Monday, December 28, 2015


Family and Friends!!

Ah I hope that ya'll had the most incredible week ever - and that you had a blast with all of the snow and the food and spending time with family!(: It truly is one of the best times of the year isn't it?(: No matter where you are in the world(:

This week was fun and honestly one of the most humbling weeks on my mission thus far - we were able to go and visit many less actives and investigators that we have that were going to be alone for Christmas - and you could tell how hard that it was going to be on them. We actually went and visited an investigator that we have named Edith, on Christmas. She's been an investigator for many many years now - but has recently gone through a lot of hard family trials. We showed up on her doorstep Christmas morning with my guitar and cozonac - and we sang a Hungarian song that we'd learned for her. haha we don't speak ANY Hungarian - and it is TOTALLY opposite from Romanian, but we honestly wanted to do something special to her, and what better way or time to do it than Christmas?(: It was incredible to see how a such a simple act, on such a special day, can mean the world to someone. Truly one of the highlights of my week and mission for sure.

Along with this week we got invited over to MANY members houses to try the classic Christmas Romanian dish of Sarmale. Oh it is SO good. Like really though. Call me when I get back home and we can make some - you all have to try it! Its basically a pickled cabbage leaf with pork, rice, and other things wrapped inside. Its kinda cool cause every Romanian makes it in their own "way' or style haha(: So we had pork fed to us, turkey, pork and chicken, pork, and tried vegetarian yesterday. I'm basically all "sarmaled"out haha(: But still SUPER good none the less!

Its also hilarious because here in Romania - so many things are done differently for Christmas. For example, they all get live Christmas trees here - but they don't get them till 1 or 2 days before the actual day of Christmas....why? I have no idea haha but it happens(:

Another tradition they do is that they LOVE, I mean absolutely LOVE to carol. Like its tradition. However it takes on a different approach here haha. When you hear carolers outside your door - you are like "required" - that is, if you choose to open the door - to give them money or invite them in for some soup or sarmale that you have prepared haha. So basically halloween, but instead of a "trick or treat" you offer a "silent night" or something. What is too funny is that they actually have a Romanian christmas song called "Deschide Usa, Crestine" which means "Open the Door, Cristian" hahahaha so you hear that EVERYWHERE because they just want everyone to open the door so they can get some money or extra presents for Christmas(: The gypsies here especially love that song haha its hilarious - but hey the people here love it! Christmas spirit right?(:

Ah anyways - I truly truly hope that you were all able to have an amazing, incredible Christmas!(: And I wish you the best start of 2016!!(: Don't ever lose that Christmas Spirit or lose the reason of why we even celebrate Christmas - lets remember the Savior all year long(:

Love you guys!

Sora Armstrong

I was mesmerized by the lights haha(:

Me and my cute friend Elisa

Merry Christmas! Skyping with my family on Christmas morning. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Craciun Fericit! (5 Days Until Christmas)


Ah I am honestly SO excited!!!(: And I wish you all the very best Christmas!(: With lots of good food and family time and hopefully lots and lots of snow!(: 

This week was SO good - we were able to be in Bucharest to hear from Elder Dyches, I got to ride my first ever sleeper train, I was able to go on a exchange with thee AMAZING Sora Moon, we got to explore the depths of a deep salt mine, and I was able to meet a lot of our investigators for the first time(: It was SO good you guys! Ah I can't even tell you. 

Honestly probably one of the highlights was the sleeper train(: I had absolutely NO idea what to expect...and so when we pulled up to the train station - I was SO excited because it looked EXACTLY like the Polar Express. Like I was pumped haha(: 

The hallways were so classy and my heart and soul was just filled with childhood Christmas excitement for what our adventure had in store(: Then we got to our room. haha ah. There was 4 of us Soras - Sora Harper and I and the 2 STLs - and there were 4 beds all in this little 6 ft wide 7 ft high room haha - it was actually very impressive(: We made it work and it was SO cool just to like, well, SLEEP on a TRAIN! In a BED! haha it was cool(: I felt like I was in a real life Harry Potter movie or something.

In Bucharest we were able to hear from President and Sora Ivory, as well as Elder Dyches and it was AMAZING! Super cool and the Spirit there was incredible. They gave us a lot of advice about what we could all work on and how we can take what we have learned on our mission - and apply it when we go home(: The main message was about goal setting - how if we have a vision and then set goals in everything we do, we will see success(:

Ah you guys are amazing and I truly wish you the best Christmas Ever!!(: I love you and I am so incredibly grateful for each and everyone of you!

Have a great week!(: Craciun Fericit!(:

Sora Armstrong

(The "Family Tree" we sent to Sora Armstrong)

I like freaked out cause this was the most "Temple Square" look-a-like tree in the whole city haha(:


All the fun, little Romanian shops!!! (:

We got to go inside a salt mine last Monday - it like was AWESOME! 

Merry Christmas from Romania!!! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

My First Referral!

So this week we got our FIRST REFERRAL! Ah I was FREAKING out! haha we got a email saying that a man named "bob" requested some english pamphlets from the christmas website! Super random, and super random we are kinda excited/nervous about the whole situation but we are going to go and see him sometime this week. Hopefully its a real person haha(:

We also had a SUPER cool experience this week with a less active! The branch list here is SO big - with over 200 names on the list apparently, but only 40 of them come to church every we set a goal to FIND these people, and bring them BACK to the branch! So how did we do this you ask?? Sugar cookies. Lots and lots and lots of sugar cookies. 

And it worked(: haha #hanice(:

There is a less active named Elena who apparently hadn't been visited by missionaries in years so we decided that we needed to try to go and see her. Sora Harper said that she had been trying to contact and set up a visit with Elena, but that she had always resisted and said that she never had time. But we were up for the challenge(; We called her up and she asked what we wanted, and we told her that we had a present for her for Christmas - and that we just wanted to come and drop it off super fast. She paused for like 30 seconds on the phone...and finally agreed. 

We hung up the phone triumphantly and were filled with the Spirit of victory when we quickly realized that we had NO idea where she lived. We were too scared to call her back cause we didn't want to give her the chance to change her mind...'so we headed out with nothing but a big plate of decorated trees and bell cookies and a single street name that Sora Harper had. 

And let me tell ya - it was one of THEE coolest experiences ever. We had absolutely NO clue where we were going, but we took the bus to that street, and then started to look at all of the apartments. These apartments all had the last names of the people who lived in each apartment - but it literally stretched for miles. And it was freezing and SO dark.

So we headed out, and apartment after apartment..nothing. So we had the feeling to cross the street - and literally in front of THAT APARTMENT we totally found her name!! Like..HOW COOL!(: haha. It was awesome! We ended up visiting her - and she just had the softest, kindest heart. She had gone to the store to get cookies for us and soda, and ended up giving us each a jar of homemade peach jam before we left! We are scheduled to come and see her this coming week again - it was such a big step for her and we are SO proud of her!!(: Like really though!

It was super cool to have that experience of not only visiting her - but having to have complete trust in Heavenly Father that He would direct us where to go. Kinda like life huh?(; sometimes we are literally and physically lost - having no idea how to get to a certain destination. But sometimes we are lost in other ways - not knowing how to help a loved one or what to major in with school. But family and friends. It is my testimony and promise to you that God helps, leads, guides, and directs us with ALL things! Whenever we look to Him and ask for his direction - I promise that he will lead you and show you the steps of where you need to go.

I sure love you guys! 12 days till Christmas!!(: AH!! Have a great week!!

Sora Armstrong

Romanian food and 7 year old bonding

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What is Your Gift to the Savior this Year?

Friends and Family!!!(:
Can I just start off by saying how much I miss and love ALL of you! Ah, I hope that you are all getting SO excited for Christmas!!!(: Theres this SUPER cool video about it that you guys should watch if you get a chance(: or three..okay....there are actually 3 that I really really love:

A Savior is Born(:
He is the GIFT(:
What shall we GIVE(:
AH YES! Check them out if you get a chance(:
This week was great! There was a lot of lessons that didn't go though...but hey! Its okay!(:
Last Tuesday was Romania's National Holiday - so literally EVERYTHING was closed and the streets were EMPTY for like 2 days. I had such high hopes that something awesome and incredible would happen for the big day of Romania....but alas we missed the Parade that happened and basically everyone was inside to be with their families - so thats good I guess(:
YET! Later on that same Tuesday - we had our English class and seriously...we have these DEDICATED English students who come to every class - they. are. ROCKSTARS! Teaching English is seriously SO fun - but the questions they ask you seriously make you question if you even know English haha. "Why do we use future continuous when we could just use this verb instead?" or the verb that blows their minds is the verb "a face" which in English means to do and to make..but Romanians don't get the difference...ah we'll get there haha(:
It was actually one of the highlights for me this week - teaching English. All week long I had been thinking that we needed to come up with a really good spiritual thought to share for the Saturday class. Some things had been going on amongst (have no idea how to spell that word anymore) our branch and there was a lot of problems that came up, so Saturday morning arrived and I had nothing. Sora Harper and I decided to try and brainstorm what would be good for these students, and still...nothing. But it was really cool because we just decided on the idea to show last years christmas video (haha #2 above...check it out(; ) and then have everyone write down what their gift to the Savior will be this year - and then we would put it under the branch Christmas tree as a reminder for them.
So we tried this - and after our beginner class - I had so many people coming up to me, thanking me, and saying what a beautiful video and principle was shared. There was actually even a cute student named Corina who came up to me and asked if she could come to church the next day. WOW!
So I went home and I was thinking can this be?? We didn't really get any spiritual promptings or anything or confirmations that what we had planned would work or that we could receive any results - but yet - Heavenly Father provided a way.
Its cool because sometimes we are unsure about our choices right?
But! What I have seen time and time again out here on my mission, and looking back, this even happened before my mission, is that there will always be times where we need to trust God and act. Faith is a principle of ACTION and power right?(: haha. So, if we act and seek guidance - even though we might not receive an immediate answer - it will come. Whether it be we choose wrong or right.
I love you guys - keep getting excited for Christmas and serve everyone you can!(: Have a great week!

Sora Armstrong

Sora Harper (my companion) and I

I was freaking out because you can literally see the ENTIRE CITY!!! #socool (:

The GIANT cross on the top of Cluj is SO incredible!