Elder James AndersonCooper was called to serve a two year mission in the Romania/Moldova mission speaking Romanian for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This blog was not started until about 6 months out on his mission. Some early stories can be found in the tabs below and recent letters will be posted.
This week we have just kinda been going none stop. We had a lot to do. So last Monday - Tuesday I was packing and cleaning up. I had to be all moved over before we hopped on the train, so I was kinda rushed. No worries we got it done and I am all moved over... just need to go back and grab my shower fulufa then it will be all done with haha. Okay so we hop on the train and this time we got second class tickets instead of first class cause all the tickets were almost sold out! Since it is a lower class we had to switch lines in Timisora and were supposed to have a two hour delay there. We arrive to the gara (train station) and are waiting for our train. The whole time we were there we thought our train was on a different line, so to make a long story short... we missed our train. haha Then I am thinking to myself, crap.. there are no trains down to Bucharest tonight they are all sold out! That is when we remembered our train was gonna be stopped in Timisora for two hours. We go to the counter and get more tickets straight to Timi. We ended up catching our train and only had to wait in Timi for like 45 minutes instead of two hours :) Then just hoped on the train we were supposed to be on, and it was like nothing happened! Okay so there is something weird we have to do in our mission sometimes. When it comes to second class train tickets it is an adventure. In first class there are two beds. One for you and your companion. In second class there are six beds. So we share with the sisters.. so they dont have to with random Romanian men. Sleeping in the same room as sister missionaries is just something I never thought I would be able to say on my mission haha :) !
Okay so we get down to Buc and it is a party like always. All missionaries from everywhere come to the same place and it's fun to see people we havent for a while. They planned a contacting activity for all the missionaries in some part of Bucharest so we could " stay productive" This is a FANTASTIC idea in concept, just a little harder to do in practice. They wanted all the missionaries to stand at a corner of a street and sing hymns. Me elder Poulsen, elder W, and a Russian elder decided we were just going to get some materials and contact around the area where everyone was. (we call the missionaries serving in Moldova Russian elders) So, we were just walking up and down the streets talking to midnight until our train came. Hopped on it, and now we are back in Arad all safe and sound. people and it was really fun. I had to teach the Russian elder a little Romanian so he could contact with us haha :) After this little adventure we basically all go back to the gara to wait for some trains. Of course there a million little things that also went on that day, but that is mainly what happened :)
Sometime his cat helps him think.
Then we had district conference in Oradea this past Sunday. We also had a fireside last Saturday in Oradea. So we got to take a three hour train over there. We spent the night and we just got back last night. I'll tell you right now, I love Oradea! It is so pretty over there and the branch/pepole are amazing! We listened to a member of the 70's come and give the fireside and a talk in the conference. It was awesome and I learned a ton. On the way back all our seats were a little scattered on the train. I ended up meeting this man from Italy and talkd to him for a bit. Elder W was able to give him a Book of Mormon and just connect with him a bit. It was an awesome train ride back. So, that is it for the crazieness of the events of this past week.
Again, I have been taught and have realized a lot this week. I have decided I have been too focused on this language. I have, for some reason, in my head determined that to be a good missionary, you have to be good at the language... and that is kinda how I have based my thoughts. Like, oh he is really good with the language, he is a great missionary. I will tell you that that is completely wrong. It doesnt really mean anything. Only that they have worked and have obtained the langauge skills. I could be fluent in this language, and be an awful missionary. I guess I have always really known this in the back of my head, just wanted to share that it isnt in the back of my head any more haha :) I have just been focused so much with language, when really all I've been wanting is to be a good missionary. I have been pretty hard on myself cause, really the langauge is good, but not perfect, so subconsiously I have thought I am not the best missionary. So what I am doing now is just focusing on being the best missionary I know how to be, and I know the language will come. That is really all there is to it.
They are very lucky to have time to unwind.
I have learned another thing this week. A question was asked in district conference, "In the scriptures, was Christ ever stressed?" The answer we came up with was no. Christ wasn't stressed. Basically they were trying to tell everybody to calm down a bit haha. We dont need to be stressed, it is not a good thing. In Mosiah 4:27 it says something along the lines of dont run faster then you are able. We still need to work diligently and do the best we can, but dont worry! This is the Lord's work and He isn't stressed why should you? So I have a fun challenge for all of you this week. Don't stress! When you start to feel stress coming on, just remember, the Lord knows what He is doing and it really will be okay and then get to work. With this focus, this week, I would love to hear kinda just how you have felt this next week. Imma try it to and hopefully be able to write something insightful about it next week :)
I love you all so much! Thanks for being there for me, and helping me out. I feel so blessed to have come from the family and situation I did. I love you all more then I can even express! Have a great week! :)