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Archive for July, 2010

Hey family!

So last Sunday a bunch of guys from England came to church and asked if we
would like to help them with a service project at a hospital that they
helped build.  They said that they had prior approval from President (which
was confirmed by Elder Taylor, our district leader) for us to come help
them Monday and Tuesday.

We agreed, so Monday we drove out to Codlea to their hospital…a
psychiatric hospital!  I was really excited, but then Elder Taylor started
telling me horror stories about psychiatric hospitals he’s been in in
Romania and how horrible and inhumane they are, so I was really bummed and
not looking forward to it at all.  But then we actually got out there, and
it was nothing like Elder Taylor described.  The people from England were
from a charity that founded the psychiatric hospital (ok, I’m just going to
call it a crazy house, because that’s really what it was and easier to
spell 🙂 ), and they’ve fixed it up really nice.  They gave us a tour, and
while it’s nowhere near as nice as places are required to be in the States,
it’s considerably nicer than even the places that the poorer non-crazies
live.

They were building some kind of structure or shelter, but what they wanted
us to do was to just hang out with the patients (crazies) and interact with
them.  So we painted the girls’ fingernails and played catch with the
guys.  We also had paper and crayons out for people who wanted to draw, and
we made a hopscotch court, and tried to play pingpong on their crazy warped
table.  We were all outside this whole time because it was beautiful out.
I had a ball.

The cabin sounds like it was tons of fun this year.  I loved the picture
you sent–Cody’s ‘fro is seriously enormous!  Dad–I can’t believe that you
fished around down the outhouse hole to pull out Colin’s water bottle!
You’re amazing.  And your zipline sounds like the awesomest thing ever–and
super dangerous.

I love you all!

Bri

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Hey family! So my normal emails don’t usually have your emails attached
because I don’t hit ‘reply’ at all (if I do, it automatically includes the
email you wrote in my reply–I don’t have a ‘reply with history’ option).
I just compose a new email because, I hate to say it, but, your subject
lines are kinda boring.  I like to put something interesting in my subject
line, but it won’t let me change it if I hit ‘reply’.  And also, I tend to
read all the emails everybody sends me, and then write one big reply
instead of replying to each individually.  Although I do that, too.  I
don’t know.  Anyway, I’ve attached Mom’s two emails to the bottom of this
one.  Alright, I’ll attach Dad’s, too, even though it’s kind of silly.  Did
you do that on purpose, or was it really the crappy signal doing it?  I’m
thinking it was purpose-ful.

So update on Elder Johnsen–bless his heart, he wasn’t even here a week
and he got a serious infection (they’re thinking from the water) and had to
be shipped off to Germany to go to a quality hospital there.  So they broke
up a threesome of elders in Sibiu and sent us Elder Jensen to be Elder
Taylor’s companion for however long it takes for Elder Johnsen to get back.

All week I think “Oh, I can’t wait until Monday so I can tell the fam all
the awesome stuff that happened this week!”  But then Monday comes and I
really have nothing to say.  I attached some pictures–me and Sora Harward
in the woods (the woods are really beautiful here.  We were hiking up to
Tampa (the Brasov sign)), and my planners from last transfer and this
transfer.  People tend to decorate their planners here.  Some of them,
anyway.  Sora Holden (my trainer) was very anti-planner-decorating, but
Sora Owen (last transfer) was very pro-planner-decorating, so I kinda went
all-out.  Last transfer is the one with the map.  This transfer is the one
with the calendar, and I really like it but Sora Owen said that it was
stupid looking and “can I please just decorate it for you nice?”  I told
her heck no, I like it.  I tried to cross out the days, but because it’s
covered in boxing tape, they don’t stay crossed out very well.

Mom, I love your story of the little old lady at the temple!  Maybe she
was just lonely and missing her daughter and you served as a substitute.
Maybe you made that little old lady’s day!

We’re doing service today for p-day with a bunch of British guys that
came down and asked for our help.  It will be interesting.  Sora Harward
didn’t really want to because she said she would really just like a nice,
relaxing p-day that doesn’t make you more tired afterward than you are
before.  I told her good luck, maybe next transfer she’ll be transferred
somewhere that that’s possible, because it’s definitely not here in
Brasov.  Brasov is one of the tourist centers of Romania, so there’s always
something awesome to do on p-day.  I helped translate for the Brits in
Sacrament meeting, and it was really hard.  I can understand a good amount
of the talks people give, but to then say it outloud in English, while then
listening to the next sentence in romanian and then translating it into
English was really hard.  Plus the romanian word order isn’t the same as
English, so a lot of the time I was translating literally and then I would
realize what I said didn’t make any sense, so I’d say it again in a
different way that did make sense, but by that time I had fallen behind and
had to talk really fast to catch up.  A lot of the time I was just making
stuff up.  It’s all about churcy stuff and they don’t know the difference,
right?  Being a full-time interpreter would be a tough job, but I guess
you’d get used to thinking in one language and talking in another
eventually.

We went back to Sora Herghelegiu Monday and got haircuts again because
Sora Harward wanted one and I decided that I wanted some bangs.  It really
didn’t turn out as well as it did last time.  We look like JWs.
I was sick last week, that’s something interesting that happened.  Sora
Harward was sick Tuesday and Wednesday and she gave it to me, the dirtbag.
I was a little under the weather Thursday and pretty miserable Friday.
Friday morning I wanted to take a half-hour nap for half of language study,
but ended up sleeping until noon.  Whoops.  I felt a lot better afterwards,
though.

So, my coming-home date.  It’s either July 20 or August 31.  There’s a
little bit of confusion as to which one, exactly.  My 18-month mark falls
halfway between the two, and there are different sets of rumors throughout
the mission as to whether sisters all serve 11 transfers and can elect to
serve a 12th if they like, or if 12 transfers is standard.  I had my head
wrapped around July 20th, and I was looking forward to having a month and a
half before school started.  But if it’s actually August 31, I only have a
week until school starts and I’m not going to have any time to do anything
fun.  I emailed president, so I’ll get you an update next week.

Well, I’m out of time, so I’m going to love you and leave you!

BriP.S. Mom–I love your journal-entry emails!  Just so you know.

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Pretty cool story about the washer, I am glad that you guys looked at that
as a blessing instead of just looking at is as a trial that you had to get
a new washer. I think I need to apply that attitude to missionary work, so
that when a lesson cancels on us, or something else of that nature, I look
at the silver lining instead of just focusing on the cloud.
I was thinking about you this week mom, My companion is a vegitarian and he
gets a lot of flack from it, from just about all the members, and it made
me think back to when you used to not have very much meat at home, and how
much crap that Ryan and I gave you, for that. And then we got a “Word of
Wisdom” book from the book store from the “setting the record straight”
series. The book was talking a lot about how we should eat meat sparingly
and only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine. I was chastised by the
spirit and knew that I was in the wrong for complaining, and that your
motherly wisdom is a big part of why I feel so healthy now, and why I like
to eat good foods. We were also reading in a “discourses of Brigham Young”
book and he said that he was going to be frank, and not put his health code
in a parable like Joseph, and that if we wanted to follow any sort of
healthy diet, we would never partake of the flesh of swine again. It was a
pretty bold statement, but I love the things that Brigham Young says,
because he just throws them out there, and doesn’t care what people think.
We picked up a new family to teach that I think is going to be kind of a
hard one to crack, but they will be totally worth it. It is the family that
I told you about last week, that a member of our ward has been working on
for about fifteen years.
Other then that, we have been doing pretty good.
We did some service for a less active lady the other morning, and she is
only about twenty, and has a baby, we wanted to help her out. She wants to
plant some grass in her back yard, (if you can call it a yard) is a 8′ by
40′ pad of dirt and rocks, and cigarette but. So we got up early, so we
could beat the 104 degree weather, and it is just like the dirt that they
talk about in the book “Holes” never seen a drop of water, but this dirt is
also chuck full of rocks. So we were coming at 8 because she said that she
didn’t want to wake up before that, but we didn’t want to wait, so we came
at seven, and started cranking it out, and about 8:40 we were dumping
sweat, and we didn’t know exactly what she wanted done after it being
level, so we knocked on her door, and then called her Cell phone, and some
guy answered the phone, and said that she had left early that morning. We
were a little bit put out, but I guess service is service, so we did a
little more, and then headed out.

Well love you guys so much, I hope you have a good time crappin’ in my big
hole, up at the cabin. Hopefully when I get back, there will be a need for
a new one to be dug.

Love
Elder Hansen

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Life After Girls Camp

Yay, I love hearing from you all!

Girls camp sounded like it was a ball!  Jill–I’m glad you didn’t have
a mental breakdown.  🙂  Thank you so much for typing up stories and
sending them to me–those are perfect!  I will use as many as you have
time to send me.  The faith walk at girls camp sounds awesome.  We did
something like that, but it wasn’t as detailed.  I like the idea of
having some girls who are immune to satan’s minions and some girls who
are twins.

The challenge courses sound fun.  We have something like that here in
Brasov–Adventure park!  I am definitely going to do that again some
p-day this transfer.  I’m pretty sure I wrote about it last
transfer…don’t remember.

I love you all!

Brielle

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Dear Mama Llama (and the rest of you all, I suppose.  Just kidding–I love
you all too.)

Wow, let me just tell you the craziest thing ever.  So this transfer I
stayed in Brasov, but got a new companion.  It’s Sora Harward, who was in
the same group as me in the MTC.  Elder Taylor also stayed and is training,
and guess who his boboc is?  It’s Elder Johnsen, who was also in the MTC
with us but who had to stay in the states for three months because of
issues with his hand!  Isn’t that crazy?  This is going to be an awesome
transfer.  Elder Johnsen has lots of great object lessons from the Provo
mission, which is going to make teaching tons of fun.  He showed us one
with a rat trap in district meeting last week, and I’m afraid that I didn’t
have enough faith to touch the rat trap after I saw it snap a pencil in
half.

Didn’t you teach fasting last time you felt prompted to teach the Gospel
Essentials class?  I think it was in December, because it was one of the
last Sundays before they started the new books.  Maybe the Lord’s trying to
tell you something… 🙂  I’m so glad you had a good experience
teaching–it always helps when the Spirit is your teaching partner.

I love your washing machine story.  The Lord definitely loves you–first
the roof, then the washing machine, you really must be doing something
right.  Is the new (used) washer you got top-loading or front-loading?  The
washers we have here are front-loading, and they’re actually really cool.
No one here has dryers, so the washers are built to take out a lot more of
the water than our washers in the states do.  When we pull the clothes out
they’re merely damp.  (It still takes them about three days to dry, though,
because it’s pretty humid, especially in our little balcony where we dry
clothes.  And also especially when it rains at least once almost every
day.)

Jacob’s story about the overflowing sink is crazy, too.  I’m so glad I
haven’t come back from church to an inch of water at my place!  And not
even clean water.  Ewww.

I’m glad Grandma was ok and didn’t sit in the bathtub until morning.  She
definitely has angels on her side, and I’m impressed with how in tune you
are with the spirit that it can wake you up from a dead sleep at two in the
morning.

If you are going to the cabin this year, does that mean you’re not going to
next year right after I get home?  Because I would be ok with going to the
cabin next year, even if it’s a seven-hour drive the morning after I get
off the plane.  🙂  I hope you guys have a great time, but I’ll be sad not
to get any letters Monday.  You should send them to me Friday night so I
don’t get to Internet only to have an empty inbox.  And to Jake, too.

I love you!

Bri

P.S. Thanks for sending me info on the secret boxes.  I’ll see what I can
do.

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Hey, I was sorry to hear about bro Bahr, I figured he, and his family would
be a huge part of the conversion of the Jack family, how are they doing by
the way?
Jones and I are still doing great, we haven’t heard anything about
transfers, but I hope we stay together, because we are having a blast. For
the forth, they asked us to be at a members, or in by six, so we went over
to the Dixsons and Rosted some marshmellows, until about eight thirty, and
then headed down to where they were going to watch the fire works with the
rest of the residents of Redding. Let me tell you, people sure dress
differently up here, where it is still in the 90’s after the sun goes down.
We totally spaced bring pass along cards, and we were out of our church
clothes, so we stayed and talked to the Dixsons, even though there were
hundreds of people around.
Oh man, I almost spaced the “Event of the Week” So it was fast Sunday, but
we had a BBQ with Don and Nancy, the indian couple that we are teaching, so
we figured that it wouldn’t be to bad to skip out this week, Right?… oh
when will I ever learn…. Haha, joking, I am sure that our miss fortune
was not related, but about two days ago, our sink started gurgling a little
bit, so we went and looked, and water from an unknown source was coming up
through our sink. We finally realized, that every time we heard the water
running up stairs from our neighbors, our sink would get a little fuller.
So, I took out the trap under the sink, which Jones was very impressed that
I knew how to do, and it wasn’t plugged, and ran the disposal, and finally
we got the plunger out of the bathroom, and pumped it for about half an
hour to no avail. We gave up, and called the manager, and she said that she
would have a plummer give us a call some time that day. Well the day
passed, no call. So we called the next morning, and told her what happened,
and she said that a plumber would call us. Well the next day rolled around,
and it was Sunday. Our sink wasn’t filling up very much any more, so we
headed off to church… is the suspense killing you yet? So we are rolling
up to our door after church, and Jones said “do you smell that”? I didn’t,
but as soon as he opened the door I did! We had about an inch of water
covering the kitchen floor, and it smelled just like throw up. It was
greasy and had chunks of corn, and what looked like some green chunks of
some thing, and some orange chunks of something else. It had filled up our
whole sink, and then spilled over, on to the counter, totally covered the
counter, under the microwave, and everywhere, and then ran onto, and
covered the floor. We started cleaning it up, and realized, that it had
started seeping into our carpet, about two feet into our living room, so if
we are ever in sox, we have to be super careful. Well we got a garbage can,
and scooped, and dumped in the toilet, for quite a while.
The next morning, we woke up, and Jones walked out of our room, and steped
on the wet carped, and freaked out, it was pretty funny. Jones was pretty
mad about the whole thing, but I didn’t really care, I figure missionaries
have been there for about five years, and they usually only keep us in an
apartment for about three, so I figure it is a good excuse to get us out of
the dump. Well guess we will see if we can get someone to come over today.

Well got to go, sounds like you guys are having a good time, love you lots,
and don’t forget to read a chapter a day!

Elder Hansen

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Yay, I’m so glad I got your letter!  We’re here at internet early today
because it’s transfers and I wanted to know where I was going, and I was so
sad that I hadn’t gotten a letter from you this week.  But then just as I
was going to email President (we’re supposed to send him an email every
week) and sign out, I saw it!  But I don’t have lots of time, so this will
be quick.

I’m staying in Brasov for another transfer, so getting more secret boxes
will be no problem.  I also am sending more pictures of mine with this
email.  Do you have any color preferences?  They are all darker colors, but
they have red (like mine), blue, green, sometimes black, and plain wood
without any color.  I think that’s all the colors, but there might be a
random one I didn’t think of.

I’m so sorry to hear about Brother Bahr–but he’s going to have a good time
giving whoever’s in charge on the other side a lot of crap. 🙂

I love you!

Bri

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