Sunday, August 17, 2014

Holy Bible, Blessings, and Bucharest

Hello everyone in the world!

This week was so good. I feel like I'm finally out of a pit I didn't know I was in and on to solid ground.

This week started slow, just getting things ready for transfers. We met with Sora Lidia on Tuesday at her clothing shop, and she had a couple of customers there that started arguing with each other about God as soon as they found out we were missionaries (not arguing with us, in fact they both said thanks for our service and then turned away, lol). Well, Sora Lidia is super awesome and stepped in and totally made peace between the two with her infinite wisdom. She bore strong testimony and resolved the conflict. She is so great.

Anyway, we left for Bucharest, Tuesday evening and the Elders talked to the sleeper car guy and there was a vacant room, so I run ahead to pay him the extra cost for the room and the Elders and my companion come with the luggage... except for my stuff so we had to stall the train to run all the way to the back of the train, grab my backpack, and run back before the train took off. It was exciting, but we got a sleeper! Phew...

Transfers were really boring, I got to stick around from six in the morning until midnight. But I also got to see a lot of people so it was worth it. I ended up going out to lunch at a Ruby Tuesday with some past companions and friends and it was really great to see and talk to everybody again, even  for the short time I did.

So, my new companion and I got into Arad on Thursday and settled in nicely. Sora Cox is awesome. She is really sweet and we have a lot in common. One of those things in common is we both just came from a very similar companionship, so we were both super ready to get to hard working. She just came from Chisinau, too, where there's mostly Russian so I've been helping her learn Romanian (although for a third transfer missionary she already does great.) We're working very well together.

Also, more blessings, even in the first week we've already had good things going with our Elders.  They actually, listen to us and are working with us......  We aren't alone anymore.  AH I AM SO HAPPY.

I haven't met the Smiths (mission couple) yet, except for Elder Smith briefly when I was in the mission office.  He seemed very nice and I 've heard a lot of good things about them. They just got into Arad last night so I'll see them soon.

Library in Arad
We went contacting with our Elders and we chalked some sidewalks for English classes. I don't know if I told you already, but we're going to do English classes different this transfer because our church building is so far away.  We got permission to hold them in the library. We're hoping for a bigger turnout. This also means that we only have August to do it, so we won't be holding classes for as long a s usual. BUT, if the library likes what we are doing, they'll let us continue.

Sunday, Ioana wasn't able to come for the first week in a long time. She had to stay at the farm, so it's understandable. I think I forgot to mention that last week we found a stray cat on our way to church, so Ioana took him home to the farm. Apparently she named him Myler, hahaha.

We went to primary, Sora Lidia's granddaughter usually comes with her to church, and the Elder's investigator brought his goddaughter. Lidia's granddaughter is so well behaved, but oh my goodness the other girl was difficult. She was running around  the villa yelling... so I grabbed her and sat her in the room and talked about being reverent in God's house,  and she goes on saying things like "shut up," or "you're stupid," "I don't need to listen to you," and I'm just like... .. haha this little girl needs a lot of love. She was most especially rude to Lidia's granddaughter, but she took it like a champ. She was such a good example and would retaliate by saying things like, "I'm not stupid,  look what I drew,"  and she shared her toys and markers.. and the other girl rips her drawing and she just goes, "that's too bad, people would like you more if you were nicer." Woah!  She's five!

Anyway, after that crazy, relief society was just that. .. a relief :) until, of course, the end when one of the sisters gets upset over a small matter.  The other sisters, Lidia and Mogos were also champs. They made her feel validated, loved, and the problem was resolved.

There are some really, really good people here and I feel that those events were just like a tender mercy reminding me how good some people are, especially when dealing with other people.

Anyway, that was this week other than a lot of English contacting. We contacted this one guy who had been to our church before in Arad a long time ago, and he had a lot of questions that he said he asked missionaries but no one gave him a satisfiable answer. Well, he liked my answers. At one point, though, I kind of felt like Jesus when his interrogators were asking questions only to test His knowledge or prove Him wrong, and I figured we wouldn't get anywhere like this. So I bore him solid testimony of the Book of Mormon and our restored church, and he took it and accepted the challenge to read and pray about it.

That's what I learned early on in the mission, it doesn't matter how clever you are with words or at proving yourself right, the absolute best thing you can do is to bear testimony and let the holy spirit of the witness of truth handle the rest.

So I've definitely felt much less homesick over the course of this past week.  I suppose Daniel and Isaiah are both going through a similar deal of being reassigned to the states.  I can't remember who it was,  I think maybe it was either Miss Kate or Fratele Vizante that told me,  "You aren't called to Romania. You are called to serve a mission. You are assigned to Romania. It doesn't matter where you are, just what you are as a set apart servant of the Lord."  I think they both probably understand that fact, but reminders are always nice :)

Scriptures are awesome. Everything really is connected. I was just studying about the portable tabernacle in the wilderness and how it typifies the plan of salvation.... never thought of it that way before but it makes so much sense.

So everyone have a good week!
Sora Smith the First

P.S. That was a lie, there was another Sora Smith long before me who served both in Timi and Arad :), but still.

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