Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

Witam moi bliscy!
There are some definite perks of having a Polish companion! I get to use polish... not that I can actually remember what she says to me or use it in our conversations. Hey but I'm trying over here! And Amy I thought you would appreciate that :)

This week was a difficult one for me. And not because something horrible happened, but it was just hard. Being here in Romania, on my own, not really knowing the language, is extremely hard. I love it don't get me wrong. I absolutely love being here. I learn new things about Romania, our investigators, members, the gospel, the language, and myself everyday. And I love that. I love learning, and growing and feeling that I am really changing who I am to the person Heavenly Father needs me to be. But it's hard. I feel uncomfortable and unconfident a lot of the time. And it's stressful. Learning a language here is a little different than if I were to go to a place that all my companions would be native speakers, because we speak English in all of our meetings except for church. So the language comes slower. And that's is SO frustrating! And in those moments of frustration and feeling completely inadequate for our investigators and for this branch comes some intense sorrow. You just feel extrememly alone. Extremely alone. And maybe I am just a worrier, and I want to know the language now. I want to speak fluently and share the gospel with everyone. And I am not patient with myself... I'm not patient in my suffering. And I worry that I wont ever fully understand this language or really speak this language. And I worry that I wont live up to the potential that Heavenly Father wants me to live up to.


But it's difficult to do things here in someone elses time and in someone elses way. I like things to be the way that I want them and I want to teach the way I want to teach and I want to do things the way I want to do them. And when your on a mission it's not about me, myself, or I. It's not about me. It's about those we teach and contact. It's those little touches that we do everyday, saying hi to everyone on the street, giving someone my seat on the bus, passing out cards, contacting in the park, helping them understand a little bit more about our Savior Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. It's about doing our Heavenly Father's work. It's about Him. And I knew this before my mission. But you never really fully know what is going to happen, or what you're really going to be doing until you are out here. Working, teaching, contacting, and contacting, and contacting, and contacting. We do alot of contacting here can't you tell? Being here is a huge trial, especially this week and how do I endure. I can tell you in all honesty that I don't know if I have ever been on my knees so much. And Heavenly Father being the great person He is sends me little blessings everyday so I don't just blow up. :) I read a general conference talk this week about trials since personally I felt like my trial was never ending and that in my personal trial I was trying, I was really trying and my desires were pure, completely pure and perfect intentions. Of course I may be a little overdramatic here, but hey I'm allowed to be a little overdramatic sometimes, I can't be completely perfect everday. (Dad I know you're rolling your eyes :))


Anyways I started reading the talk "Hope ya know, We Had a Hard Time" by Elder Cook. And in this talk he talks about trials that come into lives, some big some small, but all trials and how at the end of our trial we are able to say to Heavenly Father "I hope you know, I had a hard time." And a part that really stuck out to me was this...

"We know from the scriptures that some trials are for our

good and are suited for our own personal development. 

We also know that the rain falls on the just and the unjust.

It is also true that every cloud we see doesn’t result in rain.

Regardless of the challenges, trials, and hardships we endure, the

reassuring doctrine of the Atonement wrought by Jesus Christ 

includes Alma’s teaching that the Savior would take upon Him our

infirmities and “succor his people according to their infirmities.”

And this really touched my heart. Because I'm prideful. I am. Most of the time I really don't feel like I need help from anyone. And I hate asking for help. I really feel like I can depend on myself most of the time and I have a hard time letting others do things for me. Yes, I am prideful. And this made me really think of how I act. How I am so stuck on my will and my confidence that I really forget all that Heavenly Father has done for me. And that if I just really humbled myself and just say Heavenly Father I will do my best (which I do strive to do everyday) but I need your help. I need your help and my companions help, and my districts help, and my mission presidents help. I need help in my life. I can't do this by myself. I can't learn a language, and teach God's children, and expect to be the person Heavenly Father needs me to be without His help.

Now I'm sorry that so far my letter hasn't been the most upbeat but I promise their have been some wonderful blessings that have come this week! The work still progresses here and we are still striving to bring the wonderful Romanians here the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe I have told you a little about D and her mother D. We went over last week to teach her English and D was there which was amazing. She works a lot and so all the other times that we have gone over there she was never there. We start teaching D English and D is sitting in. And as things progress and as we get ready to share our gospel message about gratitude we are prompted to ask more questions about what is going on in their lives. and we find out a lot about their life and that they are going through some challenges. With divorce and drinking. So obviously we start to share about the beautiful gospel. Sora M begins to share her conversion story and D stares at us and tell us that she wishes that she could have faith like us. And so we ask her if we could share the restoration with her and her family and she said yes. We were so excited because these two woman are absolutely wonderful. They are such strong and powerful woman. And I can really see them in the gospel. I can see them really taking the blessings that the gospel gives us.


We also have been contacting in our own block. We ran into this young lady A and she invited us into her apartment that she shares with her brother. And we had a wonderful discussion. She was a little scared when we gave her a card and told her that we were missionaries. But than yesterday as we tried to meet with her and she told us that she was actually going to church. And so we invited ourselves and she said that we could come with her and her  brother. She is actually Pentacostal which has a lot of the same beliefs that we do. And while we were there we ran into one of our other investigators D who was beyond happy to see us there as she leaves for America this upcoming weekend. It really made them a lot more open to us as we showed that we respected other religions and that we enjoyed their services. So she agreed as we walked home to come with us to church next Sunday. Actually she more asked if we were going to invite her to our church and of course we said yes!

The Pentacostal service that we went to was called Speranta which means Hope. And it's one of the bigger Pentacostal churches here in Cluj. We were in a big meeting room and there were so many people. Over 200 people and Sora M and I just wanted to shout on the top of our voices that you have a great things here but if you follow us you can have something even greater! Do you not realize the potential you have if you were to be members of Christ Restored Gospel on this Earth! There were lots and lots of young people. And the service goes like this we all gather and they have about 6 or 7 speakers and so the speakers go up one at a time and they give there sermon and they tell us to stand and then we all pray at one time for something they tell us to. (To help us share the gospel, help us have strength, asking forgiveness) So everyone stands up and they all pray outloud at once. They all say there own prayers but there is a lot of noise. Then we sit down and they have a guitarist, pianist, drumer, and two singers get up and sing songs of Christ (which were extremely beautiful) and then it repeats itself. They gave wonderful talks about the gospel and there was nothing that was said that was against our beliefs. My thoughts to Heavenly Father at that point was just "Heavenly Father I am staring at your children that want a relationship with you. That have desires to follow your son Jesus Christ. Help us talk to them. Help them be open to our message and see the added truth that we give to them."

We went contacting this week in Parks. And well lets say the weather in Cluj changed a lot in the last week we went from Rainy and gorgeous! To Hot and sweaty. I think I'm just going to have to get used to the feeling of sweat being on my face at all times and my hair just being up in a bun. Hooray for summer!

I think that's all for this week! I love you all and I pray for you all. I know God lives and this is His church. I know that trials come. Believe me I know. But I do know that we are never alone. No matter how much we may push away or want to be by ourselves (speaking from my own experience of course) God will never abandon us. He wants to reach out His loving hands of kidness and embrass us. We went and watched the Emma Smith movie with our new convert S and a part in that movie says, "God loves us even when we hold back" His love is infinite. But don't hold back. Embrass Heavenly Father and His son's atonement. Look to Christ's atonement everyday and see what power it gives us. I love you all so much and I am super grateful to be here. I really really am. I love being here. I love being a missionary even with stressful trials. It's the best decission I have ever made.

Love you all,

Sora Stewart

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