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.)

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