Ciao family and friends!
This week was CRAZY.
Let’s start with lessons. We have had the coolest lessons with our investigators this week. Simona and Leo both are progressing towards baptism. They are still hesitant to set a date, but both are opening up more and more. I feel like if Simona set a date, then her son Leo would as well. We also had a lesson with Aurelian, our 9-year-old English student, and his grandma. Both Sora Weaver and I felt strongly that we needed to watch the Restoration film in our lesson with them. During the entire film, they were both so attentive and the Spirit was so incredibly strong. At the end they both had wonderful questions, especially the grandmother, which we were so excited about! She hasn’t been super talkative with us about the Gospel yet, but she was so open.
Today was probably the most special experience so far on my mission. It was a special, sacred experience. Our investigator, Cristina, had not been able to meet with us for a week and a half. During our last lesson we strongly focused on praying with real intent, and on her specifically praying to know if this church was true or not, whether our message was true or not. We committed her to pray with real intent and to ask specifically. Since then, we had not been able to get a hold of her but finally were able to schedule a lesson today. This morning, Sora Weaver and I decided again to watch the Restoration film during our lesson. We had been praying and fasting for her and our other investigators and it just felt right to use the film. As we watched it, I didn’t really notice anything different about her. After the film ended she quickly asked if she could say a prayer. I was so surprised that I just said, sure. So she started to pray. As she prayed, she started off quick, just listing things. But then she slowed down, and was really thinking and I’m sure feeling as she prayed. After she prayed, she looked at us, smiled and then told us she was going to cry. Then she started crying. She was completely overwhelmed by the Spirit. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed. I felt so blessed to be able to testify to her that what she was feeling was the Spirit of God and that this was an answer to her prayers of real intent. She was astonished and so incredibly happy. She just sat there with us sobbing, and by this point, Sora Weaver and I were crying too. The Spirit in that little office was strong and powerful, but calm, like the ocean. It just washed over us and completely swept Cristina away in this new feeling. We told her that her Father in Heaven wanted her to be baptized and that her relationship with Him would grow immensely if she would be baptized. She told us that she knows everything is true, that she knows what we say is true and that the film spoke and showed the truth. She is scared to set a date, but we encouraged her to not be afraid and that if she would pray about it, Heavenly Father would speak peace to her heart and help her to be ready by November 22. She told us that she would try to come to church this Sunday and have her question answered there. We’re praying so hard and fasting more for her. She is amazing. I felt so honored and special to have been able to witness this girl get an answer from the Lord right in front of us. I’m still just feeling wrapped up in that moment. It hasn’t left me and probably won’t for a while. I love being a missionary.
Wednesday was transfer day and Sora Weaver and I went down again to Buc to try and figure out her visa. Well, unfortunately, the elders had a little problem in the visa office and we weren’t able to get her papers in yet. So another trip to Bucuresti is probably in the cards for us at some point soon. But it was a crazy fun day, being able to see everyone I love and am friends with. We have Sora Cox and Sora Ruiz in our little apartment now too and so far, so good! It’s actually been really fun I think. I’m enjoying it so far. 🙂 Our new district is so legit!! We have two more elders who sing and one plays guitar, so that means more music contacting. Elder Cloward and I are going to put together some cool songs to go English contacting with, and all of us as a district are going to do a musical number in church this week. I love that we are using music more! It really makes me so happy. 🙂
We had a huge Halloween party with the branch this past Saturday! It was huge. I’m serious. We had all sorts of games and activities, and we were allowed to do a little bit of dressing up. So I did Christine’s cheetah eyes that she did for Halloween before. Super easy, but it was really fun and the members loved it. After all the activities and a great dinner of chili and cornbread (although it was too spicy for most of the Romanians, haha), we watched “Wallace & Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” It was the best. Everyone, even all the adults were laughing and having the greatest time. It made me so happy to see the branch really functioning well, and for the members, less actives, and investigators to be having fun together. It was awesome.
This morning, our whole district and an investigator, hiked up the back of this big mountain in time to watch the sun rise. This is becoming one of my favorite things here. It is so peaceful and quiet up in the mountains here. We had a guitar and just sat around, singing, watching the sun rise, and drinking Inka (a drink that’s basically like Postum, Mom and Dad. I love it!).
I’ve been reading still in the New Testament, still in Matthew. I’m loving it, still, haha. Obviously. How can you not love reading about Christ? Every day, in every line, there is something to learn. I love how He teaches us that to have the type of faith He has, faith to do anything, we need to be praying and fasting. That struck me. How often do our fasts not truly mean something? And how often do we feel like our prayers aren’t really getting us anywhere? Maybe, there are some things in our lives that are going to require more than just prayer. Maybe the Lord wants to help us, but can’t until we are willing to truly sacrifice just a little more through fasting. I know that for me, there are so many times when I feel like my prayers just aren’t enough, that I need something more for the blessings and help that I need and want for others and myself. When I fast, something just happens. I can’t quite explain it, but things just work and blessings come and I realize and feel again that I can do this work with the Lord. It’s beautiful and has helped so much out here.
Another thing I realized this week was about my family. And I mean my future family. I am so blessed here in Brasov to work with and be teaching so so many children. I am constantly surrounded by all the kids that I just love with my entire heart. I love teaching them about Jesus, helping them learn songs to strengthen their testimonies, telling them I’m proud of them when they bear their testimonies in church, giving them hugs and just loving them. It hit me today that being a missionary and having these experiences has only strengthened my resolve and my excitement to one day teach and love my own children. And I know, I know, I’ve got to wait a while everyone, and I’m not saying I’m “baby-hungry” so no one get all fussy ok? (Mom…Dad…..;) ) But there’s just something beautiful about teaching children the gospel and loving them. I just can’t wait to do it one day with my own children, that’s all. It hit my heart again today with a simple clarity, that that is the most important thing I could ever do with my life. No job, no worldy aspirations, nothing would ever compare. Anyways, thanks for indulging me in that kind of girly moment. 🙂 You’re the best!
The Gospel is true. This is the best work, teaching the Gospel. People are amazing. Everyone has a beautiful story and just wants to be loved. I love that song “Glorious” that David Archuleta sings. I listened to it last p-day as I emailed and just got all teary cause I was so happy, and the message of the song was so great. Let’s just be kind to everyone. Treat everyone like a friend. Love each other. Don’t judge and don’t gossip. It ruins relationships, reputations and even your own self-esteem. Totally not worth it 🙂 Just “try to be like Jesus” like the Primary song says, and everything will work out. 🙂 I love you all so much! You are all in my prayers constantly. Believe in yourselves, and in the Lord. He will lift you, sustain you, and carry you, as you try with all you have to follow Him.
Stay classy 🙂 Love you!!