Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ohhhh Myyyy - Mama Ana's

Hello All,

Well, the weather is really changing for the worse. It hasn't snowed yet, but it's going to soon. We've been having a lot of fog, which is weird. I've never really been in fog. I've been in haze. This isn't haze, this is really thick. Fog. Because of the humidity it's a very biting cold that goes straight through to your bones, so with the fog it's kind of like you can see the cold. You could cut it with a knife and spread it on your toast.

Our proprietor (landlady) has been in London for the last week, and it only just got really cold and we have no heating in our apartment, so we're waiting for her to return, to turn our heat on. It's harder to get up in the mornings when you're so comfortable in a blanket burrito when it's 0 Celsius in the room.

Transfer day is really close, November 27th. We're thinking that Sora Gerhartz will stay in Oradea and I'll move somewhere with a bigger district. We don't know, it's up to President Hill. BUT! I'd like to go to a bigger district. I also really love the people in Oradea, so I'm indifferent about whether I stay or go.

So, to explain the title of my email.
Over the past few weeks, I've had a handful of times where I've eaten at a Romanian's house. Usually they like to give me more than I usually eat, but somehow I stomach it. But today we went to Mama Ana's. She is a kind non-member lady who loves the missionaries and has served the missionaries meals for years (since like 2006). So we were invited to eat at her house today.  Every missionary who has eaten there talks about how great her food is, so I was a little excited. We get there and she serves us a kind of chicken Ciorba soup, and I was so proud of myself. I was able to eat the whole bowl and thought, "Hey, I think I really can stomache a little more!" (because Romanions love to refill your bowls when you're not looking). So, Mama Ana gives me another bowl, I eat it, and I am stuffed to the brim.  Then she brings the meal out. I had no idea she was planning on giving us more. She brought out a plate with three heapings of potatoes and a chicken schnitzel and I'm like... yay... more food.  I don't think I have ever eaten so much in my life. This was an hour ago and as of right now I feel like I'm going to explode. It was really good food. Just... so... much....

Speaking of Viorica, she called us early this week. She dropped us. It was going so well, but she decided she was Orthodox and wanted to stay Orthodox and not meet anymore.

Our lesson with Mihaela went really well. We had a member present, and she told a lot of stories that Mihaela really liked and agreed with. We feel good about her again, we were really worried about losing her, but the lesson went really well so we hope we can get her to come to church again and maybe have a good experience.

We had another lesson with Francisca that went very well. We haven't met with her for the past two weeks because her family has been on vacation in Hungary, but now they're back and she's been reading the Book of Mormon (yay!).  We had the restoration lesson with her. She didn't eat it all up, but she listened well, and to be honest, I prefer it that way. She'll only learn for herself if she questions, (the right questions). She committed to praying and continuing to read, we're really excited to talk with her every time.  We were a little worried that her husband might be against all of this, but we met him this week. He came home just after we finished the lesson with Francisca, and he's carrying a box for his 8 year old son Kevin with an antique cookoo clock in it. The whole family, mom, dad, Kevin, and 17 year old Eric are together putting the clock together and seeing if it works. The dad was joking around and having fun with his kids and there was just so much love in that family, we know the gospel will do so well to bless their lives.

We met with Silvia again, but she just wants to talk and we only get through a little of our lesson. We talked about the gospel of Christ. We want to start with things she'll agree with and then bring up the Restoration.

This week was Sora Gerhartz's year mark, so we celebrated by ordering pizza. What's funny is that we also ordered salads, and Sora Gerhartz got a tomato salad. When it came and she opened the box, all it was was a cut-up tomato. Tomato. Salad. Welcome to Romania. It was so funny.

So, I'm not gonna lie, I'm a bit of a prankster.
Last week while Sora Gerhartz was in the bathroom, I slipped the Vizante mask under the door. Scared her so bad, it was funny. So then before going to the bathroom, we'd always have to check where the Vizante mask is so our companion won't slip it under the door. Then I came up with a brilliant idea.  Sora Gerhartz was checking to make sure I didn't have the mask. I told her, "I promise, I'm not going to slip it under the door." So, she closes the door and waits for a minute or two before using the bathroom to see if I do slip it under the door. I don't, so she decides it's safe when she lifts the toilet seat cover and there is Vizante, on the underside of the cover. She had a heart attack, I died laughing it was so funny.

This is a picture of our bags of poufflettes and some ginger cookies taped to the ceiling. We ate too much and removed the temptation. By taping them on the ceiling.

This week with our English classes we got permission from President Hill to watch Tangled in English with Romanian subtitles. That was a lot of fun! I miss watching movies! And I love Tangled. And, now my hair is kind of like hers at the end of the movie....   Here's a picture of me with my new haircut.

So we've been meeting with a lady named Elisabeta for a couple of weeks. I haven't mentioned her before (or have I? I honestly don't remember) because we don't have lessons, we just walk with her and her dog. We count it as contacting because she is a lady who has made it very clear to us she does not believe in God, which is really rare in Romania. So right now we're just gaining her trust, and her dog Sindy really likes me.

If you saw me studying while I was in school, and if you were to see how I study now, you would ask who I was. I have become a really good study-er. And I learn so much. I've been reading a lot in Genesis lately, and it's confusing, but I have a study guide from that I use and I end up learning so much, it's really great. That's one nice thing about being in a mission with not many investigators, I get to use most of my study times for personal learning.

I've been studying in 2 Nefi this week, and there was a lot of interesting things I learned that contrast how the Orthodox church is run. For instance, Nefi is explaining the prophecies of Isiah and it is explained numerous times about priestcrafts and how many priests want not the glory of God, but the glory for themselves. That is so true of the Orthodox religion. The priests here are regarded almost as royalty and they just take and take money... a lot of the taxes here go straight to the Orthodox church. We talked with some teenagers a week ago and were happy to see how they at such a young age could see how corrupt that is. You have to pay to be baptized. You have to pay to have the priest bless your house. It's so sad, and so clearly outlined in 2 Nefi how it is not God's way (because Nefi delights in plainness, haha). It also says in 2 Nefi to not rely on the precepts of men but to rely on the precepts of God, and we get this response often "Well, I can't this or this because such and such, because that's what my priest said." It's just really... interesting.

So, that's about all that happened this week. It went by pretty quickly, we had a lot of lessons (in comparison...)! So here we are on our last week, I'll find out where I go on Friday.

I'm doing great. I'm working hard. I'm a freezy popsicle out here, but I'll survive. And I am SO excited for Craciun (Christmas)! They've already started decorating the city!

Sora Nicole

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