So guess what? I LIVE in Romania now :D The flight over here was crazy. It was extremely long and our final flight was delayed so we got in even later than we anticipated. It was so great to see the Mission President and his wife as well as the Assistants. They got all of our things and took us to the mission office where I got to see the Pattons. It was great to see some familiar faces in a not so familiar place. We then had some craziness with our medical exams and didn't end up getting them done so we had learned we had to stay in Bucharest for another day. That night the sisters picked us up and we went and got shoarmas (not entirely sure about the spelling) But they were absolutely amazing!! We got up the next morning and went to the park where Romania was dedicated and opened to missionaries in February of 1990. It was a really cool experience. Then we went and lunch at the president's house and then waited for the sisters from all the other areas come for an impromptu sisters conference. There are about 85 missionaries in Romania and 25 of those are sisters. It is pretty awesome. At the conference we found out who our companions would be and where we would be serving. I found out I would stay in Bucharest and Sora Atkins would be my trainer. Sora Wilson would also be with us because she only has 2 more weeks before she goes home to Australia. It is great. We then went and got all of our medical exams finished and the following day we finished our work for our Visas. Then we all went our separate ways. It was kind of sad but really exciting to know that we are all going to have such different experiences and adventures. I am really excited to still be in Bucharest. Sora Bulloch always said she wanted to stay because it was the warmest during the winter and she isn't a fan of the cold. I told her that would jinx everything and she would get sent to the coldest. Well I was right, she has been sent to Brasov which is one of the coldest places where sisters are sent. I feel really bad because I am still freezing here in Bucharest so she must be feeling even colder. She will do a great job though.
Let's see what can I say about Bucharest. Well I absolutely love it. It reminds me a lot of LA, except a lot colder. The buildings are just beautiful and it is cool to see the mixture of decades of architecture all around. A lot of it reminds me of 1920s or so architecture in LA but slightly more run down. A lot of the blocks (large apartment building things) are being redone in a sense. They are taking styrofoam and putting it on the outside and then covering that with plaster and paint. This makes the buildings look new, especially when new windows are put it. It is slightly misleading because we will look outside and it look like it is snowing but really it is just styrofoam falling down.
The People: I love just looking at the people. I have seen more variation in eye color here than I have every seen in my life. It is beautiful. There are also a ton of blond children running around. I wasn't expecting that at all. Really I am so happy to be working with these people. There is one thing that I have noticed that seems to be a commonality here. Many people don't have teeth. It makes me very grateful to have grown up in a country that takes care of their teeth so that I will actually have my teeth when I am 40. A lot of things really make me grateful to have been so blessed growing up. It makes me the love the people even more for living in harder circumstances and still having faith in God.
The Smell: It smells like cigarette smoke. So when I come home I know that is what I will smell like. It gave me awful headaches the first few days but now I am better. Which I guess might not be the best thing to be used to. But whatever. There is also another smell that comes out every now and again. It isn't horrible but just different. I am still trying to place it.
Overall: I am so excited to be here. I have the hardest time trying to understand the accents but I know I will learn it. It is cold but I am glad that I will be able to be here for the next couple transfers. It feels a lot like the first week at the MTC. Very overwhelming at times and frustrating but I know that will pass, just like it did in the MTC. Everyday I learn more. I am so grateful for my teachers in the MTC because if I was any less prepared I would be going crazy right now.
Final Notes: I should probably mention that I am in the Panduri branch which has a beautiful church building. There aren't a lot of members but they have amazing testimonies.
- Sora Petrisor- With things that I hear about how often sisters are getting transferred right now I might be here when/if you come in March. Also I saw/met your sister on Sunday. She is beautiful, it made me miss you.
-Fratele Irion- so your story about Elder Reed and the Tramvai is a lot funnier now that I have been on one. Thanks for sharing that with us.
I love you all. Take care.
Sora Krissy Hall