Monday, July 27, 2015

The Last Week

First of all- AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!  Where has the time gone?!  I am in the last full week of my mission.  It is bizarre.  But awesome.

So this week was like a full on roller coaster- ups and downs and everything in between!  We have 3 new investigator friends who are incredible.  We had a day where we planned 5 lessons and they ALL fell through. We did a lot of contacting and the more you do it- the more fun it becomes (and less awkward).   I thought I was going to die this week from a random sickness.  After a day of sleeping, I felt great.  I quote my companion, "Sora Lee I thought you were dying from cancer".  I guess it was pretty bad- I just felt tired.  Haha.  We did a lot of less active finding and had a lot of success- even if we got very very lost in some very very foreign parts of Chisinau!  We are excited to work with these members and strengthen their testimonies!

This week just really strengthened my testimony that everything we do, happens on the Lord's timing.  The work will hasten in it's time, when the people are ready to receive the message.   I've learned that hard work always pays off, even if we feel like nothing is happening.  Even if we don't see the results- it doesn't mean that there aren't any.  

Also, this week my companions "prepared me for my next step in life" and we listened to, who knows how many conference talks about marriage and dating and families....Hahaha I love them but I'm not ready for that next step quite yet......  I also learned that a tripod easily means three times the fun! Another thing- we randomly break out singing John Denver songs?  Haha we all agree that our parents raised us up with some good music.  I also learned that the expression is actually, "Play it by EAR" not "Play it by HERE"  Oops.  I thought it was like, "Go with the flow", "Take the day as it comes", "One thing at a time".  I'm an idiot haha.  Missions sure teach you a lot of good stuff!

So this is my last full week as a missionary. We are busy with a lot of lesson every day- I will drag myself to the finish line.  I really cannot express how truly grateful I am for serving a mission,  it has changed who I am- inside and out.  And I look forward to continually improving for the rest of my life.

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


The view from our apartment

A pretty well

Lost- completely lost.  Purely candid shot.

Art inside of a bloc (apartment complex)

Heel click!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The TriPod Rolls On

Wow, I just have LOVED my mission and it's weird to think in 2 weeks all of this will be over.   Romania and Moldova have become a part of my life, a part of my identity and even though I will be going home, there is always going to be a part of my heart in these countries. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my mission!!!!!!!!! 

So we have been doing a lot more contacting this transfer than I have ever done in my whole mission (errr, since I served in Timisoara a whopping 18 months ago).  We are trying to find more people to teach and be more equally balanced in every aspect of our missionary work.  We have found a couple less active members and are working with them, while strengthening the active members and teaching new friends! 

Doamna Vicky is my favorite person ever.   We have been meeting with her pretty frequently recently and she is an incredible woman.  This week, we are going to ask her to be baptized and we are so excited!  She is this incredibly loving mother and she wants what is best for her children.  She has searched all over for a lasting happiness, but she told us she feels like this is the right path for her.  She truly has a light in her eyes and she is so motivated by her desire for a better world, a better life, and we know the gospel can give her that. 

So I have the calling as a young women's teacher in the Russian branch and I LOVE IT!   We get to work with Polina every single week and she is one of my favorite Russian members.  I've begun Personal Progress in Romanian and we are working on it together.  That one hour of church is probably the happiest I am all week!  

I am just so happy.  Just, ah, I have just like, this very hard to describe inner peace, this inner happiness... and I love it.  I want to feel like this my whole life!  

My companions are great, the tri-panionship "tripod", works hard rolls along, and gets along!  I couldn't ask for anything better!  

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

The tri-panionship

Am average bus stop station in Moldova

Sharing a kiss with my family!!!!

Excited to see my brother in 3 weeks in HUNGARY!!!!  We got permission to see each other!!!! YAYAYAYAYA

Monday, July 13, 2015

Soaking Up the Micro Miracles

Update:  The tripod companionship has been temporarily dissolved because we are with Sora Mits, who has come to Moldova in order to apply for her Romanian visa (Australians need to apply outside of the country for whatever odd reason) and her process has been...corrupt and rather difficult so she will be staying her until it all gets worked out.  She will be serving with Sora Seare.

So my new companion is Sora Black! She is from the San Francisco area of California, she's 20 years old and is just the coolest person on the face of the planet.   She is the best missionary in this mission and I learn so much for her.  I know I will learn so much from her in these final weeks.   
Update:  I have been assigned to the Chisinau Russian branch so we will be involved in the missionary work there and it is very exciting!   I love the Russian members and I have the calling of branch chorister, which is super interesting because 1.) I don't speak Russian and 2.) My song leading never pleases anyone haha but hey I love it and I just roll with the Russian.

So this week we did a lot of contacting which has actually been really cool and successful!  We met a lot of really kind people and it was a very pleasant experience.  We do a lot of contacting and we are expecting about 500 people to be at our English classes so we will be very busy right until the end!

We also have this incredible investigator Vicky and she is just so great and she really wants to give her children the world.  We are going to ask her to be baptized this week.  We also are working with our recent convert Natalia and helping her learn how to teach the Young Women's class.  She has such a desire to learn and to grow her testimony.   

Nothing super big, wow, or overly eventful to report but just a lot of small awesome accomplishments, a lot of micro miracles are going on all around me and I just try and soak it all in.    

I seriously have no clue where the time has gone- mission time is 9,000x faster than real world time and I just want to grab it and super glue it down somewhere so it can't just slip through my fingers.

I'm grateful, so glad that I chose to serve a mission.   

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

Me on the struggle bus

Thinking about my missionary brother in HUNGARY!!!  Go BUDAPEST!!!!!

 I love my companion!

So close......

 I love pretty Chisinau

Monday, July 6, 2015

Worms = Baptisms

Wow. So this week was nuts.  NUTS.  Ah.  But so incredibly great.   

So Sora Barrera and I met with Cristina, one of our friends to go pick osme cherries with her at her mansion house.  We climbed up in her trees and filled bags with delicious cherries.  It was incredible.  We sat in the the trees just pulling the cherries off the branches and eating them.  It was incredible.  We then went to her townhouse countryside home and did some service there, watering all the plants.   It was a great day.   On our way home, Sora Barrera got feeling very ill.  We had a lesson at the church and she just could not contribute. She is a pretty tough cookie and she leaned over and said, "I honestly feel like I am going to die".   So I'm like, "Crud, what to do..." Ah.  We felt like we needed to read with Natalia form the Book of Mormon but we hadn't decided on a specific section to read with her.  I said a tiny prayer in my heart, asking for guidance towards a chapter.   

I felt strongly prompted to share the chapter on Lehi and his "Tree of Life" dream.   *** If anyone wants to read that I have the link here :

So I'm solo teaching essentially and I am breaking down each verse with Natalia.  Poor Sora Barrera is as white as a ghost.  And we get to the part about the fruit, more or less this verse:  

"And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit."

Now the fruit represents God's love.  And something like just clicks in Natalia's head.  Like, i could see her countenance change.  She was like.  "I have tasted this fruit, and I want to share it with others"....and she goes on to say, "And the rod of iron represents the gospel-like what you are teaching me".  And she just like lit up!   So we invited her to be baptized and......she said "Um, i'm not sure- I don't think my family would want me to change".    And I just told her, "You know the next step".    So we ended with prayer and Sora Barrera and I headed home.   

So Sora Barrera is like puking up a storm in between her little nap sessions.  It is like 10:30 at night and I got like 10 phone calls form Ecaterina, a recently baptized member, who is best friends with Natalia.  So I call her back and she like yells into the phone, 'Natalia wants to be baptized" and I'm like, "WHAT?!"  Hahaha and at first I didn't believe her and then Natalia gets on the phone and she's like, "hey so I was thinking about what you said and oh, i loved that scripture and yeah, I like this 'fruit' and I want to be baptized ON SATURDAY".    

So I relay this info on to Sora Barrera who is barfing down the hall.  And through her sessions she's like, "Wait what?!"  Hahaha

We still had like half the lessons to teach her and only 5 days. So I tell her she would have to meet with us every day in order to be baptized on Saturday, the 4th of July (which is hard because she lives very far away and is always working) and she says, "I want to be baptized on the holiday, i will meet with you every day so you can prepare me for my baptism".

So I told her OK lets do this!

I also told Sora Barrera that she needs to barf more often because her barfing brings miracles.  

***As I bit into a cherry I found out that that their were little worms inside them.....and that is what made Sora Barrera sick!  But hey, God works in mysterious ways.....worms = baptisms?

So this week we prepared her and ran around saying goodbye to everyone and their mothers because it was Sora Barrera's LAST WEEK because she goes back to America this week.  SO SAD I will miss her.  

We also had a 4th of July Party that was more stressful than enjoyable and I have no cute pics to send home because we just looked hammered and gross so sorry everyone.  Natalia was baptized right after the party.  She was worried because the water was "too cold" (idk not jacuzzi level warm) was like 100+ degrees outside....Anyways...the font is full and she is in the water and is like, "it's cold" and we are so tired and stressed and hopeless..... and then the elders come rushing in carrying boiling, and I mean BOILING HOT pots filled with water and just dumped them into the font before she was baptized hahah.  It was very memorable!  

Natalia is a great member already and has been assigned to be a Young Women teacher for my cute Russian little girl Polina!  I am so happy.  We are going to be Natalia's Young Women counselors.  I am so excited for that.  

------ So I am in a triple companionship here in Chisinau now.  4 weeks left and I am serving with Sora Black from California (I served in the same Bucharest district as her and I love her) and Sora Seare who I think is from Utah...I don't know much about her!  But it will be great!!!!!

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

Photo 1: Some photos of Natalia (in the blue dress)- she is actually SUPER HAPPY here!  Moldovans just don't smile with their teeth.

Photo 2: Ecaterina is her recently baptized friend and is very artsy.

Photo 3: Bye Sora Barrera!
Congratulations Natalia!!!!!!

Thumbs up from Natalia and Ecaterina!!!

Party time!

Eating the BEST watermelon

The best family of all time