March 21, 2016

Romania Bucharest Mission

Here are free resources about the Romania Bucharest Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: Romania/Moldova Mission.

Romania Bucharest Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Romania Bucharest Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the mission address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

This mission does not currently exist.

Phone Number: N/A
Mission President: N/A

Romania Bucharest Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the Romania Bucharest Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Bucharest Mission

*Mission does not currently exist. (Browse LDS.org mission maps)

Videos with Romania Bucharest RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Romania Bucharest Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews. Coming soon..

Videos about Romania

Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Romania. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Romania, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.

LDS Church  places  food  language  mission calls  time lapses

Romania Bucharest Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Romania Bucharest Mission. This blog list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their mission blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

none found yet

Romania Bucharest Mission Groups

Here are Romania Bucharest Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the mission.

  1. Romania Bucharest Mission Group (622 members)
  2. LDS Romania Bucharest Mission – The Jarvis Years 1999-2002 Group (142 members)

Romania Bucharest Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Romania Bucharest Mission!

Shirt designs include Romania Bucharest Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Romania Bucharest missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Romania Bucharest Mission gifts

romania-bucharest-mission-shirt-1 romania-bucharest-mission-shirt-2 romania-bucharest-mission-shirt-3 romania-bucharest-mission-shirt-4 romania-bucharest-mission-t-shirt-5

Romania Bucharest Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Romania Bucharest LDS Mission.

  1. 2012, Mission renamed to Romania Moldova Mission.
  2. 2011-2014, Ned Hill
  3. 2008-2011, James Scott Lundberg
  4. 2005-2008, John Howard Ashby
  5. 2002-2005, Garth Hanson
  6. 1999-2002, George K. Jarvis
  7. 1996-1999, Robert F. Orton
  8. 1993-1996, John R. Morrey
  9. 1993, Mission formed from Vienna East and Hungary Budapest missions.

Romania LDS Statistics (2016)

  • Church Membership: 3,043
  • Missions: 1
  • Temples:
  • Congregations: 16
  • Family History Centers: 2

Helpful Articles about Romania

Coming soon..

Romania Bucharest Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from Romania Bucharest RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

*Click here to take a survey to help pre-missionaries going to your mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2011-2013 (Danielle)
  • 2011-2013 (Dave)
  • 2011-2012 (Joann)
  • 2009-2011 (Chris)
  • 2009-2011 (John)
  • 2007-2009 (Elder)
  • 2006-2008 (Jed)
  • 2005-2007 (Lauren)
  • 2002-2004 (Lars)
  • 2002-2004 (Dallas)
  • 2002-2004 (Wade)
  • 1998-2000 (April)
  • 1996-1997 (Kirsti)
  • 1991-1993 (Jayson)
  • 2008-2010 (Jarrick)
  • 1995-1997 (Matt)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Galati, Bucharest-Mihai Bravo, Timisoara, Brasov. (Danielle)
  • Oradea, Timișoara, orhei, Alexandria, Iași, Galați. (Dave)
  • Bucuresti, Galati, Constanta, Ploiesti, Chisinau. (Joann)
  • Deva, Constanta, Craiova, Bucharest, Galati, Bacau, Cluj-Napoca. (Chris)
  • Alexandria, Sibiu, Timisoara, Bacau, Oradea, Orhei. (John)
  • Bucharest, Sibiu, Iași, Galați, Chișinău, Pitești, Ploiești, Brașov. (Elder)
  • Bacau, Constanta, Timisoara, Sibiu, Ploiesti, Bucuresti, Alexandria. (Jed)
  • Bucharest, Constanta, Timisoara (Lauren)
  • Oradea, Bucuresti, Deva, Sibiu. (Lars)
  • Chisinau, Moldova and Balti, Moldova. (Dallas)
  • Brasov, Bucuresti, Cluj-Napoca, Orhei, Chisinau. (Wade)
  • Constanta, Bucharest, Timisoara, Brasov. (April)
  • Brasov, Oradea, Ploiesti, Bucharest. (Kirsti)
  • Bucuresti, Ploiesti. (Jayson)
  • Bucuresti, Ploiest, Brasov. (Matt)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Sarmale, Ciorba, chocolate-filled pretzels!, and Shawarma. In the bigger cities there are American franchises like KFC, McDonalds, Subway, Pizza Hut and even a Burger King in Buch. (Danielle)
  • Sarmale, shwarma, arde umpluți. (Dave)
  • Sarmale, saorma, papanasi, branza proaspata. (Joann)
  • Mici from Kaufland, Snitel (Shnitzel) from street vendors. (Chris)
  • Gogosi, Sarmale, Ciorba, Good bread, sausage, and chocolate. (John)
  • Bread. Zacusca (salsa like vegetable spread), salata de boeuf (potato salad), șnițel de pui (flattened chicken breast). Chifteluțe moldovenești (Moldovan meatballs). Ciorba de perișoare (meatball soup). Ardei umpluți (Stuffed peppers). Sarmale (stuffed cabbage leaves). Juice, pop, or drinks of any kind. (Elder)
  • Sarmale, shaworma, mamaliga, kabob, mixing, ciorba de burta. (Jed)
  • Sarmale, Mititei, mamaliga cu branza si smantana, Zacusca de vinete, clatitele cu gem… (Lauren)
  • Sarmale, ciorba, vitel, cordon bleu, prajituri, all the fresh produce. I ate a whole watermelon every 2-3 days because they were cheap and super good. (Lars)
  • Russians are NOT known for their delicious cuisine, but there were a few things that I loved. Golubtsi (stuffed cabbage) was one of my favorite meals. Mamaliga (a cornmeal mush) was very traditional, and it was amazing with their garlic sauce. Borsh (a beet soup) also quickly grew on me. Their perogi (flaky pastries stuffed with cabbage, cheese, meat, or potato) were a daily ritual for any meal. I would highly recommend avoiding holodyets (a flavorless jelly with odd pieces of meat in it). (Dallas)
  • Sarmale, drobi, schnitzels, mici, ciorba de perisoare, gogosi, ardei umpluti, shawarma. (Wade)
  • Telemea (it’s a salty cheese like feta), cornuri cu ciocolata (croissant with chocolate), langosi cu branza (long fried doughnut with cheese in the middle or chocolate), sarmale (meat wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves), placinta cu carne / branza (meat pie with flaky pastry with meat or salty cheese in the middle). (April)
  • Cozanac sarmale mamaliga with egg and cheese (when cooked well–some were not so good!) all the soups honestly, the fresh bread with cheese, tomatoes and pickles everything in the summer (Kirsti)
  • Sarmale (a mixture of pork and rice rolled up in pickled cabbage leaves then baked in a tomato sauce), Salata de vinete (roasted eggplant salad). (Jayson)
  • Soups, Bread, Juices. (Jarrick)
  • Sarmale, Mamaliga cu Smantana, McDonalds :), Paine de la magazin, Fripture cu carne, Carne Tocata, Branza, Cozonac. (Matt)

What was a funny experience?

  • Lots! But mostly missionary humor, ha ha. (Danielle)
  • I saw this kid with a mountain bike in Iași almost every day. It was a specialized Enduro and it was my dream bike and I’d talk to him about it when we’d run into each other. He eventually asked us what we were all about, but wasn’t interested at the time, but I’m friends on Facebook with him now and he asks spiritual questions which is kinda cool. Hopefully he asks about missionaries and I can tell him to call the phone number I had and it will still be missionaries. But you never know what will help make friends and bring others to the gospel. (Dave)
  • Contacting a man with the last name Smantana which translates to Sour Cream. (Chris)
  • Was waiting in line for the subway and a bird pooped on me. Almost every Romanian around me told me it was a sign of luck and I was so lucky. I didn’t share their sentiments at the time, but it’s funny now. (Elder)
  • Seeing my companion jump on his chair and scream, “Kill it! Kill it!” as some cockroaches ran across the floor. (Jed)
  • As missionaries we heard MANY excuses as to why people didn’t want to listen to our message when we knocked on their door. My favorite rejection excuse was when a man opened his door, shook his head, pointed to his wife and said, “My wife doesn’t have a leg.” We looked in the door and sure enough she was sitting in a chair, pointing at her missing leg and shrugging. My companion and I didn’t even know how to respond or why this was a reason not to listen to us, so we just kinda stood there in shock as he closed the door on us. (Lauren)
  • Sliding down an icy street with Doc Martens on (horrible in the snow), and eating it in front of a bunch of kids. Teaching English classes and being corrected because I forgot the word in English. (Lars)
  • Let’s just say that vodka was a favorite of most of the men, which resulted in plenty of odd experiences. (Dallas)
  • My companion and I were in a very depressed town called Orhei. Lots of economy apartments. We were knocking on doors in one building where we were greeted by a very large woman who was naked and bathing with a washcloth in her sink next to the main door. It was quite a shock. (Wade)
  • Playing ultimate frisbee in a field with cows, many language mix ups, slipping on ice while running to catch the bus. (Kirsti)
  • Pickpockets worked me hard on the tram. They were so smooth, it was amazing. 3-4 of them chatted me up while another unzipped the bag slung over my shoulder and was digging around in there. They didn’t get anything, I was shocked how far they took it before I realized. A few others had engaged my companion and separated us by 10 feet so he didn’t see what was going on. (Jayson)
  • When I was new in the mission, I was very excited about learning new phrases every day. I was very excited about imi pare bine which means I’m glad. One day, I met a man on a park bench. I was 4 months out and I didn’t have a firm grasp of the language yet. I asked how the man was doing and he said “Nu sint prea bine, sunt somer” which means I’m not so good, I’m unemployed. I then said to him imi pare bine – I’m glad. I had no clue what somer meant so I just filled in the conversation with I’m glad. The man walked off flustered and my companion was laughing at me. He then informed what I had just told the man. It was embarrassing but a great learning experience. (Matt)

What was a crazy experience?

  • I always felt safe, however, as a sister missionary always be careful who you take rides from in cabs or services like cabs. A lot of my scary experiences came from being in closed-like spaces (like on a train or elevator) with drunk men. Always be aware of your surroundings. (Danielle)
  • Had a knife pulled on us on a bus in Moldova, it’s funny to think about now though. (Dave)
  • Bloc knocking. (Joann)
  • My companion and I visited a family of investigators in a small village. While we were waiting for the bus back into the city, the village Orthodox priest saw us and called a policeman. Soon we had a policeman and a priest both yelling at us to leave the village and never come back. I’d never seen anyone as angry as this priest. His face was literally purple. At one point he was so mad he pulled my ear. The bus came eventually, but by that time we had heard quite an earful about the sinfulness of Americans and Gypsies (the family we had been teaching were Gypsy). We came back to the village, of course. The mother of the family ended up being baptized. (John)
  • Mostly drunk men were the only dangerous ones, but really because you didn’t know if they were going to try and fight you or kiss you (I’ve been kissed by some drunk guys who treated me like their best friend). I never really felt unsafe there. (Elder)
  • Nearly fighting eight teenagers at once. They were trying to steal our food. (Jed)
  • A man confronted my companion and I in a bloc while we were knocking doors. He was angry and told us to leave, and ripped my companion’s planner out of her hands. She was trying to get it from him, but he was adamant about not giving it back. He ended up getting physical, and pulled my companion’s hair. I tried to get him to back off, and he then punched me in the face, threw the planner in the trash shoot, and we ran off. We called the police, and when they arrived, the man came running up to them telling him that we had come to his block to beat him up. Turns out the police didn’t believe that two girls from America would have come to Romania to beat up this older man. He got a big fine and we got to teach a discussion or two to some police officers. 🙂 (Lauren)
  • Getting a knife pulled on me in a bus. Being threatened to get jumped by a nationalist gang, until he realized how big I am. (Lars)
  • Long story VERY short, Moldova was closed down to missionary work when I hit my 21-month mark. The police were specifically searching for me and one other missionary. We were in lock-down in our apartments for two weeks. I wasn’t allowed to answer the phone, and I had to be in another room if my companion had to answer the door. We had to dress in jeans and t-shirts one day, pack up our apartments, and get on trains out of the country. We ended up jumping off a moving train in Romania because we had missed our stop. So many details left out, but it was certainly an adventure getting home. I spent the last three months of my mission in the California Sacramento Mission. (Dallas)
  • I spoke to a man on the street who insisted we give him money to come to Church. When I said no, he crossed and spit at me. (Wade)
  • One night while proselyting with my companion we were followed by these guys in their 20s and they started yelling at us. My companion and I started running so fast to get away from them. There was also about three inches of ice and snow packed on the ground. We didn’t turn around once. I even fell in the middle of the street and broke my watch and hurt myself pretty bad, but got back up and kept running till we got to our apartment. We have also had tons of dogs chase after us on multiple occasions. (April)
  • The dogs all over the city, sometimes they were mean and blocked our path–sometimes scary pick pockets on the buses–lost some money that way. Getting locked out of the apartment building after going to the midnight mass for Easter. We never got home late, so we didn’t realize we needed a code to get in the building after 10pm. We had to go call our landlady after midnight from the other missionaries’ apartment. That was a mess! (Kirsti)
  • Interfering with a couple adult men who were harassing a gypsy child on the subway. (Jayson)
  • Few close calls/fights. (Jarrick)
  • Being chased out of an apartment building by a dog and then getting hit in a bus by someone who was angry. (Matt)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • So. Many. It is an incredible mission. I have some that are too sacred to share. Perhaps one of my favorites was after a good day I was getting ready for bed. I arrogantly thought, “I’m doing good, I’m tired, I don’t need to pray tonight.” and then realized… “You may not feel like you need it. But there are so many in this land who need your prayers.” I realized how much the Lord loves those people! That was just a small simple, tiny one. There are countless miracle ones! (Danielle)
  • Becoming friends with some of the most caring people in the world (Romanians). (Joann)
  • Giving someone a blessing and after finishing the blessing not remembering anything I said but the member through tears telling me I spoke perfectly and asking how I knew to bless them with exactly what they needed. (Elder)
  • Every time I witnessed a baptism. (Jed)
  • During my first transfer, we had the opportunity to teach a wonderful woman who was brought to church by a friend. She was excited about what we were teaching her, and she was praying to know if what we taught was true. My companion and I decided that it was time to invite her to set a date for baptism. The night of our lesson with her, my companion and I were on exchanges. I was nervous about extending her a baptismal date, but I felt that it was the right thing to do. My temporary companion and I, who were both pretty new in the mission, went and taught our lesson to the best of our ability. As we were ending, I realized that I hadn’t talked to her about baptism yet. I awkwardly said, “Oh, so have you picked a date for baptism yet?” to which she replied, “I’m glad you asked. I have a question before I commit.” She then asked a question, and I answered as best I could in my limited Romanian vocabulary. Apparently she liked what I said because she then said, “Okay! Let’s set my date for …” I was so excited that she had decided to be baptized that I was on air as I walked out of the flat that evening. Once my companion and I got outside, she turned to me and asked what a specific word meant in Romanian. I told her that I had no idea and I hadn’t ever heard the word before. She said, “But that was what Gabriela said when she asked you her question. I didn’t understand what the question was, but you answered it.” I couldn’t remember what she had asked, or how it was asked, or how I had answered it. I couldn’t tell you the question or my answer. That was the first time I knew that the Lord really does use us to do His work. He filled my mind and mouth with exactly what Gabriela needed to hear in order for her to understand the Gospel. He qualified me for the work to which he called me! It was an incredible experience, and for the rest of my mission, and life, I’ve tried to be prepared for whatever work the Lord has for me. (Lauren)
  • Romanians are visionary people, and one of our converts had a dream of standing in front of a large, beautiful building and a “statue” being placed on top. He dreamed my companion and I were standing next to him. We were able to promise that the day a temple is built in Romania, we would stand next to him to see the Angel Moroni be placed. We asked him to stay worthy of it. (Lars)
  • Sometimes just quietly sitting in a beautiful park watching the people walk by and thinking about their lives and what they know or don’t know about Christ was touching enough. It was amazing to see how my fellow brothers and sisters lived day to day. Looking back, watching the growth of several members go from never hearing about the LDS church to being wonderful members was a handful of subtle spiritual experiences. (Dallas)
  • My companion and I had taught a family many times about the church. Seeing the man get baptized was great, but later on after I had left, his wife had been baptized as well, and looking at the photos I was filled with such joy and maybe a little pride that I had something to do with their lessons. (Wade)
  • I had too many to talk about. I had an amazing experience simply giving a lesson about Joseph Smith to an investigator. It is too special to even discuss but I know The Church is true from this event and can never ever deny the gospel. (April)
  • Seeing how the Lord used inexperienced young men to lead The Church at the time–very humbling for me. The stories of the members who had been to the temple and how much that meant to them…they had a stronger perspective and commitment to the gospel. It is so important not just to baptize, but to get members to the temple to make those covenants. (Kirsti)
  • Interviewing people for baptism, testifying of the Joseph Smith story, praying for guidance to find people to talk to, too many. (Jayson)
  • Too many to name. (Jarrick)
  • Meeting Petru on a bus in Brasov. He was then baptized 3 weeks later and now his whole family are members of the church. I was so full of the Spirit that morning and I felt very in tune with the Spirit to walk up to Petru and begin a conversation. I testified of Joseph Smith and the gospel. It sunk deep in his heart and then he accepted an invitation to come into his home. Petru and his family have not looked back since. He and Daniela are happy with two beautiful children in Brasov. I love the Hergehelegiu family and I’m thankful to the Lord for leading me to them. (Matt)

What are some interesting facts about the Romania Bucharest Mission?

  • The majority of the country is Christian. They only threw off their communist leader in 1989 and still have some of those same mindsets. Romania has cool touristy places including Dracula’s Castle, Ice hotel, and a cemetery with headstones that are supposed to depict that person’s life – it’s called the Merry Cemetery. (Danielle)
  • Romania has a lot of historical locations and a very interesting past. (Joann)
  • The Book of Mormon translation into Romanian is poor. Even some crucial verses have typos and mistranslations. Some of them are funny. (John)
  • Moldovans actually speak Romanian even though they call it Moldovan. There are a few different words (mainly from peoples in Russian relocation programs) but Moldovan is really the same. Romanians hold flowers opposite the way we do in the states (flower down). I have asked many people and the consensus is that you only hold them up when you present them, otherwise a stranger on the subway might think you’re giving them flowers and it would be an awkward situation. (Elder)
  • It borders the Black Sea. Romania is the homeland of Vlad Types, aka Dracula. If you go far enough in the countryside you can see how people lived a hundred years ago. (Jed)
  • Romania is the size of the state of Oregon, but is home to 22 million people. It is the only country in the world where Romanian is spoken. Romanian is a romance language. None of the countries surrounding Romania speak romance languages. Romania is pretty awesome! (Lauren)
  • I learned a little Russian and Hungarian besides Romanian. I lost weight every Summer with all the fresh produce and all the walking in humid weather. Had a chance to be branch president. The people were easy to love. Preparation day excursions revealed so much beauty in that country. (Lars)
  • The mission is made up of two countries: Romania and Moldova. Moldova only had 12 of the 100+ missionaries when I served. If you spoke Russian (only 6 of us did), then you served in Moldova the whole time. Romanian speakers mostly served in Romania with a few getting the chance to serve in Moldova. I was Russian-speaking, so I can’t give too much detail on Romania. Moldova has a population of 3-4 million. 3 million in the winter months and 4 million in the summer months. About 25% of the workforce leave the country in the summer to work in other countries (Romania, Italy, and Germany mostly) since work is hard to find in Moldova. Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. They have had the hardest time rebuilding after the Soviet Union fell. (Dallas)
  • Vlad Tepes, the man that Dracula is based on, was from a Romanian Province. The city of Brasov has the largest bear population in Europe, and they come down the mountains to eat out of the dumpsters. Romania also has the largest population of Roma (actual gypsies, not the tinkerers from Ireland). (Wade)
  • Romanian is a romance language like French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. It is the closest language to Latin. The main religion is Romanian Orthodox. Bram Stoker’s character Dracula was based off a real man in Romanian history named Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracul. Transylvania is also in Romania. (April)
  • The language is a Romance language–not Slavic but there are many influences on the language and culture from Turkey and Russian. Elder Nelson dedicated the nation for the preaching of the gospel–you will probably be taken to the dedication spot if you serve there. There is a mission song–do they still sing it? (Kirsti)
  • On Christmas Day 1989 the people dragged the communist dictator, Ceaucescu- who had ruled with an iron fist for decades, into the street and shot him on live TV. Within months the LDS church had humanitarian missionaries in Romania teaching public health and nursing and laying the groundwork. Within a year three Elders were transferred in from Italy and told to learn the language (languages are similar), find people to teach, start holding Sunday meetings. A year after that I arrived. We were only a dozen Elders in-country and were an appendix of the Hungary Budapest Mission. It was an amazing time. People were enthralled by the west, some people were interested in religion after so many decades of religious suppression. People were humble and kind. (Jayson)
  • Awesome people! Once you get to know them there is not a better group of people on earth! (Jarrick)
  • The Book of Mormon was translated in only 117 pages for Romania and it was not translated very well. There were only three cities open when I arrived in the mission – Bucuresti, Ploiesti, si Brasov. I’ve never seen so many stray dogs in my life and some that were three legged. I believe the Casa Parlamentelui was still being worked on when I was in Bucuresti and it has taken 40 years to complete. (Matt)

What was the weather like?

  • Very similar to the weather I was used to in Utah. The winters seemed to be colder and summers hotter than here, but they have all the seasons and it is gorgeous. (Danielle)
  • Utah. (Dave)
  • Weather was very much like Salt Lake City, Utah but more Humid. Summers are hot, Winters are cold, and Spring and Fall are very nice! (Chris)
  • Cold in the winter, hot and humid in the summer. (John)
  • Weather in Romania will vary wildly depending on where you’re at in the country. Mountains are obviously going to be colder than down on the plains. Generally, they have hot humid summers and snow in the winters, although, some places have a mild winter. (Elder)
  • Really nice for the most part. It gets a little warm in the summer but the rain storms cool things off pretty good. Winter is about like it is here in Utah. (Jed)
  • I was lucky enough to be in Romania during the coldest winter in European history (or so I was told). It got down to -40 in Constanta while I was there that winter. It was so cold and windy that the snow didn’t stay on the ground, but rather blew and pelted our faces all day long. Coming from Southern California, it was quite a change for me. I did discover, however, that spring was my favorite season. Spring in Romania is beautiful and bright and warm. I loved everything about the springtime! Summer was hot! It was so hot that car tires melted into the asphalt. Even our shoe prints were left in the streets as we crossed the street. (Lauren)
  • Cold and snowy winters, hot and humid summers. (Lars)
  • It was much like the Midwest in the United States. The springs and summers were quite humid with the summers getting hot but not too unbearable, the winters were cold and snowy, and the springs were rainy and full of storms. Fall was the best time of the year. (Dallas)
  • Much like New York. Hot and humid in the summer, with snow and cold in the winter. (Wade)
  • It was hot and sweaty in the summer. The cold in the winter went straight through your clothing all the way to your bones. Sometimes it rained so hard and the wind blew so much that you didn’t know what direction the rain was coming from. (April)
  • Depends on where you are. I was told Bucharesti has mean hot summers, but I was able to spend my summer in Brasov, which was very pleasant (not too hot). The winter was cold and snowy so you need to have a warm coat, good snow/walking boots and remember to dress in layers. It might be best to buy your boots or coat there, but I’m not sure if that is true now. (Kirsti)
  • Very similar to Utah in terms of seasons, only more humid. (Jayson)
  • 4 Seasons, very similar to Utah. (Jarrick)
  • Cold Cold Cold winters. Very hot summers. Fall was beautiful. (Matt)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • The land is beautiful. The castles, fortresses, and countryside are breath taking. The people there are not very trusting initially, but once they open their minds and hearts there isn’t a people more loyal and true. The younger crowd is more open to new ideas. You will probably here a lot of people say, “I was born Orthodox, and I will die Orthodox,” but the awesome thing is they are a Christian people. Sometimes you just have to be creative in how you approach them and get them talking. How I miss them! (Danielle)
  • The culture is beautiful. (Dave)
  • They love Americans and would literally give you the shirt off their back if you needed it. They are some of the nicest and most kindhearted people I’ve ever met. (Joann)
  • Romanians know how to party. Weddings normally last the entire night. They make delicious cheap food and there is so much variety asking the people. Romanian will sound different depending on which part of the country you are in. (Elder)
  • Everywhere I served I found someone who wanted the truth. Not all of them accepted, but they were searching. (Jed)
  • I loved the hussle and bussle of the big city of Bucharest. People were closed off initially, but were so warm and welcoming once they got to know us. I loved the beautiful countrysides and the sea and everything about it! (Lauren)
  • Easy to love, friendly and giving members. Places were beautiful. Communism made the real estate in the city ugly with all the high rise condos, but city centers and countrysides are fantastic. (Lars)
  • I love the fact that very few people have heard of Moldova. It gives me a chance to talk more about it. The people are very straightforward–they will tell you how they feel. Their openness makes it easy to teach them the gospel because you know exactly what they are struggling with. Most Westerners may view Soviets as grumpy people, but they really are friendly. It’s just a different kind of friendliness that takes some getting used to. (Dallas)
  • Most were really friendly, even if they didn’t want to learn about the Gospel. If they feel they have time, they love to have tea and talk. (Wade)
  • They would give you the coat off their back. They were extremely giving. They loved to serve. The landscape was unbelievably gorgeous. The mountains, the fields, the peasants, the sheep… it was all magical. (April)
  • I loved the people. Maybe it is just because of the special calling, but they just loved us back. They opened their homes to us and they are a humble people too especially those that joined the church, they has to leave behind their orthodox background or their communist background, either way they were doing something so different, because they knew the gospel was true. It may be like that everywhere, but I loved meeting these brothers and sisters of mine. The places were beautiful. Get the members or the investigators to take you sight-seeing or to recommend places to go to, you won’t regret it. (Kirsti)
  • Beautiful, mountainous country. Intelligent, kind people. Rich history and culture. Beautiful language. (Jayson)
  • Everything. (Jarrick)
  • People were warm. I love every Romanian I meet. I have a special connection with them. Romania was special because of communism breaking apart and the light of the gospel was being introduced. I loved loved Brasov. (Matt)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Comfy and good shoes were hard for me to find there, pack scarves if you’re a sister and want to take some. But most things you can buy there. On preparation days for cheaper than here if you want to. The main cities have malls, some with H&M and stores like that. There are always flea markets everywhere. Pack what you want and don’t stress too much. You’ll need a nice warm coat though! (Danielle)
  • Very large roller duffel bags that can be turned into backpacks (like the Costco ones), are awesome. (Dave)
  • Bring several pairs of comfortable walking shoes. Also, bring one or two pairs of winter boots that are durable and will last you a long time. Stay away from fashionable uncomfortable shoes. Be sure to bring sheets, wash cloths, and towels. They do not have washcloths like we do back in the states. They use cleaning sponges to bathe with. (Joann)
  • DON’T BUY TOO MANY SUITS!!! Buy a suit to get you through the MTC, but once you get there you will realize quickly that the suit style in Romania is a little better than here in the U.S. You can get cheaper, better looking suits and pants over there! Plus the tailors are very inexpensive! (Chris)
  • Suits can be bought for cheap. Alterations and clothing/shoe repairs are also cheap. Don’t have your parents send new clothes half-way through. You will find better-fitting and cheaper ones there if you ever need to replace anything. It was even common for missionaries to buy a few cheap suits in Romania and bring them back home. (John)
  • Mainly cheap clothing did and outlets exist in country. You can find European style clothing for cheap, don’t bring a lot with you. You need one maybe two ties in the MTC. Unless you arrive in the winter, don’t buy a coat until you get there. If you have to get one beforehand, avoid the long black trench coat that is popular, you’ll look like a mafia member if you wear that style there. (Elder)
  • Buy your ties there. They have awesome ties. (Jed)
  • Sisters, wear cute clothes and comfy shoes! Elders, don’t spend ALL your money on Romanian ties… 🙂 (Lauren)
  • No Doc Martens in the winter, warm socks, only a few ties (buy them there, they are cheap and beautiful), remember it’s Europe, they have nice clothes and good exchange rates. (Lars)
  • Everything is dirt cheap in Moldova! Had I known, I would have packed less and purchased what I needed when I got there. I got a custom made 3-piece suit for only $60. It was the best quality I have ever had too (12 years later, and it’s still in great condition–if only my waist size hadn’t grown). (Dallas)
  • In the hem of suit pants have a tailor sew in a durable thick ribbon. This will keep the hem from fraying and getting ruined by the backs of shoes. (Wade)
  • Don’t even try to find a winter coat or boots until you get to Romania. Don’t wear any fancy shoes because you’ll be walking all the time. Bring warm gloves and wool tights. (April)
  • In the cities it was not uncommon to get dirty and you are getting on and off busses and the streets are dirty. Sisters, you want skirts that can clean easily and that aren’t too long and that hide dirt. Again, layers for the winter were great because it gets cold. We did get hot in the summer so you need versatile clothing. They also had places where you could pick out fabric and they would make you a dress or a jumper. There were some sisters who could do that too–or could shorten the sleeves of a long sleeved shirt to make it short sleeved in the summer. (Kirsti)
  • Buy ties/suits and coats there (SUPER cheap). Don’t bring your own boofy ugly coat, buy a cool on there. (Jarrick)
  • Bring over some really warm gloves and boots! (Matt)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • Innumerable. So many times since my mission I have thought back on the experiences of defending, teaching, and studying the truths of the restored gospel as well as the Book of Mormon specifically. It has made my foundation solid and entrenched my testimony deep into my soul. Like the prophet, I learned to say, “I know it, I know that God knows it, and I cannot deny it.” (Danielle)
  • Too many to count. But one that I see every day is the people I met and the former missionaries who are now a support for me. (Dave)
  • Having the opportunity to learn another language and to further expand my view of the world. Being in Romania made me appreciate being an American much more than I already did at that point. (Joann)
  • I learned more about The Church, about myself, and about human nature in those two years than at any other time. My testimony of the gospel grew more than I thought possible. (John)
  • You meet a lot of people and see how they live. You see the results of their decisions in life played out on a small scale and you become aware of how your own decisions determine your later options. I met a girl on a service trip to the country and we started dating when we both got back to the states. She is now my wife and my greatest blessing. (Elder)
  • I found that my traineeship with Heavenly Father was very personal and that he knows me. I made friends that I still stay in touch with, who had and still have a good influence on my life. (Jed)
  • I have been blessed beyond measure because of my mission. I learned lessons that have helped me in my career, my family relationships and my life as a mom. I am the person I am today because of my mission. My mission taught me to understand the perspective of others, to be humble, and to allow the Lord to work through me. It taught me confidence in myself and in the Lord. I’ve learned to listen to the Spirit and to recognize His promptings. These things have blessed me incessantly throughout my post-mission life. (Lauren)
  • Strengthened testimony, love of the gospel and serving in The Church, lifelong friends gained. (Lars)
  • Serving a mission really strengthened my testimony. I saw very few baptisms as a missionary, but although visible growth wasn’t known to me while I was there, I certainly can tell that I grew. I mostly relied on the fact that my parents believe in this gospel, before I left. When I returned home, I believed the gospel on my own. It really prepared me to be in college on my own without anyone telling me to get out of bed and go to church or to take time to study the gospel on my own. (Dallas)
  • I’m not sure I actually know the blessing I was given. Kind of a weird question. I made some really great friends that I still talk to. I understand and am more sympathetic to those learning English. (Wade)
  • I can speak a foreign language. I was able to learn Italian very quickly and do a lot of genealogy. My grandmother got baptized at home while I was on my mission. (April)
  • Gift of tongues, countless friendships from members and missionaries, testimony of the priesthood and it’s power and purpose, testimony of visiting teaching, many witnesses to the power of the Book of Mormon, I witnessed and experienced faith on a level I’d not seen before, I often wondered why Romanians would want to come to church with us in our rented apartments or homes–we didn’t have a building at the time and The Church was run by missionaries, not members. Why would a Romanian want to come to church with us, we didn’t have much to offer. But I came to value the offerings of a living prophet, temple covenants, the priesthood, and the gift of the Holy Ghost and really came to know that THAT is why they come to church, and that is why I came to serve. (Kirsti)
  • Uncountable. (Jayson)
  • Too many to name. (Jarrick)
  • Blessings of learning how to work and remaining steady and firm in the gospel and I think every day of my mission and the experiences that I had. (Matt)

What are some skills you gained?

  • How to talk to people. How to study the scriptures. Teaching English or any concepts really. How to get along/live with someone else (this helped with marriage! Ha ha). How to navigate a big city and use public transportation. Bilingual. Problem-solving. Obedience. Etc, etc, etc. (Danielle)
  • I cook like a boss now. (Dave)
  • Language skills. (Joann)
  • I learned a lot of confidence while on my mission. It was scary having to talk to people in a different language about the gospel, because it wasn’t the most natural thing, but they are kind people and will help you out! (Chris)
  • If you study and work at it, you will learn how to teach well. I’ve used the teaching skills I learned on the mission again and again in the few years I’ve been back. Also, I don’t know how good I am at public speaking, but I’m certainly not afraid of it anymore. (John)
  • I learned how to learn a language and study for a purpose. How to break down large/long term goals into smaller chunks that are easier to achieve. How to talk to people- to anyone about anything. (Elder)
  • I learned how to talk to people, not just about the Gospel, but about themselves. I learned how to study effectively. I learned Romanian. (Jed)
  • I definitely learned humility and understanding. I learned to prioritize, and how to see two sides of the story. I learned a language. I learned about a different culture. I love all the things that I learned in Romania. (Lauren)
  • Language skills, teaching skills, team building, negotiating. (Lars)
  • First and most obvious, I learned to speak a foreign language! I’m also highly introverted, so I didn’t do a lot of talking. Although I didn’t really open up on my mission, I think it taught me to speak more. I also gained leadership skills. I was a junior companion for the first 18 months. Then, suddenly, I was called as a senior companion, a trainer to a non-English speaking missionary, district leader, and branch president all on the same day. (Dallas)
  • Public speaking, some leadership qualities. When I was later in the military I was stationed in Japan, and I really enjoyed being there when there were a lot of Americans who would get culture shock when they would go into town. (Wade)
  • Talking to anyone on the street. (April)
  • Language, patience with people, cooking, hand washing clothes, learning you don’t have to like someone to love them ;). (Kirsti)
  • Leadership. (Jayson)
  • Language, Patience, Hard work. (Jarrick)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • Sometimes you’re gonna feel tired, or like a failure, or get discouraged. It doesn’t mean you’re not doing your mission right… You are. (Danielle)
  • Never think you’re being sent to the wrong city. God knows what you need to learn and never question new companions or new cities. (Dave)
  • I wish I would have had a lot more creative ideas for sharing the gospel. Knocking on doors was SO ineffective. I wish I had approached a college professor of theology and asked to share some information about our church for one of their classes to gauge the interest of young single adults. (Chris)
  • Very few realize this, but the most important part of speaking the language is getting the accent/pronunciation right. If a Romanian can understand the _words_ you are speaking they can usually piece together the gist of what you are trying to say, even if you conjugate verbs wrong, use the wrong case, etc. But if they can’t recognize the words you are using, because of poor pronunciation, they will never understand you, no matter how good your grammar is. Vocabulary and grammar will come eventually, but pronunciation/accent is crucial to get right at the beginning. It’s hard to change once you’ve been speaking for a while! Listen closely to native speakers, how they say their vowels and which syllables are stressed/unstressed. It will become second nature to you. (John)
  • I wish that I knew it was ok to have a personality and be a good missionary. I thought I was essentially a monk for two years, but the best success I had was being my best self and letting people know me and not some holy construct I had tried to build. (Elder)
  • Learning takes time and patience. Not everyone is going to listen. (Jed)
  • I remember feeling so lost and unsure at the beginning of my mission. I knew that I would learn a lot in a year and a half, but I felt the strong desire to learn it all NOW so that I could be that much more effective as a missionary for the most amount of time possible. However, I knew that the Lord teaches line upon line, and I saw how important that was in my own growing experience. I wish I had known the amount of love that the Lord would pour into me for His children in Romania. I wasn’t prepared for the love I would feel or the deep hurt I would experience when someone I loved didn’t choose the Lord. (Lauren)
  • How fast time would fly by. Maybe I would’ve picked up the pace, but not too much to burn out like recent missionaries before me who had to go home early. (Lars)
  • I wish I would have learned how to talk to people. I wish I would have learned how to study and think and ask questions. I wish I would have learned that trying new foods wouldn’t kill me. I wish I would have taken time to explore the areas I served. We had our regular routes that we walked, but I could have seen so much more of the country and probably ran into more prepared people if I would have wandered further in my areas. One area covered the northern third of the country. I could have visited a lot of neat villages, but I just stayed near my apartment and walked the same streets. It became very boring very quickly (especially since I was in one area for 10 months and another for 8 months). (Dallas)
  • I think a lot of Elders and Sisters could agree with me when I say playing the piano is really helpful. (Wade)
  • I wish I had no fear. I wish I had taken more chances and spoken to more people. I wish I had not spent as much time with my district speaking English. (April)
  • Even if the mission is hard, it doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong! Keep going, pray and pray, and it will get better. (Kirsti)
  • Time flies, work hard and enjoy it so you don’t have regrets. (Jarrick)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Romania?

  • As cliche as it sounds: Love the people. Those that listen, those that don’t, those that call you brain washed or stupid. Love them. Get to know them. Talk to as many as you can, about anything! And never leave a meaningful conversation without an invitation to act and/or a testimony. Don’t fear. Most people are just like you and me, they have real fears, worries, hopes and dreams…focus on those, don’t shove the gospel down their throats but get to know them and then share what has changed your life – The Gospel of Jesus Christ. My mission taught me how I know what I know and I have a testimony to share! Some of my favorite moments I reflect on had to do with small smiles, a flicker of understanding, hope, and defending the faith. I love missionary work and I LOVE Romania. There are people there ready to hear from you, even if they take time to find. 🙂 Don’t get discouraged, you’re doing exactly what you were called to do if you’re trying your best every day and you’re sharing the love of the Lord and His children. (Danielle)
  • Follow promptings and the mission president and all will be well. (Dave)
  • Do what you can and do not be too hard on yourself. Follow your instincts, have fun, and remember that no matter what happens, your mission is not the rest of your life. (Joann)
  • I loved Romania. I want to go back all the time. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it in some way or another. I didn’t think I would love the country and people as much as I do, but I honestly dream of spending a summer back there some day. (Chris)
  • When it comes to activities for finding investigators, think outside the box. Everyone knows tracting isn’t very effective. I’d wager it’s even less effective in Romania than in many other countries. Don’t be afraid to do things that have never been tried before. Don’t be afraid to do things because they don’t match the image people have in their head of a missionary. (I know I thought the mission would be just knocking on doors.) When I was there, English classes were the most effective finding activity. The couple of hours spent preparing English lessons were worth many, many hours of tracting. (In fact, it was sometimes hard to convince myself that tracting wasn’t a net negative.) You’ll soon realize that in some sense nobody really knows what they are doing, and nobody has figured out what “works” yet. It’s up to you to try things until you find it. Let me repeat: don’t be afraid to do something just because you’ve never heard of it being done before. In all this, make sure you follow any counsel from your mission president, and always act in a way conducive to the guidance of the Spirit. Be brave enough to go where the Spirit leads you, even if that means doing something new. (John)
  • The MTC is temporary and the stress and close quarters makes people funny. If you can make it through those few weeks you will do fine in the field. Learning how to talk to people will make missionary work easier. Work hard AND smart so you have minimal regrets after you’re done. (Elder)
  • That it is OK to keep your personality. We’re sent into the field not to be robots reciting the same thing every day, but to be ourselves. Don’t lose who you are, slot yourself to grow, but remember who you are. (Jed)
  • A mission is the best kept secret in The Church because no one can tell you what it’s like, and you can only experience it for yourself. A mission can change you if you let it. It is the one time in my life where I felt like I was able to have an eye single to God’s glory. I spent my life preparing to serve a mission, and my mission solidified the foundation upon which the rest of my life would be built. It is never too early to learn, grow, and prepare to serve the Lord. It is what I plan to do for the rest of my life, and a mission prepared me to better be able to do that. (Lauren)
  • The language will come if you apply yourself, focus on learning the gospel, gain a testimony of The Book of Mormon, but don’t neglect the Bible. They know the Bible very well, and effective teaching includes building on what they already know. (Lars)
  • Don’t be a ridiculous missionary. Be mature and gain the respect and trust of the members. Knocking on doors and street contacting are the biggest wastes of time as a missionary. Frankly, it was one of the only finding methods available to us at the time, but they are very ineffective. If you get to know the members, they will trust you with teaching their friends. Spend a lot of time with the members, and regularly ask for referrals. Sometimes bringing a less-active member back to church is more rewarding that baptizing a new member. Go over your less-active lists and track those people down. Visit them and get to know them. It will be much more worth your time than walking the streets and having people yell at you. (Dallas)
  • It’s a hard mission, like many European missions. The members are your best source of people to teach. (Wade)
  • Read The Book of Mormon in Romanian. Speak Romanian with your companion as much as you can. Read street signs, speak to members and socialize. (April)
  • You are going to LOVE this country and this people! Love them and they will love you! (Jarrick)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • Sooo many! Ha ha. My favorite language memory was when I was trying to contact on the street. It was my first transfer and in a small, white washed area named Galati. I had a good 20 min “conversation” with a lady who I had no idea what she was saying and I jus kept saying things like, “missionary,” and “book of mormon,” and “Jesus.” ha ha. My trainer came over excited and asked what we talked about. I said… I have no idea but I think she wants us to tour these places since we are from America. ha ha. (Danielle)
  • In the MTC you will learn that “Imi pare rau,” means “I’m sorry.” So naturally, missionaries often thought that to apologize they should say, “Imi pare rau.” In fact, to apologize you say, “Imi cer scuze.” The problem is that in English we use “I’m sorry” to mean two different things. (When you say, “I’m sorry your grandma died,” you aren’t apologizing for anything.) And in Romanian these are two different phrases. I saw several missionaries trying to apologize to angry people inadvertently escalate the situation by saying the equivalent of “I’m sorry you feel that way.” (John)
  • Little words like on, at, under, or for in Romanian matter as they change the meaning of a sentence. Often it’s the difference of one letter. I remember one time my senior companion bearing testimony and he meant to say Jesus didn’t do it for Himself, He did it for us. But he used “on” instead of “for” which changed the meaning so he testified that Jesus didn’t wet Himself for Himself, but for us. He said it two or three times until the chuckles from the members prompted him to find out what was funny. (Elder)
  • My trainer always mixed up the words for “lost” and “sick with a cold.” I remember her telling someone that she was so “lost” when she meant to say she was so sick. Everyone laughed, and I made sure to never make that mistake. In Romanian, the difference between the words copies and children is an additional letter i, and a very slight verbal change. We were at a member’s house with the Elders and needed more copies of a piece of music that we were going to use in sacrament meeting. My companion told the member that she and the Elders would go out and make her a few children (instead of copies) and bring them back asap. Needless to say, the member never let her live it down! (Lauren)
  • I was a collegiate swimmer and water polo player, so while sharing that, I said that I’m pretty much a fish since I’m better at water sports than land sports. Turns out, when you call a man a fish, it means pimp. I told them that I’m a pimp because I’m better in the pool than on land. Whoops! (Lars)
  • There are two words: “obYAzin” (required or compelled) and “obyazYAN” (a monkey). I was once reading Doctrine & Covenants 82:10 and accidentally read it as, “I, the Lord, am a monkey when ye do what I say.” (Dallas)
  • We made mistakes all the time. Some words are really close to the same sounds and can be mistaken for foul language. Never say ca twice in a row. (Wade)
  • I was eating dinner at a woman’s home and I wanted to compliment her tablecloth but instead I said I really like your olives. We weren’t eating olives. (April)