Wednesday, April 16, 2014

March 24, 2014

Hello to all!

This was a hard, amazing, beautiful, full of blessings kind of week. The weather still makes me mad. It was beautiful and sunny (I didn't have to wear tights which is the most amazing thing) and then it gets cold and foggy and ughhh... WHY!? haha. In general it was a really good week though and I love weeks like this. We literally accomplished almost every single one of our goals besides our contacting hours. Which means HELLO we had investigators at CHURCH! AMAZING! I will get to that later on though he he he :)


Sora Uhl and I this week really thought over and have prayed a lot over what these people need, specifically, what our investigators need. We both kept coming back to the same things. Simplicity. Just teach simply. So that's what we did.


Tuesday. We had a lesson with Vali. After our lesson with the Restoration, really overwhelming with tons of new information, we decided to teach really simply about the Godhead. What their role is, what they do for us, characteristics, and what it really means to us. It was so special to see how we taught it, how her responses were, and how with the spirit there and the spirit influencing everything she started to change her perspecitive. It was so beautiful.

Practically started tearing up with Sora Uhl started talking about the Holy Ghost. It was so cool. To see how the spirit was just moving through her. She was intre-adevar an instrument in the hand of God. You can just feel how much He really loves Vali and how He really wants her to understand. It was beautiful. After our lesson Sora Uhl looked up at me and smiled and said," I have no idea what I said." Tender mercy.


We "taught" English class after. Now we really didn't teach since nobody came to class. Andreea came in though and started talking to me. Sora Uhl started drawing on the board. *see attached picture* It was also another tender mercy as Andreea started talking to me, she didn't like one of the missionaries that is here currently and as she talked to me, asked me to close the door, and then says," Sora Stewart I apologized to him." I was in shock. Didn't know what to say. Was super super confused. I knew what she was talking about, but I didn't know what happened. She continues on and says," I judged him and I was wrong. I thought he wasn't a good missionary. I though this and this and this. I was so wrong. And I feel so bad. I just had to tell him that I was sorry because he is a good missionary." This new convert of 6 months has already grasped a huge concept of repentance and forgiveness. I love her. I can't deny that my heart just swelled and I just wanted to hug her and I wanted to cry because what she did is so hard. To let go of pride. Just say sorry. Just let it go, don't let being offended stop you. She did it all. It was a beautiful day. Beautiful beautiful day.


Wednesday. We were leaving on Thursday which was Andreea's birthday so we decided to go out to lunch with her on Wednesday. It was like a literal Andreea day. Haha. We went and had Chinese food and she wanted to go to the top of the Muslim mosque that over looks the whole city. It was so cool. Andreea during lunch shared some things she was learning in the Book of Mormon and wants to know more about agency. Haha I would too actually. We had a lesson with Alina and she came to institute. Seriously. Blessing. She had to leave early because she had to go to the doctors but she came. She came to institute. She started to answer questions. She read from the Book of Mormon. Progress. That's all I am asking for. I will be patient. I just know how happy she can be with these things.


Thursday. Well we had like a half day here in Constanta because we had to leave to get into Bucuresti. Sorry I don't know how to spell it the American way now... my bad. We had district meeting and Elder McAllister taught it actually. It was so good. He talked about love which is my favorite topic ever. I am just never adequate at this. I try. But oh goodness I can improve. It was a beautiful lesson really and I'm really grateful for it.


Sora Uhl and I hadn't really done much contacting this week. Ughh. I still struggle with contacting. How I hate it. haha. I'm trying not too. And this week we are going to try and get 20 hours of contacting. And we have a busy schedule. But to get more contacting in we decided we would just put all our stuff in these backpacks we bought... yeah mine ripped already *sigh*... then we would do some street contacting. We walk about 5 feet and then we get stopped by this lady. I don't know her name but she kissed me like 5 times. haha. It was funny. She used to come to English class but I have never taught her and she loves missionaries. Her husband used to be an investigator but no longer is meeting with the Elders. She was so cute though so I just took the opportunity and asked her if we could meet at some time and talk. Of course she loved that idea. And wants us to come over and talk to her. Haha we will see how that goes :) The rest of the time we tried to contact with our survey. We stopped a few people but nobody had time. Ughh dangit. I felt really bad because there weren't many people on the streets our back packs were heavy and it was a good 2 hour walk to the gara. We did it and we did talk to people but not any that were interested at this point. Poor Sora Uhl. It was hot and it was just hard. We both got some great blisters from it though. :) Note to self don't do street contacting with heavy backpacks on.

We went and stayed with the Aviatiei sisters. It was like a sleep over with all my past companions. :) haha it was really fun. I loved it.


Friday. Zone conference. Beautiful as always. I loved it. :) It was really hard though. I had to watch some of my dearest friends give their dying testimonies (basically people who are going home this transfer and next) Sora Gerhartz my dear Sora Gerhartz had to get up! Dangit. haha. Almost started crying. Was pretty close. We learned a lot more about how to actually use Family History in contacting and I really want to do it. I think Family History contacting if we had all the resources we did in the states would be amazing here. The hard thing is that none of them have ancestors that are already put on Family Search. They have to go visit grave sites and go to all these different places to find their records. The search is trying to digitalize all of their records though for free. So we are in the process of that. I hope and pray that in a few years missionaries will really be able to use this tool.


President Hill talked about rejection. Haha normal. That happens a lot here. Something he said though was, " They are not rejecting you, or even the Savior, they are rejecting the opinion/image of what you do." It's so true. They really don't know me or what I do. They just know that we go and knock on people's doors. That we preach and try to call repentance and get people baptized. It's all true. Just they don't appreciate that until the really do get to know us. We just have to do all that we are able to do in the moments we can. We have to just bear testimony. We have to love them. No matter what. We have to serve them. Smile. Laugh. Let them know that their is hope. There is light. There is happiness.


I feel like to this point on my mission I have been able to do all of this to the best of my ability. I know that maybe I haven't had the most baptisms or the most converts. But gosh darnit. I love these people. They make me laugh. They are so stubborn sometimes and I still love them. I love them and they make me smile. I love it how I say Hi to every single person and a person stops and walks back to me and says Hi back and then looks and says," I don't know you do I." I only tell them,"Nope, I just wanted to say hello." Then the biggest smile comes across their face and they laugh a little embarrassed and confused. It's my favorite :) I love Romania. It's so hard, but I love it. I know miracles will happen someday here. I just have to do what I can now :) I will just do what the Lord wants me to do.


Saturday. Really super super long great day. We had a really early start as we had a lesson with Alina (other Alina sorry) She didn't read her scriptures so we read together and then talked about it a little. She is so funny and has so much light to her. We talked about the foundation of the gospel and she was just marking scriptures as we read together. I love reading scriptures with my investigators. Before we could even ask her. She told us that she would be reading and wanted more chapters to read and then would be coming to church tomorrow. Sora Uhl and my jaws basically dropped. haha it was a tender moment.


We had English Class and it was really fun. We played a game called would you rather. There are some funny funny things in that game. Our students really enjoyed it too.


We had another lesson with Vali after our lesson and we were going to talk more about God's plan for us. We asked her to read 3 Nephi 11 and she read it but didn't understand anything. She was really frustrated about that and didn't know why we kept asking her to read it if she didn't understand anything. We didn't want her to feel this frustration, because I know this frustration haha. So we decided to read it together and break it apart. It was AMAZING. We started reading and applying it to what we feel and how she feels. About how special it was that the Savior came to these people. We were just going to stop and then go more on about God's plan but when we stopped she looked up at us with eager eyes and asked, " Do we have to stop? Can we read some more?" Umm yup. Haha. I was so excited and surprised. We would read a couple of verses and then she would stop and say what she felt like it was saying and would look up to see if she was right and we would just nod. She had a sweet smile on her face.  She is really starting to get excited about the gospel. She starting to gain this further light and understanding. I'm so grateful that I can be a missionary and I can just see this process. It's so special. So so special to be a part of this.


Sora Uhl was asked to give a talk on Sunday and because we found out on Friday we had to go and write her talk. This girl freaking did it all by herself. I was amazed. It was beautiful. It was too funny too. She was reading it off to me so I could see if their were any mistakes and she goes, "Today I want to talk about bees." Haha I started busting up laughing. I had to ask her, " You are going to talk about bees." She laughed and said yup. That's my topic. Is how to be like bees and work and serve together. She was just looking for that big reaction.


Sunday. We had two investigators at church!!!!!! WHAT! I know. I know. It's a miracle! It really was haha. Tender mercy. Literally I jumped up and down in my living room knowing that both of our Alina's were coming to church. Alina (one with baptismal date) came for all 3 hours. Relief Society was a little rough since their was some false doctrine taught and then that started off a fight. *sigh* We were so close to not having any of that. But it was good nevertheless. We talked about sacrifices in Sunday School and Sacrament was beautiful. Our other investigator Alina came just for Sacrament but after she said that she just wants to come all the time. It was really special.


We did some weekly planning. We have so much planned for this week. Literally we will have a lot of lessons. With our recent converts, investigators, members. And we are going to contact for 20 hours. That is our goal. We can do it I know we can!!!!! It'll be hard, but I know we can do it. I just feel so blessed. We have been given people to teach and love. I serve in one of the best branches. I love these people. I love my district. My companion is AMAZING. I love it. I am so blessed. Just so blessed.


I love you all. Just remember to count your blessings!


Sora Stewart



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