Monday, December 9, 2013

Elder Mayans Dec 9, 2013



Well hello again. So, like I explained last week I had a lot of things
go on this week. It felt like this week went by really fast so I don’t
really know what happened but I will try my best. First off in the
middle of this week I think Wednesday the  Zone leaders came up for
exchanges. I was pretty excited for this exchange and since we only
have sisters in our district, we can only go on one exchange each
transfer which would be with the Zone Leaders. So they came up Wednesday
night, and then had our exchange. Unfortunately is wasn’t the most
successful exchange because of time but we dealt with what we had. On
Thursday we had district meeting in the afternoon which went very well
I think. I feel like sometimes I’m the only one talking because there
is not too much participation but it’s going well. We have such a good
district. After that we had to grab lunch really fast and go down to
Bucuresti for Zone Conference/Christmas party!! Like I said the
exchange wasn’t amazing. Their main reason of coming up was to check up
on how Iwas doing because I’m new at being District Leader and see if I
had anything I needed help on.

Then we took the train that night with the ZL’s back to Bucuresti which
took a long time and we got there pretty late. I stayed in Elder
Barneys apartment with a few others from my MTC group. It was awesome
to see them and get to catch up with everything that has been going
on. Our whole mission is really, really close. I know almost every
person in my whole mission and we are all really good friends. That
night I had one of the worst nights of sleep I have ever had. There
were no more beds so I was on the ground and I probably got close to
an hour of sleep. That really messed me up for the next few days
because I was dead tired.

On Friday was when we had our Conference. A few big things that
happened there was first, we got to see a picture of the new mission
President and second, a lot of the older Elders that I served with in
Galiati had their dying testimony and are going home in a few weeks.
So yeah the new President sounds really cool and rich. haha he is
really young compared to President Hill so that will be different. You
can never replace President Hill though…. he’s amazing. and yeah, Elder
Ward, Elder Cunningham and Elder Knapp all gave their farewell
testimonies. It was really good. I love those guys. They have been a
huge influence on my mission and I’m going to have to stay in touch
with them and meet up after I get home. Also at the Christmas party we
watched a picture slideshow of a bunch of pictures from the entire
year. I will probably be sending that home because I have a CD copy
and I think you guys would enjoy it.

That night we stayed in Elder Ward and Cunningham's apartment and then
headed back in the morning. We got back in the afternoon which was
perfect because we arrived just in time for our Christmas party that
President and Sora Spooner planned this week. Everything turned out
perfect besides the fact that we were all dead tired. ha The train
rides really mess up your sleep. At the Christmas party we ate some
saremale which Sora Redelescu made for us and also frosted cookies.
Not too many people came but it was still really fun and had a good
time. We also watched The Christmas Orange. I don’t know if you have
seen that one… its an older movie and I liked it a lot.

Then on Sunday we had church. Right before church a tall American
young man walked in the villa. I was super confused and almost didn’t
know what to say because it caught me off guard so much. Turns out he’s
just a student from BYU who is on a business trip and some of his
clients are here in Craiova. ha kinda random but he found out where
the church was through the internet and came. It’s always nice to have
visitors because it is really uncommon. I also gave a talk during
Sacrament Meeting. I spoke on the importance of baptism. I talked a
lot about the same things that I talked about in Abuelos Talk. I
thought it went really well.

That was about all that happened this week. We are still English
contacting as much as we can. Our first class starts tomorrow so I’m
excited to see how it turns out.

I love you all and I miss you so much. Have a great week and happy
holidays. Bicerica lui Isus Hristos este adevarata! Eu marturisesc ca
Hristos Traieste si ne iubeste. Sunt foarte rescunoscator pentru
ocazie pe care o am sa fie o misionar aici in Romania si slujesc
fiecare zi.

The Romanian has been a big struggle but I am trying my best. I feel
like sometimes it is going really well and other times it is awful.
haha I’m having fun with it though.  Love you all!!

Elder Mayans

P.S. It hasn’t been really cold temperature wise but there is a really
bad wind chill here and it’s really humid. Honestly I would say it
already feels colder then it was in Idaho. I am freezing my butt off.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Elder Mayans 12-2-2013


Hello, Hello, Hello!!!

It is so amazing to hear about all the things that have happened this
week and the pictures are amazing. So, the baptism was amazing?! That
is so good to hear! I have been thinking about it all week. I wish I
was there but it sounds like everything went perfect. Also, from the
pictures it looked like there were a lot of people at the house for
Thanksgiving! haha My thanksgiving was very interesting this year.

So about the week. This week went by very slow but now looking back it
was a really good and humbling week. It has been awesome serving with
Elder Degraw and the Sisters in Craiova. Elder Degraw and I are really
different but we get along well. I have been extremely lucky with my
companions so far. They have all been really good elders.

So, this week was transfers but since Elder Degraw and I were already
in Craiova we didn’t have to go down to Bucuresti which was nice. We
spent a lot of time Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday cleaning out the
other apartment and getting it ready for the sisters. That apartment
was so disgusting from 10 years of elders living there. It wasn’t very
fun cleaning but we made it look a lot better. So Wednesday night we
picked up the sisters from the train station and showed them
around/took them to their apartment. It’s a pretty big deal to have
sister here because Craiova is one of the only cities in the mission
that has never had sisters.

Thursday as you know was Thanksgiving!!! We didn’t have very much
planned except for contacting and advertising for English classes.
That night we were able to watch a movie and celebrate Thankgiving a
little bit!! But we lost a lot of time because the Sisters got locked
out of their apartment and we had to help them with that. It’s really
different being with sisters if you haven't noticed. They need help on
a LOT of things and you just need to have patience with them. haha but they are still awesome. Also on Thursday I had my first district meeting as
a district leader. It was really weird to lead it and to feel like
everyone is looking at me. haha It went really well though. I’m excited
for this transfer and it’s awesome because my whole district is pretty
young. Sora Ralls, Elder Degraw and I are in our fifth transfer and
Sora Smith is in her third.

Friday was another slow day but we had Friday night activity. For the
first half hour nobody showed up but they we had a lady come and she
brought two friends who were pretty young. We had a little spiritual
thought and then made Christmas snowflakes with plates. They loved it!
haha they were really nice people and we got both of their numbers. We
are going to try to meet up with them this week and talk to them more
about the church.

On Saturday we did a lot of english contacting and also we got invited
to the Spooners house for dinner!! It was the first time I have been
over there. Their apartment is amazing! It’s like America. They live in
the Ford Block so the whole thing is owned by FORD.  haha It was
really nice of them to have us over and Sora Spooner had ranch dip
from America!! I miss ranch.

Sunday was also a great day. We had a very lonely but spiritual fast
and testimony meeting. After we went block knocking which is always an
experience. We talked to a lot of people but nobody was really
interested. Some guy yelled at us for knocking on the door at this
hour of the day. It was 1 in the afternoon. haha He wasn’t very happy.

Other than that, that’s about it. I’m loving it out here and everyday is
another new experience or situation that I have to accomplish. I’m
exhausted by the end of the day but I love it. I love you all and I’ll
talk to you next week.

This coming week I will be going to Bucuresti on Thursday for zone
conference/Christmas party! Also I will be having an exchange with the
Zone leaders on Wednesday. Love you all! Have a great week.

Love, Elder Mayans

P.S. I got my Christmas package from the ward this week. Seriously
made me so happy. Thank you for all the stuff that you sent me. I
watched the video that Sister Neilson recorded and I was laughing so
hard the whole time. I love my Ward! Thanks again.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Jacobs weekly e-mail


Familia Mea! Ce faceti voi!? Am avut una suptamana foarte bine. Am
facut multe lucrurii si am vorbit cu multi oameni.

How is everyone!! I have had a really long but amazing week!

This week I really have learned that a lot of work pays off one way or
another. For the past three weeks it has been slowly moving here and
there but nothing very exciting has happened. Elder Harris and I have
been contacting like crazy and haven’t had too many people listen to us.
So this week on Tuesday we had our first English class. I was a little
nervous because it is a new city and I didn’t know what to expect but
it turned out to be absolutely amazing!!! We had over 50 people in the
church. We didn’t even have enough chairs so people just stood in the
back. We taught a really good English class and everyone was laughing
and having a good time. We are teaching beginners this transfer so it
is a little harder in that we have to explain things in Romanian more
and the students aren’t as comfortable doing activities. We mostly just
did an English review to see where they are at and what they want to
learn. We did a little game where they would draw something they like
to do on a piece of paper and then go in from of the class and say
what they like to do. It was really funny and most people either said
gardening or cooking. haha

After English we had a little spiritual thought where we briefly
explained who we were, why we are in Romania, the importance of the
Gospel and the Book of Mormon. We kept it simple because we didn’t want to scare anybody off but they all liked the message. Some of them even came up to us after and told us that it is a beautiful message. It was
awesome and we are continuing to talk and get to know them more. I was
really happy how well the class turned out and I think that will
be our best opportunity to get some investigators or at least some
people to church.

On Thursday we had a great time on Halloween contacting haha Nobody
celebrates it here but we went did! haha sort of.. We went to a
grocery store that evening and got a bunch of candy!! The lady at the
cash register looked at us funny because all we were getting was candy.
I asked here if she knew what today was? She said no and I told her
It’s Halloween and everyone in America eats a bunch of candy today!!
haha I dont think she got it but it was pretty funny.

On Friday we went contacting a lot at the park but then had a lesson
with a man named Valeriu. I guess I can call him an investigator. He
is a really cool guy but is really hard to teach. He loves the bible
and doesn’t like to talk about anything else so at times it is
hard. He likes the Book of Mormon but just says it says the same thing as
the Bible says but just not as good. The biggest problem is that he
doesn’t like to listen and loves to talk. haha we will see if we can
get him to progress in anyway and I think we are planning on meeting
with him again this week.

Saturday we had our second English class. It wasn’t as big as the first
class but it was still very big. Because English classes are doing so
well we are coming up with a lot of really fun activities we can do
during class to keep people coming. We know we aren’t the most amazing
teachers but as long as they are learning something and enjoy coming
then that’s all we want.

On Sunday we had fast and testimony meeting. Since there were about 8
members including missionaries there, all the missionaries bore their
testimonies. It was small but it was a really good meeting. That
night we went chalk contacting at the park. We drew out the Plan of
Salvation and talked to people about it as they walked by. It was
pretty fun and something different to do.

Today is P-Day. We went down to Pitesti this morning and went paint
balling with the other district down here. It was so much fun!!! I
have some pics I can send. Over all it was a really good week. We had
a lot of fun talking to people and testifing about different
principles of the gospel. Hope all is well. Love you all.

Elder Mayans

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jacob in Romania

Family!!!!                                                      10-28-2013

How is everyone doing!!?? It was a really good week this week. It went
by really slow but a lot of things happened.

Like I mentioned last week I had Zone training meeting last week. It
was a really good meeting and my new zone is different but really
strong and big. Well, big compared to other zones in the mission.

So, this week Craiova has been crazy. Every year on the last week of
October, Craiova does a huge festival. It is really cool so see the
culture of the people. There have been a lot of concerts going on as
well as a lot of people on the streets selling things. The city is a
lot more alive which has been really nice for us because there are
a lot more people around to talk to.

We made a sign for English class and have been walking around with it. It’s a little weird but it has been a huge success. We have had a
lot of people run up to us and talk to us about it. Sometimes it’s not
as good because they are drunk, but it’s ok. We talked to one guy for
about a half hour. He was a really big talker but it was really cool
to get to know him and talk about our church. It was a really good
opportunity to testify about Jesus Christ and the gospel. It was also
really cool because it was probably one of the first times when I
understood everything that someone said. Haha

On Saturday we had a Halloween party. It was so much fun and we had a
few old English students/ previous investigators. It was really fun
and just played games and carved pumpkins. I was able to meet a few
really awesome people and one of them said I could come and visit him
at his house anytime!! We are taking that up and we will try to visit
him this week. We also had a guy named Valrieu come. He knows a
lot of things about the bible and is smart but a little wild. haha we
set up an appointment with him this Thursday so we will see how that

Yesterday we had a great Sunday. We didn’t have many people show up but
the spirit was really strong and I learned a lot. I also gave a talk
in Sacrament meeting on service and charity. It went really well and I
said what I wanted to say. That night we went to Family Retelescu
house. They wanted us to come over and get to know us more. They
talked to us a lot and were so excited when I said I was half Cuban. They asked a lot of questions. We left them with a spiritual
thought which went really good.

Tomorrow we start English classes!! I’m so excited and I hope it goes
well. I am teaching the beginner class this week so it should be fun.

I love you all. Sounds like it was a fun week. That picture of Chester
is amazing. I laughed so hard. The church is true and the work is
moving forward. I love being a missionary. The crazy thing is I hit my
6th month mark this week. Its gone by so fast.

Elder Mayans

Monday, October 14, 2013

Jacob in Romania this week


Before I write you guys, I’ll answer your questions.

So first off, living in another country, especially Romania, is so
different. I have come to realize that the Romania mission is very
different from other missions. Yes, we still have the same purpose of
sharing the Gospel, but even from reading Will and Ryans emails, its
really different. Because of such a low success rate, contacting 8
hours a day is kinda pointless now. We still contact a lot but
President has now told us to do other things. Things that don’t even
sound like missionary work but can provide us with different
opportunities to share a message. For example, this week we went to a
basketball court and played basketball and when ever people passed by
we would invite them to play with us. Then if they did we could tell
them who we were and it makes it a lot less threatening.

But to answer your question, yes it makes me appreciate home a lot
more but at the same time I love the culture over here. Everyone kinda
does what they want and minds their own business. It’s cool to see how
they communicate with each other. The hardest thing is that we can’t ask
anybody to do anything for us because they have no money to spend.
Even church activities that are put on around the country are too
expensive. The church gives them some money to help them but it’s still
not enough. My testimony has definitely changed in different ways. It
has made me realize that no matter who they are they deserve to hear
the gospel. It has given me the opportunity to love the people of Romania.

So to start off with some big news!!! Transfer boards came out last
Saturday and something is happening to me. I am now leaving the city
of Galati and going to Craiova. Craiova is more on the south west part
of the country. My new companion will be Elder Harris. I have never
heard of him and not too many people know him. He is younger than I am so I will now be the Senior companion. I don’t know what to expect because it’s a new city and a new companion but I’m excited and it should be great.

This week, Elder Whitehead and I have done a few things. We did a lot
of contacting and block knocking. While contacting on Friday, we had
two girls invite us to go to a club with them. They really wanted us
to go with them and we laughed and told them we can’t do that. Haha.  We
also got a few numbers and passed out a Book of Mormon. We have tried
to contact them but they will not answer us now. A little frustrating
but that’s the way it is. Block knocking was a no success, we only got
into one block this week, all the others the people wouldn't even let
us in.

Also, Elder Whitehead and I were walking back out of the block, on I think
Friday and a big car accident happened right next to us when we were
on the sidewalk. It was crazy because it was so close but we were
right there to help out. We pushed both of the cars from the middle of
the street to the curb. One of the guys had a bloody face but was ok.
That was our little service for the day.

Yesterday was my last Sunday in Galati. It was fast and testimony
meeting so I got up and gave what they call my dying testimony. It was
hard to say good by to the members because I have known them for quite
some time. They all said I need to come back to Galati in the future.

That’s about it for this week. I love you all so much and as you can
see I’m busy but doing great. I love being a missionary and serving the
Lord. I will update you on everything that happens next week.

Elder Mayans

P.S. That is awesome about Abuelo. 

. Tell him I love you for me.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jacob this week!!!

Hello Family!!!

It has been a fabulous week here in Romania. So many things have
happened this week that i dont know where. First off i will start with
my new companian Elder Whitehead. This was our afficial first week
together and it was really fun. he is a really funny guy and is always
cracking jokes. Hes one of those people that you can never have
nothing to talk about with because he always has random questions up
his sleeve. He knows a lot about Romanian and is really good at
explaining things so I think im going to learn a lot from him when it
comes to the language. Also hes a great missionary and he has taught
me a lot of things already.

Zone Conference (Tuesday-Friday)
So, going to zone conference in Moldova, we headed up to Iaşi in
Tuesday. We took a maxi-taxi up there but the only one that was
available was a detour one so instead of it being 4 hours to Iasi it
was 6. I love maxi-taxi rides for some reason. It is something I will
probably never do  again in my life. Its just a little bus with a
crazy romanian driver and it feels like you are going to die every
time. haha its great. So we got to Iasi late on tuesday and then early
Wednesday morning we got on another maxi-taxi with our entire Iasi
Zone (which is all missionaries in Iasi, Galati, and Bacau: I think
its about 12 missionaries) up to Chişinau, Moldova!! The ride up there
was crazy as well and they searched us at the border. It felt really
weird to move countries just for a meeting. I dont think too many
missions do that. haha So All Wednesday we had zone conference. It is
a really long day because you are sitting down the whole time but it
was still amazing. A lot of things that were stated at zone conference
were said in General Conference about the work hastening. I also gave
another 15 minute presentation during the first meeting. I didnt have
very much timw to prepare but I think i did a pretty good job. i
talked about the Brother of jared in Ether. It was mostly on
excersizing our faith. The brother of Jared showed tremendous faith to
the lord and the veil was uncovered because the Lord could not hold
himself back. Thats one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon.
After conference we went to a hotel. I felt like i was living in a
communist grandmothers house. It just smelled like Russia. haha The
next day our maxi back down to Iasi didnt leave till 3 in the
afternoon so we went around and got some stuff up there. Everything is
dirt cheep so I got a really warm Russian Catchula fox fur Hat (as you
can see in the pictures), A Russian Doll, and a communist flask. (
just for water ofcourse. ha) Then we went beck to Iasi, spent the
night, and then headed home to Galati in  the morning. We were sll
dead tired once we finally made it back.

So the weather has gotten a lot colder so a lot less people are on the
streets. Elder Whitehead and I went block knocking for the first time
on Saturday. We went into a block and knocked on every door asking to
share a message about the gospel or give them a pass along card. Block
knocking isnt very effective but sometimes its the only thing we can
do. We didnt have any success but we talked to a few interesting
people. Saturday and Sunday we watched Conference. I saw a few of them
in Romanian but most in English so that was nice. I really enjoyed
conference. I think Elder Ballard quoted Clayton Christensen during
conference. Pretty cool.

Thats about it for this week. I love you all and thank you for all
your letters and support.

Elder Mayans