Monday, May 25, 2015

"I'm Like A Leaf On God's Tree"

This week we were able to see Zina and her daughter, Rafaela follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized.  We were SO HAPPY for the decision that they had made.   They were so very prepared and so willing to make any sacrifice possible to be baptized.   They just radiated pure joy and they had the most genuine smiles on their faces as they came out of the water.  After they were baptized, they were asked to share how they felt.   Rafaela happily told us , "I feel like I am a leaf on God's tree and that I just want to make him happy".  I died.   She is nine and her sister Daiana who is 7, will be baptized in December when she turns 8.  We love this family and I can say that they have changed my whole mission.

This week basically revolved around them, making sure that they were ready to go for their baptisms.  We got to see Daiana's first grade finishing program and it was the cutest thing I had seen- it reminded me why I wanted to go into teaching.  She represented the letter "Ă" and each student represented one of the alphabet letters.  As they came forward, they each had memorized a poem, with every word beginning with their letter!  SOOOOO ADORABLE!   We love them so much.   

Transfer Boards came out an I will be serving another transfer with Sora Barrera here in Chișinău which means I get to "kill her"- meaning I am her last companion before she goes home!!!!!!!!!  It will be weird because we are in the same MTC group but since I'm extending, I really won't be going home with her!  But it is going to be awesome and we are SO EXCITED!  

I am just so truly happy here. It's weird to think that I am starting my LAST FULL TRANSFER- yup #12 and I wonder where all of the time has gone- truly it's like it is all a dream.  I have no regrets and I just want to make these last 10 weeks incredible.   

LOVING the work, LOVING the people and LOVING the Lord,
:) Sora Lee

President Covali, who baptized Rafaela, and Elder Soelberg who baptized Zina with some branch members!

We love HUGS!   Ca un urs mare!!!!!!!!!!

Zina and her girls, Daiana and Rafaela

At Daiana's recital!

Such a cute program!

Her and her little letter!

Just drying my panties

The view from our study room

The Gara (train station) is pretty

Bye Sora Elliot!  And yes, we are the only four sisters in this country!

Most of us Moldova missionaries at the gara

Goodbye elders!!!!!!!  Enjoy America!!!!!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Spoilled Smâtână Sandwiches and Crazy Communist Towers

Ah this week was just so great!  My keyboard is in Romanian and there is no way to change it so just get ready for a lot of typos!!!!! 

Well I just love it here in Chișinău, it is really weird thinking that my mission is winding down for good but I hope I will get to spend my last few months here in Chișinău and send Sora Barrera home next transfer!  Transfer boards come out on Saturday and we are really hoping we will stay together!  We shall see!

Confession-  Even in my 11th transfer I still make language mistakes haha.  And this week during English I made a big one!   During our spiritual thought after class, one of our elders was reading a scripture that was filled with tough words.  He struggled past his limit and handed it over to me, and I finished the scripture boldly (and with too much self pride).  Now it is my turn to extend a challenge to our students, to put into practice the message we had just shared with them.  I wanted to say a simple statement- what can you do to strengthen your foundation?  Seriously so simple but I butchered it, so so hard.  I couldn't even think in Romanian for about 10 seconds and it was like my brain and mouth weren't connected.  I finally got the words out, after much struggle, and the class clapped for me at the end.  Wow, it was such a struggle.  I need to be super humbled in that moment I guess.

I also ate the most nasty thing in my whole was a sandwich which had smâtână on it, covered in different types of cheeses.  It tasted like it had gone bad or was not pasteurized...I cannot describe it but I just could not get myself to finish it.  I wrapped it in a napkin and shoved it in my purse as soon as he host left the room.  I felt soooo sneaky.  

I also cliimbed up an old communist ski lift tower today....I have never been more scared in my whole life. It is a series of 3 rusty set of stairs which are positioned a couple hundred feet in the air, followed by one vertical ladder, complete with the safety bars that wrap all the way around.  The final ladder was about 100 feet long says the expert climber Sora Koth and man was I was gripping to that ladder as hard as I could.  I had completely worm out my muscles by the time I reached the top.  The view was incredible and I had Sora Elliot and Sora Koth rooting me on as I climbed down.  It was scary but worth it!  Probably the wildest thing I have done in my life.

We also discovered that there is a flower here named Elder so Sora Barrera and I had a fun time doing things with the quote on quote elders hahah!  Pictures attached!

We have been so busy preparing Zina and her daughter Rafaela to be baptized this week.  We are so happy to be teaching them and they truly have been prepared for this message.   I know that SoraBarrera and I are just the lucky ones who get to help her to this next chapter of her life.  She already understands everything, our lessons are more of conversations and she already has a testimony of all of the gospel principles.  It is incredible, Sora Barrera and I are so amazed by her and her daughters.  I love them so much and this little family is changing my life.  

I am just so happy and looking to Heavenly Father to bless me and help me be my best every day.  I just want him to mold me into my best self.  So I am allowing him to make all the changes he sees fit!  I LOVE MY MISSION!

Loving the work, Loving the people and Loving the Lord,
-Sora Lee

Me and Sora Barrera after a park contacting session- it is hard to see how my hundreds of stairs are behind us.  We had just done a crazy cardio workout the day before and were struggling very hard as we walked up all these stairs!

Some Relief Society Activity Pics!  Zina is sitting next Sora Barrera with the bangs

Me hugging the elders

We love Elders!

Sunday night dinner with Sora Elliot (front) and Sora Koth (back)

The quest through the padure to the tower

The stairs

more pics to follow.......

Monday, May 11, 2015

Trying to describe my life?

Well I am just so happy here in Moldova.  I love my colega like no other, we have this incredible family we are working with (still haven't taken a photo of us all yet sorry!) and so many more friends that we are inviting to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ.   We are laying a lot of basework here, as well as building the branch through progressing investigator friends.

I got to Skype with my parental units this week and it was so nice to see them!    AH.  Love them miss them and it's weird...only 3 months left!!!!  Time goes by way too fast.   

We headed down to Buc for Leadership Meeting which rocked.  We met some more American Mormons and wow they are the coolest people ever.  They were actually the mission presidents in one of the Ukraine Missions.  Nicest people ever.  

We had this huge doubnle branch activity (Russian and Romanian branches) and soooo many people showed up!  I was too busy running around with the kiddos the whole day that I never took any pictures, the Russians elders took tons so I'm waiting for them to send me some, then I will send them out to you!  It was great seeing so many people there- we went to the place where Moldova was dedicated as a mission.  

I am loving my mission.  Currently, all of my weaknesses are getting thrown in my face and I'm just seeing this as an opportunity to make the changes I should so that I can be my best self!

Honestly, it's getting more difficult to write emails, it's just my life now, and it all feels so normal to me.  It's hard to put into word your life.  But man, I am loving every single day.  

Loving the work, loving the people and Loving the Lord,
:) Sora Lee   

Cute blue house with a bright green cart in the front!

This little picturesc fence!!!

I love Zina and her girls!  And their shoes!

Sunburn level:  10

Little traditional Moldovan dancers

Book exchange!  Bring a book get a book!

Some sort of Russian prade/revolt/protest/flag show ?

Me beating the church rug!  It is my favorite chore!

Sora Koth, Ecaterina (a recent baptized member), Me, Eugenia (member) and Sora Barrera at the combined activity!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Prepared People Falling Into Our Hands

We just got back from a super fun Pday trip to Orhei Vechi (Or-hay-Veh-k).  AH.  So beautiful and my pictures don't even due it justice at all!  Okay so to the email section......

Wow.  I really am just so exhausted haha I don't know what to write about.  Literally so much happens in our days and I cannot even put it all into words.  It is mostly just a full on way of life that is so impossible for me to even begin to describe. 

The worm problem is near resolved.  And just so save my hide....I DID NOT drink from any wells!  You can get worms from bacteria growing on silverware...cups........yep......

So we have this investigator Zina and her 2 daughters and she was in our English class.  Welp, she has honestly fallen straight from Heaven because when we teach her, she's like, "I already know that all of this is true because God lead me to the truth".   She has a baptism date set on May 23rd.  It is wild.  We literally did nothing and we just have the wonderful opportunity to teach this uber incredible woman.  She is so prepared in so many other ways...I cannot even begin to describe...just she has waited for this moment her whole life.  Ah!

We also have 2 other investigators preparing for baptism........they are gifts from God.  Like, absolutely prepared by him and just dropped into our laps.  

Sora Barrera and I presented at Zone Conference and we were for some reason super emotional because it will probably be our last one before we go home!   It was so sad.  We had a little crying session in the back row haha.  

Sora Ivory also answered one of the biggest questions I've had for a long time....why did it take so long for my call assignment to be made?  It just sat in Salt Lake City for 2 months without receiving an assignment.  I always wondered what took so long.  She told us she had talked to a member of the 12 and he told her that when they cannot decide where a certain missionary should go, they put their application in a pile.  "The missionaries in the pile can be sent to any mission, so the members of the 12 must spend a little extra time on deciding where these missionaries need to go".    I was bawling.    I know that Romania/Moldova Mission was just the place where I needed to be and I am so grateful that I could be HERE! :)

I just am SO GLAD that I chose to serve a mission!
Loving the work, Loving the people and Loving the Lord!
:) Sora Lee
Bagged milk in Moldova!   Side note, it is hard to pour!

Don't yell at the maxi taxi driver!   Haha!

The coolest district on the maxi taxi!

People put coins in the sandstone and make a wish

The cross on the hill top

Check out this view!

Cute Orthodox Church!

We wore headscarves as a sign of respect when in the cave monastery!

The cute bell tower

Awesome trip!