Great week! We had a lot of fun things happen and most importantly of all, we have an amazing new investigator, Diana. She is a 16-year-old girl who lives across the street from the church. She has always seen missionaries walking around and wanted to know more about who we are. One day, she was in one of the parks and saw two of the elders walking past and then when she came home on the bus, she saw the same elders walking toward the church. She decided to take a picture of the plaque with the church’s name and looked it up at home on the Internet, found our English course website, called the number there, and showed up in our English class on Saturday! She stayed for the spiritual thought where we talked about coming to church and afterward, Sora Gibson went up and talked to her. She talked about how interested she was and even wanted to set up for a lesson later that evening. We were so excited!! She is such a spunky and confident girl and the way she talks, I can just tell that she is prepared. She talked about how good she feels at the church and around us, how much she is disillusioned with her generation and their lack of faith, and how sincerely she just wants to know the truth. She completely understood everything we taught and then she came to church the next day! She tells us, “I woke up at 5 am! I was just so excited to come back to church!!” And then she woke up every hour after that until it was time for church at 10 am. She stayed the whole time and said she LOVED it!! Sora Gibson and I are so excited, not just because we have someone to teach or anything like that, but because she just makes us so excited to be at church, to be a part of this gospel, to have the privilege to get to share what makes us happiest with others. We’re meeting with her again tonight and I can hardly wait!
This Thursday, I was supposed to be in București for an STL conference, but I have been having some visa problems so Sora Gibson and Sora Bischoff went down in my place and I had an exchange with Sora Allen! Immediately after we exchanged (after eating some GOOD homemade pizza at the sisters’ apartment), Sora Allen and I went out and bought a TON of Coke. She and I are so similar in hilarious ways — mostly our love of Coke and 30 Rock — so it was a fun time. We drank a lot of Coke, talked a lot, and got to greet the new Russian elders that came in! Here in Moldova, there are usually about 10 Russian speaking elders, missionaries called to the Romania/Moldova Mission that are assigned to learn Russian in the MTC and they usually just spend their entire mission in Moldova. There are not that many of them, so it was really exciting that THREE new ones arrived this past Wednesday night. Elder Westover is now training Elder Lundquist, two of the newest additions to our already gigantic district. Sora Allen and I also contacted some really cool people during our time together and had a lesson with one of the members, Marcela.
We were able to meet with some members this week and also we had a Relief Society activity! On Saturday, after English, we headed to one of the parks where the sisters were already gathered. They made us eat about a million pieces of random food. It is hard because the Relief Society presidency basically only speaks Russian so they just kept using their limited Romanian to get us to eat more and more food and we had no way to refuse politely, so we kept eating haha. It was FREEZING on Saturday so we were all just kind of huddled up and then the ladies suggest we all go exercise together! In Romania and Moldova, almost all the parks have parts where there are apparatuses for you to use for working out, almost like a public, low-key, outside gym. We all headed over together and proceeded to try all the machines haha. It was so hilarious to watch these older Moldovan ladies all working out together.
On Sunday, our whole district went sing contacting! We brought hymn books to one of the parks, got all of us together, and sang hymns while two of the elders went around talking to those people who stopped to listen. It was fun because we have a big enough district for it to actually be plausible and we are mostly pretty musical so it didn’t sound TOO bad. But apparently one of the ladies the elders talked to said, “They could be better…” haha. I love doing this kind of contacting, spreading joy to others and helping them feel happier. Afterward, Elders Lex and Newbern went with us to Olea and Anatol’s house where we made pizza all together. It was so fun to spend time together and the kids were adorable as usual.
This week overall has been just really great. I cannot believe that we find out transfer boards this Saturday! I hope Sora Gibson and I stay together — it is pretty much a given that I will be staying in Moldova since I can’t go to Romania — but I have loved serving with her so much and I would hate for us to be split up!
I love you all so much and miss you lots. I can’t believe I keep getting closer and closer to coming home. It’s a weird thought since it feels like I have always spent my time just talking to people in Romanian and sharing my religion, but then I remember that it will probably never be like this again and I get pretty sad. I have loved this time so much! But I am also so excited to come home and see what life will be like going forward. I love you, I miss you, and I think of you always!!