Monday, March 28, 2016

Celebrating Easter...Romanian Style!

Hey there Family and Friends!!(:

I can't believe it's already Monday again. Things are going so well here! Missionary work is one of the best things in the entire world. It's definitely one of the hardest, but it's also so so amazing and so so worth it!!(:

We were able to meet with some incredible people - we started off by meeting with Felicia (finally) and talking a little bit about Easter and showing here the amazing video that the church came out with! (link is below if you haven't seen it - or if ya want to see it again(: ) Easter is such an amazing holiday, but its so interesting because people here celebrate it at different times depending on what religion you are. For example, the majority of the people here are Orthodox, and they don't celebrate until May 1st! The Jehovah Witnesses' already celebrated - and Catholics and ours was yesterday. 

So it was actually super cool, because here the traditions for Easter are SO fun and just full of culture! They hand paint their easter eggs - which turn out to be GORGEOUS! They also dye a TON of eggs just a deep deep red color, to symbolize Christ's blood and then apparently around Easter, you smash your red egg with another persons red egg. 

So Saturday night we were actually invited by Cristina - one of our new catholic investigators, to go to the Catholic Easter service that night. It was SO interesting! At like 8 at night, we went with our little tiny candles (it was all we had haha) and just stood in this HUGE Hungarian Catholic church! They all lit each others candles, and the entire huge Catholic church was just full of beautiful candle light! Kinda cool! Well, so while we were doing this waiting for Cristina, she gives us a call and tells us we are at the wrong church #ofcourse haha. So we head to the Romanian Catholic church (it was good we actually understood what was going on there haha) and it was PACKED! Here, people really only go to church on Easter and for Christmas - so it was just this HUGE room full of people and me and Sora Falkenberg with our little tiny candles(: haha it was great(: 

Around Easter there is always just such a beautiful spirit and a great time to remember about Christ - and share it with others!(: There has never been a better time to be a missionary! Share it with others - thats my challenge for you(; Have a great week!(:

(Here is the link in English)
(and here it is in Romanian if you feel so inclined)

Love you guys!!

Sora Armstrong

It rained SO much this week.. it was FABULOUS!(: haha - it also snowed a couple times! #arewebackinutah??

The Hungarian church! (this is the inside of the big brown one from the previous pic)

When all the lights were off and we just had candlelight!

I was freakin out - I thought it was so cool(:

My companion and I at the Hungarian church. 

The packed Romanian church!

Our Wimpy candles. 

We also found a license plate that said STL and we freaked out haha(: 
NOTE: Sora Armstrong is currently serving as the STL - Senior Trainer Leader. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Three New Investigators in One Week - Huge Miracle in Cluj!

Hey family and friends!!(:

Ah, this week was Great!(: We just really gave it our all and saw the Lord prepare a path for us in so many ways. We were able to find 3 new investigators this week which was such a huge miracle!! As a mission we have a goal to find over 2 new investigators a week which is usually pretty rough - but after just working hard and finding with gusto we met our goal this week(: We found a cute girl named Irina - about 30 years old by contacting on the bus just by complimenting her scarf and just laughing and offering to meet up to get to know the city more, we found a new friend(: We ended up meeting with her two days later, talking about her beliefs, her family, her home town, and just getting to know her, and invited her to church. What was so amazing is that she ended up being late, and she easily could have turned around and gone home, but she came for the last 20 minutes of the gospel principles class and stayed to talk afterwards! SO awesome!!(: 

We also received a new investigator from English class named Cristina - around her 50's who we are doing 30/30's with. She was actually so excited about the choir that we have, and wants to come and participate in that - but since yesterday was Palm Sunday she wasn't able to make it. She is hilarious though - just so spunky and full of energy all the time hahaha its great, I can't really describe her personality, but its great haha. She LOVES Elder Bateman so much so that just makes it even more funny haha(:

The last new investigator that we found this week was Juliana (30 years old)- who actually just walked right into church! haha so cool right? Sadly it was like 10 minutes after church had ended, but I ended up talking to her for over a hour about her spiritual search that she is on, how she feels truly so alone and doesn't know if she can truly repent and have a new life. She's a gypsy so the members weren't too thrilled haha - but hey, she was really cool and really sincere so we are super excited!

We also saw Sebi and Ana this week at church! Ah it was so so good, they stayed for the full two hours and in the gospel principles class that we had, both of them participated many times! It was incredible! Elder Bateman was teaching the class about a scripture in Alma that explains the Atonement - and Sebi raised his hand and started talking about another verse that he found in 1 or 2 Nephi when he was reading the other day that went along with that scripture. He tried to find it but didn't - but he told us he would bring his personal CLM next week and share it with us - and he then explained how the verse meant a lot to him, how he applied it, etc. You guys it was incredible!! Ana also said the closing prayer for the gospel principles class which was the first time that I have ever ever ever heard her pray! Ah I'm just so proud of them ya know??(: 

Also funny random story this week - haha we were walking to the church after visiting a less active, and ended up walking by this house where there was a guy working on his garden in his backyard. We said "Hello" as we were walking by, and he was like "Do you guys want some flowers?" hahahaha So random right? So we ended up talking to this guy, named Timi who was about 40? He actually lived in Chicago for about 11 years so spoke english incredibly well! haha he was great - and just like went and dug up 5 or 6 flowers from the ground, put them in a sack and gave them to us haha like what? It was great. So we ended up just planting them at the church because we live in a apartment - it all worked out haha(: 

Anyways I hope you guys have a great week! Know how much I love you and how grateful I am for each and every one of ya!!(:

Sora Armstrong(: 

(To explain the lock pic - theres a lock bridge here in Cluj where you write your name on a lock, lock it on the bridge, and then throw the key in the river(: Kinda like what they have in Paris. Sora Falkenberg and I gave it a try - haha it was great)

The lock bridge!!!(:

Planting the flowers from Timi!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Youngest STL (Sister Training Leader) Companionship in the Mission

Hi there family and friends!!

This week was a crazy, busy one - full of surprises and rain and lessons and things! But it was honestly one of the best!

Sora Falkenburg is seriously SO awesome! She is such a champ at just working as hard as she can every single day with the language, with talking to people, etc. She is truly so great!

This week we found out transfer boards! AHH! So I honestly wasn't sure what to expect, President Ivory had mentioned me training before the emergency transfer happened, but I was honestly just expecting that me and Sora Falkenburg would either just stay together for another one, or that I would get moved to another city. So when we found out transfer boards - saw that me and Sora Falkenberg are staying together - but that we are also going to be STLs/Sister Training Leaders for the west zone in our mission. AH! 

Truly truly - I had absolutely no clue what that meant or entailed in any way - and since Sora Falkenberg and I are the youngest STL companionship in the mission, we had no idea what to do haha! But honestly - we are so so excited. It will be a learning experience for sure, but I am looking forward to serving another transfer here in Cluj with these incredible people - and for really getting to know and help these sisters in our zone! It will be great!

Also kinda a sad week because Sora Armstrong (my trainer) Sora Koth, and Sora Trebas are all leaving this next week. Truly going to miss them like crazy - they were incredible examples and leaders not only for me, but for this mission! They truly made all the difference here and in the lives of those people who they came in contact with!

As for the rest of the week - we met with quite a few members and less actives, but probably the highlight for sure was Sunday. We have been working with this less active named Viorica for a while now, and she literally hasn't been to church in years. However, this week we challenged her again - and she actually agreed! We showed up to her house on sunday morning, and there she was all ready in her cute pink shirt and skirt - talking about how much she needs to bring for tithing and things. SO COOL! 

God seriously does work miracles! I will honestly never forget how when she walked into the church building with us, and how all the members got SO excited and just rushed to her and gave her a huge hug, gave her liahonas and lesson manuals, encouraged her to sit by them, etc. It was honestly, so incredible. 

I sure love you guys - keep praying for Felicia as we are going to try and challenge her again to set a date for baptism this week. will keep you posted! Sure love ya!

Sora Armstrong

Found a sign that actually said "Ärmstrong"!!!! #hanice

We found a field of huge huge pigs! haha

Us and the Elder's invesitggor (Costel) waving off Elder Seegmiller as he's headed to Alexandria! Romanian smiles haha(:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ah...More Stomach Soup!

Hey there family and friends!!(:
What a crazy week it has been for sure!
To start it all off - we were actually in Brasov and Bucharest for a little bit. Sora Wyatt was transfered over there to the gorgeous city of Brasov, and from what I have heard - is doing so so well there! Thank you so much for including her in your prayers - she truly is such a rockstar!!
So we got back to Cluj late Wednesday night - and I arrived with the adorable Sora Falkenberg! She is so awesome! She's 22 from Canada - and has been here in Romania for about 4/5 months now! Ah, she is seriously so great - and speaks the language like a PRO! I have already learned so much from her, she is not afraid to be bold with these people and share our purpose - which is so so cool(: I know that we're going to have a blast for sure!

So this week we were able to meet with Felicia! Ah, she is so adorable! She is 45 years old, and is just so so prepared ya know? All four of us missionaries actualy met with her this week - and we taught the Restoration in a new way with some visual aids as kind of a review. She totally knew it all, and is just so senstive to the Spirit it is incredible! She had a poor headache so she wasn't feeling too good, but fed us "Italian Spaghetti"haha(: It was the BEST! So anyways - the lesson was going super super well, and we actually felt impressed to invite her to baptism. So we challenged her - and poor girl, with her headache and everything, and with looking for a job, she said that she hadn't had time to study the Book of Mormon so she wants to study and learn a bit more, and then we can talk about it. So we are actually going to invite her again this week, and try to establish a date...taking a act of faith that everything will work out ya know?(: So be sure to keep her in your prayers and I'll let ya know how it goes!

We were also able to meet up with the cute sisters from Sibiu, Sora Trebas and Sora Yost - two outstanding sister missionaries and dear friends! Sora Trebas is actually going home in like a week, with Sora Armstrong (my trainer) and Sora Koth (who I served with in Constanta). I am going to miss them for SURE!

Ah and then this week guess what happened again? More stomach soup. MORE! Ah it was...geat. haha again qujite the experience - excpect for this time, even better, we got to see HOW she made it. haha Edith is seriously the best, just cracks me up. It was her birthday, she turned 61, and she was just so so happy(: We actually watched the Restoration with her in Hungarian, and she loved it. We challenged her to baptism afterwards, and she got super upset actually. She has been investigating the church for over 14 years now, and named herself "sora simplatizana"or "sister investigator".....ah. So anyways, we got a big NO from her, but she wants to go to the temple this coming August to the temple dedication in Frieberg Germany! So we'll see - we'll keep working with her for sure! Ah, I just love her so much ya know? Its just hard when she knows that the church is true, but just doesn't want to change...

Thank you so much you guys for everything that you do - for your examples and support. I sure love you guys! Have a great week!

Some of the Valentines I made for my English class students (: With candy attatched too!

Us with the Sibiu sisters!!!(:

Edith and I on her 61st b-day!

Some of the Cow stomach that we ate