Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 14, 2014

Well hello to all,

Another week has come and gone. I really am always so surprised at how fast it goes every week. There are just a lot of things I don't understand.

It has been another hard one. We aren't really sure why either. I wish we could say that everything has just been working out and all of our investigators are progressing and so on. We actually have been dropped by all of our investigators. It was so depressing! I have never wanted to just scream on the top of my lungs and just yell to all these people! Well let me break it down for you though.


Monday: Was the last time we would meet with Vali for at least 3 weeks. The lesson was good. She definitely has some doubts and she spoke a little bit more about them. We just talked about the importance of reading and praying. She even said at a point I believe in God and all that you spoke about with the Plan of Salvation I just don't even know if Jesus Christ really lived. *sigh* Okay, have to teach a few things now. Hopefully she will keep reading. Hopefully she will pray to really know if these things are true. Hopefully she will want to meet with us after 3 weeks. The spirit was there though and it definitely testified of all that we said and I really couldn't ask for more with that.


Tuesday: On the way up to Bucuresti. Gosh how many more times am I going to make the trip? I am not a fan of maxi taxi rides. It wasn't bad though. Zone Training was great and I always just have this huge appreciation for all the missionaries that do serve here and really really do try their best. That really give the Romanian people all that they have. You can see how they have a different light in their eyes then those that just go through the motions. I feel like before my mission I always just thought," Yeah missionaries are great. They serve the Lord. It's just great." I never really knew that there could be bad missionaries or I guess you can't really say bad missionaries but you can say missionaries who aren't here for the right reason. You can completely see the difference in those that let the spirit change them into who the Lord wants them to be and then those that just go through the motions to have the title of a RM or to make their families proud. I think I have just really noticed this lately with people that I have served around and it is so hard to see the difference. It drives me crazy! 

Anyways. As we are walking our of the Mihai Bravu chapel Elder Myler who leaves when I do looks over at me and says," Hey you know we only have two more of those right?" then just walks off. What the heck. Freaked me out a bit. I feel like I am just going to stay here forever. Haha or as Andreea says I don't have a choice I have to stay here. :) It was pretty funny though. We got home later that night and Sora Uhl and I just collapsed into bed.


Wednesday: CONTACTING! Yeah... that was our entire day. We went to have a lesson later on with Andreea and our investigators Alina went to institute and so we played a bit of ping-pong with her and then went and had a lesson with Andreea. It was so fun. Right now we are teaching her mission prep since she really wants to go on a mission. She will probably leave in October since she has to wait a year till she can go and she was baptized last September. We went over a bunch of roll plays and went over the roll of every person. An investigator. A member. A missionary. It was a really cool experience and it was just amazing to watch her feel the spirit and teach me "the investigator" according to my needs. It was such a grateful humbling experience. I know I say it every time but I love her to death. I love this girl. We were actually walking home and she knows that it is not in the best chances that I will stay here in Constanta next transfer, she is trying to figure out a way that I can stay haha. She's funny :) 


Thursday: Had District Meeting it was so good and something I specifically needed. Elder Myler talked about finding the gratitude and happiness when your at the bottom of the ditch. I really really needed. I feel like I have just been having so many trials lately and they haven't stopped or decreased. It was something that I really needed. 

We went contacting after and it just poured on us. I may need to buy some new shoes. My feet can't stay dry anymore. haha. It's kinda funny though taking off my shoes and seeing how wet my feet are :)

Friday: Gosh Friday was a hard day. Such a hard day for me. We went and did our Internet study to try and finish watching some of the later sessions of Conference. We had to leave early though because we had a lesson with Alina. So we get on the bus and I check the phone and we have a message from her. Literally time just stopped and my heart dropped. She told us that she had talked to her "husband" (not her husband yet) and she can't meet with us anymore. She can't pray or do any of those things. She wants to be friends but that was it. I couldn't believe it and quickly talked to her to see if we can meet and talk about this. She responded back and just nope. We decided to stay Orthodox. I'm not going to change religion. And that was it. She said she would come to activities and still wants to be friends... but that was it. 

The weather absolutely matched what my feelings were and it was just pouring rain. I feel like that showers have just been this transfer. Lots and lots of rain. Just wet cold rain. Sora Uhl as we took the cold wet walk to the church we just couldn't help crying and venting. Just why? Why is it that when they are progressing. Reading. Coming to church. Praying. Coming to institute and other activities that they just drop off. Why is it that Satan just has to do everything he can to bring complete unhappiness to God's children. Why? I literally wanted to punch him in the face that day. And have wanted to every day since.
It was just a very cold wet day for us. Sora Uhl and I talked later and we both decided that we need to learn more of how to dance in the rain. I agree. haha. Finding those things of gratitude and joy when your at the bottom. Just trying to put it into practice.

We finished off that day though with lots of contacting with the Elders.


Saturday: Super weird day. Really really weird. A member in our branch his name is Gabi is a missionary in Germany/Switzerland. His father just died and so they had his funeral this Saturday. I only know his Mother since she is the one we have tried to meet with quite often... we haven't actually had success in meeting her. But we all went to the funeral. Let me just say Funerals in other religions are not like they are in our church. I hated it. I'm sorry to say it but I did.
We watched as this priest who is being paid to try and bless the body, and go through this whole ritual. We watched him take out his phone so many times. I wanted to slap him. Does he just not understand that this is a person who just died? Whose family is in mourning and in pain. How can people just do that. I was so angry and upset and sad. I just watched as this family fell to the ground crying because they were in so much pain. The only one who stood quietly with gentle tears falling down his face was Gabi. He's the only member in his family. He was just serving in Switzerland and got permission to come home for a week. You could see in his face how he was so sad that his father was gone. But you could also see the hope and the peace that came from knowing that he can do his father's work. He can unite his family. He will see his dad again and this is not the end. That and I mean that was the only part of the entire funeral that showed hope and peace. It was the face of a member. 

Sometimes I feel like Romania is just so trapped under it's culture and customs. That they just have thousands and thousands of years of history piled on top of each other and they are just buried in it. They can't get it out. They don't know how and sometimes it's just easier doing it this way. It's harder trying to be on top of it. We are just trying though. Planting those seeds. Those small tiny seeds piled with this pouring rain there are bound to be flowers right? April showers brings May flowers.


Sunday: It was a really good Sunday. I so needed it. The spirit was there. And I had a tender mercy from the Lord. After church Sora Uhl was practicing piano and Eva who is the branch president's daughter comes up and scares us. Literally she scared me. I really did jump haha. It was pretty funny. She is 3 and so darling. I start talking to her and she tells me that her mom is mad at her right now. So this is our following conversation

"Eva why is your mom mad at you?

" Cause I stole the other kids toys during primary."
"Well Eva that's not very nice did you say sorry?"
"Well, why not?"

"Because I was mad! I wanted them."
"Eva don't you know that Christ loves all of us and so He wants us to be kind to one another?"
"Maybe you can go tell your mom your sorry and then she'll forgive you like Christ forgives us." 

"Okay I'll go say sorry."
I watch her walk down the stairs and go up to her mom and say," Mommy? I'm sorry I was mean and stole the others toys." 

Her mom forgives her and tells her that they'll say sorry next week to the other kids. Then they start to play together. It was something so tender and so small but it literally made my entire week. It was so special to me that I just couldn't help crying. Yes I have become a baby. Lasa ma. 


This week we have about 20 hours of contacting planned... since well we don't have any lessons. We are praying that we will be able to find some people to teach this week. We are going to try and teach Gabi's mom and sisters and talk to them about the Plan of Salvation. Hopefully we can just touch their hearts and let them know that there really are things to look forward to. Praying for this.


Well. That's all for now!
I love you all. I know this church is true. I really do. I would not be here if I didn't. I love this gospel. I love my Father in Heaven. I love being a missionary. It is the hardest. Literally the hardest thing I have ever done but it's beautiful and I love it. I love seeing how the spirit touches others. I love seeing just how perfect the Gospel is and how it really does change lives. I love it. That's literally what it is. Love. It's perfect.


Love you all.

Sora Stewart


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