I don't have a lot of time this week but I just wanted to fill you in on everything that has happened this week.
1.) We had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders. It was such a bomb day.
2.) Sora Merkely and I got sick (no fun)
3.) We planned (and decorated, and invited everyone in our contact list, purchased food) a ward party in about 7 hours. It was so crazy. Why? We had organized an event for the city called, "Zombie Fun Run" but no one came because . . .
4.) IT SNOWED!!!!!!!!!!!! (So we had a back up plan for the rest of the people who didn't want to be outside in the blizzard.)
5.) Transfer Bopards came out and I will be STAYING in Bucharest and I WILL BE TRAINING A NEW "BABY" MISSIONARY !!!!!!!
I did not see that one coming.
I'm a mix of excited and scared.
Holy cow, I never thought I would be a parent.
If you have "Parenting advice" please give it to me.
I gotta raise this kid right.
LOVING the people, LOVING the work and LOVING the Lord,
:) Sora Lee
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * If any of you had questions about the underclothing or "garments" some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints wear under their clothes...here is an AMAZING video about what they are and why we wear them * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I don't have a lot of time to email this week but man, I had a great week!
met with tons of our members and received some new people to meet
with! I love making new friends here in Romania! I LOVE SMILING. It's
my favorite and getting a Romanian to smile is the best part of my
It was just a great week. I love the members here and I am just loving it all.
calls really are inspired and I am so grateful to be serving here in
Romania- I feel so at home here it is crazy weird.
I am LOVING the people. LOVING the work and LOVING the Lord.
:) Sora Lee
Photo 1: My favorite little family!!!!! Go Family Verdeata!
Photo 2: My cute little mini me! Love you Miss Andrea!
Photo 3: When Romanians love you...they make you stuff! A little clay tree!
1.) SOUR CREAM AND MUSTARD go on everything. And if it doesn't come with sour cream (smântână) or mustard, it's not worth eating.
SMILING IS SOMETHING FOREIGNERS DO. People here don't smile in photos
or ...like ever. So when you see a Romanian happy, they are really
3.) AVOID COLD CONCRETE. If you sit on it, a million babas
(old grannies with shawls over their heads) will run out from their
hiding places and yell at you, telling you that you will indeed, go
4.) EVERYTHING tastes better pickled. Candy...watermelon...veggies....you name it.
PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION ARE ENCOURAGED. I have learned that
there are about 1,000 different ways to use a park bench....and a metro
6.) SHUT THAT WINDOW. Because if the cold air or "current" gets into your ears you'll become deathly sick.
MOST AMAZING culture ever. The music is so fun. The food is
incredible delicious. The language is a hipster language...and
beautiful. The countryside is surreal. The people are faithful and
8.) THERE IS A CHURCH, FLOWER STAND AND A BREAD SHOP ON EVERY CORNER. I mean how cute is that?
ROMANIAN DOGS SAY "Ham Ham" instead of "ruff ruff or woof" SO CUTE.
The most popular dog name is 'Puffy" but they say it like "Poooofff-e" SO CUTE
This week I want to let you all into
the life of a missionary in the Romania/Moldova mission, and probably
just about every other mission in the world.
One of the
most absolutely difficult things for me out here is the way people look
at me. Our name tags seem to attract the most negative attention,
especially here, where people seem to only have two attitudes:grumpy and
grumpier. It definitely wears on me.
I think it has
gotten harder for me to endure because I have gotten to that point where
I can really understand what people are saying...and it's mean...really
mean. I just don't understand why people would be so cruel to two 20
year old young women. But, there is always opposition against the work
of the Lord.
The thought came to me the other day, "It
would be so easier to talk to people without this tag on". But then the
thought of taking it off made me feel horrible. I am a representative
of Jesus Christ. I have been selected by inspiration and revelation
from a prophet of God to come here and teach these people about the
gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored again to the earth.
There will always be opposition in all things. But opposition brings growth.
every time someone mocks me, my beliefs or this church, I just tell
myself, "The Savior had it way worse. He went through all of this too.
He knows what I am going through".
definitely brings a few tears but it is also another chance for my
testimony to become stronger. To strengthen. To grow.
matter what people say or do, my testimony is my testimony. I know
what I believe is true and no matter what people say, I know what I
believe is true.
I know that The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior's established church,
which was restored again to the earth after years of darkness and
apostasy through a prophet of God. I know the Book of Mormon IS another
testament of Jesus Christ and I invite everyone everywhere to read it
and pray to know that it is true. I am grateful for the scriptures, my
days are leaps and bounds better when I read from them. I know families
are ordained of God, and that we must love, support and strengthen one
another. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know he is our Savior,
Redeemer and brother and because of his Atonement, I can become
perfected, even though I make mistakes. I know, God, Heavenly Father
loves us and he knows us by name. He hears are prayers and he will help
us in his own way and own time.
gospel can bring the purest happiness into your life. I wish I could
give you all a little "free sample cup" of the gospel. I invite you all
to try it but the choice is yours to take it and try it for yourself. I
promise you that you will love it.
Loving the work, loving these people and loving the Lord,
:) Sora Lee
Photo 1: One of my favorite quotes General Conference.
Conference is a biannual conference held in Salt Lake City and we have
the chance to listen to our prophet and apostles speak. It is so
amazing. Below is a link if you want to watch some of conference: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2014/10?cid=HPSU100514465&lang=eng
Photo 1: Went to dinner as a district. It was freezing. No sitting rom inside so we sat outside..we gt comfy blankets!
2: Walking home one night and it was freezing, the weather went
bipolar. A bab came up t me and told me that if I didn't cover my ears i
would get sick and die. So I wrapped my scarf over my head and walked
home hahaha. #peoplepleaser
This email will be pretty short because we don't have much time.
this week was pretty incredible. Seriously this week I really was able
to reflect on and remember my purpose as a missionary.
FIRST OFF MY BROTHER HAS BEEN CALLED TO SERVE IN THE BUDAPEST, HUNGARY MISSION!
We get to serve in neighboring missions!!!!!! I am so so happy and excited for him.
week we got to volunteer at the Special Olympics here in Bucharest.
Every week here we have the opportunity to work with handicap young
adults. We were able to attend the Special Olympics and support them
and serve them and their friends. It was such an incredible
experience! I even got to make some new friends! It was so
incredible. We prepared and participated in exercising, stretching,
volleyball and Jazzercise! Haha it was so incredible. Our friends
seriously have the sweetest spirits of all time. I love them so much.
also had the opportunity to be invited to their charity event. Our
special friends learn a specific trade, that they can master. Our
friends study sewing. At the event we were able to meet up with other
charities and learn more about their programs. We find ourselves more
people to serve so we are excited!
light though was definitely driving to this event in a CAR. Thank you
sweet elders for driving us out there! It was so weird driving in a
I also had the chance to meet up with a
couple who were visiting from America. They had heard about the gospel
and had arranged to meet up with missionaries here in Bucharest. We
invited them to church and they came, which I had to translate for them
because it was in Romanian. After, we asked them if we could share a
message with them about our church.
them about the Restoration of Christ's church, and that how through the
prophet Joseph Smith, Christ's gospel and his teachings was restored
once again on the earth, after years of spiritual darkness that followed
Christ's death. We told them about the Book of Mormon, why we have it
and why it is important we read it. We gave them a personalized Book of
Mormon, filled with our favorite scriptures, testimonies and invited
them to read it and pray about it's message. We promised them that they
would receive an answer that it was true.
the whole lesson I was able to feel the spirit so strongly. We taught
in English, which never happens for us, and to be honest, we were
nervous! The lesson was short and sweet and when I looked into their
eyes I was so happy. I sat there and hoped and prayed that they would
be able to see just how much I love this gospel and how happy I am t
have the gospel in my life.
We invited them to
be baptized and they said they would, when they knew it was true.
Then, the man said, "One day, I think all of this will click, and I will
know it is true".
And I know that without any doubt in my mind that he is right.
"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass."Alma 37:6
purpose on life is to learn and to grow. Not just physically, not just
mentally, but spiritually as well. No matter what we are learning how
to do: How to ride a bike, How to solve a math problem, How to do
anything........we have to start somewhere. We aren't going to be able
to know everything all at once, it takes time. But we learn little by
little, until eventually, we are experts.
It's just like the gospel, we can't know everything overnight but slowly surely, the understanding comes.
am so blessed to have seen this process occur in my life and in the
lives of others. The gospel really is so amazing and it is the source
of all happiness.
Still loving the work, still loving the people and always loving the Lord,
:) Sora Kendall Lee
Photo 1: Merkely and I at the charity event with two of our favorite friends Paula and David!
Photo 2: IN DA CARRRRR. Don't worry, we took this photo before we started driving and we all wore seatbelts.
Photo 3: Closing ceremonies at the Special Olympics!
I didn't have a lot of time this week but I wanted to share
with you all an experience I had this week that really left a strong
impression on me.
We met for the final time with
Kinga, or Kingsy, a recent convert to the church before she moves back
home to her city about 3 hours away from Bucharest.
She invited us to come teach her in her student apartment.
walk in to the cold and dreary student dormitory. My heart was about
as dreary as the dirty floor. It had been a hard week and I was hoping
that Kingsy could brighten my spirits. She meets us outside and
immediately starts smiling and laughing with us. We walk down this
long, empty hallway, and everything is cement blocks. No plants, no
carpets, no nothing. No people. No laughter. Just doors on doors. And
We go inside her dorm room and it is about as
big as my bedroom in America. 4 white walls with chips in the paint
and graffiti from past roommates. 4 old, semi broken wooden beds that
had been pushed together. A single blanket laid on top. One bag of
ramen. One cup. One bottle of Coke. One small suitcase. One little
stool. Then, on the middle of her little table, she had her scriptures.
I had never felt more at home in my whole life.
sat on her bed and shared with her a mini message about how we can
build up the church wherever we are and that we should attend church as
often as we can.
We sat there on her bed, wrapped up
in her little blanket, as she took her one cup, and poured us from her
bottle of Coke, something to drink. It was the most humble circumstance
I have ever been in in my whole life.
She lived so simply. With barely anything. And yet she was so incredibly happy.
love this gospel. I love God and I know he loves me. No matter what
happens in my life, as long as I am a member in this church, I will have
I couldn't have said it any better.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is happiness. Ever-lasting and eternal happiness.
I love this gospel. I love these people. And I love my Savior.
:) Sora Lee
Photo 1: Kingsy
2: How many girls can you fit in a Romanian elevator? 4, and 4 pizzas
too! (We got to host the outgoing Timisoara sisters!!!!!)
Photo 3: Saying goodbye to our "old district" with a little cheesecake! (Mmmmm cheesecake)
So transfo boards came out and I will be staying with Miss Merkley again!
We also got back late from Mogosoia today so this will be a short email.
week I was able to put all of my creative energy into planning and
executing the ward party. The theme was "Country Days" And we were
going to invite all of our simpatizanti, members and English students.
We decorated up top the nines, complete with burlap, checker picnic
print, pennent banners and sunflowers. We line danced, bobbed for
apples and ate donuts off string. We even prepared cornbread and chili-
which the Romanians gobbled up.
It was a huge success and we had a lot of people show up!
I am absolutely loving Bucharest and having the opportunity to be a missionary and serve others.
ALL have been given talents and we should use the talents to serve
people and help others come unto Christ. I love this gospel and the
happiness it brings.
The church is true. And I am so happy to have this gospel in my life.
Loving the people, loving the work and loving the Lord,
It's hard for me to really put into words this week. It
was one of those weeks where I feel like I gave everything I could but
still felt like I hadn't done much at all. Our lessons had bummed us,
people rejected us and to be honest, I felt like I wasn't having
success. That for almost nine months I would "Dip my pan into the river
and come up empty".
Then, I decided to think about all of the small, little things that had made me happy.
That lady that said "Hello" back to us.
The baby that waved to us.
The metro that arrived just in the nick of time so we wouldn't be late.
The rain cloud that chose not to dump on us until we got inside our apartment.
The family that smiled at us.
The security guard that asked us who waved us down to come talk to him.
The little girl from the branch who told me she wants to have my name tag to remember me .
The man at Subway who said I spoke Romanian well (he was too nice).
thing that I have learned while on my mission is that it is crucial for
all of us, regardless of our religious background, to look for all of
the small ways in which God blesses our lives. Whether you are a member
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not, Heavenly
Father STILL loves you and will still put blessings into your life.
wanted to share this video with you all because it sums up how I feel
out here every day. I hope that you will watch it. I promise you it
will make your day better. It's only 3 minutes long and it is filmed
like a mini movie!
I have also learned that
success, no matter how small, should be counted as success. And that
I've been "looking for nuggets, not just tiny flecks". And that, "There
is gold alright, you just have to know where to find it".
am so happy that I am a missionary here in Romania and that I have the
chance to share my happiness, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, with
those who are ready to accept it. Every opportunity I have to share the
gospel with people is enough. My small and simple acts of service DO
make a difference, whether I notice them or not.
"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass" Alma 37:6
Loving the work, Loving the people and Loving the Lord,
:) Sora Lee
Photo 1: WHUT. This dog has mad skill
2: At our weekly activity with our favorite teens!!! Paula, the girl
to my right, wants me to be her Maid of Honor at her wedding! Haha
Photo 3: Celebrating Sora Merkley's ONE YEAR mark with lanterns!!!!