I AM IN ROMANIA and I LOVE IT
Seriously. I love it here hahaha. Everyone reading this should come pick me up from Romania in 16 months haha. No joke.
Yesterday was my one month mark in the country!!!!!!!!
I really wanted to go to a Mexico mission but this...this is where I belong. It's kind of like the Mexico of Europe and I just LOVE IT.
ALSO my Pday is today because yesterday on Monday, we were in Arad for a big zone conference with other missionaries. We got back too late and I ran out of email time. That is why you are getting this email on Tuesday.
So this week.......
Let me start with my English class. Oh my goodness I love them.
So my companion Sora Smith and I teach the medium level of English class. We have everyone from middle school students to elderly couples in that class-it is quite the bunch! This week, we taught our class about how to give directions. Up, down, left, straight ahead...things like that. Then, we set up a maze. We blindfolded members of our class and asked them to direct each other through the course. It was so hilarious. They seemed to get a kick out of that! They asked us about the American holiday of "St. Patrick's Day" and I got very excited because, hey, I am Irish, I live for this stuff haha.
So I am explaining about four leaf clovers, getting pinched and pots of gold. One of the students raises his hand and says, "What about those little men?" Hahah and I was like "What?" and then I said, "Oh my gosh yes LEPRECHAUNS!" Hahaha the English class got a kick out of leprechauns. They all practiced saying the word hahaha. It was so great. I love Romanians. Everything about America seems to excite them.
After we had a great spiritual lesson, (see photo below) about how through the support of our families, friends, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, we can endure hard things. They had this huge stock pot and the elders kept filling it with water. They asked one of their students to hold out the pot out in front of him, with his arms locked completely straight. It was very difficult and he gave up pretty quickly. But, we all got to represent a person helping this student out. We put our hands under the pot, giving him additional support. As more and more of us began to place our hands under the pot, the weight of the pot became more bearable.
Whenever we are experiencing hard trials it is important that we have a strong support group to help us endure through the difficult times. So, here is my challenge for you all this week: Who is one person that you can help? I promise you that even the smallest thing you do, will make a great difference in their life.
So all of our lessons fell through this week (welcome to Romania). Then, we call up this cute little girl named Dahlia, who is ten years old. We do 30/30s with her, her father brings her to class because we want her to learn English. Usually, her dad never is an active participant, but recently, he has been extremely interested in our spiritual lessons at the end of her English session.
We taught Dahlia about "Alegi ce e drept" or more famously, "Choose the Right". For all of my non-LDS friends I am sure you have seen "CTR" rings. I usually always wear one. So what "Choose the Right" means is basically what it sounds like- make the correct choices. Choose what is right. Do good things. Simple. To help explain it more, I drew pictures up on the white board. I divided the board into three lines, each with two photos in each line.
The first line had a big, blossoming flower and the other side was a dead flower.
The second line had fruits and veggies on one side, and candies on the other side.
The third line had a smiley face and a sad face.
I asked her to go through these items and circle the better choice. I handed her the marker and slowly she circled the blossoming flower, the fruits and veggies and the smiley face. Her dad leaned forward and told her, in Romanian haha, "You are excellent at making good choices, I am so proud of you!" It was so cute. We told her that everything that made her happy and feel good was what God wants her to do and she said that she agreed.
We handed her a matching "ACD" ring and she was SO excited! I love her. Cutest Romanian girl.
Sora Smith and I made pancakes for the elders. I got really fancy in the kitchen and made everyone Mickey Mouse pancakes hahaha. Then, after, we all went out for Hot Coco hahaha my district is amazing.
So let me tell you about Sunday. Sundays are the funniest yet most spiritual days of the whole week.
So my "ward" (congregation) is very small. So small, it is referred to as a branch. We have about 15 members and they are all so different. We have a lot of elderly people and they are very very tone def. Hahaha. When we sing hymns in our meetings, they all sing to their own little tune haha it is so hilarious. I love them all so much.
I GAVE MY FIRST TALK ON SUNDAY!
My topic was on prophets and afterwards, some ward members told me that they are very impressed with my accent. They really like hearing me speak Romanian. So that was a HUGE compliment!
So, I do not have a lot of "measurable success" in this mission. Most of our lessons never occur, baptisms are rare, people refuse to talk to us, block our number on their phones, yell at us...it is hard. But, at the same time, I know that the work I am doing here is not useless. I might not be able to see the results that I want but that doesn't mean that they will never happen. It just a matter of time.
It's like when there is all of this snow covering the ground. It's discouraging, where did all of the color go? When will spring come? But, eventually, little flowers will manage to push their way up through the snow. It takes time but eventually, we are able to see the result of all of Mother Nature's hard work. I believe the exact same results will manifest themselves in the Romania/Moldova mission. Maybe not while I am here, but maybe the next sets of missionaries will be able to enjoy the work I have prepared for them.
I just have faith in my Heavenly Father and know that as long as I am do what he wants me to do, he will follow through on his end.
I want to end with this poem by Douglas Malloch. It is one of my favorites.
Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
I love Romania and I am so very happy to be serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Te pup, Kisses,
Pa-pa! Bye bye!
Spiritual Thought about our supports in life
|My district at the BEST HOT COCOA PLACE EVER. The hot cocoa is literally the consistency of pudding.|
|My Mickey Mouse pancake. Ya'll be jelly of my mad homemaker skills|