So many things to update about this week!
First things first, Diana! We met with her 3 times this week — Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Monday, we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to be baptized. She was so excited and SO ready to talk — she even said something like, “I knew we would be having this conversation and I am just getting goosebumps thinking about it!” She wanted to get baptized as soon as possible, so we set a date for November 1. But some things happened with her family such that she had to leave Chișinău for the rest of the week and since we weren’t able to meet for the rest of the week, the date will probably be pushed back to November 15. We are so so so excited for her! She has already made close friends with the other youth here and you can tell that she feels the Spirit so strongly already. As one of our lessons, we watched “The Restoration” together and afterwards she said, “I believe, and I am starting to know, that this is the truth.” She is so amazing and so faith-filled. I know she is the answer to our prayers where we asked Heavenly Father to lead us to the prepared people in Chișinău or to lead them to us.
This Sunday morning, we got transfer boards! All 6 of us Moldovan sisters are staying the same and we could not be happier 🙂 What is crazy is that our HUGE Chișinău district is getting split up into Russian and Romanian speakers — so our district will be Elders Lex and Boydstun and us 4 sisters and then the other district will be all the Russian elders (plus Elder Daland randomly stuck in there). We will be the first district ever with 4 sisters and 2 elders haha so that will be interesting, but I am super excited for this upcoming transfer. Big things are happening in Chișinău and I am so excited to be a part of them…granted, I can’t really get transferred to many other places at the current moment with my visa stuff, but I am still so pumped! The sad news is that my two mission “sons” will be leaving for Romania next transfer — Elder Newbern is off to Craiova and Elder Armitstead is going to Iași. I feel like I am literally their mother and like they are leaving for college or something…I just wanna make sure they stay safe and make good decisions!
This week I finished my exchanges by having an exchange with Sora Bischoff and another one with Sora Seare. Sora Bischoff and I had a great day of contacting where we talked with some really great people, especially a super nice 24 year-old we found in the park by the other sisters’ apartment. She wasn’t especially interested in keeping in contact with us later, but I feel like we made a really great impression on her and we had an in-depth conversation about religion and what she believes. Even if we did not gain a new investigator, I think we definitely planted a seed in her heart. With Sora Seare, we were together on the rainiest coldest day so we decided to do a bloc war with the elders. For a bloc war, you go bloc-knocking in adjoining blocs and keep score of what people do — look through the peephole, answer the door, let you in, accept a Book of Mormon, let you have a lesson, etc. On our third door, an older man answers…and lets us right in! We had a lesson with him and he took a copy of the Book of Mormon. I love the tender mercies of the Lord — this was Sora Seare’s first time really bloc-knocking and that experience I think really strengthened her faith that we can find people to teach and that people are prepared to receive us. It definitely strengthened my testimony of that! So we thought we had the elders beat since we were let in for a lesson…but lo and behold, they ALSO got let in for a lesson! Plus a lady gave them 2 kilos of grapes, so that put them over the top. It was still so amazing that we had such a successful hour or two of contacting.
That same day, Sora Bynum and I finished our process of applying for green cards to stay here in Moldova for longer than just 90 days — on Friday, I get to go pick up my nice pretty card so that I am at least legal in one of the countries in the mission! The worst part though was hurrying to the Bureau of Immigration in the pouring rain. I haven’t bought boots for the winter yet so my flats were completely soaked. Winter has definitely come already; I even heard that it snowed in Romania! We haven’t had snow yet, but it has been in the negative Celsius degrees recently and I have had to break out the winter coat. Daylight savings time happened — probably one of the funniest moments of the week was when me, Sora Gibson, Sora Allen, and Sora Bischoff were walking in Centru on Saturday and randomly Sora Bischoff goes, “GUYS! We get an extra hour of sleep tonight!” And then we all literally screamed and cheered out of pure joy, not expecting that any of the rest of us would have responded in the exact same way. We broke down laughing because that is probably the happiest any of us had been the whole transfer. You can tell you’re a missionary when the best thing you could possibly imagine is an extra hour of sleep.
I am loving everything about life here. I can’t believe I’m almost at my FOURTEEN month mark — I’m such an old missionary now! But I love everything about Chișinău and I could not be happier to be serving again with Sora Gibson. I miss you all and love you even more and I can’t wait for you to come see everything over here. I think about you lots and hope you had great weeks!