Hey everyone! Crazy week.
Monday, we had our pday and had a visit with a member in our branch. Tuesday was our study with Brielle in the branch and we talked a bit with her husband too. We had English and the Elders did a cool spiritual thought about the Atonement.
Wednesday we went to Campulung, had a lesson with Bogdan and another lesson with Alexandra and Constantin. After our lesson, Constantin wanted to show us a traditional Romanian song. While he played it for us, Alexandra got up and started “dancing.” She was moving around really fast like a penguin, haha, we were laughing so hard. That night our STL’s came and we talked for a while and had fun planning for Thursday.
Thursday was great! We had our exchanges and I went with Sora Hebdon. That morning we went running! It felt so good to run again. During my studies that morning, I found some amazing passages. I was reading in 2 Nephi and found some there that I love (2 Nephi 8:12, 2 Nephi 9:18). Then a footnote took me to Exekial and as I was flipping there, I opened to Lamentations randomly. I read a little and then found chapter 3. I love this chapter! Especially from verse 22 to verse 41. Sora Hebdon and I had a great companionship study talking about those verses, why we come/came on missions, and why people are called here to Romania. She has so much wisdom. I loved listening to all her thoughts and just talking with her. She said that she thinks all of us missionaries were called here to learn personal lessons, and that we’re called to Romania to learn how to be leaders for the future. We had our district meeting after studies. We covered a ton of business, Sora Hebdon gave a boss language tip, and then we had a talk that was unexpected but ended up being so so open and real between all of us about missions and everything that that entails. It was amazing. The Spirit was truly there. We made tacos (with real taco seasoning that Sora Newell’s mom sent her!) for lunch and then headed out to contact. We went to the park where we had our America party and chalk contacted. We drew a line from 1-10 and a frowny face and a smiley face. Then below that we asked them “How happy are you?” As people walked by, we would ask them how happy they were on that scale and then we tallied their responses. It was crazy and kind of sad how many people refused to give us answers. When they did, they were either super high or really low. We split into companionships and two stayed by the picture and the other two went into the park to talk with people. When Sora Hebdon and I were by the picture, she asked a man how happy he was. After looking at our drawing, he said he couldn’t give us a number right now because his wife has cancer. As he left, he turned to me and told us he wished us lots of success. He walked to the crosswalk and was waiting to cross. As I was watching him, I had the strongest prompting and desire to give him a Book of Mormon. We don’t usually just hand them out on the street without really talking with people first, but this felt different. Without thinking about what I would say, I ran over to him. I got there right as the light turned green for him to walk. I just looked at him and smiled and said, “For you.” Literally that’s all that came out of my mouth. Ha it’s funny now to think how little I said but it was perfect in the moment. He smiled at me and said “Thank you.” I walked back and continued contacting. A minute or two later I was overcome with this sense that Heavenly Father was so proud of me. It was so strong that I cried, haha, but that’s not surprising to anyone who knows me. On a mission though, that really is the best feeling. Especially for me, cause oftentimes I feel inadequate in the language and my ability to teach and reach these people. So it can be hard to feel like I’m doing all that I can, just because I still have so much to learn. I was so grateful that Heavenly Father gave me that small opportunity to serve someone in need and that the Spirit pushed me to do it without being nervous or anything. It was a huge blessing to me this week.
Friday we used internet time to look up FAQs for an open house we’re going to have next week. There are so many! Ha it’s crazy. The church literally has every category in alphabetical order and it’s a long list. We spent time looking over those and then Sora Newell had to order some scriptures so I read all the summaries of the talks given by the First Presidency and The Twelve Apostles to the new mission presidents. I cried. Hahaha again. 🙂 But they are so amazing!! President Monson called us missionaries “precious commodities” and every talk was completely inspired and made me want to do all that I could to be my best for my Heavenly Father. It you have time, go read them! Sports night on Friday was crazy fun! We had more people this time and I actually tried harder to play as well. None of the kids know how to say my name. They all call me “Marchesy” so that’s fantastic. The elders have taken to it as well sometimes, haha. As we were playing a game, it started thundering really loud (Romania has awesome storms-they come really suddenly and have lots of thunder and the rain POURS) and most of the Romanian kids/teenagers ran to get shelter. Elder Manning, Robi (a friend of Marius) and I kept playing though. It poured and I was soaking wet but I was having so much fun. I started doing cartwheels and handstands and running all around, hahaha, it was funny. When it cleared up we played more soccer. Marius started a game that he calls “Donkey,” which is basically monkey in the middle. He said it would help me get better because I “need help.” When we were done, Elder Manning gave a spiritual thought and then Marius wanted us all to run 15 laps around the field, haha. I had already been running from soccer, and I had run 5 laps in down time between games, so I was not looking forward to that. I ran another 3 or 4, but after that we left ‘cause Sora Newell’s knee was hurting again.
Saturday we had English with Florin and Eugen. We read a story with them about a family who takes care of 5 mentally challenged adult men. I told them a lot about my uncle Jon and Eugen especially seemed to like hearing my stories about him. After class, I had prepared the spiritual thought. During my personal study I hadn’t been able to find/think of anything that felt right to share with them. The thought came that I could sing a hymn. After spending time figuring out which one, I chose “I Know that My Redeemer Lives.” I shared my experience of how hard it was to come on a mission, to leave everything and everyone I knew and to come here. Then I repeated how Eugen had told us that we’re a “very postive, happy people.” I told them that even though we have our trials, like the one I shared, we are happy because we know our Savior, and that He lives. We were happy because we believed the words of the song I was about to sing. I sang then, and the Spirit was so strong, it was awesome! That song is beautiful in Romanian. Afterwards, Sora Newell and I bore our testimonies and then closed. We went up to Campulung and had a lesson with Bogdan and then took him to meet the members there! So that was cool.
This morning I was reading in 2 Nephi 31 for part of my personal study. This chapter is amazing enough as it is, but this morning it hit me with things that were so personal for me. It’s so amazing that the Lord can reach us so many different ways. He really does love us so much.
I hope you all are doing well! I pray each one of you and miss you all! Stay safe, read your scriptures, go to church, pray. The primary stuff ya know 🙂 But they’re the best things we can do. I love you all!!! Thank you for your emails and letters and encouragement and love. 🙂
Stay classy as ever 🙂
Sora Emily Marcheschi