Flooding Romania with the Book of Mormon!!
Ciao, draga familia si prietenii mei! E atat de minunat sa va aud, va iubesc! (It's so wonderful to hear from all of you!) I hope you know how much it means to me that you write to me, I can feel your love through everything you say and through your examples! I hope this week has been as wonderful for you as it has for us! A new transfer and a new companion means adventure, and for me and Sora Stanley, this week was filled with them!! But before I get into that, Happy Pioneer day yesterday to all! I am so proud of my heritage, I have so many wonderful examples of faith and obedience that I can draw strength from. I hope I don't sound like I am boasting, because I really am humbled to have such a legacy and want to do all I can to honor my ancestors. I have been thinking about here in Romania, I have met many members who are the first in their families to be baptized or the only members in their families or their schools or their neighborhood. I don't know how hard it must be for them to stand strong in such difficult circumstances. I am so thankful to Heavenly Father, with all my heart, that I can serve among so many pioneers and learn from their examples. I hope that I can be a pioneer that the Lord can be proud of. My family is an example of pioneers to me, I know how much they love the gospel and how much they are willing to give for the gospel.
Arad is quite a city! Here in the west, everyone says "Ciao" like in Italy, there is a lot of Hungarian influence, and people are very friendly here! There is so much beautiful architecture and the weather has been so warm and beautiful! This week has been filled with lessons and amazing experiences! I love serving with Sora Stanley, she is very positive and constantly working to improve at talking to people, learn the language, and she loves to work! Her humor, her desire to serve, and her love for the gospel has already lead us to having amazing experiences and meet new people! We both are very excited about the Book of Mormon challenge (President Ivory challenged all the missionaries to read 10 pages a day before Sept. 11 and the members to read 5 pages a day before Thanksgiving), we want to get all the members, less-actives and our investigators excited to read the Book of Mormon every day, because reading it in our companionship, we have already learned so many new things. We know that the Book of Mormon is true and we know that by helping all those we work with to accept this challenge and make the Book of Mormon a part of their daily lives, then they will come nearer to God and they will be able to liken what they learn and act as well. I love in Jacob 5 that when the Lord of the vineyard calls together His servants and tells them to labor with their migh and promises them joy in the fruits that will come, that He labored with them as well. I am so thankful that we are truly not alone in this great work, but that the Lord is with us and will bless us if we serve with all our hearts. I also learned from Mosiah 2 that no matter how hard or long we serve, without the Atonement of the Savior, we are still unprofitable servants. But the Lord has given us so much, including the Book of Mormon to help us.
Our investigator Noemi came to institute and shared with all of us how sincere prayer helped her to know that God does exist. She said, "I don't just believe, I know it happened." Sora Mogos (one of our amazing members in Arad and one of the most amazing members in probably all of Romania) said that this is what leads to a lasting conversion, when you know, not just believe. We were able to meet with Noemi the next day and we had a wonderful lesson with her where she told us that no matter where we are, she knows that by reading the scriptures and praying, that we can feel the love of God. I know that sincerely reading and applying the Book of Mormon will help all of us form a lasting conversion and as we "flood Romania with the Book of Mormon" as President Benson said, we will see miracles. Sora Stanley was led by the Spirit to a woman named Aurelia who after we talked with her, shared her husband had died and her children have moved away. Sora Stanley shared some scriptures from the Book of Mormon with her and gave her a copy. She told us she would remember us every time she read it. I know that she will also be reminded of God's love for her as she reads.
We are actually traveling this evening to Cluj for Zone conferece, which is always a spiritual boost so I am excited for Zone Conference and to hear from President and Sora Ivory! Have a wonderful day and week! Va iubesc!
Me and my new companion Sora Camille Stanley from Farmington, Utah!
Uta Stadium is the fotbal (soccer) stadium that is being built near the elders' apartment. Funny story, in Romanian you pronounce the state of Utah like ooh-tah (just like the stadium) so when a lady we were talking to in the park asked me where I was from and I told her "Utah" she was like, "Yeah but where in America?" She thought I was saying I lived near the stadium! :) We had a good laugh together :)