Friday, December 19, 2014

Joy in serving others.

Right now I am in country that 6 months ago I knew nothing about, and the only reason i ever thought about this country is because one of the Weasely brothers trained dragons here. two months ago I arrived in this country, I knew about six people in the entire country and I could communicate with no one. I felt pretty alone that first night here in Ploiesti I was sleeping in the same room as someone that I had met that day and all i knew about her was that she was Salvadorian and apparenlty the best trainer in the whole entire mission. Well the part about Sora Barrera has since proven true she is THE BEST. But that feeling of lonliness is far far gone. First off how can I be lonely when I have Jesus Christ at my side,everyday, every step i take he is there walking with me and sometimes carrying me. I have never felt closer to my Savior. I wonder why that is, why now when I am more concerned about helping others grow closer to the savior do I feel so close to him? Therein lies the answer. For whosoever shall lose his life in my name shall find it. Every prayer Sora Barrera and I say includes the names the Romanian people. We pray for those we teach individually as well as for the Romanian people as a whole. When we stop looking to others to bring us joy and we started searching in ourselves to be a light for others our joy is multplied. The Romanian people are incredible examples in finding joy in others. Everyone says how communisim has made them so closed and gaurded but everyday I see them not hesitating to serve each other. On buses when an old lady has all her goods from the pița that she cannot lift onto the bus at least five people dive to help her then they all grab her arms and heave her into the bus. Whenever romanians speak with each other they are always making physical contact holding each others hands grasping each others arms. i think because of years of oppresion where material things could not bring them the joy (in quotations but Romanian keyboards do not have quotations) that we in the states are use to. They turned to each other to provide joy for each other. It really is a beautiful culture to have the opportunity to be apart of.
Now a story about finding joy in others hmmmm well this past week we have been asking everybody if there is anything we can do to serve them for christmas. We asked mariana our kind of investigator, mariana works everyday in a magezine and gets paid next to nothing. yet all she asked for us to do for her was to pray for her family. She even started crying she said if my family is healthy than that is all I need. We were willing to help her clean to make her brownies to bring her flowers and all she asked for was the health of her loved ones. That was so humbling for me to see. What if that was all that was on our christmas lists? The health and happiness of those that we love, for me this christmas that is pretty much it I do not expect a normal christmas morning as I have been used to in the past but I do expect this Christmas to be one of the best Christmases of my life so far. Mariana taught me that day well she reminded me that there is no greater joy than the joy we feel when we are in the service and surrounded by the ones we love most. I have felt this joy in my life before when the whole family gets together and we sit at grandma s table and talk and laugh. But I have never felt the joy so consistently as I am feeling it now. And I am not a perfect missionary but everyday I do my best to keep my thoughts focused on the people we are serving and we are teaching and those feelings of lonliness that engulfed me that first night are replaced by feelings of joy that I cannot describe.
People Updates: Roberta did not meet with us again this week so frustrating neither did Familia Moise. They said they would call us when they can meet. I hate it when people say that. We found a lot more people to teach this week and I am pretty sure this week is going to be pretty nuts trying to fit all of our lessons in and stuff. Irina called us yesterday and broke up with us. It was my first official break up and it was rough. She said that she does not think God would make us do anything hard or give us any hardships, so our religion cannot be true. We were so sad we ate the almonds grandma sent us and and some chocolate to get over it. It is just so frustrating because she was so flipping close. We could see how Satan worked on her. It is scary being here I have realized how much power the adversary really does have. he can take the smallest things and use them to turn us away from our heavenly father. We have to be so vigilent because he is working on all of us at all times and we if we are not paying attention to our spiritual well being we will fall.
This week we did some creative contacting I hope I make Grandmother Parkinson proud. We made a cake and took it to our next door neighbor a cute older lady and shared a lesson about christmas with her. She loved it she kept on calling us her girls and said whenever we want to come back we are welcome. She has a son that has a family close by so we are going to try and meet them as well. the cake we made was way good too and I kind of invented a new form of cream cheese whip cream. I was pretty proud of my baking skills. Sora Pasol came to church this week! I was so excited to see them so that was great. Life here in Romania is good time is picking up fast and i am not ready for it. the language is still hard there are days that feel great then days where i am like wow is it my first day in the country? But I think I just need to learn patience. the experiences i am having are truly amazing and right now I do not want to be anywhere else! it is amazing watching and feeling the transforming effects of the atonement of jesus christ take place in our hearts. i am so very blessed to be where I am, serving the lords Jesus Christ!
I love you all have a wonderful Christmas Season!

Sora Armstrong

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