This last week I spent dealing with an ear infection (well, both ears were infected, but only the left one got really painful). I even had to have pus siphoned out, so that was pretty cool. I can write this in my email, because they just stopped hurting yesterday (though I’m still finishing out an antibiotic treatment), so I don’t have to worry about my mom worrying.
On Friday we had a very successful branch picnic in Mihai Bravu. A ton of people from the branch came, and there was food…and in my opinion that’s really all that is needed for a successful activity. They also played volleyball and I thought it went well (other than I’m now a bit red because I had forgotten that you’re not supposed to be in direct sunlight (especially without sunscreen) when on antibiotics). I feel like successful activities, at least in Romania, are the ones where things aren’t too complicated.
On Thursday we visited a member with whom I’m becoming good friends. We met him at a small park in his neighborhood (the weather is getting really nice; Spring has finally come). We chatted and shared a message on faith. He really wants to introduce a less active member friend to us, and has been inviting him to come to church-related things. What’s really interesting is I’ve already very briefly met his less active friend in the park. He even said that his friend had mentioned to him that he had run into some missionaries in a park, doesn’t get any more cool than that.
Moving on to Saturday (because who needs to present things in a linear fashion?), we went looking for less active members. The map we were using got somewhat wet (it was raining lightly, and of course I was wearing only short sleeves), but we still were able to check a bunch of addresses. That was fun; to be honest I haven’t been exploring the streets/blocs like that for a while.
Again, going back to last Monday (today’s challenge, unscramble the blog entry), we went to Casa Poporului, the second largest building in the world (behind the Pentagon). It’s very awe striking to look at, especially when you consider that all the marble used to make it was taken exclusively from the mountains of Transylvania (hey! I’ve been there!). The basic tour we took only covered 7% of the building and lasted over an hour. The rooms were so spacious it was ridiculous, not practical or really necessary, and many were super tall. That’s one way to make a point, I guess. Now I can say I’ve been to Versailles and Casa Poporului, both places where the ruler decided to make something so over-the-top the people started a revolution.
Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, so we’re going to a Mexican restaurant I’ve been to a couple of times. Last time we went, there was a cat at our table. It was literally curled up on one of the chairs, out of sight when first walking up to the table. So yeah, we hung out with a cat the whole meal. Doubt it would’ve been legal in the States, but I’m betting my little sisters would love going to the place. The food’s really good there too.
I hope everyone’s having a good Spring. Remember that Sunday is Mother’s Day (at least in the US)! Now that I’ve talked about personal medical issues, the weather, and great and spacious buildings, I suppose I better include something spiritual.
One of the greatest blessings of a mission is that it makes you appreciate your parents more than ever. Not just because you live away from home (because you have college for that). Not just because marriage is the next major step in life, and you’ll have to figure out how you can be a good parent yourself (because you have the years following the mission for that). But perhaps, because in looking at the world around you, and thinking about your life, you realize just how fortunate you are. I must say that I have been very, very blessed in my life to have two wonderful parents who have succeeded in shaping a wonderful family.
If this were the week of Father’s Day, I could go into how ideal of a father my Dad has been (though I don’t know if he realizes it), showing a priority for his family and doing whatever is necessary to upkeep it. He has always performed his responsibilities humbly, simply, and well, and surely I did not come close to fully appreciating what he has done, and is now doing, nor the way in which he has done it, before my mission. And I’ll surely be expressing the same appreciation when I become a father. To put it in a President Eyring-type-way, he has truly become my “Priesthood hero”.
That being said, it is the week of Mother’s Day, so it is time to talk about appreciation for mothers. Speaking of mine, I think the simplest way of describing her would be someone who is fully supportive and caring for her children, which is, of course, the most praiseworthy thing of all in a familial context. She’s always been there for all of us, making sure that we all felt the all-too-important support of a loving mother (and I receive evidence weekly that she is still engaged in doing just that). She was just always there, and I never had to think about it. The support I got was ever present. It was day-to-day, important, and she did a large majority of it while serving in the busiest and most demanding of church callings, showing love, sacrifice, and diligence. I will always be grateful for what she has been, and still is, for our family. I want everyone to know how much I love both of my parents and how amazing they are.
This week’s challenge for everyone: use the holiday opportunity to express appreciation.
Families are forever, how cool is that?