We went and visited the first family ever to be baptized in Ploiesti. She is incredible she fed us gogosi which is basically donuts. We got fed so much this week just lots of little Romanian sweets. Seriously I think they sent the wrong Armstrong to Romania this is Luke's spot it has delicious apples and everyone feeds you donuts. There are also always people playing basketball. President Ivory told an Elder in my district to join a local league. Maybe you should start working on your Romanian Luke. Anyway back to Tuesday we visited a less active too she lives in this gypsy area so that was fun and very interesting to see. it is a bunch of random rooms connected by tin roofs. She asked us to sing hymns with her. There was a little six year old in the room with us and she was laughing at us because we were so bad. It was rough I cannot sing to save my life and I didn't even know what we were singing because it was in Romanian and then Sora Barrera forgot the tune and the lady we were visiting didn't know what a half note was so it was just great and super funny but she liked it so ce se fac?
I ate chicken hearts. Yes I am still alive my stomach has been upset with me the last couple of days but we are working through it. We stopped by another less active member's home, the people that came to church last week, the Pasols. I think I told you about them she has a daughter and me and her daughter held hands on the way to primary. Anyway we stopped by their apartment just to give a quick message and we ended up having lunch. There was a lot of bread as there always is with Romanians and then Ciorba. Which is basically broth noodles sometimes vegetables and then meet. This time the meet was chicken hearts. The bread is what got me through. Then we later on that day we met with Ana and Roberta. I always get super excited with Ana and Roberta because they remind me of the Young Women back home. I can just feel how much God loves these two incredible girls and I just want them to know how much this gospel can bless their lives. Here's the problem when I get excited my Romanian makes no sense what so ever. So I will say something with a big ol' smile and both their heads just turn to Sora Barrera then she clarifies and we laugh so it's all good. I have such an amazing trainer.
Okay now the week really starts getting good! We had Zone Conference in Bucharest. It was so freaking incredible. The Elder in our district that goes home after this transfer looked at me and said I was so lucky I had my whole mission ahead of me and man do I know it. Elder Kearon came and spoke to us. He is a member of the 70 with the sweetest British accent. I felt like I was listening to my Harry Potter tapes. It also kept on using the word Glorious and now it is my favorite word.
I learned so much from him. First off we could just feel the love he has for us. Even when he was kind of being strict and getting on us about certain things we could still feel his love. Some of my favorite quotes were when talking about the morning and how we can utilize that time "If you drift into the day, you will drift through it." I loved that I do not have time to be drifting through my day none of us do. Heavenly Father has things that he needs you and me to accomplish and if we are just drifting we cannot accomplish those things! The other quote was when he was complimenting us on rising the numbers of this mission "Be proud, but for goodness sake do not be satisfied." I love, love, love, that quote. It is so easy to get into the mindset of "I'm here aren't I isn't that enough?" No it is not enough! We have got to attack each day with vigor, just like a practice or a work out just showing up to the gym is not going to make us stronger, it is when we push ourselves and fight through the resistance that we begin to become who our Heavenly Father needs us to be.
Afterwards as Elder Kearon was leaving I thanked him for taking the time from his family to come council us. He asked us how long I had been here and when I said three weeks tears came to his eyes and then to mine he took my hand and just said "Bless your heart, thank you, thank you so much" It was a really tender, cool experience.
ANNNND to make the day even more amazing I got to see Sora Trebas and Sora Routson! The MTC peeps it was kind of like seeing family after a long time it was so much fun to hang out with them annnnd the senior couples made Texas Sheet Cake for dessert so basically I have already had my Christmas. It was a wonderful wonderful day.
I felt that missionary joy that people try to describe but never can. That joy that makes it so missionaries never want to go home. We had our last lesson with Mirela because she is moving to London to find a job. We watched the Joseph Smith restoration video. After Mirela sat very close to both of us and said in English I feel like Joseph, this video was an answer to my prayers, I will read the Book of Mormon and now I know that i just need to pray to receive an answer! I had no doubt in my mind that Mirela will be baptized. Unfortunately, it will be in London but when she said that it was just like "yes this is why I am here, there are people ready for this gospel" It was such a peaceful beautiful feeling. I plan feeling that way a lot here in Romania because people are ready to hear the gospel so I might not come home mom sorry this feeling is way too good to leave behind.
We had English class today, it was hilarious. We tried to play charades but Romanians cannot grasp the concept of charades at all. At one one point I was acting out running and one of our eternal English students a cute older mad named Ioan started chasing me around the table because he thought that was part of the game. It was super funny.
Then we went and helped a little nine year old boy with his homework, I felt like I was back home helping Owen it was weird. They live in this way cool house that looks unfinished from the outside but is all tiled and warm and colorful and the inside. It is kind of like a fortress way cool. His grandma made us these chocolate cake things. Here is the problem with Romanians. You cannot say no if all of the sweet things are not eaten off the plate they will not let you say a closing prayer so I have to run extra hard in the mornings. Then Saturday night Irina called us and said she prayed and she received an answer that she needs to be BAPTIZED!!!!! WOOOHOOOO Irina is so incredible. She said she knows there is a lot of preparation she has to do and she knows she needs to figure out her marriage situation but she knows that Baptism is very important.
Okay so I got to meet two general authorities in one week no big deal. President Ivory and his family brought Elder Fingerly to the Ploiesti branch on Sunday. Elder Fingerly is an area 70 I think. Ellis Ivory spoke about Jabari Parker and integrity. When Ellis said "drafted to the Milwaukee Bucks" his translator was not quite sure how to say that but it was cute talk. Then Sora Ivory gave an incredible talk about things Elder Kearon had spoken to us about. Sora Ivory is one of the most charitable I know she is so incredible. I am so blessed to have her as an example. She also had advent calendars made for the entire mission not with chocolate but with little activities to do each day. So cute. Then President Ivory spoke without a translator in Romanian. He is an incredible human being. He spoke about member missionary work then Elder Fingerly spoke about how a temple was built in East germany before west because of the diligence and hard work of the members. Then President Ivory met with Sora Barrera and I and Irina again he taught her a lesson all in Romanian. He answered her questions he showed her pictures from his own mission he basically geared her up to set a date it was wow I cannot even describe it. Watching a man like President Ivory preach the gospel was such a cool experience. I am so so blessed to have the leadership I do. President I vory expects a lot out of us but he walks the walk, he works right along with us.
Amazing things are happening here in Romania. This week has gotten me so pumped about missionary work. I know that God loves his children here on earth and that He knows each of us individually.