August 1, 2016

Incredible week of miracles!!

 Buna ziua, draga familia si prietenii mei!  I had a wonderful experience at Zone Conference! It's hard to believe that it was my last one, but I loved it very much! I am so thankful for whatfor what President and Sora Ivory said, I've been thinking a lot about remaining truly converted and about being courageous and creative in finding. President Ivory challenged each of us to have an individual creative commitment of courage and I know that doing this will help me throughout the rest of my time here and beyond. The scripture President Ivory shared with us this week in his email was actually the scripture I chose for my mission plaque, 3 Nephi 5:13: " "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."and reading that scripture again makes me remember what I have been called to do: to bear witness of Christ so that all who accept Him might have everlasting life. I want to make these next weeks acceptable to the Lord because I believe that I still have work to do.

I owe so much to Sora Stanley, she is an angel. Her patience and courage is incredible and it's inspiring to see how hard she works. But I think that the biggest lesson I've learned from her this week is about faith and love, she spends time sincerely listening, praying, planning, finding, and teaching because she loves everyone individually. She believes with all of her heart that if we do our part, the Lord will guide us to the individual who is ready. Her optimism and faith is making me excited for all that lies ahead this week!  As a companionship, our creative commitment to be courageous will be to work hard on less-active finding. We want to try and help at least one person come back to church this week and we are going to work as hard as we can and I know that the Lord will help us!  

We've had incredible lessons this week with three of our investigators: reading from the Book of Mormon with Mariana, a lesson on the Plan of Salvation with Noemi, and a lesson on faith with Rune and Mihaela. In each lesson, the Spirit taught both us and them, it was a powerful witness that the Spirit is the teacher if we are humble and willing to listen. Each are progressing so well in their own way But this week, I've learned the most I ever have about the Atonement and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it is real. Christ did feel all our sins, pains, sicknesses, doubts and fears individually and that He can and will heal us, He loves us with all His heart. Accepting the Savior's Atonement doesn't mean just asking, we receive healing and strength when we ask, act, and believe. Just like Noemi said, (and when she said this it made me realize how much faith she has) "Because God never gives up on us, we should never give up on Him." 

 I've thought about what I can do for my individual commitment to be courageous and I think I need to have meaningful conversations on every mode of transportation and to be prepared to explain about the Church's beliefs and bear testimony of it. I am excited for all that lies ahead this week, because I'm going to work hard and I know someone's out there who needs the gospel and I believe that the Lord will help us find them! 

 Have a wonderful week! I love you all! Va iubesc! 

 Dragoste,

 Sora Lunt

Picture of our district Sunday before the Soelbergs left! I'm going to miss them a lot.

Some pictures from Zone conference in Cluj! It was a beautiful experience and I learned so much from President and Sora Ivory! I love them! the Elder is Elder Nango from Oradea! 

July 25, 2016

Flooding Romania with the Book of Mormon!!

Ciao, draga familia si prietenii mei! E atat de minunat sa va aud, va iubesc! (It's so wonderful to hear from all of you!) I hope you know how much it means to me that you write to me, I can feel your love through everything you say and through your examples! I hope this week has been as wonderful for you as it has for us! A new transfer and a new companion means adventure, and for me and Sora Stanley, this week was filled with them!! But before I get into that, Happy Pioneer day yesterday to all! I am so proud of my heritage, I have so many wonderful examples of faith and obedience that I can draw strength from. I hope I don't sound like I am boasting, because I really am humbled to have such a legacy and want to do all I can to honor my ancestors. I have been thinking about here in Romania, I have met many members who are the first in their families to be baptized or the only members in their families or their schools or their neighborhood. I don't know how hard it must be for them to stand strong in such difficult circumstances.  I am so thankful to Heavenly Father, with all my heart, that I can serve among so many pioneers and learn from their examples. I hope that I can be a pioneer that the Lord can be proud of. My family is an example of pioneers to me, I know how much they love the gospel and how much they are willing to give for the gospel.

Arad is quite a city! Here in the west, everyone says "Ciao" like in Italy, there is a lot of Hungarian influence, and people are very friendly here! There is so much beautiful architecture and the weather has been so warm and beautiful! This week has been filled with lessons and amazing experiences! I love serving with Sora Stanley, she is very positive and constantly working to improve at talking to people, learn the language, and she loves to work! Her humor, her desire to serve, and her love for the gospel has already lead us to having amazing experiences and meet new people! We both are very excited about the Book of Mormon challenge (President Ivory challenged all the missionaries to read 10 pages a day before Sept. 11 and the members to read 5 pages a day before Thanksgiving), we want to get all the members, less-actives and our investigators excited to read the Book of Mormon every day, because reading it in our companionship, we have already learned so many new things. We know that the Book of Mormon is true and we know that by helping all those we work with to accept this challenge and make the Book of Mormon a part of their daily lives, then they will come nearer to God and they will be able to liken what they learn and act as well. I love in Jacob 5 that when the Lord of the vineyard calls together His servants and tells them to labor with their migh and promises them joy in the fruits that will come, that He labored with them as well. I am so thankful that we are truly not alone in this great work, but that the Lord is with us and will bless us if we serve with all our hearts. I also learned from Mosiah 2 that no matter how hard or long we serve, without the Atonement of the Savior, we are still unprofitable servants. But the Lord has given us so much, including the Book of Mormon to help us.

Our investigator Noemi came to institute and shared with all of us how sincere prayer helped her to know that God does exist. She said, "I don't just believe, I know it happened." Sora Mogos (one of our amazing members in Arad and one of the most amazing members in probably all of Romania) said that this is what leads to a lasting conversion, when you know, not just believe.  We were able to meet with Noemi the next day and we had a wonderful lesson with her where she told us that no matter where we are, she knows that by reading the scriptures and praying, that we can feel the love of God. I know that sincerely reading and applying the Book of Mormon will help all of us form a lasting conversion and as we "flood Romania with the Book of Mormon" as President Benson said, we will see miracles. Sora Stanley was led by the Spirit to a woman named Aurelia who after we talked with her, shared her husband had died and her children have moved away. Sora Stanley shared some scriptures from the Book of Mormon with her and gave her a copy. She told us she would remember us every time she read it. I know that she will also be reminded of God's love for her as she reads.

We are actually traveling this evening to Cluj for Zone conferece, which is always a spiritual boost so I am excited for Zone Conference and to hear from President and Sora Ivory! Have a wonderful day and week! Va iubesc! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

PICTURES:

Me and my new companion Sora Camille Stanley from Farmington, Utah! 

Uta Stadium is the fotbal (soccer) stadium that is being built near the elders' apartment. Funny story, in Romanian you pronounce the state of Utah like ooh-tah (just like the stadium) so when a lady we were talking to in the park asked me where I was from and I told her "Utah" she was like, "Yeah but where in America?" She thought I was saying I lived near the stadium! :) We had a good laugh together :) 

July 18, 2016

Last Transfer!!!

Buna ziua draga familia si prietene mele! I'm so happy to hear from all of you! It is my favorite part of P-day for sure! Va iubesc si multumesc! As my title says, another transfer has passed!! It's gone by so fast, but I have loved serving in Arad! It's a wonderful city filled with wonderful people! I'm so happy that I will be staying! I'm going to miss Sora Chandler so much though, she is such a wonderful missionary!

 I have loved this last transfer. I have learned so much from Sora Chandler, she is a wonderful missionary and a true friend to everyone around her because she truly loves them with Christ's love. She's sad to leave Arad and everyone here, and we all are sad to see her go, but i know she will do amazing things in Sibiu! I loved serving around Sora Stanley in Bucuresti and I am excited to see her again and for the positive impact she is going to be here! It's hard to believe that I am in my last transfer, it is very bittersweet.  I don't want to lose all that i've learned, everyone that I love, and all that I've become. But I am finding peace in knowing that I will always be Sora Lunt even when I don't have the missionary name tag, that if I continue to apply all that I've learned, listen to the Spirit and stay close to the Lord, then I will always be a missionary. I still have weaknesses and shortcomings that I am working to overcome, but I have learned and am still learning that through the Lord, I can do anything He asks.

We saw this as we found this week, we were able to meet three new people: a soon to be mother named Simona, and a couple, Cica and Maria. There was that moment beforehand of fear, but the Spirit gave us the courage to open our mouths and we were able to have wonderful conversations with them. Please don't think I am boasting, in fact, I was humbled through this experience and learned that it's not our courage through which we are able to speak to people, but the Lord blessing us through the Spirit.  We were able to teach a member's wife Mariana about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how the Church can help us to become like Christ. She started crying and said she didn't know if it was possible to become like Him in a world so dark and corrupt. The Spirit was very strong as we were able to bear testimony to her that through the Savior, we can become like Him, we can become everything that our Heavenly Father wants us to be and knows we can become through His Son.

I had witness of this when we had a wonderful exchange in Oradea, it is a beautiful city and I loved serving a day with Sora Falkenberg and I can see how much her Christlike love is touching the people. She will be a wonderful trainer! I have loved the Book of Mormon challenge and already I have learned many new things from what Sora Chandler and I have read together. I believe that if I continue to trust in the Lord, then this transfer we will see miracles. I will work hard and do all I can to be worthy to bear the Lord's name and to love others with His love and help them feel closer to Him, just as President Ivory shared in his letter to the missionaries this week. I'd like to close by sharing a little bit of what he told us: "We become an instrument for the Savior when we help people use the atonement and make little changes in their lives. Always invite our friends to make some small change. If they will make and keep small commitments then they will have the enabling power of the atonement that will help them to become "new creatures in Christ".
 Have a wonderful week! Va iubesc! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

July 11, 2016

What a week of wonderful lessons! 

Sora Chandler and I have had some great experiences this week!  I can hardly believe that it is already the last week of the transfer, but I have loved it so much!   I have loved Arad and working with so many wonderful people:  all the members and investigators, our district, and Sora Chandler.  Sora Chandler really is a very patient, hardworking, positive sister, she's constantly ready to work and overcome her fears, she is and always has been an example to me!  I've learned some very important lessons this week, especially about how when we try as hard as we can, even if it seems so small, the Lord will make up for the rest and bless us with even more. I saw this especially on Thursday, we spent most of the day trying to find but it was hard and to be honest, I felt discouraged. But then that night, for Institute, we had been praying that we could have at least one member and one investigator come and Sora Descy and our investigator friend Lidia came! We were both so happy!  Sora Soelberg taught a beautiful lesson, we all felt the Spirit and Lidia loved it!  To me, this was a witness that no matter how hard and hopeless things might be, if we work as hard as we can, the Savior will help us.  

 I was reminded of this again on Sunday, when we had the chance to teach our friends Rune and Mihaela.  We wanted to share with them about missionary work and the Atonement and we both shared with them how the Savior and his Atonement has helped each of us personally and how the joy of His Atonement has given us the desire to serve. We talked with them for a few more moments and then Rune started talking about the nature in people. I felt the Spirit prompt me to ask, "do you believe natures can change?" We listened to them and then Sora Chandler shared a verse in Mosiah that spoke about how through Christ's Atonement, our natures can change.   verse 19: For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father..  For me, this was a blessing and a reminder that if we listen to them out of love, the Spirit will help us to know exactly what they need.  Later that day, we saw this again, as we tried to talk to people, we were able to find and get to know several different people!  I still have a lot I need to improve and sometimes I feel that I will not be good enough, but I know that if I trust in the Lord, then it will be enough. I believe that I can become better and I am excited to do so through His help!

 Today was an amazing day, we spent the morning visiting Lipova, a small town thirty mins outside of Arad. There are some beautiful views from the castle ruins up on the hill!  My district helped me climb up to the top and to be honest, it was hard and I was scared, but I made it! It was so much fun!  

I hope you have a wonderful week!  Va iubesc! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

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July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!!

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietenii mei! Happy 4th of July!! This is my second 4th of July in Romania and I loved it! I hope that you all enjoy this special day!! I am so thankful that I have such wonderful memories of the 4th of July in Oakley with family! That is what made it so special-to be able to remember how blessed we are to live in a land where as long as we serve the Lord, we are free.

This has been an incredible week! We traveled down to Cluj with the senior couple in Arad the Soelbergs for our Zone Conference. Cluj is a beautiful city, it reminds me a lot of Brasov, it's a big city but with a lot of beautiful nature all around! But even more wonderful was the counsel we received from other missionaries in Timisoara, in Oradea, and from President and Sora Ivory. I am so thankful for what I learned from them. I really felt the Spirit in the conference and I am so thankful that the Spirit can teach us if we are open to being taught.

I've been thinking a lot about what they said, especially about how overcoming ourselves is how we will truly be happy and serve a mission that both we and the Lord will be proud of. As I have thought about how the Lord has helped me to become better at teaching and more courageous and loving and patient, I do know that the times when I have trusted in Him and acted are the times when I have been the happiest. I am thankful that although it has been hard, I have received help in becoming more confident, I know that this is because of my companions, through your help, and through the strength of the Lord that I have been able to improve. Without Him, I could not. But even when weeks are hard and when people don't want to talk, I know that the Lord will help us to do anything. It's just like a quote I recently read by Elder Holland: "[God] can't [work miracles] if you don't believe." But if you do, then you will see wonderful things happen.

We were able to meet with the young mother Eunice, she has very strong faith in God and Jesus Christ and loves her family very much. We were able to share our testimonies with her about why we are here and how our families have blessed us. And this is very true, my family has been a huge blessing to me, their examples, their faith and their love have helped me to become a better person and bear witness that families are central to God's plan and through Him can be eternal. I am very blessed to be here in Arad with the Soelbergs, with Elder Farnsworth and Elder Winder, and especially with Sora Chandler. She is a light to everyone around her and is a happy, positive, hardworking example to me. We have talked a lot about some new creative finding activities we want to try this week, we are working on being more bold in our lessons and in finding and I am excited for all that lies ahead this week!

And before I go, I need to say, I've been thinking about the simple, wonderful truths of the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are so simple, yet I know that through small and simple things, great things are brought to pass. I am so thankful that I can bear witness of these truths, because I do know they are true. I can say it with all my heart that I love God and Jesus Christ and this gospel and that even as weak and imperfect as I am, just like President Ivory said in Zone Conference, if I can repent quickly and be humble as Jospeh Smith was, then I can become like the Savior. I can make a difference. I know that is true for all of us! Have a wonderful week! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

 

 

June 27, 2016

 A Week of Lessons and Miracles!  "The Savior prepares the way before you" -President Eyring

Ciao, draga familia si prietenii mei! (In the West, to say hello and goodbye, everyone says Ciao!) This has been a great week with lots of sun and great experiences! Multumesc for all your emails, I love hearing how you all are doing! It really makes my Monday and my week hearing from all of you, I can feel the Spirit reading your emails and I know your testimonies bless me and others. It's amazing how the Spirit can turn a small Internet cafe into a holy place where my testimony is strengthened and I know many here are blessed through your prayers! Va iubesc!

This was an amazing week! I just saw this quote on lds.org by President Eyring and I thought that it was perfect for this week: "When you go to comfort and serve anyone for the Savior, He prepares the way before you."

Sora Chandler and I had amazing experiences that leave me feeling grateful, humbled and with a stronger testimony that the Lord knows and loves each of us and that as we listen to the Spirit, that He will teach us important lessons and will help us to become instruments in blessing others and we too are blessed. On Monday, Sora Chandler and I went to the park, it was a beautiful evening so there were a lot of people out. We decided to try our sondaj and Sora Chandler was amazing, she walked right up to many people and was talking, I can see how her courage is growing through all her efforts. She walked up to a small family sitting on the bench, a woman with her husband and two little girls. We started talking to her, and Eunice opened up to us about how much she loves God and the Savior and how she has tried to raise her family to believe in God because she has seen how much He has blessed her. She speaks English very well and she gave us her number, we hope to meet with her this week! To me, this was a witness that when we listen to the Spirit and respond with trust and courage, He will lead us. This testimony has been strengthened as we were able to meet with two new investigators: Anca and Lidia. Anca came to our English class but recently we began to meet with her little girl Laura to have individual lessons. Sora Chandler and I both felt like we should ask Anca if she was interested to learn more about the Church. We were a little nervous, but she was excited and yesterday we were able to have a wonderful lesson with her about the Restoration! She has all sorts of questions, but she is very open and eagerly accepted a Book of Mormon and wants to come to church! This was a miracle and I felt the Spirit so strongly, it made me so happy to bear my testimony that it is all true. We felt that same wonderful Spirit in our lesson with Lidia, the friend of Sora Lidia, when we taught her the Restoration, she is excited for us to come and teach her more! This is another witness that the Lord leads us to those who are prepared if we are prepared and if we have that testimony and follow the Spirit, we will be lead. I am excited for zone conference this week in Cluj! It's about 5 hours aways and I've heard it's a beautiful city, and I'm sure we will learn amazing things there! 

Have an amazing week si va iubesc!

Dragoste, 

Sora Lunt

I love seeing Joseph's Chile flag next to mine on the front porch at home.  Pictures of Sora Chandler and I last Sunday when we got caught in a surprise downpour, us with our elders: Elder Farnsworth and his trainee Elder Winder, they're cool, and a copy of the poem "Footprints" that we found in Romanian and a cute selfie! 

June 20, 2016

Another week of sunshine and rain! :)

Buna ziua, draga familia si prieteni mei! Multumesc ca ati scris pe mine, inseamna foarte mult, va iubesc! (Hello my dear family and friends! Thank you for taking the time to write to me, that means so much and I love you!) This has been quite a remarkable week, there have been days of warm sunshine and czech ice cream (which is really good by the way:)) and nights like last night where clouds gather, the wind blows fiercely and a fifteen minute walk to your apartment from the park leaves you soaked to the bone notwithstanding the umbrellas you brought..lol. :) but we have seen a lot of good things happen too, I can't wait to tell you about it! But first, eu trebuie sa spun multumesc (I have to say thank you)! Especially with it being Father's day yesterday!! To all fathers, especially the fathers in my family: my Grandpa Larry, my Grandpa Maughn, to all my uncles and the future fathers in our family, to the wonderful father my brother Joseph will be one day, and most especially to my funny, kind, hardworking, loving, brave, strong, Christlike and absolutely amazing dad I say: Multumesc (Thank you). To quote Elder Christofferson, "Fathers are fundamental in the divine plan of happiness... for the good that men can do in the highest of masculine roles—husband and father."  I know that this is true for me and I can testify that fathers are a blessing to families because they help us to come to know our Heavenly Father as well.

This was a good week, even if it was a little hard to meet with people with it being summer and everyone is leaving on vacation. But I'm very thankful to have the example of Sora Chandler, she is always smiling and reminding me to keep trying and keep trusting in the Lord. She is a wonderful missionary, I'm very blessed to be with her. She has also come up with a lot of creative ideas to find people, like translating quotes or asking people how they found hope. We were led through the Spirit to people who we had wonderful conversations with, and we met a young college student named Roxana who has heard about the Church and is curious to know more! We are hoping to meet with her this week, Sora Chandler was correct when she said when you trust the Spirit, no matter how hard things are going, the Lord will lead you and bless you. We also were able to meet with a girl we had met in the park the week before, Margareta. She was curious about why we are here and the Church and so we were able to share with her a little about what we believe. We hope to meet with her again soon. And Sunday, we were able to talk with a friend of a member who has been coming to church for a while and we want to meet with her as well. This week we have witnessed many blessings from the Lord, not always what we expect, but He blesses us when we trust and do. Sometimes I feel discouraged when I feel my efforts will never be enough or make a difference. But in the sacrament, I was reminded that without the Savior and His Atonement, it would not be enough. But because of His Atonement and God's love, we can become stronger every week and keep trying and we will become better. If we act on what the Spirit tells us, we will always make a difference. I don't always know how they will or how I can be good enough to do it, but we will keep trying to double our efforts because we believe the promise that the Spirit will always be with us if we always remember the Savior. 

Thanks to all and have an amazing week! 

Va iubesc! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

I'm sorry, the computer won’t let me send pictures but I'll try next week! 

June 13, 2016

Arad- beautiful in sunshine and rain!

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietenii mei! It has been an amazing week, I hope that you all had an amazing week too! Summer is here, but we have had days of both sunshine and rain, today it is rain so we will see what tomorrow will be! Multumesc for all your emails, you have no idea how much it means to me to hear from all of you!

I love being in Arad! It's a smaller city than Bucuresti and quieter, but that gives it  charm! The architecture here is amazing, I will have to send pictures next week so you can see how amazing it is! We live near a couple of the parks, so that gives us some places to talk to new people!   Sora Chandler is an amazing sister, she works so hard at everything: lessons, finding new people, learning the language and she loves the people here so much! This transfer, we want to focus a lot on finding and trying many different ways of finding so that we can meet different kinds of people. We also want to talk with a purpose so we can leave people better than how we found them.

I've been able to meet the members, it's wonderful to see how united they are and how much they love the gospel. I have also been able to meet our investigators, Noemi is very interested to know more about us and she has become good friends with a member, Sora Mogosi, so I am excited to continue to work with her. Yesterday, I met two of our other investigators, Rune and Mihaela. They are both very good people, and as I listened and talked with them, I got to know them very well because they opened up very quickly. I was surprised but thankful at the trust that they had in us to tell us about themselves , Mihaela has very strong faith, Rune is a thinker and curious about what we believe, but he’s not sure if he has the faith. We were able to bear our testimonies to them that even though we don't understand why so many hard things happen in life and how we can do hard things, that God sees us for who we can become and if we work hard and have faith in Him, He will help us become so much more than we could dream. The Spirit was very strong and reading what President Ivory shared with all the missionaries from President Kimball made me think about that experience again and how thankful I am for the power of the Holy Ghost and how even through a simple testimony, the Holy Ghost can touch hearts and help them feel closer to Heavenly Father and the Savior."As a vital link in the conversion process, we should bear our testimonies that the gospel is true; our testimonies may well be the spark that ignites the conversion process. Consequently, we have a double responsibility:

1. We must testify of the things we know, feel, and have felt and

2. We must live so the Holy Ghost can be with us and convey our words in power to the heart of our investigator." I can testify that this is true, I saw myself and felt that promise is true if we open our mouths and allow the Spirit to lead.  Sora Chandler and I will double our efforts this transfer, we will do all we can to be worthy of the Holy Ghost so we can see miracles this transfer!

Love to all! Va iubesc! Have an amazing week! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

 ***This is a poem written by Hannah for her brother Joseph’s birthday who will leave on his 2 year mission to Chile in July:

 The Missionary's Prayer

I know that you're here.

That you are always here.

Day or night, at home or abroad

and I love this time with you.

Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing,

I can talk to you.

Father, I need you.

They need you.

In my mind, I can see all the faces of those I have come to love

and all those who are trying to come to you.

I want to help them come to you. 

I want to come to you.

But I can't do it alone.

I cant say all the words to help them understand.

I cant hear all the questions they cant say.

I cant see their hearts to know what they need.

I dont know who is ready.

I dont know if I am ready.

I just dont know. 

But I do know this: You know. You know them. You know them. You know me. You love us.

You're here.

I know it.

And I know He will help us come to You.

Father, help me. Help us.

Open our eyes, our ears, our mouths, our hearts.

Help me be worthy of this name on my heart.

Help me to reflect His light and Thine, His love and Thy love.

Help me share it.

Because it's real and i know it. 

I love Him. I love Thee.

I will do Thy will, just as He did.

And He will help me.

You're here.

I know it.

 Pix:

My cute new companion Sora Rebekah Chandler from California! She's in her third transfer and she loves Arad! 

Our last meeting with an investigator Corina from Bucuresti! 

Chalk contacting for English in the park! 

Aurelia, cool investigator from Bucuresti! 

Papanasi, or doughnuts with sour cream and jam, the Romanian equivilant of birthday cake! (They have cake here, but I love the papanasi!) :)

June 6, 2016

Off to the West... 11th Transfer Adventures in Arad!!

Buna ziua draga familia si prietenii mei!! I hope you all had an amazing week! Another transfer has begun, and brings new changes! I'm leaving for the west tonight...to ARAD to be with Sora Chandler! I have now served in every area of Romania: Central, East, Bucuresti, and now the west! Romania is such an amazing country, so beautiful and diverse! I am sad to leave Bucuresti, I've spent three amazing transfers here, with two amazing companions, amazing districts and zones, and amazing people! But I'm getting ahead of myself, trebuie sa spun multumesc pentru fiecare dintre voi! I need to say how thankful I am for all of you! Multumesc! Thank you for all your emails, your prayers, your faith, and your love! Through all this, you have blessed me and so many people out here!

 I'm very excited for this transfer! Arad sounds like an amazing city and I'm excited to serve with Sora Chandler! I'm sad to leave Bucuresti, but I know that Sora Green and Sora Simmons will do amazing things here! I will miss Sora Green so much, she has taught me so much these last two transfers I have served with her. But I think that the biggest lessons I learned are the importance of teaching, finding, and doing everything in unity. We have worked really hard to role play in companionship study so that in our lessons we will be able to support each other and teach in unity with the Spirit. This is the most important unity, to teach according to what the Lord wants us to do, because He knows what is best. And I have seen changes in our teaching, the Lord has blessed us as we have tried hard. I am sure that amazing things will continue to happen in Bucuresti, Sora Green and I have seen so many wonderful things already, I was so happy when one of our investigators Crenguta came to the broadcast Sunday! Sora Green and I had been praying that at least one of our people could come to church with us, and she came! She loved the broadcast and we are hoping that she will want to continue to learn about the Gospel.

I loved the broadcast as well, I think that what Elder Kearon shared about hurrying to respond to the Lord's call for greater faith and greater love is what we will do when we double our efforts. This transfer President Ivory wants us to work hard on doubling our efforts, working twice as hard to change ourselves and to help others change for the better.  I will work as hard as I can to be worthy of the Spirit so that I can do my part to double my efforts. I know it won't be easy, but I believe that if we do what Elder Christofferson said, and remain obedient and submissive to the will of the Lord, then we and those we love will experience positive change. Just like this quote that Sora Green just shared with me that she found in this month's Liahona from Elder Evans article: "A mission is not easy. Neither is life.But through all of this we come to know God, and we grow to become the Savior’s disciples. Our hearts change, and that change becomes permanent as we continue to choose righteousness over sin and doubt."  I know that in many ways I have changed and I will work hard with Sora Chandler so that we can continue to change for the better! I'm so excited!

Have a wonderful week! Va iubesc!

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

Our chapel, Funny license plate...STL get it? :) ha ha, Picture of my district!! From top row: Elder Hubbard, Elder Swafford, Elder Wilstead, Elder Gunsay, Sora Green, Sora Rich, me, and Sora Stanley!  AND lots of pictures with people I love!

May 30, 2016

Un Transfer e un moment..Traiesti-L! (A transfer is only a moment..Live it!)

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietenii mei! Sunt foarte reconoscutoare ca pot sa aud si sa scriesc pe voi! (I'm so thankful that I can hear from you and that I can write to you!) I can't believe that we are already in week 6 of the transfer, it just flew by!!! But I am so glad that I got to live it and love every minute of it!  It sounds like everyone had an amazing week!

What a wonderful week this has been! We had our Zone Conference this Friday, and my first STL presentation! We went up to the front and gave a twenty minute presentation on how we can find those who are ready and how we can teach them according to their needs. Sora Green and I learned a lot from this presentation, we studied from the scriptures and Preach My Gospel to get our zone pumped for what's ahead! I learned so much from preparing, from examples in the scriptures like Paul in Acts 16, who was led by the Spirit in all things and even in adversity remained positive and trusting. I also learned from Alma and Ammon's examples, who were amazing teachers because they served and taught with love and they saw success because they relied on the Spirit. I am so thankful for what I learned in this presentation and hope that our zone was blessed through this. I wrote a poem about a missionary's desire to serve and teach with the Lord's Spirit, because truly, without the Lord, no matter how amazing a teacher or finder we are, we can't do it.  I meant what I said in our presentation, I do know the Lord will help us. I might not understand how or why hard things need to happen, but I trust Him.

I am also thankful for what President Ivory, Sora Ivory, and other missionaries shared in the conference: about building small forts to prepare and lay a foundation for the Church in Romania, and also from what Presidnet Ivory shared about allowing our missions to soften us, humble us and make us better people. I also loved what Sora Ivory shared about positive change and how uniting ourselves will help ourselves and those we work with to become our best selves. Sora Green and I have talked a lot about this this transfer, she has definitely helped me to become better! She has been and is an incredible sister who loves unconditionally and gives her whole heart to helping others. She really is one of the greatest missionaries that I know. I am excited to take everything that I have learned and apply it! I will do all that I can to continue to change for the better, to become a better finder and a better teacher through the help of the Spirit so that I can help build and make a difference.

I had a great exchange with Sora Smullin, she is a wonderful missionary! She loves meeting new people and is a great teacher in lessons! She is also very good at striving to accomplish goals we set! She is the one on the far left, this is a picture of us with a member from Mihai Bravu named Constanta and a member Talita! Talita is a recent convert, she was a Jehovah's Witness but now she is one of the strongest members I have ever seen and one of the sweetest girls I have ever met! We are going to meet with her and two potential investigators this week to watch "Meet the Mormons", I am super excited for them to see it! I learned many things this week, but one of the biggest is how amazing the members are. Some of them have so little, but because they have the pure love of Christ in their hearts, they share what they have willingly. That has made such an impact on me, I have learned so much from their examples, like a young mother with her two young children who always smile and are always willing to share what they have or a member who pays her tithing no matter how small her earning are. I know that the Lord blesses them and blesses us all when we show our trust in Him through taking steps and making sacrifices!

Va iubesc! Speram ca aveti o saptemana buna! I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

May 23, 2016

A week of Finding!

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietenii mei! Ce faceti? How are you all? I hope that you all had a wonderful week!  It's hard for me to believe that we only have two weeks left in the transfer, it's gone by so fast!  But it's been a wonderful transfer!

Sora Green and I had a week filled with amazing things happening!  I had a great exchange with Sora Stanley on Tuesday, she is a wonderful sister, full of enthusiam and love for others!  She loves talking to people, learning the lessons, and to help everyone around her!  I'm very lucky to be in her district! With her, we had a wonderful lesson with their investigator Nicoleta and her father Constantin!  They are wonderful people who I feel really are searching for truth.  We taught them about how the Book of Mormon is true, Nicoleta told me she will pray to know if it's true and she wants to finish the Book of Mormon and the Bible by the end of the year!  

We were able to meet with two of our investigators, Crenguta and Haba, they are both very open and very accepting of what we are teaching them. Haba has progressed so well, it's amazing to see how even though she might not understand every word we say, when we rely on the Spirit, we are able to see that she understands what is really important and she believes it.  Please keep them in your prayers, that their hearts will continued to be touched.

I also had an amazing exchange with Sora Elliott, she is an amazing finder, not afraid to go talk to people and she is very genuine, you can tell that she cares about people, members, investigators, even strangers.  

I'm very excited about zone conference this week, Sora Green and I are excited to talk about finding, especially since this week, finding with a purpose has helped us to meet many new people this week who we feel strongly could become investigators.  We met two young mothers named Monica and Bianca, they told us they want to come to our English class and they want to learn more about what we believe!  

I am very blessed to serve with Sora Green; she has helped me so much, especially with having the faith to find and the faith to act. We are giving a presentation on finding at Zone Conference this week, and we want to help our missionaries understand that finding is contacting with a purpose, praying to find those who are prepared to hear the truth, and then acting with faith, doing all that you can so that the Spirit can help you the rest of the way. Then, when you find those who are prepared, it's important to follow the promptings of the Spirit and ask the right questions so you can teach them according to their needs. I know from experience just how important it is to make sure we are not just teaching from routine, but that we teach so that the person, the investigator can understand and feel the Spirit testifying of its truthfulness. I am so thankful that I get to do this, and I am so thankful for what Sora Green has taught me about faith in the Lord and believing in ourselves. "God didn't create you to be someone else, you created you to be you, so be the best you can be!" 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Va iubesc!  

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

pics: 

My exchange with Sora Stanley, she's so great! 

I forgot to say, we went finding on Noapte Muzeilor (Night of Museums) when all the museums were free and it was neat cause there were so many people! 

Sora Rich and Stanley playing their violins at our branch contacting activity in Cismigiu! 

May 16, 2016

Speranta moare ultima (Hope dies last)

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietene mele! I hope you all had a beautiful week! Summer is starting to come to Romania, the weather is warming up and so many wonderful things are happening! But before I get into all that, I want to say thank you so much for everything that you do, my wonderful family and friends! Multumesc for your prayers, your emails, your faith and your love! I could never thank you enough for all that you have taught me! Va iubesc, I love you all!

This was a wonderful week! I am very blessed to serve here, especially with Sora Green. She loves everyone unconditionally and individually, her faith is so strong, and she works hard to accomplish goals and to improve every day. I have learned so much from serving with her, especially what it means to be a true leader.  Sora Green and I have seen many wonderful things happen this week, we found a new investigator Crenguta, an English student who we are starting to do the Self-Reliance program with. She is very open and we are hoping that as we continue to meet with her, she will continue to open to the Church. We also are excited about our investigator Haba, she understands everything we have taught her about the Restoration, we've been blessed to have the help of President Doru and Sora Dupont to translate. We are hoping this week to set a baptismal date with her this week. Please include her in your prayers, she is an amazing girl! 

In District meeting, speaking about receiving revelation during Church revelation made me think of Aurelia and the struggle she has had with coming to church. I want so badly to help her understand how coming to church, as difficult as it is to get up in the morning, will bless her with the Spirit throughout the rest of the week. We talked about how we can help our investigators meet the members and develop friendship by introducing them at church, at activities, and at member present lessons. Never forget what a blessing you all are to the missionaries, when you befriend those we teach, it really does help them want to continue to come! 

I have been thinking a lot about a statement I heard recently from two different people we met contacting: "Speranta moare ultima" (Hope dies last). I have been thinking of how amazing the people of Romania are, how they suffered from Communism, yet they never lost hope and are working hard to build Romania again. Sora Green and I have been blessed through the guidance of the Spirit to have met many wonderful people who are positive about Romania and its future, and not only us, but others as well, like Sora Savoie with their investigator Sorina who will be baptized on the 29th and Schow and Sora Rich and Stanley. I am so excited to go on exchanges tomorrow with Sora Stanley, she is a wonderful missionary who came into the country three months ago! She is super enthusiastic and loves meeting with people!

I have also been thinking a lot about a tradition that the Orthodox Church does every Easter Sunday. When it is midnight, they gather at whatever church is closest to their home and they each light a candle with a special flame from a candle brought from the Holy Land. Then they try to make it home with the candle still lit and allow it to burn as long as it can. This tradition reminds me a lot of this saying about hope, how precious and bright it is when our source of hope is Christ. A song that I love that talks about this that we recently sang in Sacrament meeting is "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul".

 1. Savior, Redeemer of my soul,

Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,

Whose wondrous pow'r hath raised me up

And filled with sweet my bitter cup!

What tongue my gratitude can tell,

O gracious God of Israel.

2. Never can I repay thee, Lord,

But I can love thee. Thy pure word,

Hath it not been my one delight,

My joy by day, my dream by night?

Then let my lips proclaim it still,

And all my life reflect thy will.

3. O'er rule mine acts to serve thine ends.

Change frowning foes to smiling friends.

Chasten my soul till I shall be

In perfect harmony with thee.

Make me more worthy of thy love,

And fit me for the life above.

To me this song, especially the third verse makes me realize how precious hope is and when we allow our hope to be in Christ, then our faith becomes stronger and our future brighter. 

I love you all! I hope you have an amazing week! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

 A picture with one of our amazing YSA, Elena! 

May 9, 2016

Ziua de Mama! (Happy Mother's Day!)

I hope you all had a wonderful week and a ziua de mama fericita! (happy mother's day!)  I had such an amazing week!  

This week was a week of both warm and cold weather, sunshine and rain. There was a cool targ set up in Chismigiu park, little shops to celebrate Easter, selling Romania eggs and so many traditional things!  This week, so many wonderful things happened! I learned a lot from the STL call, thank you for what you said about finding is not wandering, but searching with purpose, with faith that if we are prepared, the Lord will lead us to those who are prepared. This had a huge impact on me, I have witnessed many miracles from finding with a purpose and I am going to work hard with Sora Green and with our zone so that we can see the blessings of true finding. We have such amazing elders and sisters in this zone, we have seen so many wonderful things happen in both of our districts. And I feel that if we are united and work hard with the Spirit together, we will see many more miracles! I love serving with Sora Green, her patience, hard work, and love for everyone has been an example to me.

We had a lesson with Aurelia this week, she is having a hard time because her mother is strictly Orthodox and she is worried about what her family will say if she is baptized. She is also having a hard time coming to church with her working so late on Saturday. We read with her about Ammon and King Lamoni's father, how even though at the beginning, his father would not accept the truth, through Lamoni's faith and courage, Ammon's example, and Aaron's teachings, that eventually he did accept the truth. We are hoping to work with her with another YSA member Catalina. 

We saw the miracle of setting a goal to find two new investigators this week. We prayed and worked as hard as we could to accomplish this goal and we did! We are blessed to work with Haba and Corina as our newest investigators. Haba is a student from Guinea, a very sweet girl who is Catholic and speaks French. She only speaks a little English, but she has very strong faith in Christ and is open to learning more about what we believe. We also now work with Corina. On Friday, we wanted to invite a lot of people to the film night with the Mihai Bravu sisters, but everyone was busy but Corina. It was such a wonderful night because we showed a clip from Meet the Mormons and she loved it! She wants to see the entire movie, and after the other movie was over, we ended up having a great lesson with her, the Mihai Bravu sisters, Talita and the Winders about being a light and an example. I am so thankful for this experience, that the Lord directed us to her and that we can help her come closer to Christ.

What a wonderful blessing the gospel is, that we can experience such great joy from acting in faith and relying on the Lord!  Thank you to my mom, my grandmas, aunts, and all the wonderful mothers who teach this important principle to their families!  We are so blessed to have so many wonderful teachers and examples!  Have a wonderful week! va iubesc! 

Dragoste, 

Sora Lunt

May 2, 2016

Hristos A Inviat...Adeverat, A Inviat! (Christ was resurrected, He truly was resurrected!

I hope you all had a wonderful week! I know it wasn't Easter for anyone in America, but still, I hope it was wonderful!  Easter is a very big holiday in Romania! It means lots of food, almost everyone leaves to visit family and we showed the Hallelujah movie to a lot of people! For Romania, Easter means bright red eggs, lots of cozanac (Romania sweet bread) and instead of saying hello, saying "Hristos a inviat!" to which the other person responds "Adeverat, a inviat!" (Christ was resurrected, He truly was resurrected!)

 I am so thankful to be here in Bucuresti! I have learned so much from being here, especially this week! One of the biggest lessons I learned this week is that even when it feels like nothing is going right, the Lord will lead us to something wonderful, if we open our hearts to the Spirit and ask in faith. I saw that at the beginning of this week, I was feeling overwhelmed and praying for peace. I didn't seem to be getting a response, then I was invited to sit with Sora Green at the training meeting and we watched the video Missionary work and the Atonement.  Elder Holland was speaking and he said these words that brought the Spirit in to the room and to my heart:  "Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard?  Why doesn’t it go better?  You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal.  I offer this as my personal feeling.  I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.  Salvation never was easy.  We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head.  How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?  It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary. Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious.  But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.  For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is.  I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.  If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us.  If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that.  Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.  The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators.  When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived.  You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions.  The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life." That video was an answer to my prayer, because it brought the peace of the Holy Ghost to my heart and I felt such overwhelming love and gratitude for the Savior's Atonement, which gives me and all of us the strength to accomplish whatever it takes to be the missionary He knows we can be. I am so happy that we were able to celebrate Easter this Sunday and be reminded of the blessings of the truth of the Ressurection and the Atonement. We were able to see wonderful things happen this week, we met some wonderful people who we are hoping to meet with again. Sora Green is amazing, if people can't meet with us or lessons fall through, she always puts a smile on her face and says, "This must be happening for a reason! There must be someone the Lord wants us to find! Let's go contacting!" This has helped us to meet wonderful people like Costin and Madalina in the park, Floria on the tramvi, and Claudia and Corina on the metro!  Her great faith and optimism has allowed the Spirit to be our guide in finding those who are prepared!  I love serving with her!

We have also found two new investigators: Keiko and Steluta.  Keiko (or Giorgiana) is an English student who has come to a couple activities. She has a lot of questions about what we believe and likes the way that she feels when she is with us. Steluta is the mother of a 4-month old girl and a new English student. She asked us a lot of questions about our church, she loved the Easter video and we left her with a Family Proclamation. We are hoping to set a baptismal date with Aurelia this month, I am praying that she will accept because I know this will be a blessing and help her come closer to Christ.  

I want to close with bearing my testimony of the glorious reality of the Atonement and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I know many testimonies have been offered, but this is truly my own testimony: Jesus Christ is our Savior. He lives. He suffered for our sins and trials, He died on the cross and He lived again. He lives. He knows us. He loves us. I know it. I love Him. I am not perfect, but I love Him. And I know that through His love, if I act in love, I can leave the past behind and move forward. I can do anything with Him by my side. He is the only way back to Heavenly Father. And through Him, not only can we live again, but live with Him, our Heavenly Father, and those we love forever. I know this is true and I am so thankful I can share this truth, that He is risen. 

Va iubesc! 

Dragoste, 

Sora Lunt

 Some pictures of my exchange with Sora Padgett and the Easter bunny comes to Romania! :)

 

April 25, 2016

Easter Transfer has begun...10th transfer!!

Buna, draga familia si prietene mele!  I'm so sorry I don't have too much time to write this week, but I hope that everyone had a wonderful week!  My week was filled with both sunshine and rain, but it was good!  A new transfer has begun, my tenth transfer!!!  It's too crazy to believe!  Dar, primul, vreau sa spun multumesc pe toate oamenii pe care mi-a scris! (Thanks to all who wrote me!)

 Thank you for helping me discover a love for scripture study! That has been a huge blessing for me here and for so many other people, just Wednesday, we were able to help an investigator named Roxana who was struggling reading from the Book of Mormon! Thank you so much for all you teach me all the time! It's so cool that you met Sora Wyatt's mom, Sora Wyatt is an amazing missionary! I learned a lot from her!  I'm so excited that I'll see you soon prin Skype! 

 

This transfer is going to be awesome! I'm staying an STL in Bucuresti and I'm staying with Sora Green! :)  I am very excited for this transfer! I love Sora Green so much and I am so excited we will get to stay together! Wonderful things are happening in Bucuresti!   We feel that if we work as hard as we can to become better and help those we work with to come closer to Christ, we will see miracles!  I have seen so many already last transfer, I am so humbled to have seen so many blessings from the Lord! One of those blessings is seeing how much Aurelia has progressed, she read the entire gospel principles manual and the scriptures in them in two weeks!  And she loved the baptism at Mihai Bravu.  I hope that this transfer, we can help her progress even more. The only things holding her back is that her work schedule makes it hard for her to attend church and her family doesn't approve of the Church.  But we are praying for her and we will work hard to help her.  I had a wonderful exchange on Thursday with Sora Padgett, she is a wonderful missionary! She is such a good contacter and she loves meeting new people!  She is doing well with the language, she is always trying very hard to improve!  I am so excited that Easter is so soon and that everywhere we go, we can share the video!

 In our last district meeting, we were asked to share the biggest lesson that we had learned last transfer.  I learned a lot of things last transfer, but one of the biggest lessons I learned was that if we are doing all we can to do the will of the Lord, we will never really fail. We may stumble and fall, but if we try as hard as we can, the Savior's Atonement can lift us and help us do more that we thought we could and become much more that we even could alone. This is the real meaning of Easter: that through His loving sacrifice, we can rise from our trials and sins and find new hope, new life, a better life.

In President Ivory's email this week, he shared something that Elder Kearon said at the mission president's conference recently:  “At our mission presidents seminar in Frankfurt last week President Kearon recognized that in our mission we are ‘more foundational’ but he also said: ‘This is your time and there must be more baptisms. Find ways to rise. Don't settle for what was yesterday's self. CRUSH THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD THAT TELL YOU IT CAN NOT BE DONE. EXPAND AND MAGNIFY YOUR ETERNAL SELF.”  I think that this is wonderful counsel that I will follow this transfer! I love you all! Thank you so much! 

Va iubesc! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

April 18, 2016

The end is coming! (For the transfer at least. :))

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietene mele! I can't believe another transfer is almost over, it's just crazy how fast the weeks go by! Uau, was this a wonderful week! It feels just like summer (not exactly, I'm told in the summer in Bucharesti it's even hotter! :)), we had some great lessons, and we had a baptism in the branch!

I'm sorry I don't have much time this week, so I'll keep it short and sweet. This was an amazing week! Thank you for what you said about being as strong as an oak and about being bold. I have been praying to know how to be a better contactor and I believe that this is an answer to my prayer. Sora Green and I want this week to also focus on improving our teaching. I have learned a lot from Sora Green, in lessons, she asks great questions and loves helping people learn. She cares a lot about what she teaches, and especially about the people she teaches. I have loved working with her, she is an amazing missionary. Our exchanges went great, Sora Wyatt (she's in her last transfer) is a great missionary, she's so bright and friendly, we were able to meet some great people, we are hoping to meet with one of them, Gia, this week! I'm sad that Sora Wyatt is close to leaving, but she is an amazing contactor and friend.

Sora Bobeanu's baptism and confirmation was an amazing experience, the Spirit was so strong. She is a wonderful woman and that her husband was able to baptize her to me is evidence that blessings have and will come to her family because of her decision to follow Christ. Her daughter, Lavinia, is a quiet, but very sweet girl, we are excited to start working with her. We are also excited for another of our investigators, Aurelia, she has been progressing very well, our last lesson, we did the Strait gate approach with her, and she said she would think about being baptized!  We want to help her keep progressing, or in Sora Green's words, "help it click in her heart." We have been talking about how we can continue to bring the Spirit into our lessons so the gospel truths can sink into the hearts of our investigators. I have been thinking and praying a lot about this and I think that the first way to begin is what you said in your email: get to know them. Care about them. Once you know how they learn, then you can begin to teach because then they are prepared and so are you, your love for them brings the Spirit, who is the real teacher.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Va iubesc! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

Pictures with  all our cute young women.  On exchanges with Sora Wyatt. A concert in the middle of the metro (or subway).  Bucuresti in the evening.  Us with a potential, Corina (sorry it is blurry).

April 11, 2016

Paste este aproape! (Easter is almost here!) :)

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietene mele! I love hearing from all of you, I can feel your love and am so thankful for all you do!  It has been very warm and beautiful this week, perfect weather for Easter! I am very blessed to be in this amazing country filled with so many wonderful people. I have been thinking about the Romanian people a lot, about their history and how even after so much suffering and pain, they fought for their freedom and are filled with faith and hope. Recently, President Ivory sent all the missionaries an email; I want to share this part with you: "I received inspiration from a friend who has not yet joined the Church. Egmont was 15 in 1989 and was the youngest of the revolutionary group that overthrew Ceausescu. As he took the flag out of his pocket that previously was seen on the top of the armored tank I could see the whole in the middle where he had cut out the Soviet symbol. He explained to me that he had washed the blood out because it was too much of a reminder of his good friend who was lost that day. As he spoke to our missionaries, he was not speaking to a band of revolutionaries, but to a band of special messengers of the Lord Jesus Christ. With emotion, Egmont pled with us to be unified in our cause. It was perfect and I felt his message was exactly what we needed. He sees something special in each missionary and is grateful for what we bring to his beloved country. Our fight is no less significant than his fight for freedom 26 years ago."

I am so, so thankful for the chance that I have to stand beside these great missionaries and to bring the light and joy of the Gospel, I know it will bring even greater blessings to Romania. I saw a sign recently advertising Kinder chocolate eggs that said: "Ce ar fi Paste fara Kinder?" (What would be Easter without Kinder?)  Kinder is very good chocolate :) but at the same time, it made me sad that bright eggs or chocolate bunnies would get in the way of the true meaning of Easter. Beyond the bright eggs is the even brighter hope of the Resurrection, the love of our Savior that is more wonderful than chocolate. I have felt the joy that a testimony of this truth brings and I was able to see that this week as well. This Wednesday, I had my first MLC (Missionary Leadership Conference!) It was a great experience, President and Sora Ivory spoke to us and so did the assistants to the president and the STLs in Cluj. They showed us a really cool short film about the Book of Mormon, it is a five minute explanation and testimony of the Book of Mormon, you should look it up on Youtube!  MLC was a wonderful experience, I feel that what I learned about most is how a true leader is always learning, from other people, from different experiences, and most importantly, from the Lord through the help of the Spirit. I will do everything I can not to lift myself above others, because I know I still have a lot I need to learn. But I am learning and growing, with the help of the Lord and my wonderful companion.  Sora Green truly is an amazing missionary, every chance she gets, she tries to show the Easter video. I am very thankful that we can share with others, the true meaning of Easter, that beyond the bright eggs and colors lies an even brighter hope in the Resurrection of our Savior. I felt this when we met a student named Bianca on the tram-vi and she invited us over to her apartment. We got to know her for a few minutes, then we pulled out the Easter video and showed it to her. She began to cry and told us that she had had some very difficult trials in her life and she didn't know if there was any hope. I felt the Spirit very strongly as both of us were able to testify to her that there was hope and that God and Jesus Christ knew her and loved her. We left her with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and hope to meet with her again this week. On Thursday, I enjoyed a great exchange with Sora Schow, she is a wonderful sister filled with enthusiasm and courage and a desire to work hard and well. We were able to do contacting in a bloc and in the park and we met with our investigator Ane. We were able to teach her the Strait Gate approach, to help her understand that baptism is small steps where she can prepare to be ready. I am very excited for her, and for another investigator Aurelia. We want to help her set a baptismal date this week, because she is very open and is seeking the truth. I will keep praying that the Spirit can help her see and understand that this is the right path for her. I am very excited for all that lies ahead this week! I hope that all of you have an amazing week as well! You are amazing examples of disciples of Christ! Va iubesc! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

I'll send some pics next week! 

 

 

April 4, 2016

Ani cel mai minunat in Romania! (The Most Wonderful Year in Romania!)

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietene mele! How wonderful it is to get to get to speak to you! (Or write you, but anyway :)) Spring is finally here! It's warm outside, I don't even need a jacket! It reminds me of when I first came into the country one year ago, the parks are stunning with all the green grass and trees and the beautiful flowers, like in this picture of my companion exchange with Sora Rich! 

But sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself. In primul rand, vreau sa spun multumesc! (In the first place, I want to say thanks!) You are all such wonderful examples to me! And you need to know that your faith, your prayers, and your love are bringing about miracles in Romania! I have definetely seen that this week and I am so thankful to all of you, and especially to Heavenly Father for all of you!

This is truly a wonderful time to be a missionary in Romania! It's hard to believe that today, it has officially been ONE YEAR since I came into this beautiful country!!! How is that possible?! But this has been the most wonderful year! I have learned so much this year, I feel so happy to be here, I know this is where I need to be! Since zone conference, Sora Green and I have been striving to be even more obedient and faithful and I am humbled by the blessings we have received! This truly is the Lord's work and He is helping us as we give our best efforts. I have also been very blessed to be with Sora Green, she is a truly Christlike missionary. She is bright, fun, positive, courageous, obedient, loving but what I love is that she is always encouraging me to be the very best that I can be. That is a wonderful characteristic to have as a missionary and as a disciple of Christ, I'm very lucky to get to serve with her. I've learned a lot this week, but one of the biggest lessons that I've learned is that of trust. Sora Green and I have done a lot of contacting this week:  in the parks, on the metro, on tramvis and buses. A while ago, I was nervous about talking to people. I still do get a little nervous, but I realized that when I'm thinking about the other person, about getting to know them and help them, and I think about Christ, it's not so hard. I feel Him helping me, He loves me, Sora Green and the people that we meet. And if I let Him, if I trust Him, if I work as hard as I can to listen to the Spirit, then the Lord will give me what to say. I have seen that this week for me and Sora Green, in all the people we have met or that have been lead to us. We have been able to get to know many new people this week and two could potentially become investigators: Irina and Anisoara, Irina took a Book of Mormon and we were able to teach Anisoara the Restoration and leave her with a pamphlet.

I am so thankful that we had the chance to listen to General Conference this week. One of our investigators, Aurelia, was able to come, we were so happy! The whole session, I was praying that the Spirit would touch her heart as she listened. I loved all the talks, Elder Hallstrom speaking about remembering our identity as children of God, President Eyring speaking about how we can receive specific guidance and feel that the Lord is with each of us,   I loved how President Monson told us: "Our goal is to obtain celestial glory, and the choices we make will, in large part, determine whether or not we reach our goal. …May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. As we contemplate the decisions we make in our lives each day—whether to make this choice or that—if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice." And President Utchdorf's talk brought tears to my eyes, because if there is anything that I have gained a strong testimony of, it is of the power of the Atonement in our lives. “Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, knows and loves us. He knows and loves you, He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief. Your silent pleadings. Your fears. Your tears. It matters not how you became lost — whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control. All that matters is that you are His child. And He loves you, His children. He loves His children. Because He loves you, He will find you. He will place you upon His shoulders rejoicing. Just as the Good Shepherd finds His lost sheep, if you will only lift up your heart to the Savior of the world, He will find you.” I know this is true and I am so thankful I get to share this truth.

Va Iubesc! I love you all! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

March 28, 2016

Doi Pastele in o ani! Sunt norocos! (Two Easters in One Year! I am so lucky!) :)

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietene mele! It's starting to feel like spring, it's still a little cold, but the trees are blossoming, the sky is blue and it is gorgeous! I can't believe that it is now my second spring in Romania, I remember coming and seeing the beautiful green parks and Easter decorations and feeling like the luckiest missionary in the world that I could serve here. It's a beautiful country, with wonderful people and Sora Green and I have seen wonderful miracles this week!  We follow the Orthodox tradition of having it the first Sunday of May, but we still celebrated a little bit this Sunday, so I get two Easters in one year! Lucky me! :)

 What a great week this was! We had Zone Conference this week, and we received wonderful counsel from President Ivory, Sora Ivory, and their friends the Randall famlily. Sora Ivory shared about how like the moon reflects the light of the sun, as missionaries, we reflect the light of the Son of God. But if we aren't completely obedient, we find ourselves moving away from His light. But faith moves us back until we are completely aligned with his will. Then President Ivory shared about how through the Savior, we can accomplish the impossible. He shared about how President Benson asked President Nelson to open Eastern Europe for the preaching of the gospel. It seemed impossible, there were so many obstacles. But President Nelson said, “The Lord is able to do His own work, and I was privileged to watch the unfolding of one miracle after another—always and only after I had brought my best thinking, my most courageous efforts, and my most fervent prayers to the task... you will make history too! You will be asked to accept challenging assignments and become an instrument in the Lord’s hands. And He will enable you to accomplish the impossible.” I love this testimony from an Apostle and from President Ivory: that through faith, diligent work, and obedience, we will see miracles unfold and accomplish what seems impossible. This week I have been able to witness this.  I am so, so thankful for Easter and that through the miracle of the Atonement and Resurrection, Sora Green and I have experienced miracles of finding new people. The Easter video has been a wonderful tool for blocknocking, Sora Green and I have been trying hard to keep our goal of showing the film twice each day. Sora Green and I had planned to show the film to a less-active member we were trying to find, but I made a mistake and took us to a block we had been to already. I felt discouraged, but Sora Green said there must be a reason we were here, so we decided to blocknock. We missed a door and were about to leave, but we felt like we needed to go back. We did, and the woman who answered the door let us in! Her name is Camilia and she and her husband Livu have three beautiful children. We showed them the video and were able to speak to them about Christ and how important families are, they are very kind, very open people who love their family very much. We have already been back to them and we hope we can teach them again.

The next day, we decided to knock the block next door and the first door we knocked was a woman named Elena. She talked with us for a little bit and then said we could come back the next day! We came and had a wonderful discussion with her. She has had many trials and suffered much, but she is still so positive and faithful. We showed her the Easter film and were able to testify to her that God has a plan for her and loves her. She started crying when we left, the Spirit was very strong. When we left, I felt such gratitude for the Easter film, that through it we could meet and help people who need to feel hope, who need to know that they are loved. I am so thankful that I can testify that it is true: that our Father in Heaven sent His Son show us the way back. He gave us a perfect example to follow. He gave us perfect teachings. He gave us the Church, He gave us the gospel. But most important, He gave us a way to overcome our sins, our weaknesses, our pains and to live again with God and all who we love. He lives. I'm excited to hear the words of His prophets and apostles this week and to invite others to listen! I know it's not Easter yet in Romania, but for my family and friends, I decided to put my testimony of the Savior's Resurrection in the form of a poem. I have always loved the story where the Savior appears to Mary at the garden tomb so I put in a poem context, and also how we can find the Savior in our lives as well. I hope you like it! 

 He is here

Sometimes I feel like Mary of old,

Who, though the sun was rising, felt so dark and cold,

because in her mind and heart, all she heard were the words:

"He is not here."

Her tears fell on dusty stone, filled with her grief at the empty tomb.

Nothing can heal hear pain and take away her sorrow.

Not the beauty of the garden or the scent of the herbs.

Not angels or friends.

Because He is not here.

Then in her deepest agony, she hears a voice behind her.

And with one word, he changes her deep sadness to endless joy.

With one word, he takes the darkness away.

With one word, He heals, he comforts, he loves.

She turns and she is changed.

Her eyes can see the light shining from the sun dawning in the azure sky.

And the light shining from the one she loves so dearly.

She can hear the morning singing of the birds and the voice of her Master saying her name. 

She can feel the warmth of a new spring day

And the warmth of His love in His hands, His eyes, His smile.

And at last, she can understand the words: "He is risen"

He is here.

Sometimes we may feel that we are lost, that we have lost Him.

We feel so lonely, so cold, because we think He is not here.

But He is always here.

He knows our name.

And if we listen, we can hear His voice, we can see His hand in our lives, we can feel His love.

We can understand that we don't need to be lost if we search for Him.

Because He will find us.

He is Here. 

 

Va iubesc! 

Sora Lunt

 

March 21, 2016

Hallelujah, Aleluia

Buna ziua, draga familia si prietene mele! Primavaria fericita! (Hello, my dear family and friends!  Happy Spring!) Today it feels like spring, I didn't even need a jacket! (Saturday night though, it was SNOWING so maybe I shouldn't speak too soon, but it was pretty! :)) This has been an absolutely wonderful week with Sora Green, I can't wait to tell you all about it!  To all my family and friends, multumesc! Your faith, prayers, and love are bringing such blessings to me and everyone here! I love you all and I know Heavenly Father will bless you because of your Christlike examples! 

 Well, this has been quite an amazing week! To start off, Tuesday, I sent Sora Linder to the windswept beaches of Constansta!  I'm going to miss her!  But even sadder, I saw my trainer, Sora Susan Routson, leave for America! I can't believe that she is home right now! But I know how amazing she is, and that incredible things await her at home in Oregon!  Sora Natalie Green, my new colega, also saw her trainer, Sora Trebas, off with her parents today!  It's sad, but we are so thankful for the wonderful missionaries they were here!  I love Sora Green so much!!  Her enthusiasm, courage, and love for other people is absolutely incredible!  She is such a Christlike example to me, everywhere she goes, she talks to people and is able to connect with them. People love her because she is so genuine, I am very blessed to learn from her! She is always encouraging me to do better, I am excited for all that we have ahead this transfer!

 On lds.org, there is a new video: “Hallelujah”, that we have had the chance to show a lot of people. It is a beautiful video about how through Christ, we and all those we love can find new life. I know that this is true and have had the chance to share this hope (Easter is a time of hope, perfect time to study it :)) with so many people! If you haven't had a chance to see this, I would invite you to, because Easter is a wonderful time to remember the Savior and why we should praise Him every day for all He has given us. 

 We have a new investigator named Lili, a young mother with two little girls. Her family is the most important part of her life, Sora Green and I are hoping that we can show her that her family can be greatly blessed through the Gospel.  One of our other investigators, Aurelia, came to our Relief Society activity on Saturday!  Sora Green and I were so happy, especially that she made friends with some of the members, this will definitely help her progress!  We also had a wonderful lesson with another investigator, Ane.  We had committed her to baptism in our last lesson with her, and we were able to teach her about sacrament meeting, and we used the strait gate approach. The Spirit was very strong and she said she would like to come to church.  She wasn't able to this Sunday, but we're hoping next week she will!  We have also been led to and made friends with many wonderful people this week and to talk about Easter. I am very thankful for this wonderful time of the year, because it helps turn our minds and hearts to the Savior of the world. When I think of what He did in Gethsemane, in Calvary, and in the garden, for all of us, all I can say is what they said in the video:  “Alleluia. Hallelujah. Praise ye the Lord. For He shall reign, forever and ever.”

 Va iubesc, draga familia mea! Si prietene mele! 

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt

Some Pictures:

 Mirela, a very sweet member we visit.

Me with Sora Routson, my trainer, who is going home.

 Anca, a potential Sora Linder met at the mall, she is very open and loves making new friends! 

 Talita, a recent convert from Mihai Bravu ( the other branch in Buc, she loves helping with investigator lessons! :)