Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm Alive I Promise!

Hello Family and Friends,

I'm here! I'm alive, I promise! We were in Arad again all day today for Zone Conference, so I'm only just getting to email.

Picture from Transfer Day
Arad, Romania

Yes, I got the package and thank you so much!! The Avatar Card Game that Lara and David made for me was so awesome! That was so cool of them to make a game for me based on my all time favorite characters and the cards looked professionally made!! Tell them thank you again for me!!

The weather in Timisoara sounds like the weather over there. Really nice, warm sun on some days, but also really windy. Normally I actually kind of like the wind. However, not when you're a sister missionary and your daily outfit is a skirt.

Glasses. So, in Romania it's a little hard to find a good optometrist, but luckily for me there seems to be a pretty decent one in the same bloc we live in. I scheduled an appointment and will be meeting for an eye exam on Wednesday. The money you gave me should be more than enough, but we will have to see.

The lantern lighting thing is not really a tradition. Sora Merkley was able to get pictures though, so I need to get those from her. Speaking of pictures, with the Christmas and Birthday money I hadn't spent yet, I decided to get a new camera. The other one's pictures were all bad and blurry, so the good news is I should be sending more pictures now. Should is the key word. I tried today, but for some reason the computer is not reading my card and I'm going to have to get the computer guy, Elder Ormsby's help.

Speaking of which, I should tell you all about the new arrivals to Timisoara. Elder Stinson's new companion is Elder Ormsby, who has by now told me that Sora Lee and I are his favorite sisters he's ever served with, lol. He's really a smecher (wise guy) but this transfer has been a lot of fun. He's from Idaho, he swims, he worked a lot with kids with mental challenges.

My boboaca (duckling, it's the nickname given to the new missionaries) is studying to be a dermatologist. She's really into the missionary work. I don't feel like I'm actually training most of the time. She's from California and pulls the funniest faces. 

I am really doing just fine. I had a bit of a rough patch where I was getting really stressed out and overwhelmed, and a lot of stress just happened all at once which was a little hard to deal with. Now I'm over it all and things are back to normal.

As far as the work and investigators is going in Timi...

I wish there was better news I could tell about it. Some of the members are moving - a whole family and one of the sisters for work. And one of the members left to go back to his Baptist Church.

Sora Mitin is in the hospital, and has been for the past few weeks. We all thought that this might be her time, but like the last 50 trips she went to the hospital, she's been hanging on pretty tight. She seems well again.

Hospital in Timisoara

In other news, we're not meeting with the taxi driver anymore. We've let the elders take over contacting him, and he seems disinterested anymore since the sisters aren't the ones making the phone calls.

The three girls are still coming to activities and such. We haven't had a sit down lesson with them for a long time, though. We've been trying, but school and homework and the fact they're teenage girls keeps it from happening.

Our other investigators are... well, no one seems to be progressing and they all are losing interest. I'm just hoping and praying we can get a good handful of new investigators to work with really soon.

I don't mean to sound like a downer and all depressed this week. Sometimes you get a bunch of hits, and sometimes you get some misses. Lately I've seemed to be missing a lot, but that just means there should be some pretty good swings coming up.

I've been learning a lot spiritually, though.

For instance, one thing God's been trying to teach me is that we really are all doing better than we think we are. A lot of stress and emotional pain comes from ourselves telling us we're not doing as good as we think we should be. But really, a message like that will not come from God, unless of course we're consciously doing wrong, and we know we need to correct ourselves. Even so, we always tend to beat ourselves up more than we deserve. I was talking to a past companion about this once. She was upset over not being able to forgive herself. I remember telling her, "if someone does you wrong and asks you for forgiveness, do you generally forgive them?" She told me, "Well, yeah." And I told her, "Well, imagine yourself out of your body, as if you were someone different looking at yourself. And you came up to yourself and said, "Will you forgive me?" How should that be any different than someone who wasn't you?" If that made any sense, the point I was trying to get across was that we are people too, and just because we're inside our own brains doesn't mean we're any less deserving of our forgiveness than anyone on the outside.

Well, as of recently, I've had to take my own advice. I was really upset with myself and my imperfections when I was reminded of what I said to my past companion. I was reading a story written in that cookbook I got for my birthday, (yes, out of the cookbook, lol), that was about the benefits of realizing tha, really, you're not perfect. The benefits that come from that is that it takes a lot of pressure off your back. No one has to be perfect right now. Sure, maybe you could have done that better, or said that a little kinder, but you didn't so big deal. In the words of Elder Ormsby, "Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it." I mean, if it's so easy for Christ and for Heavenly Father to forgive us, why do we need to be so hard on ourselves? They know that we're trying hard, and that we're not perfect yet. If today is not the day, try again tomorrow. Someday we'll get it right.

Anyway, I really appreciate the Elders here in Timisoara and how they've been taking good care of us.

Hot Wings the Elders made for us

So a lot has happened in the past few weeks, but I don't know if I can remember or write it all down. So I'll just get the big stuff. English classes have started up and Sora Lee and I have been teaching medium level English. We get a good turnout and we've been having a lot of fun. We played paintball again in Arad last week. My skills have improved since last time and I walked away with only ONE welt. *High five*

Contacting. We've been doing lots and lots of contacting. And, we are doing 12 week training again for my trainee companion. I never missed that.

Orthodox Church near a square where we proselyte

Elder Ormsby showed us this great place to get hot cocoa that is basically like pudding. We've been there twice.

And that's all I have time for today. I'm sorry for the past couple of weeks, it's all been a little crazy. But things are back to normal and I'm really doing fine.

And, Elder Montoya is going to teach me how to play soccer.

Sora Smith

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