“I need disciples”

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 9:37 a.m. (6:37 p.m. Romanian time)

So this week was long and tough but there were some great moments! I don’t have a long time to write but I’ll give you the highlights and lowlights…is that a word..? Anyway, you know what I mean :).

Highlights:
– Grocery Shopping. This is still my favorite type of shopping. Even in Europe. Especially in Europe.

– We started English classes! They are super fun to teach and we have some really advanced students we teach so we basically only speak English with them. On Saturday we taught them present continuous tense, past continuous, and perfect past. Then we had them tell stories to use the tenses. The first story ended up being about Cinderella. She was going to Brans Castle but she got taken by Dracula. Thankfully she was saved by Eugen, who is one of the students in the class. When we asked Eugen what he said to Cinderella when he saved her, he said, “Come on baby!” We laughed. Other stories included Obama saving the Thanksgiving turkey, and Superman saving Lois Lane from Iron Man (Romanians were creative that day!!).

– We found potential investigators and had quite a few lessons set up for this week which was awesome.

– We had streetboarding in Centru and talked to quite a few people. And then one of them even came to Church the next day! We were excited about that. 🙂

Lowlights:
– Our lessons all fell through and the one we did have, ended up being with basically a crazy man. He literally had no faith in anything. I don’t know how that even happens. It was so sad to me.

– On Friday we went to Campulung and our other lesson fell through there, so we went to the members’ to do a recent convert lesson. While there, we discovered that the only priesthood holder in Campulung doesn’t believe the Church was restored among many other things, and was only baptized “because the sisters asked {him} to be.” We left that lesson very discouraged, frustrated, worried for his family, and confused.

– After that lesson we decided we needed cheering up so we stopped for cake and ice cream. Sadly, my cake was full of rum.

– It rained the whole way home and we were basically soaking by the time we got to our bloc.

– I got shot this week in the leg, as we were walking to the church for English. I walked on it for a little and was able to make it to the church where I could sit down. Thankfully it was only with a bb gun, so all I had was a welt on the back of my leg. But still! I got shot. Who can say that??

Friday night after we came home, soaking wet, we changed and then came and just sat on our floor and cried. Sora Newell and I had an amazing talk about the Savior and the Atonement and how we need His help to do this. I can honestly say that the next few days I truly felt strengthened and uplifted by the arm of the Lord. I am so forever grateful for the grace and mercy He extends to me and to everyone. Without it, this life would be hard to bear.

So you don’t think that I’m sad and down, I’m really not!! I love it here. And I love being here. Sometimes we miss America, (especially when my cake is full of alcohol), but we truly do love Romania. I was studying the talk Elder Holland gave called “The First Great Commandment,” this week. He gave it right after President Monson announced the age change for missionary service. I love everything he teaches here. He elaborates on what the Lord might’ve said to Peter after Peter and the other disciples return to fishing after the death and resurrection of the Lord. The Lord asks Peter three time if he loves Him and to each, Peter responds with a “yes.” Then the Lord says, (this is Elder Holland’s nonscriptural elaboration 🙂 ) “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples – and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”

I LOVE that. I cry every time I read it. I feel like the Savior is saying that directly to me. I love my Savior. So so much. He has given me everything that is truly important to me. I could not be here without Him and I could not become who I can become without Him. So my life will always be dedicated to Him, serving in whatever capacity I am needed. Elder Holland later says, “After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before.” That is so true. Once we have felt the Savior’s hand in our lives, changing us, lifting us, strengthening us, loving us, how can we ever be the same? How can we be the same people we were before? To know the Savior is to change your life. It is to follow Him, it is to become like Him, it is to do and to say exactly as He would do and say. It is to love like He loves and to serve like He serves. I never want to be the Emily I was before my mission. I want to let my Savior lead me to change and to become a new Emily, a devoted and loving disciple of Christ, whom He can trust.

The mission is hard. But it is exactly what I need. It is exactly what anyone needs if they desire to know the Savior and to become like Him.

I love you all SO much. I pray for you every day and hope you are all doing amazing! For my fellow missionaries out there, keep serving and do it with a smile. I promise it will help. 🙂 It’s actually scientifically proven that if you smile, it releases endorphins, which make you happy, which makes you smile for real. So even if you have to fake a smile, just do it. 🙂

Stay classy, and stay loyal 🙂

Love love love,
Sora Emily Marcheschi

Me with my first shawarma.  It was ... ok, haha.  It had French Fries in it which was super weird.

Me with my first shawarma. It was … ok, haha. It had French Fries in it which was super weird.

This is my best friend, little Alexandra!  She and I are seriously attached at the hip whenever we go to Campulung.  I love her, she's the cutest.

This is my best friend, little Alexandra! She and I are seriously attached at the hip whenever we go to Campulung. I love her, she’s the cutest.

This is big Alexandra and I love her so much.  She has incredible faith and is so enthusiastic about the Gospel.  (Romanians don't really smile, just so you know.)

This is big Alexandra and I love her so much. She has incredible faith and is so enthusiastic about the Gospel. (Romanians don’t really smile, just so you know.)

Our awesome Elders in Pitesti

Our awesome Elders in Pitesti

The park!  It's basically a forest but it reminds me a little of parks in NY and Boston.

The park! It’s basically a forest but it reminds me a little of parks in NY and Boston.

After district conference with some members, including President and Sister Hill

After district conference with some members, including President and Sister Hill

 

This member, Marius, has a big personality!

This member, Marius, has a big personality!

With the Cartea lui Mormon

 

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