E iarna la sfarsit! (It’s winter at last!)
Buna! I am so happy to get the chance to hear from you all! I love serving in Bacau! As I said earlier, we finally got some snow, so now I can honestly say it feels like winter! We have been able to use the snow to do some creative contacting, like building a snowman with a bunch of small kids and were hoping to be able to do some snow shoveling as service! The city looks so beautiful in winter, especially the park, I’ll send a picture of the park next week! I love serving with Sora Cutler, her optimism, sense of humor, and courage lift my spirits every day and inspire me to be better. Sora Routson and Spangler are awesome too, I love working with them because they are so funny, hardworking and caring. Since Bacau is a small city, we’ve been able to walk around a lot to get to know the city better and we have been keeping busy by doing a lot of contacting this week- talking to people on the phone, in English class, in the blocks, on the street. We’ve been able to meet a lot of new people and find less-actives (that really helps us get to know the city and work on our language) and meet with the members. We had this Sunday about eight members and the Browns from Iasi! We got to meet with the Balasei family this week, they’re awesome members, she love Beatles music and cooking! We also got to meet with member Irina and her cute four little kids and help them make a goal to come to church every Sunday. And we had an awesome lesson with the Primary teacher, Andreea, she’s preparing to go to the temple in Finland so were going to help her prepare!
I’ve learned a lot of lessons this week, one of the biggest is that by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass. Sora Cutler and I learned this lesson in a very special way. We had been contacting a lot that day, but we hadn’t gotten a lesson yet. We were both praying in our heart that we could at least have one lesson with someone that day. Sora Cutler encouraged us to keep trying so we kept walking. We reached the corner to where we turned to go into our block, but then I felt like we should walk to the end of the street. So we kept walking and found ourselves in a parking lot. We said hello to an older woman there and that started a conversation with Lea (that’s her name) and we ended up teaching the Restoration not only to her, but to her daughter and grandson at their home! To me, it was a miracle and a testimony strengthener, because the Lord really did answer our prayers. Exactly as Sora Spangler and Cutler said, it was when we felt like giving up, but still pushed a little farther, that God gave us a miracle. I am so thankful for this lesson, because I know that God loves us and those that we come in contact with.
I have learned many other lessons this week, about faith, repentance, agency, the Book of Mormon, enduring to the end, and love. We have been studying about repentance and agency to teach to the members, I was able to give a talk on this on Sunday. I admit that a lot of times, I have felt like repentance is a hard and painful thing. And yes, it can be hard at times, but itțs a beautiful thing because it changes us. It increases our faith in Heavenly Father and our Savior, that they love us no matter what, that they believe in us and will help us if we come to Them. Repentance is saying in prayer, I’m so sorry that I have done wrong, but I still love you. I believe you are still there and still love me. I want to change. Can you help me change, because I believe you can. The Book of Mormon is full of examples of men and women who sometimes made mistakes, but rather than being weighed down with despair, they looked to Christ and allowed Him to change their hearts. They had faith in Him and loved Him enough to apply His Atonement after they did all that they can. And we can learn from their examples, because as Sora Routson said in district meeting, anytime spent reading the Book of Mormon isn’t time wasted, but time saved. And I’ve also learned great lessons about endurance and perseverance. It’s not easy, but I’m learning that the trials don’t hold us back, but our own fear and doubts when we have them. We need to have an eternal perspective, to look ahead with hope, faith, and love in our hearts because then the Lord can guide us. Something Sora Cutler told me a couple days ago that really struck me is that successful people never give up, because they don’t say now what? but instead, lets do this! I want to be this person more than anything, and I won’t just try, but do, because I have the Savior on my side and I know you do too! I love you all! Thanks for all you do!