This week, we had a really cool teaching experience. One of the sets of elders have been teaching Anatol, a former investigator who appeared at church one Sunday and is so ready and prepared for baptism already! He was the investigator we threw a birthday party for and just this past week, his wife came back from spending the summer working in Italy. The elders invited us sisters to come as well and we were there for two of the lessons. It was a little tricky because Anatol and Olea (the wife) are at different points spiritually and knowledge-wise, but they are both such honest seekers of the truth. They both ask very deep questions and are so willing to listen and they catch on quickly. The most beautiful moment happened at the end of the lesson when we all kneeled together with their whole family and held hands as we said a prayer. The Spirit was so strong and I felt the love of the Lord for this family so strongly. They came to church this Sunday and they just looked like they already fit in. Anatol is planning to get baptized this Saturday and we are sure that Olea will follow within the next couple weeks. I have loved getting to see this experience if only to understand that perhaps a family I may have taught will finally come to fully accept the Gospel 3 years in the future with no knowledge on my part, just as this family has done. Truly, we are planting seeds in the hearts of the people we teach that may take time to grow, but they will bloom beautifully in time.
We tried this week to find some less-active members and were a little unsuccessful. We went to one woman’s apartment and when we rang up, her sister answered and said that her sister, the less-active member, would be working until 10 pm. We are going to try visiting her again maybe on aSunday or a day where she would probably be working different hours. We then took an across-town bus and tried to find another woman. We managed to locate her bloc and climbed up the flights to her apartment door. As we were catching our breath, the door right next to her’s opened and the woman grumpily asked us what we were doing. Before we could respond, she told us to leave, that nobody needs what we have, and that we were just annoying people. We told her okay and wished her a good day, waited patiently until we were sure she had left the building, and then knocked on the less-active’s door. Weirdly enough, it was not the member but a random woman who had lived there for 3 years. This is what makes less-active member work so hard — a lot of times the phone number, address, or both are wrong for the person and because they have been out of contact with the church for years at a time, nobody has any idea about them. We will keep trying to find these people and bringing them back to the knowledge and testimony they once had.
What was awesome is that during our across-town bus ride, a woman sitting across from me points at the Book of Mormon and asks if Mormon was the anti-Christ. But the word she used in Romanian was something I have never heard before (and one that I did not find in the dictionary afterward either haha) so we ended up getting into an interesting discussion about who Mormon was. She took the book and promised to read it and gave us her number so that we could set up to meet with her later. We are excited to see how she liked the book and if nothing else, we helped clear up her ideas about who Mormon is!
I am so grateful for this mission, for this past year I have had to learn and to grow in so many ways. When I think of all the progress I have made — whether in the measurable ways like in my Romanian or in the immeasurable ways like in my testimony — I am astounded. I cannot wait to see what the next six months have in store for me and for the opportunity I will then have to share all of this with all of you. I miss you, I love you, and I think about you daily. Hope you have a great week and that the next six months just fly by for you!