|On top of the world!|
This week was what I would like to call a "Real-life Missionary Week". This week was probably one of the most difficult weeks of the mission so far! Now the interesting thing about saying that this week was the most difficult, doesn't mean that it was not awesome... Because EVERY moment spent on the Lord's errand is truly a blessing and a miracle. I am trying to remember that as I go about my days here in Romania.
I'll start off with why this week was, as the bros and I like to say, gnarcrop! (brother vocabulary for awesome; dope; crazy sweet, rad, etc.) This week was spent meeting with many cool people, and getting to know their "stories," as everyone has a story.
On Halloween night, we met with a couple of families who were possible investigators for a Halloween party! We even had pumpkin pie. Which turned out to be ACTUAL PUMPKIN and a croissant pic crust. The most healthiest pie I have had, but it actually made it on the list for most delicious too! The question that they all had was, What is the meaning of Halloween? Man... I had to think about that one!
Most Romanians love Americans and want to learn all they can about our culture. It was cool to compare cultures and come to the conclusion that we are all similar in our wants and our needs, regardless of where you live! That is one reason why I love being in a foreign country, you get to see how other cultures work, and why they do what they do!
|Thirsty for knowledge|
We have one potential investigator who invited us to go to Yoga with him one day. We were prepared for stretching and being sweaty and whatever the women do in America, but turns out yoga in Romania is way different, or I am just naive about yoga in general! It turned out to be an hour of meditation and learning about different "archangels"... Actually very interesting and relaxing- ambient music played for a lot of the time- and we learned about the values of other people! It got a little weird at the end when they showed a little video about seeing extra terrestrials in space claiming that they were angels... but besides that it was a super cool experience and our relationship with this potential investigator was really strengthened, and we are going to meet with him to talk about the Book of Mormon that I gave him!
|Testimony that I wrote inside a Book of Mormon to give away to some lucky person.|
This is the great thing about being a missionary... Just seeing what other people in the world value, and how they live their lives! I love meeting new people, and I feel like my communication skills are being refined... in English and Romanian!
Amongst all the gnarcrop memories that were made this week also include, meeting some cool skateboarder dudes, a rad graffiti artist, playing basketball against a kid in my church clothes, helping install the stove that we transported last week, continuing to eat amazing Romanian food, having good conversations with Elder Giron, meeting with amazing members of the branch, GETTING A NEW INVESTIGATOR!, and just missionary work in general!
|Flock of sheep on the Hungarian border on the way to finish installing Sora Krnacs' stove|
|Concrete slab that we had to take out in order to install Sora Krnacs' stove|
|Humbled to have served this wonderful lady - Sora Krnacs|
|Sora Krnacs' bedroom|
|600 lb stove we carried and installed|
|Goats outside Sora Krnacs' home|
|Sora Krnacs' backyard|
|Super loud and annoying geese in Sora Krnacs' backyard|
There was one morning, where I made myself a "sunny-side up," some cereal, a banana, and yogurt, and I was just thinking about life in general. I was comparing eating breakfast before my mission, and what I would think about, be excited for, etc, and how that has changed since being on my mission.
|A balanced breakfast|
At that moment, I realized that I now have a sense of joy and happiness that I don't think I have ever experienced in my life! Before my mission I was excited to go on hikes, do fun stuff with the siblings, make money, etc and now, I look forward to meeting people, making new friends, and serving others while sharing the gospel! The joy that missionaries feel in their calling is just indescribable. I feel so privileged to be helping the Lord with His important work. And I have this privilege for 2 years!!! So rad!
Really quick I will tell the story of Florin, our new investigator. We met Florin my first week in Romania. We were walking separate ways, but right before we crossed paths, Florin and I made eye contact and we kind of both stopped. We made casual conversation, and I learned that his is a Mountain bike racer, and is also going to school. So cool!!! After talking for a while, somehow the Book of Mormon was brought up and he excepted the book, we got his phone number, and then we didn't see each other for 2.5 weeks. Fast forward to this week, we finally scheduled a time to meet up and get to know each other better. We had a nice visit in front of Primeria, and found out that Florin had read from the introduction of the Book of Mormon to chapter 12 in 1 Nephi. WHAT!?? Incredible!! He said that he really enjoyed reading it, we bore testimony, invited him to take the lessons, and bam. We are going to meet with him again ! There is just a special spirit about Florin, and I feel confident that he has been prepared for the gospel and will receive it with open arms. During our lesson with Florin, we talked for quite a long time, and somehow I understood 80% of what he was saying. After reflecting on the lesson I realized that I had been blessed with the gift of tongues! I was so humbled by this and gave my thanks to God, for blessing me with the ability to understand and speak to Florin.
These times where I get to teach an honest seeker of truth are the most joyful moments. I am truly grateful for this opportunity to help Florin come closer to the Savior!
I don't have much more time, but I am glad I started with the good things and not the bad! It is clear that the good experiences totally out way that bad.
To be brief, there were some days where we had like 0 success in terms of teaching. We would knock on 150 doors in a communist block, and have 10 people open up the door, with the majority saying that we won't have any success teaching Romanians, and that the Orthodox church should be sending missionaries to America instead of vice versa. That actually made me chuckle! Then we would go to the next block and have the same result. See why I might be a little discouraged sometimes?
It is just so frustrating at times when seemingly no one wants to hear our message!
A lot of mental stress has come as a result, but I am slowly learning how to overcome the discouragement that comes from this mission. I have always been able to release my feelings to my parents, youth leader, friends, etc. and now everything kind of just builds up inside. I do have one friend that is always always there for me, Jesus Christ. I am learning how to whole heartily trust in his wisdom, and let him succor me in times of despair.
I testify that He knows our fears, our sadness, our discouragement, our trials, and everything else that we go through in this life. Because of his infinite atonement, he can and will and DOES give us the comfort and peace that no one else can give. Even in the times where we feel like no one understands what we are going through. The great hope and truth in this life is that there is one who does know. And when we turn to him through prayer and scripture study and following His commandments, we WILL have happiness in this life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know this because I have experienced this many times, and many times this week. I love the Savior. He is my best friend.
That is my message that I am sharing with the Romanians. That is the great message of hope. THAT is the message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love all of you, and am so grateful to be apart of a wonderful family. Let's go have a rockin' week together!
Elder Ditto aka Alex :)
Tour of my apartment:
|I got the full-size bed!|
|Sunset out my window|