We are winding down to the last week of the transfer which is quite crazy. Elder Trottier is headed home and I will have one more transfer left... that means eight more weeks of awesomeness in Romania! This upcoming week we will be busy with all sorts of shenanigans including transfer boards, residency permit applications, last minute tweaks to our Romania Administration for Dummies handbooks, finishing cleaning out the mission storage room, planning travel for Mission Leadership Council- the list just goes on! I am confident that because of our preparation, the Lord will provide a way to have this mission move work.
|Waiting for the summer rainstorm to pass|
|Summer storm in Bucharest... it lasted 10 minutes|
This week wasn't too shabby. I'll talk about three cool happenings.
1. A big push in the mission and in the church as a whole in Romania has been family history work. I personally have not done too much family history work back at home. Whenever I tried to do it I got bored easily... probably because I was doing it wrong. In the church we believe that in order to return to the presence of God, we must make certain promises with God here in this life. For those who did not do this on earth, we do their ordinances in the temple including baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost in behalf of our ancestors. Because of the restored power of the priesthood, what is bound on earth is also bound in heaven and our loved ones on the other side have the opportunity to accept their ordinances.
For many years now, church leaders have urged us to engage in this work! It took a mission in Romania for me to understand the importance of and joy found in doing family history work. I think what really helped change my attitude was my understanding of the Romanian culture. I have said many times that I love Romanians for their emphasis put on the family unit. As a nation, Romanians are close to their own families, and are quick to help one another.
For a long time, it has been difficult for Romanians to do their family history work because there are no digitized records. In order to find names of your ancestors you have to actually go to the local archive or in many cases the local orthodox church and prove that you are related, etc. The church has recently been working out a deal to help digitize the archives which would be a HUGE deal. For right now, we are trying to follow the council of church leaders and do our best. The results have been wonderful!
We worked with two members this week to help them put in the names and information about their parents and grandparents into family search. We first met with Vio, the man who I baptized last year. My favorite part was writing in a description of each family member from Vio's perspective. It was so clear to me how much he values his relationships with his family members, and ultimately how important it is to ensure that those relationships last beyond the grave. I felt joy helping Vio do family history work.
We also helped a man named Gabi Marin. After twenty-five minutes of waiting for his computer to boot up, and another fifteen minutes as he slowly entered in the information on the computer, we were able to help him request ordinances for his grandparents. Again, as we helped Gabi do his family history work, I felt the spirit confirm to me that this is important and a real work.
|Fratele Gabi working hard on family history work on his dinosaur.|
|Exchange with Elder Krieger!|
2. Romania recently just received an assigned patriarch to give patriarchal blessings to the members in Romania. The man, Robert F. Orton was one of the first mission presidents in Romania, and also served in the second quorum of the seventy. I have had the opportunity to talk with him as well as observe how he interacts with the members. What really stuck with me is his optimism for the future. He stressed the importance of always living with a dream in mind... you wouldn't believe what his first dream was! He talked about how our prophet, Russell M. Nelson, has always lived life with a vision, and it is so evident in the way he leads and guides us today. I hope that we all have a vision to work towards in this life, and if you don't, make one!
3. On Fridays we have sport nights, where investigators and young adults come and play soccer and other sports all together. Before the activity, I felt inspired to call a former investigator named Ciprian. He originally found the church in Spain, and we had a lesson with him that was focused around baptism a couple of months ago. Since then we lost contact with him, but today he accepted the invitation to come to sports night. He absolutely loved it, and it made him remember the importance of drawing nearer to God. He was inspired to come to church that and also had a confirmation that what he was doing was what God wants. He told me thanks for never giving up on him. I responded, "Are you kidding me? Never!" I imagined how the Savior feels when we don't do our part. I know that he never gives up on us, and if we turn to him, he will "succor us according to our infirmities" because of His great love and atoning sacrifice.
|Sora Gorzo... the master chef!|
|Ardei umpluti... mmmm|
So many great experiences. I hope each and everyone of you will take time to learn from the many adventures that you have each and every day... that is what this life is all about!
|Dani and us|
|George and I|
|Kunnai...incredible thai curry|