Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Photos Round 2

Photo 1: Ghost wall art!
Photo 2: The elders let me paint their faces!!
Photo 3: Fun times with Hill Billy Golf!!!

More Halloween Party Photos!

Photo 1: Musical Chairs
Photo 2: Pumpkin carvings
Photo 3 : Skeleton door decor

I'M TRAINING A NEW MISSIONARY!!!!!!!! #freakingout #callmemom!

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 is an AMAZING video about what they are and why we wear them * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Photo 1: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Photo 2: Oct 25, SNOW
Photo 3: I was Minnie Mouse in DA SNOW

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Photo 1: Riding a horse and preaching the gospel to all who will hear!!!!
Photo 2: LOVING FALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Photo 3: How to properly sit on a bench: by Sora Lee.  Yes, the newspaper keeps you from being sterile....seriously.  

Yup. I like Romania. A lot.

I don't have a lot of time to email this week but man, I had a great week!

We 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 service here!

It was just a great week.  I love the members here and I am just loving it all.  

Mission 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!



So I have been out for nine months, halfway done, holy cow time FLIES by out here!!!!

So I've decided to give you NINE TIDBITS about life here in Romania.  And NINE SPIRITUAL TIDBITS about being a missionary.  

  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Nine ROMANIAN tidbits - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.   

2.)  SMILING IS SOMETHING FOREIGNERS DO.  People here don't smile in photos or ever.  So when you see a Romanian happy, they are really really happy.  

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 sterile.  

4.)  EVERYTHING tastes better pickled. name it.

5.)  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 seat.....

6.)  SHUT THAT WINDOW.  Because if the cold air or "current" gets into your ears you'll become deathly sick.  

7.)   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 strong. 


9.)  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

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Nine SPIRITUAL tidbits - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1.) PRAY ALWAYS.  I've noticed that my days go a million times better when I pray right when I wake up and throughout the day.  

2.)  READ FROM THE SCRIPTURES DAILY.  Even if it is just one verse, you'll see a difference in your day.  

3.)  SMILE AT EVERYONE.  People just love seeing other happy people.

4.) BE KIND.  The world needs more kind people.  It makes a huge difference

5.)  GOD DOES LOVE YOU.  At times you'll feel like he doesn't care about you, you are just another person, but that is FALSE.  He does care, he is here for us.  

6.)  ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.  "Share the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words."  The best type of missionary work   might not always be the most "obvious" way of doing things.

7.) BE CREATIVE!  use your talents, we all have them.  Big or small, use what you have to build and strengthen the kingdom of God on earth.  

8.)  BE BUSY!!!!  Fill every hour of your day with something meaningful.  Get up and do SOMETHING!!!!

9.)  BE GRATEFUL.  Count your blessings, because we have been given so many.  

:) Sora Lee

Photo 1 and Photo 2:  9 Fingers in the air for NINE MONTHS!
Photo 3:  Lighting off lanterns to celebrate!  
Photo 4:  Merks and I throwin' our "nine" gang sign.  
Photo 5: "Halfway done" sign hahahaha

The Daily Struggle and The Daily Reminder

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.

Then 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". 
Every comment definitely brings a few tears but it is also another chance for my testimony to become stronger.  To strengthen.  To grow. 
No 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. 

This 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.
General 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:
Photo 2:  Just taking a scripture study break
Photo 3:  My new boyfriend
Photo 4:  Sewing a quilt for service with Daniel!

More Photos!

Photo 1:  Went to dinner as a district.  It was freezing.  No sitting rom inside so we sat outside..we gt comfy blankets!

Photo 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



Remembering Why I Am Here

This email will be pretty short because we don't have much time. 

Well this week was pretty incredible.  Seriously this week I really was able to reflect on and remember my purpose as a missionary.  


We get to serve in neighboring missions!!!!!!  I am so so happy and excited for him.

This 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.  

We 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!

The high 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 car.....

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.  

We taught 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.  

Throughout 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 

Our 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.  

I 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!


Humble and Happy

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. 
We 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 cement.
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. 
We 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. 
"I 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 happiness" -Kingsy
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
Photo 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)

COUNTRY DAYS Ward Activity!

Sunflowers, lots of crafts, dining and line dancing!  :)

Mogosoaia- Our Pday adventure!

We're HAPPY we're staying together....It's gonna be a DOPE transfer

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.

This 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.  

We 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,
:) Sora Lee

Looking for Flecks

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).

One 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.

I 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".

I 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
SO true. 
Loving the work, Loving the people and Loving the Lord,
:) Sora Lee

Photo 1:  WHUT.  This dog has mad skill
Photo 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!!!!
Photo 4: Our smiley face lantern! 

Apartment Photos! (If you want to see them)

Here is my apartment in Bucharest!