Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Halloween in Ploiesti

My Fellow Americans
How is everything in the States? Is everybody still eating Halloween candy? Romania is wow. That is really all I have to say. I have truly began to develop a love for the people here. Each day, I try and find and find one interesting thing about the culture here. One of them is that Romanians are very passionate and have absolutely no qualms about P.D.A so that keeps things interesting.
This week I saw the hand of God work in my life so visibly. I learned two very important lessons the first is about fear. Fear is the Devil's strongest tool. We have an investigator that has read the entire Book of Mormon, that has the felt the spirit and love of God but will not get baptized because she is afraid of being rejected by friends, and family. She is afraid of trying to quit smoking, she is afraid of change. I understand that these are all very real fears but these fears are keeping here from eternal happiness. These fears are keeping here from experiencing the power of the atonement. The Devil knows that and he uses fear to paralyze us. I know that fear is not of God it is a tool of the Devil that will keep us from accomplishing our divine potential. I need to work on eliminating fear from my life because we do not have to fear when God is on our side. So many times in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John does Christ say "Fear not" or "be still". I know that when we are following our Savior fear does not have to be apart of our lives. 
Okay now for my second lesson God answers prayers and He is preparing people for this work. I don't know if I mentioned it but last week Sora B told me about this lady that had a baptismal date but then stopped progressing because her husband wouldn't let her. We decided to pray for her in every single one of our prayers this week (and we pray a lot) that her heart would be softened and she would meet with us again. On Friday night, we had this long pray on our knees for her and we called her. Her phone was off super anti-climatic. BUT we called her on Saturday and she was super happy, we met with her on Sunday and she is now preparing for baptism!!!!!!! She told us she had started reading from the Book of Mormon again earlier this month and her husband who is actually her boyfriend of 25 years (Sora B forgot that small detail) is in Germany working. So yes we have some things we have to work through with her but wow was the spirit strong in that lesson. We are super pumped about that. I know that God is working miracles in each of our lives. Sometimes we are too high up to see them, but is when we brought down into humility that the miracles are sweetest.
Okay one more awesome story, we met with this member on Saturday night in her home. She lives with her daughter and granddaughter and they are way strong and active super great. Their home is literally a room. They have a bathroom and a room with two beds, a desk, a fridge, and a shelf with pots & pans. Then they have a community oven and stove for their whole floor. I was so humbled. She made us this delicious yellow cake with apples in it and gave us half to take home. The members are so so strong here. We have some inactive members that we are working with but wow is this branch in Ploiesti incredible. It was one of the strongest in Romania and we are going to make it even stronger.
Okay so random thoughts
We have gone for a run every morning, it isn't super cold yet. We found a great park with an 800 meter pathway going around it so I run about 3 miles every morning. I just really miss my running buddy Sister Allen
Oh funny story Irina (the one getting ready for baptism) calls her missionaries by their first name. When I told her my first name she said " ühhhhh okay Bertney!" hahaha I literally almost started looking around for Graham Allen. More funny stories I almost got maimed by a bus door the other day and these two Romanian dudes thought it was the funniest thing in the world. It like swung open and nailed me in the back, but all is good. 
The food here is great. The fruit and vegetables are incredible! I have had the best apples I have ever eaten in my whole life here. So Luke you better get pumped to serve in Romania! Life is good. Everyday I am amazed by the circumstances of the people here. But even more amazed at the love that God has for each and every one of them. 
Hope everyone is doing well back in the States!
Sora Armstrong


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