Како Смо? How are ya guys?
I've been doing pretty well this week apart from being sick. Friday a week and a half ago I started feeling like i had a bad cold going on and I’ve been sick for over a week now. I thought it might be a sinus infection and since my Dayquil/Nyquil ran out yesterday I finally went to the MTC clinic. The doctor said that it was just a virus, so he didn't prescribe me anything but he told me to go to the BYU health center and pick up some Sudafed and Benadryl (sp?). I got a bottle of each for $6 total, so I should be good to go now. He said that he thinks I’m in the downward slope of it, so hopefully I'll be feeling better soon. I also got a humidifier for the residents from the clinic. I've been getting bloody noses like crazy because of the dryness....so hopefully that's all cleared up now too.
So....sorry to burst your bubble Mom....but the travel office doesn't really know a whole lot. They don't know exactly where we're going. After all, we are the ones that had to tell them that we weren't going to Slovenia. From what I've found out, yes, we are getting Croatian visas....but we aren't expected to stay there. President Brown told us that we wouldn't know where we were going until we got there, which means we are going to Croatia to start with but then we are most likely going elsewhere from there. I've heard that you can apply for Serbian visas while you are in the country, so we'll most likely fly into Croatia, spend some time there, then go to Serbia (maybe Bosnia) and apply for a visa while we are in the country. Also, Croatian visas are harder to get and the Serbian ones are fairly simple (can't imagine why? You would think that it was the Euro-vacation hot spot). I think I’ve figured out why we got reassigned. Mom, I think you're to blame, but I'm not angry. Elder S and I were talking to Sister K , our old teacher, and I was talking about how I didn't really imagine you being super thrilled about the idea of me going into Serbia or Bosnia and how you were excited about Slovenia because it's basically the safest place on earth. I think she was kind of joking, but what she said afterwards made sense. She said, "Maybe you had to be going to Slovenia first, that way your mom could be more comfortable with Serbia afterwards" (or something like that). I think there's some truth to that. I'm not sure if you would have let me go if I was originally called to Serbia or Bosnia. I think it took some easy adjusting (me going to Slovenia and not worrying) before I could go to somewhere not as "perfectly stable" (Serbia/Bosnia) and have you be okay with it.....Am I making sense? Don't worry. I've come to accept the reassignment, so I’m not mad at you...but I still blame you ;)
So last night, we were talking to Brat M, our Serbian teacher, about Serbia and what we should take to Europe with us. He said, "I'm not allowed to tell you what to take and what to leave, but from my experience I would say that if it's something that you can easily get elsewhere, don't take it." Luckily I didn't take a lot of extra things, so I don't think I'll be sending clothing home or anything.....although part of me is dying because I think I'm gonna send my watches home. I'll keep the ipod, because I still want the music.
That brings me to my next tidbit. I'm waiting for pictures to be printed and then I'm going to be sending a package with pictures, my patriarchal blessing, my watches, and some other stuff I don’t need any more (like my Slovene ministerial certificate, which authorizes me to teach). So I put the pictures in on Saturday, so hopefully they will be done tomorrow or Thursday. Also, you can still send the flag, since I'll be there eventually.
Random facts: Apparently Serbia has some of the best food in the mission. Mollie, look away.... Apparently they eat a lot of horse there and supposedly it's quite good. I'm excited to try it. How many Americans can say that they ate Black Beauty? I'm not sure exactly how they serve it, but in Slovenia they make it into Kranski burgers (horse burgers). It'll be interesting to say the least. Also, Now that I’m going to Serbia, I get the good side of the exchange rate...even though the Euro is tanking. They use the Dinar (sp?) and it just makes everything a better price. I'm gonna get so much cool stuff when I come home! I thinking about buying another scripture quad at the bookstore (they're discounted) and taking it because there's a guy in Belgrade that rebinds books and he always does scriptures for the missionaries....and they look SWEET! We saw a picture last night and they look like old fashion books with the thick leather binding with the cool designs in them. I guess that they're kind of the "thing to get" while you're there. You can also get sweet ties over there. Most of them are pretty cheap ($5-$10), but in Croatia (where ties originated) you can buy Cravats (don’t know the spelling at all on this one) and they are like $45-$50 (yowza) but they are basically the coolest thing you can put around your neck. My teachers each have a couple and they are sweet! I don't think I could ever spend that much on a tie, but we'll see.
Also....feel free to e-mail whatever, because I found a way to cheat the system. We print out emails so we don’t take time off the clock reading them. And then to reply (I’m doing it right now) we type the email in the lds.org study journal (no time limit) and then just copy and paste it into the email. By the time I'm done emailing, i usually still have at least 23 minutes left.
Wanna see some Serbian? Џосеф Цмит се молио Богу о којој церкви је инстинита. Бог је реко Џосефу Смиту да неједна црква је инстинита. Joseph Smith prayed to God about which church was true. God told Joseph Smith that none of the churches were true. Pretty crazy stuff, huh? It's still a little slow when I read it, but it's getting better each day. I'm gonna type out the alphabet for you: АБЦЧЋДЂЕФГХИЈКЛЉМНЊОПРСТУВЗЖ The reason why it's kind of hard is because some of the letters look like Latin alphabet, but they make different sounds. Like the Serbian "R" is a "P", so I always get that confused. Oh well. It's all in good fun. I should be getting my full Cyrillic name tag soon. Here's what it'll look like:
Старешина Квин Церква Исуса Христа Светаца Последњих Дана
So Quinn is now spelled "Kvin" so I will be Elder Kvin in 2 weeks. Sorry for rambling. I think that might be all I have to say for right now. But I still have almost all of my email time left, so if I think of anything else, I send another one.
I should be getting travel plans any day now.... although I would be really surprised if I go to Europe from here since they've only had a few weeks for a Croatian visa. Pants- 38/32.... why?
Well I'll probably send another email later.
From his mother (me!)…
Hello!!! In case you are able to get on again…
Believe it or not…I'm okay with Serbia and all that jazz. I'm not as paranoid as you think I am. If you are in Kosovo…the only thing I ask is that you stay on concrete (no running through fields) and out of abandoned buildings. Apparently mines are still a major issue over there.
Trips are doing well. Is. can repeat most words now. It's pretty funny. J knows all his colors. L was following me around and chasing me...she is waaaaay too cute! B just happily plays and does her own thing. Bites that they are moving...
I can't think of any other news. I was asking about the pants because I forgot we already got you a pair of grey ones. I'm glad you are starting to feel better. I'll be sure to restock your Dayquil/Nyquil supply. Dad would LOVE to babysit your watches while you are gone. Just kidding. Do you need a cheap one instead?
You are awesome and I love you!!!!
PS…dad wants to know if you got his e-mail. If you reply to it, you will have to send it to me because for some reason his e-mail won't accept your e-mails or mine. Talk to you SOON!!!!!!!
Part II-From P.J.
I think I’ll just keep my Nano watch for right now and then I will just see what I can pick up over there. It shouldn't be an issue. I’m not worried about it. The devotional tonight was pretty awesome. Elder Holland came and he was so cool. A couple of cool quotes:
“We expect you to grab your socks and pull them clear up to your armpits and get to work.”
He then talked about how missionaries were an unofficial symbol of the church and that so many people adore us and think we are perfect and that we don’t have the privilege or the right to make/let them think otherwise. He also talked about using the Book of Mormon as the foundation of our teaching. It was so cool. It went over by 15 minutes, but it didn't even feel like it was even at least the normal hour. He also spoke a lot about how we have to stay strong after we get home. I guess that's a big issue. RMs falls away. He said, "If you go out and spend 2 years, and then come back and don't stick with it, what do we expect from our investigators? We expect lifelong commitments, and then some come back and just throw everything away." He also said, "If we aren't gonna live it, then why on earth are we here?" Also, we aren't supposed to go back to what we were before our missions.
It was just way cool to listen to him drop the cane and get things done. It really shows the issues and how worried they (church leaders) are about them. Nothing else of major note happened today.....Just to let you know, the best days are when I hear from you guys. Look forward to hearing from you soon. BTW....I should be getting my travel plans on Friday and I’m hosting the new missionaries tomorrow (welcome them, take them to get their materials, and take them to their rooms). I'm so excited. It's gonna be fun to harass them...."I hope you told your mother you love her"....."Get out while you still can"....."They beat us in here".....Totally just kidding. I'll be nice. I think it might be tough to be reminded of how miserable I felt, but oh well.
Until next week,