Monday, July 7, 2014

Good News and Bad News and Sad News!

Well, I haven't met the Ivorys yet but the ZL's have and they tell me they're super cool. I'll get to meet them this week when they come up for interviews and a zone training meeting.

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get a hold of Marianna since, so we don't know... we'll try to get in touch with her soon.

That actually caught me off guard hearing Daniel is home for medical care, I mean I was reading his emails but I was a little surprised. I hope and I pray he can get back out again and soon. Someone was telling me that nowadays any time off your mission you take at home counts as mission time, in other words his return date would stay the same as if he didn't take time off. Is that so? I know it's for good reason, I just hope everything can get resolved and resumed real soon.

I met the love of my life!
He died over thousands of years ago though . . .
And, I'm not exactly sure he's the kissing type . . .

It's super hot here now, and super humid so I feel like I want to sit in the fridge for a few hours between outside times... but you can't find investigators there so I guess it's a no go.

In other news, I found out something really upsetting the other day and the moral of the story is DON'T GOSSIP.  It doesn't matter who you are or who you talk to. If you have a problem with someone, talk to THEM about it and maybe they can clear it up for you.   I've also been feeling especially lonely lately.  My companion is a good friend and good to me, but our District isn't very united and the lack of solid investigators that I can really love, and the whole gossip drama on top of that has put me in a dark corner by myself and has let in a lot of feelings of loneliness and homesickness.  Don't get me wrong. I only want to correct this and continue working. But please pray for me, this may be the hardest trial I've faced on this mission so far. I'll pray for the things going on at home, too.

I'm trying to keep it chin-up as much as I can and we've still been out working positively, and it's only getting more positive from here. We had a district meeting after the ZL's had a leadership meeting in Buch with the Ivory's and we've got some really good things planned out. We're going to start a free Bible Study Class were we connect things to the Book of Mormon. The thing is, English classes don't really work in Arad. The church villa is so far away from civilization, no one wants to travel that far and the only way we advertize is through cards and sometimes posters. BUT. We've been talking with people who would be interested in a bible class and the elder's investigator has offered a central venue, and through connections we already have a potential 50 people that would come. So if it all works out, it may just replace English. That would be awesome.

The Romanian Soldiers Monument

Also we're giving family history a lot of headway. Things for family history have been picking up in Romania. I mean, who doesn't like family? Just so's ya know, I've been showing like, everybody our family photo so there are quite a few Romanians who have seen your faces :) Mom you'll be happy to hear that everyone says we're such a beautiful family. Although, about 50% of people will mention off the bat that none of us children really look like we're really siblings.... lol.

We also had Mihaela, a Romanian member living in England, show up and introduce us to her mother and a friend who's interested in the gospel. Well, her mother was super closed off, "I'm orthodox and going to die orthodox." But we gave them a spiritual lesson, and invited her to church and she promptly said no. Well, Mihaela's friend was running late, so to pass the time we sang them some hymns and she had an old guitar I used to accompany. Mihaela's mom started to cry and said it was so beautiful, that she never felt so much peace. Her friend ended up not being able to come, so we thanked them and left with another invite to church.

Mihaela lives more in the countryside
so, we met some sheep
And, cows on the way

And then, Mihaela's mother came to church! It was the first time ever, and Mihaela and her husband (also a member) have been trying for years. Her friend was there, too, and in Sunday School Elder Myler gave a good lesson about the plan of salvation, and both the mother and friend said it was so beautiful, that they want to hear more.

Like Dumbledore said, "Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here."

Sora O'Brien and I are planning on doing more sing contacting and I'm excited. We watched David Archuletta's thing on where he talked about how he sang hymns at people's doors and they let hymn in. WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT BEFORE?!? So we're going to do it.

My ukelele

We also met with Daniel, a very charismatic guy who's been all over the world (even to temple square, he said it's one of the most beautiful sights he's seen!), and offered to teach us a lot of Romanian history. We learned a lot, tasted a lot of traditional Romanian cakes (which weren't really that great....), and gave him the first lesson. And he agreed to a soft baptismal commitment... and he came to church.... and he got the P of S lesson with Myler.... and he still wants to meet. He wants to take us out to his uncle's farm where it's really culturally enlightening, as he puts it. Haha, well he's been a very good friend and his interest in the gospel is increasing so this is positive. Did you know that salami was invented by the Huns, where they'd travel miles and miles on horseback, and to feed themselves they'd stick raw meat between the saddle and the horse and what seasoned it was the sweat from the horse's back? Nasty. Not how salami is made anymore. But interesting nonetheless.

It was Elder Myler's birthday. I made him a cake but ignore the edges because I ran out of frosting...

Here are some pictures of the Romanian Flag.  It is cool, but unfortunately I couldn't capture the coolest part about it.

You know how the Moldovan flag is like Romania's but it has an insignia in the center? Romania's used to have one, too, but during the revolution people cut it out and this flag in Arad is one of the few originals that remain. If you look closely at one photo you can kind of see a small hole but it's a big circle cut out. Unfortunately, they tied the flag down so I couldn't get a photo of the full flag. But I'll keep trying...

This White Building is the Primaria (government building)
The brown building is a church... I think it's catholic?
Our friend Daniel wants to take us there sometime.

Anyway, that's the big news of the week, kind of dramatic and annoying, but also positive.

Everyone have a good week. I hope everything gets resolved with Daniel and he can get back out. And good luck Jeff and Adam with Les Mis!  And I hope Lara and Dave keep having fun with my past co-worker playing games at their new apartment :) And everyone else, that good things and blessings come your way.

Sora Nicole Smith

P.S.  We saw a U.F..... oh, it's just a remote control helicopter.

Want to hear more about the "Bug of Mormon?"

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