"Many are Cold, but Few are Frozen..."

Hello everyone!
I am now back in the beautiful city of Iași! The trip to Moldova was fun, but it's nice to be back in my own apartment, surrounded by Romanian things only :) It was so crazy that Russian and Romanian were both equally spoken there! Every sign was in both languages and I heard them both being spoken! I'm so glad I didn't go there to serve for my first area. I definitely would have been sitting there saying to myself, "This ain't the language they taught me in the MTC." ( A quote from "The Best Two Years") Jet lag is still getting the best of me. Hopefully I'll be fully recovered and not falling asleep in the middle of the day in the weeks to come.
I'm trying to think of all the crazy experiences I've had in the past couple of weeks! Well we taught our first English class on Saturday. Sora Kelly and I teach the advanced class and we played some games and had a discussion since we are the conversation class. It was so nice to speak English and help people work on it. I actually felt useful for one of the first times since I've been here in Romania! The language is hard. I work on it every day but it is still pretty overwhelming. Sometimes my mind shuts down and I literally can't comprehend anything. I really have to focus and listen when someone is talking to even get the gist of what they're saying. Normal everyday phrases are easier though. I can now do a lot of things by myself which makes me feel better (buy things, tell a taxi where I want to go, approach people about our English class, etc.) I can recognize other people saying them too. It's nice to hear something and it just make sense in your head rather than sitting there trying to figure out what they're saying from the one word you recognize. I am continuing to try, try, try and work, work, work. 
We don't have very many people to teach right now, so a lot of our time is spent walking around outside. It is VERY cold. It has only snowed a couple times though, and that has been a huge blessing. A lot of the time, we go "survey contacting" which is when we ask people 3 questions about their beliefs. It has opened up a lot of really good conversations and helped us find people who are interested to learn more about our message. We also have these Christmas cards that we pass out and talk to people about. I love just talking to people and learning more about what the people of Romania believe! Even if I can't understand everything they're saying, I can see their passion and love about what they are talking about, whatever it may be.

I'm still in culture shock a little bit. Things are just SO different. I thought a fight was going on in Relief Society (the last hour of church on Sundays) yesterday between the women. I come to find out later from my companion that that's just how they talk to each other. Basically, they all talk at once and the loudest one gets the floor while the quieter ones (at that particular moment) stop talking . And they were arguing about something, but apparently that's normal and how things work here. Everyone is very blunt which I LOVE because I hate running around in circles with people. But it's still weird to get used to. 
Let's see. I was also proposed to at church...hahaha. This guy comes up to me to shake my hand and leans in really close. In broken English he goes...."Will you.....be my wife?" I didn't know that's what he was trying to say so I said huh? And he said it again and I was like uuuuuhhhhhmmmmm.....no. SO awkward. He got kicked out of church later that day because he was being a problem. Hahaha. That literally happens on the daily here. We're always being told we're beautiful or something (usually in broken English) and half the time I just say, "Wow, your English is really good!" and walk away. So funny.
Like I said before, there are SO many animals here. There's a dog inside this fence that we have to walk by on the way to church every day and he is SO scary. We call him Clifford so I'm sure you can imagine the size of him. The fence is tall and wooden though so we can't always se him. We pretty much just brace our selves for the bark and scream and run away when it comes EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. People probably think we're crazy.

We had a couple lessons this week that were just. Interesting. We met one woman after her work one day and we thought we were walking with her to her house. She had bought like 5 bags of groceries to feed us with so she just calls a taxi and says GET IN!!!! Before we even had the chance to say "hi" hahaha. Then she just runs around the house while we look through her photo albums and she makes us this HUGE meal. I tried to get the sausages out of the way first and she thought I liked them because I was eating them so fast so she dumps MORE on my plate. It's really rude not to finish your plate so I ate it ALL. Chicken, sausages, potatoes, pickled everything, bread, etc. THEN desserts. I literally almost died. But it was really good and she is SO sweet.

Then during another lesson with a 60 year old woman, we kept getting interrupted by a skype call for her from a 20 year old french man. Umm...can you say awkward? She then proceeds to make us talk to him. We refused...but he was typing some things about us in french that I'm not so sure I really wanted to understand but did. Her friend was also there and she was getting all these crazy calls from other men and it was just CRAZY. We basically just got our stuff together and walked out because it was so crazy and she's yelling at us to give the french guy our skype addresses and we were just like NO. We have to leave!!! She yells out the door to us, see you at church on Sunday!! Hahahaha. We were just like......what just happened. She did actually come to church on Sunday. Super weird. Here are some pictures from the last few weeks!
These awful pictures don't do the lights justice. They are everywhere and SO beautiful.

After a long night of rejection, we found one our pass along cards for our English class crumpled on the ground. Ouch. 

Some nights (more like most nights), I'm just tired. And I wheel myself over from my desk to wash dishes.  ANd YES I dyed my hair the other day. I couldn't help it. It's a dark brown/red now.

 Our ghetto Christmas sign on our wall hahaha.

Russian snickers with Hazelnut (apparently Moldova and Russia are the only place they have them in the world)
The outdoor meat markets right outside our apartment...
Yes, my name is Hermione Granger.
Weird Russian candies I had to try at least a bite of...

 Well that seems to be about it for this week. I love you all. Stay safe and warm and know that your Father in Heaven loves you and is watching out for you. Don't get too stressed in this crazy Holiday season! Remember what Christmas is all about! :)

Yours Truly,
Sora Hovey