June 24, 2013
I think I should start off first by apologizing for my letter last week. Because well it was a hard week for me. Personally. But that doesn't stop the blessings from coming, the work progressing, and spirits slowly being lifted. Things are good here in Cluj first exciting news is that we had 8 INVESTIGATORS at church this week! That's a huge thing for us here! The whole Militaru family showed up even the dad! Isn't that amazing! And the oldest son who I have never ever met. And we had a new investigator show up to church as well that we haven't met up with. We contacted her villa knocking around our church building and we called her this week and she said she would come. She goes to the baptist church and has been going there for the past 5 years but was never baptized. She said that she really enjoyed our church and said that she would like to learn more. She also said that she would come to church again on Sunday! Hooray! My heart just springs with joy to see people actually feel the spirit! They feel the difference! We also had our sweet sweet wonderful investigators D and D!
I'm just going to take some time and talk about this sweet mother and daughter because the way they are going they are just amazing people! We taught them this past week the Restoration and D (the mom) was a lot more open then her daughter who we were spending a lot more time with. We bore our testimonies and asked them to start reading the Book of Mormon they both agreed. D because of Family troubles has a hard time believing in religions and that they will actually bless her life. And when we explained about Joseph Smith seeing God the Father and His son Jesus Christ she looked us and said I am not going to believe this. And my heart just dropped! But she accepted our invitation to come to church and to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. That day we also made Saramale together which was so much fun and actually pretty easy. We fed the Elders the next day for lunch during district meeting. Anyways we came back later this week and she told us that she started reading and that she thinks it's interesting. Which interesting here in Romania is a good thing... for the most part. And on Sunday we picked them up and they said that they really enjoyed it. Which is just absolutely fantastic. Such a beautiful story these two are!
Some sad news this week is with our investigator K from Peru. I feel like anytime we take a step closer to baptism and a step closer to her accepting the gospel into her life she takes 10 steps backward. We had a beautiful lesson with her about the atonement of Jesus Christ and we wanted her to develop a stronger testimony and to just realize how beautiful the Book of Mormon is so we read a ton of scriptures from the Book of Mormon. And the spirit was so strong. These are the moments I absolutely strive for on my mission! Where the spirit just testifies everything and there is just no need for words! And by the end of the lesson we were all basically in tears. And Karen told us that she felt like she had received an answer to her prayers through us. What an amazing amazing experience this was! We met with her a few days later though and it was like we were starting from the beginning. She finally confessed to us that she doesn't want to get baptized because she doesn't know how long she will be staying here in Romania. And that she misses her old church, her pastor, her friends, the way they teach and the way they use the Bible. We tried to explain to her how important it was to realize that this is the true church and that if she doesn't pray DIRECTLY to Heavenly Father with a DIRECT question then how is she supposed to know. Elder Boyd even tried to ask her what would she do if God himself told her that the true church was restored back upon this earth? And she told us that she would have to ask Him a lot of questions first. So we are taking a little bit of a break with her. And hopefully she will see that the feelings she has with us will remind her that what we teach is true.
We went to a baptist church this Sunday with our investigator E. It's really interesting to go to all of these churches because I feel like when I go there I understand a whole lot more of how they are taught of what they are taught and what things they accept and what things they don't accept into their lives. Or even just how they worship and how I can explain to them better of how we worship and why we do the things we do. Super super interesting though. But every time I leave I say a quick prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father for giving me the greatest blessing of them all in being born into the Gospel. And to really just KNOW... really really know that this church is true. And I love it. I love everything about this church. I love that we have the restored authority and that anytime I would be sick or ill or just have a bad day or have just whatever it is I know that I can have a priesthood blessing. I love knowing that this church does so much good. It teaches nothing but being a good person. Of Christ. Of using His atonement. How beautiful this is. And how much I take advantage of it. I know I do. And I really should try to be more thankful of everything I have. My family, friends, gospel, my savior Jesus Christ, having just the opportunity to be a missionary. What greater blessings could I been given?
Things are still hard ya know the language. But it's also a lot better. I'm grateful for your letters of encouragement and love and they really have helped. ALOT! And I know that I'm just extremely extremely hard on myself... I'm a Stewart we strive for perfection :P hahaha. But no I have reevaluated my goals and have looked at what I can do better what I see for myself and what I see myself doing at the end of this transfer. And I think one of the biggest things is that I'm afraid. Of making mistakes, of disappointing others, of failure, of others judgement, of not living up to my potential. And all that fear does is make you a failure. It really does it's absolutely horrible. And so I now I wake up and get on my knees and just ask Heavenly Father for strength and not to be afraid anymore. I'm not perfect, but I'm getting a lot better and instead of having sweaty palms and shaking my legs anytime someone asks me to read a scripture or say a prayer out loud, I volunteer. I'm still struggling I don't know everything I read, and I know a lot of times I don't understand what they are saying, and I say A LOT of things wrong. I'm trying. I'm trying. I'm trying. And I feel Heavenly Father smiling back at me.
We went to Sibiu this week for zone training and it was beautiful. Sibiu is just a beautiful area. And this time we went up to the top of one of the towers in Centru and just took a ton of pictures from the top. :) It was fun.
I love you all so much and I can feel you're prayers. Thankyou. You have no idea what it means to me.