Monday, June 2, 2014

The End of the Reign of the Redhead

Sorry that this week I don't have as much time to write, but not a whole lot happened anyway so you're not missing much :)

As far as the language is coming... sure I'm getting fluent (whatever that means.) If people talk, I understand them. And I can communicate and get my point across, so sure, you could say I'm fluent :) A lot of missionaries say I'm good with the language, but a lot of Romanians say not so much, so you know.  I mean, at least I understood them making fun of my language skills.  Didn't see that coming, didja???

English classes have started, and despite the hard work we put out getting all of our cards out and talking to everyone about classes, we only had 5 students show up both days. It was disappointing, but sometimes you have good turnouts and sometimes you just don't. So we'll see if the classes pick up more as the transfer goes.

New contacts, not really. We've been out contacting a lot with little luck. The people here are a lot more closed off than anywhere else I've served. I'll just have to find a way to get around that..

My companion Sora O'Brien

About the title, yeah, my hair's brown again. I finally got every tint of red out by balancing it with a greeny tone. NO, my hair's not green. It's actually really close to my natural color, maybe a little darker. So, the red was fun while it lasted but I'm glad I'm back to base one.

This week was actually quite a difficult one. We've both been working our tails off with little result. It's been really frustrating, and we're at a loss of what to change to make things work. Things just aren't working, and the branch is struggling big time. I'm trying not to feel discouraged, but when you've been working so hard and have nothing to show for it, life becomes a little harder.  This area hasn't had an investigator for months. Whether that's an area or missionary problem, I'm not sure, but since we've come in and been working so hard, I'm inclined to think the people here are especially disinterested.  So we're still trying.
Main Street in Arad
It's also been a little frustrating serving here because it's like pulling teeth trying to get the elders to do anything with us. No contacting with them, no p-day activities, nothing. It's like we don't even exist until they need us for something. Oh well, I'm over it. 

This week I guess has kind of been like trying to get through a maze but we keep running into walls. We'll get out of it soon, but in the meantime it's a little exhausting running in these circles...

On the good news of things, I bought a cute shirt today for under $10.

Sora Smith

P.S. again, sorry for the lack of photos. I found my reader, but I don't have my camera... next week for sure.

Here is a message for the ward:

Romania has had a difficult history. The mission only recently opened just over 20 years ago, right after Romania had succeeded in overthrowing their communistic leader. The early Latter-day church in Romania grew rapidly and began to spread to other cities, but as soon as the government signed with the European Union, those that could afford it moved away promptly, harming the branches and leaving most cities with less than 20 members. However, the members that remained are some of the strongest, most faithful people I know.

Missionary work in Romania is difficult because most people are Orthodox and going to stay Orthodox. Romanians also generally are closed off and do not trust other people. Can you blame them with having just gotten out of communism? So getting them to open up and let a little of Christ's light in is difficult, but once you get to see that, you get to learn how great these people are.

Orthodox Cathedral in Arad

One of the greatest things I've learned from serving out here is how much God loves all His children. With the small struggling branches, hardened hearts of its citizens, corruption in its government, and little hope that exists for a brighter future, Romania has been blessed in the small and simple ways that has helped her scars fade and begin to build a new foundation from the rubble of a difficult past. 

As it says in Alma 37:6-7:
"...behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
  And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls."

Those small and simple things are what are picking Romania back up on her feet, and every by every mean God is reaching out to show His love for them who He loves so much.

I bear record that this is the true church restored to this earth, and that God does love us His children. I have seen so many miracles during my mission that cannot be mistaken for anything but signs of God's infinite and eternal love. Through this love He has reached out to us again to teach us of His plan for our eternal happiness that we can return to Him, our Father, again.

I hope all is going well with everyone at home, and that we can all unite in delivering this special message to those that need help finding that love that is so readily available to them. I miss you all, and I'm grateful for the great examples you have all been for me.

Love, Sister Nicole Smith

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