February 1, 2016

Drum Bun pe oras mare: Bucuresti! (Good travels to the big city: Bucuresti!)

I hope that everyone had a good week!  I don't know if you already know or not, but I still want to say (because I'm so excited) I'm going to BUCURESTI, the capital of Romania! I am so excited! I'm going to miss Bacau so much, the branch, the people, my district, my absolutely incredible companion Sora Cutler, but I will still have part of Bacau with me because I have all the important lessons that I have learned here in my heart and mind!

Deci (so), this week has been full of amazing things! To begin, this week, Sora Routson told us something that Radu told her on Sunday, he challenged her to start inviting more people to come to church. When she told me, I was surprised, not by his remark, but that I'd never thought of inviting even total strangers to come to church. But the more I thought about it, the more that I felt the Spirit in my heart that if we did this, inviting everyone we met with (less-actives, investigators, potentials, English students, even total strangers) to come to church, we would be greatly blessed. Sora Cutler and I have done this, and we have been able to meet some great people and have some great conversations! I have gained such a strong testimony of the importance of the Sabbath and the Sacrament here in Bacau, because this time to renew my promise with the Lord to always remember and have faith really has helped us to keep the Spirit with us throughout the week and to remember the Savior and His Atonement. 

On Thursday, we were able to have a wonderful lesson with an investigator named Irina. She has been meeting with the missionaries for a while and has had all the lessons, so we were planning on starting from the beginning with the Restoration. But then, Sora Cutler mentioned that she felt that we should speak about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. So we showed her the "Because of Him" video and explained that because our Savior loved us so much, He felt all our sins, sadness, sickness and pain so that He could know how to help us come home again. Irina started crying and said that she wasn't sure that there was hope for her, even from the Savior. The Spirit that filled my heart with love and my eyes with tears, I am forever thankful for the testimony that I was able to bear to this precious daughter of God that He does love her and that through His love, there was hope to be free from sin and pain, she just needed the faith to accept. I know that Heavenly Father spoke through us to help her, because He loves his children.

We also had the opportunity to bear our testimony about the Atonement again on Saturday for our English spiritual thought. We baked cookies and told the class that they could all have one, but for every cookie someone took, Sora Routson would do 4 pushups. Even if they didn't want the cookie, she still did the pushups for them. The students were worried, some were even in tears, and one even asked, "Can't I do them for her?" After she did them all (she did about 50- her arms are still pretty sore :), she's amazing), we explained that our Savior suffered and died to give us the greatest gift- a chance to live again with Heavenly Father. That gift is available for all of us, we all can receive the forgiveness, peace and strength His sacrifice gives us in order to move onward and become better. I think that was my favorite spiritual thought ever, because I felt the Spirit so strongly and I felt that they were able to understand and feel a little closer to Christ.

I've learned a lot from my time here in Bacau.   one of the biggest was about faith. I wanted to study an attribute of Christ this transfer, and I felt like I should study faith. And I'm very grateful that I did, because not only have I learned a lot about faith, but I feel that my faith has grown stronger from all that I've learned. I don't mean to say that my faith is perfect, but it has gotten stronger. I'm so thankful for the two transfers I was able to serve with Sora Cutler, she is an amazing example of faith to me. Her optimism, enthusiasm, courage, and love for the work is very contagious and her faith in the Lord, in herself, and in me has influenced me a lot, I know she'll be an amazing trainer! Sora Warwick is very lucky to have her! I'm also very thankful for Sora Routson and Spangler, they have been wonderful STLs, they truly love the branch and are willing to give all that they have to find, to teach, to plan, to testify, to do all that they can to help the branch in Bacau. The way they have believed in me and have encouraged me to believe in myself and in the Lord, not just through their words, but their actions; these three sisters have been incredible examples to me.  I've also seen great faith in the members, every Sunday, taking the Sacrament, the Spirit is so strong in the room as I, through the blessing of the Priesthood, am able to remember the Savior's sacrifice and start again, we have been inviting a lot of people to come and experience this, wherever we go. I have witnessed miracles here in Bacau, because of the Spirit, I've learned that to be the missionary and disciple that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want me to be, that I need faith. I've studied in Preach My Gospel, in the scriptures, talks by General Authorities, and other resources and the more I learn, the more I understand why faith is the first element of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because every time our faith grows stronger, we take another step closer to Christ and accept HIs Atonement. He believes in us, because He is our Shepherd and He knows His sheep, He knows we can return, if we trust in Him and in ourselves. I hope that you and I will keep exercising our faith every day as Elder Hales said this last General Conference and chose to strengthen and protect it as Elder Andersen said, because as President Utchdorf said in the General Women's session, "Faith opens our eyes and gives us the hope in Jesus Christ to live joyfully now!" I hope I will still keep learning more about faith in Bucuresti and I'm going to do all I can to be a great missionary there! I love you all! Have a great week!

Dragoste,

Sora Lunt