Monday, May 7, 2012

Questions and Answers...and a grumpy old man!

Hello Family!!!!
This last weeks been pretty good. The weeks are going by faster and faster. In just 2 weeks my first transfer will be over (in most other missions, transfers are just 6 weeks, but ours are 9). Which means in a week in half I should be receiving a phone call to find out what's going down for the next 9 weeks. I would be really surprised if I moved out of Karlovac. But who knows?

That's pretty exciting about the new bishopric....especially for Bishop/Brother Woodland....oooohhh....that's so weird.......Everything is going to be so different when I get home. That's the weirdest part. It's only been like 4 months.  And that's way cool about Spencer. I hadn't heard about that. Tell him I said congrats! Is it English speaking in Tucson? And Mollie looks like she made a good haul. Is the Sony stereo dock thing the thing she was saving for? She didn't e-mail me this week. And I’m glad I’m half the world a way to avoid the mental destruction that watching people play that dumb dance game causes. That's cool about your room. Y'all are gettin' too fancy for me. I won't be able to live there any more when I get back because I won’t fit in.

So ya....have I said that this week has been average? It's heated up a bunch. It started off being in the high 40's low 50's and rainy, and now it's humid 80's and super sunny. It's SOOOOO HOT! Especially since no one has air conditioning....including us. So the apartment doesn't cool off much at all. We're hopefully gonna buy some fans this week. But the joke is that during the winter you can’t get the Croats to take clothes off and during the summer you can’t get them to put clothes on. It's kind of gross when a man opens the door without pants on....just his briefs and a t shirt...or just a towel...... blech. A little disturbing. And people, especially little kids, have no problem with public urination here. They just whip it out, go, and go back to playing in the park. So don’t roll around in the grass.

 Albania would be okay....As long as you end up in Montenegro or Macedonia. It's kind of interesting. Montenegro speaks "Montenegrin (SP?)" but it is really just Serbo-Croatian with a twist, but for some reason it's not in the mission with Serbo-Croatian speakers. They stuck it in the south with the Albanian speakers. It just doesn't make much sense to me, but oh well.

They're haven't been any super funny stories this week, so I'm at a little loss. thing. I bought an external hard drive today to store pictures on. Here's why: The computers are super ghetto and slow at uploading so the hard drive would be faster storage and I’m also not sure of the quality of shutter fly photos. It might just be the old monitors, but it looks like it uploads them in low quality. So I probably wont be uploading to shutterfly very much. I'll probably just be attaching some pictures if I want to send them home.

Oh one funny story....So we eat out a lot....from like maybe 4 different restaurants because Karlovac doesn't have a whole lot. Well, we eat out at least once a day usually. Most places deliver here, and delivery is always free (and people think you're dumb if you tip. They think you can't count money or you're forgetting's way nice), so we either get it delivered to our apartment or the church. So when you order they ask for your address and we told the guy at Mona Lisa (one of our favorite kebob/pizza/calzone places) that the address was Tuškanova 10 (the church) and he asked what floor and we said the first usually they would ask which business, but after we said first floor, all he said was "Ya....Church of Jesus Christ, right?" We just started laughing....I think we get it a little too much. But it's good and it's cheap.

So now I’ll answer your questions

1.  Do you know if you are calling on Saturday or Sunday for the Mother's Day Call?  We want to be sure we don't miss it.  Also, I think I'll go ahead and get a international phone card.  What is your number for me to call you on in case the Skype doesn't work?  Do you have all the Skype info you need in order to use it?  I don't have it, but Dad will.  I may have to send you out an extra e-mail with that info.

We still have a few weeks. You can wait a little bit if you want. We can talk with the Higbee's this week and finalize plans for using Skype. If we do use Skype, I’ll just log on with my username and password and call dad that way. It'll be fine.....JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS AWAY!!!!!!!!! I wouldn't recommend buying the phone card. You might never use it.

2.  Do you guys have a cell phone or are you borrowing one?
We have a cell phone for our companionship (everyone does). So you would just call that one. I don't know the number, but if we end up using it, I’ll send you the number in the email, or call dad and hang up and then you can call back....I don’t know.

3. Not a question, but give me a "Mom Moment," okay?  You know…if you took those vitamins, it may help you from feeling so tired.  Just putting that out there.  Is this a normal tired or should I be concerned? 

My sleep is fine now. Everything here has just as much vitamins as everything in America. It's just that the people telling us to take the vitamins can't read Croatian, so they can’t read the labels that talks about how everything is fortified. And I was just tired for the first few weeks because of jetlag and stuff....but now I stay awake throughout the day and get excited at 10:30 when I can go to sleep. It's fine.

4.  How are your investigators doing?  

The investigators are doing well. A**** is cutting back on her smokes and her coffee. She'll be able to give them up. The problem is getting her to church. We've really drilled it in that it's important and she has to even just for baptism, but she's still never been, which is why we keep moving her baptismal date. Right now it's for May 20th, but we'll see. She understands she should go, but it's still a struggle, because she's considered herself religious her whole life, but she's never gone to church, so now it's weird for her that she has to go. It'll work out.

5.  What goes on at the Zone Conferences? 

Well technically we don’t have "zone conferences" very often. The church doesn't want them happening too often because they get expensive with all of the food and transportation, so you can only have zone conferences every other then in the months where we don’t have zone conferences, we have "specialized training meetings" which are essentially the same just helps us get the money for them. But you go and the mission president, the zone leaders, and the assistants (along with anybody else who's asked) teach lessons about things that would help us improve our work and be more efficient and successful. It's broken up into halves with lunch in between, but you pretty much just sit and get taught for somewhere about 4 hours. It's pretty interesting. And then you take what you learn and apply it.

6.  How is a mission different from what you thought? 

I'm not really sure. I'm not sure if I had any expectations before I went, but being a missionary is different than I always pictured. It's weird to wake up in the morning, feel like P.J. and then go and put on a tag that says "Starješina Quinn". It's weird to think that all of the missionaries are just 19 and 20 year old guys that are just trying especially hard to behave themselves. Because I always imagined becoming a missionary and just becoming a different person, but for the most part, it is the same. I just wear really hot clothes and try to survive in a foreign country with a weird language.

7.  What personal changes have you noticed from being on a mission? 

For a while I thought I was getting more patient and more loving, but then an old man yelled us the other night for walking through a field because we were walking to the field to get to a building on the other side of it. He was telling us that we had to cross the street and use the sidewalk on the other side.....which is ironic, because he was standing in the field. It went like this: Boys! What do you think you're doing? You don’t walk through fields. Get to the other side of the street and use the sidewalk. And then when we told him that we were just hurrying through, he yelled at us to hurry on the sidewalk on the other side. He was super jerky and was just chewing us out.....So as I was saying, I felt loving until that happened. But then he yelled at us and I had to resist every urge in my body to just flip him off and just keep on walking.....I was so mad! First off, You know how I feel about old people....which I’ve been trying not to, because Karlovac has a lot of old people. Second, I hate people that are just rude because they think they can be.....But besides that, I think my patience has been growing....maybe. Also, not saying that I'll be different when I get home, but I really realize how much time I used to waste. Just the thought of taking naps or just watching TV or movies for hours at a time seems ridiculous. I think back and wonder "How did I ever fit all of that into my day? How did I fit that into my planner?"....oh I’m such a loser. I guess the thing that's changed the most is my mindset. It seems weird that I ever went anywhere by myself. It feels like I was breaking rules. It also seems super scandalous to think that I ever hung out with girls. It's just funny because as a missionary girls are such bad news. Oh well.....It's only been 4 months and I’m turning into an awkward missionary.

I think that's about it. It's really nice to hear from you guys every week. If anybody asks how I’m doing, tell them that if they really want to know they should write and ask me....just kidding....but you really can if you want ;). Tell everyone I said hi! Oh...and Mollie, I'm probably gonna finally ship your birthday thing today or should be there in a couple of weeks. Sorry I'm lame. I love all of you bunches!

Until next Monday,

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