AHH what a crazy week it has been. Mostly because we were barely here in Oradea. We left Monday evening on a maxi-taxi over to Timisoara…and let me tell you, that was one of the weirdest maxi-taxi rides of my life. The woman behind us changed her baby’s diaper twice during the 3.5 hour ride with the bus fully in motion, the Romanians started complaining about the air conditioning (there is a strong belief in Romania about “curent”…that you will get sick if cold air is blowing on you or if it can get into your body) so we spent the second half of the trip boiling, and it seems like nobody here really believes in deoderant. We finally made our way into Timi, met up with the sisters in the NICEST APARTMENT EVER, and planned for the next day. I went with Sora Allen, a sister in her first transfer. She is so calm and relaxed for it being her first transfer and she is just so willing to speak Romanian! I loved spending the day with her — we ended up doing some contacting (and accidentally contacting an atheist man for about 30 minutes), teaching a lesson, having English classes, and finally FHE. It was such a fun day and Timi is BEAUTIFUL! I hope I get to serve there at some point — it was so gorgeous!
The next morning, we packed up and headed on a 6 hour train ride over to Sibiu, Sora Merrill’s hometown haha. She served 5 transfers (about 7.5 months) there and so she loves it like nobody’s business. On the train, we made friends with the older couple sitting next to us, Familia Szep. They gave us their address, phone number, and really want us to come visit them and stay a night. They live about 20 minutes outside of Arad, so next transfer for exchanges I’m sure one of us will have to make the trip out to visit them. They were so funny and LOVED looking at our pictures. Carol, the man, kept asking, “But where are the pictures of your boyfriends!?” And we had to keep explaining that we don’t have any haha. As we were leaving to get off at Sibiu, he says, “Be careful, there are lots of handsome boys in Sibiu!” Haha they were such a fun addition to our otherwise long and uneventful journey.
We spent the day doing chores that we needed to get done and started our exchange the next day. I went with Sora Huffaker who Sora Merrill actually trained! They are so similar, it was basically like serving with Sora Merrill again haha. We spent the day doing service for the cutest old lady that the sisters had met the day before. We helped her wash her windows, take down and put back up her curtains, wash her doors, and other such housework that she couldn’t do alone. In return, she gave us some good food, including some of the best sarmale I’ve ever had. She kept getting on my case for not entirely cleaning my plate haha and while her back was turned, Sora Robertson put all the left-over cabbage from the sarmale in her mouth. Good to know she had my back on that one hahaha. Afterward, Sora Huffaker and I did a lot of contacting and ate at an AMAZING sandwich shop.
We left the next morning on a 6.5 hour bus ride back to Oradea. Thankfully it was less eventful than the one to Timi and Sora Merrill and I spent a good chunk of it playing the squiggle game (one person draws a squiggle, the other person draws something using the squiggle). We spent the next day Saturday getting back into the swing of thngs — English class, district meeting, and having lessons. As we were walking from the church to Ade’s house for a lesson, the sky started looking VERY ominous…and out of nowhere it starts to POUR. We sprinted our way through but we still had a ways to go and it started to hail so we ran underneath a little overhang for a funeral home, of all places. The woman working there let us in and we stayed there for about 20 minutes, trying to dry off. We finally decided to just run through the rain again (since it had stopped hailing at that point) and made it to Ade’s house. She lent us a change of clothes and we had our lesson like nothing had happened haha. We had a couple visits with members after that and finally made our way home…but not after walking all the way home with a HUGE watermelon the elders had brought for Sora Merrill (what she had wanted as a prize for winning Bloc Wars a couple weeks before). My arms were so so so sore after that, but how else are you supposed to transport a watermelon??
On Sunday, we went to church as usual and our investigator Florica came too! She said she really liked it and that she would love to come again! So we were pretty excited about that. We had a lesson in the evening with Marilena, this really awesome lady who has been investigating the Church for years and years. We just wanted to get to know her better and see how we could help her increase her faith. As we were walking home with her, we got a call from Ade and ended up going to her house and just sharing a short spiritual thought since we hadn’t really had dinner at that point yet and it was getting to be about 8:30 haha. But we made it home, made some quick pasta, and exhaustedly went to bed.
All in all, a very busy, fulfilling week. I am SO GLAD that we have a full week here in Oradea to finish off the transfer — it will be so nice to not have to travel! I love everything here and I am so excited to see everything progressing. Time is flying by; my 11 month mark is soon…what the heck?!
Anyway, know that I miss you all so so much! I think about you lots and can’t wait to share Romania with you. I love you and hope you have a great week!
Waiting for the bus from Sibiu to Oradea