It was Easter week this week!
Where to start? Let’s see…
I went on another exchange on Thursday. We went bloc-knocking with an Easter message. We actually got let-in to one apartment and were able to share the message, which was super-legit. At the very end of our contacting we ran into a member’s niece. She was rather shocked to walk around the corner and find us knocking at her door.
We had a branch activity on Friday. We sang, watched some of the Church’s Bible videos on YouTube (check out www.lds.org/bible-videos), and ate colored eggs. In Romania, eggs can be painted many colors, just like at home, but it is also traditional to paint them red. This is in reference to a cultural story wherein Mary took eggs to Christ in prison, but was too late and had to hold them under Him while He was on the cross, getting the eggs stained with blood. An even more prevalent Romanian tradition is in how to break the eggs after they’ve been painted. One person will say to another, “Hristos a inviat” (Christ was resurrected), to which the other will reply “Adevarat, a inviat” (Truly, He was resurrected). The first person will then hit their egg against the other’s egg, and whoever’s cracks will “lose” and have to eat their egg. The winner will proceed to challenge others until he loses, at which point he will eat his egg.
Another big part of Easter in Romania is the midnight mass service held by most of the churches. We got to attend this. Basically, everyone brings candles into the church, and those ministering bring out fire and begin to spread it to those with candles. The people continue to pass the fire amongst themselves until everyone’s candle is lit (those with long candles instantly become friends with those who have lanterns, as they can easily just stick them into the lanterns to light the lanterns). Everyone then proceeds to exit the church, and they have a bit more of the service outside. However; they had to cut it short due to rain, though I was still in the process of getting out because the exit hallway was stuffed; I guess people were trying to get in when the huge crowd was trying to get out; it took a while. A getting-lit-on-fire / umbrella-poking-your-eye-out hazard (in the courtyard section before the exit hallway) was present for many. You can stay in the church longer if you want, otherwise you walk home with your lit candle, and you’re not supposed to have it go out until you get home. My companion and I both made it, though our cheap lanterns were melting terribly; it helps to live five minutes from the attended church.
We were trying to figure out how we’d get our lanterns lit, and we ended up taking out the candles and dropping them in. It would’ve been better to just get the fire from one of the tall-candle people, but, well, yeah…anyway my wick was being annoying, and I ended up having half of it under the candle when the fire started going around. It worked at first, but later went out when we were slowly getting out. An older woman next to me noticed and began trying to help. I tried to pull the wick through the candle, and broke off some of the wick. I tried again, and the candle turned sideways in the lantern, which took a little bit to straighten and get back to the bottom. The lady then took it from me; easily pulled up the wick a little bit, and relit the candle. I can now say that I’ve had a drop of hot wax on a finger; the lady’s candle had no anti-wax protection. Guess I just don’t have the skill for candles. Those clumsy Americans…
The Sisters organized a District dinner for Sunday, which was really fun. My companion and I made the main course…well, courses, that is. Both pasta and pizza were suggested. We kept it a secret what we were going to make. We made both: pizza and a goulash recipe from the cookbook (not that goulash involved pasta in my home growing up, but it seems everyone has their own definition of what it is).
Oh, and I know it’s a bit late, but I’d invite everyone to check out this video if they haven’t already, it’s very professionally done: http://easter.mormon.org/.
All the best for the rest of the Spring season!