May 27, 2013
It has been an incredible week here in Cluj. I am absolutely amazed at the work we have here to do. Sora Modzelewska and I have had a lot of lessons to attend to that every night we just about pass out on our beds. It's truly amazing too because we just run in to people all the time and they are willing to let us in and talk to us and let us teach them. Truly a miracle here. I am just so very grateful that this branch is growing and we are helping them build up the kingdom here. It is absolutely amazing to see.
Sora Modzelewska and I have had some fantastic stories, and events happen this week. On Thursday we had district meeting and our district meeting goes on like always but this time it went a little long. And in comes this lady and sits in on our meeting just in time for the closing prayer. We had no idea who she was, or if it was one of the others investigator, but she came in sat down and just waited. We went up to her afterwards and she looked at us and was like I wanted someone to teach me English. So there Sora Modzelewska and I go and we go into the other room and start teaching her. We like to teach some English and then do like 30 minutes of Gospel Discussion. Which she agreed to. And after we were done with the lesson this sweet Maria looked at us and said,"I don't want you to waste your time with me. And I really like the way you teach me. So please let me pay you." We looked at her and almost jumped out of our seats insisting no no no. Don't pay us! And then we explained that we don't want money. We are Christians. We are good people who want to serve. All we desire is to share our message about Christ and about why we are so happy. We don't want your money. We are happy to do this service. And then we asked if we could just close with a word of prayer. This wonderful woman was so touched that she just started crying. I haven't seen someone in this country be as touched as this woman was at this moment. It was a wonderful moment that was so filled with the spirit, and it was beautiful to see that she could feel it. That this moment of service and charity and the power of our words touched her. Such a tender mercy.
We continued on with teaching Karen this week. Our sweet sweet investigator. Who I just wish I could communicate with. It's so fascinating and irritating to see that after 4ish years of Spanish I don't really remember anything. Anyways our wonderful member Sora Kiss translates for us. We had a wonderful discussion on the Book of Mormon that was purely set on the spirit. We weren't really sure what we were going to talk about when we got there but we just knew that we had to depend on the spirit. We asked her if she was reading the Book of Mormon and if she felt like the things we had talked about were true. She was so uncertain and said she really doesn't think that this church is for her and just started throwing out a lot of excuses. So we quickly just brought it back to the Book of Mormon where she confessed that she wasn't reading it. But from the chapters we had given her she thought it was good but liked the Bible better. We were just able to bear our testimonies that if she doesn't read the Book of Mormon that she wont know. That what was in her hands was the defining evidence that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We were able to just talk to her and tell her how wonderful and important she is to Heavenly Father, that she can strengthen this relationship with Him, and she can find happiness she has never felt before. It was a BEAUTIFUL moment. It felt like instead of her back tracking and heading the other way she is now turned back around and listening and waiting. Gosh I just love being a missionary :)
Now the title of this email is called the Power of Rain. And now you will know why. After one of lessons with Karen we left our phone at Sora Kiss's house. And well she lives in Floresti which is La Ţară outside of town. And so we had to wake up and head straight there since there are only a few buses that go there every hour. So after the craziness of going there, grabbing our phone, and coming back, waiting for a bus, and seeing about our lessons that day we sat down on a bench just right outside the bus stop. And I'm sitting there just listening to Sora Modzelewska talk about our day and what we need to do and who we need to call. This lady walks by and smiles at us and I smile back and we return to our conversation. The lady turned back around and sat down right by Sora Modzelewska and just starts talking to us. Now my mouth was probably open and my eyes were probably big as saucers because people here don't come up to us and talk to us. They just don't. And they specifically don't come and sit down out of all the benches right by us and are super friendly. So I am honestly already in shock. We start talking to her a little bit, when it starts to rain. I was so mad, and I have never been mad at the rain before I like the rain! But once it started to rain she looks over at us and just said it's starting to rain really bad, stands up and walks away. Ahhh I just felt like we had lost that opportunity. But when she said it was raining hard it was raining hard, no exaggeration here. So we get up and run to one of the blocks behind us just to have some kind of shelter. And what do you know it was her block. And she invited us in. She invited us in to her home and just wanted to talk to us. I didn't understand everything that she had said, but she told us about her life. She told us that a few years ago she had had a stroke in Canada and that she knew that God had saved her life for some reason. That even though a part of her back was paralyzed she had some reason for being here. And of course we are sitting there thinking of course you have a purpose, let's share our message! So we do. We share the message of the restoration and she says that we can come back and she said that she will start to read the Book of Mormon.
Now this is where the power of the rain comes in. I watched as this woman (Anna Marie) comes up to us and sits by us on the bench. And at that exact moment it starts to rain. We just happened to run for cover at her block. Where she had not yet entered. And she let us in. And at that moment we started to talk about the Restoration of the gospel (And I am staring out the window, because I have never seen so much rain in my life) the rain completely stops, the clouds parted, and the sun shine started to beam through the window. There are no coincidences in this work. None. What a testimony builder this was to me, that the Lord has people He wants us to teach. And He prepares these people. And with our faith in Him, He will give unto us mighty miracles.
Our sweet dear Sabina is getting baptized this Saturday! I am so excited and it has been such a sweet experience to teach her. I have loved every moment of meeting with her. From the very first time where she sat down next to us, not really sure what to say or what to do. You could just see this longing she had to be apart of something that just felt like home. She wanted to find this comfort that we know the Gospel can bring in to every persons life. And every time we meet with her. She grows. Her light has changed. She may still be the same person who doesn't like attention, or doesn't like to be around a lot of people. But she is so much happier. Her appearance, the way she holds herself up has changed. I never really understood when people said that they can see the light people have, and how it shines or it dims. I have never understood that. Until now. Because I have seen it. I remember at the begining and at this moment now where she is understanding the principles and applying them to her life. And her light, this essence, feeling, has changed round about her. You can see it. You can see that she feels love and she returns love. :)
This life is filled with so many beautiful opporunities and experiences that we really don't notice. Or at least I haven't noticed. I can't believe that I have lived most of my life in this gospel, but haven't really used all that I had at my disposal. Or I haven't used all the blessings, opportunities, and experience the gospel gives me. Live FULLY in this gospel. Don't just stick your foot in. Immerse yourself and you will not believe the blessings that come.
I am so grateful and so happy to hear about the things going on back home. I can not tell you how full my heart is to hear that you are being member presents for this wonderful neighbor. And I hope that you will look for more of these opportunities. Don't be afraid to share the gospel. What do you have to loose? And look at what they have to gain. How many people I could have shared the gospel with and I didn't because I was scared. I am super ashamed to say that I was scared to share the gospel. So don't be or do what I did. Just jump in :) It feels absolutely fantastic!
I love you all so much! And I hope that you have a fantastic week!
ps. Matthew! I don't know if you have watched this Mormon Message but you need to. It just brought tears to my eyes and I hope it brings tears to your eyes as you reflect on your missionary work that you are doing here and the missionary work you have done :)