This week was amazing!!! It was just packed with wonderful moments. Monday was a great, relaxing p day and I’m so glad I got to talk with some of you! It always makes my day :).
Tuesday we met with Brielle again and she shared part of a book with us, written by Chieko N. Okazaki, who I think was a counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency a while back. It made me cry. I’ll paste it at the end of this letter for anyone who wants to read it. It’s just a very profound take on the Atonement and I loved hearing it. It really filled something in my heart that was missing for a few weeks out here. Anyway, hopefully you guys like it. I’d love to hear any thoughts about it as well!! It had rained really hard the night before and it was cloudy all day. Then about an hour before we had our English class it poured, harder than it has since I’ve been here. The walkways, grassy areas, and streets were flooded with about 3 inches of water. It was really bad. Sora Newell and I were dying laughing as we struggled to make our way to take a cab to the church. I thankfully had my rainboots so I just splashed around, but Sora Newell’s feet were soaking. There really was no way to go around it at all, you just had to go through the water, haha. Because it was raining so hard, no one came to our English class. Then after English, it stopped raining, haha. This is just how things work in the Romania/Moldova Mission :).
Wednesday I finished another journal! Which meant I got to start a new one obviously, which I love doing – something about new starts, clean slates, all that stuff you find in Pinterest quotes and all. It was also Sora Newell’s birthday!! I got up a little earlier to make her a huge birthday omelette complete with tomatoes, onions, cheese, and spinach (we FINALLY found some baby spinach leaves at Kaufland). I was ridiculously happy). It was so beautiful, haha. Who knew I could make omelettes? She was really happy and we ate breakfast together and then finished getting ready for our day. We took a maxi taxi up to Campulung. Usually the maxis are super hot, stuffy and smell really bad. But I told Sora Newell that I prayed that one of her birthday gifts would be a good maxi that wasn’t hot. And our maxi had AIR CONDITIONING people!! God answers even the smallest prayers that seem super unimportant – just ‘cause He loves us :). We got to Campulung and headed over to a member’s house. They ended up taking us up into the hills because it was Sora Newell’s birthday. We had a lesson with them, helping them understand how to give talks in church, and then we did an English lesson for 30 minutes with them. They are such wonderful people. The ground we were sitting on was so wet, so I basically stood for 2 hours, ha, and Sora Newell was soaking when she got off the ground. Her brown skirt looked black from all the water. She literally could wring out water, haha. It was good fun. We got dinner for Sora Newell’s birthday and then went home and had strawberry cake with strawberry frosting. Ha, she likes pink :). Oh and on our way home, a bird pooped on Sora Newell!!! It was super funny. We were all laughing really hard.
Thursday we had a really cool district meeting! We all went around and told each other what we admired about each other. It was neat to hear what people thought of each other (good things obviously!) because it made you think of things you hadn’t before, even about yourself. There were things people said about me that I wouldn’t have noticed, but were really great to hear. It always makes you feel better about yourself :). We had planned to go sing at a children’s hospital that day, but when we got there, the guards wouldn’t let us in. So instead I had a feeling we should go to Trivale and just talk to people. We wandered for a while, and then we passed a couple sitting on a bench. I had a feeling to go over but we kept walking a little bit. Then I just stopped walking and stood there, ha. Sora Newell looked back and said, “that couple?” I said, “yep” so we walked back over and started talking to them. It was a great conversation! We talked about the gospel, about our lives, what we do as missionaries, what Romania was like under communist rule, tons of stuff! Sora Newell told me afterwards that she was glad I had stopped because she had a feeling too, but didn’t know if it was right. I’m glad we stopped and talked with them :).
Friday was crazy. After our personal study we got a call from the elders telling us that there was a town north of us that was damaged really badly from massive flash flooding and we needed to go help them out. So we headed over as quickly as we could and spent the whole day there helping. First we helped clean up their cemetery. There were tons of graves that were completely destroyed and washed into the river. It’s so sad because ancestors mean everything to these people. Then we went across the river and helped a family shovel mud out of their house. In their living room, the mud had been 1 meter high! After shoveling it out, we tore up their floor. Then the mother fed us! I couldn’t believe it. After pretty much losing everything, she was so hospitable and shared the little food that they had with us. These people are amazing to me.
Saturday was transfer board day…..AND I’m going to BRAȘOV! To serve (AGAIN) with Sora Honey!! She was my MTC companion. We cannot believe that we are already companions again. It’s crazy. It’s going to be super hard because we’re both so so young in the mission and don’t know the language super well, but I am excited to serve with her :). Can’t wait!! But I am also incredibly sad to be leaving Pitesti. I love these people so much, my heart is breaking to leave them. On Sunday it was fast and testimony meeting. I was really nervous, but I wanted to bear my testimony for this branch and let them know how much I loved them. I was the very last one to speak and I started crying right when I started to speak. I just told them what I knew was true and how much I love them. It was incredibly hard to say goodbye to everyone, especially my little friend, Maria. I will miss her tons!
This week I have been reading through the Doctrine & Covenants. One of the scripture passages that I absolutely love is found in D&C 45: 3-5. It says “Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him – Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethen that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.” How amazing is that?? I had to ask myself, “How many times has the Savior had to say this for me? How many times each day does He say this?” I can’t begin to comprehend His love for me, but I am forever grateful that I can feel it always in my life.
I love you all!! Stay safe, pray and read your scriptures 🙂 and stay classy 🙂