What a crazy, long week it has been. But it has been so awesome and I have loved every second of it.
To start, we had our first English class on Tuesday! I am teaching the beginner class (which I haven’t done since my first transfer) and I am teaching alone while Sora Merrill teaches the advanced and the elders take care of the medium. We had a pretty good turn out, about 12-15 people total. I guess things were a little harder last transfer getting people to come, so we are on the up-and-up! It’s fun to teach beginner again and I am loving all the students and how excited they are about learning English.
After English on Tuesday, we hopped on a train to Cluj and were on our way to my first exchange! In our train cabin was a family from Afghanistan who knew little English and no Romanian and two old Romanian men. It was such a mixture and clash of cultures. Sora Merrill and I were kind of the middlemen since we know both languages, but only one of the girls in the family knew English and even that was very minimal. But it was still so cool to meet them. My exchange with Sora Tanner was AWESOME! I absolutely loved serving with her, even if only for a day. She is such a positive and upbeat person that it made everything really fun. Plus Cluj is beautiful, so what more could you want?? We went out to lunch with the elders because one of them was celebrating his birthday and afterward we did a lot of contacting and just talking. It was cool to see that a lot of my experiences from my mission helped me connect with Sora Tanner and help her in whatever way I could. It was a testimony to me that the Lord places us in trials to turn us into the people we need to become to help others through the same things. We had a great day and then headed back to Oradea on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, we had a lesson with Angela, the woman we contacted last week. The lesson ended up being SUPER long, but SO good. We had a member come who knows like a million languages and she basically translated from Hungarian to Romanian the entire time as Angela told us her life story and how she arrived at that current point in her life. She has had a lot of amazing experiences with feeling the guidance of God and she said herself that she does not think it is coincidence at all that we met that day by the river. She came to Church on Sunday and loved it, and hopefully we will be meeting with her again this week. She just seems so prepared already. She has been reading every day from the Book of Mormon and praying about it as well. She has such strong faith and it really is amazing to see.
On Friday morning, we headed out on an early morning maxi-taxi to go to Arad for zone conference! It was so good to get to see everyone again and to get to see Arad for the first time. We reviewed a lot of the things we went over in MLC. I got a call as we were on the maxi-taxi over and it was one of the assistants asking me to give a 10 minute presentation on contacting, one of the things we had talked about at MLC. But I was under the impression both Sora Merrill and I would be giving it together. So I was a little surprised when President Ivory says, “And now, we will be hearing from Sora Bray about contacting!” Luckily, everything went well, but I had a couple seconds of freaking out haha. We had a great meeting and made our way back to Oradea later that night.
On Sunday, we had 2 investigators and 2 less-actives come to church! Our Relief Society meeting was SO full! I loved seeing so many people there and it was awesome to see so many new faces. I had to give a talk, kind of last-minute, but that’s how it goes as a missionary. Later in the evening, we did bloc-wars with the elders. The premise is that each companionship goes into a bloc and you get points for certain things, like people looking through the peep-hole, opening the door, talking to you, leaving a Book of Mormon, and being invited in for a lesson. We beat the elders pretty bad since we got let in for a lesson (which was worth 100 points) but it was really fun and now we get ice cream as our prize!
Things are going so well here. I am so happy to be here, to be a missionary, and to be doing this work. Sometimes things get a little stressful or hard to handle, but always at the end of the day, I am glad. I love you so much and miss you even more. I hope everything is going well and that you have the best week ever! Know that I think about you all the time.
Love you always,