Monday, October 6, 2014

Fiecare ploaie vine cu un curcubeu

I appreciate everyone's kind words of encouragement after last week. I have definitely received the strength to keep going.   I hear people praying for missionaries and their families all the time and I think God is always blessing us in more ways than we realize.

Kaylee is as big now as Evalee was when I left... tell them to stop growing up until I get back, okay? Okay.  And, Paisley is so cute, tell her not to get any bigger either.

Well, this week went a lot better than last, and actually I have good, bad, and funny news to share.

Bad first. So, we're halfway through the transfer, right? Wednesday we're doing language study when I get a call. It's the assistants, so I'm thinking oh, I must have forgotten to enter our weekly numbers. No, that wasn't it. The assistants tell me that apparently they accidentally forgot to tell me I'm an STL (Sister Training Leader) this transfer. Now I have to be responsible and be a good example and go on exchanges and do things! :-)   But, don't ask me what an STL does, because I actually have no idea.

Okay, that was actually the funny news, oh and there isn't really any bad news. And that's the good news too.


Last Monday we went to the Gai Monastery in Arad, and surprisingly it was very well lit. Usually Orthodox churches aren't so bright. Lots of artwork. It was cool.

Gai Monastery

So we've been visiting Maria a couple of times.  The first was Sunday and kind of scary.  Elder Smith, Sora Piper and Elder Dunkley came with us.  (We visited the Bacanus beforehand, and decided to drop in on Maria with just us sisters but she invited us all in.)

Well, she was wearing a Pentecostal head wrap and told us first thing when she got up that she drank a big cup of coffee and went to the Pentecostal Church. That was the atmosphere we started talking to her in.

Well, members are awesome and Sora Piper was awesome in negating any wrong idea Maria talked about, like when she says she can't be happy anymore, Sora Piper says "It's not true! You can choose to be happy all the time!" and so on. She even defended Gabi to help Maria understand he's not the enemy.

Well, Elder Smith shares a great story about a member he knew in Bucharest who another member came up and said to his face, "You're a gypsy, you're not welcome here," and he shrugged it off because he knew it was the true church. That ended up touching Maria, and when we met with her the second time this week she told us what Elder Smith said really stuck with her, that 1) God loves her and knows her, 2) This is the true church, and 3) her and her family need the blessings of baptism and going to the temple. After that, she told us she does in fact want to get baptized at some point, but she's not ready now and doesn't want to rush anything.
WHEW. I felt like I could breathe again. We invited her to conference, well, actually she asked if she could come. She ended up "making no promises" and didn't show up, but we're going to make her (and the whole branch, actually) a CD of all the talks.

English classes started, we're not at the library anymore but we have some new people coming and they're all actually interested in the church. So yeah, good way to contact people.
We did more less active hunting, and we've found quite a few people who never want to see us again! I mean, it's sad and all they don't want the church in their lives anymore, but it's nice to know where to not focus our efforts (at least for a while) so we can get more people worked with who are ready.

We'll be starting mission prep and temple prep classes for Cristina, so that's sweet.

This picture was recently in the Church News.
It was taken at our District Conference in Oradea. 
I am in the center at the back.
Conference... was a little disappointing. I was so excited to be able to sit and listen to the talks, but I ended up being on babysitting duty all day both days so I didn't get anything.  The nice thing is I can download the talks on my ipod and listen to them over and over whenever I want, but there's always something so nice about Conference Weekend that me and my comp just ended up missing :) oh well.

Clara, is a handicapped girl who comes every Sunday and she started bringing her younger siblings to church and activities and stuff, but they come to play and don't understand we're not a daycare, we're a church to come and learn about Jesus. So they run around and scream and disrupt conference for all the members and the Elders are nowhere in sight so we're trying to catch them and tell them to quiet down or they have to leave and... well, conference just didn't end up happening.
I was very happy to read this part of my email from President Ivory today:
The Smiths have told me you are the hardest working missionary they have come across. Cheers to an amazing missionary.

So yeah EVERYTHING IS OKAY and fine and okay and nobody worry, I got this. God is good and He knows best and everything will work out for the greater good.  And He is very merciful.  I've been noticing a lot of His tender mercies lately, and there are a lot. And the more you notice them, the happier you feel. It's like the "Forget me Not" talk that President Uchtdorf gave.
I think that's it for today. I miss you all a lot and hope everything goes well this week.
Sora now-an-STL Smith

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