Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More Pictures/ Romanian Songs

  Part of Piata Unirii where the Romanian revolution began!

The bega and the huge Orthodox cathedral behind it!

Romanian Skyline!

Some of my favorites!  I only know some of the lyrics haha!

Listen to them if you want to!  I thought it would be fun!

My Life is Frumoasa!

So my life is beautiful.  

Romania is gorgeous.

The church is true.

I am so happy.

I still speak in Spanish.

Life goes on.  



Nothing really happened.  I mean stuff happened but nothing like, "I am going to make this a LONG email".


Let's get down to business. (To defeat, the Huns!)

Ha.  Mulan reference.


1.)  On an INFORMATIVE note:

-  We had interviews with President and Sister Hill.  They are some of the funniest people in the whole wide world.  

-  I have a cold.  

-  I messed up my knee while running haha.  I'm not one to ask for prayers but if you could possibly sneak me into them...that would be great.

-  We had a birthday party for Sora Hunt (photo attached)!  I also made balloons animals for the occasion.  A pig and a sheep.  Baahhhhh.  

-  Langoş is the most amazing bread/pastry/dessert thing in the world.  I have all of these coins so I will pay with them.  The cute Langoş lady knows I am honest now and doesn't even count my coin amounts anymore haha.  She even knows my order BY HEART.  

-  English classes for adults resume tomorrow.  Kid English is still so amazing haha.  The Romanian children also love playing "Red light, Green light".  I even added in "Red light with dancing"  hahaha and I taught them how to say "Ooooh ohh ch-cka ch-cka" as they dance in place.  Hahahaha.  

-  Easter in Romania is THIS WEEKEND.  I am really ( a lot ) excited for all of the fun traditions!

2.)  On a FUNNY note:

So we were English contacting in a park one day and I see this little, lanky armed, boy looking at us from a distance.  So I walk up to him and I start talking to him about our English class that we have.  And this kid is just staring at me.  Saying nothing.  He kind of had these crazy eyes too haha.  Hahaha so I hand him the English card with all of the info on it and he looks at it like it is the holding the winning Willy Wonka Golden Ticket and he looks up at me with this huge toothy smilehaha.  And then, he takes off running.  

Like a cheetah.  Like a cheetah on roller skates.

Rocket - powered roller skates.

He runs all the way to the main park gate.  Stops for a second to look at us, and then runs down the whole street hahaha.  

I thought he stole something from us, but no.  He was just really pumped about free English classes I guess haha.

3.) On a SPIRITUAL note:

So we have this cute little lady friend of ours and she lives in the block (apartment structure) next to the church.  We pretty much see her every day.  I forget her name because it is Romanian and they all kind of blend together in my mind.  She also speaks English (not well but... it is nice)

I call her "The Green Lady" because she always wears a green scarf and lives in the green block.

So, we are out contacting and I really feel like I need to go talk to this woman sitting on this bench.  She is all alone and I can only see her back but I think, "I NEED to talk to her".  So, we bounce around the corner and it is our Green lady! Her face just lights up and I ask her if I can practice my Romanian with her.  
She pats the bench and I sit down right beside her.  I whip out my photo album and show her photos of my family and I describe each one of them.  Sora Smith starts talking about the family history class that we offer and she gets so excited.  So as we are getting ready to leave, Romanian just starts pouring out of me.  

And I said,

"Eu ştiu ca familia dumneavoastră este fericita în cer"
"I know that your family is happy in Heaven"

Green lady started crying.  She went on to tell us how her husband died, how her mother and father have been dead for years.  She tell us that she is an only child and how she lives alone because her only son is off working in another country.  

Then she said,
"I sit her on this bench every day and think about my family and if they are ok.  Thank you for bringing me peace".


I love this woman and I hope to see more of her.  

I am grateful for the testimony and the knowledge that I have that families CAN BE TOGETHER FOREVER in Heaven.  


I love Romania.  Oh my goodness. Love it.  

Love you!
-Sora Lee

 My District!  Elder Middlebrook, Elder Morby, Me, Elder Stinson, Elder Speyer, Sora Smith, Sister Hunt and Elder Hunt (sorry the pixels are so bad I had to shrink the photo down)

EASTERSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!  Bunnies in this cute little play pen inCentru!

Walking on the tracks to a lesson!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Put On The Glasses

Greetings from a smoke filled internet cafe in Timişoara!  


Okay so this week!

We said goodbye to Elder Montoya and Elder Ormsby!  Sad, but they are off to bigger (much bigger, office elder and Bacau Branch President) and better things!   

So this week was the FUNNEST (not a word but get over it) week of English Contacting ever!  

So while we were contacting, we found the SAN DIEGO TEMPLE!  I just about flipped out.  Everyone else knew it was there and they wanted to surprise the new missionary from California.  It was such a treat!  It really made my whole day... seeing a temple in ROMANIA!  

So next day, more contacting, but this time we did music contacting.  Sora Smith had a guitar and we walked around and sang songs and contacted people.  First, we sang gospel hymns and gospel contacted and then we switched over to English songs and English contacted!  It was really quite fun and the hours flew by.  

We taught three lessons this week but it was mainly a heavily contacting week.  

While we were contacting, we passed through a group of little kids, all playing in the street.  I said "Ciao" to one of the little boys at my feet.  As we are walking away he yells, "CIAO FRUMOASA!" (Goodbye BEAUTIFUL!)  at the top of his lungs hahaha. He was probably 6 yars old.  

It doesn't matter how old the men are here....they love to make cat calls haha.  

Kid English was so much fun.  I would like to make a shout out to Miss Jessica, the leading lady behind Kids Factory Mission Viejo for teaching me all of these fun games.  Here I am in Romania, playing the exact same games, with little kids on the other side of the world.  

Who would have thought that those games could help kids learn how to speak English?  

It's amazing.  

So we also did another fun form of contacting, slack line contacting.  It was a total success.  

We set up a slack line (tight rope kind of thing) in the middle of a park and asked people if they wanted to try it.  It is super difficult.  But the Romanians loved it.  We told them it was a fun American hobby and they wanted to try it more.  

We are definitely using our talents here in Romania and we have definitely have learned how to work hard and have fun!  

On Saturday and Sunday, I had the chance to watch General Conference, which is held bi-annually, and is an opportunity where we have the chance to listen to our prophet and apostles speak to us.  

It's pretty much the most amazing weekend ever.  

Next week I will attach my favorite talk (it is not available yet) from General Conference.  It was given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf on the Sunday Morning Session of Conference.  He spoke about gratitude, something I have a really strong testimony of.  


 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Put on the Glasses! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So let's talk about positivity.  The way you choose to look at life, the world, people, is all up to you.  

People have been emailing me, "Wow, you are so happy, you seem too happy..glad everything is easy for you".

Woah.  Rewind.  

The work isn't easy.  But I choose to be happy, despite what happens.  

I simply do not to write home about the bad, sad, discouraging things out here because I CHOOSE not to.  I don't want to meditate on the bad, I just want to see the good.  

I definitely am a "rose colored glasses" kind of girl, no shame about it.  

People have given me flack for it.  They say that I am not a realist, that the world really isn't as great as I think.  

Blah blah blah.

(Here comes my spiritual thought)

I believe that God probably sees the world with rose colored glasses  He probably notices all of the small treasures. He sees the small little flowers in the dirt.  He notices that perfectly puffy cloud in the sky. How the ice cream is perfectly swirled on the cone.   

My challenge to you all?  

Put on the glasses and see the world in a different light.  

Be more positive.  

Be more grateful.   

And just enjoy life because it is beautiful.  

Life is hard, but how we choose to see it can make every thing easier.  

 Prettiest puff flower trees in the whole wide world

God doesn't sleep.  This street graffiti is everywhere and it is pretty sweet.  

 Ciorba!  I had just enough letters to spell Romania!  And I also had an "X", "K" and "P"hahaha

Sora Market!   A little cute alimentar we found while tracting. 



Kitchen /Living Room PICS!

If you want to see where I live on Google Maps........

(for the actual address see Sora Lee's original email. Just being SAFE!)

We live in the building with the Optical building on the ground floor.  You can't see my window, I face the other side.

There is a big yellow Gypsy mansion across the street

Lovin' it!
-Sora Lee



I have my own bathroom, my companion has one upstairs!  

Currently, all of the lights in my bathroom are burned out hahahah so I pulled the lamp in there until our proprietar fixes them!  Ha!

Small and Simple Things

 So here are the 5 biggest things that happened this week.


On Monday last week, after I sent out my mass email, I got to go to a Romanian Soccer game!  Woooooo!  Fotbal!  Hahaha we love it!

It rained hrough the whole game.  Timişoara lost. And there were probably only 60 fans in the stadium.  BUT, it was still a super intense game though!  

On Saturday, we also played soccer with all of our investigators.  It was so fun! 


We had our first family history class with the members of our church branch. We are using the website "Family Search"  (link below)  where you can look for you ancestors for FREE!  

You can also plug in your family's information if you cannot find it, which adds it to the database, and build a big family tree!  

It's pretty addicting, learning about your ancestors and seeing their photos.  We like to call it "Facebook for the dead" hahah joking but....seriously...ahaha

 We talked to them about the importance of family history and how we need to preserve our memories, photos and records online, so that they can never be forgotten.  


Most of the members didn't like the idea of "digitizing" their life stories haha and I thought that was so funny.  It's just the generation gap haha.  I love them all.  


So most people here, when they know we are "Mormons" always cross us, using the "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" hand movement over their chest.  

I thought this was a postive thing like, "Hey, thank you so much for blesing me with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost" kind of a thing.  

So I would always tell the people, "La fel!  Mulţumesc mult!  Aveţi o zi buna!"  ("To you too!  Thank you so much!  Have a great day!").

And then Sora Smith says, "They do that to protect themselves.  They think we are of the devil."

Oh . . . 

Hahaha.  I still think of it as a positive thing though....


The Senior Couple in Timişoara threw a little party this week because Elder Hunt (the Senior missionary) had his 65th birthday in Romania!  

We celebrated by making rootbeer, since they don't sell rootbeer here in Romania.  

Crazy right?  It just doesn't exist here.  

So we got some carbonated water, sugar and the vial of rootbeer flavoring the Hunt's brought with them from Utah and mixed it all up!



We had the 3 girls there with us and they had never had rootbeer before.  

They were hooked.  


All of the missionaries taught out first ward choir practice!  

The Timişoara branch needed more unity and we thought, "Hey, let's unite them through singing!".  
Now when it comes to singing (at least in church)  our branch is a little (a lot) tone deaf.  So we were pretty worried about, you now, assembling a CHOIR.  

We taught them about voice parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) and then we all, one by one, sang a line of a hymn, in a given voice part.

Then, we asked the ward members to sit by the missionary they felt sang the way they did (and also if they could comfortably sing the same part).  

We broke down each musical part, line by line, to the hmyn which was "The Iron Rod".    We showed them what it should sound like and taught them how to sing.  

By the end of class, they sounded LOVELY.  

It was a miracle.  


I've been in Romania less than two months and it has been rough.  No one likes feeling rejected.  

But, I have this little secret that keeps me going.  

Every day, I find at least ONE thing that makes me happy.  

I always write all of these things down in a little journal of mine.  It helps me remeber that we live in a beautiful world and that there are many incredible things that we often miss, because we are too busy, too stressed and simply because we are "too blind".  

So, my challenge to you all is to not just look, but look UP and look DOWN.  There is beautiful things out there but we have to look for them. 

It might be difficult.

There won't be a neon finger saying, "Hey!  Look at this!" (If only it was that easy).

But, I know you an do it.  And I know that when you do it, you WILL be happier.  

Lots of love,
-Sora Kendall Lee :)

FOTBAL!  With Miss Damaris and Miss Edina!  

My small and simple treasure.  Blossoms in Timi!  

CRAP IS SO GOOD.  It's caviar.  It tastes great on fresh, wheat bread.  

Feeling Useful! Funeral Planning.

This week was crazy!  But hey, that is Romania for you!

We started off the week on Monday with zone conference in Arad, (about 2 hours away by train).  We were there all day and that is why my Pday last week was bumped to Tuesday.  I also was pleased to find that I had received several letters through DearElder (keep them coming!) and a care package from HOME!  Gah!  It just made my whole week.  

Tuesday, we went and played soccer with the elders in our district.  It got really competative haha.

We went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders (STLs) who are currently serving in Cluj- about 6 hours away.  They came down for a day and a half and Sora Smith and I got a new companion for the day!  It was very fun.  We will be going on exchanges with them every transfer.
Sora Drotar was my new companion.  She is a convert to the church and ROMANIAN.  Um, yeah, I lucked out... We also got in a lot of good contacting

Since the weather was incredibly lovely, we went park contacting.  I showed the people we talked to the photos I had of my family.  I used it as an experience to practice my Romanian and the people we spoke to really enjoyed looking at all of them. 

Shout out to my brother Connor.  Every Romanian girl asked if you had a girlfriend.  That is your confidence boost of the week haha.  

We also talked to people about how the gospel of our church teaches us that we have the ability to be with our families forever, that when we die, we can still be a family unit, and that we won't be drifting around up in heaven all alone.  That message really comforted the people that we talked to.  We talked about the Plan of Salvation with people and and most people were interested in our message.  

I attached a little 3 minute video about the Plan of Salvation ( if anyone wants to learn more about it) -gah it is my favorite.  It just makes me so happy that I can be with my family for time and all eternity.  Gosh.  Just so happy.  

The Plan of Salvation answers the 3 biggest questions in this life:
-  "Where did I come from?"
-   "Why am I here?"
-   "Where am I going after I die?"

I have such a strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation.  This is why I went on a mission, so I could share this happy message with everyone I meet.  

If you want to dig deeper.....This page, on the left hand collumn, you can learn more about the specific parts of the plan.

This just makes me so happy... I couldn't help but share it!

So lots of contacting occured that day.... after the funeral we attended.

SAD NEWS (bring out the tissues!)

Sora Miţin, the woman I would go read to every week, passed away last week.  When I found out I was actually super happy.  She had been waiting for so long to just "be with God" and she didn't have to be sick any longer.  

Her funeral was very small and all of her funeral goers were very sad.  The missionaries were in charge of getting everything ready.  For some of the missionaries in my district, this was the first funeral they attended.  Sora Miţin looked so beautiful, she genuinely looked angelic.  She even had this little smile on her face.  I thought it was adorable.  

All I could think about was the Plan of Salvation, andf that I knew Sora M was up in Heaven, happy and with her family.  I know God loves us all so much and that he takes care of us.  

Gosh.  Just, I love the Plan of Salvation!

Okay so then, we had a big Relief Society conference in Oradea.  We were there all day long.  One of the activities was sewing blankets for several kindergartens in the city.  

I might not know Romanian but I do know the language of SEWING!  


That day was the most useful I have felt.  I was so excited that I got to share my talents and my love for sewing- all the way in ROMANIA!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just hopped on a machine, (there were only about 3 of us, including myself, who knew how to sew) and I went to work! 

(Bragging time)  I pumped out 20 blankets!!!!  

*Stands on soapbox*

I would like to thank my Grandma Lee for nurturing my love of sewing.  Thank you thatnk you for all of your patience and time you have invested in me.  In moe ways than one, you have prepared me for my mission.  Love you bunches Grannie!

I would like to thank Mrs. Rhonda from the Joanns fabric strore in Foothill Ranch, California for being so patient with me in sewing class as a 10 year old girl.  Thank you for having trust in me and so much confidence as to let me use you nice (and very expensive) sewing machine.  

*Gets off soapbox*

Well, I have to go, we are going to a real Fotbal game (Soccer game)!  It is going to be legit.  I am so pumped.  


Te pup, PA PA!

First care package!!!!

 Sewing away in Arad!  I love Sora O'Brien!

Spring time in Timi!