Have you ever had a week where nothing good seemed to happen or you just felt surrounded in despair? If you have, which I think everyone has had, that was me this week! This might have been the hardest week of my life. I hate to say it, because I thought that this would never happen to me, but I was depressed, and felt alone. For almost a whole week. I don't think I had ever been in so much despair for that long of a time in my life!
|Another artsy shot|
To be honest, I think it all started with our heating system breaking. As a result, we got nasty colds and even had to go to a hotel for a night as we were not allowed to stay in our apartment when it was that cold. One night we had no energy because we were so sick and just bundled up with tons of blankets and coats and made it through the night. The night at the hotel was pretty expensive, 300 lei, but it was a four star hotel so we reconciled... or so we thought! I have never stayed in a 4 star hotel until then but I would've imagined it to be a little more fancy.
|Not too impressed with the hotel even though it was a 4 star!|
|Elder Wilstead...sick edition|
So due to this weird situation and our horrible health, a lot of out time was spent in our apartment resting and chilling. I am not one to just sit around and not do work, and neither is Elder Wilstead, so this was a challenge for us!
Amidst these physical trials, somehow many negative thoughts clouded my view. I just couldn't function normally! Thoughts like, "I am not even doing any good here," and "I can't even speak Romanian," and even "I can't even tell if God loves me"... I honestly cringe and the thought of thinking that now. Then other little stresses aroused like not being obedient enough or not doing enough with my time during the day. The stress and sadness just kept piling up! I could literally feel my face turning into a frown and my eyes were getting heavy. I think people could even notice! Then I got even more frustrated because I felt like I always need to be a source of happiness and hope for the members and others here.
|Putting together my lego set my family sent me for Christmas|
|I made a mean fried rice!|
Of course I didn't want to be like this but I honestly didn't think that I could get out of it. Even after pep talks from my amazing companion and "You can do it notes" from others I just couldn't get me out of the funk. I wasn't happy and I sure wasn't having fun.
|Another Giant Piata|
|I HEART ROU!!!|
|Church in Timi|
|Giant Piata in Timi|
But shouldn't these be some of the most enjoyable two years of my life? Shouldn't my testimony be as bullet-proof as ever right now? I remember praying to Heavenly Father one night, asking him if he could please show me His love for me, because I thought I needed something miraculous to get out of this slump.
Well, the days went by and nothing really happened. I was still sick, still putting myself down, and still not happy.
3 Nephi 22:7,8,10...
verse 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.
verse 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment,but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.
verse 10 For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
Wow! What an incredible promise. Through the atonement, Christ is able to be our friend that will never waver, he is ALWAYS there for us, if we let him. I know that it is through the Lord's grace that we are healed from our sorrows and not just saved from our sins. The atonement is just so much more than that!
|Night life in Romania|
So I let Christ heal me. I decided that I would try and do my best to be happy, to do what I know is right, and to have fun while doing it all! As I did this, I felt a burden, all of that stress, just being lifted off of my shoulders. I am really struggling to write this letter be honestly, I can't remember everything that I felt, but I know that it was through the help of my Savior, that I got through a difficult time.
Now, that doesn't mean that this week won't be hard, but it does mean that I have a new source of energy and power to get through my day- Because of Him!
I am grateful for a new week. I am grateful for fresh starts and for the knowledge that I have that Christ loves me individually- He loves and cares about all of us!
|Streets of Lipova|
|Lipova with the homey|
There was a success story this week, though! We finally got permission to Lipova and teach Constantin again. We had a good lesson with him, and committed him to baptism again. He has a desire to change, he just needs help! He is gonna do it. I know it! During the lesson, I was really struggling with the language, but I felt like I needed to bear my testimony. At the beginning of it, I literally could not say a single thing that made sense! I got composure and then said what the spirit wanted me to say, even if it was in the worst Romanian I have ever spoken! BUT the spirit was present and Constantin felt it. Amazing how the spirit works through imperfect people!
I love all of you and thank you for all of your prayers. I truly do feel the power of them in my life.
|Lunch with Cristina|
|Delicious burger at a nice restaurant|
|Streets of Arad|
|Stunning church in Timi|
|Elder Wilstead and I in Timisoara|