So many things to update on for this week, the biggest thing being our branch activity this past Saturday! We went out to Țipova, a little Moldovan town along a river that has a monastery, hiking trails, and cave-like things. We had over 50 people come to the event, including lots of investigators and non-members. We had rented a whole big tour bus and I still had to sit three to a seat and some of the elders had to sit on the ground. We all hiked around for a couple hours — Sora Uhl and I somehow got separated from the rest of the group so we did our own exploring haha. Afterward, we had a HUGE picnic that was very Moldovan: sausages, fresh vegetables and fruits, cabbage salad, bread, and cheese. It was such a fun day and I got to talk to so many more members than I had before. Even if they aren’t all amazing at Romanian, we can usually figure out some method of communication with English and Romanian haha. I loved getting to meet so many of them and learning more about them. One member offered to have us sisters come over on Saturday and she said she would help us learn how to make some Moldovan desserts! So we are pretty excited about that.
Gotta love positive graffiti
We got everything squared away with Moldovan visas this week for Sora Uhl and I will put in all my papers probably this week or next (she took priority cause she is almost out of days to apply). We got our blood typed and both got an A+ on the blood test! Haha we decided it’s a good thing we have the same blood type in case if one of us ever needed an emergency transfusion. Maybe they should base companions off of that every time.
We also visited a lot of members and less-actives this week — Sora Berdeu, the member who is physically disabled but has an amazing testimony; Sora Dorogan, a member who knows English very well and is also just one of the funniest people in an unintentional way; and Sora Gorgos, one of the first members here in Chișinău around 15 years ago. Sora Dorogan described me as “exciting” and said that she really liked me, that I wasn’t “insipid,” and hoped we would come visit more often haha. She is so difficult to describe, because she is truly one of the funniest people I have met but it is all in the way she acts and the vocabulary she uses. One of the rules of visiting Sora Dorogan is that you HAVE to bring a hard-boiled egg so she can feed it to her cat, Richard. Visiting Sora Gorgos was funny too. We decided to just try to stop by and visit her and when we got to her door, she was down at the communal kitchen they have on each floor of her bloc. She waved us in and told us to stay there while she finished cooking. We ended up waiting for a while, listening to some movie in Russian that was on TV, trying to figure out more Russian words. She came back in and we had a great talk about President Uchtdorf’s most recent conference address about being grateful in an circumstance. She loved it and we had a good chat about it afterward.
Unfortunately, we were unable to meet with Victoria this week but we had a couple cool experiences in meeting some great potential investigators. One woman, Lilia, was sitting across from me on the bus. She kept kind of catching my eye for a minute or two and then finally she points to my copy of the Book of Mormon and says that she has one at home. We get to talking and I guess she had met the missionaries in Austria when she was there for a couple months but didn’t really have any lessons cause she didn’t know German or English. She talked about how she wanted her two daughters to learn English but she didn’t have the money to pay for classes — how great that she ran into the missionaries who teach English for free! We talked and exchanged phone numbers and so we are hoping to set up with her for this week! At our English class, we had a bit of a technical difficulty when the Russian elders were running a bit late so their Russian-speaking beginner English class joined our Romanian-speaking beginner English class. It was a little rocky but we managed our way through and the elders came to save the situation soon enough. But it was awesome because with about 5 minutes left in the class, two of the women came back downstairs complaining that the Russian class was too much in English and they didn’t understand anything. After class, they came up and asked when we have church service, if they could come, how they could learn more about our religion, even asking if we had anything like pamphlets they could read about our church. Pretty much, they were a missionary’s dream come true haha. So we are also looking forward to working with these sisters, Corina and Elizabeta, this week. We also have set up a lesson with Tatiana, an investigator from last transfer, and a different investigator, Valeria, showed back up last night as well. So Sora Uhl and I will have our work cut out for us!
I have loved this past week in getting to talk with so many people, making stronger connections in the branch and among the less-actives, and working hard. I am looking forward to having a nice busy week this upcoming week too! I miss you all and love you so much! I think about you daily and hope that all is going well.