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 ...

Monday, May 19, 2014


Hey everyone, so the theme for this week I would say, rain, rain, and well maybe some more rain. It made me realize something about my shoes though. When it would rain even a little bit I noticed my left sock would get drenched from not even stepping in huge puddles while my right was dry. Later in the day, actually during night time after planning, I saw that I have a crack on the bottom that goes from one side from the other. I guess that answers the question about how my shoes are doing. There also the ones from the missionary mall. I haven't really worn the other pair except for Sunday when I want to have the best pair on. I've decided that I'm going to keep on wearing my current pair until it looks to bad and then I'll toss them. I can by shoes here but prefer to use the ones I already have. My last companion (Elder ...) actually bought a new pair when I was still companions with him.
Interesting fact, the city ... (It's touching the black sea) missionaries can't wear there name tags. I didn't find that out until recently when Elder ... went there. It's a little more strict there and I think that city is a little bit influenced from the Ukraine/Russia situation. Anyway, I don't know if I mentioned this but Elder companions with Elder ...(from Finland) that was in my MTC group.
Elder ... actually has been here for over a 1 year now. He has more experience with time than my trainer and it's interesting to see the different things he does vs Elder .... I do feel a little more included in everything now that I'm not in training. It's interesting and it's good.
The 2 letters today instead of the other being last week, I just figured since we just Skype it was good enough. I didn't know what to say in my last letter so I just said whatever and wasted time looking at photos on the computer from my camera. Yea... it was hard to say what happened when I already said some of it in Skype but I really loved doing that and thought it was super cool that we could do that.
For ... (typed in English) we actually ended up moving his date back a week. He said that something came up for the original baptism date. Also that he still hasn't received an answer about knowing if the Book of Mormon is true and if Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet today. He does say that he believes in the Restoration and in Joseph Smith so I'm not super concerned about him receiving an answer because of that and also I have the faith that he'll receive an answer from the Holy Ghost. I love meeting with him. I always try to say things to him and he usually ends up finishing my sentence, it's kind of fun, and I can understand him saying my point better than I can speak it ha ha. It's fun and practice makes perfect right? Yea... lots and lots of practice.
Also for church, I said the closing prayer and apparently with my American accent, when I said "We can" it sounded like "We couldn't" and I finished off the sentence of taking the sacrament. Basically everyone in the group was laughing at me and said that I'm getting better. Prayers are easy, but I guess with trying to say things more I guess proper is still in progress of learning. Also with ..., he has came to church the last 2 weeks also, that was one thing that he was still kinda of working on. He said he would come but then wouldn't based off being busy but he's putting in that effort and I'm confident to say that he'll always come to church unless something comes up. I'm still really excited for him.
My companion and I have been retracting areas that haven't been done in a while (a couple of months I'm guessing not to sure). Anyway we have been receiving a ton of people. We have also done a lot of "drops" of those receives because they say there not interested later. It's a lot better than having those days where you work the whole day and nothing really happens. I've been enjoying it anyway.

Some answers to questions:

1- The side bag I have is awesome. It's also an Europe thing for everyone to have one, so that fact alone makes it very useful. I always carry stuff in it including The Book of Mormon, camera, coins , and other random stuff. Every missionary has one that is somewhat similar but I like mine the best. Also where the strap connects to the bag, it rubs so it's making a wear spot. I don't know if putting tape over it would make it stop wearing or if there are anything I can really do for it. I just want it to look nice and not wear out, so any ideas would help. For Richard, I don't know if it would be as good for California, Books of Mormon are smaller and don't have a hard cover for English like the ones in Bulgarian so I don't know if it would be best for it. But at the same time since it's super cheap for English ones maybe he would be carrying more than one Book of Mormon to pass out, so maybe he could fit multiple. I don't know, I just know for me I love my bag. Whenever you send stuff is fine I'm not in a rush to get it.

2-With the regular black scripture bag that I asked for in Skype, it's just for my English Scriptures, I usually just put it in my side bag, but since my side bag isn't designed for it, so it bends the binding in ways that I don't like and I have to be careful not to put it in a position that will bend pages/cover (like it did one time but not to bad that it's not really noticeable. I would just like to carry it in that case when we go to zone conferences/trainings when we travel for hours on the bus to different cities. 

3-Also with cheese, yea.. cheddar is more rare than not, according to Elder ... because I only know what is available in this town and he has been to others but also there is a crumbly cheese that we use for pasta that I guess isn't in a America. I haven't really bought my own groceries before so I didn't notice it until one of my companions mentioned it. 

4-With yogurt I usually get a big cup of random flavors that you can get in America and it's good. I don't know if there is really any difference. The closest thing to sour cream is thicker yogurt without flavoring so it's a little different to. We do have cold cereal in the morning but it's more grain based (the more normal cereal is a lot more expensive for the little quantity in it since it's imported) and it has dried fruit in it and random stuff and I love it. There is a corn flake that is ok that we get to combine it since it's cheaper, but I honestly don't like it that much. It's probably because it's not coated with a lot of sugar like at home ha ha.
5- I haven't had yogurt soup but I have had Shopska (English spelling) salad a few times. Mom actually made it at home once and it's good but I can't eat a ton of it because it's not my favorite and I get sick of it easily. Also they have Ice-Cream stands here that is Nestle and Wow! It is fantastic. It's the best Ice-Cream I have tasted but it is a little expensive so maybe on a Preparation Day we get some but not to often.
6- Contacts are fine I've figured out that I'm going to run out of solution on the mission but my companion Elder ...wears contacts to and said that I can get some solution at a pharmacy here, so it should be fine.
7- Yes I have been wearing the right pants for my suit ha ha. The only time I wear my suit is for district meeting, zone conferences/trainings, and church. Other than that I'm in short sleeves and it's nice unless it rains and is a little bit colder. That reminded me my coat is a little to warm when it's cold enough for a jacket but isn't super cold. I can bear it though but that's how it is. It's hard to know what to bring with you because everything is based off sight of outside and it has poured some times when it hasn't looked like it would. Elder Francis said that other cities it hasn't rained so much but surrounded by forest so that's the reason.
Anyway it was good emailing home again. I love you all so much. I can't believe school is almost out. It would actually be really nice if it was out here so we could use ...(English spelling) for more lessons (he's 17 going to school). Sometimes kids have to go to school on Saturday here, which is weird but I have no idea how the schooling works here or when it "gets out." I don't know what the factor is of how school is scheduled. Anyway love you all again.
Love Elder Green 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hey again,

Well, I don't know how much to say since we skyped yesterday, but I still get to email so it's always good talking to everyone back at home.
Anyway just thinking about yesterdays conversation. I'll have to be honest I felt like I tried to say things a little differently since other people were around. Talking about how Bulgaria is with a few Bulgarians listening that may or may have not known what I was saying because like I said yesterday a lot of people here knows English.
Also I forgot to mention that they also have Diablo 3 on the computers here to and it's probably one of the most played game I've seen here in the internet.
Anyway also with the culture, it's definitely different. Some buildings look newer and those buildings are fine but others, well... they don't look the best and are a little sketchy but don't worry it's safe :).
With people living in Bulgaria financially from what I've seen is poor. I feel like half of the members in the group are struggling financially, or have to work a lot more than full time for the money that they do receive. This is more of my opinion based off what I have seen. There's was actually one lady that argued with us about how us as missionaries could afford living in the country to live for 2 years. We both said that both of our parents actually are helping pitch in but still didn't believe that even with parents help it was possible.
Well, I'm not trying to make Bulgaria seem bad, but I always say the good about it and don't really mention other things because that's not the point of emailing or at least to me it isn't. Anyway it really makes me realize how good America is.

I wanted to mention how garages  are here. Just because it's another different thing that I don't know if I didn't mention. Basically imagine a garage barely able to fit a car in it. Yea, that's how they all are. To be honest, it looks like more of a pain because you have to unlock it with keys and open metal doors and then drive the car in. It looks easier just to park on the side of the road. Also (I'm guessing this is all of Europe) cars pass each other on streets that in America that would look crazy based off the size of the street and also how motorcycles and bikes can go in between cars.
With eating my companion and I actually almost never eat out even though it's relatively cheap. The time we do is usually on P-day for lunch and when we don't have time to make anything at home based off lessons or other missionary work. I also forgot to mention that a place that makes a hamburger that I have been to is amazing. Hot sauce, with other sauce, and also with 3 buns and a actually small patty but with a scrambled egg on it with cheese. It's at the same place my companion and I get DoonerE (sounded out in English). I haven't been for a while but want to go there because it's good.
Here's a picture of a selfy photo I did. It's called BarMEtsva (Sounded out in English). It was 2 Leva and was delicious. Basically bread with cheese in it. When I got it I didn't expect it to be as big as it was. It's basically the size of my face ha ha.
Anyway I love all of you again.
Love Elder Green

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Monday, May 5, 2014

New companion, and Skype

Wow, another week down, but I have to admit, this last week, well... was long. I went to Varna for the transfers. I actually waited at the bus station for around 4 hours I think, but it was ok because I was with Elder .... We basically were going through each others photos and wow, Bulgaria sure has a lot to offer. This week has been pouring like crazy. Yesterday, there were basically rivers going down the road, because ... is basically a hill in the middle of the mountains. My companion actually doesn't have an umbrella because I guess other apartments usually have them. So we have been sharing mine, and even with it, I still got completely soaked to the bone. Also, it's the Holidays right now. Basically, it's true, Bulgaria has a ton of holidays and this holiday is based off it being Soldier day and another kind of victory of war with the Turks. It actually happened the day of one of the last weeks of April but they decided to make it the 1st. Soldier day is on the 6th, and since it's the weekend they decided to make it a 6 day long holiday. So... there some history for yea... that is if I heard it correctly ha ha.
All of our investigators are out of town or can't meet due to the holidays. Elder ... and I started to start tracking again in areas that have been down a while ago. We basically had to walk in a river going up the hill while it was pouring like insanely a lot. I've never seen so much water fall from the clouds before. It was a good experience to share and to have but during was annoying ha ha.     

So.. now I'm with Elder .... He is 25 and is actually from Idaho, near Boise area. He has also been going to school for the past 5 years and has a bachelor in physics and is planning on becoming a professor about physics and science stuff. It sounds really cool and it's also weird to think that he is close to 6 years older than me. He has been out in the field for actually as long as my last district leader, Elder .... That means he's been out in the field or in Bulgaria for 10 months. He is a very humble Elder that tries to do everything according to what it should be. I really like him.
Another thing that is interesting is there is an Elder in my district that actually just came from the MTC. Surprisingly, he knows more Bulgarian than I do, well actually can speak it a lot better than me. He also has a huge advantage because he actually speaks Russian, and is from Canada. It sounds like they are super close, but still there is a difference and he is learning to. I'm still jealous of him, but it also means that he can help which is always good.
For Elder ... and I, before transfers, actually had to give ... (the one with a 10 month year old baby and is super prepared for the gospel and the church) to the other Elders because she lives in the other Elders area. I'm so sad for that, I wanted to help teach her so bad, but either way, she is going to be baptized and I know that.
I'm so so so excited to be able to Skype with the family and it's crazy to think that I have been out for 5 months now. That's actually really crazy. Time is slow for the day, sometimes, but so so fast for weeks. I still can't believe school is almost out.
I can't believe all of the mission calls I keep on hearing. I'm excited  for Richard for California. Even though it's not foreign like he wanted (from the sound of the email) it's the place that God wants him to be. You can't change that. There are people there waiting to be taught by him there and he'll make a difference. I know that to be true. Also, watching "The District" (film of real life missionary lessons/life in California I believe and we watch in studies and other times) always get me pumped with missionary work even though I've seen it a million times. It doesn't matter the area, but the people.
Also with T-Bell (Tyler Bell) and Caleb, wow... I can't believe it's already time for them to have callings to serve missions. Time does fly by. You'll have to tell them congratulations for me. The work is hard, and well... really hard, but I've learned so much from it for this short time here.
Another thing that was funny to me was when you mentioned the temperature there. I'm used to Celsius now so it's just different. It was just a funny thought.
For some clarification, for this in the letter. "Nicks brother, I think Bown is the last name,  it's flying out to Japan this week for his mission. I don't know him really I think he was at school." 
Is that Michael Bown and did he get a mission call to Japan? If so wow, crazy awesome. If not then well I don't know ha ha.
Well... Lexie good luck with the AP chemistry test. You're super smart so you'll do great on it. Hopefully you can read this before the test, but if not I hope you do well. It'll be like 5:00 in the morning there so you should be able to read this before. Just stay relaxed, don't stress, and pace yourself in it. Like I said, you're super smart so it should go well :).
With Skype, I'm doing it from the same place that I usually email. I'm still not sure how it works, but I'm sure when the time comes it will work itself out. They have a couple of cameras on computers here, so hopefully they work out alright. 

It's also funny, I keep in touch with Blake Laing. Well... every coupe weeks we email each other when we get the chance, but anyway, he sent me a translated message in Bulgarian with a translator in the email. It's pretty cool that he could do that, and it made me happy that he figured that out ha ha.
I love all of you, and can't wait for the 11 of May to hear from you in person. It's amazing that we have that opportunity with the technology that we have today. I've been thinking about it ever since I got the email about it from the Mission President. I'll hear from everyone in less than a week now. Love you all again.
Love Elder Green