Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Letters from/to Mom and Dad, his future wife, and Toast Olympics....

Dore here.... I decided to put excerpts from letters that Phil (P.J.'s dad) and I  (P.J.'s mom) wrote to him and then excerpts of what he wrote back.  I may do another post of letters he wrote to his sisters in the next few days because they are pretty funny....

From Phil:
 Hope all is well!!

 We moved Mom’s office this weekend. Her new office is nice; We will take some pictures when we are finished decorating it. We are trying to do a beach theme and it's looking good so far. Mom got in to it with the guy who rented us the trailer for the move.  Mom said he was really rude and dismissive. Wrong thing to pull with your mom! I didn't get to see it I was unhooking the trailer. I would love to have seen her go off on him!! We got a new bed on Friday. The verdict is still out. The bed is not as soft or as comfortable as the one we laid on in the store. I called the store on Saturday and they said it would take about three weeks to break in. I hope they are right. If not we have a one-year replacement guarantee;  if we don't like it they will replace it. We also bought some coconut foam pillows. They were $130.00 a piece at the store. We found them on line for $(let's just say for a lot less...)  for the pair from someone in Keller. Mom loves the pillow I'm not sure about it yet but I'm trying it out.  That's about all that has happened this past week.  

 P.J.'s reply:


I'm glad to hear that your talk went well. It's looking like I'll probably have a 20 minute talk here next month. That's not gonna be too fun, but I'll worry about that when it gets here.  

A week ago Monday was my 20 months left mark, and yesterday was my 5-month mark. It's crazy to think that in a day less than a month I'll be a quarter of the way done. Sometimes it still feels like I'll be here forever, but other times it feels like times slipping away. It's kind of weird.

Last Wednesday we were going out by bus to a little village about 10 km outside of Karlovac called Duga Resa, and as I was watching the landscape, all green rolling hills covered with trees and the river running next to it, it kind of hit me, that even though I miss all of you a ton, I don't want to go home at all right now. I like where I'm at and I like what I'm doing. 

That's cool about the new office, and funny about the dumb guy. I'm tired of rude people, but I just have to grin and bare it. I would love to give some people a piece of my mind every once in a while, but they probably wouldn't even understand me even if I cracked and did ;).

I'm a little jealous about the new bed. If you felt our beds you would probably die. It's basically a wooden box with an inch of padding on top with fabric sewn over it. The good thing is that every night I'm so tired that I don't care too much. The lack of air conditioning is starting to kill me though. I have a washcloth that I get wet and freeze and then take it out when I go to bed and wrap it around my neck. It helps. It's also not quite as hot here as back home, but it is super humid, so we still get sweaty.

$**** for 2 pillows? Do they make you breakfast and sing you compliments when you wake up? And they're foam? Hmmmm.....I hope Mom likes them a lot because it sounds like she got ripped off, but oh well. 

**A little commentary here....Let me just say that even though those coconut pillows were obscenely expensive, they have been LIFE-CHANGING!!!!!  First time in forever that I haven't woken up with a headache...so yes, it does sing to me ...though it has yet to give me a compliment... 

The other day on the way to church I saw a grabber blue 2011 v6 mustang at the intersection. It was so weird. It's the only one I've ever seen here and it was from Germany. But it was a nice sight. 

Things are pretty routine here. We teach whom we can and eat and sleep in between. Sometimes it gets a little annoying when people ignore you, but oh well. A couple of weeks ago we tracted a 13 story building with over 60 rooms in about 45 minutes. Everybody either looked through the peephole and ignored us, or just opened the door and slammed it again. It gets old, but just one good door, and you remember that it's not a complete waste of time. We're starting English class again in a couple of weeks so we're gonna work on getting flyers out this week, but I think that's just about the most of it. We have specialized training (zone conference) sometime in the next couple of weeks, so I'll either be going to Slovenia or Zagreb. That'll be nice. They're always really good. And it's a way to get out of Karlovac. B***, our old landlady had us over for another barbeque last Thursday. It was so good! She had pork chops, chicken pieces, kobasica, and a ton of čevapćići, which is a type of sausage from Bosnia. Oh it was really good. I filled up big time.

 Mom and P.J.:

  Dear Favorite Missionary/son/P.J./dude-who-eats-lamb-without-complaining,

How are you doing?  We are doing swimmingly well.

So…Here in part is the e-mail I received after sending off your package:

 So, Yeah….I had all these thoughts of my poor son rotting in a Croatian jail.  Yeah...it bit.  Then I got smart and looked up mailing prohibitions for Croatia.  It appears I was okay, and didn't do anything wrong.  Phew!  Tell me you didn't have issues AND that you got the package.  All I can say is that you are pretty much going to get ties from now on for gifts.  Sorry….  But, on a side note, did you know that one CANNOT send used beehives to Israel?  I stop and ask myself, "Why would one want to send a bee hive, let alone a USED bee hive?"  I mean, when would that EVER be necessary??!  Also, You basically are only allowed to send letters to Italy.  You can't send shoes, clothes, pictures, or anything else.  You can send toys to Italy as long as the whole thing is made of wood.  Go figure.  Be glad you aren't there….otherwise you would come home with a  nice collection of spinning tops, tic-tac-toe boards, chess sets, and the wooden golf-tee triangle thing from Cracker Barrel.  

So, what did you think of the cat-helicopter?  Ever see anything so nutty?

I better take off….Other people are waiting to use the computer.  Love you tons!!!!!  I love Mondays!  Take care, be safe, and behave yourself.  
Love you and I'm proud of you!!!!!

 P.J.'s reply:

Dobar Dan Family!

So I'm doing well. Sorry for the delayed email. We came to internet to email yesterday, but the place lost power and we got tired of sitting here waiting for it to get turned back on, and there is no plan b for emailing here in Karlovac. It's either this place or Tuesday, so that's why there's a delay.

 Congrats on moving offices. It must be nice to kind of have your own place. Now you get to go all HGTV all over your office. Have fun with the debit card!

I died when I read that postal e-mail. To be honest I was going to start off this email saying, "Sorry I wasn’t able to email yesterday. Just wondering, why did you mail that stuff to me? I don't really care why, but the Croatian police kept on asking me yesterday why you did it while they were beating the trash out of me in some dungeon in Zagreb.", but I figured you wouldn't find it all that funny. And all joking aside, I still haven’t gotten the package but I hear that's normal. For all I know, it could be sitting up in the mission office in Zagreb. Most missionaries only get mail once a month, but we have the H****** that go up to Zagreb once a week, so we're luck. I'm holding my thumbs (Croatian version of crossing your fingers...I’m just so immersed in the culture ;) yeah right.....) that I get it soon.

And wait....does that mean that I didn't get the one thing I was asking for.....a used bee hive? Too bad.

Question time:
1.  How are your clothes holding up?  Do you need us to send you anything?  Don't be shy.  And don't ask for a used bee hive…I don't know where to find one of those.
I think everything is okay. My tape on my suit pants is still holding, and I wore out my grey pants, but I still have 4 other pairs and I think that I could probably buy more pants here in Karlovac, I just haven't tried. So I think I'm holding up well...or at least my clothes.

2.  Have you been teaching anyone?
Yup! We met with all of the members that went to Zadar and district conference the previous weekend and discussed the experience and who they would like to share that sort of experience with. (Directions of President Rowe) We also found a new investigator, M******. She speaks English! In Karlovac! She is a retired English teacher from Gymnasium here in Karlovac (Croatian high school). She is super nice and she used to translate for the missionaries when they first came to Karlovac back in the early 90's. It's kind of funny. I was doing a door approach in Croatian and she responded back in English and told us that she used to do work for our "people". She said that she wanted to talk to us, but she was really tired because her family just got back from a trip to Slovenia, and she asked if we could come back the next night. So we returned and had a great lesson in English! She offered us ice cream when we got there and she showed us scrapbooks of Karlovac during the war and some of the old missionaries from the 90's. She has real interest in the church and said that she has been on Sunday a few times and would like to come in July when her weekends open up. She's reading the Book of Mormon and we set up a return appointment for next Saturday evening. It's things like this that make tracting worth it. It gets rather old when it's fruitless night after night, but just one good thing like this makes it worthwhile.

3. So, what did you think of the cat-helicopter?  Ever see anything so nutty?
The cat helicopter is freaking weird. I showed it to the others and they were all laughing. It was definitely a trip. Now he needs to make little mice airplanes and chase them around outside with his cat-copter.
        **Another commentary... In case anyone is curious....this is a cat that died then the owner had it stuffed and made into a   helicopter....kinda disturbing....

Nothing too interesting the last couple of p-days. We played Risk last week and yesterday we explored the bombed out hotel again then played a bunch of rounds of Clue. It's a pain here on p-days because there's not a whole lot to do and it almost always rains on Monday. But we get by. Sorry for the short email this week, but I’ve got a headache and I still have to email President. But I hope the uploaded pictures redeem it. I love you all and hope you have a great week!


This is my future wife. Yes mom, I know you don't approve, but oh well. She's pretty isn't she? She's Italian and a little dangerous, but totally worth the risk. I can't wait until after my mission when she'll be mine! Just kidding. I'm not that weird, but i really do want an Aprilia bike some day!

It's a carved wooden pen and base that i got at the medieval fair. It cost like $4 and i thought it was pretty cool. It's hand carved and stained.

Every Sunday night we have the Toast Olympics. We take all of the left over bread that's hard as rock (because nothing lasts here) and throw it out the window of our kitchen like Frisbees and see who can get it the farthest. It's fun. Simple things for simple minds, I guess. So that's just a picture of all of the bread. You throw the big loaf pieces like footballs. They bounce pretty high when they hit concrete.  

How you know you're in Duga Resa (or a small town)...... 

Until next week.........

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