Wednesday, April 16, 2014

March 3, 2014

Hello everyone,

Another week has come and gone and it's super weird. I feel like everything just kind of blends together and it makes things super crazy... why is time going so fast. I keep asking myself this question. Sora Ule and I are doing great and I love her. It's pretty funny sometimes at night, she says she is usually a night owl, but she almost always falls asleep during 12 week :) I think it's funny. I blame the jet lag.


We've been really busy this past week which I absolutely love! Early start on Tuesday to go up to Bucuresti for Zone Training. I think it was one of my most favorite zone trainings. Sora Ule and I gave a presentation on Companionship Study. We really wanted to emphasize that in Preach My Gospel it says to prepare to teach... well we don't have a lot of lessons (typically) BUT we can teach all the time. We just have to prepare that time we have to meet certain people while we contact. We can always turn everything we do into a teaching situation. I really loved that they completely focused on the spirit and how we have to follow the spirit in every single situation. I really really loved that :) It was just super great :) Came back pretty late that evening back to Constanta and a crazy man came on the bus with us. Super grateful the Elders were with us and that he was more talking to them then he was us. He was insane. He kept talking about how there was no Christ and that there was only Satan. I just felt so bad. I felt so bad that the knowledge that he really believed could in no way bring him happiness and you can tell by the lifestyle he is choosing to live now... it was just sad.


Wednesday we did some contacting and some studies... nothing super excited. The STL's were coming in so we came in a bit early so we can make them dinner and make their beds and stuff so they would all be ready to go for the next day. We made some great tacos... Oh my heck Mom and Dad thank you so much for the taco seasoning :)


Thursday I went on an exchange with Sora Bischoff and it was so fun. After district meeting and discussing about our English classes that we will have this week (Goal this transfer is to really have successful English classes) we went contacting. trying to put into focus of making everything a teaching opportunity and turning No's into yes's. It was a really fun day and Sora Bischoff is such a good missionary! The sister's in this mission just do an amazing job seriously!


Friday we did some contacting and tried to put up some English Posters... we got stopped by a cop and told us that we didn't have permission... because we had to pay for the spot... It's one of those huge sign areas where everybody just puts up their posters for free but he wouldn't let us... we had already put up 2... he just told us not to put up anymore. So we stopped and ate a covrig as we watched him walk over and look at our English sign. :) It was pretty cool. We had a lesson with Andreea about Faith and Trials especially since her plans so far is to go on a mission. Have I already told you that she is going to be the best missionary in the world? I can't wait to see what she is going to accomplish. I just adore her so so so so so so much! Anyways we really wanted her to try and make a missionary plan now about sharing the gospel with people and inviting them to activities. She agreed to it as she already asks a bunch of people anyways and talks to them about the gospel but she definitely saw how it was important. It was really cool though, the night before when we were planning I asked Sora Ule what she thought we should teach her. Pulling out her record and seeing what else she needs and so on... she sits there for a bit and then comes up with the topic. We both felt that that is what the spirit wanted us to talk about and then when we had the lesson with Andreea she smiles and said I have been thinking about faith and trials this entire week. It was perfect. :) Such a good lesson. So grateful for my companion and all that she is willing to do.


Saturday we did some district contacting for English is the blocks since it was raining. Weather was not on our side last week :) Today is a lot better... anyways. We set up a block knock war sort of thing of if this happens we get so many points and so on. Well we were doing pretty well and I was surprised to see how many people talked to us and listened to us :) Tender mercy from the Lord. Then we go to this one block and this cute adorable old lady is there and we explain who we are and what we do and that we teach English for free. Haha she goes well I don't want to learn I'm an old lady (literally she said baba) but I'll give it to my granddaughter. Then she just starts to talk to us and lets us in immediately gives us food and just starts to talk to us. Her husband was there and they were so nice! We started to talk about families and how important they are. We stayed there as long as we could since we had a lesson pretty soon after but we asked if we could come by again and she was so funny she says,"Anytime you want to see an old lady I'll be here come on by." And then starts to laugh. She was adorable! We are going to try and visit them again this week.

We also had another lesson with Vali and Daniela. Last week we had challenged them to pray using their own words and we taught them how to pray and everything. They were super hesitant just cause they felt that it was a little weird that we don't use fix prayers and we even say prayers out loud. But they did agree to do it. So when we sat down and talked about it they did it. They both prayed and used their own words. It was so cool and the spirit was there. Daniela I guess had a situation where she had to decide what to do and decided to try to pray and see what she needed to do. She literally asked a question to Heavenly Father and almost immediately she knew what she needed to do. She felt so calm and peaceful and she said it was wonderful. Vali told us that when she was praying she just felt that she had been forgiven from what she has done. They both had a wonderful experience which led us more into our discussion about the Book of Mormon. Neither of them have read the Bible and they really don't understand scripture, but after testifying and promising them that they will understand and how the Lord will bless their lives they both took copies of the Book of Mormon and said they would read.
You know something I really love about Romania is that they are for the most part all very very very faithful. They all pray in some way or another. They may not pray with their own words or have all the truth that we have but when we just add the truth that we have their eyes are opened and it's amazing to see all that the Lord can do in their lives when they are willing. I love it. I love Romania. I love the people. I just love it :)

Sunday. MARTISOR! Oh my gosh I haven't explained that yet. Martisor is a holiday here it's like the celebration of Spring. There are a bunch of little markets that have these red and white ribbons on it and then like these little charm things. They are super cute. So tons of people buy them and give it to all the women for martisor. So Sunday I think Sora Ule and I got 5 different things for Martisor. It was so neat! Oh I forgot to say that we got Martisor things from our investigators Vali and Daniela the night before :) They were cute. And we got one from this cute lady that works in the Library that I love to talk and chat with :) She loves us missionaries. Anyways Sunday. We walk in and a ton of Sora Mihaela's family was there her mother and law and her son came and her friend came. She's a wonderful example of a member missionary for reals! So all of us women all received a ton of different charm things and some super good chocolate. I have a problem with chocolate here I know... Anyways it was just a great Sunday. We did have an incident with a member in Sacrament meeting calling out members from the church and saying that they were dealing with Fraud... it was bad. This poor little branch.... we have a great branch president though and great members who all know that she does have a problem she has severe schizophrenia... so we were able to continue with church and the spirit was still there. Later we went over to Sora Mihaiela's family for dinner and a lesson. We really wanted to know what sisters she wanted us to visit and to do with them. When we told her we had to leave she didn't want us to go, her husband and her both asked us to just stay the night. It was pretty funny. hahaha She's the sweetest member and her family is AMAZING! Love them.


Well that's about all. I'll just share a bit of what I have been studying lately and what I have been thinking. Romania is hard. It's a hard country and we have so few members here. We have probably 20 members that come to church every week and Constanta is a bigger branch compared to others... its been so amazing to me to watch their sacrifice that they give to the Lord every single week to come to church and be a member in this church. Our dear sweet Andreea had to tell me that when she became a member so many of her friends rejected her and that they had wanted her to still be the same person she was so she had to step away from them. And even though there is really nobody her age in this church... her mother is against the church... and so many other things she comes to church every single week. She goes to institute and she meets with us. She ALWAYS reads the scriptures. I swear we receive a text from her everyday of a quote or a scripture or something. The members here are like this. They are amazing. It just makes me realize how much I have taken for granted. You know at home we have a chapel that is filled with people every Sunday. Here we have a villa... The missionaries have to pass and bless the sacrament every week. They don't have a pianist unless a missionary knows how to play and most of them are single members of their families. They sacrifice so much and it's because they know that every week when they go to church they are renewing their covenants with God. They are being healed. That's why they come it's not to socialize or do any of that. But it's so that they can be completely healed and know at that moment they are doing the will of the Father. That's what this life is about is not doing our will. Really not caring about what we feel like if we are embarrassed or scared or out of our comfort zones it is doing the will of the Lord. Going to church. Reading our scriptures. Serving others this is what we have to do. I just hope by sharing this that we can all see the tender mercy that we have in our life that the church where we are is huge. We aren't chastised for being a different religion and we have people always that are there to lift us. Be SO GRATEFUL and just try to do what He wants. It's okay to be uncomfortable. Haha trust me. I've been uncomfortable here in Romania since day one. But if I was comfortable I wouldn't have learned and grown as much as I have.


I love you all so much! I expect LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF PICTURES of baby KIANA! I can't wait!

Sora Stewart

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