What a week!(: It seems like I say that in every weekly email...but I guess we are just always coming upon new opportunities and people!(:
We made it a goal this transfer to really try and get the less actives to church - and so all of the missionaries have gone to visit the 8 less actives that we have here in our branch - all in the past two weeks. However - there is one man named "Fratele Vitel" and he is seriously one of the funniest people I have EVER met, but is also one of the most stubborn haha(: We decided that we were really going to try to get him to come to church this week, and so all 6 of us missionaries went to go and visit him.
So we got into the "block" which is like an apartment building - and all 4 of us sisters got in the elevator. We closed the doors and hit the top floor (there were 10 floors...) and the elevator began to move. But then...literally 15 seconds later...it suddenly just started shaking and then just stopped. JUST STOPPED!
To say that we panicked is an understatement.
Elevators in Romania are SUPER small and super sketchy...and so literally all of our worst nightmares came true that day. However we all have different personalities - so it was a hilarious experience because Sora Green just was SO done with the whole situation, Sora Trebas was panicking and recounting to us all the tower of terror stories, Sora B Armstrong thought it was Hilarious and started to JUMP!!! (NEVER do that in a Elevator in Romania) and I was just dying of laughter the entire time because it was all just a mix of "Is this even really happening right now."
Anyway - we were stuck for a good 15 minutes - trying to call the Elders who decided to take the stairs, and we kept hitting the alarm button - which turned out to be just a horn noise. After about 35 minutes we finally opened up the elevator doors, and barrel-rolled out of the elevator to avoid the doors slamming on us. Needless to say it was quite the experience - but the lesson with Fratele Vitsel ended up being amazing and he ended up coming to church!(: So the elevator experience was totally worth it!
Also this week I have had the chance to basically become "the branch family history consultant." haha its been AWESOME!(: I've had to enter in over 100 Romanian, Moldovan, and Nigerian names this week because our branch gets to go to the temple this week! They only have the opportunity to go to the temple once in the entire year because it is so far away (They can go to Ukraine or Germany) and because it is so so expensive. However, it is amazing so see how much it means to all of these people here in our branch! They spend so much time finding their family members dates, places where they were born, and such - and it is usually immediate family members that they are doing the work for. It has been such an incredible blessing to help them - and such a tender mercy to see how close all of these members are with their families.
I truly believe that the closer we strive to be with our family and the closer we strive to have the gospel in our lives and together as a family - we become United, blessed, and receive guidance and strength like nothing else. One of the very first principles that we teach as missionaries - Even before the restoration - is that
A. God is our loving Heavenly Father
B. The Gospel blesses families.
I can testify to you that it does! If we are striving to go to the temple, to have family home evening, and to read the book of mormon together every night as a family - it makes all the difference! In school, in work, in relationships, in everything! It is truly such a blessing and I am eternally grateful for my family and for my Father in Heaven!
I love you all!(:
(The elevators are so, so small)
(This is Fratele Vitel)