If we trust Christ, have faith, act, arise, and lift up our eyes toward Him, He will fill our vision, our hearts and our lives

Hello Everyone!!

Well, transfers are here again, and Sora Weaver and I are staying in Brasov! Holla! Elder Houk and Elder Weaver are leaving 😦 But we are getting two NEW sisters here and as of right now they are going to be staying with us….love shacking! (That’s when two companionships stay in the same apartment, just to clarify 🙂 ). We’ll see how this goes…we have a pretty teeny apartment, even for two people. Hahahahaha, it will be an adventure. I’ve also been made a Sister Training Leader this transfer which will be exciting.

This week we invited two of our investigators to be baptized! They both said yes, but hesitated to set dates. So that’s our next goal with both of them. Simona needs to keep coming to church and to truly ask with real intent if baptism is the right choice. Cristina, our English student, is earnestly seeking truth and wants to be baptized but wants to have a better relationship with her Heavenly Father before she does. She needs to come to church first of all, but she is reading the Book of Mormon and has been praying. We really focused a lot in our lessons this week on praying with real intent. Without that, what answer is truly going to come?

We had Teo’s baptism on Saturday. She is the little girl we’ve been teaching for two transfers and who literally is like my little sister. She looked so beautiful in white and so happy and pure. After her baptism she and I sang “I am a Child of God” in Romanian. I had a hard time not crying, haha, nothing unusual out here. But it was the best day of my life. I love that girl so much. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get transferred out of Brasov. You know what I love more than anything else?? Seeing people come unto Christ. I love being a missionary more than anything else and I can’t even imagine how I’m going to leave Romania and all these wonderful people one day. Thankfully it’s far away still. I feel so incredibly blessed that this is what I’m doing with my life right now. There is absolutely nothing better that I could be doing at this time and I want to make everything I can out of it. Whoever thought I would say that I wish I could be a missionary forever? Haha, not I. But it truly is my favorite thing in the world. I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. I don’t know how anything is going to top this.

I was reading in Matthew 17 this week during personal study and I loved the story of how Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to the Mount of Transfiguration. I learned something really cool when I read verses 7-8. The disciples have just heard the voice of the Father, testifying of His Son. They were afraid, but then Jesus touches them, tells them to arise and to not be afraid. Here’s the first thing I learned: this is what Christ does with us every day. He reaches out in love and mercy, telling us to have courage, to be faithful, to act, to arise. Now here’s the second: in the next verse, the disciples lifted up their eyes. They trusted Christ. They listened, had faith, acted, and arose. And the beautiful blessing was that they saw no man besides Christ. (Now I know what I learned is a little different if put entirely in the full context of the story, but it works here.) If we trust Christ, have faith, act, arise, and lift up our eyes towards Him, He will fill our vision, our hearts and our lives.

BEING A MISSIONARY IS THE BEST!!! Just everyone go be missionaries. Do whatever you can to share the Gospel. I promise you, promise you, that you will be so happy. The happiest. Seriously. 🙂

Love you all!!!!

Sora Marcheschi

P.S. for those of you allowed on Facebook: to see updates on me and more pictures (‘cause I never have time to send them home), go add “Leslie Bair” on Facebook. She and her husband are the senior couple here and she is friends with everyone. She’ll accept you so you can see more pictures and updates on us and me here 🙂 Love you!

October 26 - last Sunday dinner as a district together at the Bairs before two new sisters come and two elders leave

October 26 – last Sunday dinner as a district together at the Bairs before two new sisters come and two elders leave

Enjoying conversation

Enjoying conversation

Bowling with our district, two sisters from the branch and their friend - so fun!

Bowling with our district, two sisters from the branch and their friend – so fun!

What great form, Sister Bair said.... :)

What great form, Sister Bair said…. 🙂

So intent on the game

So intent on the game

10.27.14 Bowling 3

And the winner is....

And the winner is….

Castles and more

Institute Class

Institute Class

Pday visit to Peles Castie - I was in heaven!

Pday visit to Peles Castie – I was in heaven!

Linger Longer after church

Linger Longer after church

Linger Longer after church

Linger Longer after church

Sunday dinner at the Bairs with our district - tacos and guacamole

Sunday dinner at the Bairs with our district – tacos and guacamole

P-day visit to Bran Castle (also known as Dracula's Castle) - beautiful!

P-day visit to Bran Castle (also known as Dracula’s Castle) – beautiful!

From within Bran Castle

From within Bran Castle

With Sora Weaver

With Sora Weaver

View from Bran Castle

View from Bran Castle

10.20.14 Wishing well

Looking out from Bran Castle

Looking out from Bran Castle

Walking with Sora Weaver

Walking with Sora Weaver

Ice Cream!

Ice Cream!

Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven

Hello Hello!!!

I hope you are all still doing well. First, I want you all to know I pray for you every night. And that I love you. And that our Father in Heaven loves you mostest. 🙂 (And yes, I know that’s not a word, Mom.)

This week was spectacularly wonderful. Last Monday, we split our P-day so we could visit a castle on Wednesday. So Sora Weaver and I made a batch of almost 80 cookies, wrapped them up with pass along cards and our number, and handed them out to people all over Centru. It was so much fun!!! I was surprised however at how many people honestly didn’t want a FREE COOKIE. I mean, come on! Haha, we had a good time though.

Tuesday we were supposed to have a lesson with one of our investigators at 10 in the morning. However, she showed up an hour and a half late, right when we were starting District Meeting. It was a touch awkward for her, I’m sure, but we whisked her away into a lesson. I’m not sure if it was because of the timing, or what, but it was a really hard lesson. She is so so interested but it’s just hard to explain everything in a way that she understands for some reason. We’re having to be more creative in our explaining/teaching techniques. She is one of our favorites (is it bad to have favorites?? haha) investigators though. So eager to learn and know more about God. Our other lesson on Tuesday also just completely didn’t show up. But that’s ok because she came for English. After English, we had our first true institute class and it was awesome! We talked about the Plan of Salvation. I got kind of emotional (is this a surprise to anyone really?) when I talked about it. I just know so strongly that this plan was given for our complete and total happiness, and that if we follow it, that is what we will have: true, complete happiness, with our families, FOREVER. Isn’t that one of the greatest, most comforting truths we have in the Gospel? We literally have the ability to be with the people that we love forever, throughout the rest of “time,” hahaha, it just blows my mind it’s so amazing. And it makes me so incredibly happy, because I love my family!

Wednesday we took a train early in the morning to Sinaia (go google this town!). We walked through the most beautiful park there. Right when we got off the train I felt like I was in another world. We were in the middle of the mountains, it was a little foggy, and all the colors on the trees were orange, yellow, red and green. It was one of the most beautiful days. We walked up a hill and through a beautiful, quiet, forest to the Castle Peleș (Pelesh). As I was walking, it was one of those moments where everything is just so perfectly the way it’s supposed to be and I just was deep in thought. The leaves were falling, there was a crisp breeze, the mountains were behind this beautiful castle, you could hear the river flowing; everything was perfect. The grounds of the Castle are beautiful and we walked around them, taking pictures for a bit before going through the tour. This castle is beautiful on the inside. The King collected so many things and the whole castle is full of them. He had a huge room full of his weapons collection! There were weapons from just about every civilization. It was cool. One of my favorite parts about the castle though was the wood. It was intricately carved and was deep, rich wood. And it was all throughout the castle. Dad, you would have loved it. We’ll have to go someday together 🙂 As pretty as the castle was, my favorite part was just being outside in the forests with all the leaves. I haven’t been in leaves those colors since I was about 12 years old and I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. It was so good for me.

Thursday we had 6 lessons planned, and all but two fell through. A bit discouraging but we made it through!!! All with the help of the Bairs and some good ol’ European pastries.

Friday was SO much better. We had an amazing lesson with an investigator whose parents are both members of the branch here. We were bold with her but you could tell she knew that we really cared about her and loved her and her family as well. We have been inviting her to church for about a month now…and she finally came to church!!! Ah, it made me so so so so happy I almost cried. It happens a lot on missions, ya know?

Sunday we had a goal of getting 50 people to church. We had 51!!! Holla! It was so wonderful to see everyone in the congregation and to just feel unified. Sora Bair and I taught sharing and singing time in Primary which was so much fun. I’m helping the kids learn the song “Scripture Power” and they love it!

Today, the Bairs took us up to Bran castle, which here is known as Dracula’s castle. It was beautiful. Bran is almost a complete 180 opposite of Peles. It is much much older which lends an air of mystery as you go through. There are hidden staircases and nooks and crannies all over the place. It was incredible.

I’ve been reading the New Testament, Jesus the Christ, and watching the Bible videos when I have a chance little by little. It’s been so cool to combine these three. I am learning so much about the Savior. I love the way He teaches! It’s so powerful, clear, and precise, even when it doesn’t seem that way. It makes me sad to think of how many people didn’t understand His words. I love the Savior. He loves us so much. And that makes me love Him even more. I can’t wait to meet Him one day. One of my favorite videos and teachings in the scriptures is in Luke 12:13-34. The video is called “Seek Ye the Kingdom of God.” Go watch it and tell me what you think. 🙂

I love you all!!!! Stay safe, love each other, keep praying and reading your scriptures!

Stay classy 🙂

Love,

Sora Emily Marcheschi

See Yourself as God Sees You

Hey hey! How is everyone?? I love hearing from you all – it’s so fun to hear your exciting news and things you’re learning. 🙂

This week was great! It was a little different in that we didn’t have nearly as many lessons and that left a lot of time for contacting and doing service for the people here. Today we did cookie contacting! We made a ton of cookies, probably around 70, and then put them with pass along cards in little bags and handed them out to tons of people in centru. It was really fun.

Tuesday we had English as usual and had an awesome spiritual thought. We do our spiritual thoughts as a district at the end of English each class and they have been so good. We’re using a lot more media in them, especially as we get ready to get iPad minis. People really like it! We had our thought on prayer and the spirit was so strong. People were legitimately crying, which was so cool! Haha also, this new kid came to English and he is a crack up!! He’s nine years old but talks like he’s 30. He became one of my favorite people this week. He is super smart and we set up 30/30s with him and his mom! [30/30s are classes with 30 minutes of English and 30 minutes of gospel teaching.] Our lesson with them this week was super cool as well. He had so many questions about God and they were deep questions for a nine year old to ask. I was really impressed. Although his mom is Orthodox, they’ve obviously been raised to be very open minded and to question things for themselves. We gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to start reading and we’ve been finding passages that answer all his questions. He’s so cool!

We have an investigator getting baptized!! She’s the daughter of a recent convert and I think of her as my little sister. She is so sweet. I’ve been teaching her piano and singing lessons after our Gospel lessons. The whole branch is excited about her baptism! She wants me to sing with her at her baptism – I’ve totally lost my voice though (I was super sick last week and couldn’t talk for 3 days, which doesn’t work as a missionary haha) so we’ll see if it’s back in time.

We had a powerful lesson with a less active and her family this week. Her son is so receptive to the Spirit and we really are trying to be able to work with him so that when he turns 8 he can be baptized. We showed a Bible video, the one where Christ heals the man at the waters of Bethesda I think. We talked about how the man had to reach out his hand first, and then Christ stretched forth his arm and lifted him up. I shared with her one of my favorite quotes from Elder Holland, which says: “God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.” We talked about doing all we can before the Lord helps us. It was a powerful lesson and I left feeling like even though we had brought the lesson, I had been the one that the Spirit taught that night.

I love the Doctrine and Covenants!! I finished it about a month ago. After reading the Book of Mormon, I read the Doctrine & Covenants and then the Pearl of Greath Price. I’m in the New Testament now and it’s so fun. I love the scriptures!! Haha, that picture of me “sleeping”at conference was staged. I was awake 🙂

Several times this week I have felt carried by my Savior. I know I say this all the time, but that’s cause it happens all the time, haha. I have learned much about grace and how it is always available to me. I read a talk this week by Bishop Gerald J. Causse, called “We are the Architects of Our Happiness.” I loved it!! Everything he said was exactly what I needed to hear. I especially love the three principles he tells us to remember and to live. One of my favorite parts is when he talks about the love of God. He says:

“Often the feeling we have of our personal worth is based on the love and interest we receive from those around us. Yet this love is sometimes lacking. The love of man is often imperfect, incomplete, or selfish.

However, the love of God is perfect, complete, and selfless. Whoever I am, whether I have friends or not, whether I’m popular or not, and even if I feel rejected or persecuted by others, I have an absolute assurance that my Heavenly Father loves me. He knows my needs; He understands my concerns; He is anxious to bless me. And the greatest expression of His love for me is that He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). He did not remove the Savior’s bitter cup and surely was in agony Himself as He watched His Son suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. Christ atoned for the sins of all men, and a part of that great Atonement was destined for me and is reserved for me today. This infinite gift, shared by the Father and His Son, confirms in my soul the personal worth I have to Them.

“My brothers and sisters, imagine what it mean to you if you could see yourself as God sees you. What if you looked at yourself with the same benevolence, love, and confidence that God does? Imagine the impact it would have on your life to understand your eternal potential as God understands it. If you could view yourself through His eyes, what influence would that have on your life?

“I testify He is there. Seek Him! Search and study. Pray and ask. I promise you that God will send you tangible signs of His existence and His love for you. It might be through an answer to a prayer; it might be the soft influence of the Holy Ghost consoling or comforting you; it might be a sudden inspiration or a new strength that you know didn’t come from you; it might be a family member, friend, or priesthood leader who happens to be in the right place at the right time to bless your life. In one way or another, as you reach out to Him, He will let you know He is there.”

Isn’t that one of the best things you’ve ever read? I know that what he said is true. I have felt so many times, and I do feel every day, that my Father in Heaven knows me and loves me. He knows exactly what I need. I know He knows all of you in the exact same way and that He and Jesus Christ can provide for, support, console, encourage, comfort, and love you in a way that no one on this earth can even come close to doing. If you ever doubt that fact, get on your knees and just pour out your heart. Read the scriptures and read your patriarchal blessing. The Lord has promised each one of us such incredible and immense blessings and, if we let Him, He will lead and direct our lives to fulfill His promises to us.

I love you!! Stay safe and happy please. I pray for each of you and often you are in my fasts as well. I know the Lord takes care of you all while I’m gone. 🙂

Love you and stay classy 🙂

Sora Marcheschi

General Conference and Planning

Faith Is Power

Hey guys! I have only a little bit to email today but I am happy and safe and good. 🙂 I learned a lot about faith this week and how the Savior carries me. I really learned to trust in Him and the promptings and revelation I have received. I got super sick and spent all Thursday in bed basically. So I had a bunch of time. I read the entire Lectures on Faith (Sora weaver has it! But I still want it to mark. 🙂 ) and learned SO MUCH. Faith is POWER. It’s literally the power by which we do everything throughout our lives. Faith drives every action. It’s amazing. So I just need more faith.

How are you and everyone doing? I don’t have too much to report. There’s a girl we’re going to baptize though! (We hope. That’s our vision!) Her name is Monica. We met her Saturday at English class. She asked me for a Book of Mormon and I promised her that as she read with an open heart and a prayer as and after she read, the Lord would give her an answer as to whether or not it is true. She was just smiling so huge and I bore my testimony to her that I knew that as she read, the Lord would bless her and she would be so happy. She just looked at me, held her heart, and said she believed me. It was so amazing: easily one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Pray for us and her!!