This was such an awesome week! We found out last Saturday that Sora Weaver was being transferred and that I was staying here and Sora Robertson would be my new companion. [Sora Robertson is from Saskatchewan, Canada.] So Tuesday we had a lot of people to see before Sora Weaver left.
Tuesday we saw a lot of our English students and had lessons with them. They all brought us little gifts!! Aurica gave us both scarves which was so so sweet, and then Daniela brought us a Christmas card that she wrote in English using Google Translate, haha. A for effort. 🙂 Then Aurelian (I know he’s everyone’s favorite) came with his grandma and we were able to share the “He is the Gift” video with them and talk about Christmas and Christ. Everyone loves this video! Aurelian gave us both some traditional Romanian things made out of wood, including a pipe like Peter Pan has. It’s so pretty with lots of intricate carvings. We went right after that to visit members in Feldioara. We had a wonderful visit/lesson with them. It was good to just have a gospel discussion and be lifted by them. They are so faithful through all their hardships and set such a wonderful example for me. The Bairs took Sora Weaver and me out to dinner for the “last supper” as Elder Bair said. We ran out lastly to see the Filip boys one last time for Sora Weaver and then went home to finish her packing.
Wednesday we took an early train down to Bucuresti for transfers. My whole MTC district was there which was THE BEST! It felt like seeing my family again. We all went to the office together to do business quick and then had a real American meal at Ruby Tuesday’s! It was so so good. We were pretty lost for most of the day in Buc but we had fun. I met up with my new companion, Sora Robertson, and we went back with the rest of our district to Brasov. The Oradea missionaries were on our train so we got to talk with them and Aurelian’s mom was also on our train. She and I talked for a while which was really cool. She even helped me with our huge supply bag I had to carry! Our mission now has pass along cards that look like our nametags! They are super cool. On the back they say “Ask me why I’m spending a year and a half volunteering in Romania and Moldova.” They work so well because people always look at our tags and this way they remember us better.
Thursday we had district meeting and then we all went caroling. Our district is super musical which I LOVE. We sang in a piata and there was this sweet girl who stayed the entire time. We talked with her and are going to meet with her this week so we’re excited. After that we came home for Sora Robertson to unpack and we weekly planned which was perfect ‘cause the rest of our weekend was full full full.
Friday we spent most of the day preparing for our Christmas party the next day. That morning we had an amazingly special lesson with Camelia. We have been going really slowly with her but Friday we made good progress. We had an English lesson by reading from a book with her. She had been reading “Alice in Wonderland” but the language in there is such old English and it’s British English too so it was super confusing. Sora Bair told her that she would pick up a different book for her to read. So we got there and Sora Bair had bought “The Fault in Our Stars” which I love! So Camelia started reading it out loud to us. Hahaha, within the first three pages there were about 3 different variations describing male body parts (all having to do with cancer, so it was at least kind of medical) and then a not so nice term for an illegitimate son. Elder Bair and Sora Robertson and I were trying so so hard not to laugh and Sora Bair just looked so embarrassed, hahahah. Camelia didn’t quiet understand and thought we were laughing at how she was speaking so then she started laughing and it was just super funny. Sora Bair did a good job of explaining those words in nice, simple terms that glossed over the root meaning, haha. But thankfully after that we actually had a super spiritual lesson. We talked with her about prayer. It was really special for me since that is one of the things I love the most. At the end of our lesson we invited her to just try praying how we pray every day for a week and that if she didn’t like it she didn’t have to try it again. I testified of the blessings that would come into her life and got a bit teary. I love prayer. I know she will be so happy as she prays every day, with a sincere heart. She said she would try it!!! I was ecstatic. So so happy. The rest of the day we spent cleaning and decorating the church and cooking lots of sarmale for Saturday.
Saturday morning I made penuche for the party and we went over to the church to practice our music and parts for the Christmas program. We did Christmas around the world and I talked a little bit about Italy, and some traditions and food from there. I sang a carol called “Tu scendi dalle stelle” which means “you come down from the stars” and is beautiful. Elder Cloward and I sang an arrangement we did of “O come O come Emmanuel” and all the Primary kids sang a Romanian carol called “O Ce Veste Minutata” which is one of my favorites. After the program we had a huge meal with lots of food from different countries and lots of sarmale, haha. Then Sora Ruiz had made two pinatas for Mexico and the kids hit them and got candy. But I swear when they broke it, it was the most frightening thing I’ve ever seen. They all rushed and hit and kicked and bit each other to get to the candy. And then they demolished the already broken pinatas. It was SCARY. After that all the missionaries took investigators to Centru to get hot chocolate. It was a long long day but really fun.
Sunday was wonderful. We were exhausted and really sore but Sacrament meeting was great. Elder Critchlow was there and it was so nice to hear a talk in English. I think English will be an amazing thing to hear again when I’m back. He gave a wonderful talk about giving and sacrificing for Christmas. Primary was wonderful and the kids were actually somewhat reverent so I counted it as a win for us. Relief Society was good too and then we had Pandoro (a sweet bread from Italy with powdered sugar) at the end, just we girls. Everyone wanted seconds. 🙂 Our district went to Centru after to carol and we had a huge crowd! Elder Cloward and I sang that song again and everyone was recording us! That’s kind of a cool but funny feeling, knowing that people you don’t know have a video of you….mhm. Cool but weird. Dinner at the Bairs was great as usual, filled with jokes, silly pictures, and Elder Hokkanen trying to get us all to stand instead of sit when we practiced our carols. I love it here.
I read a scripture this week that I love. It’s Luke 18:29-30.
“And he said unto them, Very I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,
Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”
Our sacrifices bring great blessings. Just remember that. 🙂
Love you all!!!!