Buna Buna Ziua!!(: Afa-nou!!!!(:
How are you all??(: It is so good to hear from you and to see what incredible weeks ya'll have been having!
This week has been quite the adventure! I discovered some more interesting culture things, President and Sora Ivory (the mission president) came over to Constanta for Sunday and got to meet our branch, we had some AMAZING lessons, and we just continued to see miracles!
As for some fun culture things, EVERY single tree here in Romania is painted white halfway down the tree. They believe it keeps away ghosts...at least thats what they've been telling me. I also got yelled at this week for carrying a pot on the street. They believe its a sign that you are going to be poor and have disease...so I'm pretty sure I'm going to leave my mission with around 50+ curses haha because I have been yelled at a number of times for carrying a pot, putting my bag on the ground, not having a fan, etc.. I also discovered this week some even crazier things about the AC. Its usually the older generation who HATES the AC and believes that it will make them sick - but there are different extremes. There are so many people from the older generation that walk around outside with cotton in their ears - because they believe that the wind will blow into their ears and make them sick. Kinda different, but also really fun to see the different culture(: Plus its just hilarious haha. This poor cute lady didn't sit down anywhere on the 20 minute bus ride because of the little AC things blowing out above the seats.
Our investigators are really progressing and it has been SO cool to see them draw closer and closer to Christ - but it has also been awesome to see the missionaries progress. President Ivory has really been pushing this theme called "Mountains to Climb" or the "84 day challenge." He gave us a checklist that is 84 days (it started before I made it to Romania, but we've still been able to participate) where we evaluate at the end of the day if we were 100% obedient, if we did at LEAST 2 hours of contacting, if we were always positive, if we Spoke the language, etc. Then if we earn it - the entire mission gets to go to Brasov, Romania to go on a gorgeous hike, eat a banquet in a castle, stay the night, and then visit Dracula's castle! HOW COOL RIGHT?? So the entire mission has been working SUPER hard - so all 100 of us Missionaries have earned it and are going to Brasov next sunday night for this mission conference!! #SOpumped #DREAMcity #BucketList
This week Sora Armstrong and I have really been focusing on Liviu, and making sure that he is ready for his baptism that is THIS SATURDAY!!! Ah I'm so proud of him!! His birthday was on Saturday, so we made a cake for him to celebrate, and even though things are hard for him with his family - he has been such a trooper and has been really pushing forward with this gospel! The Lord has amazing things in store for him because his heart is SO prepared - its incredible!
The language has been really rough and hard for me these past few days, because every time I feel like I've mastered a principle - I am quickly humbled and I get the chance to try try again. Its really hard because I feel like I can't participate in lessons as much as I could because I don't always understand what they're saying or how to respond - but I've really been trying to just focus on what the Spirit is directing me to say. I had an incredible experience with that in a lesson with Liviu this week when we were teaching him the Plan of Salvation.
We had our little diagram and were teaching the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation, while also making sure that he understood. Its often hard to understand Liviu because he talks SO fast, but it seemed like he was grasping the concepts pretty well. We had just gotten done talking about the resurrection and judgement, and were about to move onto the different kingdoms of glory (such a COOL subject to teach by the way) when I had the feeling that we needed to stop and that I needed to share my personal experience and testimony of the resurrection. At first I was terrified, but I asked Sora Armstrong if I could share something - and in my broken Romanian, I began to tell and share my experience and my families experience about how amazing the knowledge we have about how we can have PERFECT bodies and how we will be able to become glorified and happy. I don't know if it effected Liviu in anyway - but I know that it changed me and through that experience of opening up to him and trying to bring in the Spirit - it opened my eyes to the incredible power and LOVE that comes from testifying and involving the Spirit.
I encourage you to share your testimony to someone or in someway this week - it will open the doors for so many opportunities for you and the people who hear it.
Have an INCREDIBLE week - know how much I love you all!!!
(Us eating cake with Liviu for his b-day! #43)