Monday, July 29, 2013

Jaobs weekly letter!!!!

Hey Family and friends,                                    7-29-2013

This week was a crazy week and sort of just flew by really fast. First off I gave my first official talk last week during sacrament. I’ve shared my testimony a few times but this was my first talk. I talked about charity, love and humility and even though it was a little choppy I felt like I did a pretty good job and got my point across. This week we have had a few things happen. A lot of the members wanted us to come over to say good-bye to Elder Rasmussen before he leaves so we actually got fed a few times by members. Actually we ate and talked with them at the church because they all said their kitchens are too small and it would be easier. Ha-ha we had a bunch of really great Romanian food. I really can’t explain it because I don’t even know what it was but it tasted good so that’s all that matters. Sora Marania, one of our members made stuffed peppers filled with mystery meat and vegetables. It was really good but I can’t believe I haven't gotten food poisoning yet. Whenever they cook they never cook with filtered water so it is always a risk. We also went to the Stancu families apartment this week. We taught them a little lesson and talked to them for a while. They are going through a rough time right now because of work and money so they really appreciated us coming over and talking with them.

As for getting new investigators this week we got nothing. We were really hoping for someone in the last week of the transfer to show up but it never happened. There was this Pentecostal man named Trian who we meet and actually called us back and said he wanted to meet with us. We have been trying to set up a time to meet him and I don’t know if he is trying to avoid us or he’s scared but every time we go to his office he’s not there. As a matter of fact, last Friday we went to his office. One side note, where people live here is a little different. Usually there is a door that goes out to the street and then inside there are a few apartments so we usually never know who is going to answer the door. Anyways that is where Trians office is so we went on Friday and this Gypsy women answered the door and was super nice. She said Trian isn't home but she invited us to come in. That was already a surprise because most people never let you in. It’s hard to explain but they led us back to the back apartment and I'm not going to lie it was pretty scary and I started thinking of the movie Taken. Ha-ha that didn't help. So we ended up going into a little shack apartment and we walk in and the inside is super nice. Like they have a huge Mac and a plasma screen T.V. Elder Rasmussen and I were just like what the heck is happening. I seriously thought I was going to die or they were going to do something to us but nothing really happened. I don’t know where they get so much money but it was surprising to see, especially because I wasn’t expecting it. We talked with the mom for about 15 minutes about our church and she actually knew a little bit about it already. Over all it was a different experience and we might go back to check how they are doing.

So this week is transfers so I have to travel a bunch. I’m actually sending this letter from Piteşti. Since Elder Rasmussen is dying (going home) I have to go down for transfers early so I'm stuck here with two elders. Ill be going don’t to Bucharest tomorrow and then staying there for a day, getting my new companion, and they going back up to Galaţi. I already know who my new companion is going to be. Its elder Cunningham, he has been my district leader in Galaţi so I already know him very well.


Hello again I'm continuing from last week because I couldn't write very much. So this is my first week of the new transfer with Elder Cunningham. I little bit about him. He is 20 and has been out for 18 months. He is from Parker, Colorado and is a really funny guy. I like him a lot and I feel I can tell him anything, which is great. Like I mentioned before he is a lot different from Elder Rasmussen. Elder Cunningham is a lot more laid back and sometimes likes to waste a lot of time. At first I was a little worried about this because I know it’s going to be a big change but now I'm really excited to work with him this transfer. We have already set some pretty good/reachable goals that we are going to accomplish this transfer. Elder Cunningham, just like everyone else is not amazing at the language so it makes it even harder because sometimes we both have no idea what people are saying. Ha-ha it makes it interesting but it really gives us the opportunity to learn a lot. Yesterday we were English contacting and I started talking to this man in Romanian about our English classes. He then answered and said that he speaks English and doesn't know Romanian. We were both like neither do we. Ha-ha we had a really good conversation with him and even though he was just on vacation for a few weeks here, we gave him our information and a Book of Mormon pamphlet.

One big change on our focus for this transfer is that we are going to be working with the branch and less active members more. We are still going to continue to contact and get new investigators but at the moment the branch need a lot of help. During transfers, President Hill told us that because our active member number is so low, in the near future they might have to close the church building here and rent out a building each Sunday for church. That is the last thing we want to happen because one of our most successful things that we are doing is having activities at the church building. It’s really important that we help the branch because as of right now, we are not even comfortable bringing new investigators to church because we don't know what will happen.

As much as is sounds like I have been traveling, we are actually going up to Iaşi again either today or tomorrow for Zone Training Meeting. Should be fun and I'm giving a presentation on finding with faith. That's about it for this week. The church is true. Everyday I am so grateful to be a missionary and enjoy all of my many blessings. Love you all so much.

Elder Mayans

Monday, July 22, 2013

Elder Jacob Mayans 7-22-2013

Hello family.

Well this week has been a crazy one this week. But not crazy the way I like it. As you guys know, Elder Rasmussen is leaving this week. Between us trying to plan and him getting ready to leave, its been a little crazy. The elders that leave have to go down to Bucharest early so because I'm companions with one of them, I'm dragged along with them. At the moment I am in Ploiesti because we went to church yesterday and Elder Rasmussen served here for a long time and wanted to visit before he left. He has officially left me now and is on a train down to Bucharest. I get to stay in Ploiesti with a few of the elders here for the next few days until transfers on Wednesday. So yeah that what is happening to me right now. I’m basically living out of a backpack for a week.

So last week during internet time I wrote a lot and put it on a flash drive so that I could send it to you guys today but I totally forgot it! Such a bummer so I will send it to you guys next week with a bunch that happened last week. As for transfers I'm getting Elder Cunningham as my new companion. Elder Cunningham was and is my district leader in Galati so I already know him very well. All I can say is that it going to be a very different kind of transfer with him. He has lost a lot of the mission fire so hopefully I can get him back into shape. It’s definitely going to be a lot harder but I’m going to work him to death and do some missionary work. I’m excited and it is going to be a lot of fun. I love serving in Galati. It’s a great city and I'm excited to stay another transfer.

As for the past few days in Ploiesti, we went to church yesterday and it was super weird because there’s actually a chapel there and a pretty good size branch of about 40 people. The meetings were really good and I met a lot of new people. They all asked me if I was a new missionary serving there. I told them no that I was just visiting and they were all sad. Ha-ha they all told me that I need to come back. Romanians are so nice. I love them. Also last night I had my first official meal at a member’s home. The family that fed us are really strong members and they are pretty wealthy so we got fed very well. They have two little daughters that are really cute and were jumping on me all night. They’re crazy but super funny. The only thing I hate is hearing a 4 year old speak a thousand times better than me.

That’s about it for this week. Sorry, there will be a lot more next week. I love you all and I appreciate all the e-mails. Sorry if I don’t respond but I'm trying. And if you ever feel like sending an email please do- I love them. I love this gospel so much. It is because of this Gospel that gives me the strength and desire to get up every morning share it with others. A bunch of Americans walking the streets of Romania is really weird to people. Everyone is always just staring but I like it because then I can just walk up and start talking to them. And it’s funny because they don’t expect it.  I’m so happy to be a missionary. These are the latter days and people really are becoming prepared to receive the gospel. I know that through the Spirit we can find those people who are looking for it. It’s a beautiful thing. Love you all so much. You’re in my prayers.

Elder Mayans


Mom, No I haven’t used my debit card but I do need something, and I have a little list of things you can send me. Also you can send anything you want really that you think might be useful. Thanks. And probably not too big cuz I have to travel with it.

-Taco Seasoning
-Cholula Hot sauce (ha-ha there’s no hot sauce here!!!)
-Flash Drives (probably a few cheaper ones instead of one expensive one because I dump all my pictures onto them so that I will have more room on my Camera. In the future I might actually send them home so that you can put it on the computer at home because I really don’t want to lose my pictures and I feel safer if I just sent it home.)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Jacobs Mission


Hello Familia Mea!!!!!

I’m going to start off by saying that this email is going to be a little short because we actually went on an adventure today for P-Day so I have a little less Internet time. But it’s ok. It was definitely worth it. Today we crossed the big river that runs right next to Galaţi. We took a ferryy over and it was awesome and beautiful! It felt really weird because it’s probably the only time I will ever be on a boat for the rest of my mission but it was so much fun. I took a lot of pictures so iI’l make sure I send them to you. 

So this week was..... you know same old same old in terms of getting investigators but we still got a lot of things done. Lets see, on Friday I went on an exchange with our zone leaders. I went with Elder Davis. He is a really good guy and a great zone leader. He’s only been out for about 8 transfers now so I don’t feel as stupid when it come to the language because it’s hard for him too. Ha-ha sometimes is a little stressful with Elder Rasmussen because he knows this language like a native. Our exchange was a lot of fun. We gave out 3 copies of the Book of Mormon and got a lot of numbers from people so we will see if any of this will follow through with lessons. We got rid of our Book of Mormon transfer box! That was one of our goals to give out the whole box and we did so we were pretty excited about that. So speaking of Elder Rasmussen, this is his last week. As they say in the mission, "I'm killing him." ha-ha Next Saturday I'm actually going to go with him to Ploiesţi so say good bye to a few people and then back to Bucuaresţi for my new companion. A lot of new and exciting things are happening this up coming week. I’m 99.9% positive that I will stay in Galaţi, which is good because I love this city.   Ohh.. I almost forgot. So on Saturday night we had a BBQ celebration for the 20th anniversary of missionaries in Romania! It was a pretty big deal so we planned a BBQ at the church and invited everyone to come. We planned on eating food and watching a broadcast that is streamed from Bucuaresţi. We had a huge turn out of about a whopping 20 people! It was amazing. Ha-ha so we ate really authentic Romanian food. Its called Mici and Sarmale. I don’t really know how to explain it but it was a type of meat and some other stuff wrapped in cabbage. I don’t really know but it was amazing. After that we went up stairs to watch the broadcast and it turns up that we missed it and saw the closing song and prayer!!! It was such a bummer but everyone was still happy because we all ate. 

That’s what I have been up to. I love every minute of the mission life. It feels good to serve the Lord 24/7. I love this gospel so much and I would be so lost without the guidance it gives me. The help it has given me makes me want to share it with others even more. I love you all and for all the prayers and things you do for me. 

Elder Mayans

P.S. I might not be able to write next week because I will most likely be traveling. 

Some interesting things that happened this week was that I learned that Romanians don’t believe in brushing their teeth. I don’t understand how they don’t believe in it because their breath always stinks. Also there is this thing they believe over here called "current" and basically it’s any type of air breeze. Weather it be from a window or from an air conditioner. They believe that it will get you very sick. The guy on the train told me to shut the window because the "current was making his back hurt! It’s so ridiculous and it was boiling in the train! Ha-ha it’s really interesting and funny. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Jacob in Romania 7-8-2013

Hello family!!!                           7-8-2013

How is everyone doing?? I got a lot of emails this week. Thank you so much they are really entertaining to read and it sounds like everyone is having a good time. So this week has been very similar to last week, which has been super slow. Just like before we have been doing a bunch of street and park contacting. It’s kinda hard to understand because we meet so many people everyday what are super nice and seem interested. Some days are slower than others but for the most part we usually meet at least a few people who are willing to learn more and that our message can help their lives. Which gets us really excited and then they end up never answering their phones or say they are too busy. That’s why this week has been really slow because every single person we have meet has told us they don't want to meet with us.

So like I said we have four elders in Galati. I don’t remember if I have already said this but Elder Ward and Cunningham have been focusing on the members and the less actives while Elder Rasmussen and I are focusing on finding new investigators. Mostly younger people and families. We have been talking to President Hill about the situation in Galati because nothing has really happened in this city church wise for the past 10 years. Theres the original 10 people who have been members for at least 5 years and everyone else is inactive. That’s why we are really looking for younger people and families because we need some members in this branch who can really lead and bring the Church forward. The missionaries can only do so much and it’s the members that can really change this city around. I know I have only been here for a few weeks but I would really like to see this city turn around. 

So as you know we teach English classes here. I love teaching English even though I have never been really good in English and I still don’t speak Romanian very well. Ha-ha But its fun. The first few times we had about 5 people show up for the beginner class, which is the one I teach. Every time we have another class, less and less people show us. Ha-ha but the people who are there are very nice and don’t get mad when I mess up because they know I'm learning too. Last Saturday we had only one person show up. His name is Vasile. He’s an older guy but after class we had a pretty good discussion about the church, which was fun. We even asked his if he would like the pray to end English class and He said he didn’t know how. So we taught him how and he gave a very simple and meaningful prayer. Hopefully in the future he will be a little more interested. We also told him he could come to church with us whenever he wanted. 

Another thing happened in regards to English class. So this 13-year-old girl came to English class. At the end of class she walked up to us and said I didn’t come here to learn English, I really came just to talk to you because you have a tag that says Jesus Christ on it and I want to know more. At that our jaws dropped in shock because that just doesn’t happen here. Ender Ward and Cunningham ended up having a little lesson with her and they said it went really good. To make the long story short she ended up saying that her mom was interested in our message as well. Then after we set up an appointment, she called and said she is not interested. It was really weird because we really thought she was an elect and was reads to hear about the gospel. It smart not to get too excited before you know what will happen but we were all pretty bummed about that. 

I know that’s a little depressing but on a good note we have one person call us because last night and said he wants to meet with us. His name is Trian. He is a Pentecostal that we met on the street. Hopefully everything will work out so we can have a few lessons with us this week. 

So 4th of July- just because I'm in Romania doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate America. Ha-ha For lunch we all bought some meet to grill and some other food and had a little BBQ. It was just the four of us but it was really fun. Its actually really funny because all day people would come up and tell us it the 4th of July for America. We were like ha-ha we know were Americans. People here are always talking about Americans but I we think they want to be like us because half of the stuff they wear says California or America on it. SO yeah we ended up having some pork chops and these weird sausage things. I don’t know what kind of meat it was but it tasted good to me. 

Lastly I went back up to Iași Again this time for Zone conference, which was AMAZING!!! I got to meet my whole zone and also got to see President and sister Hill again. Zone conference was an entire day thing so we ended up spending the night up there and then coming back the next morning. I learned so much at Zone conference. President is such a smart man and really knows how to teach and motivate up. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and different ways of teaching. We also talked about explaining the Book of Mormon in more detail before handing it out to people. Overall is was really good and it wanted me to become a better missionary which means it was a good meeting. Also, my zone includes all of the Moldovan missionaries who are Russian speaking. The original 5 from that mission are leaving this week so they all gave their farewell testimony. It was really sad to see them have to go because they were all to crushed to leave. They are really good Elders. I only got the chance to meet them once but they are very strong men who really love the people of Moldova.

Yeah so today was P day again. I wish P days were a little bit longer because it takes a lot of time to just get groceries that by the time were don’t with doing all the little errands the day is over. Next week for P day we are planning on crossing the river, which will be beautiful, so hopefully I will be able to send some good pictures of that. 

That’s about is for this week. I am still alive and having so much fun. It’s important to remain positive. The elders that I have been with have told me I am very positive so I guess ill just keep doing what I'm doing. I love this gospel and I would be so lost and confused in this world without. It brings me so much comfort to know that I have a Father in Heaven who is watching over me and loves me. I just want to tell that to people because I know that it would help their lives in so many ways. Love you all. Thanks again for everything!!

Elder Mayans

Hey mom.. So to answer all of you questions.. ha-ha you have so many and they are a lot about my apartment. Ha-ha so first off the food. We rarely get fed by other people so we just make food. We eat pretty normally and you can get just about anything. Everything tastes a little different but it all tastes pretty good. So yeah the beef tastes really weird so I wouldn’t be surprised is it was some weird meat but I mean we eat it so its not horrible. If we get meat we usually get Pork because that’s delicious. Also the fish here is probably really sketchy because the lakes and rivers here are extremely dirty so i wouldn’t be surprised. 

Our apartment is small but not too bad. We sleep in the living room because the air conditioner in the bedroom is broken. So for now we sleep there. We are really lucky because most apartments don’t have air conditioning units. Also we have a washer but no dryer. It’s not too big of a deal because it dries really fast. The only thing is that our washer broke this week so we really need to get it fixed as soon as possible. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Crazy week in Romania 7-1-2013

7-1-13 Jacob in Romania

Ok to start off I wanted to just say that something crazy happened about 20 minutes after I emailed you guys last week. So we were just sitting in the up-stairs office in the meeting house and like I said there was a pretty big storm. Well it turned into a thunderstorm and we were all just sitting there in the room talking. Then all the sudden the air conditioning unit in this tiny room literally blew up with the loudest sound and all the electricity went out. We all started screaming like little girls. We had no idea what happened. After we settled down we called President Hill and then the proprietor. They came the next morning to fix it and they told us all the cords and wires we burned and that it definitely got struck by lightening. It was so intense but nobody was killed so everything is ok.

So this week was a slow week but still amazing. We have been contacting like crazy and just trying to talk to as many people as possible. We still have no investigators, which is kinda frustrating because Preach My Gospel says if you have no investigators no work can be done. Haha It’s a little harsh but it is true. We really need to get some people to teach. I have come to love that book already so much. Whenever I have a question or need help on what I am doing, I feel like I can always find the answer in that book. So with contacting we have been able to get about 10 numbers and three copies of the Book Of Mormon. The only bad thing is that every time we call them to set up an appointment they either don't answer or hang up on us. Haha Patience is very important because I think I would go crazy if I didn't have any. I think the person who has the most patience is Elder Rasmussen. He leaves in about four weeks and he has had zero baptisms and only a handful of lessons throughout his entire mission. Now obviously numbers really don't count but I know that no matter what happens, even the small messages that we share about Jesus Christ or the Gospel on the street are changing their hearts. It might be very small and slow but it’s doing something. We have about 20 copies of the Book of Mormon in our apartment and want to get all of them into peoples homes by the end of this transfer. We figured that even if they don't read it, it is better to have it sitting in their apartment than ours. The Book of Mormon holds such a strong spirit that i'm sure over time, someone will pick it up and read it and feel something special about it.

I have an interesting story about an experience we had a few days ago. We were actually trying to find a shoe shop because Elder Rasmussen needed to get something but we couldn't find it so we ended up going to an Orthodox book store so ask for directions. We asked a lady there for directions and as we were walking out this teenager with perfect english said to us, “do you know where you are right now?” We were a little confused especially since he had perfect english. To make a very long story short he stated talking to us about the Orthodox religion. He was a really smart kid and actually knew a lot of things about his religion which is surprising because most people say they are Orthodox but don't really know anything about it. Anyways he actually knew a lot about Mormons which was also surprising. We ended talking to him for a pretty long time right in the middle of the store and it was really neat. Every once in a while he would ask us about some Orthodox tradition and he would be shocked when we said we have never heard of that. Haha is was pretty funny but then towards the end some other people came up to us and started bashing on us it was nuts. That’s when we decided that we should probably leave the store.

So, mom you wanted to know a little bit more about our branch. Just like I said we have about 10 active members in our branch which makes it very quiet at times. Our branch president is Elder Ward.  Galaţi use to have a member be the branch President but then they changed it back to a missionary because things we getting out of hand. Elder Ward is a really good leader and tries his best. He’s a good man and I have been able to get to know him a lot. I have not given a talk in sacrament meeting yet but I have given several prayers and I bore my testimony the first Sunday. I don’t have much to say but the Romanians say I have a pretty good accent so that’s good to know. But who knows, maybe they were just saying that to get my hopes up. Today we went to the only family, in our branches, house today because it was their six year old sons birthday. I have some pictures of that which I will attach to this email. A little side note. So Romanians for some reason love to but rum on their cakes and pasteries. They even put it in the ice cream. I really don’t know why because it is sooo nasty. So today at the party they cut the cake and it looked sooo good. Then we took our first bite and looked at each other. Haha Its just a really strong punch in the face. It was funny to see Leviu (the birthday boy) just pound the cake like there was nothing wrong. Elder Cunningham is the only one who likes the rum ha

So as I said this week has been mostly just contacting. I am really trying to expound my vocabulary on contacting because that is what I use the most. I am having so much fun and I love talking to people even if it’s intimidating sometimes. For practice, Elder Rasmussen and I go down to the filaza (which is like the cliffs). That’s where all the crazy people like to go and sit down. Elder Rasmussen and I will go and sit down next to a crazy and he will pretend to fall asleep and I will start talking to whoever we sat next to. It’s great practice because no matter what they say you can just keep on talking. So I will start talking about Jesus Christ and then he will start talking for a few minutes and then I’ll start talking about the Book of Mormon or families. It’s lots of fun. The only down side is that none of them have teeth so even if I could understand Romanian, I probably wouldn’t be able to understand them.

That's about it. The Church is true even in Romania. I look around and see so many people that need the gospel. I love missionary work and for the opportunity I have to walk around and share a message that most people have never and will never hear in their lifetime. I love the Savior so much. He is my third companion and I would be able to do any of this without Him. I hope everyone is doing well. I love you all. Stay safe and share the gospel. Haha that’s about the only thing I can tell you because that’s all I do.

Some interesting things about this week were... lets see

 I think I have bed bugs because I’m still getting bites. So I finally got around to spraying my entire bed.
                We were making some food and we found a dead cockroach in the flour. We ended up still using that flour because we were starving.
                I saw a spider Gypsy. It is the most disgusting thing I have seen. There people who walk around. They’re people but honestly they look like some sort of animal. Their legs are broken and forced the other way as babies so their knee actually bends the opposite direction. That was probably too much information but in case you were wondering, that’s what a spider Gypsy is.
                I saw a two year old boy buy a pack of cigarettes.
                If you want to feel good, eat the cake.

So about these pictures...
The one with the family if from the party today.
The one of me sleeping if when we went on a five hour train ride to Iaşi. I was seriously so tired.
And I’ll send another email with more pictures.