To Stay or not to stay... next week I'll know! (Transfer's Almost Over!!!)
Buna seara (it's evening here in Romania)! Multumesc for all your wonderful emails! Hearing from everyone is seriously my favorite part of Monday and it brightens my week! I can't believe that January is almost over, and that on Saturday, I'll know whether I'm staying in Bacau or not! I love Bacau and my district and branch so much, I'll be so sad if I leave! But I know that if I do, that the Lord will be with me!
I have had a great week! After an incredible birthday on Monday, we were able to have a lesson with a less-active member with Christina. It was a very interesting lesson though, because Christina has problems with her legs, so her sister locks the house when she leaves to work, so we ended up teaching the lesson through the door! I was so glad we were still able to teach our lesson and that we were able to cheer up Christina, I think she's very lonely and she still prays every night and reads her scriptures, she just has health problems. And then on Wednesday, we had the Worldwide Missionary Devotional! I loved when Elder Anderson spoke about the Atonement, because this transfer I have been studying a lot about the Atonement and I feel that the more I learn about the Atonement and what a wonderful, incredible gift it is, the better I understand repentance. The focus of the Devotional was "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts".
A few days ago, I was feeling a little down, and after praying, I felt that I should open my scriptures. I opened to 1 Peter 4: 12-14; 16-19.
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
The Lord has answered my prayers many times through the scriptures, I am so thankful for this. When I read those verses, I felt the Holy Ghost replace my discouragement with peace, that the Savior can help us get through whatever trial may come our way, if we trust His love. So often I forget that the hard times can be a blessing, if I remember the eternal perspective as Elder Oaks said and listen to the Holy Ghost as Elder Bednar said.
I have enjoyed this week, Sora Cutler and I were able to have some great lessons. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is the Lord works through small and simple things to bring great things. I learned this lesson in a very humbling way when Sora Spangler and I were on an exchange. We were waiting to cross the street and a lady came beside me. I said hello, and we ended having a great conversation with Anna Maria, learning about her life, telling her about what we do and giving her our number. This is a lesson that I have learned over and over and has strengthened my testimony every time: when we are humble, obedient, and simply open our mouths, as Elders Clayton and Nielsen said, then the Lord will lead us through the Spirit. I love Bacau and serving with these three amazing sisters, all the wonderful members, less-actives, and investigators, and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have learned so much from them, so much that has made me determined to be a better missionary and love every minute serving the Lord. I will do everything I can so that as Elder Oaks said,"not look back with regrets, but with sweet recollections, knowing that I kept an eternal perspective and acted as a true disciple of Christ".
Multumesc pentru dragostea voatra. (Thank you for your love!) I know, as Elder Anderson said at the end of his talk, that the Savior loves each one of you! I love you too!
(Below is a poem Hannah wrote to her sister for her birthday):
A Pocket full of Dandelions
I can still remember that day.
Now the scene is clear in my mind.
We were walking down a road back home on a bright summer day.
The sky was blue and the sun turned your hair a shining gold.
Suddenly you stopped and bent down.
You straightened back up and happily showed me a small yellow dandelion.
To you, that small dandelion was a treasure, because you only saw beauty in it.
You began filling your fist with them, and even stuck some in your pocket.
Then you continued on, excited to give the dandelion to Mom.
That was such a simple moment, yet the years have not diminished it.
You saw the joy in everything, your happiness turned even a weed beautiful.
Never lose that.
Never forgot that it is a gift from God that you can give and that is the greatest gift.
You'll keep growing older, but never forget it.
And never forget how much I love you.
Because to me, you'll always be my little sister.
With a pocket full of dandelions and a heart full of love.
Pictures of the cute decorations the other sister set up, our birthday lunch with Andreea, our lunch today before Andreea (cute member) leaves to go through the temple in Finland, and a painting that Vasile, a member in Iasi, painted for me! I love it because Christ is reaching out to the hand in the dark, and dawn is starting to break. I feel that this is a painting about repentance and accepting the Savior's Atonement. I love you all!