Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Slow Week

Not a whole lot has happened this week. We didn't have any lessons and we did a load of contacting... lessons make the weeks go by fast but when you're walking around the city all day every day, you just kind of hope to be sitting in someone's house talking about Jesus Christ.

I decided to make up a brownie recipe because I wanted to bake something, and the Elders, Sora Gerhartz, the training sisters, and the Romanians that tasted them loved them a lot. One Romanian woman begged me for the recipe, ha, ha, and Sora G and I ate so many of them I'm not baking them again.  At least for this transfer, lol.

Let's see... we had companion exchanges this week. I spent a day with Sora Heim and she's pretty down to Earth. We were supposed to meet with Kevin for an English/gospel lesson, but that fell through so we contacted all day. Good thing I got sturdy winter boots!

Although this week went slow, I have a really interesting story this week.

Remember my story about the Tramvai lady who said "In the end, the Tramvai will come."? We got her number because she was really sweet, so we met with her this week. We started to introduce the Book of Mormon when she said, "Wait, I have to tell you a story first. This story is real and true. No one believes me, but I trust you girls."  She continues talking, and I'm only picking up about 80%, but I start feeling something bad.  After a while, I wanted to leave and we had a lot more to do anyway, so I motioned to Sora that we needed to leave.  I felt peace again the minute we left that woman's house and I prayed in my heart for the spirit, and the Holy Ghost came.

Here's something that I learned a few years ago in seminary that might benefit a lot of people.  First off, evil spirits are real. BUT, they don't have to be around you if you don't want them to. The power of the Holy Ghost is so much more than that of a bad spirit.  It isn't until you consciously put yourself in an environment where the Holy Spirit is not present and it is inviting of those bad spirits that they can affect you. It's our choice completely. If you don't want that bad feeling, don't invite it. Simple as that.

So, the adversary really knows how the Book of Mormon works, he's trying really hard to get people not to open it up. We've had quite a few contacts where we got really far until something came up to make them not want to read it. I have two examples specifically: 

First was a man named Colin, who had heard a little about our church when he lived in Kansas. We talked to him and bore testimony of the Book of Mormon, and he said he'd go home and read it. Then, when we see him again he's apprehensive. He decided instead of reading the BOM to look up our church on the Internet and ran into polygamy. The Book of Mormon, the actual source of truth about our church, was never was opened.

Second was a woman named Sylvia who, when we initially contacted her, started to cry when I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it has brought me closer to Christ. We gave her a copy and she said she wanted to read it everyday. However, before we saw her again, she called a friend who told her to "Not to believe in Mormon, only believe in God." and she never opened the book. (BUT! When we saw her the second time she fed us and I had my first authentic Romanian dish! Some cauliflower thing, but it was actually pretty good and Sora G. keeps saying I got lucky because sometimes what they serve missionaries is scary.)

That similar scenario happens time and again, which really only proves to me more and more how true that book is. I'm confident, though, that when things start picking up here people will start to open it.  Anyway, that's how things are in Romania right now. Moving slowly, but surely. We'll be starting English classes again this week, and I'll be teaching the medium level. I think we might get a better turnout.

I've been feeling really homesick this week and haven't been sleeping well. I talked to President Hill  about it, and he said that part of the reason I may be feeling homesick is because things are going slow so there's not much to take my mind off of it, and another cause of homesickness is when a person feels under-appreciated. At first I thought, no, I feel appreciated! But then I understood what he meant. I do feel a lot of appreciation, especially from home, but I've realized I don't really feel appreciated here. President Hill said it's not abnormal for a new missionary to feel that way. (Don't worry, the pictures from home actually help my homesickness, I really like them.)

So this week has been especially hard. I'm still trucking along, I can make it with Heavenly Father's help. So yeah, the pictures are great. The reunion looked like a lot of fun!  Really, I just appreciate hearing how people at home are doing. And hey, I'm starting to tan from all this walking around outside! It's been pretty warm. Anyhoo, I'll write you again next week.

Sora Smith

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