Monday, December 28, 2015


Family and Friends!!

Ah I hope that ya'll had the most incredible week ever - and that you had a blast with all of the snow and the food and spending time with family!(: It truly is one of the best times of the year isn't it?(: No matter where you are in the world(:

This week was fun and honestly one of the most humbling weeks on my mission thus far - we were able to go and visit many less actives and investigators that we have that were going to be alone for Christmas - and you could tell how hard that it was going to be on them. We actually went and visited an investigator that we have named Edith, on Christmas. She's been an investigator for many many years now - but has recently gone through a lot of hard family trials. We showed up on her doorstep Christmas morning with my guitar and cozonac - and we sang a Hungarian song that we'd learned for her. haha we don't speak ANY Hungarian - and it is TOTALLY opposite from Romanian, but we honestly wanted to do something special to her, and what better way or time to do it than Christmas?(: It was incredible to see how a such a simple act, on such a special day, can mean the world to someone. Truly one of the highlights of my week and mission for sure.

Along with this week we got invited over to MANY members houses to try the classic Christmas Romanian dish of Sarmale. Oh it is SO good. Like really though. Call me when I get back home and we can make some - you all have to try it! Its basically a pickled cabbage leaf with pork, rice, and other things wrapped inside. Its kinda cool cause every Romanian makes it in their own "way' or style haha(: So we had pork fed to us, turkey, pork and chicken, pork, and tried vegetarian yesterday. I'm basically all "sarmaled"out haha(: But still SUPER good none the less!

Its also hilarious because here in Romania - so many things are done differently for Christmas. For example, they all get live Christmas trees here - but they don't get them till 1 or 2 days before the actual day of Christmas....why? I have no idea haha but it happens(:

Another tradition they do is that they LOVE, I mean absolutely LOVE to carol. Like its tradition. However it takes on a different approach here haha. When you hear carolers outside your door - you are like "required" - that is, if you choose to open the door - to give them money or invite them in for some soup or sarmale that you have prepared haha. So basically halloween, but instead of a "trick or treat" you offer a "silent night" or something. What is too funny is that they actually have a Romanian christmas song called "Deschide Usa, Crestine" which means "Open the Door, Cristian" hahahaha so you hear that EVERYWHERE because they just want everyone to open the door so they can get some money or extra presents for Christmas(: The gypsies here especially love that song haha its hilarious - but hey the people here love it! Christmas spirit right?(:

Ah anyways - I truly truly hope that you were all able to have an amazing, incredible Christmas!(: And I wish you the best start of 2016!!(: Don't ever lose that Christmas Spirit or lose the reason of why we even celebrate Christmas - lets remember the Savior all year long(:

Love you guys!

Sora Armstrong

I was mesmerized by the lights haha(:

Me and my cute friend Elisa

Merry Christmas! Skyping with my family on Christmas morning. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Craciun Fericit! (5 Days Until Christmas)


Ah I am honestly SO excited!!!(: And I wish you all the very best Christmas!(: With lots of good food and family time and hopefully lots and lots of snow!(: 

This week was SO good - we were able to be in Bucharest to hear from Elder Dyches, I got to ride my first ever sleeper train, I was able to go on a exchange with thee AMAZING Sora Moon, we got to explore the depths of a deep salt mine, and I was able to meet a lot of our investigators for the first time(: It was SO good you guys! Ah I can't even tell you. 

Honestly probably one of the highlights was the sleeper train(: I had absolutely NO idea what to expect...and so when we pulled up to the train station - I was SO excited because it looked EXACTLY like the Polar Express. Like I was pumped haha(: 

The hallways were so classy and my heart and soul was just filled with childhood Christmas excitement for what our adventure had in store(: Then we got to our room. haha ah. There was 4 of us Soras - Sora Harper and I and the 2 STLs - and there were 4 beds all in this little 6 ft wide 7 ft high room haha - it was actually very impressive(: We made it work and it was SO cool just to like, well, SLEEP on a TRAIN! In a BED! haha it was cool(: I felt like I was in a real life Harry Potter movie or something.

In Bucharest we were able to hear from President and Sora Ivory, as well as Elder Dyches and it was AMAZING! Super cool and the Spirit there was incredible. They gave us a lot of advice about what we could all work on and how we can take what we have learned on our mission - and apply it when we go home(: The main message was about goal setting - how if we have a vision and then set goals in everything we do, we will see success(:

Ah you guys are amazing and I truly wish you the best Christmas Ever!!(: I love you and I am so incredibly grateful for each and everyone of you!

Have a great week!(: Craciun Fericit!(:

Sora Armstrong

(The "Family Tree" we sent to Sora Armstrong)

I like freaked out cause this was the most "Temple Square" look-a-like tree in the whole city haha(:


All the fun, little Romanian shops!!! (:

We got to go inside a salt mine last Monday - it like was AWESOME! 

Merry Christmas from Romania!!! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

My First Referral!

So this week we got our FIRST REFERRAL! Ah I was FREAKING out! haha we got a email saying that a man named "bob" requested some english pamphlets from the christmas website! Super random, and super random we are kinda excited/nervous about the whole situation but we are going to go and see him sometime this week. Hopefully its a real person haha(:

We also had a SUPER cool experience this week with a less active! The branch list here is SO big - with over 200 names on the list apparently, but only 40 of them come to church every we set a goal to FIND these people, and bring them BACK to the branch! So how did we do this you ask?? Sugar cookies. Lots and lots and lots of sugar cookies. 

And it worked(: haha #hanice(:

There is a less active named Elena who apparently hadn't been visited by missionaries in years so we decided that we needed to try to go and see her. Sora Harper said that she had been trying to contact and set up a visit with Elena, but that she had always resisted and said that she never had time. But we were up for the challenge(; We called her up and she asked what we wanted, and we told her that we had a present for her for Christmas - and that we just wanted to come and drop it off super fast. She paused for like 30 seconds on the phone...and finally agreed. 

We hung up the phone triumphantly and were filled with the Spirit of victory when we quickly realized that we had NO idea where she lived. We were too scared to call her back cause we didn't want to give her the chance to change her mind...'so we headed out with nothing but a big plate of decorated trees and bell cookies and a single street name that Sora Harper had. 

And let me tell ya - it was one of THEE coolest experiences ever. We had absolutely NO clue where we were going, but we took the bus to that street, and then started to look at all of the apartments. These apartments all had the last names of the people who lived in each apartment - but it literally stretched for miles. And it was freezing and SO dark.

So we headed out, and apartment after apartment..nothing. So we had the feeling to cross the street - and literally in front of THAT APARTMENT we totally found her name!! Like..HOW COOL!(: haha. It was awesome! We ended up visiting her - and she just had the softest, kindest heart. She had gone to the store to get cookies for us and soda, and ended up giving us each a jar of homemade peach jam before we left! We are scheduled to come and see her this coming week again - it was such a big step for her and we are SO proud of her!!(: Like really though!

It was super cool to have that experience of not only visiting her - but having to have complete trust in Heavenly Father that He would direct us where to go. Kinda like life huh?(; sometimes we are literally and physically lost - having no idea how to get to a certain destination. But sometimes we are lost in other ways - not knowing how to help a loved one or what to major in with school. But family and friends. It is my testimony and promise to you that God helps, leads, guides, and directs us with ALL things! Whenever we look to Him and ask for his direction - I promise that he will lead you and show you the steps of where you need to go.

I sure love you guys! 12 days till Christmas!!(: AH!! Have a great week!!

Sora Armstrong

Romanian food and 7 year old bonding

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What is Your Gift to the Savior this Year?

Friends and Family!!!(:
Can I just start off by saying how much I miss and love ALL of you! Ah, I hope that you are all getting SO excited for Christmas!!!(: Theres this SUPER cool video about it that you guys should watch if you get a chance(: or three..okay....there are actually 3 that I really really love:

A Savior is Born(:
He is the GIFT(:
What shall we GIVE(:
AH YES! Check them out if you get a chance(:
This week was great! There was a lot of lessons that didn't go though...but hey! Its okay!(:
Last Tuesday was Romania's National Holiday - so literally EVERYTHING was closed and the streets were EMPTY for like 2 days. I had such high hopes that something awesome and incredible would happen for the big day of Romania....but alas we missed the Parade that happened and basically everyone was inside to be with their families - so thats good I guess(:
YET! Later on that same Tuesday - we had our English class and seriously...we have these DEDICATED English students who come to every class - they. are. ROCKSTARS! Teaching English is seriously SO fun - but the questions they ask you seriously make you question if you even know English haha. "Why do we use future continuous when we could just use this verb instead?" or the verb that blows their minds is the verb "a face" which in English means to do and to make..but Romanians don't get the difference...ah we'll get there haha(:
It was actually one of the highlights for me this week - teaching English. All week long I had been thinking that we needed to come up with a really good spiritual thought to share for the Saturday class. Some things had been going on amongst (have no idea how to spell that word anymore) our branch and there was a lot of problems that came up, so Saturday morning arrived and I had nothing. Sora Harper and I decided to try and brainstorm what would be good for these students, and still...nothing. But it was really cool because we just decided on the idea to show last years christmas video (haha #2 above...check it out(; ) and then have everyone write down what their gift to the Savior will be this year - and then we would put it under the branch Christmas tree as a reminder for them.
So we tried this - and after our beginner class - I had so many people coming up to me, thanking me, and saying what a beautiful video and principle was shared. There was actually even a cute student named Corina who came up to me and asked if she could come to church the next day. WOW!
So I went home and I was thinking can this be?? We didn't really get any spiritual promptings or anything or confirmations that what we had planned would work or that we could receive any results - but yet - Heavenly Father provided a way.
Its cool because sometimes we are unsure about our choices right?
But! What I have seen time and time again out here on my mission, and looking back, this even happened before my mission, is that there will always be times where we need to trust God and act. Faith is a principle of ACTION and power right?(: haha. So, if we act and seek guidance - even though we might not receive an immediate answer - it will come. Whether it be we choose wrong or right.
I love you guys - keep getting excited for Christmas and serve everyone you can!(: Have a great week!

Sora Armstrong

Sora Harper (my companion) and I

I was freaking out because you can literally see the ENTIRE CITY!!! #socool (:

The GIANT cross on the top of Cluj is SO incredible! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy (Late) Thanksgiving!

Wow wow WOW what a week!(: Ah it was SO fun! 

So basically all before Tuesday it was just a set up/prep for our English classes kinda thing - which ended up going AWESOME by the way(: Ah it was SO fun! Sora Harper and I teach beginner and medium - and the people here are hilarious. Man... you ask them a question in english like "How was your week?" .....15 seconds later..... "Ce inseamna asta?" haha step by step(: They'll get there! Learning a new language is HARD! I am sure that my first few weeks out here I just looked like a deer in headlights haha(: I'm sure I STILL look like that sometimes with this blessed language. 

No, but really though. English classes went so well(: We had about 42 people in Beginner, and around 48 in Medium. I was able to meet this SUPER cool guy in beginner named "Attila" (yes just like Attila the Hun) and we have been meeting with him and his girlfriend a few times this week to practice English and talk a little more about what we believe - a program we do called 30/30's. (30 minutes English, 30 minutes gospel)

He is HILARIOUS though. haha in beginner when Sora Harper and I were introducing ourselves, the class asked what exactly "Armstrong" meant..and they all thought it was hilarious that such a name even existed in English. They all thought it was a Russian name.....can almost guarantee its not Russian haha(: Anyways - there is a white board that we use in English class where it can turn upside down so that you can write on the other side right(: So I like thought that I would be all professorish and flip the board on the other side...but when I did so...and while I was tightening it back...I totally broke off the entire handle. In front of the ENTIRE english class.....AH so embarrassing. It went dead quiet and then Attila shouts "ARMSTRONG" hahaha and everyone is DYING haha(: So at least these students understand what the words Armstrong mean in english #hanice #legend

The next couple days Sora Harper wasn't feeling too good - but it worked out okay because I was able to make and cook a Banana pie and pumpkin(?) pie for Thanksgiving, as well as two little turkeys. That was QUITE the experience. Who knew that it is such a step by step process to cook a little turkey! Ah all I can say is PROPS to all of the moms out there who cook Thanksgiving dinners every year - its tough stuff! 

It ended up going so well though(: We had about 20 people from the branch show up - and we all did this awesome tradition that my family does where we pass out 3 popcorn kernels and everyone says 3 things that they are thankful for(: They LOVED it! At first they all thought that they were seeds and that they were suppose to go and plant them - but when they got the point of our message - we were able to share the real meaning of Thanksgiving with them(: 

It was SO cool(: Totally changed my perspective. They said so many things like how they were grateful that they had food that night, that they had a job to pay rent, that they had enough money to buy a coat for this winter. Really humbling. And really incredible because EVERY single member there said how grateful they were for the opportunity to be a part of this church. Testimonies were burning bright(: And to top it all off.....THERE WAS SNOW!!!!! AH IT WAS SNOWING!! Let Winter begin!!!(: 

I love you guys!(: I hope you have a wonderful week of continuing gratitude and fun(:

Sora Armstrong

Did I totally set up the branch Christmas tree this week....YES!!!(:


The pumpkin I used for the pie. It wasn’t too bad. 

The pink house from my mom’s pink joke. 

The Branch President’s 5-year-old son and I. We’re tight. 

So. Hard! 

Did it snow this week….YES!!!

Totally not as good as mom’s cooking, but I tried!

Monday, November 23, 2015

"All It Takes is 10 Seconds of Insane Courage:" an Apostle Visits Romania

What a crazy, fun filled, stressful week haha(: but isn't that every week?(:

So, not too much happened before Thursday. I got to finally meet one of our investigators - who has been an investigator for 15 years....yep. Ah. It was so hard. We were planning on teaching her the restoration lesson, but she totally cut us off and turned on the TV because her program was on. AH so frustrating - haha the Elders were getting so mad. Our two elders are Elder Blaylock and Elder Seegmiller, and she invited them to come with us. Poor Elder Blaylock was just getting so frustrated, and poor Elder Seegmiller had no idea what was going on because this is his 2nd week in the country. I just grabbed the remote, turned it on mute, and was like, Édith, God needs you on His team. And she was like "I am on your team! I'm just not baptized.' AHHHH. so we just said the closing prayer and left...she knows its true...that is what makes it so hard. She apparently has come to church like every week, and the only reason she wont be baptized is because she has orthodox priests in like her family history, I don't even know... ah. 

Anyways! On a lighter note(: Thursday morning around 5 we woke up to head to the airport to fly down to Bucharest to see Elder Ballard and Elder and Sister Kearon! They had a special meeting just for the was SO cool! Elder Ballard is hilarious haha - he totally knows whats up. He told us that we need to be 'the greatest generation of teachers in the history of the church..'' ah! SO COOL! #nopressure

Sadly, Sora Harper and I had to leave the meeting early because our plane home took off soon - so we didn't get to say goodbye to anyone (basically the entire mission was there) but, I DID get to shake his hand haha(: AH can i just tell was SO COOL!

Saturday we had sign ups for our free English class...and man is it SO different than Constanta. We had over 140 people come and sign up! That is going to be SO awesome! SO many people!

I also have to tell you guys...that I surly, without a doubt, know that Elder Ballard is a apostle of God. You could truly just feel the Spirit that radiated off of him. He told us all about how we need to "stretch" ourselves, push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, and be fearless(; One of my favorite quotes that he said was that '"all it takes is 10 seconds of insane courage to start a conversation that could change them, and you, for a lifetime." Sometimes sharing the gospel can be scary...but its worth it(: That's my challenge for you guys this week...push yourself to have that 10 seconds of insane courage - and I promise it will be more than worth it(: 

Have a great week!

Sora Armstrong

Romanian "4th of July" is coming up soon! All of this cool Romanian flag pride(:

One of our investigators seriously fed us SO much food haha...and her 25 year old daughter!

Monday, November 16, 2015

We Are Made Alive in Christ!

Wow Wow WOW!  Yes folks, I am now in the beautiful city of CLUJ NAPOCA! Ah it is SO different, but it is GORGEOUS here!
This week has been super interesting to say the least - but all is well! We took a flight here to Cluj on Tuesday, and immediately started to work. The branch here is SO BIG! About 40 people come to church every week apparently, but the branch list has over 200 names! 200! That is so crazy! It is my goal while I'm here to go and find all of these people and find out what on earth is going on haha.
But really though. The work seems to be so different here. We've only met with Less Actives this week, because Sora Harper (my new comp) says that this is the majority of the people here that we need to focus on. She is SO awesome by the way. So sweet, so kind! She's from Utah -haha hey - and she's been in Cluj for now 3 transfers, and is going into her 7th here in the mission.
Poor girl though, she got food poisoning BAD on friday night...around 11PM she was just so so sick, and kept throwing up all night and all day..I felt so bad. haha I was in the kitchen making homemade chicken noodle soup and I was feeling for all you moms out there haha
She wasn't feeling good until actually late last night, so we didn't get to go to church - but apparently the Elders told us that they just mainly talked about how Elder Ballard is coming on Wednesday and how important it is for us to go and be there and support him.
Isn't that SO cool? That an apostle is coming to ROMANIA! Haha of all places(: Its awesome! And his timing honestly couldn't be better. So many people are still freaking out over what happened with the club in Bucharest, and what happened in Paris recently just made people even more afraid and angry at the government...protests have been going on every night, and orthodox candles are constantly lit all over the communist statues..its been so crazy..there have actually been some places where we aren't even allowed to go because people are protesting in masks and things like that...however on a lighter note(: 

What I have found a lot of comfort in this past week is a scripture in 2 Nephi 25. A single phrase actually that caused a lot of refection and question about how I live, and how I can be better. The phrase, "We are made ALIVE in CHRIST."
Think about it...ponder it(: Think about what it means to you. The phrase actually goes on too...its verse 25(: I encourage you to look it up on your own(: Ask yourself if you're made alive in Christ, and how, and more important..why. I promise that you'll feel your relationship draw closer to your Father in Heaven and you'll feel incredible joy and peace, the more you strive to feel ALIVE in Christ, in this gospel(: its a different meaning for everyone, but thats what makes it special nonetheless(:
I sure love you guys - know that i am thinking, praying, and missing you all fiecare zi(:
Have a fantastic week!

Sora Armstrong 

(The view from my new apartment in Cluj) 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Goodbye Constanta: Hello CLUJ - NAPOCA

WOW!! Ah this week has just been a roller-coaster. Such an incredible mix of ups and downs and lefts and backwards and AH!

This week was hands down one of the hardest, most bittersweet moments on my entire mission. I found out on Saturday that I was going to be transferred to a new city - and I was SO stoked but I was also SO sad to leave all of these incredible people that are here in Constanta. 

Saying goodbye to all of our branch on Sunday was one of the hardest things that I had ever done. I felt like a piece of my heart was with each of those 30 people - and I was just all the sudden...leaving. 

But its okay....after all of these goodbyes I am going to be saying a lot of new hellos, in the beautiful city of CLUJ - NAPOCA!!! AH!!! I am honestly SUPER stoked and I have an INCREDIBLE new companion named Sora Harper - who is going into her 7th transfer. We have a small district - 2 Elders and 2 Sisters (us) but we are going to do AMAZING things there - I can feel it(: 

We arrived into Bucharest this morning because Sora Koth will be training a new missionary in Constanta - and I am taking a plane to Cluj tomorrow with Sora Harper, so I will keep you posted on how it all goes down! #stoked

This week though....incredible things happened. We played the movie "Meet the Mormons" in a big huge hotel conference room where all of the Nigerian students live - and we got over 30 students who came. It was one of thee funnest nights EVER. They just are SO fun all the time haha - they always say "You are welcome" when you meet them, or they will tell you that "you are looking fine" haha(: Someday I will go to Nigeria - its on my bucket list for sure(: 

I also had to say goodbye to my Advanced English class students....ah. That was hard too. They all progressed super fast and super well - and I hope and pray everyday that they will begin to have that desire to learn more about why we are here and what this church is all about. But thats okay - everything will work out in its own time(: 

AH! Well I will let you know next week how the city of Cluj is - but until then...for those of you who were attempting with me to read the Book of Mormon in 84 days...YOU MADE IT(: And now I have a new challenge for you...ready?(: To start again(: It will continue to change and bless your life I promise and testify of this.

I love you guys! 

Sora Armstrong

LIVIU!!!! Ah He is the best(: This was the hardest goodbye ever.

Last time together as a district....super classy in front of the China Mall #toogood

Tibi made a cake for all of the missionaries that are leaving was SO good(: 

One day - I'll be in Nigeria(: 

Me and Eva Constantinescu

Me and part of the Oltianu fam(:

Me, Mercy, and my NIGERIAN shirt(: #hanice

Lacra and I(: 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Week!

We didn't end up going to Bacu - but its okay because we were able to have a "spooky" time this week(: ha #hanice

Ah, it was SO awesome! This week has been great - and we had a HUGE success with our branch Halloween party. Halloween does not exist at all in Romania - even though like one of the main characters FOR halloween is in this country! haha but its okay - because we were one of the few people who actually had a party for Halloween, so a lot of people came. We all prepared and did the very best we could to get out the word and make sure that everything was prepared - and when the night finally arrived - we had over 50 people who came! It was INCREDIBLE! Our last branch activity only had 2 people - and so we were so taken aback and so excited! We had people from the branch, investigators, people from our English classes, people who we met on the street - it was wonderful. There was costumes and candy and we did district bobbing for apples and we played the doughnut on a string game and made a pinyata - it was a blast(: People were there from India, Germany, Brazil, Moldova, Ukraine, America, Nigeria - and it was SO cool to see how everyone had such a great time together! 

It was extra cool because I got to spend most of the time that night talking to a man named Gabriel who is from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. He speaks Portugese, English, Spanish, French, and German - but knows absolutely no Romanian haha. Super random that he was here in Romania - and then came to our little branches Halloween party - but hey it was awesome(: He was here to visit his friend named Diana - who is actually an English student in my advanced class so it worked out perfect! He had SO many questions - and I ended up spending most of the Halloween party sitting on the couch with him explaining the Book of Mormon and Restoration, and answering his questions about the plan of salvation, Joseph smith, who missionaries are, and other things. He heads back to Brazil later today...but after giving him a book of Mormon and getting his commitment to contact the missionaries there in Brazil  - it will all work out(: 

What was so interesting about it all though - is about how I kept getting the impression to tell him that what is so incredible about this church - is the Spirit. The feeling that we get that is all warm and happy and makes us feel all good inside. That the doctrine and the principles are important, YES! But so is how you feel. Thats how you know that its true. Its that warm, happy feeling that is telling you that its right. And not only that - but that SAME feeling is just a small portion of the everlasting and INFINITE love that God has for YOU. In Mormon, in the last chapter - there is a verse that says that God "hath prepared means" to guide us, to direct us, and to lead us - Its all through His Love! He loves us so much that he is NOT going to let any of us go. He will not falter, nor forget you, even when we feel we deserve it. Just remember to look to Him - and remember the moments when you have felt that Love - and remember WHY(: 

LOVE YOU ALL! Transfer Boards come out this week so I will know if I stay in Constanta or i'll let you know(:  

Sora Armstrong

(I had to be a vampire for Halloween...I mean like Romania and Halloween and Dracula are a must!)

(Gabriel visiting from Brazil). *See above.

(Our district's attempt at Halloween costumes)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Five Month Mark - Headed to Bacau (Region of Transylvania) for Halloween!

What a crazy week! Ah I felt like there was so much going on - but looking back it was a pretty laid back, spiritually incredible week(: 

Wednesday we all headed down to Bucharest for a Zone Conference - and it (again) was amazing. We talked a lot about how Elder Ballard is coming in like 3 weeks (I AM SO PUMPED FOR THIS!) and how we can set a lot of goals that can help us to change and become who we want to be. Both as missionaries and as people. 

We also got a visit from a Senior Couple (the K Nelsons) and they checked and inspected our apartment to see how clean it was, to see if anything was broken, etc. haha ah they were in for a treat. The poor apartment that we stay in is SO old in the mission. So many missionaries have stayed there - and so several things were broken, ruined, missing, etc. Poor Elder nelson had a checklist that he was suppose to go over - and so I felt so bad as he would ask "Any cockroaches?" Yes.... "Any recent cases with the CO2 Monitor going off?" Yes..... "Is this sink broken?" Yes.... "Is that your smoke detector outside of the window??" Yes... hahahaha ahh I felt so bad. He kept teasing us though and totally understood haha so all is well(: 

But on a lighter note. We were able to see Grace again yesterday for the first time in 4 weeks! Ah she is doing SO good! She is continuing to read in the Book of Mormon, and we went through the entire Restoration lesson yesterday and it was SO cool! She just gets it. She had several great questions about who Joseph Smith was - and then she applied herself to it. She wants to come meet all the Nigerians who come to church next week - and we also found out that she had a son who passed away when he was 2 years old - so when we have the Plan of Salvation lesson with her (hopefully soon) that will be incredible(: 

This week we are headed to Bacau (region of Transylvania) and its Halloween so more good things to come! I hit my 5 month mark this week and I can't believe it has already flown by so quickly! Just know how much I love and think about and miss you all! You're all incredible! Have a Happy Halloween!


Sora Armstrong

My ROCKIN Halloween Socks from my incredible Aunt and Uncle(: Another Sister in my district also got a Halloween package - the EXACT SAME ONES! hahaha so we didn't even have it planned but we wore them totally on the same day(: Gettin into that halloween spirit(: 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Learning to Speak "Pigeon" in Romania

Buna Ziua(: 

My family and friends(: I hope that you have all had incredible weeks - and I cannot wait to hear all about them soon(: 

So first off - some super cool news! Elder Ballard is coming! To our mission!!! In like 4 weeks! He is going to do some big seminars and meetings - and I AM SO PUMPED! He is going to do a special one just for all the missionaries too - SO IM FREAKIN OUT(: haha it will be so exciting - I'll keep you posted(: 

This week was a really chill week - Sora Koth was pretty sick for like three days so we stayed home - and I attempted to make homemade curry and ice cream (both didn't work out) and I updated the area book a lot. haha so pretty fun stuff. 

We were able to go and have some lessons though which was good - they were all at a place called "Hotel Flora" which is a very 80's looking hotel along popular beach called "Mamaia" here in Constanta. It is also where over 300 college students from Nigeria live. THEY ARE SO COOL! We have a recent convert there - Mercy - who is a ROCKSTAR! Ah she is SO good! We had an incredible lesson with her about the 10 commandments and keeping the Sabbath Day holy - and it was so cool to see her perspective on things because she knows the bible SO well. She added a lot of insight and comments that were ON POINT - I was so proud of her!

She was also able to teach us some phrases in her native language - which is called "Pigeon" which is basically like simplified English haha, but it sounds SO different and SO cool. All the Nigerians speak it to each other - I literally feel like I'm back in college whenever I go to visit any of them. Just a super chill, relaxed, friendly atmosphere. 

About all of them know who the missionaries are - and a few transfers ago we just went around meeting a bunch of them to contact and get new investigators. So I know most of them - and you can totally tell if they recognize you because they will shout from clear down the hall "ARMSTRONG" haha its awesome.They are just such good, fun people ya know?(:  Here are some fun pigeon phrases for you: 

Aufano - Hello
How you do - How are you doing
I wan chop - I want food 
I do fine - I'm doing so good

Also this week we have been talking a lot about gratitude with a lot of our members and investigators. Its a super simple - yet powerful principle. Its super awesome that we have Thanksgiving to say what we are grateful for - but its also good to be grateful all year round(: And we end up being happier too. There is a super cool promise about that too in D&C 78:15 - I challenge you to read it and think about what you're grateful for this week(: 

I love you guys! Have a wonderful week(: 

Sora Armstrong

(Me and my cute companion, Sora Koth)

(Sunset in Constanta) 

(These hang on almost every, single door. The Orthodox priest comes to each house and blesses them. Then he leaves a crown of thorns outside their door). 

(What a gypsy front door looks like....)

(Sora Trebas and I took the phrase quite literally). 

(Sora Corina, a less active member, pulled out a surprise for me. She had a missionary name tag with "Sora Corina" on it. I told her that we needed to be companions sometime soon). 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall in Romania...Block Knocking in the Rain!

Family and Friends(: 

Buna Ziua! Ah fall is finally upon us! It is AMAZING! I am SO pleased that this heat is finally starting to simmer down - and it has been incredible to take a small break from the humidity. It has been raining here like crazy - and don't get me wrong, I LOVE the rain - but the thing is...Romanians don't. They hide and they freak out because of "the current" and so they cancel on us and hide in their blocks haha. We had four lessons scheduled for Saturday and every single one of them fell through. But that's okay! We are optimistic haha - we are just going to corner all of these people in their blocks so that they don't have any where else to run away. "block knocking" is kinda sketchy its not really our favorite thing to do - but it has resulted in quite a few people coming to English class or us receiving a return appointment - so we are optimistic for the future(: 

Sora Koth is doing SO incredible here in Constanta - she is seriously a Rockstar and we have already seen so many miracles together! We are teaching this girl named Canan from Turkey - and its so strange because she doesn't speak ANY Romanian, just broken English and Turkish. We've had several lessons with her because she is returning to Turkey next week - but we were able to give her a turkish copy of the Book of Mormon and an English version. It has been SO different teaching Canan because not only is it in English, but it is in VERY simple English. Very very very slow, short sentences. It was really hard for us at first, and really hard to see if she understood - but that is when the Spirit comes in(: Canan is Muslim - and so she had NO clue who Jesus Christ was - or that God was even a Person, mi-ales our Father in Heaven. It has been So cool to really testify of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father - and of their love for Her and for each of us. It is SO special - and is what this entire gospel revolves around(: It was super special to watch Canan recognize the Spirit for the first time as "I feel good! I feel so happy! My arms and heart are tingly!" haha and then when she said her first prayer - so special. So incredible(: 

That was basically our week - but it was honestly one of the best(: Our English classes are continuing to grow - and it has been SO fun to teach the Advanced class. I have about the same four people who come every time bless their hearts haha - I have a 82 year old man who likes us to call him Presidentele Bush, a 86 year old man who always says that "we are shining," a 32 year old man who has been coming to English for 9 years and always says "Awesome Possum" to everything, and then a member named Lacra who is 16(: We are quite the diverse group - but we seriously have a BLAST everytime haha(: I seriously love this crew #dreamteam

I hope ya'll have an incredible week - and I seriously love each and everyone of you! 

Sora Armstrong 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Crazy Transfer Week!

Family and Friends(:

First off...wasn't General Conference SO GOOD???? I all haha(: I would love to hear about ya'lls favorite parts!

So I have this INCREDIBLE new companion named Sora Koth - she is from Ohio and is going into her 9th transfer here. She has served in Lasi and then in Chisinau in Moldova and so she's a ROCKSTAR at Romanian. We also like all the same movies, foods, places, and we love being missionaries - so it has been hilarious to kinda compare to see our different teaching styles and what works for planning lessons and things like that. We are so similar but different; which is what makes it fun(: Sora Koth has such a deep love for missionary work, and is not afraid to have a good time and work hard which is AWESOME!(: I am SO excited to be having the opportunity to serve here with her!

This week was crazy - transfer week. 

I was in Bucharest for a long while - and to be honest I loved it there. Its a MASSIVE city and it was so cool to be able to see how the people and cities are so unique in the different parts of Romania. I was able to help out Sora Ivory and President Ivory with some things, take the Metro a couple places, go to a baptism in Mihai Bravu, greet the new four missionaries who came in, and help other missionaries out with getting to their trains and new cities. It was so exciting and so fun! But probably my favorite part of this entire week was getting to come back to Constanta - and watch general conference with some of our amazing members. 

My favorite part of conference was probably what Elder Uchtdorf said in the Saturday Morning Session of General Conference..."Exaltation is our Goal - Discipleship is our Journey"...I LOVED that. 

It was SUCH a problem getting general conference set up for our members because we have half Romanian and half English speakers - so it was quite the treat of translating and running around trying to fix it - but what was SO cool is that right when we got it fixed - the prophet came on to speak. I cannot even begin to describe that peace and relief that entered the room - it was amazing. 

I have such a huge testimony of the power and guidance of President Thomas S. Monson and his apostles. They are truly called of God, and they love us with the deepest, sincerest love. They need our prayers, and they need US(: I encourage you to read their talks - and I promise you that if you have that desire to know if they are truly called Prophets and Apostles of God - you will feel that confirmation. 

I love you all!(: And I hope you all have a splendid, incredible week! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A New Companion and My First Experience at a Romanian Hospital

Family and Friends(: 

I first off just want to say thank you for all of your prayers and support - not only for me but for all of the missionaries - they make more of a difference than you know(: Love you all!

This week has been a crazy fast one - and so many unexpected and crazy things have been happening with not a lot of time - including email time today haha. So I guess I'll just share my highlight of the week. 

I also found out that I will be staying here in Constanta for another transfer - but I will be serving with Sora Koth who has been serving up in Moldova for the past little while. She seems super incredible - and I am so excited for these next six weeks or more that we will get to share together(: 

So this past week - all four of the sisters here in Constanta have had the chance to go and serve a great investigator friend of ours named Grace from the Philippines. She however, was not in the best of circumstances. She has a giant tumor on the right side of her neck and its been there for quite some time - and her employer or boss (she nannies a little Romanian girl) didn't want to ever give her time off for Grace to get her surgery. Anyways there were a lot of complications and a lot of debate - but grace finally was checked into a hospital - but that hospital. I can't even describe it. To be honest it seemed like a mix of prison, World War 2, and a horror movie all combined into one. Needless to say I am SO grateful for the hospitals that we have back home - 

Anyways - Grace asked that we come visit her - and so while there in the hospital, we found her and found that she had two other roommates. We felt impressed to share our favorite book of mormon verses with her - and why they were important to us - and you could truly feel that spirit SO strong(: I then felt the slight impression that we should sing for her - and so after singing some primary songs and hymns - Grace just opened up and began to sob. She said that we were her only visitors - and that she was so terrified for the surgery that was the next day - and how she was so scared for the price and the sanitation - but how she felt just peace when we sang and when we read from "that book." 

It is so cool how that Spirit is so prominent - and how that light that comes from it can shine so bright and touch peoples hearts who you least expect it. The two roommates in graces room - both asked for "that book" - and we have an appointment with one of them next week(: 

That light - the light of the gospel - can change so many lives if we are worthy of it and if we have that desire to share it(: It can bring so might joy - happiness - and well, LIGHT(: Into peoples lives, and hearts(: So I challenge you this week to share some of your light - to find someone who really needs a friend - to reach out and serve - and before you know it - your light will touch someone who you least expect, but who needs it more than ever(: Heavenly Father totally knows his children - He knows you(: I promise(: And he loves you! 

And I do too(: haha have a great week!

Sora Armstrong 

(At the hospital with Grace) 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Zone Training, Music...and a Romanian Grill!

Family and Friends!

Well to start off, we had a amazing zone training in Bucharest on Wednesday - and we were able to hear about how we can be better missionaries in regards to finding new people and contacting strategies and such. So as we were brainstorming for ideas - the idea of music, as well as the encouragement from many other sister missionaries and president - worked. I bought a guitar. hahaha sorry mom(;

It has actually been really awesome though - and I have really come to see how incredible the power of music is in missionary work and in bringing the Spirit quickly and powerfully. Sora Trebas also has one and so us four were able to go around to a lot of the members and less actives  homes this week, and sing and share a thought from the Book of Mormon to get them pumped about reading it before Christmas as a branch(: And it worked! We received a lot of commitments and promises that people would participate - and I know that it will truly make a difference not only in their individual lives, but also in the branch as a whole.

We also this week got to get together with a lot of the people from the US army base that is here in Constanta - and we had a "Romanian Grill;" Full of mici, arde and pults, mamaliga, goat cheese, covrig, chicken, and watermelon! Not only did I get to learn how to grill - that was quite an adventure - but we also got to have SALSA! haha it was such a treat! The people on the base have an american WalMart type thing, and so when they brought salsa for everyone to share - I think about half of us passed out haha we were so excited(: But what was so cool about meeting with all these people from the base, is that we got to do a different type of missionary work. 

We all went around and shared our experiences with the Book of Mormon and how it has blessed and changed all of our lives - and it was incredible to see the different stories and the different principles of doctrine or testimony that changed each of our lives! The church is so different in the states - but so similar as well. So personal and unique to each of us(: Its awesome(: 

Have an incredible week! and we will see next week if I am staying here in Constanta or if I am headed out somewhere else(: 

Love you guys!

Sora Armstrong

(Eating yummy Covrig in Bucharest)

(Old Bucharest)

(Me and my new guitar)

(Celebrating Sora Armstrong's and Sora Trebas's 'one year mark' with fun drinks)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Who Knew?? Constanta: The Bible Belt of Europe

My amazing family and friends!(:

This week has been quite the week of Learning! and so I guess I'll jump right into it(:

Monday we were able to meet with a new investigator named "Raraș" who is a good friend of one of the members in our branch. Apparently he had been meeting with the missionaries before - five years ago actually - but then started to go deep into drugs and started to hang around some not so good people - and ended up dropping out of the discussions. However, the past few weeks he has been coming to church all on his own and has been completely clean of drugs for years. We asked if he wanted to have the discussions again and he agreed - and we then had a powerful lesson with him on Tuesday. He is SO cool! We asked him what he remembered about the Book of Mormon - and he immediately brought up the Tree of Life. He just went on and on about how he wanted to get there - but how he wanted to know for a sure fact that this was true and it was what he needed to do at this time. You could really tell how important this gospel was for him - and that even though it would require a change - he was more than willing. We are meeting with him again this next week and are SO excited to see what is in store. 

I also had my first lesson of bible bashing this week haha. Not quite what we expected or had planned haha. We were in a lesson with Mercy - a Nigerian who had just gotten back from the Germany temple a few days earlier after doing baptisms for her mom who had passed away. She was BEAMING and GLOWING! I had never seen her so happy - it was so so cool to see that power and spirit and peace that comes from the blessing of this gospel and of temples(: We were in the middle of talking to her about it - and then her friend "Tubo" came in and was like "Let's talk about God" and....things started off great! We were all like YES God loves us and we all love his Son and his Atonement and the Bible! But heres the thing....these Nigerians know the Bible inside and out like you wouldn't believe. Constanta is like the Bible Belt of Europe because they can just throw out verses and principles and prophets like nobody's business. It's quite impressive actually but also insanely frustrating haha. Anyways - he proceeded to talk and question and interrogate us about the law of the tithe - but it was actually Mercy that started to bible bash him back and so Sora Armstrong and I just kinda sat there in a confused state haha. It was so curious to see that the Spirit that we had all had - was gone the minute there was contention. We ended up just bearing our testimonies and inviting him to pray - but I believe I walked away with a much bigger lesson that day.

This past week I have come to realize that desire is key. The desire to change, to grow, to progress, to learn, to become - it all comes from your heart and from YOU! No one can make you change who you are or who you want to be, we all have that free agency to decide. He will not force us. I've seen that especially this week. It could be so easy to go through life and get discouraged and lose that desire to stop doing the little things that help us draw closer to our Heavenly Father - to stop reading the Book of Mormon and stop praying. It to be honest - can be discouraging as a missionary - to have 10 lessons fall through, or sunflower seeds spit on you on the street. But I can testify that if we use that free agency that we have to grow and progress to become better - we will see God work mighty miracles through us and in our lives. I've seen it - and I can promise you that if you have that desire to grow and to continue to press forward with the little things - with that desire - Heavenly Father is going to bless and change and mold us to become the best people that we can become - and help us to reach our divine, eternal potential(: 

I love you all and I hope you have a week full of fun and miracles! 
Keep being Rockstars!!(:

Sora Armstrong

(Usually how our comp pics go haha)

(All the Soras in Constanta with 3 members from the US Army Base)

(This is an Orthodox church that we recieved permission to go into - people call it "Biserica de lemb" or Church of the Lamb.)