What an amazing week we have had! First of all, ELENA’S BAPTISM!!! Everything went well and without a hitch. Marius is amazing and basically planned the entire thing. Sora Elena Pavel, who has been a great member present for our lessons and who helped Elena find her new home, gave a talk about baptism and Sora Ralls gave a talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost. I played the piano (classic) and Elders Speyer and Houk were the witnesses. Levy did the baptizing and Marius did the confirming the next day in church — or “holy ghosting” as Sora Ralls called it haha. It was such a wonderful moment standing at the side of the font with her before she walked in. You could tell how much it meant to her and what a big step this was for her. Afterward, she said to us that when she came out of the water, she felt like her eyes had been opened and all she could see was light. After she was confirmed, all she could say was that her soul was illuminated. She is so sweet and sincere — I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to be a witness to the miracle that she is. There are many missionaries from this mission that go home without ever seeing a baptism — I am so lucky to be able to have worked with Elena who was so prepared.
Marius, Elena, and Levy!
We spent a lot of this week preparing for the baptism — calling all the members, all our investigators, visiting her out in Feldioara every day. One of our advanced English students, Eugen, was interested in the baptism and stuck around after English classes to see the baptism. He even came out to church in Feldioara to see the confirmation. Marius said Eugen reminds him of himself when he first started investigating the church…there seems to be lots of awesome potential with Eugen! The elders taught him a lesson on Sunday after church and will be meeting again on Tuesday!
We also had interviews with President Hill and Sora Hill. Finally after a couple weeks of delay due to the snowstorms, we got to sit down with President and Sora. They do such a great job of uplifting us and helping us in any way they can. President mentioned to Sora Ralls that I would probably be leaving Braşov after this transfer and that she and I both might be training. Training means that my new companion will be fresh out of the MTC and the fact that I will be put in a new city with someone else who hasn’t served there yet means I will be whitewashing. Kind of intimidating! He didn’t give any hints as to where I might be going so I have absolutely no idea. It’s kind of driving me crazy! I just wish I could know already!!
This week, Sora Ralls and I decided we finally hit a wall with our “work hard, play hard” way of doing things. We have been getting progressively more tired as the transfer wears on and there was a day this week when I got pretty loopy because I was so tired. There was a moment when Sora was eating baked potatoes and a glass of Coke for breakfast that we decided we had reached a whole new level of “work hard, play hard” that we like to call “work hard, potato hard.” It has been absolutely a BLAST serving with Sora Ralls and we are both getting pretty sad about the idea of being split next transfer. We presented President with our statistics sheet and he laughed and said something along the lines of, “I didn’t need a statistics sheet to tell me that you two are effective together!” We are hoping the sheet helps him decide to put us together later in our missions.
Work hard, pizza hard…looks like American pizza, and even tasted like it too!
We had a branch talent show this past Friday — we missionaries, after much debate, decided to sing a hymn together even though none of us are very good singers. We ended up kind of falling apart because one of us starting laughing and then someone else started laughing…and you know how that goes. But the branch members laughed along so it became more of a comedy act. At least we unintentionally have the talent of comedy!
We got “bunged” (ditched) pretty hard core this week. We were supposed to meet with Jennifer, an amazing woman Sora Ralls had met on the bus that had taken a Book of Mormon and gave us her number to meet up later. We set up a time to meet, got her address, and arrived at her bloc at the time we had arranged. We called up on the intercom and it rang all the way through like no one was home. We called her on the phone and said, “Hi! We think we’re here!” and she just hung up without responding…we didn’t know what to do! Do we call back? Maybe she couldn’t hear us? Maybe she was confused about who was calling? Maybe she thought we meant we were at her literal apartment door, not the building door? But we figured we were bunged — it happens a lot where someone shows interest and then that interest cools for whatever reason, whether it is someone telling them something unsavory about the Mormons or if they can’t bring themselves to go though with it. It’s hard to take, but it just means now wasn’t the right time for them to be introduced to the Gospel.
Our “bunged” faces (and a good view of my ugly earring!)
Today, we had a great lesson with Adriana and Beatris. We watched “The Restoration” and talked about having a prophet in our days. We gave her a copy of the Liahona to read talks from our prophets and apostles at this past General Conference — it was so cute, she thought we weren’t giving her the copy so she read Thomas S. Monson’s whole talk out loud cause she wanted to keep going and didn’t think she would be able to keep it. We are working hard to give them a baptismal date that they will accept. The goal for the mission is to have a new baptismal date by the end of the transfer — last transfer Elena had been committed to baptism so she doesn’t count as a new date this transfer. I definitely think it’s possible for them. They know this is true but they are scared about taking that big step of baptism, understandably.
By the time I write next week, we will know transfers for sure! We also are spending half of our P-Day on Wednesday this week to go to Peleş…and hopefully it will actually be OPEN on the inside this time. I am so excited to know where I’ll be going and can’t wait to update you!
I love you and miss you lots! I hope you all had great weeks and I think of you every day. I miss being able to talk to you every day, but I feel your love every day. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here in Romania, dedicating my time to the Lord.
Love you and miss you! Cheer for Romania in the Olympics!