Monday, February 10, 2014

I Have Found My Calling . . . hairdressing. I'm just kidding. I'll get to that in a minute.

I can't believe this transfer is almost over. As the saying goes, time flies when you're having fun, and Sora Momo and I are definitely having fun here in Timisoara. It's too bad that, since 9 sister are coming in, we'll most likely be saying goodbye because we'll both be needed to train. I wouldn't mind staying with her... for the rest of my mission, ha, ha. Who knows. Maybe we'll stay together. Maybe we'll get each other again later. Whatever happens, we'll make this last week count.
This week was same old, same old. As in, it's become same old for things to be crazy all over.

On Tuesday we went to read to Sora Mitin. I don't remember if I told you about her. She's an old member whose husband brought another woman home one day and said, "This is how things are going to be," because Sora M was diagnosed with cancer and told she'd live only one more year. She took her kids and left him, and suffered through the cancer on her own. And that was 42 years ago.  Now she's a little worse for wear, and she's become blind so us missionaries take turns going to her house to read to her out of the BOM or Bible every day. Tuesday is our day, and while we were there she asks us to find something. She doesn't know where it is because she's blind, we don't know what we're looking for, so we spend 20 minutes playing a game of "No, that's not it. Look in the other drawer." "No, we can't find it...". It was so funny, she was laughing the whole time. "It's so easy!" Then we found it. It was her phone bill. She wanted us to run to the store and pay it for her so she can call people again. Haha, I love Sora Mitin very much.

It was also Elder Bliss's birthday the day before, and Sora Momo and I were in charge of refreshments for FHE so we baked him a cake. We got all of the missionaries to put on those hats you sent me, and we put up the sign, and had a little celebration for him. He seemed very pleased.

There's one guy who comes to English class named Vlad who told me he wants to be my manager and we'll become famous together. I told him deal if we split the earnings 30/60/10 (the extra 10 going to Sora Momo for being my backup dancer). So now we just sign the contract, and I'll be Romania's next top star. Be ready. :-)  Vlad's really funny.

On Wednesday we went street contacting with the Elders. There was this one stray dog with a crooked spine and it practically kept running into the wall when it tried to walk. It was sad, but funny, so I whistled to the dog, and next thing we know, WE CAN'T GET RID OF HIM. We literally would hide behind corners to lose him. He found us. Every time. We'd cross the road really quickly and lose him. Twenty seconds later, we hear the *pit pat, pit pat* again.  That was the only friend we made contacting that day. I've learned my lesson. No more whistling at stray dogs.

Not a whole lot happened Thursday. We had district meeting like usual, but Elder Stinson shared this one devotional given at Rick's College by Hyrum W. Smith about why the restoration had to happen in 1820. Here's a link to the audio recording, it's really interesting and worth a family home evening or something:

We've also been practicing a song with Elder Montoya and Elder Morby to sing in sacrament meeting next Sunday, "If you could Hie to Kolob." It'll be great.

On Friday we had interviews. President and Sora Hill came up to Timi where the weather is nice and clear and warm. Apparently in Buch it's snowy and depressing. I love being in Timi. It's Spring here while in Buch and Constanta and even Craiova it's still snowy winter. I wish winter always lasted one week.  Anyway, after interviews we had yummy taco soup together, and then played laser tag with the Assistants and the Hunts. It was so intense, but I got 6th place! ...out of 10.

Entering to Play Laser Tag with the AP's
After the Game

Something Sora Merkley and I did after comp study a couple of days ago. We made district chains. They're paper people chains, but we colored them to look like us. And we're stinkin cute.  Sora Hill saw these, and she's like, "Oh my gosh they're so cute! They look just like you! Oh my gosh, it's our kids!" 

 Nothing happened on Saturday.

Sunday had a nice surprise when I walked in and saw some members from Oradea there to greet me. It was District Conference and the District Presidency is in Oradea. I loved to see President Geambasu and Fratele Blaga again. We also were banished third hour to the primary room,  but I didn't mind. I like it better in there. There's snacks and toys.

So, Sora Merkley has really long red hair, but she's been wanting to get it cut because her ends are damaged and she wants it healthy again. So, Elder Montoya graciously offered to cut it for her. We asked him, "Have you ever cut a girl's hair before?" and he says, "yes."  Well, let's just say that even with my limited knowledge in hair cutting, I had to take over.  Elder Montoya and his comp had a dinner date with the other elders, anyway. So I kicked him out and finished the haircut.  But I must say, I'm pretty proud of my first ever haircut. It's even a fancy a-line with layers and everything. (Don't look Jess, or you'll have a heart attack. Don't forget, I'm not professional). 
Before the hair cut

During the hair cut

After the haircut

And then today. We had to thoroughly clean our apartment for the end of transfers. Lesson for life: cleaning thoroughly is really easy if you keep things clean all the time, anyway. We cleaned it top to bottom in a really short amount of time. It was awesome. High-five to us.  Here are some photos of our apartment. We had to take pics to send in to prove that it was clean, so today is your lucky day, lol.

Our famous staircase
So that's how this week went. We weren't able to get any lessons, every one we scheduled ended up being cancelled within 30 minutes before the lesson. But hey, there are ups and downs, so we're just getting the down out of the way for whoever is in Timi next.

Or so I tell myself. Have a great week!

Sora Smith

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Errybody in Timi gettin' Baptized!

Well, I guess winter only lasted a week here in Timi. It's warm and sunny outside, and the snow is almost melted. Still pretty snowy over in Buch, but hey, I'm not in Buch so there's nothing to worry about. I don't know if there will be more snow or not, or if there will just be an early spring.

Gypsy mansion across the street from the church

This week was crazy. As in I have a welt the size of a quarter in the shape of a cross-crazy. Let me start from the beginning.

So we had English classes on Tuesday like usual, but Sora Momo and I were in charge of the spiritual thought. We decided to pull out the over-used atonement lesson where we get a bag of candy and say, "Who wants one?" and make Elder Montoya do 10 pushups for every piece of candy we give to someone, whether they want it or not. It went really well this week, because the pushups started getting hard for Elder Montoya and the students started saying "Stop! Don't make him do anymore!" and even some students got down to work for their own candy. I still made Elder Montoya do the 10 pushups, because I told them that that was the only price I'd accept. Everyone was arguing and getting frustrated, until we said that this was exemplifying the atonement, and the whole room became quiet. We talked about how Christ paid the price for each one of us, whether we accept His payment or not, and it is the only way by which we can receive the joy we desire. So yeah, it was a great demonstration.

Our District

We've also been able to have lesson with the three girls. They love hanging out with us and playing at the church, so it was nice to be able to sit down with them and talk about the Word of Wisdom and Chastity. So after the lesson, we talked about the b-word, baptism. They all had a temporary baptismal date before, but something happened so we were bringing up the subject again. Then the oldest one, Damaris, says that their parents say they aren't old enough to make a big decision like that until they are 18. That means 2-4 years from now. But that they all really want to get baptized.  What's funny is that it's always about waiting for the people who are ready, and even then there's still so much in the way. In 2-4 years, though, Timi's going to see some great changes. So we're holding out on that. We're still connecting and meeting and having lessons with the girls. They'll get in the font soon, I hope. Lol.

Sora Momo and I are getting sad because it's almost the end of the transfer. We're having way too much fun serving together. So it's going way too fast.

Friday we had institute and I finally learned how to bridge a deck of cards. (We played after lessons).  Looks like I'm going into being a pro dealer when I get home. Watch out, Vegas. 

Saturday we had a ping-pong tournament at the church with us missionaries and a few investigators. I came in fifth... and Elder Hunt won so we gave him the trophy we made. The trophy was a cardboard and tape ping pong paddle made by Elder Montoya and painted purple with a little yellow crown by us. Ha,ha, it was cute. And that lasted pretty much all day.  Then we went out to get Shaorma with the elders. Thing is, running on an empty stomach and then eating Shaorma doesn't really work for me. Because then I got really sick and my stomach was on fire. No more Shaorma. At least for a really, really long time, lol. 

Sunday we had church, we fasted, we planned our week ...

And then MONDAY we went to Arad for pday to go paintballing with the missionaries over there. It was so much fun! And that's where my welt came from. Right on my side. Hurts like heck but it was so worth it.   It probably sounds like we play all day and don't do a whole lot of work. Believe me, in between all these events, we ARE doing actual missionary stuff. Contacting. Lessons. The works.

Our return trip from playing paintball, my hair is full of paint

Dar, hai să fim onest, în realitate, noi jucăm toată ziua bună ziua.  Suntem misionare bune!! Eu vă promit!  (Rough translation =  But let's be honest, in reality, we try to make our work fun and every day a good one, while we are striving to be good missionaries! I promise you! 

I should probably add something spiritual so please remember to pray.  Prayer is a very important thing. Pray all day every day.

Have a good week!
Se poate!

P.S. - Today a kid stopped us in centru and gave us flowers because we're beautiful.  So sweet!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

S-a găsit-o: misionară pierdută în România

Dear Family and Friends,

Please let Emily know that I am praying for her.

I've noticed that everyone has a different mission experience, even in the same mission. Some missionaries go through training new missionaries, some experience this or that. It's weird, you never know what to expect. At first I was the "open cities" missionary but I guess I'm getting a break from that :) I do know for sure I'm training next transfer, though. Nine new sisters are coming in, meaning every sister that is older than the transfer behind me is going to be training. That will be exciting. 

Beautiful Sunset in Timisoara

Oh yeah, you asked about my apartment. All of the Elders joke around about our Timi apartment, saying "How are things going in your mansion of an apartment?" They only say that because we have two levels and stairs, ha, ha. But after we've worked out a while, we're not liking the stairs. What they're jealous about, I don't know.  It's really nice, and unlike the Craiova apartment, the couch isn't falling apart! Haha, I like it because it's clean and it's easy to keep clean.  I'll... send pictures later.  However, we have our own bathrooms.  I'm a plumber! My toilet broke,  so I got my hands dirty and fixed it.  And I done fixed er good.

There are trams and busses in Timi, but we're only a 20 minute walk from the church so we're not spending the 100 lei or whatever for a pass. We get everywhere by foot, which really isn't bad, until it snows.

I am staying healthy and I'm surprised! I've really been feeling great for a really long time. Getting little cold symptoms here and there but it's all good.

It finally snowed in Romania!  Adica, (in other words), it's kind of like someone took a giant shovel of snow and dropped it on top of everything, overnight. It's a little crazy how fast it went from 0 to blankets. It's cold! And a month late, which is a month less of snow so that's a good thing.

This week we had exchanges with the sister training leaders. Sora Peterson and I had a lot to do on Tuesday. We had a lesson with a 10 year old girl Delia and her same-age cousins, a half English, half gospel lesson. We talked about the plan of salvation and I brought out little cutouts of the plan, the girls really liked that until they went off topic and asked me if I believed in extra terrestrials... ha, ha. Delia's father was there, like he usually is for these lessons, but he doesn't typically pay attention. We gave Delia her own BOM, though, so we'll see where this goes.

I also taught seminary in Romanian. I mean, there's only one student, so it's not like that's a big deal, but hey, it was in Romanian AND I was talking about Isaiah, so I'm pretty proud of myself.  And, because we're on exchanges and I'm really bad with directions, we got lost, in Timi. It wasn't so bad, I mean, we made it to the church. Eventually. And it hadn't had snowed yet. Lol.

Oh, yeah, and so I've been trying to dye my hair back to a light brown color, but it's not been lightening up at all, so I decided to get a super light dye so it would settle in the middle, right?   And now I'm blonde.

ANYWAY, so this Friday was my six month mark, and Sora Newell and Elder Brundage (who are BOTH in Craiova having fun WITHOUT me) called and we chatted for a good thirty minutes about all our adventures. I miss them so much. Someday my whole MTC district will be serving together again in... Buch or something.

Writing email home

So that's pretty much my week. The BOM is true. If you're not reading it currently, start it. There's a reason 1st Nephi is in the front of the book, it needs to be read the most.  Lol.

Okay, the elders are telling me to hurry up to play cards with them, so I'd better go.

I'll write you next week!
Sora Smith


P.S. I forgot to tell you something else we did (besides getting lost in Timi... again...)

There's this one family who lives in the countryside who I got to meet for the first time. Very humble family who are in the process of building their home, and so sweet and they love hearing what we have to say and having us over. Apparently they usually have fed missionaries nightmare food, like livers and hearts and brains. I got lucky, they gave us sarmale hahaha.  Their family name is Familia Crap. It's funny talking about them, "We're going to the Crap's today!"

But they are really sweet people. You ask the father, "Can we share a verse from the BOM?"and he says, "have I EVER said no?" So cute. Unfortunately, their oldest son who is also their money maker cut his arm, so they're struggling and really stressed lately. He is okay, but things are hard for them right now.  I hope to go to the Crap's again soon.

Branch Family Home Evening Activity

FHE - Get the cookie to your mouth without touching it

Almost there!


Ciao ciao!