This week has been another great one. We had a lot of great lessons and I got to have an exchange with Sora O’Brien, one of my MTC companions! 🙂 Can’t get much better than that.
Last week at English, we passed around a sheet to see if anyone would want to meet up 1-on-1 and do 30/30s. We get the sheet back and 5 women had signed up for the week! Two of them ended up not being able to meet for whatever reason, but we had three lessons this week with our English students: Alice, a cute and spunky 15-year-old, Magdalena, her mother who is equally spunky, and Florica, a middle-aged woman who just loves the missionaries. They were each such wonderful lessons — Alice promised to read the whole Book of Mormon in a day (she ended up not being able to, but she is still as enthusiastic), Magdalena ended up coming to our Relief Society activity, and Florica has promised to come to church. We ran into her yesterday on the street and she was talking about how glad she was to see us, how we had “entered into her heart.” It always makes me so happy and humbled to see how loving the people are here in Romania, even ones that never end up accepting anything I teach. They still have such a large capacity to love and they take us in like we are their own children.
We also had a lesson with Angela about the Restoration, but weirdly enough haven’t been able to be in contact with her since then. We try calling every day and even stopped by her apartment, but there has been no response from her whatsoever. We are a little worried since she doesn’t have a job or anything, that maybe she is having trouble but we sadly have no real way of getting in contact with her. We wll keep praying and hoping that we find a way to talk with her again. She is just such a sincere seeker of God’s path for her and she has also just become a good friend that I worry about in general.
On Tuesday night we made our way over to Arad and I got to spend all day Wednesday with Sora O’Brien 🙂 I absolutely loved the opportunity to serve with her again and it was cool to see the progress that both of us have made language-wise, spiritually, and in just about every way possible. We spent the day by teaching a lesson to a wonderful Pentecostal woman, Mariana, who reminded me a lot of Alexsandra and her family from Sacele (way back from my first two transfers). She is just such a faithful woman and it was amazing to hear her speak about her experiences. We also went with the elders to visit their investigator who wanted to have all the missionaries over. To his surprise, I was there in Sora Smith’s place! He is a super nice guy named Emil who speaks English really well and just is an honest, down-to-earth kind of guy. We had to hurry a little bit from his house to go catch the maxi-taxi back to Oradea, but all in all it was a great day. Sora O’Brien and I talked a lot about personalities and perspective and how we can better understand others. It was such a fun day and I hope I get the chance to serve with her for a whole transfer.
Finding shelter from the pelting rain that came out of NOWHERE
We tried this week to be better about balancing our lessons with investigators, less-actives, and members. The hardest part, by FAR, is meeting with less-actives. President Toth gave us the names of 4 less-actives to try to visit. One of them, the address and phone number were both wrong. The other, her address is right (and way out far away from every form of public transportation) but she kept giving excuses when we showed up at her house. The other two either don’t have an address or live outside of the city. What was cool was that the woman who lives outside of the city, Sora Bajo, ended up showing up to church on Sunday! She is such a sweetheart and was one of the first members of the church here in Oradea. She gave me and Sora Merrill kisses on our foreheads and called us her angels haha. We also met with some members this week, Sora Stoian and Anda. Sora Stoian is an older, Romanian woman (NOT Hungarian, unlike most of the branch), who is super hilarious and great. She has had some hard trials in her life recently, but she was basically teaching US about finding strength through the Lord. The faith of these members never ceases to amaze me. With Anda, we talked with her about her talk that she would be giving the next day and we also set up a time to have mission prep classes! 🙂 She is 19 so she is thinking a lot about serving. I think she would make a great missionary and I hope our lessons will help her feel that way as well.
This next week will be pretty insane: we leave TONIGHT on a bus over to Timisoara where I will get to work with Sora Allen and then on Wednesday we take a train over to Sibiu where I get to have a day with Sora Huffaker. We don’t make our way back home until Friday afternoon, so it will be a crazy week with so little time in Oradea! I am so excited for the week ahead but kind of glad that all of our traveling will be over once we finish with our exchange in Sibiu. It will be nice that our last week will just be a normal week.
But know that I am so happy and glad to be here. I miss home and all of you a lot, but I love being out here. I love seeing the progress in every person around me: the people I talk to, the people I teach, the members, the other missionaries, and especially myself. I love you all so so much and I can’t believe this past week that I hit 9 months in the country! I hope you all have a great week and I can’t wait to fill you in on all the exciting parts of my week of travel next time!