I can’t believe this week is already over…it feels like it has hardly begun! Probably one of the reasons that it feels like the week has hardly begun is because Sora Merrill and I were out of town for almost the entire week. We left night on a night train down to Buc, spent down there just proselyting and such as to prepare ourselves for Missionary Leadership Council which started early morning and was all of and half of . It was really awesome because we got to meet President and Sister Ivory! One of the first cool things I found out? Sora Ivory’s brother lives in Norwich, VT…Mike Cahoon! He and Sister Cahoon were in my ward at Dartmouth and I had been over to their house many times for ward and Relief Society activities. That was a fun connection to make!
It was also really cool to see how excited President Ivory is for the work here in Romania and Moldova. He is so PUMPED and fired up that it is hard not to be enthusiastic as well. He let us know that the Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have asked us missionaries to take a more balanced approach to our missionary work — to spend time equally with investigators, less-active members, and active members. When we focus our attention on all 3, we are more balanced in our work and better able to help build up the Church wherever we may be. Sora Merrill and I are just so excited to implement that idea into our own work. Notably, it’s going to be hard, but we are more than ready for the challenge. We ended our meetings with a really sweet testimony meeting — it is always inspiring to me to hear the testimonies of other missionaries. I felt so spiritually uplifted by each of them. What was really cool was when President Ivory offered the closing prayer in Romanian. Since he knew Italian from serving a mission in Italy, he has been able to pick up on Romanian pretty quickly and has been studying the past 6 months. It was so cool to hear my mission president offer a prayer in my mission language! That doesn’t happen too often here in Romania!
We finished the MLC with a 4th of July BBQ at the mision home which was SUPER GOOD. Lots of American food that the Ivory family brought with them. It was also fun to get to just talk to the other missionaries and have a great time, especially after two whole days of meetings. We had interviews with President and Sora Ivory afterward. It was funny because President Ivory needed to take his 11-year-old son, Ellis, to his tennis lesson so he piled me, Sora Merrill, and two of the zone leaders into his car and we had our interviews over at the tennis courts haha. He’s a family man first and true to his word on that. We made our way back to Oradea later that night and came back just in time to go to a special fireside with Elder Fingerley of the Seventy about family history. It has me super excited about how to help the people here in finding their ancestors.
We had a great experience contacting this week. Yesterday, Sora and I went around and were asking people to take our survey and we met this great woman, Angela. She was having trouble responding to our survey, just merely nodding or shaking our head. I thought she was nervous about talking to us but then we learned that she is still learning Romanian and speaks Hungarian. Once she saw that we totally understood her struggle, she opened up and tried to explain more about herself. She said she is looking for the path God wants her to be on and that she feels confused. She was interested in the Book of Mormon and meeting up with us later. We have to get her a copy in Hungarian and we will also try to get one of the members who speaks Hungarian to join us as well. She seems like an honest seeker of truth and I know her search led her to us!
I miss you all a lot but I am so glad to be here. I start with my first exchange this week in Cluj with Sora Tanner which will be SUPER fun 🙂 I’m looking forward to it so much! This will be a crazy transfer with all of our traveling, a new mission president, and lots of changes, but I am excited for the challenges this brings to us. I think about you often, I love you lots, and I miss you even more! Hope you have the best of weeks and know that I am thinking about you always!
Lots of love,