Speranta moare ultima (Hope dies last)
Buna ziua, draga familia si prietene mele! I hope you all had a beautiful week! Summer is starting to come to Romania, the weather is warming up and so many wonderful things are happening! But before I get into all that, I want to say thank you so much for everything that you do, my wonderful family and friends! Multumesc for your prayers, your emails, your faith and your love! I could never thank you enough for all that you have taught me! Va iubesc, I love you all!
This was a wonderful week! I am very blessed to serve here, especially with Sora Green. She loves everyone unconditionally and individually, her faith is so strong, and she works hard to accomplish goals and to improve every day. I have learned so much from serving with her, especially what it means to be a true leader. Sora Green and I have seen many wonderful things happen this week, we found a new investigator Crenguta, an English student who we are starting to do the Self-Reliance program with. She is very open and we are hoping that as we continue to meet with her, she will continue to open to the Church. We also are excited about our investigator Haba, she understands everything we have taught her about the Restoration, we've been blessed to have the help of President Doru and Sora Dupont to translate. We are hoping this week to set a baptismal date with her this week. Please include her in your prayers, she is an amazing girl!
In District meeting, speaking about receiving revelation during Church revelation made me think of Aurelia and the struggle she has had with coming to church. I want so badly to help her understand how coming to church, as difficult as it is to get up in the morning, will bless her with the Spirit throughout the rest of the week. We talked about how we can help our investigators meet the members and develop friendship by introducing them at church, at activities, and at member present lessons. Never forget what a blessing you all are to the missionaries, when you befriend those we teach, it really does help them want to continue to come!
I have been thinking a lot about a statement I heard recently from two different people we met contacting: "Speranta moare ultima" (Hope dies last). I have been thinking of how amazing the people of Romania are, how they suffered from Communism, yet they never lost hope and are working hard to build Romania again. Sora Green and I have been blessed through the guidance of the Spirit to have met many wonderful people who are positive about Romania and its future, and not only us, but others as well, like Sora Savoie with their investigator Sorina who will be baptized on the 29th and Schow and Sora Rich and Stanley. I am so excited to go on exchanges tomorrow with Sora Stanley, she is a wonderful missionary who came into the country three months ago! She is super enthusiastic and loves meeting with people!
I have also been thinking a lot about a tradition that the Orthodox Church does every Easter Sunday. When it is midnight, they gather at whatever church is closest to their home and they each light a candle with a special flame from a candle brought from the Holy Land. Then they try to make it home with the candle still lit and allow it to burn as long as it can. This tradition reminds me a lot of this saying about hope, how precious and bright it is when our source of hope is Christ. A song that I love that talks about this that we recently sang in Sacrament meeting is "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul".
1. Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow'r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.
2. Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.
3. O'er rule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.
To me this song, especially the third verse makes me realize how precious hope is and when we allow our hope to be in Christ, then our faith becomes stronger and our future brighter.
I love you all! I hope you have an amazing week!
A picture with one of our amazing YSA, Elena!