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!
I'll send some pics next week!