Foarte Mult in o saptemana! (So much in one week!)
Buna ziua, draga familia si prietene mele! It's hard to believe it's already been one week since I last emailed, it went by so quickly! I hope that everyone had a great week, it sounds like so many awesome things happened! A lot happened this week for us too!
I have had wonderful experiences and I learned so much this week. I saw this to be true in a lesson we had with a less-active, Maricica, on Tuesday. She had a question about how God can possibly see and know all of His children, and then like a lightning strike, I knew the scripture to share. We had a wonderful discussion and as we left, I felt an overwhelming rush of love and peace come over me. I know she felt it too, because she began to cry and asked: "What is this that I'm feeling?" There's nothing that can describe how happy I felt to be able to tell her that it was the Holy Ghost. I can testify that when we draw near to the Lord by teaching and loving, then the Lord will draw near to us through the Spirit. I never want to lose this.
On Wednesday, we had a lesson with Mirela (a less-active) with Sora Preda (a member). It was such a fun expereiece because Sora Preda is so enthusiatic about being a missionary. She loves the gospel so much, getting to share it with her friend Mirela made her so happy! Before that, Sora Linder and I had a great lesson with one of our investigators, Alexandra. We taught her the plan of salvation and commited her to baptism! She said that she had already been baptized in the Orthodox church, but in her prayer at the end, she asked Heavenly Father to help her to know if this was true. I was so touched by this and praying that Sora Linder and I could help her to understand and accept baptism.
On Thursday, we had Zone Conference. President and Sora Ivory spoke to us, along with their friends from England, the Rutley famliy. I loved it and learned so much about courage. I have learned so much about the importance of courage on my mission. I am not completely fearless, but as I rely on the Lord, obey Him, trust Him, and love Him and those around me, He gives me the strength to accomplish what He wants me to do. My sister shared a scripture with me recently, D&C 88:63, which says that if we draw near to the Lord, and search diligently, that we will find Him. He is there all the time, it's just a matter of pushing through our natural selves in order to come to Him. My brother also told me something recently concerning this: "We need to be diligent in keeping the commandments, because even the greatest can fall, like King David." Sometimes, I wonder that if a great king and prophet failed, then how could I succeed? Then this wonderful thought came to me: I found a quote recently by Elder Bruce R. McConkie about the Atonement, about how the most important witness we can bear is of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Then He said something that really struck me: "In speaking I shall use my own words..true, they were first proclaimed by others, but now they are my own because the Spirit has born witness to me that they are true." I believe that this is what our purpose is as missionaries and as disciples: to study the testimonies of others and use it to help strengthen our own, but to also bear testimony in our own words, because we do receive confirmation that they are true.
Saturday was a bit of a crazy day. To begin, we were at the mall buying markers for our English class when we saw a free Pepsi photo booth. We decided to do it, and as we were taking our picture, Sora Linder held up her bottle of Coke. UH-OH. The man opened up the curtain and asked us what we were thinking, having Coke in a Pepsi photo booth. Oops. So he just about threw us out, I barely had time to grab our pictures, but at least they're cute! :) Then in English class, I found out that instead of buying whiteboard markers, I had bought PERMANENT marker...after I drew on the board. But don't worry, we got it off and had a great English class! Then after class was our branch Valentine's Day party! It was a lot of fun, lots of our students stayed after, there was a lot of food and fun!
It was a busy, but fun week. I learned a lot and I want to close first by saying multumesc. You, my dear family and friends are my examples I love you so much for it! I also want to close with this invitation from Elder McConkie: "May I invite you to join me in gaining a sure and sound testimony of the Atonement." I want to bear you my testimony, because I have gained a testimony, that Jesus Christ is our Savior, the Son of our loving Heavenly Father. God did send Him to earth to teach us, help us, love us, and save us from our sins, sadness, and pain. I don't know, I can't comprehend fully how Christ was able to atone for us, but I do know that He did it. He did it for you, for me, for all of us, because He loves us. And through that love, we can return to live with God again if we are willing to accept His outstreched arms and walk in His footsteps, step by step. His Atonement can give us the strength and forgiveness we need to make it back home. He won't give up on us, ever. He believes in us. He loves us. I know it. And I love Him. I will do all I can to share His love, so we all can make it home.
I love you all!