Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 29, 2013

Good Morning Everyone!
Well it has been an eventful week in the lives of Sora Ewell and I. And I just absolutely love it. Last week I talked a little bit about the Salt Mines. It was really cool I thought. Way different then I thought it was going to be. But hey when you go into a cave that is literaly salt from head to toe, it's really not going to be what we think it is. It was really fun and it's just nice to be around the people from our district here in Cluj. Later that evening we got to work and went on visits with all of our "to be" progressing investigators. Sora Ewell and I like to leave little notes on their doors with spiritual quotes, scriptures, messages really just to tell them and show them how much we love them and that we are thinking about them. They really love it. It's always surprising to me how much people just want love in their life. And here they don't really show it so when we do these acts they just think it is the greatest thing in the world.

A little run through of how our week has been and what are some of my favorite experiences. Sora Ewell and I have been looking for opportunities to serve our fellow members. They do so much and they are so strong here and to help them understand us a little more we asked if we would be able to help them with anything in their life, cleaning, gardening, anything. And finally Sora Iepure called and asked us. Sora Iepure is the Branch President's wife and she is wonderful. She is from Poland and has the two most precious, crazy kids. Her parents were coming in town and so she needed help with organizing and doing these things so we came on over. It was such a humbling experience. Her parents are obviously not happy with her joining the church and as she told us her conversion story and just how they are now. They don't have very much, and yet they just give up everything to serve others, and just to help others. I am just baffeled at how much they do for everyone. When we finished and it was time for us to leave she just stares at us and says,"I'm going to make an omlet, it wont take very long and while it's cooking you can share the message with me." Trying to refuse anything here is just in vain as we sat in her kitchen and watched her open her fridge and just say basically bare walls. They just give everything they have. It is a seriously humbling experience and the branch is so grateful to have them. I am so grateful to have them! It was also just such a precious experience as her kids are dragging Sora Ewell and I around and they just call is Familia mea, (because they can't remember our names) It was so cute! AHH I LOVE THEM! haha.

Another wonderful teaching experience was with our investigator Karen. Now Karen is from Peru... and knows only Spanish. It's really kinda hard to teach someone who doesn't know English or Romanian. And I barely know Romanian as is. But it was so beautiful to be in their house and to teach them the Plan of Salvation and to just watch her as she is listening to everything we are saying reading everything that is in front of her. She just has this desire to know. And then her sweet husband. How he just helps her so much with the language and he has this desire for her to know and to be baptized so that way they can be sealed together in the temple.

Nicoleta. Wow, this woman is absolutely amazing. And everytime I'm with her and just everytime we teach her I am baffled by her willingness, and I am baffled by her spirit, her desire, and how she is just prepared. We teach her every day practically and she just waits for us to teach her more and to read in the Book of Mormon and wow. Did I mention she set a baptismal date :) Ahhh I'm so excited because she wants to be baptized!

It was so endearing! We were teaching her a part of the Plan of Salvation and at the end we ask her if she will get baptized, she says yes. We say by someone holding the proper priesthood authority, she says yes. We say on May 11, and then she hesitates and says she can't. We were so confused so we ask her why and she says that she has to get married first. How on earth did she know this??? We never explained that before and so she told us that in all the things we have given her she read it and knew she couldn't get baptized yet. And now she said that once her "husband" is out of the hospital she will get married. This is only one of the few reasons why I love her so much and why she just continues to amaze me. This week she was told she has to move... she was already living in a little shack and now she will literally be on the street. She desires to have a better life, and have a life of just happiness and so now she wants to get a job and have a place where she can have comfort. And as she goes through these times of heart ache do you know what she does?! She reads the Book of Mormon. Last night we went over, because she was having a really hard time and well she has a Word of Wisdom problem and we have to help her with this obviously. Anyways we just wanted to give her some peace of mind and so we come over and she is just so excited. So excited so we sit on her bed and she shows us this verse she found reading her Book of Mormon.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

We did not show her this verse. I sat there with my mouth hung open because I had no idea what to even say. I'm not teaching her. She's teaching me. She was so excited to have found this verse and this scripture and then to tell us how it's helping her. We were then prompted to teach her the word of wisdom and she said she would keep it. That she would stop smoking and drinking. I don't even know what more I can say about this beautiful person. Everyday I am just shocked, by how much the Lord loves my companion and I. He puts these beautiful people in our path, who want to follow Christ. And it just always shows me how the Lord does not forsake His children. He loves all of us. What a beautiful wonderful statement that is. He loves ALL of us. 

Transfers are this week! And I will be staying here in Cluj-Napoca. But my wonderful beautiful companion will be leaving to Arăd. Which is super sad for me! I have really loved my companion and she is such a great example of a devoted disciple of Christ. I am super excited for my new companion though! Her name is Sora Modselewska! She is from Poland and yeah I had to practice saying her name for about 30 minutes with Sora Ewell because I could not say it. Have I told you that I am grateful to be learning Romanian? Because I am in these cases when I don't have to learn Polish... Sorry Amy. Sora Ewell has been companions with her before in Constanţa (right by the Black Sea) and has said nothing but wonderful things of her. She is a convert to the church I think for about 3ish years... I could be wrong. And she has just given up everything to be here on a mission, her career, her family, everything. She just sounds so amazing. So I'm excited to be with her. She is just so loving and sacrifices everything. The mission president in Poland actually writes her every week because her family doesn't. I'm surrounded by these strong people here!

I feel so blessed to be here. And so blessed to have had the opportunities of teaching here and teaching back home. I feel so grateful for what I have back home, and I took so much for granted. I still do. Being raised in the family I have. Where the Gospel is the center, where we know we will be together forever. To have the morals that I was taught and to live by them. Not to mention the daily things that I have been given in my everyday life. I am so grateful to have the ward family I have. To have had wonderful friends in the gospel that help me along the way. They don't have this here. A lot of them have no communication with their family after they are baptized and when they join the church. They have found the most beautiful thing in this world and yet they are despised by their peers. I haven't had to live this way. And yet they are still so strong in their faith and they come to church every week. They have us in their homes and wait for us to teach them. They love us missionaries. It's amazing. I don't ever remember doing that back home to anyone. And I wish I would have treated everyone I met back home as a person who could accept the Gospel. I don't know what difference it would have made or what success I would have had. But if I would have done this, what person would have changed their lives. "I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy." "and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee." It's happened before. And yet we haven't taken the opportunities that we have every single day.

I love you all so much.

Sora Stewart



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 22, 2013

Wow! I can not believe that this is our last week of the transfer. Super crazy. I feel as though time has really just flown by. It's a weird concept really to have everything just go by super super fast and then it just goes by super slow at the same time.
Anyways we (Sora Ewell and I) have had just a super crazy busy week. Which is exactly how I love my life. I'm really amazed too that we were able to do all of these things within this week and it's really just a huge blessings. It's honestly hard to think of everything that has gone on this week because we really have been just super busy. I will try to start from the beginning.
Last P-day we went to the senior couples house outside of Cluj. They are just wonderful, some of the sweetest, most humble people I have ever met. And we love Sora Boyd. She is just a fireball, she tells all the time to take notes about how to treat our future spouses when we get home. She's super cute. We came over and just talked and made cookies. She told us stories of her life and just about how much the Lord has blessed her life. We then continued to contact which is our favorite thing here in Romania.

Side note: As I am being trained I have to watch the district movies on how we can work with certain things and improve our missoinary skills. The district is completely not real. I am being serious. There is a joke around here that they should make a Romanian district and when they ask us to translate what people say, we would just have to lie because they don't say very nice things to us sometimes. Or it would just be an interesting district show because... well we contact a lot... it would sure be entertaining though.

Anyways. We basically contact at all times when we don't have lessons set up. But the Lord has blessed us for our efforts these past couple of weeks and has shown us some miracles. Which I honestly hav really appreciated.


1. Nicoleta: So Nicoleta is a women who works outside our apartment building... ummm by the trash... She basically just makes sure that no one goes through our garbage. And yeah that does happen quite a bit here. Anyways we weren't really sure what her circumstance were and so we weren't sure we should teach her. It's a much longer story that needs be. But she isn't homeless and she just loves to talk to us. And everytime we would just say hi she would ask for more pliants and different things to read. So we decided to teach her. So we started off with the restoration since she was already reading the Book of Mormon on her own without us telling her to do anything. And at the end we asked her when she knew these things are true will you get baptized. And she just stared at us like we were dumb. And said of course! Hooray! Our first soft baptism invitation accepted! And as we visit her more and more she has continued to read and study, she is just a little miracle that has come into our lives. It actually reminds me a lot of Alma the Younger and teaching the Zoramites, and how no one would listen. But because there were the poor and the humble they were able to accept the gospel. It just reminds me of her situation. She really is a sweet heart.

2. We were contacted: Who said being an American in Europe was ever a bad thing I don't know. Because it really came in handy. We had sister exchanges this week, which I will get to later, and Sora Ewell was just getting back when we went to say hi to someone. We were speaking English before and then switched to Romanian and had a conversation for about 5 minutes. When these twins were just standing off to the side waiting. Then we start walking and they approach us ask us who we are, if we are American, why we are here, and if we can meet up sometime. THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN HERE! Gave us there phone numbers and they now want to meet up this weekend and they said they would come to the activity Friday night. Little miracles :)
3. Karen and Marin: Karen and Marin are the couple I talked about probably my first week here. She only speaks spanish and for the past couple weeks he has been out of town. So we haven't been able to have a lesson. We were able to finally get a lesson in and she came to church. Not only that but she was fellowshipped by at least 6 different members, mind that there are only about 30 that come every week, and there was a sister that translated Sunday School and Relief Society for her. It was so beautiful to see. :)

4. The Members: We really have to best members in here. And I really don't know how to explain the power and the strength they have. They are literally the only active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in a whole city. They are all converts. They all have multiple callings. They all rely on each other, and they all love each other so much. And they understand the importance of missionary work, way better then I ever understood before my mission. President Iepure actually had a branch fast for the missionary work here. HE set this up, and it was successful. People came and they fasted and they understood the importance of it. Can you imagine being in a place where everyone has trully converted to the gospel and they are so converted to the Lord, that they have all changed their lives and they were all nonmembers at a point, and they share their story every week.

We also had Sister Exchanges this week, Sora Ewell went to Sibiu with Sora Stapley and Sora Lund came here with me. So Sora Stapley and I had to kinda well direct everything since these were our towns. And Sora Stapley is only a transfer ahead of me. So it was a new adventure for the both of us. We had lessons set up all day long and so we had to get busy. Now we take buses everywhere and we went to go do a member visit, to obtain refferals, and I had never been there before. Needless to say Sora Lund and I were totally lost. We were actually in the right area just the wrong block and so our sweet Sora Iuşan had to walk out of her house and get us. The next day Sora Lund and I had a bunch of lessons set up and then in between we just contacted. It's really interesting to be with other sisters and see how they contact and do things. I really loved having time with Sora Lund. It all ended in craziness though as Sora Lund and I went to take a maxi taxi to Sibiu and what do you know it left an our early then it was supposed to and we missed it by ten minutes! So this caused craziness for everyone as we all had lessons that evening and needed to get back. So they all (zone leaders and the sisters in Sibiu) Ended up traveling to Cluj. I felt super bad for Sora Stapley she had about a total of 17 hours of travel within 3 days.

Everything did work out though and now we are back to our original companions.

I love you all so much.

Sora Stewart

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 15th , 2013


My wonderful friends and family, I feel as though this week was the longest most drawn out week possible, but then it was also the shortest. How do those two mix I honestly have no idea! After our horrible numbers last week with lessons Sora Ewell and I were really focused and made none stop phone calls and appointments. We were and are super focused on our goals for this area and we really want to help this area grow. Something that we noticed though with other branches around the country that a lot of the baptisms that were happening were all from member referrals. This work is so hard if the members are not with us 100 percent of the way. So we have been trying to focus on the members this week, and this upcoming week as well. We are going to share the story of Abish and how she "ran from house to house to have others witness the power of God". And also with this past general conference a talk that was given by Elder Anderson ""If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, “not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.”" We are really trying to put on emphasize on these members that we can't do this without them. And so by the end of this week we are hoping to get at least one refferal. The branch does recognize the importance of missionary work though as on Saturday the branch has put together a 24 hour fast for missionary work. We are praying with all the lessons we have with these members that they will try to invite others to accept us into their homes.
We had a few lessons this week and some I truly believe are complete miracles! We met these two girls in Centru the other day and they just guided us to the bus stop. We paused before we left talked a little about our message and they gave us their numbers. The day we set up the appointment however was pouring down rain. Side note: It rains everyday here. The weather here is completely bipolar, but our farmer friends outside our window know exactly when the weather is going to be beautiful, or cold and wet. We look to them to see how the weather is going to be that day. Anyways so we were sure that they were not going to show up, since they had told us over the phone that they were already very firm in their faith, and then with the weather and they had already reschedualed before. Amazingly however they showed up. We walked over to the church (in the pouring rain) and we were able to give a great lesson. It was not the lesson we had intended, but it was definitly the lesson they needed. Sora Ewell on our walk over here had asked a random question (obviously not random to us who are members of the church) "Where do you think we were before this life) and that's when they listened. They had never even thought of that before and they stopped and really sank into our message of the plan of salvation. They were open and when they said the closing prayer they pleaded with Heavenly Father to really just know if this the path that they need to take. That if our message is true they would accept it. This was the golden perfect moment in my (small) missionary life.

We also had another experience that really shows us how the Lord puts people in our path. He is our proprietar, our landlord, turns out he and his family have taken the discussions before but with life they had gotten to busy. So we needed him to come down because my chair... well it's in half. IT WASN'T ME I SWEAR! Anyways and there were some other things wrong with our apartment that just needed to be fixed. So when he came over and he was just so open, friendly, and just ready to talk to us. He has made friends with many missionaries through out the years and he was telling us that one of the missionaries that was in Cluj and his wife are coming back and are going to be staying with his family for a little over a month. And then he invited us over for dinner and to meet his wife and his new baby girl. Now maybe this isn't a big deal to you all. But it was such a huge deal to us to have someone accept us, accept who we are and what we teach and to invite us over. It was a huge deal with us. So we are praying that we will be able to teach this young wonderful family and hopefully with the help of this Old missionary help them come to church!

This week also was extremely hard for me. As I was told by President Hill that my grandmother had passed away. It was really interesting experience for me, especially at this state in my life. We had had district meeting that day and Sora Ewell and I were asked to present something. So we decided to talk on Love, loving members, loving our investigators, and just seeing how the Lord loves us, and how we can show Him our love. We each went around and talked about how they recognize the love of God in their lives when Elder Lund talked about his grandmother. And how in his family there aren't many members and so his grandmother writes him a dear Elder every week and an email and in these letters he obtains so many answers to his prayers. That through his grandmother he can see how much the Lord loves him. And while I was listening I just remember having the feeling come over me and saying,"She's gone." I knew that I was expecting this but I wasn't sure how I would take the sorrow that fills someone when you have this kind of imformation. I didn't know what to think at that moment as I really didn't know if she was gone or what was going on except for the fact that I just had that small whisper. What happened about 30 minutes later getting off the bus and into our apartment for lunch, seeing that we had a missed call from President Hill. And that's when I knew, I dídn't need to hear his voice, I knew. And in those moment when I looked to the future and I knew I wouldn't see her again. And all I had were my memories, there would be no more future experiences. So that's when I knew, after I talked to President HIll, that I had to get down on my knees and just pray to Heavenly Father. Pray to Him for help and guidance, and pray to know to really really TRULY know that the Plan of Salvation was real. I believed it of course and I have always felt that it was real, but I needed to know. I needed to know that I will see her again, that I will see those that I am sealed to and I will have that everlasting joy with them. I do. I do know that this is real. I know that the work I am doing is honestly the most important work I could honestly ever do. To help bring others the gospel of Jesus Christ. To help them understand that we can be "Forever Families" and that I honestly KNOW that I will see those that pass on, and that I will have my family forever. And I do. I know this I know this with all my heart. I am so grateful for this blessing, this answer, this experience no matter how much saddness I feel for the loss of my grandma. I feel so much happier knowing I will see her again, in a much better world then this, with all the time in the world. And that she no longer has to suffer the pains of this world, that she is happy and that she is doing EXACTLY what I am doing, just in a different place.

I have had some tender mercies this week, and some really just funny moments that just make this work so much fun.

- They Boyds: They are the senior couple in this mission and they are amazing. Actually today Sora Ewell and I are going to her house to make cookies with her. And just to spend time with her and have companion study with her. WE LOVE HER. Her faith is absolutely amazing. And her stories of her trials and the love she has for God and her family is just so amazing.

Something I feel like I need to learn is love. Now I love everybody I do. And I'm happy and I just show others compassion, but to truly truly love someone and see someone through the eyes of Heavenly Father I have a hard time doing. Especially when they give me the finger! (not the actual finger) I look to Sora Boyd and her husband and even Sora Ewell. They love so openely and they show actually show their love to everyone. They hug and laugh and touch and just honestly love people. I'm working on that. I want to achieve this kind of love in my life. It is honestly the purest kind of love. Which was really kinda cool that this was continually being brought in though my week as I was reading my scriptures and a verse, not even a verse a sentence pops out to me in Moroni 8:16 "For perfect love casteth out all fear." I love this and this is exactly what they show. I want this so much and so this is my goal at the moment is to show others this perfect love.

- Block Knocking: I finally went block knocking which was so much fun. Even when people slam the doors and keep yelling out,"We have a bible. We don't need anything else." We went with the zone leaders since they had a note that just told them that Mănăştur was the place to go. So they go up to the last block until you litterally hit the forest on the top floor last door. They knock and they are let in by a brother and sister. They gave them the first lesson, set up a return appointment, and this two actually came to church on Sunday. Seriously. How on earth does this happen! These are miracles! Now we didn't have much success, but we saw success and that gave us hope as the Elders were accepted again into another famiies home!

- Little Old Ladies: I love the little old ladies here. They are wonderful. And it super cute since they actually care about your health. There is this little lady that just lives around the corner who at night sells a bunch of things from her garden. We stop and talk with her a little each night  and we bought some fresh garlic one time. I was not wearing tights or boots that night. It was not cold. I was not cold, I walk around all day in a jacket, and on buses it gets hot. And I really really really really hate tights. So I don't wear them. These little old ladies yell at me all the time. Okay not yell but they look at me shake their heads and in Romanian tell me, "You'll sick yourself!" I have had this comment made 5 times this week. :( And I got sick. Sometimes little old ladies know. It was a funny aspect in our lives this week.

- GOOD NEWS: So because I am still in training we watch a bunch of district videos on how to work with the Ward Mission Leader and the Bishop and Members. So as we are watching Sora Ewell and I look at each other and just shake our heads because we have not seen our ward mission leader. Because he hasn't been to church. Nor has he made any contact with us. So are goal was now to reactivate the ward mission leader. But goodnews he went to church sunday so now we have one less member to reactivate :) It was a good week.

I love you all!
Sora Stewart
April 8th, 2013

Good morning!
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and week filled with amazing experiences. Especially since Conference was this weekend. The way we do conference here in Cluj is a little different, I did get to hear it all in English thank goodness, but we watched it at 7 at night. It was kinda a weird experience for me yesterday to be looking at the screen and have it be the spoken word. My thoughts honestly were why is the spoken word on it's night time. Obviously my brain really hasn't hit that I am like 9 hours apart here... hopefully my math is right. Anyways conference was absolutely wonderful and I really am just so grateful for just the privilege to watch Thomas S. Monson and the apostles and the other general authorities. How grateful and blessed we are to have wonderful, righteous leaders in our gospel. That what they really want for us, for everyone, is to be happy, make righteous choices, and return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. What greater blessing in this world could there be to have leaders like this in our world???

This week was extremely different for me and even for my companion. We had our zone conference which is in Arăd, and about 5/6 hours away by train. So because it was so far away and it was on Wednesday we had to get on a train Tuesday afternoon and we wouldn't be back in Cluj until about 12:00 am Thursday. It was a long couple of days. The conference was wonderful and we had some fantastic presentations given on how to better our missionary efforts. Sora Ewell and I had to give a presentation on how to make a baptismal service a more spiritual experience. We think it went well, since our time was cut in half. The Lord does love short powerful statements. :)

I don't know if the Romanian mission is just super different because we are all spread out everywhere and have to travel a lot but it's extremely interesting what the elders do on train rides. The Elders in our district like to crochet. It was extremely funny when President Iepure (branch president) walked in on us watching General Conference and started at our Zone leaders and said to them... is this normal for men to do these things. Here only women do them. Later his wife came in who is from Poland and said the same thing but told them they were doing a good job. Sora Ewell and I just laughed. We have a great group here let me tell you. :)

Anyways as far as lessons and things were concerned all of them, and I am not kidding you went out of town, or just couldn't meet with us. Or when we had scheduled our lesson we ended up having to go on a train, since we didn't know when our train was leaving, and trying to reschedule for that week wouldn't work for them. It was extremely frustrating. Especially since this week we really have not wasted any time. We were out contacting all day. I have found out that when people cross themselves around you and little old women run away from you. It has now become super funny to me. Sorry short little comment everytime Sora Ewell and I are on a bus there is at least 5 people around us that cross themselves as they stare at our nametag. It's my favorite game now to watch and see how many people do it. But yes, we contacted all this week and some people aren't nice about us wanting to share the most beautiful message of this world. But we did it anyways. We both feel that the Lord will bless in our efforts this week, with lessons with all the numbers we were able to gain.

Really cool experience this week though. The guy Ionuţi or I may have called him Johnny (name he had in America) we called to invite him to come to institute again and he really paused and sincerely thought about it, but then told us that he couldn't make it. Later that night though he texted us and told us that he did want to take lessons, that he is interested in our message, but just at that point in time with exams that he was taking he didn't have time. He is seriously one of the most sincere people I have met here. It really gave me hope that the Lord does truly guide us to who is ready to except the gospel, except Jesus Christ as their Savior, and change. It's a beautiful thing to see.

Something that I have really learned this week (as I have been reading over last general conference) is to just do the Lord's work, not just me but everyone. I hope everyone will go back and read Elder Holland's talk. Super awesome. I think I have reread that about 10 times this week. We all need to be his disciples not just now as I am a missionary and I am litterally bearing His name and trying to have others see the truth and have true happiness, but after this. Everyone of us needs to be doing this. And I'm really sad to say as I look back I wasn't a perfect disciple, nor am I now but I am trying. Don't be compacent! There is always always always something we can do better in our lives. "Do you love me?" that's what the Lord asks of us and if we do, go out and do this work. Be his disciple for eternity. He needs us. Be that ward member that will invite someone to church and help eveyone you meet understand that they are God's children. Do His work.

I love you all :) I will get off my soap box, but I know as we have approached every person that we come in contact with, even when they yell, run, or cross themselves. I am trying to be the Lord's disciple.
With all my love!
Sora Stewart

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1, 2013

Or whatever time it is there in the USA. There has just been so much going on that I don't even know where to start. Oh I guess I could start off with the fact that they now changed the rules on emails. They now technically have no limit on time and we are allowed to email friends, family, and recent converts. So Jessica you can now cheer up. So that's why it is now being sent to more than you Mom. I promise I'm not breaking any rules and that way you don't have to search for emails everyweek. Hooray.

Okay now to start off with this week I agreed to give a talk in church. Why? I have no idea since I have only been here for two weeks, but hey I might as well just let the members know that I'm serious about the work here! So I gave a talk yesterday on Trials of our Faith. I thought it was good. I don't really remember how I was speaking or really much about me standing up there speaking, but I felt the spirit which is really my number one goal here! I bore my testimony, which I didn't need notes for, and I went and sat down. Now I think I was filled up with so much who knows what because the President Iupure (the Branch President) got up and said something in Romanian that I totally didn't understand. Then Sora Ewell came up to me and told me that he said, "Is there any doubt that the Lord has blessed with the ability to speak Romanian." Isn't that cool! Even though I really can't most of the time. It takes me a really long time to translate and then speak in my head. I'm understanding pretty well though... I hope. Anyways so there is blessings that come EVERYDAY here. The members all came up to me after and told me that they understood and they loved my testimony and my message. It really does bring me hope that hey I will one day speak this language!

We have made a goal this transfer for our area (Sora Ewell and I) they told us they only need 20ish more members to be continually going to church, inactive or new members, for them to build a chapel here. They land is already purchased but they just need a little more and then they will start doing it. So this is our goal to have the inactives and our current investigators build and we will be able to have a chapel.

We taught quite a few lessons this week. So I will just share some cool experiences! I told you last week that we were going to be teaching a lady who only speaks spanish. Well we really had no idea how we were going to go about doing this but just the same we did it. We went over to their house and they have their friends over Alma (who speaks spanish) and her husband Tomas who speaks every other language on this planet I swear! Now Alma and Tomas are actually inactive members of the church, they are the most sweetest people, and so for this lesson to work they were the ones that had to teach their friend Karen. It was super difficult, speaking wise, but the spirit was their and we were able to find out so much of how we need to work with Karen and how the spirit testifies to her. We have another lesson this week with her and she is progressing which I am super thrilled about. And in the process Alma and Tomas are coming to church and they are getting more involved so they can go to the temple. I love this gospel and how it brings families together!

We are also teaching this wonderful lady named Claudia, she is Catholic and I think I told you a little bit about her last week. She is AMAZING! She is so ready and willing to learn and she took what we gave her and read it within the day! It is absolutely amazing, we shared the Plan of Salvation and she just thought that it was so beautiful!

We also started teaching this family the mother is an inactive member and she has a daughter who is 9 that we are teaching. Who is in the picture I will be sending you all. The children are super crazy and it was kinda hard to do the lesson with them literally jumping from furniture to furniture and playing songs on youtube. But then Sora Ewell (she is super amazing, I'm super grateful to have her as my trainer) decided we should sing some church/primary songs. And we did it brought the spirit back in and we were able to teach her, she is really hesitant on baptism, but she loves us which is a step in progress!
I have to tell you about the Militaru Family. They have been investigating the church for 7 years, I have never heard this term until now, but they call them Eternal Investigators. Our zone leader thinks they should be called Professional Investigators because they know how to be progressing enough but then to not be progressing at all to accept huge commitments. So my companion and I have just been searching for ways that we can bring these wonderful people into the church. The mother and the children know so much about the gospel, they really do. They have studied it, prayed about, they know that it's true. The problem is that the dad won't let them get baptized and he just gives a hundred excuses for them not to be baptized. He never really sits in on lessons but he basically invites us over to teach his family. It makes no sense to me. But our goal with them is to have them meet over at members houses the whole family so we can actually teach him. Share our experiences with him and hopefully we will be able to touch his heart and just show him how much we really really really love their family. I'm not kidding when I say this family is amazing, they are so loving!

I have gotten acquainted with some members too this week! How many times can I say I love these people in one letter??? I don't know but I do I love them. They are so loving, they love us as missionaries, you can feel the love they have for all the members and the new investigators. It's just such a site to see! And they speak to me like I know what they are saying which is cool when I do know what they are saying. They always aske me why I am so quite and Sora Ewell just laughs and then I have to explain to her I'm trying to find ways to respond fast enough before the conversations changes and my speaking skills are not fast enough haha. I think this is why they like me is that I'm not afraid to just speak to them "wrong".

We did a bunch of contacting this week and there were some super cool experiences! We had our zone training this week which our zone leaders never told us about. Thankgoodness we were already at the church for a lesson. But we are working on contacting with doing short powerful statements. So me and Sora Stapley went on splits. (They loved the fact that they put the sister who has been out one week and then the sister who has been out 6 weeks together) We went and contacted and we actually got a number and he was super awesome. And then the other sisters met him and then the AP's met him too. This is no coincidence! The Elders have already contacted him and are working with him. The Lord works in miraculous ways here!
We were also doing English Contacting (passing out flyers for our English classes) and we ran into this guy who lived in the USA for like 10 years. Knows English perfectly and we invited him to come to institute with us that evening and he said yes. He is super religious and may not be completely in love with our religion because he just doesn't believe that the priesthood power can exist here on earth. But it was super awesome that we met him for like 15 minutes talked about religion. He agreed to come to institute, stayed the whole time, and after to hang out with us missionaries, and then took a Book of Mormon from us.

I really just love this work here. I love sharing the gospel and just being apart of this work is amazing. I can't think of anything that I could be doing that would be better then this. I'm counting my blessings day by day as we listen to conference talks in Romanian every morning and I am able to understand more and more. I can really trully feel the blessings of the spirit come and I really do know that without the Lord's help I could not do this. There would be no way. I pray everyday to increase myself in conversation, knowledge, spirit. I don't want to be complacent, and I always do want to be put out of my comfort zone so I can be the person the Lord wants me to be.

I love you all so very much!

Sora Stewart