Dear Family and Friends,
Well, today as I’m sitting here in the internet cafe all the teenage boys are calling Sora Robertson and me virgins. It’s true and that’s a good thing. 🙂 On a more serious note, this week was amazing. It was a little slower because for a few days Romania pretty much shuts down completely for New Years, but it was a good week.
Highlights of the week:
– Our lesson with Sora Miron. My skirt had ripped a few weeks ago in the back (whoops!) and so we took it and some other things to Sora Miron’s to get them fixed. She is an awesome seamstress but hasn’t ever taken a class for it or anything. Legit. We get there and she has PUPPIES. Little little puppies. I died and went to heaven. They were so cute. They kept pawing at me and falling asleep on my coat and just being adorable. I wanted to take them all home. Sora Miron fixed my skirt and then we visited and had a way cool lesson on New Year’s goals and sharing the gospel. She ended up telling us about several spiritual experiences she has had. Romanians receive amazing dreams. Amazing dreams. I had no idea that things like that still happened but it’s like Joseph from the Bible. It’s incredible.
– New Year’s Eve with Carmen and her family! She invited us over for dinner and we got to share a message with her mom who isn’t a member. She was sweet and it was a good night. It was -7° F here that night and we froze!!! We had to take a cab home cause it was too cold and because it was NYE, they were all busy. We found a personal number in our phone of a cab driver so we called him. He was quite friendly and we ended up getting our New Year’s kisses (on the cheeks thankfully!!) from our cab driver. It was not our favorite thing haha. If I haven’t mentioned it before, everyone here kisses on the cheeks. It’s a European thing. We’re not supposed to do it obviously, but half of the time it’s too late by the time you can do anything about it. They just go for it ‘cause it’s their culture! It’s going to be strange not doing that to everyone back in Utah hahaha.
– Fireworks! Here it’s totally legal (or if it’s not no one cares) to light fireworks everywhere. Like the huge ones. So at midnight, for probably 20 minutes, everyone and their dog was lighting fireworks. We stood on our balcony and watched them go off all over the city. They also light those lanterns and let them fly away which looked so pretty all over the city too.
– New Year’s Day breakfast with the district. We made waffles! We all did language study afterwards which was super fun and really helpful as well. That night we had my favorite lesson of the week with the Pavel family. They were so so excited we had come and we had a beautiful lesson with them about goals and about how they help us progress. The whole family was there and afterwards they fed us dinner! Sora Pavel had made sarmale and cozonac and lots more. We were so full, but it was the sweetest expression of love because they don’t have much. I wanted to cry. They are amazing people.
– Exchanges with the sisters in Ploiesti. They came in to Brasov Thursday night and we exchanged the next day. Sora Barrera and I went to Feldioara and had awesome lessons. We got to see two members that she had taught before baptism and they were excited and happy to see her. We had a great lesson with Nicoleta about the Book of Mormon and then a miracle lesson with Raluca. Raluca hasn’t been coming to church for a while because she feels like she doesn’t have time with everything she has to do. Sora Barrera reminded her that she had made a covenant to follow Christ and that if she did that, He would help her with everything. We asked her to pray and ask for an answer about how she can go to church while still having time for homework and helping her mom. She said she would and the spirit was so strong! I was really happy with the progress we could see in her.
– Dinner with Constantina and Emil at the Bairs. They are a crack up. Husband and Wife and the most funny people. Constantina likes to talk all the time and is constantly trying to make sure her husband understands what she says in English, even though he knows it better than she does. He just sits there watching her, with this loving twinkle in his eyes and laughs this hysterical laugh. It makes us laugh and then when he sees us laughing he laughs more. It’s great. We love them. They are amazingly receptive and accepting of the gospel as well. They keep commitments like coming to church (Constantina came before she even had a lesson with us!) and we’re going to keep meeting with them to talk more about the Book of Mormon and to review the Restoration lesson and go from there.
So many fun, funny, and amazing things happened this week! It’s just been a really fun week. We’ve had good lessons and I love teaching with Sora Robertson. I feel like we can just teach together easily and it flows back and forth. She is hysterical and we have fun and laugh but it’s so easy for us to teach together and work in sync. I love it!
This week I read a section in the Doctrine &Covenants that I LOVE. I have always loved it but I felt its relevance especially powerfully this week. It’s D&C 122, where Joseph is in Liberty Jail and the Lord tells him that even if he passes through the most awful things, if people reject him, say false things about him, if he’s torn from his family, etc., that all those things would be for his good and would give him experience. Then come my favorite verses:
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.
I love that. We are never alone. We are always in His hands and He is continually molding and shaping and refining us through our experiences. Isaiah 64:8 is another scripture that I really like that talks about how we are clay in the potter’s hands. What a cool image!
I love you all!!! Stay safe, read your scriptures, keep praying, and remember how loved you are!