I AM FINALLY HERE! Me, my luggage, all the surori and elders, we all made it safely... to ROMANIA....AHH OH MY HECK I AM IN ROMANIA HAHA ITS AWESOME! #hanice #MVPtravelleader
What a week! It has seriously flown by and has been so amazing! President Ivory is seriously a rockstar and his wife was so so sweet! I can already tell what an amazing mission this is going to be with these awesome leaders!
My companions name is...drum roll...SORA ARMSTRONG! hahaha how funny right? When Pres Ivory was announcing companionships - he saved us for very last and everyone was dying of laughter haha. People have been trying to find out how to tell the difference between us.... some of the names that have been proposed are "armstrong1 and armstrong2" "armstrong the elder and armstrong the younger" "aarmstrong and barmstrong" "Louie and Neil" "armstrong squared" haha I am welcome to any new ideas or votes as our district has not yet been decided on what we should be called yet(: She is super awesome though, she's almost 20, from California, and has been out for almost 10 months!
We are in the lovely city of Constanta, where the humidity is a "blast" and the sea is SO close! The members are amazing! We have about 20, but each one is so solid and they were so kind when they welcomed me - the new "boboace" - which means the baby duck haha AKA the greenie.
I don't have too much time - but here is something that is so incredible that happened this week!
The area of Constanta is incredible - but one of the things I find most incredible about this area are the people. The members are amazing, and they have that desire to be a member of the church, and to constantly work at becoming better. That is something that is SO inspiring to me! They truly value their callings, their relationships with other members, and their relationship with God. For example earlier this week I met an recent convert named Alexandru. Hes about 33 and was baptized two weeks ago. We were really trying to push the importance of receiving the Priesthood - but he seemed really hesitant. He really opened up and explained all of the concerns that he had about taking on the responsibility of being a worthy priesthood holder. Sora Armstrong and I encouraged him to seek for guidance from the Lord, to read from the Book of Mormon - and that if he did - he would know what path he needed to take. We left the lesson praying that he would accept and act on our challenge - and that because he said he didn't feel he was ready this week to receive the priesthood - that we would challenge him to receive it the following week. HOWEVER - what happened next was truly incredible because three days later as we were sitting in church on Sunday, President Oltanu *the branch president announced that Alexandru was receiving it right after sacrament! Oh I was so excited!!! He looked so happy and recognized that yes, responsibility comes from having the priesthood, but great blessings come as well! Personally I learned and was humbled from this experience as well - because I learned that it is ALWAYS the Spirit that does work and changes the hearts that we cannot. The real conversion comes not from the 1 hour we spend with the individual, it comes from the 23 other hours in the day where it is them, and God. We as missionaries are not part of their line between them and God, we simply aid and serve and invite them to Come unto Christ - and it is up to them to follow the commitments, to continue to have that desire - and then God comes to make up the rest!
I hope that you all have an incredible week - and I will for sure email more next week once I figure out how to work this Romanian keyboard hahaha(:
I love you all!
This is the view from our apartment window - the black sea....#hanice (: SO awesome!