Christ’s Grace Is Sufficient

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hello Everyone!!

How are you all? I love getting all your emails and I’m sorry I never have time to respond to you all – just know that I will do my best to respond when I can and that I LOVE you all for emailing me. It really means the world. 🙂

So this week…. I can’t even remember what happened so let’s go day by day.

Tuesday: We left super early to catch a train to Buc for our Zone Training Meeting. Our zone met at the chapel in Panduri. It was fun to see other missionaries. Elder Dronyk from my MTC district was there and it was great to see him. Sora Newell and I gave a presentation for 20 minutes about Christlike attributes which was fun to do. We had the rest of the day in Buc before our train left that evening. I was able to get mail (Thanks Mom! 🙂 ) and stop by the office for a bit with some other missionaries. We tried to do some shopping afterwards but I got bored, haha, so we left and caught our train back to Pitesti.

Wednesday: We had lessons up in Campulung which are always fun. I love meeting with the recent converts up there. They have such incredible faith and enthusiasm. We’re doing our best to help them more fully understand the way the church works now which is kind of difficult, especially because so much is different here in Romania. But they are so willing and want to do all they can to be better. Our STL’s [sister training leaders] came down from Buc that night and we had dinner together (We made homemade mac & cheese! It was fantastic.) and then talked about what we were going to do the next day, and then talked about boys and did our nails. We’re still girls, even out here on missions. 🙂

Thursday: Exchanges! Thursday was awesome. I was on an exchange with Sora Case and Sora Newell worked with Sora Wright. We did our studies in these companionships and Sora Case really helped me get some good language principles down, which was helpful. We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant we found in Centru! It was good, especially cause it’s so rare to find Chinese here in Romania. Then we went contacting! We just started talking to people. I loved it. I had no idea what was being said but I would say stuff when Sora Case looked at me, haha. Some people thought I was mute and others could tell I just didn’t know how to speak Romanian yet. They’re super patient with me, though, which is awesome. We had this survey that we would ask people if they would do and then we would ask them questions. As they answered we would teach and testify about what the question had asked. It was a cool way to contact and most people were willing to stop and participate/talk with us. We found several people who said they were interested in talking with us more. We handed out a Book of Mormon and one man even said he would like to come to church! So that was exciting! All in all it was a great day and I set a lot of new goals for myself that I’m excited to work on and fulfill.

Friday: Friday was weekly planning day! These days are hard for me because I want to be out working! But I guess weekly planning is work, just a different kind of work. Here’s a President Hill-ism for you all: “I don’t want to you weakly plan; I want you to strongly plan!” Haha, he’s too great. During my planning/before bed I was reading the talk “His Grace is Sufficient” again by Brad Wilcox. I love this talk. I feel like I find something new every time I read it. I cry every time I read it because I cannot comprehend how I am so blessed to have my Savior. The Atonement is such a wonderful and important gift. I hope that we all use it daily to become more like Christ, for that is how we can truly show Him that we love Him. And if you haven’t read this talk, GO READ IT RIGHT NOW. You will have such a different perspective on the grace of the Savior, and hopefully a renewed strength. 🙂

Saturday: Sora Newell and I decided to walk all over Pitesti and do contacting. We literally walked all. over. Pitesti. Our goal was to know more of the city so that we can contact places we haven’t gone before and not just stick to the same places. We explored and as we did, we did major English contacting, passing out cards with the information of our class on them and telling people about the class. Most people were happy and took our cards and the ones that weren’t, well, they’re missing out on actually hearing me speak! Ha, all joking aside, it was a great day! We got TAN LINES. That’s when you know you’re doing it right. Sora Newell has the best ones on her feet. I’ll send pictures next week cause I forgot the card reader that I have at home.

Sunday: We had District Conference! It was wonderful. Our little chapel was full! We also had all of our recent converts there which we weren’t expecting because they told us they had to work. I was so incredibly happy. My little friend, little Alexandra, was there and she sat by me for all of Sacrament meeting and colored in my notebook. She’s darling. We had a lesson with all of them before Sacrament about Fasting, which went well. President and Sora Hill were there from Buc and also President Doru and his wife Anna-Maria. It was so great to see the Hills!! They are wonderful and were worried about us and asked how we were doing and if we were ok. I love how much they care about us all. During Sacrament meeting, at the very end President Hill spoke and had President Doru translate for him. It was so wonderful to hear part of Sacrament in English. I didn’t realize how much I had missed that. Sacrament meeting can be hard for me because I really don’t understand much of what anyone says. But I can feel the Spirit that is there which is what really counts. We had a shorter Sunday School and then Relief Society. Again, I didn’t understand much but then at the end Sora Hill spoke and had a member here translate for her and it was great. Then President Doru’s wife bore her testimony and was quite emotional. The Spirit was so strong as this wonderful woman testified to us that she knew that Christ lives and that He is our Savior. She testified of the blessings that she has seen in her family’s life because of the Gospel and of how much she loved Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It was beautiful. Sora Newell and I went home after correlation with the Branch Mission Leader and finally made ourselves some food. That night we listened to a bunch of the Conference talks that Dad put on my iPod. I love listening to these men and women. We listened to Elder Bednar’s talk, Elder Oak’s, Elder Holland’s, President Uchtdorf’s and a few others. Then we had them playing as we went to bed. Ha, we woke up at 3 in the morning and they were still playing.

Monday: Today has been great! We got up at 5:30 to go to Curtea de Argeș, which is this town in the countryside that has this incredibly old and beautiful monastery. This town kind of reminded me of the Romanian equivalent of Park City or something. It was nice and because it was early in the morning, it wasn’t hot yet. There was this wonderful breeze and I just loved being outside in this beautiful town. The monastery was stunning inside! I have never seen anything like it. There were ornate paintings and decorations everywhere. I came away and, while I loved the monastery, was grateful for the reverent simplicity of our chapels and temples. Everything in our Church is centered on Christ. It was interesting to notice that the depictions of the different Saints in this monastery were larger than any of the paintings of Christ. I am grateful that we recognize who is most important, our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. After that, the Elders really really wanted a shawarma, even though it was like 9:30 in the morning, so they went to get those while Sora Newell and I went to a little restaurant and had brunch there. Guys, I think I am eating too much chocolate and too many crepes. I had an omelette and then crepes for breakfast today. But ya know, I don’t even feel badly about it. In fact, it might just be the best thing ever. Dad, you should step up your crepes and add ICE CREAM next time. Just sayin’. And no, it is never ever too early for ice cream. True fact ☺. The rest of the day has been quite routine, doing some shopping, emailing, etc. I love talking to all of you! It’s the best part of my day :).

Thank you for everything! I love reading your emails and hearing about everyone!! You are constantly in my prayers and I think of you all often! Go read General Conference talks. They are scripture and it’s SO SO important for us to read them. We will be judged according to the words which we have, which include the GC talks. 🙂

Love you!!!
Stay classy 🙂



The beauty of green, delicious food, and a hug from a child…

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 9:12 a.m. (6:12 p.m. Romanian time)

Hello Hello!!!

I am officially in Romania!! It is beautiful here! I love it. 🙂 It’s insanely beautiful.
Emily with her MTC district at the SLC airport headed for Romania, via Detroit and Amsterdam

Emily with her MTC district at the SLC airport headed for Romania, via Detroit and Amsterdam

We left the MTC at the ungodly hour of 5 am for the SLC airport where we took off for Detroit. It was Sora Cox’s first time on a plane and she loved it! We were all worried about making our flight to Amsterdam from Detroit because we only had a 30 minute wait between when we arrived and when we departed for Amsterdam but the Lord gave us a flight delay of almost two hours so we didn’t miss our flight.

We traveled safely and got to sleep which was amazing. I have never slept so hard in my entire life. It was fantastic. Sora Honey, Sora Timmins and I all ended up next to each other in a row of three on our flight to Amsterdam which was great because we didn’t have to accidentally fall asleep on any strangers.
Flying in to Amsterdam was so pretty. Europe is GREEN, people–significantly more so than Utah, which I appreciate, having grown up in Boston where it’s really green too. It felt so familiar. We hopped onto another short flight from Amsterdam to București and then we were there.

Emily with President and Sora Hill in Cismigiu Park in Bucharest where, in 1990, Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated the land of Romania for the preaching of the gospel

Emily with President and Sora Hill in Cismigiu Park in Bucharest where, in 1990, Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated the land of Romania for the preaching of the gospel

President and Sora Hill were waiting for us to arrive and were so friendly and welcoming. The Hills are fantastic.  They say “hello” to Grandma Lee and told me over and over how much they loved her and how great she is.  President said that they were on the same cruise together and that Grandma was his dancing partner which was cute.  The APs were there as well to help with bags and things so we all loaded up into two cars. We drove to the mission home where we had interviews with President and Sora Hill and chatted with the APs and the Office Elders who were also there. When we were finished, they gave us a bunch of papers that we started going over together.
We had dinner together and then we all went to Cișmigiu, which is the park where Elder Nelson dedicated the mission. We read his dedicatory prayer and then sang “I Stand All Amazed” in Romanian. We were all singing this hymn and then in the background of the park a bad song came on and you could totally hear it. What a total contradiction.
One of the member families was there with us and they had two little girls who are the most adorable girls ever. When we were all talking afterwards, they kept coming up to me and playing with my neck pillow saying, “Ce frumose!” over and over (“It’s beautiful!’). I saw how much they loved this pillow so I finally said to the older one, “Pentru tine,” but she didn’t fully understand. I had another Sora help me explain to her that I wanted her to have it and when she understood, her face completely lit up and she gave me the biggest hug. I loved it. 🙂
After that, we went with our Nașes (godmothers, and I probably spelled that wrong in Romanian….sorry teachers 🙂 ) who are the sisters living in Buc, back to their apartment so we could go to sleep. One of them, Sora Hovey, woke up at 5 the next morning to make us pancakes before we left! It was so nice.
That day we did all logistical things. We were at the mission office by 7 and then went with the office elders (Elder Reed and Elder Montoya) to have a “medical exam” for our visas. All they did was ask us our age and if we had any chronic diseases. Easy enough. We were there for about 1.5 hours though!
We went to get lunch after that, which meant we got to experience our first Romanian mall. I was able to get a new camera, thankfully :).  It had been stolen on our flight to Amsterdam, along with my new glasses. Then we got money from an ATM and then we had KFC (just for you, Frate Vizante!). You should’ve seen us trying to order. It was the funniest thing, for everyone involved. Sora Timmins was ordering chicken and the woman asked her if she would like crispy or regular (or something like that). She looked all confused for a second and then just said, “Da” (“Yes”). Everyone started laughing and then they tried to speak to us in English which was almost harder to understand than the Romanian for some reason. It was a struggle, but it was great. We stopped by the visa office next and were there for almost 4 hours I think. Highlights of that include:
– Sora Anderson falling asleep
– The cutest little Chinese boy who we befriended
– Elder Bodystun talking about marriage and being a dad
We headed to the gara next to meet our trainers and leave for our cities! We met up with a bunch of other missionaries. So many of them know Nelson, so it was fun to talk to them (Elder Rose, Elder Mayans, Elder Daland, Elder Poulsen). Elder Rose actually was in the university ward back in Boston so we talked a lot about that and people we both know. Crazy how small the church is! It was super fun to meet all these new people but it was FREEZING. I was so so cold. Elder Daland gave me his nice coat which helped but I was still cold. Winter is gonna be tons of fun.
My trainer’s name is Sora Newell and she’s fantastic. We already have this running list of ways we are super similar. It’s insane how many little strange things we have in common. We are serving in Pitești, which is a “harder” city but I love it. It’s pretty and I love the people.
View of Campulung

View of Campulung

My second day we took a maxi taxi to a town called Câmpulung, where we taught two lessons! The city is so beautiful. We were teaching some recent converts and then some investigators. From their apartment you can see beautiful mountains. It’s stunning. I love it, love it, love it.  (The view from our apartment isn’t as pretty but is super green.  Our place is nice. We live in “blocs” leftover from Communist days–interesting.)

Mountains near Campulung

Mountains near Campulung

These people are the sweetest. I love them. One of the women walked us back down the street and the whole time was telling me, “Tu ești forte frumosa” (“You are so beautiful”) over and over and telling us “Te iubesc” (“I love you”). She’s amazing. Their faith is so strong. To hear them talk about how their lives have been completely changed since being taught and then being baptized is so inspiring.

Beautiful mountains near Campulung

Beautiful mountains near Campulung

During one of our lessons, this woman got mad at her niece and the little girl started to cry. Her name is Alexandra, is nine years old, and she was recently baptized.  She is beautiful and has really dark hair and eyelashes.  Everyone got kind of quiet and didn’t know what to do, so I got down and started talking to this little girl. She’s about the same age as Julia so it was easy to speak with her. I said, “Did you know that I have 6 sisters and 1 brother? One of them is only 8 years old. I miss her a lot because I’m here in Romania. So I love to be here with you because you remind me of my little sister.” As I was saying all of this, the room became perfectly quiet and there was this still, sweet spirit that filled the room. She smiled and we are going to be good friends. It was a really neat experience.

After our lessons we were walking back to the maxi taxis and stopped to get a Pateu cu Brânză, which is like a flaky square croissant filled with melted cheese. It was so delicious. (On that note, the food here is AMAZING. I feel like I’m eating real food again–real eggs instead of powdered, amazing chocolate, chicken, rice, vegetables, etc., as well as some of the best juice I’ve ever had.  I bought this pineapple juice that you would die over.  I’ve had blood orange juice too. I am happy :).) As we were walking, we got cat called/weirdly hissed at/whispered at, but that’s normal for sister missionaries. It’s been an adjustment to not react.



I did contacting! That was an experience too. And it was only English contacting which they say is the easiest kind. It made me realize how hard it is for me to actually talk to people and not be afraid. So that’s what I’m working on this week (and probably for the rest of my mission, haha) – talking to everyone.
We had church yesterday and it’s so different here, but yet so similar. There are mostly men, but there were four women there besides us sisters yesterday. It was hard for me to get a lot out of the talks because I can’t understand anyone very well. But what I loved is that the Sacrament feels exactly the same. The ordinance is the same all over the world. It’s amazing and so beautiful and I’m certainly blessed to be able to partake of it. Some of our members can’t take it every week because there isn’t a group/branch where they are so they only get to have it twice a month. Don’t ever take your opportunity to partake of the Sacrament for granted. It is so so vitally important.
The elders asked me to lead the hymns. So I get up there to lead, and literally NO ONE SINGS. Or at least it felt like that because everyone was so quiet. It was slow and I could hear little mumblings here and there but like, nothing. I was giving a solo my first day at church. It was like that for the opening, sacrament and then the rest hymn. I was dying. Then halfway through the talks, a member walks in (who looks like a member of the mafia, no joke) and sits down in the congregation. When it was time for the closing hymn, I stand and walk to the front, listen to the piano introduction and raise my arm to lead everyone. When they started to “sing,” I had to almost turn around and compose myself because all of a sudden there was this huge operatic voice coming from the members. It was this late guy. Not even kidding, he sounded like all three of the three tenors in one body. I was dying, trying not to laugh. I look back and the other new elder and I make eye contact as he busts up laughing through the entire hymn. It was fantastic. Our branch is so fun. Then during Sunday School, once again I have no idea what is going on but these awesome Romanian men are all sitting there not even discussing what the lesson is, but discussing Stalin. Stalin. This is definitely going to be fun.
Pitesti neighborhood

Pitesti neighborhood

Today we’ve gone grocery shopping, met up with our elders for lunch and ice cream and now we’re emailing. Standard p-day stuff. I love it here. Pitești is wonderful. We’re going to work a ton with our less active members and get them all coming back to church hopefully. I just want to teach everyone. I wish I could just teach like they did at the start of missionary work during the Restoration where they had big meetings with lots of people. That would be amazing.
Pitesti neighborhood street

Pitesti neighborhood street

I love this county, I love these people and I love what I am doing. I honestly haven’t had a bad day since being here. Sure, I’ve been exhausted, freezing, confused, overwhelmed, scared, etc. But there hasn’t been a bad day. Every day is great. Every day is fantastic. And every day is so much fun. 
I love you all and I’m praying for you all! Keep praying, and please, please, please read your scriptures and go to the temple. I already miss the temple tons. It is a wonderful place where we gain strength, receive revelation and show our Heavenly Father how much we love Him. We should try to go as often as we can. 
Stay classy!!!
Emily (Sora Marcheschi)
P.S. Teachers! All the missionaries here have been so impressed at all the different words we know, so you did well!! Thank you again, for everything you did for us in the MTC. You are amazing! And please tell the new Romania/Moldova missionaries that we love them already and that they are going to love these countries 🙂 Just so you know (I don’t know if the older missionaries will email you or not), this is where we all are:
Sora Marcheschi – Pitești
Sora Honey – Brașov
Sora Anderson – Băcau
Sora Timmins – Sibiu
Sora Cox – Chișinău
Vârstnicul Boydstun – Arad
Vârstnicul Weis – Mihai Bravu
Vârstnicul Dronyk – Craiova
We’re all doing great! 🙂
There is a park in centru in Pitesti where all these old men come and play backgammon (or "table," pronounced "tah-bley") and it's the cutest thing.

There is a park in centru in Pitesti where all these old men come and play backgammon (or “table,” pronounced “tah-bley”) and it’s the cutest thing.

In Romania!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Emily with President and Sora Hill in Cismigiu Park in Bucharest where, in 1990, Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated the land of Romania for the preaching of the gospel

Emily with President and Sora Hill in Cismigiu Park in Bucharest where, in 1990, Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated the land of Romania for the preaching of the gospel

Sister HIll wrote us the following email:

Dear Brother and Sister Marcheschi,

President Hill and I were thrilled to meet Sister Marcheschi as she arrived in the Bucuresti airport with her MTC group. The whole group seemed very happy finally to be in the mission field after their weeks in the MTC. She was surprisingly awake after her long flights. President Hill had an enjoyable interview with her, where he learned more about this young woman, and I got to spend some time with her too. We were both pleased with the ease with which she fits in, and by her maturity. We were delighted to find out that, as we suspected, she’s the granddaughter of one of our favorite people, Leora. I’m sure you are very proud of her!  Thank you very much for sending her to us.

That first day was long for them! After our interviews with each missionary, we all had a little chili at the mission home with her MTC group, during which we gave them some information about the mission. Then, in cool weather, we met at Cismigiu Park where, in 1990, Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated the land of Romania for teaching the gospel. Together, we snapped a picture of SisterMarcheschi with President Hill and me. I’m attaching the picture for you to see. Then, she was whisked away to spend the night with the sister missionaries.

This morning, the incoming missionaries started a rather long process for obtaining their visas. When that is done, they will meet their first companions. Sister Marcheschi will travel by train with her first companion, Sister Newell, to Pitesti. Sister Newell is a competent, serious missionary who, we hope, will give her an excellent start. Pitesti has some special challenges right now, and I think these two missionaries will do well together to help this little branch and the other group that’s forming outside the city.

Thanks again for sending us such a wonderful young missionary. We could tell she will be a very good, faithful, hard-working missionary.

With much appreciation,

Sister Hill
Romania/Moldova Mission

“I am His.”

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.

Hello Hello!

How is everyone?? This last week was fantastic. Here goes:

We have now heard from FIVE Apostles. Elder Holland came to talk with us last night and we sat so close. I could literally feel his stare. It was intense. I had an amazing experience as I sat and listened to him. He speaks with such power and such devotion. I’m going to share notes here because his talk was so powerful.

– “My mission has meant everything to me…. I came home changed forever in ways I hope I can always be true to.”

– My mission has affected every single significant decision since coming home – every good thing has come through that little tiny narrow channel of 24 months.

– Don’t ever turn your back on this MTC experience or on the Gospel that you’ve been called to preach.

– “I want your mission to mean to you what mine means to me, that’s what I want.”

– Preach My Gospel was made “because the missionaries were not getting the message.” It was made to convert the missionary.

– President Hinckley said: “If any missionary can come home and be less active, something’s wrong.”

– At the heart and soul of the matter, we are bringing people unto Christ, not unto baptism.

– Baptism is an outcome of bringing people unto Christ and His Atonement.

– Repentance and Baptism are for REMISSION OF SINS, not just membership in the church.

– We ALL take the gift of the Holy Ghost TOO LIGHTLY. It is the most universal gift Heavenly Father gives to His children. It is under-acknowledged, under-appreciated, and under-used.

– This is the closest to REAL LIFE that we’ll ever be (being on missions). There isn’t an “old life.” We are new people, born again, filled with the Spirit.

– “I can’t think about losing any of the sheep (investigators, others); but I can’t conceive of losing the shepherds.” (He was crying at this point. So powerful.)

– “This has to mean everything to you…. It is the best thing you’ve ever done with your life. You’ve never done anything so right. In your whole life, you’ve never done anything so right.”

– “Don’t ever, ever walk away from this…. I can promise you one convert, and I think I can ask it… The convert I ask is yourself…. YOU can endure to the end.”

– “You are going to know what it feels like to walk with a member of the Godhead. You will know what it means and feels like to be divine.”

– “I believe that missionary work is not easy, because it was never ever easy for the Living Son of God.”

– “We have a lot of scriptures describing His tears. And that He was a man of sorrows. You have to be prepared to feel those feelings.”

– “What is a disciple of Christ? It is someone who walks where He walked. Says what He said. Feels what He felt. And sheds tears like He shed tears.”

– “The road to salvation goes through the Garden of Gethsemane. And it always goes through Calvary.”

– “It is never too much to offer, never too much to declare your discipleship.”

– “You may take a step or two towards Calvary, but you’re never going to have to carry any crosses….. Salvation was never a cheap experience. It always cost everything. And it always cost Him everything.

– “You are saviors on Mount Zion. You are angels of the everlasting truth.”

Then he bore sweet and powerful testimony that He lives, and that he (Elder Holland) will testify of that until his last breath. That the last words to leave his mouth will be “This is the truth. Jesus is the Christ…” He was crying. We were crying. The Spirit was filling the entire room and every heart that was seeking it. It was amazing. I came away changed and had a sweet experience in my prayers that night with my Heavenly Father. 🙂 I feel so blessed to be here and to be and do whatever the Lord wants me to be and to do. I am His. I will do what He wants in whatever way He asks. I don’t ever want to be anything but His servant for the rest of my life. I owe my Heavenly Father and my Savior, my Redeemer Jesus Christ, SO much. I have been studying the Atonement of Christ, and the grace of Christ and trying to comprehend it all. I am so grateful for Jesus—for His love, for His patience, for His willingness to suffer and die for me. I love Him with all my heart and I will never be the same because He has done so much for me. I want to do everything I can for the rest of my life to show Him my gratitude and my love. After the devotional I felt like we needed to have a zone testimony meeting instead of just talking as districts. We met all together and just bore testimony of what we knew, and shared things we liked from the devotional. I have been so grateful for all the people in my zone. They have changed me in so many ways and I love them all.

Ok. Spiritual gush aside. 🙂 Here are some other things about this week that were amazing.

On Thursday we got to do TRC (where we teach members/less active members) with people in ROMANIA. We skyped with a sweet lady named Lydia who was the CUTEST. If all the old ladies are like that I’m going to have tons of grandmas which will be awesome. I am SO excited to be there, especially after TRC and then Elder Holland’s address to us. I just want to teach everyone and love everyone.

We had our last lesson with one of our investigators, Emil. I was so sad I may have cried. Hahaha, lame I know but I just love him tons, and he’s not even a real investigator! I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like when I’m teaching people in Romania.

Utah weather has been at its prime: rain and wind last Wednesday, a few days of warmth and sunshine, and it’s back to rain. Gotta love it.

Sister Timmins tied my shoe this week. It was exciting, hahahaha. 🙂

All our German zone friends left for Germany on Tuesday morning so we had a little goodbye thing Monday night and got to say goodbye to them. It was super quiet in our halls the next day and it made the fact that we leave in a week, even more real.

Stephen, did you get your journal and things I sent you!? I have one exactly like it, but one of my friends here carved drawings into the front and back. I’ll send you a picture of it soon. I was hoping you would use it to write down spiritual impressions, promptings, etc. as you read and study the scriptures, go to church and the temple, etc. I love having a journal for those things and I know it will bless your life, bud. 🙂

I wish I could think of more to write but I can’t!! Love you all!!!! Next time you hear from me I’ll be in Romania!!

Stay classy,

One of the more temporal activities in the MTC :)

One of the more temporal activities in the MTC 🙂