Oradea = Paradise!

WARNING: Cannot get my pictures from off of my memory card right now, so no pictures, sadly enough.
Hello hello from a beautiful day here in Oradea, Romania! I’m just starting to get used to my new life here and I am absolutely loving it. I get overwhelmed every day by how beautiful and wonderful this city is. Oradea is very heavily influenced by Hungary — basically everyone here in Hungarian but they all speak Romanian (which I consider quite the feat) and the architecture is very much more western European than other cities I have seen here in Romania. I keep freaking out about everything when I am walking around with Sora Merrill — “SORA! THEY HAVE A MCDONALD’S!” “SORA! THIS IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING!!” “SORA! THEY HAVE MORE THAN ONE PARK!!” etc. The thing that is also amazing is the branch here! There are 15 active members who have all been members for at least 6 or 7 years. They are all so welcoming and I already feel like I am part of the branch here. One of the ladies even told me she thought I was Romanian cause I spoke the language so well…maybe she’s just flattering me haha, but I’ll take the compliment! It is crazy to be here after being so used to Alexandria. 

I miss everything about Alexandria, especially the people. My last P-Day was spent with Gina and Sora Johnson because the elders went up early on Sunday to drop Elder Pischke off, just like they did the transfer before with Elder Heyrend. We had a fun day just talking and hanging out. Also, the english girls came by to say goodbye and brought me an ADORABLE framed picture of me with them. They all signed the back and made me promise to come visit them when I was done with my mission. I also got to say goodbye to Mama Gabi, the elders’ old proprietar, and she gave me a little gift of a pen/notepad set that was super nice. I managed to get all of my things packed, surprisingly, and then Sora Johnson and I headed down to Buc ourselves. Transfers were fun — I got to see Sora Drotar for the first time in a long time!! She will be serving her last (!!) transfer in Bucuresti with Sora Merkley! Sora Johnson and I along with a big group of elders went to eat at Caru cu Bere, a restaurant that a lot of the missionaries eat at during transfers that I had surprisingly never been to! The inside is beautiful — it kind of reminds me of Old Spaghetti Factory in that it is just really old-looking with carved wood and stained glass everywhere. We went around shopping a little bit, headed to the office and met lots of the new missionaries and then waited at the gara. It was weird to see Elder Brundage and Sora Johnson head back to Alexandria and not to be going back myself. I got on the night train at 8:30, played some cards with Sora Merrill, my new companion, and then we went to bed. We woke up still on the train and then finally arrived at my new home, Oradea! The apartment is CRAZY awesome. It reminds me of the Brasov apartment except even bigger! We also live about a 2 minute walk away from the river that runs through the city so we go running by the river every morning. It’s pretty picturesque to say the least. 

Sora Merrill is AWESOME. We keep realizing how similar we are with everything. It’s actually pretty crazy. We are different in a lot of things, but the similarities make life fun — especially the fact that she doesn’t really like vegetables either 🙂 We have been doing a lot of contacting and we are pretty sure we found Zion! We decided to go bloc-knocking and the first door we knocked on, the woman let us in! We stayed and talked for about an hour and she invited us to come back whenever. The next day, we decided to finish the rest of the bloc so we knocked on her neighbor’s door…who also let us in and we talked for an hour! The rest of the bloc wasn’t as receptive, but it was such a cool experience to see that happen TWICE in a row!

We will be doing our first bit of traveling by heading down to Buc tomorrow night to be there for Missionary Leadership Council on Thursday and Friday. Since we live a solid 14 hours away and things start on Thursday early in the morning, we have to get there late Wednesday morning and just spend another extra day there. It will be fun because we will get to meet President and Sora Ivory! I am excited to meet them and see what is in store for the second half of my mission. 

Well I am just so excited for this next part of my mission — my new area, new companion, new responsibilities, new branch, new EVERYTHING! Know that I love you and miss you all the time. I am so happy to be here doing the work of the Lord and I know that there is nowhere else I would rather be. I love you so much!

Sora Amy

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