Without further ado, I will share part of Garrett's email that we received at 3:15 this morning.
WOW..... I'm going to type this the best I can but I'm still shaking from the email I just got as a Birthday Present from BYU...... I GOT IN!!!!! Can you believe that? What a great birthday present that came way earlier than I expected. Something I have worked hard at for the last year finally came to fruition. It is just another reminder of how rewarding hard work can be in any aspect of our life, and although I'm out here in Romania, the Lord is taking care of me! But seriously?? BYU ahhhhhhh, Now Parker just needs to get in and we are set! LEGIT
So this week was challenging, as always, I personally thought it was the hardest week yet, until we tallied up our numbers and had doubled our lessons. It truly was the best week yet. When we went to teach Raul and his Grandma, it turned out her husband doesn't want to meet, kind of a bummer, but the Lord will work with him over time. Raul is planning on getting baptised the 24th of September and hopefully his Grandma as well.
So when I woke up Saturday, I was positive this was going to be the lamest birthday I had ever had, and I would be able to tell my kids a "back in the day" story about turning 20 on my mission. It ended up being amazing. That morning, we had English classes to teach. Somehow everyone remembered it was my birthday and brought something special for me. It was really cool. George from the pictures of last week gave me a Rubiks cube. I was not at all planning on it being a big deal. After, one of the students went and got ice cream for the missionaries and some others to eat, and the Sisters had baked brownies and cake.... it was crazy and awesome, probably one of my favorite birthdays yet. But the best part was that evening when we went to teach Raul and Elena. It has been a slight struggle to teach Raul because he is in an Orthodox school, so a lot of the time we have to explain some misunderstandings. He's an extremely smart kid, so he takes in all that he is taught and truly thinks about it.
I cannot explain how great of a week it was. It was extremely hard, but just like the missionaries in the scriptures, it ends up being accompanied by great joy. That is how it has been for me. I was able to really understand what to expect from myself for the next transfer and my mission as well as learn about how the Gospel can be shared with the people of Romania.
Im still working on figuring out how to put everything into words, but right now I can only put it simply saying how much I love this place, I'm not naive to the challenges that are involved with the work in this country, but I love serving here and know that I am in for so many more great transfers.