Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy (Late) Thanksgiving!

Wow wow WOW what a week!(: Ah it was SO fun! 

So basically all before Tuesday it was just a set up/prep for our English classes kinda thing - which ended up going AWESOME by the way(: Ah it was SO fun! Sora Harper and I teach beginner and medium - and the people here are hilarious. Man... you ask them a question in english like "How was your week?" .....15 seconds later..... "Ce inseamna asta?" haha step by step(: They'll get there! Learning a new language is HARD! I am sure that my first few weeks out here I just looked like a deer in headlights haha(: I'm sure I STILL look like that sometimes with this blessed language. 

No, but really though. English classes went so well(: We had about 42 people in Beginner, and around 48 in Medium. I was able to meet this SUPER cool guy in beginner named "Attila" (yes just like Attila the Hun) and we have been meeting with him and his girlfriend a few times this week to practice English and talk a little more about what we believe - a program we do called 30/30's. (30 minutes English, 30 minutes gospel)

He is HILARIOUS though. haha in beginner when Sora Harper and I were introducing ourselves, the class asked what exactly "Armstrong" meant..and they all thought it was hilarious that such a name even existed in English. They all thought it was a Russian name.....can almost guarantee its not Russian haha(: Anyways - there is a white board that we use in English class where it can turn upside down so that you can write on the other side right(: So I like thought that I would be all professorish and flip the board on the other side...but when I did so...and while I was tightening it back...I totally broke off the entire handle. In front of the ENTIRE english class.....AH so embarrassing. It went dead quiet and then Attila shouts "ARMSTRONG" hahaha and everyone is DYING haha(: So at least these students understand what the words Armstrong mean in english #hanice #legend

The next couple days Sora Harper wasn't feeling too good - but it worked out okay because I was able to make and cook a Banana pie and pumpkin(?) pie for Thanksgiving, as well as two little turkeys. That was QUITE the experience. Who knew that it is such a step by step process to cook a little turkey! Ah all I can say is PROPS to all of the moms out there who cook Thanksgiving dinners every year - its tough stuff! 

It ended up going so well though(: We had about 20 people from the branch show up - and we all did this awesome tradition that my family does where we pass out 3 popcorn kernels and everyone says 3 things that they are thankful for(: They LOVED it! At first they all thought that they were seeds and that they were suppose to go and plant them - but when they got the point of our message - we were able to share the real meaning of Thanksgiving with them(: 

It was SO cool(: Totally changed my perspective. They said so many things like how they were grateful that they had food that night, that they had a job to pay rent, that they had enough money to buy a coat for this winter. Really humbling. And really incredible because EVERY single member there said how grateful they were for the opportunity to be a part of this church. Testimonies were burning bright(: And to top it all off.....THERE WAS SNOW!!!!! AH IT WAS SNOWING!! Let Winter begin!!!(: 

I love you guys!(: I hope you have a wonderful week of continuing gratitude and fun(:

Sora Armstrong

Did I totally set up the branch Christmas tree this week....YES!!!(:


The pumpkin I used for the pie. It wasn’t too bad. 

The pink house from my mom’s pink joke. 

The Branch President’s 5-year-old son and I. We’re tight. 

So. Hard! 

Did it snow this week….YES!!!

Totally not as good as mom’s cooking, but I tried!

Monday, November 23, 2015

"All It Takes is 10 Seconds of Insane Courage:" an Apostle Visits Romania

What a crazy, fun filled, stressful week haha(: but isn't that every week?(:

So, not too much happened before Thursday. I got to finally meet one of our investigators - who has been an investigator for 15 years....yep. Ah. It was so hard. We were planning on teaching her the restoration lesson, but she totally cut us off and turned on the TV because her program was on. AH so frustrating - haha the Elders were getting so mad. Our two elders are Elder Blaylock and Elder Seegmiller, and she invited them to come with us. Poor Elder Blaylock was just getting so frustrated, and poor Elder Seegmiller had no idea what was going on because this is his 2nd week in the country. I just grabbed the remote, turned it on mute, and was like, Édith, God needs you on His team. And she was like "I am on your team! I'm just not baptized.' AHHHH. so we just said the closing prayer and left...she knows its true...that is what makes it so hard. She apparently has come to church like every week, and the only reason she wont be baptized is because she has orthodox priests in like her family history, I don't even know... ah. 

Anyways! On a lighter note(: Thursday morning around 5 we woke up to head to the airport to fly down to Bucharest to see Elder Ballard and Elder and Sister Kearon! They had a special meeting just for the was SO cool! Elder Ballard is hilarious haha - he totally knows whats up. He told us that we need to be 'the greatest generation of teachers in the history of the church..'' ah! SO COOL! #nopressure

Sadly, Sora Harper and I had to leave the meeting early because our plane home took off soon - so we didn't get to say goodbye to anyone (basically the entire mission was there) but, I DID get to shake his hand haha(: AH can i just tell was SO COOL!

Saturday we had sign ups for our free English class...and man is it SO different than Constanta. We had over 140 people come and sign up! That is going to be SO awesome! SO many people!

I also have to tell you guys...that I surly, without a doubt, know that Elder Ballard is a apostle of God. You could truly just feel the Spirit that radiated off of him. He told us all about how we need to "stretch" ourselves, push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, and be fearless(; One of my favorite quotes that he said was that '"all it takes is 10 seconds of insane courage to start a conversation that could change them, and you, for a lifetime." Sometimes sharing the gospel can be scary...but its worth it(: That's my challenge for you guys this week...push yourself to have that 10 seconds of insane courage - and I promise it will be more than worth it(: 

Have a great week!

Sora Armstrong

Romanian "4th of July" is coming up soon! All of this cool Romanian flag pride(:

One of our investigators seriously fed us SO much food haha...and her 25 year old daughter!

Monday, November 16, 2015

We Are Made Alive in Christ!

Wow Wow WOW!  Yes folks, I am now in the beautiful city of CLUJ NAPOCA! Ah it is SO different, but it is GORGEOUS here!
This week has been super interesting to say the least - but all is well! We took a flight here to Cluj on Tuesday, and immediately started to work. The branch here is SO BIG! About 40 people come to church every week apparently, but the branch list has over 200 names! 200! That is so crazy! It is my goal while I'm here to go and find all of these people and find out what on earth is going on haha.
But really though. The work seems to be so different here. We've only met with Less Actives this week, because Sora Harper (my new comp) says that this is the majority of the people here that we need to focus on. She is SO awesome by the way. So sweet, so kind! She's from Utah -haha hey - and she's been in Cluj for now 3 transfers, and is going into her 7th here in the mission.
Poor girl though, she got food poisoning BAD on friday night...around 11PM she was just so so sick, and kept throwing up all night and all day..I felt so bad. haha I was in the kitchen making homemade chicken noodle soup and I was feeling for all you moms out there haha
She wasn't feeling good until actually late last night, so we didn't get to go to church - but apparently the Elders told us that they just mainly talked about how Elder Ballard is coming on Wednesday and how important it is for us to go and be there and support him.
Isn't that SO cool? That an apostle is coming to ROMANIA! Haha of all places(: Its awesome! And his timing honestly couldn't be better. So many people are still freaking out over what happened with the club in Bucharest, and what happened in Paris recently just made people even more afraid and angry at the government...protests have been going on every night, and orthodox candles are constantly lit all over the communist statues..its been so crazy..there have actually been some places where we aren't even allowed to go because people are protesting in masks and things like that...however on a lighter note(: 

What I have found a lot of comfort in this past week is a scripture in 2 Nephi 25. A single phrase actually that caused a lot of refection and question about how I live, and how I can be better. The phrase, "We are made ALIVE in CHRIST."
Think about it...ponder it(: Think about what it means to you. The phrase actually goes on too...its verse 25(: I encourage you to look it up on your own(: Ask yourself if you're made alive in Christ, and how, and more important..why. I promise that you'll feel your relationship draw closer to your Father in Heaven and you'll feel incredible joy and peace, the more you strive to feel ALIVE in Christ, in this gospel(: its a different meaning for everyone, but thats what makes it special nonetheless(:
I sure love you guys - know that i am thinking, praying, and missing you all fiecare zi(:
Have a fantastic week!

Sora Armstrong 

(The view from my new apartment in Cluj) 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Goodbye Constanta: Hello CLUJ - NAPOCA

WOW!! Ah this week has just been a roller-coaster. Such an incredible mix of ups and downs and lefts and backwards and AH!

This week was hands down one of the hardest, most bittersweet moments on my entire mission. I found out on Saturday that I was going to be transferred to a new city - and I was SO stoked but I was also SO sad to leave all of these incredible people that are here in Constanta. 

Saying goodbye to all of our branch on Sunday was one of the hardest things that I had ever done. I felt like a piece of my heart was with each of those 30 people - and I was just all the sudden...leaving. 

But its okay....after all of these goodbyes I am going to be saying a lot of new hellos, in the beautiful city of CLUJ - NAPOCA!!! AH!!! I am honestly SUPER stoked and I have an INCREDIBLE new companion named Sora Harper - who is going into her 7th transfer. We have a small district - 2 Elders and 2 Sisters (us) but we are going to do AMAZING things there - I can feel it(: 

We arrived into Bucharest this morning because Sora Koth will be training a new missionary in Constanta - and I am taking a plane to Cluj tomorrow with Sora Harper, so I will keep you posted on how it all goes down! #stoked

This week though....incredible things happened. We played the movie "Meet the Mormons" in a big huge hotel conference room where all of the Nigerian students live - and we got over 30 students who came. It was one of thee funnest nights EVER. They just are SO fun all the time haha - they always say "You are welcome" when you meet them, or they will tell you that "you are looking fine" haha(: Someday I will go to Nigeria - its on my bucket list for sure(: 

I also had to say goodbye to my Advanced English class students....ah. That was hard too. They all progressed super fast and super well - and I hope and pray everyday that they will begin to have that desire to learn more about why we are here and what this church is all about. But thats okay - everything will work out in its own time(: 

AH! Well I will let you know next week how the city of Cluj is - but until then...for those of you who were attempting with me to read the Book of Mormon in 84 days...YOU MADE IT(: And now I have a new challenge for you...ready?(: To start again(: It will continue to change and bless your life I promise and testify of this.

I love you guys! 

Sora Armstrong

LIVIU!!!! Ah He is the best(: This was the hardest goodbye ever.

Last time together as a district....super classy in front of the China Mall #toogood

Tibi made a cake for all of the missionaries that are leaving was SO good(: 

One day - I'll be in Nigeria(: 

Me and Eva Constantinescu

Me and part of the Oltianu fam(:

Me, Mercy, and my NIGERIAN shirt(: #hanice

Lacra and I(: 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Week!

We didn't end up going to Bacu - but its okay because we were able to have a "spooky" time this week(: ha #hanice

Ah, it was SO awesome! This week has been great - and we had a HUGE success with our branch Halloween party. Halloween does not exist at all in Romania - even though like one of the main characters FOR halloween is in this country! haha but its okay - because we were one of the few people who actually had a party for Halloween, so a lot of people came. We all prepared and did the very best we could to get out the word and make sure that everything was prepared - and when the night finally arrived - we had over 50 people who came! It was INCREDIBLE! Our last branch activity only had 2 people - and so we were so taken aback and so excited! We had people from the branch, investigators, people from our English classes, people who we met on the street - it was wonderful. There was costumes and candy and we did district bobbing for apples and we played the doughnut on a string game and made a pinyata - it was a blast(: People were there from India, Germany, Brazil, Moldova, Ukraine, America, Nigeria - and it was SO cool to see how everyone had such a great time together! 

It was extra cool because I got to spend most of the time that night talking to a man named Gabriel who is from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. He speaks Portugese, English, Spanish, French, and German - but knows absolutely no Romanian haha. Super random that he was here in Romania - and then came to our little branches Halloween party - but hey it was awesome(: He was here to visit his friend named Diana - who is actually an English student in my advanced class so it worked out perfect! He had SO many questions - and I ended up spending most of the Halloween party sitting on the couch with him explaining the Book of Mormon and Restoration, and answering his questions about the plan of salvation, Joseph smith, who missionaries are, and other things. He heads back to Brazil later today...but after giving him a book of Mormon and getting his commitment to contact the missionaries there in Brazil  - it will all work out(: 

What was so interesting about it all though - is about how I kept getting the impression to tell him that what is so incredible about this church - is the Spirit. The feeling that we get that is all warm and happy and makes us feel all good inside. That the doctrine and the principles are important, YES! But so is how you feel. Thats how you know that its true. Its that warm, happy feeling that is telling you that its right. And not only that - but that SAME feeling is just a small portion of the everlasting and INFINITE love that God has for YOU. In Mormon, in the last chapter - there is a verse that says that God "hath prepared means" to guide us, to direct us, and to lead us - Its all through His Love! He loves us so much that he is NOT going to let any of us go. He will not falter, nor forget you, even when we feel we deserve it. Just remember to look to Him - and remember the moments when you have felt that Love - and remember WHY(: 

LOVE YOU ALL! Transfer Boards come out this week so I will know if I stay in Constanta or i'll let you know(:  

Sora Armstrong

(I had to be a vampire for Halloween...I mean like Romania and Halloween and Dracula are a must!)

(Gabriel visiting from Brazil). *See above.

(Our district's attempt at Halloween costumes)