He offered up His life for you. You can offer back your heart.

Hello!!!

How are you all? I hope you all had an awesome week.

Well, to start off this email I just have to tell you that we found Thai and Indian food last Monday. So I was incredibly happy. That’s the only food I haven’t had since I came out here so it tasted so so good. We feasted Monday and Tuesday nights on Satay curry and Chicken Tikka Masala. 🙂

Tuesday as a companionship we strove for what we call a “perfect day” meaning that we taught three lessons (one each to an investigator, a less active and a member), did three hours of contacting, and did a POP (2 minute role play in Romanian) three times. We accomplished all of it which felt awesome. We had really good lessons with all three women we visited, and already had two hours of contacting but we weren’t sure how to fit in a third. Well, we ended up getting on the wrong bus which we rode for a while and a woman who had come to English before she sat down across from us. We talked with her for a long time and she told us that she’d love if we could come visit her! So we got in our third hour just like that. God recognizes our good goals and really does help us achieve them. That night we taught English which was a blast as usual and then had a really successful family home evening. We had some English students stay and then quite a few members and us. We played a bunch of games and everyone had a lot of fun. We have minute-to-win-it games planned for tomorrow’s FHE which will be hilarious. 🙂

Wednesday we had three lessons with new investigators! The first was a woman from our English class. The night before at English, we were reviewing the past tense so we asked everyone “What did you do today?” . When it was her turn, she said, “I read, from the Book of Mormon.” Hahaha, we were so happy! It was the cutest thing. We went up to her house which is on this hill overlooking Centru in Brasov, so it was absolutely gorgeous. We had a really wonderful lesson with her – she had read so much in the Book of Mormon already and is so receptive to the Spirit. She called us her angels. That was a really cool lesson. After our other two lessons with new investigators, we had a lesson with Violeta. We had a really cool lesson with her and Mihai on Mosiah 2: 20-21, 22, 24, 34 (the section in the middle about being indebted to Heavenly Father), and verse 41. I love teaching the gospel to kids and seeing how they apply it in their lives.  I just love that about the gospel in general – it applies to every part of our lives because God cares about every part of our lives.

Wednesday night, one companionship of sisters from Ploiesti came up for exchanges. We split for Thursday and I went with Sora Parr. She’s from St. George, Utah and is a lot of fun. We had our district meeting that morning and then had lessons with Corina and Cristina Mesco, the branch president’s wife. During our lesson with Corina we had planned a lesson but then she started showing us all these old pictures of her and her family that were so cool. We switched our plans and had a lesson on family history. She had just received a tablet from her cell phone company for being “a loyal customer,” haha, and so we were able to help her make a Familysearch account and start to enter in information about her family and put pictures on. She was so excited! And I was way excited. I haven’t done family history before but it is so cool! Especially with all this new technology that we have to use. I loved it. Our other lesson with Cristina was so so good. We talked about that chapter from Mosiah and just had a really good discussion. She wants to be better about reading in the scriptures every day. As a mom and a nursing student, she hardly has any time but she has been reading them on her phone and listening to them as she travels. We also talked about good ways to study the scriptures instead of just reading them.  That night, we all met at the other sisters’ apartment and made pancakes for dinner with peanut butter and syrup. It was a super fun night and breakfast for dinner tasted really good.

Friday morning we had a lesson with Teo, Carmen’s daughter. We taught it from the children’s section in the Liahona about the wise man and the foolish man (Matthew 7) and how we can build our lives on the rock that is our Savior. We had written out a bunch of actions, good and bad, and had her separate them into two groups and tell us where each one went. She did so well and Carmen was really proud of her. We gave her this rock that coincidentally was in the shape of a heart that we had written “Jesus” on so she can remember that if she builds her life on Him, she will be happy. After our lesson we ran home to grab our bags and then headed to the gara to catch our maxi taxi to Sibiu. Well, we waited for almost two hours because it was late, and then they took everyone else except us. We were at our limit and didn’t know what to do. Haha, it was not a pretty moment for either of us. Thankfully, the Bairs came to our rescue and drove us the two hours to Sibiu. It was a beautiful drive and the company was certainly much better than it would’ve been on the maxi.

When we got there we tried to go find dinner with the Sibiu sisters (Sora Cox and Sora Johnson – love them both so much!) but we couldn’t find a place we liked. We ended up ordering a HUGE pizza and eating it back at their apartment. The next morning we all ran to the church, worked out together there, and then ran back. We had district meeting together and then all ran to lunch. We had English after that and they had us help teach the beginner class. I got to teach them some words for Valentine’s Day, which we all had a lot of fun with. 🙂  Sora Cox and I had two lessons scheduled. On our way to one, she canceled, so we went to the other woman a little early. We walked to the edge of the town where she lived and when we got there she said come back another day. Despite those things happening, it was so much fun. It was beautiful that day, with lots of sun and it wasn’t too cold. So we did some less active finding. We walked to a couple more places, trying to find people and then headed back to the church for family home evening. Sora Cox and I gave the spiritual thought and then we played games with members, English students, and investigators. We got some lessons scheduled with new people for the sisters which was awesome! We ran to catch our bus (we’re always running to catch our rides, haha) and then it was at a different train station than we thought – one on the opposite side of the city. An awesome cab driver got us there in less than ten minutes (don’t ask me how…) and we got there in time. We made it thankfully and got home safely that night.

The next day was a really good day at church. Sacrament meeting was awesome. Carmen spoke about agency and Elder Hokkanen spoke about the Plan of Salvation. The hymns that day were also all some of my favorites; “How Firm A Foundation,” “I Stand All Amazed,” and “Where Can I Turn For Peace?”. It was just a beautiful meeting. We were both exhausted from traveling but the day was great. We had a good district dinner at the Bairs’. Sora Ruiz had made some good Mexican dish, which was super super spicy, ha, but so good. We planned out this week’s activities afterwards and then headed home for weekly planning.

This week seemed more exhausting than most so I was grateful for really good studies.

I focused a lot on Mosiah 2-4. I love those chapters! I especially love in Mosiah 2: 34 where it says “…ye are eternally indebted to you heavenly Father, to render to him all that you have and are….” That’s basically the great trial of this life I think – to give all that we have and are to the Lord. It’s hard! I have to re-do it every day, haha. But I love trying. It gets easier the more I try and I can see so many blessings from doing it. I still fail, much more than I’d like to, but I can see how the Atonement works to help change me and help me be better every day. I can see it working when I make mistakes, as I sincerely try harder to change and to recommit.  If we continue in Mosiah 3: 18-19, 21, we can see how we give him all that we have and are: we are to become as little children.

My favorite verses I read this week are in Mosiah 4: 9-10, 11. I especially love the promises in verse 11, that we “…shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of [our] sins; and [we] shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created [us], or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.” I LOVE that. I can say for sure that I know that is true. When we try our best to do what is right, we are so happy! And we are filled with His love. We can feel His love for us, and we feel it for others around us.  I just know that as we try to give our hearts to Him, through changing ourselves we are so happy. I read a talk this week by Elder Kearon called “Messages of Love” and I love this part of it. He says:

“Let your hearts feel the reality of Lehi’s teaching about your perfectly loving and perfectly forgiving Savior: ‘Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit’ (2 Nephi 2:7). He offered Himself as a sacrifice for you, and His suffering can answer the ends of the law for you. ‘Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more’ (D&C 58:42). Can we ever hear this promise too often? These scriptures, and many others, can bring you the strength and the determination to act, to change, to repent, and to offer up to the Lord your broken heart and contrite spirit. He offered up His life for you. You can offer back your heart.”

If we can do this, no matter how long it takes us, we will be so blessed. 🙂

I love you all!! I love being here, loving all these amazing people. Do something nice for someone this week, without expecting anything in return. We will change the world through our actions of love, no matter how small they may be or seem.

Love you!

Sora Marcheschi

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