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



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