13.1.14

Week 6 in Romania (December 31-January 6)

Woot woot! Lots of good news this week! Transfers are this week and I am NOT being transferred which I am really excited about! This means that I will be in Iași again with Sora Kelly for at least the next 6 weeks. 2 of the Elders in our District were transferred so we'll be getting 2 new Elders on Wednesday and we're really excited to meet them. I was surprised to find out that I won't be traveling down to Bucharești to pick up my visa on Wednesday, so I'll probably be doing that next transfer, no matter where I'll be going after that. I've heard of people staying in the same area for up to 7 transfers so I have no idea what will be happening in the future! I hope I get to move around a lot but for now, I'm really happy I get to stay here in this beautiful city with the best companion ever! Seriously she is so awesome! Not only has she put up with me in my first weeks in a brand new country, but she's helped me more than she'll ever know. I love her!! Here's to an awesome six weeks in 2014!!!! Woo!!!
This week was so fun with the New Years celebrations. Our Mission President gave us permission to celebrate till midnight so we were out in Centru from 10:30 to a little past midnight!



There was a huge concert and fireworks...everything! It was my first New Years Eve counting down in Romanian hahaha. But honestly it was so fun and a perfect way to ring in the New Year!
 

 
At the concert!

 Earlier that night we had been trying to contact and we were approached by a man dressed up like a gypsy woman holding a fake baby. I guess it's tradition here to go around the city in groups, dressed up as different characters on New Years Eve/Day and play tambourines and other instruments. We literally saw 10 of them that day. Anyway, he runs up to us, grabs our hands and kisses them! He ran away dancing and singing and we were just like....what? It's the first time I've gotten kissed on New Years Eve so I was actually pretty happy...LOL. On New Years Day, the city was literally a ghost town. The malls were shut down, grocery stores shut down, nobody in the streets. The creepiest thing I've ever experienced hahaha. It was like everyone just disappeared. We asked a street vendor where everyone was and she said that on New Years Day everyone just stays at home and spends their time with their families. Sounds nice!

Later in the week a woman stopped by the church building when we weren't there, so the Elders set up a meeting for us. We were really excited to teach her, but as we started talking we found out that she was just trying to get a divorce and wanted to know who we need to get permission from in our church to get divorced. We explained to her that we really stress the importance of families and staying together even through times of trial, but that it ultimately is the choice of the couple. She didn't understand that we don't need permission so we set up a meeting to talk to the Branch President of the church here in Iași. We'll see what happens with that! We're praying for her to receive an answer and get some help to know what to do.

On Saturday we had our last English class for the transfer (we'll start again in 2 weeks) and it was SO great. Thankfully Yonuits kept his mouth shut and his opinions to himself and we played games where they had to pick a word or a subject out of a bowl and talk about it for a minute. It was so fun to see what they came up with! Sometimes we had to be like ....that word. I do not think it means what you think it means....(anybody catch my Princess Bride quote? lol) Then we had a great discussion about dreams. Here in Romania, they take their dreams very seriously. They think that they predict the future and all this other crazy stuff! I literally don't think twice about my dreams so it was really cool to hear some of their experiences.

Yesterday at church there were 4 investigators, including 2 from our advanced English class! It was so exciting!! One of them, Bogdan, gave each of us a CD full of pictures of Romania and traditional songs. He is so sweet! It is something that I know I'll treasure forever! I am the painist in Relief Society which is so embarrassing since I literally. Can't. Play. Sometimes I just stop playing and start singing instead. Oh well....maybe I'll be able to play the piano by the end of my mission if this keeps up. 
Some random pics:
My sign!!

My favorite statue
We made Navajo tacos! I love learning all these new recipes to make when I get home!

New Year's Eve....it's just my aloe drink I swear! (so good!)


I am so excited for this New Year! It will be my "blackout year" because I'll be serving my mission for the entire year of 2014. For the rest of my life if anybody talks about something that happened in 2014, I'll just be like, Oh I was on my mission then! It's cool because not everyone has a blackout year, especially the sisters since we're only here for a year and a half. I've made some new goals and I am determined to make this an amazing year. I've already learned so much about myself and about life just in the short time I've been here. I can't wait to see what else I'm able to learn and how much I'll be able to grow and become a better person. I love you all!!! God loves you too!! Pa!
Yours truly,
Sora Hovey