Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Well good morning!
First off I would like to say I am super sorry for not writing for the past couple days. Easter is a big thing here. And I mean big. Like bigger then Christmas is in the States. It's super crazy. So everything has been closed for like 4 days here. So on P-day we weren't able to go to the library and write. And then yesterday we traveled to Sibiu for our zone training and well we left at 6 in the morning and didn't get back until 9. It's been a long couple of days.

I'm not even sure exactly where to start with everything because there has been so many changes and so many things going on.
I'm well and safe here in Cluj and with all the excitement with Easter going on it's been really nice to have time in my personal study to study the Saviors life and to look and go over His Atoning Sacrifice. It's been really peaceful and beautiful. Everyone here in Romania is out saying "Hristos a înviat!" and then the reply is  "Adevărat a înviat!" My new companion loves to go over to people and just say it so that way they will respond it's super funny to me, just because she gets all giddy when others say it back. It's been a good time to go contacting with all these people going over to orthodox churches and just sitting outside hearing the preachers. The Churches here all have these speakers on the outside so a lot of people sit on the benches outside while you hear the preachers repeating prayers and singing... I think it sounds like people are moaning. Not many people here are blessed with the gift of song. Which is why I have been asked way to much with Sora Ewell as my companion to sing. WAY TO MUCH!

Anyways this week has just been super super crazy and we have another crazy week ahead of us. Sora Ewell and I had a bunch of lessons ready before she left Cluj. The members really loved her a lot and our investigators so there were some tearful goodbyes. So as we get ready to head to the Gara, which is a story all in it's own, for our 9 hour train ride. And because it was Easter everybody was heading down to Buch so we sat in seats for 9 hours... I was exhausted. Some super interesting news though as we arrived at the Gara and get the luggage to where it needs to go I noticed a missionary who looks so familiar. And I just stared at him until I saw his name tag which said Elder Davis. Turns out we were on the Church History Tour together! Suzy, Jenni, and I would always hang out with him and his cousins. He is the grandson of Brother Bunker back home which is how they ended up going on the Church History Tour. This world is just super small!
Well my wonderful companion Sora Modzelewska. She is from Poland and she is a serious ball of fire. Haha serious she has red hair. She is very serious about the work and she speaks Romanian perfectly. Well at least to me it's perfectly. Every person we come in contact with just tells her how amazing her Romanian is, they are all super impressed. And she speaks super super fast. She is super nice and is just really loving.She is a fighter after all having only been a member for around 3ish 2ish years and then wanting to serve a mission. And you all keep saying that I will have to work on my language skills and that is super true but not for the reasons you all think. She speaks perfect English and actually she only speaks to me in English. She doesn't want to speak to me in Romanian because she wants to work on her English skills. So I have to work 10 times harder now on my Romanian. Anytime I try to speak Romanian to her she responds in English. But she is always willing to help me which is nice.

We basically have a new district here since the only people that stayed were Elder Staheli and myself. And we have the most interesting group of missionaries. A very very blunt, not afraid to speak their mind group. Our district meetings are very interesting if I do say so myself.

Now on to our work here. We have two more baptismal dates and sadly we lost one baptismal date.

Our wonderful Spanish speaker Karen said that she would be baptized. With much much hesitancy, but she is still eager to learn and I hope that we have calmed her nerves. She is just the sweetest person and just has this desire. She's quick to read her scriptures and follow the way that she feels will bring her close to Christ. Also she is just super cute with her husband. As he is the member and she will always just say to us, he needed me in his life because he needs to increase his spirituality. I just adore them. So we will hopefully be having her baptism on June 1st!

We had a miracle come into our lives on our first day back to Cluj. After we had talked to Karen we kept getting calls from President Iepure and other members saying that the Boyds needed to take us to this ladies house. So we went of course and this lady who is just the most gentle person I have ever met said she was ready to change her life. She was a referral from one of our members and had taken one discussion before but just wasn't ready. She told us the things that had happened in her life that made her more interested in hearing what we have to say and she has already accepted a baptism date for the 26th of this month. Her name is Sabina and she is around 35? Maybe. She's come to church and she just loves people. I don't know if I have ever felt so much love from an investigator before. As we leave our lessons for her she grabs my hand and hugs me and just tells me to take care of myself and it just touches my heart. The Lord really prepares His children. I don't understand exactly how He does it, but I know that He does.
We were dropped this week by sweet Nicolette, there were too many conflicting things going on, and I don't think she felt very good about keeping the word of wisdom. Also with Sora Ewell leaving and being replaced by Sora Modzelewska who are completely too different people, was really hard on her.

Also a little blessing in my life are the Boyds. I seriously love them and I don't know what this branch or us would do without them. They do so much for our investigators and they just have this love and sense of humor about them that everyone sees, and people here in Romania love older people. They have this respect for them. Not that they are old. Anyways but that's why my Subject is about is Elder Boyds sits in this chair that rocks way back and just starts being his cowboy self from Wyoming. He's funny I love them.

Another blessing this week is that I was having a hard time. I think with the members as they had said some things about an inactive that just made me furious. Because they just didn't or don't or don't want to understand that they have to love everyone despite the choices they made. And they just didn't want to help. It was a big mess anyways and I was just praying for comfort and praying to just remember how it is in my ward back home if they were out there talking to the in actives in our ward and loving them and wanting to share the gospel and just not being ashamed for who they are as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And so I was reading in the Liahona when something caught my eye that said this women who lived in Nevada and was traveling to Alaska. Obviously I think of Sister Rather since that's the only person I know and sure enough I look down and see that she wrote the article! And it is about her sharing the gospel on a plane with a lady who had just lost someone she loved. I just started crying because I am so blessed. I am so blessed to have been in a ward so loving and to just have the gospel. It was just that simple answer to my prayer. I can't tell you how blessed we are honestly!!!! And I just want to tell her Sister Rather that I'm so glad she wrote that article and I'm so glad that I read it. It was a true answer to my prayer.

I want to talk a little about Easter since we were allowed to go and see the Midnight Mass on Saturday Evening. What they do or, what they say, is that this fire comes from heaven down to Israel and so these churches go and take the fire and bring it back here and then in the Mass or service or whatever it is the Priest go around lighting candles. And everyone has a bunch of candles. They try to take it home without the flame going out and supposedly you would have good luck. Me being the person I am, I thought it would be really funny blowing candles out. I didn't do it of course! But to me that would be funny :) Anyways we went into the church and it was just dark and they have prayers going on and everyone has these candles and they have these robes on and everyone comes in and kisses this picture of Jesus... They don't clean this picture. It sounds pretty unsanitary to me just FYI! And then all these priest come out and start lighting peoples candles. That was a scary moment there. I don't know if I have had so many open flames by my face, clothes, and hair before. This poor lady in front of me had her hair burned... It was a very beautiful sight though with everyone there in unity to worship Jesus Christ for his Resurrection. Reading scriptures and saying these prayers and songs.

It just made my heart ache though to see how much they could know or could have if they were to accept our message. If we were able to tell them and say you see how beautiful this is our message can give you joy you can not yet comprehend. Where everyday you could wake up and say I know who I am, I know where I'm going, I know why I am here. And it would make you the happiest you could ever be in your life. Because this gospel is real, and it's complete, it's full, and it is true.

I know that it's true. With all my heart and mind I know. Why else in all honestly would I be here in Romania trying to speak this language that just does not make sense to me. I love this Gospel and I love my Savior. I know it's true, I know it's true.

I love you all!
Sora Stewart

OH yeah I chopped off all my hair... :)

The big Orthodox church

Sora Modzelewska and I first day in Cluj.


Some of our elders in our district Easter!

There were so many people there for this thing!

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