he wasn't feeling good, he wrote a list of 100 words Bulgarian to English. After an hour he was able to recognize the Bulgarian word I read to him and translated it to English. I wish I could do that. If I'm lucky I can get 10 words down, and have to ask my companion the next day on the 10 words meaning again because I already forgot them. I wish I could be as smart as him. He has only been here for 5 months and Elder ... (An Elder that has been here for 10 months I believe) says he is better than he is. The words he was memorizing were words I don't even say in English that often, just bigger words. He says he loves learning languages and has experience since he lived in South Korea, America, and Germany if I remember right.
Here's a photo with the sunrise from the back balcony we have. It's part of the one of the best apartment parts.

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