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!