Monday, January 19, 2015

And This Chapter Comes To A Close . . .

...with the end of the reign of Queen Smith. She was the longest reigning and most beloved of all the rulers of Arad. Her scheduled execution will take place on the twenty-first of January at 07:00 Wednesday morning, Eastern European Time. Her chariot will carry her to the executioner's office tonight at the hour of 15:00 EET. Many tears were shed as the subjects of her kingdom greatly mourn the loss of their beloved monarch. She will continue to rule with an iron fist (a.k.a. a great love for the people in Arad), into the eternities...

Thank you for the extra spot of money, it'll help a lot on the way home.  I've also realized my mathematical error in calculating the travel time... I leave at 7 A.M. and arrive in SLC at 2:00 P.M.... your time. So it's like 11 p.m. my time. So it's not as short of a journey as I thought it was :) Oh well.

The weather has been the same here, I have been getting away with a light jacket. It's even raining today and it's spring rain, not winter. GLOBAL WARMING!

I'll be interested to see if I ever get my Christmas package, too :)
Well the rest of this I'll have to keep brief (I spent too much time writing my own obituary at the opening of this email...) but you'll get to hear all the full details soon enough anyway :)

Member/Investigator updates:

Dan and Florita: Doing great. Dan just received the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday. I've never seen him so happy.

Maria: Doing awesome. Was so sad to see me go. The Elders are teaching her husband in prison. He says he hasn't seen Maria so happy in a long time and he wants to get baptized when he's released (summer of next year). If it has made such a difference in her life, there's no way this isn't the true church.

Ghiti and Mariana: Had another lesson, and Ghiti 100% wants to be baptized but is waiting for Mariana so they won't create a problem in their marriage. After a really powerful lesson on Saturday, she now sees the importance of our message and what it has to offer her. She says she knows the BOM is true. She committed to praying about baptism and said that if her prayer is answered she and Ghiti will both be baptized. Woo hoo!! She was also so sad to see me go.

Stefan: I don't know if you remember this investigator from a long time ago, but we saw him again briefly and he says he's been reading the BOM. That's why we plant seeds!

Ioana: We celebrated her birthday with her with tennis and cake (no, it was not blue). She's doing great, and excited to be out of school :)

Everybody else: There was a good turnout on Sunday and I got to say goodbye and get lots of pictures with a lot of the members. There were tears shed. It was sad. But it also feels okay.  Fratele Piper (1st counselor) talked to the branch about me and said I was the longest term serving missionary to ever be in Arad. Well, that's cool! I certainly loved it and wouldn't have wished to have gone anywhere else. I AM THE ARAD SISTER AND ALWAYS WILL BE.

I will miss all of these wonderful people!
My Second Family in Arad
My Wonderful Arad District
Me and Sora Routson

I gave a talk and pretty much half the congregation started crying when I said that Arad will always be my second home.

I talked about what I thought could be the best words/advice I could leave them with, and what I ended up talking about was becoming saints. I shared the end of Moroni Ch. 10, his final words and final admonition. I encouraged them that they're on the right course and they are the saints of the Arad branch and soon enough, with the help of the atonement of the Savior, they will be able to cast out the Babylon from their midst and the church of Christ will reign for ever and ever.  I told them how they are much like the beginnings of the church in Joseph's time, and how big that church is now. They're at the beginning but if they live up to the standards they know and love, to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, that soon enough they will see Arad become a Zion.

Anyway, I've got to go now and get ready to take the train to Bucuresti... this is all really weird.

I'LL SEE YOU ALL SOON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sora Smith


  1. Congrats on being home! I served as a missionary in Romania about 6 years ago and I still miss it a ton! Arad was my most favorite city and I loved seeing your pictures of the branch. It just fills my heart with joy to see so many people still active. So sad to hear about Sora Krista. Why is she in the hospital? Is her husband still alive? I sent them a Christmas card, hopefully whoever lives in their house can get it to them. I'd love to chat with you more about Arad and Romania and hear more updates. My email is

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