Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Merry Christmas!!!!!

I am not even sure how to start this email my week has been so incredible and eye opening.
On Wednesday, we went with a couple in the branch who work for a non-governmental organization to a village a couple hours outside of Chisinau. There had been a bunch of presents delivered for the kids of town and it was our job to separate them out for age groups. We were working in the gym of the one school in the town, it reminded me of something out of the movie Hoosiers. Super old wood floor, small but just classic. Then later we went and visited the kindergarten. When we walked in about 60 little kids ran up to us. We started talking to them and they started reciting poems about Christmas that were learning for the school play it was adorable. Then the teachers at the school fed us the most delicious bors I have ever had. They were all just so grateful to us and I was just kinda like we didn't even do anything. 
After lunch we ended up in a van with the mayor of the town and a bunch of boxes full of food. We went with the mayor to homes if people that are not able to get to the gym in the middle of the town to collect their food. People always tell us that there are towns in Moldova that are poor but I could have never wrapped my mind around it had I not seen it. We walked into the home... side note when I say home I mean a tiny adobe square with a roof and no running water and no heating system and holes plugged up with old clothes and no electricity. Literally all of the basic utilities we have did not exist in this villiage. We walked in and gave the box to a woman that is about 70 years old and when we asked her to sign the sheet designating that she got her box she said, I didn't go to school I can't write my name. My heart hurt. It hit me that there are people living in this country, a country in Europe that never learned how to write their name. Maybe I have just been sheltered my entire life but wow that made an impact on me. These people wake up everyday and their entire goal for the day is to scrape some food together and keep warm. I thought about all my hopes and dreams about what I want in my life and about what I just expect to have. That night I just came home mind blown. I knelt that night and just thanked God for all of my blessings, for the potential I have in my life. I also had decide to put my trust in the atonement. To be honest at first I was kind of angry "how could I be so blessed, why did I get to be born into such an incredible family in a country where I have so many opportunitiies. If God loves us all why would he make things so unfair? As I was brewing over all this, a line from preach My Gospel came into my head " all that is unfair in this life can be made fair through the atonement of Jesus Christ." I had to decide then and there that that was true. I had to just put my trust in the Sacrifice of Christ and in God's plan. I still cannot comprehend it but I know that one day the people in that villiage will be encompassed in God's love. He will reward them for their hardships. They will feel the joy of progression that God had put into his plan. I am so grateful for all of the incredible experiences I am having here in Chisinau, even though some of them are pretty heavy, I am so grateful for the growth that they give me.

My friends and family I love this gospel. I love that I am allowed to ask questions and that my Father in Heaven answers me. I love this Christmas season and the beautiful spirit that it brings. Have an awesome week!
Sora Armstrong
 
 






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CRACIUN!!!!

The other day someone was like Christmas is on Friday and I just about fell out of my chair. How did it get here so fast! We have a fun busy week ahead of us but let me tell you about this last week.
So it was kinda weird because we went to Bucuresti for some training and we had zone conference, I gave my companion to her parents and had to film a commercial for our english classes.
We also had some SICK lessons and 6 investigators at church! So miracles are happeing all around. Sora Black gave an increible last talk in sacrament all about hope. I love the idea of hope and Christmas together. Christ was born and died so we could have hope. Without him we would not be allowed to mess up. We would have to do everything perfectly and there would be 0 hope of ever living with God again. But because Christ died and now lives. Death is not the end. We will continue to progress. What an incredible gift our Father in Heaven gave us. The gift of being allowed to not be perfect. The gift of a new beginning and the gift of HOPE that we will return to live with Him again. 
On friday night Sora Black and flew back from Buc and her parents were waiting for us at the airport. She is headed home after and INCREDIBLE 18 months. She has become one of my best friends these past couple of months and boys she is single and ready to mingle! (jk she is gonna kill me for that)
 
On Saturday I had to be at our center for filming. Yeah I had to get filmed for an english video we are doing. It was kinda cool. It was a profesional film crew and everythimg. You all know how I walk like a linebacker right? The first shot we did thay had me walking towards the camera and the capera was on the wheely thing moving backwards. After I finished all the camera crew looked at me (a bunch of moldovan hipsters) and just started laughing. Then one of them sain in english "please try to walk  like a feminine" Elder Findlay the elder that was doing the filming just about died he thought it was so funny. So then I had to learn how to walk like a princess and it all worked out. 
Another quick funny story 
So yesterday we got invited to this ladyshome in the country side. We take this maxi taxi out of the city, it is the size of a big van and we fit about 45 random people into it. Then we get picked up by this guy we do not know in a creeper van. I kid you not Holly, I voluntarily climbed into a creeper van just praying that this guy was really our friends husband. Then we had an incredible dinner! She just kept on feeding us. We introduced the Book of Mormon to her and the Spirit was present. Then we got home by hitchiking in another creeper van. I LOVE the mission and I love the promise that God protects his people. Mom, I hope you do not freak out... it was all good. There were kids with the people we hitchiked with, so it was totally safe.
Alright fam bam and friends. I love you guys so much. To all my missionary friends have an incredible mission in the field, turn your heart to the people, we have every Christmas for the rest of our lives to be in America. We are where the Lord wants us and it is a great place to be.
To all my peeps at home turn your hearts to others look to serve and to give and I promise it will be an INCREDIBLE time of the year!

Craciun Ferecit!

Sora Armstrong










 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cold Turkey!

Buna!

Is everyone a couple pounds heavier? I hope so. I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving, ate lots of turkey and played lots of football. The other day I was getting ready and I was like whoa the NFL started again and the NBA. I had completely forgotten about professional sports! Other than football (soccer). So now I just have to say GO CHARGERS! Ellis told me last night the warriors are undefeated so that's cool.

ANYWAY back to Moldova. Life here is good. Thanks giving was super..... COLD and wet. I will explain. But first a disclamer we decided to do our thanksgiving dinner on Sunday night with all the missionaries in Moldova and the Ivorys. So I did get me some mashed potatoes so it is all good. But on thursday I had the best thanksgiving of my life. We got invited to a recent convert's home for placinte which is like a rolled pie type thing. She lives in la tara so we had to take a maxi taxi out to her home which is in this little moldovan villiage. We get there and it starts POURING RAIN. So we are chilling, eating trying to talk to her mom who speaks this crazy mix of russian and romanian, and then we shared a message about being grateful with them and explained Thanksgiving and we talked about what we are grateful for. We are in the middle of reading Psalms 100 and Natalia's mom says your maxi leaves right now. So we are like dang! We run into the pouring rain to wait for our maxi taxi...... 45 minutes later it comes. We literally sat in the middle of this tiny town in the middle of nowhere huddled under an umbrella for 45 minutes waiting to catch a maxi taxi home. It was so much FUN! Natalia came out and waited with us and we just laughed through chattering teeth while she tried to convince us to just spend the night with her. We finally got home and 1.5 later and my feet were FROZEN! I layed down with my feet on the heater and it took another 30 minutes before I could feel them again. I LOVE moments like that. Where you get to just talk and laugh because your only other option is to be grumpy. I think my mission has been 100 times better because I have always been with a companion that chooses to laugh. I am so grateful for ALL of the incredible companions I have had while being out here, they have all become such dear friends to me. 

Okay enough with the cheesiness, next story. We bloc knocked into a FAMILY last Sunday and have been there 3 times since. It is a mom, dad and three girls. They are the cutest! We were asking for Moldovan recipes and they let us right in and fed us on the first meeting! The last time I was there I went with Sevghi and awesome YSA from our branch, she was baptized when she was 14 and has the coolest testimony. We shared a simple message with them about prayer and committed them to praying every night as a family. We taught the principle of prayer. The mom did not seem super interested and did not have a lot to say but then Sevghi prayed. She blessed their family, she thanked God for them, it was beautiful. After the prayer the mom was much more open. She told us how she liked our message, how it was a positive one and how she wants to hear more. So we are STOKED about that. It was so cool to see how Sevghi's sweet prayer softened the mom's heart. 

We also had District Conference which is like Stake Conference. It was the best one Moldova has every seen according to President Ivory. He and Sora Ivory both gave super cool talks about our journies in life. Sora Ivory talked about how we cannot get stuck in a 24 hour life cycle. We need to do things everyday that push us to improve and become. Then President Ivory gave us three specific things that we can do to become fully converted to this gospel. The first was study the Book of Mormon, the second was keep the Sabbath day holy, but also to USE the sabbath day as a day to serve God. It is HIS day not ours. The church has really been pushing this lately and I have been really thinking about how I want to use Sundays so much better when I get home. Then the last one was to pay a full tithe. They are three very simple things but all things we needed to hear as members here in Moldova. 

My family and friends. This gospel is simple and I LOVE it. This week I challenge you to search for God's hands in your life. He is there with you and is taking care of you. It is our choice wether or not we see his presence.

Va las si va iubesc!
Sora Armstrong

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Baptisms, Apostles & My People

WOW!
I cannot express to you the emotions I have had this past week.First of all my biggest take away from this week- God loves the Romanian and Moldovan people so much and He is working miracles here. He has a plan for these two small but strong countries.I am grateful that I am on His team because we are going to win. My new favorite President Ivory quote is we will never go undefeated but we will always be champions. This week has had lots of victories and some heavy losses but we gotta focus on the victories.
We did not email Monday because we were getting ready for Elder Ballard. We had this sign made with some of his quotes and set it up in Centru and just did our best to let all of Chisinau know that an apostle of Lord was coming to speak to us. It was CRAZY windy so one of us had to stand behind the poster to hold it while the others talked to people. Sora Black almost got blown away a couple of times and by the end of it I could not feel my hands. 
Then tuesday, Presient Ivory flew into Chisinau and we had interviews with him, I may have made a joke concerning the Utah Utes and the pride cycle from the Book of Mormon in my interview. Then that night there was a BAPTISM! It was this incredible couple Cristian and Inesa. They have been learing about the church since the summer and are literally the most together couple I know, I love them so much! Cris is a lawyer, he came straight to the baptism from a case where he had beat the best lawyer in all of Chisinau (can you say blessings) Inesa is a translator, she speaks russian, romanian, english and manderin chinese nbd. They are so so sweet and just love this gospel. We have had the opportunity to visit with Inesa and talk to her about her testimony of the gospel and why she  has chosen to make this decision to be baptized. She told us about the positive impact that this church has made in their lives and how she just knows the principals are true. Funny story one time we were out with Inesa talking about scripture study and I said before my mission I had a hard time reading the scriptures everyday adn I look at Sora Black and I was how were you? And Sora Black goes I read them everyday since I was 12 and I was just like wow thanks for showing me up, so then I told Ines to be like Sora Black not like me. Ines thought that was pretty funny. Their baptism was BEAUTIFUL no it wasn't in the black sea but there was a POWERFUL spirit! There were so many people there from both branches and there was investigators there too. President Ivory spoke about the first time he met Cris and Inesa in a park with the missionaries. Then Cris and Inesa both bore the most powerful testimonies about the truth of the gospel and how much happier they are and how they are ready to help build Moldova. I am just so grateful that I can call this amazing couple my friends, they are going to have a huge impact on the growth of the church here in Moldova.
      Wednesday we showed up at the church at 10 and Cris is sweeping the floor to get ready for Elder Ballard one of the best lawyers in all of Chisinau is at the church cleaning up! He is just so humble and so cool, he also got to drive Elder Ballard around which is way cool. We ended up cleaning all that morning, we were told that the bathrooms needed to be as clean as Marriot Hotel bathroom.
        Then HE CAME!!!! We were outside the church directing people inside and up pulls Cris and the Ivory's and the Kearons (the area president and his wife) and Elder Ballard. As soon as he got out of the car he walked right up to Sora Black and me and shakes our hand and asks us where we are from. He is seriously the cutest, fiestiest little guy. The meeting was incredible we fit over 100 people into our little vila (house converted to a church building) President Ivory and President Kearon and their wives spoke and they were all so BOLD they talked about how through baptism we can have the feelings that we were feeling all the time. The set up the spirit for Elder Ballard. Then Elder Ballard stands up and teaches the Plan of Salvation and the restoration intertwined into one talk. it was BEAUTIFUL. During the first part I was so so sad I had a super hard time feeling the spirit becuase NONE of our people were there. We had invited so many people and had contacted for hours and no one that we had talked to was there. I was sitting on the floor becuase there were no chairs left and I stood up for a little bit and I feel someone grab my hand and it is DINA! She had come in a little late. I went from almost crying out of sadness to almost crying out of joy. Then when Elder Ballard spoke I was so relieved, I could feel the spirit so strong. Elder Ballard had all the missionaries stand up after he taught about Joseph Smith and he said these yooung kids are servants of the Lord jesus Christ if you want to find out if what I am saying is true talk to them. He said then tonight go home and pray and ask God if what I am saying is true and when you get your answer be baptized and receive all of the blessings that are waiting for you. It was so so so POWERFUL AND BOLD and as I was standing there it just hit me, like WOW I am a servant of Jesus Christ this is HIS message. Elder Ballard was so bold about baptism, he would say stuff like "why did the missionaries come? because this gospel is true!" "The message that God calls prophets is not crazy he has been doing it since adam" Then after the meeting we all went out and took a picture with him and he shook hands with Sevghi who is preparing to go on a mission and I said Elder Ballard she is going to be the best missionary Moldova has ever seen and he said " No you're all the best missionaries ever now go baptize!" It was hilarious, he was just so blunt.
    Then we caught a flight to Bucuresti and made it to the last 30 minutes of his talk there. The best part about that was ythe fact that ALL MY PEOPLE WERE THERE. Okay not all of them BUT I got to see Familia Fotea and Musat I got to see Razvan who got baptized while I was in Ploiesti I got to see Alesea and Fratele Ciurdrea familia constantinescu and his mom. Radu simon, Anca Ghiman. It was AMAZING. OH AND LACRA too. Did I take any pictures no becuase I am an Idiot I was just SO EXCITED. I did not know I could ever feel this way about so many people, I was hugging people like crazy and almost crying out of joy again and the sprit was just so strong. Elder Ballard shook Lacra's hand and just told her to keep progressing in the gospel and that her life will be so blessed because of it. Then he told Alin Constantinescu's mom to just get baotized already and to have Alin do it. I told her I would be there if she did it. If you don't remember her we gave our heart and sould to her in Constanta and now she is progressing! Back to how much I love these people. I cannot put it into words but I would do anything for these people. It was so good to just refeel those connections especially people like the foteas and musats who I could barely communicate with. When I first got to Romania all I wanted was my home temecula ward I beeged Heavenly Father to change my heart to help me love these people and wow did he help me change my heart. I hope when I get home He will halp me love you guys agauin becuase I cannot imagine loving anymore people the way I love these people. haha jk I still love you guys. 
This is the longest email I have ever sent but my heart is just so full. Elder Ballard gave us a lot of instruction on what we need to do to help these people move towards baptism.
I know that God sent him to us at this time because He knows how much these people are sacrificing, he knows that these countries are ready to commit to this gospel and I am so humbled by the opportunity I had to witness that spirit, to see an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ interact with my favorite people. I am so grateful to be here. I know that the Lord Jesus Christ lives, that He is so vary aware of each one of us, that as we invite souls to come onto him and as sould come unto him it makes his atonement worth it. Elder Ballard said that. As we choose to utilize that incredible gift our Savior gave us, it makes all the pain he felt worth it. My friends and family Christ has called his apostles in the latter-days, no times are not easy, thay are having to make some very serious decisions that we may not always agree with BUT they are Christ's chosen servants the calls they make, the instructions they give are those that Chirst would have us receive. I testify to you that they are never wrong. I do not say this becuase Elder Ballard told me he is an apostle, I testify of this because I felt it, because I prayed to know if he is chosen of God and I found out that he is a living apostle of Jesus Christ. If you question their guidance, if you do not agree with how they choose to deal with the oppostion that is mounting I invite you, I beg you to ask God if they are his chosen servants and have a desire to receive an answer. 
I love you all to the moon and back, 
Sora Armstrong

The Latest Pictures from Moldova & Romania

Baptism in Moldova

P Day Planning Meeting

Brittany & Sora Black with Elder Ballard!!!









Sunday, November 8, 2015

Stoked on the Plan

Hey fam bam,
Today has been a crazy pday! So this will be quick.
This week has been awesome! We had two activities the first one was on the book of mormon. I thought it would be a brilliant idea to make mexican food for about 60 people. The idea sounded great and then we realized that you cannot buy tortillas in Moldova so about 100 tortillas later I am writing you now to let you know that it was not a good idea. We did it though with the help of the other soras and sora cooley. We made a lot of tortillas a lot of salsa and a lot of meat. I also graded a ton of cheese and made the white sauce for the burritos. The members loved it! Watching the moldovans try and figure out how to eat the burritos was hilarious they did not want to do it with their hands so they all just kind of picked out the parts they liked but everyone was asking for more so I think it was all worth it. The activity went well. We had a speaker come from Bucharest one of the coolest things he said was that the Book of Mormon translated into romanian has mistakes because it was translated by men but the Book of Mormon in english because it was translated bu God through a man. SO COOL!! Every morning as I read from the Book of Mormon I just get more and more STOKED on the gospel. The other day we said our prayer for companionship study and Sora Black looks at me and goes what did you study and I looked at her and said I AM STOKED ON THE PLAN OF SALVATION!! She laughed for about 5 minutes. The gospel is incredible my friends, study it, use it, LOVE it!
Other fun things that happened this week. I translated yesterday in Sacrament meeting for fast and testimony meeting. I am always nervous translating for stuff like this because you never know what is going to be said. Sora Black and I were switching off. So the first guy that I start translating for, starts with "brother and sister" in english so I am like okay cool english I can chill then starts speaking in romanian about a ping pong tournament that happened at the church 10 years ago so I start translating again then he switches into russian and I was just like okay I have no idea what he is saying. So then it is Sora Black's turn she does an incredible job translating she gives the mic back to me the another stands up and starts going off in RUSSIAN and I was like okay we have an all russian branch people it starts at 11 not 9! Anyway that was fun.
Some awesome stuff has been happening here and we are working with the coolest people!
Yesterday we went and made soup with Dina and her mom. We met her dad and her younger brother also.Her family is great and her parents seem to like us. We also had an awesome lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dina is preparing to be baptized she feels like right now it is still far away but we were able to promise her that if she continues to come to church to study the book of mormon and to pray sincerely she will be ready. Getting to know her family was great because now we understand her situation a lot better and can really help her in all aspects of her life. She also informed me that I peel potatoes wrong. When I get home I am going to have a whole different style of cooking all these moldovans are always correcting me on my kitchen skills.
Okay then we had another miracle happen with Natalia Botnar. We have been working with her a lot and just have not been able to get her to church. We decided to really be bold with her and commit her to fasting with us. We fasted for her to be able to resolve the problems she is currently having with her son and husband. We called her and started our fast together and then she came to church on Sunday!!! She loved it and you could see how happy it made her. She was loving the lessons and when we called her to break the fast she was audibly doing so much better. She came to church and was rejuvenated by the spirit. And we could see it! So cool. AMAZING things are happening.

It really is incredible how the Lord is preparing these people for amazing things. I am so grateful that I have the chance to just get to know and interact with such amazing humans. Elder Ballard will be visiting us this month and he has challenged us missionaries to have 10 meaningful gospel conversations a day. So guess what my people? That is my challenge for you! The conversation does not have to include Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon but as you talk with your friends and neighbors with the people you interact with each day, try to make your conversations MEANINGFUL. As baptized members of this church we have the Holy Ghost with us we will be guided and can become tools in God's hands if we are praying and searching for opportunities, take the time to ask how people are, let them know you care, my favorite quote from president Ivory this week is "love people, celebrate people, lift people." There is my challenge for you all. If I can have 10 of these conversations in romanian, you can all do it in english for sure!
Cu drag,
Sora Armstrong

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Time Is Flying!!!!!


I think it is because we are having fun but also because we have so much to do.....but time is going super fast!!! We had some solid lessons about baptism with our friends Dina and Doina. They are both praying to find their answers and we have made plans to meet with Dina's family later on this week. They have both been to church and just love the Gospel. Everytime I have the opportunity to watch someone find and learn about this gospel, I am so humbled by the vastness of it. I am reminded that it is not me at all that is doing the converting, it is the Holy Ghost that is instilling into their hearts the joy of the knowledge of this Gospel. Both Dina and Doina have expressed to us their love for the Book of Mormon and the good feelings they get when they read. I LOVE these girls so much. They are just good people who are sincerely looking to better their relationship with Heavenly Father. Our first lesson we asked Dina if she would like a stronger relationship with her Father in Heaven and she said I already have one but there is always room for improvement and I want to improve it. It was so COOL!
We also got to go over to Sora Cociu's house and do some service. Her husbnad is gone working in another country so we try to help her out. We played with her two adorable little boys and just did house work. House work Romanian style is DIFFERENT. We took their rug outside and beat it with a stick....it was actually very theraputic. Then we hung up laundry and cracked nuts. I LOVED it! It was just so fun to do chores Moldovan style ( I still forget I am not in Romanian anymore). It was cool too because her brother was there and we started talking to him about this book that my good friend Sora Trebas has summarized for me multiple times written by Dale Carnegie. We ended up inviting him to our personal development courses so that was cool. MEMBERS are the key. If you are a member reading this right now you have the power to CHANGE missionary work in your area, no matter your age, or job or whatever. You have the POWER so USE it!
This week we are going hard with our members. We want to visit every single one of them. We are going to talk with them about the power of the promise we made at baptism and how we need to go to church to renew that promise and receive those blessings. Something cool President said on the missionary leadership call last night was that we all received the Holy Ghost after we got baptized but this gift can only be with us when we are living worthily and we can only live worthily when we are partaking of the sacrament. When we do have the Holy Ghost with us, our lives will be guided and we will receive strength in times of need ....basically life will be a whole lot easier if we will sacrifice three hours on Sunday to go to church and receive the blessings that our Father in Heaven has promised us. I love these people! They get this Gospel and now we have got to get them excited about slujba. Here it is so different because if you show up at church you know you are going to end up saying a prayer, or getting assigned a talk for next week. Because there are less members here more is expected of them but that is why they are all so strong, we always love more dearly the things we have to work for. We are also going to focus on making slujba an enjoyable experience, Putting some flowers in the lobby having musical numbers, stuff like that. We really want these 3 hours to be spiritually enriching for our people.  They do so much constantly the deserve it!
Alright my good friends that is all from Moldova this week!
Love ya lots go hard for Halloween!
Sora Armstrong

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Go Cougs!!!!!

Hey Hey Everyone,

Ok, I seriously love the clothes here!!!!  I would buy my entire wardrobe here if I could and Mom, I guarantee that you and Gma would be totally okay with it. The look here is so classy but relaxed especially the fall and winter clothes I just look at the women here and I am like...dang! How can I put together and outfit like that.

Sora Black is from Pale Alto, California. She is an amazing missionary though and finishes her mission at Christmas so I am hoping we stay together for 2 transfers. We love giving President Ivory a hard time about BYU. He tells us how the U's football team is doing and told us to wear red to zone conference. We made a deal with him that if we get 100  people to church, he has to wear a byu shirt to the next zone conference. He hasn't said anything about it, so I am not sure if that deal is on or not.

We had 86 people at church this last week our goal is 90 by the end of the month.... so we are getting there BUT we still need miracles. We need the members to really step it up and start sacrificing. The members do not need us as much as they did in Constanta so I am having a hard time really forming relationships with them just because we don't see them as much. I miss feeling needed but the members here are incredible. The other night we were on our way to go see Sora Cociu. She is a recent convert and has two adorable little boys. Her husband is a member also, but is working in another country right now. On the way over there I was just really missing Constanta and kind of feeling down. I have gotten used to being the companion with the relationships, the one knows how to do everything after 4 transfers of training.....I was very used to being the boss I guess. Sometimes I feel like I am not filling my part of the companionship. Anyway, I was just praying and just letting Heavenly Father know how I was feeling. So we get to her house and she is making food. She was not super friendly and just really quiet. We start the lessons talking about Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail and she just walks out to go do something else when she comes back in she looks at me says "will you bear your testimony." I was super caught off guard so I said if I do it you gotta do it too she was like okay. I talked about how we are all called here for a reason, how Heavenly Father enables us to do hard things through the atonement and that he has plan for all of us. Then this amazing woman bore one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard in my entire life. She bore testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith of how his sacrifice changed her life, of how much happier she and her family is because of the teachings of this gospel. She bore testimony of the fact that she knows that this is the only true church and that we have to share it because it makes us so happy. It was INCREDIBLE!!!! It was a direct answer to my prayer. I felt the spirit so strong in that little kitchen. Heavenly Father was just like calm down you got this.... just love them and you will form your relationships. It was one of the most direct quick responses to prayer I have ever gotten. 

Some other cool things about Moldova the food is more Russianish everyone here mixes Russian and Romanian into this language called "Moldovaneasca." Missionary work is LEGIT here. The movie 'Meet the Mormons' showed last night on NATIONAL TELEVISION and there are billboards all over the city advertising for it. It will show next Sunday too. We have this center that just opened up for personal development. Sora Black and I teach English there and we help teach this business class. BTW no other country has shown Meet the Mormons on tv so we are the first. The people here are just super cute and super put together. It is very different from Romania. It is more obvious that Moldova is a third world country but the people here are a lot more hard working. It is very interesting. There are protests going on in Centru right now because this guy stole half of the Moldovan economy .... literally look it up online it is nuts and now he is the mayor of a smaller city in Moldova. All that it means though is that people sleep in tents outside the government building it is not violent at all. Also, Randy the American Army guy from Constanta gave me a knife before I left so do not worry Mom.... Sora Black and I are very safe. Funny story about Sora Black, she is super chill and we love giving each other a hard time. The other night, we were at Sora Cocius ,she pulled out this juice mix with a bunch of different berries and Sora Black leans over to me and in English says I hope it is a little bit fermented, meaning I hope there is  a little bit of alcohol....joking of course... She is super great to work with because we go hard so hard but we have so much fun too! Sora Ivory asked us at zone conference if we were eating and sleeping because she knows how much both of us like to work.

I miss you all.....thank you for all your letters!!!!

Sora Armstrong

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Prevet?

Hey hey my peoples..... what is up from MOLDOVA?
Wow so I always kind of put Romania and Moldova into the same category because they are both in the mission but let me tell you my friends they are VERY different. From the people to the language to the food to missionary work I basically got a whole new mission call BUT I am so PUMPED to be here. Everyone here speaks RUSSIAN, Sora Black is so AMAZING she is my first comp from California so we have been bonding over that and she is just a downright INCREDIBLE hardworking driven human being, Okay so back to RUSSIAN, we were putting up posters for our English class and the first three people we talked to on the street only knew RUSSIAN. They would start talking to us and at first I was like "Oh my gosh I have completely lost the gift of tongues I no longer know Romanian" but then I was wait that is not Romanian there is no way that is the language I have been speaking for a year, It wasn't Romanian it was Russian. Then we had a lesson with our super cute friend Ananaga, it was a member present with a super cute girl in the YSA here Sevghy halfway through the lesson, Ananga asked a question in Russian then Sevghy answered it in Russian and I was like whoa whoa we gotta know what she said so Sevghy told us in English because, go figure, she speaks perfect English too. My mind was pretty much shot after that. Sora Black is being so patient with me showing me around and making sure I know how in the branches only speaks Russian. Which leads me to explain a little bit more about Chisinau. It is pretty much AMAZING. We have two branches one that does service in Russian and one that does it in Romanian. President Ivory's wants some Sora influence in the Russian branch so Sora Black and I will be attending that branch. MY PEOPLE It is going to be HARD because I CANNOT COMMUNICATE WITH THESE AMAZING PEOPLE, literally I didn't think it would bother me this much but it does. I just want to talk to them and get to know them but I have NO CLUE what they are saying. So I will just have to drag a Russian elder around for me to translate. Also I am bent on learning how to at least pray, bear my testimony and say hello in Russian so get ready Grandpa! 
That brings to me another really cool thing, about a year ago president Ivory split these two branches from one to two. He promised them that because of the split we would see 100 people at church before the end of the year. This is what we call the MOLDOVA MIRACLE. We as in all the missionaries here are working hard to make it happen. It is quite the goal because right now we have about 75 between the two branches. But we have an awesome group of missionaries here and we have an awesome solid base of members who LOVE doing missionary work. The pressure is on to make this happen but I am comforted knowing that through prayer, diligence and obedience we can do it! It is going to take A LOT of prayer though. I love having this goal, it has got me so pumped but has been an important reminder to me of the importance of church attendance and all the blessings that it can bring. Sora Black are ready to just invite everyone to church because why not? We have a recent convert here named Ecaterina who loves church. She is always going off about the "atmosfera" She is so right the atmosphere of our services is different and is powerful! So my friends I challenge you to really take advantage of church do not just make it a habit make it a time during the week when you can grow and learn!

I loved General Conference!! I pulled the most strength from the testimonies of Elder Stevenson and Renlund. Right as that session started I had been feeling pretty inadequate. Chisinau is a big city with so much potential and a lot of missionaries. It has been a change of pace for sure. There are miracles happening here, I am so excited to be apart of it but it is a big change from my little Constanta branch where I had a solid handle on everything, I knew everything I was aware and involved in everything that was going on and here the dynamic is very different. I was just feeling kind of lost amongst everything that was going on BUT then those two amazing men stood up, and bore their testimonies of the help that our Lord will give us. It was confirmed to me that I was called to serve HERE in this incredible city around these incredible missionaries. I need to allow the Lord to mold me into who He needs, so I just need to be my best. Just as the apostles said we have not been called because of what we have done but because of what the Lord will allow us to do. They provided me so much comfort, and I know miracles are coming despite my weaknesses.

Well that is it for the this week, I love you all and wish you all health,
Sora Armstrong

                                                         Brittany heading to Moldova


                                             Brittany with her new companion, Sora Black




                                        Brittany Sora Mitts & Sora Armstrong (the younger)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Goodbyes Are The Worst!!!!

Hello my family,
WOW. So I found out this last week that I would be leaving from Constanta. I have actually known since last Wednesday. It was rough because I knew all these lessons would be my last. We had some awesome lessons especially with Mercy and Familia Olteanu. With Mercy, we talked about prophets and modern revelation. As we sat there in her hotel room, all these memories flooded back. We have come full circle with her. I remember just sitting there begging Heavenly Father to testify to Mercy's heart that he has a prophet on the Earth today and that his authority has been restored. I remembered when Mercy just could not accept that fact and my heart broke. But then I remembered when Mercy looked at me and said "I think I am going do it". Then I remembered her baptism and the powerful spirit that was there. Then talking to her after she got back from the temple and feeling that spirit of the temple with her. Then sitting there and listening to Mercy testify of Prophets  and of the authority of God being on the earth. She testified to us of the fact that this is the only true church because it has the authority of God. We have literally come full circle, I feel like I learn from her when we go and it is AWESOME! MAN I LOVE THAT GIRL and now I cannot see her every week and I do not even know what to do!
Goodbyes are the worst my friends. But here are some happy things that happened this week. Lacra got BAPTIZED!!!! It was beautiful. She was the other soras investigator but she is like my best friend. She is one of the purest people I know. The first time I met her at english I just felt this spirit. She is beautiful one of the little girls in the branch thinks she is a princess but yeah as soon as I started talking to her I just was like she is going to get baptized! And guess what she did! It was amazing. She chose to have it in the black sea and the night was just perfect. Lacra faced so much opposition this last week before the baptism and seeing her be so courageous to take this step has been a huge example to me. This gospel is so WORTH IT PEOPLE! It was just so peaceful as we were walking back on the beach Lacra said "I was so cold but now I am so warm" Sora Trebas and I were like yeah that is the SPIRIT! It was seriously just beautiful I cannot really describe it. Then Liviu bore his testimony at the baptism about how much this gospel has helped him and how we have to the little things. Sora Armstrong and I gave him a tie as a going away present and he loved it, he even pooped me which means kissed me on my cheeks.
Saying goodbye to the branch was rough I just wanted them to understand how grateful I was to them and the impact they have made on my life. I got to bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting and I may have shed a tear up there. They all wished me lots of success and gave me lots of kisses. I just kept saying thank you so much thank you for everything. I honestly do not think I got called here because the people need me but because I need the people. The people of this branch have changed my life, they are my family. I will be so much better because of the examples they have shown me. I cannot describe the affect these people have had on my life. I cannot imagine Sunday without them but I am excited for my next adventure.
I have been so blessed up to this point in my mission. I have served with amazing people. Saying goodbye to Sora Armstrong is not going to be easy at all. I love that girl so much. She has taught me so much about how to rely on the Spirit, and turn to the Lord in times of need. She is so ready to take on this area and I would not want to leave it to anyone else.
Well my family and friends, that is it from Romania I will hit you up with that Moldova Spirit next week!
Sora Armstrong



Monday, September 21, 2015

POLICE!!!

Buna, buna, buna,
It has been a full week of running away from the police. doing a little bit of stalking and and preaching the gospel. Such a solid combination.
We had zone conference this week so we headed down to Bucuresti on our favorite 5:30  am train. We decided to race the elders to the train station so everyone got there with plenty of time to spare. The elders won but they cheated so it didn't count. Zone Conference was AMAZING!!!!! Sora Ivory shared with us this children's book called Pierre I care I think I think we have it at home but I am not sure if not GO BUY IT. It is about this boy who says I don't care to everything until he gets eaten by a lion and then he starts caring. Sora Ivory talked with us about apathy and how poisionious it is. I have never really relized this concept before but wow is it so true. When we care about what we are doing we do such a better job. Sora Ivory talked about Good Better Best and how abolut as we grow to care about who we are as people and the journey of growth that we are on we start to be our BEST. Apathy is such a dangerous trap of the advesary. Love is the greatest motivator of all and apathy is the absence of love. We each of "lions" in our own lives, we each have things that we don't care about, maybe because we are too scared to open up our hearts maybe it is because we have been hurt before and we don't want to start caring again or maybe we are scared of failure nothing is wore than failing at something we care so much about. BUT WE HAVE TO CARE!!!! We gotta open up our hearts, we gotta strive to be our best no matter the risks because that is who we are. We are children of God who LOVES all men perfectly we are here on earth because of LOVE. So if we lose that love if we stop to care. We get EATEN. We become selfish we lose our purpose and nothing is more frustrating than a journey without direction. When we strive to care about all those around us we strive to be our best for them. I wake up at 6:30 every morning because I CARE about these people, I study and plan and pray for guidance and direction because I CARE about these people. Missionary work has become so much easier and so much more worth it the more I start to care. My challenge to you my friends and family is to pick something you need to care more about and start to work at it, it could be temple attendance, scripture study, a relationship, school etc. Find a reason to care and let that caring turn into love and I promise that love will motivate you to do your very best and that is what our Father in Heaven expects of us.
Okay I have now stepped off my soap box. Story time, we decided this week that the members needed a nice reminder to read the Book of Mormon so we each made a dessert and met for district meeting to decide who and where to take it to. As we talked I realized I knew pretty much every single one of our members schedules, when they would be home, where they would be at certain times and when they most prefer us to visit them I was like wow I have been here awhile. We were sitting in district meeting and two people walked into the church I walked out and said "Buna" then I realized they both had these badges in their hands that said politia or police I was like uhhhhhh. They asked me if I spoke romanian and I said yes and they said we need to speak with you, at the point my mind whirred back to all of the posible things they could have to talk to us about. All of they places we had drawn in chalk, all of the people we had talked to, all of the blocs we had kind of entered without really having permission from anyone living there. All I said was about what? Then I was like actually here talk to the district leader. So he went out and started talking to them then he was like Sora Armstrong they need you and I was ready to jump out the window and run but I was like dang I can't leave my companion. So I start talking to them and it turns out a member who had been asked not to come to church a year ago had kidnapped her son and ran away with him so they were trying to find her and her ex husband told them she was a member of our church so they paid us a visit. I explained that the member had caused some major problems in the branch and did not have permission to come back here so we had never spoken to her and knew nothing about where she would be. They were kind of skeptical at first. The church is still new here in Romania and sometimes people do not quite understand that our sole purpose is simply to come to Christ through faith in him repentance baptism receiving the holy ghost and enduring to the end. The whole thing was resolved and the ended up finding her in Brasov so it all worked out.
Things are going so well in Constanta these members are incredible and miracles just keep on happening. I had an awesome conversation in english about families. I showed a picture of my family and they said wow you are all so happy. That segwayed into the fact that we are happy becuae of the gospel and I ended up getting to share the Book of Mormon with one of our cute english students. She dresses like Grandma I love it! 
Sorry fambam that is all I have time for this week but I love you guys and never forget to CARE!
Sora Armstrong
 
Our one year celebration dinner at this awesome restaurant. They gave us blankets because it was kinda chilly.
 






Monday, September 14, 2015

Romania is Rockin'!!!

Hey hey fambam!
How is life? Life in Romania is ROCKIN' Every night right before I fall asleep, I go over my day and every night I am just "really we did all that just today" I LOVE IT. 
We got to see Mercy fresh home from the Frankfurt, Germany temple. She was GLOWING! I could not stop smiling as she told us of all of her adventures. She just loved it. She was so impressed by how kind everyone was. She said she felt like she was in a "royal house" and everyone that greeted her treated her like royalty. Props to my temple worker friends in Frankfurt for taking care of my girl Mercy. As she told us about doing the baptisms for her family this spirit just settled over the room and she showed us all of the pink and blue cards with the check marks. it was SO COOL. She was just about to start really telling us how it was when one of her friends walked in. We started talking with him, the conversation ended up on God's love for us. Then out of nowhere he started quoting scripture from the bible at us about the Law of Moses and how it been fulfilled and the spirit was gone and I was like "here we go Nigerian bible bashing this always makes my head hurt" So he then proceeded to tell us that the law of tithing is not a commandment and if we keep that law we have to keep the whole law of Moses. My favorite was when Mercy perfectly taught him the law of the tithe where it came from and why we do it. I was like "you go mercy!" I felt so proud. I think the Preach My Gospel should that say that if you want to check for recent converts understanding of the gospel just have them talk with someone that questions the church.....it is more effective than asking questions. Okay maybe that is not a good idea, but Mercy understands the law of the tithe, so that is good. We ended up just testifying to our Nigerian friend of modern revelation and challenged him to ask God if God would call another prophet to this earth. I was the most bold I have ever been in English and I might have scared Sora Armstrong a little but I was not going to let him bust in there right after Mercy had gotten back from the temple and start giving her doubts, that was not going to happen. I am so grateful that Sora Armstrong always has my back no matter what haha.
We also had another awesome sacrament meeting I spoke but that was not why it was awesome. Funny story during my talk Rebecca Olteanu the branch president's 2 year old daughter walks out from behind me and walks up to Sora Armstrong who is on the front row like 3 feet away from me. Becca yells UITE! Which means LOOK! and frisbees this empty phone case at Sora Armstrong, Sora Armstrong like spazed out and all of hair just went flying and Becca just walked away. I started cracking up in the middle of my talk. So then everyone started laughing and Becca got removed from the sacrament room. Once I regained my composure I finished and then Gabi spoke. He is the district Sunday school president at the age of 21! He is an awesome guy and he spoke about how when our lives get busy our scripture study starts slipping. He testified about the power of opening the scriptures even in our busiest moments. He works in a pizza restaurant and he while of his work buddies taking smoking breaks he takes Book of Mormon breaks. It was so cool to hear is testimony and I think it made a big impact on the branch. I feel like Heavenly Father is sick of hearing us say "I don't have time" He created time! There is no way he would not give us enough of it! There are so many blessings just waiting to be grabbed if we will MAKE time for this gospel. My challenge for you all my friends is MAKE time for the things that matter most! 
I love you all and have an awesome week!
Sora Armstrong

Monday, September 7, 2015

Kid's Meals, Coke, and Testimonies

Hey my friends!
How is life? Is everyone back in school? School doesn't start until the middle of September here so there are still people ALL OVER Constanta which is great for contacting, but not so great for getting to lessons on time.
This week was AWESOME as usual. We really focused on our members and finding new people. We took some treats to a sora in the branch for her birthday, but we got there and she had ice cream, cookies and a cake waiting for US. I was like it is your birthday and she was like yes but YOU guys are the missionaries. It was so cute. We also took them my favorite firework candles but they wouldn't let us set it off in the house. Weird..
Anyway, our English Classes started this week. The soras are teaching advanced class. It is so fun especially because I have taught nothing but old men for the last three transfers. Do not get me wrong, I love our retirement club but we had some cool teenage girls come and it was so fun to just talk to them and get to know them. Two of them play handibol. I have been trying to learn handibol forever so I asked them to teach us how to play and they said they would. This week Sora Armstrong and I are excited to meet with lots of new people and start new friendships. It also means we get to teach the restoration which I am STOKED for.
Some funny stories of the week, the other day we bonded with this older man on the bus because of this other drunk guy that kept on yelling at us. We saw him again a couple days later and invited him to meet with us. We met at McDonald's and he said hold on I will go and get you guy's something. He walks back out with 2 HAPPY KID'S MEALS. I just about died. It was so cute. So we sat there talking about our purpose as representatives of Jesus Christ while eating french fries out of a box with barbie on it.
We had another visit with Fratele Vitel this week and wow was it quite a ride. The elders had called him and tried to set up with him and he said he was busy until October but the Soras Armstrong being the competitive humans we are thought we could change his mind so we called him up. I know that it has always killed you mom and dad that I would never take the answer no as the last answer but I think it is actually a spiritual gift because he told us the same thing but after some buttering up and a 10 minute phone call we had an appointment. It was super fun we went with the other soras and he took us to the top of his blok where you can see all of Constanta. Up there, as I was looking out, it hit me how much I LOVE this city. It has become my home and one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. I have felt deeper lows and higher highs here than I thought I could ever feel. I have fallen in love with it. Anyway, we go back down to have the lesson and he pulls two huge bottles of Fanta and pours us each giant glasses. Guys I DO NOT LIKE SODA so every time he walked out of the room Sore Armstrong would grab my cup and just start chugging whatever was left in it then he would just fill it right back up. THEN when all the fanta was gone he left us in his apartment alone and went and go two big things of Coke Zero. For a transfer I watched Sora Allen down coke zero so I was like oh it cannot be that bad. So I take a sip and THAT STUFF IS DISGUSTING. At this point we are getting up to leave and he says you can't leave until you finish your soda. I just looked at Sora Trebas and she just smiles back and says go for it man. So I had to chug this entire glass of coke freaking zero. Let me tell you my friends NEVER AGAIN!
BUT what made that whole experience worth it was Sacrament meeting!!! Fratele Vitel bore his testimony about the principles of the gospel and how he loves them and the blessings he has seen in his life when he keeps them and that is exactly what we talked about in the lesson. Testimony meeting was AWESOME Sunday is always my favorite day of the week! Liviu bore a beautiful testimony about the blessings that the gospel has brought to his life about how he has changed and about how happy he is and the peace that comes from it. He even told all the investigators that were in the congregation to get baptized. haha I was like that is my guy! Then Alexandru bore his testimony about the Book of Mormon and Mercy is at the temple and I just feel like such a proud parent. But I am also fully aware that I had very little to do with the conversion of these three INCREDIBLE humans. Something that was reiterated to me this week is the importance of the spirit. It is truly the teacher and the Atonement of Christ is the changer. As we learn through the spirit the atonement of our Savior allows us to change our spirits. My invitation to all of you my beloved friends and family is to seek that changing power, strive to have that spirit present in your life each and everyday. The Book of Mormon can be the number one source of that spirit.
Guess What? I LOVE THIS COUNTRY I love every stray dog and cat, every orthodox priest, every cute old lade that wishes us health and tells us to wear to socks in 90 degree weather. I LOVE IT ALL. These people have changed my life, I will be forever indebted to them for the things they have given me. Their sacrifices for this gospel are written and my heart.
Thanks for reading! Have a great week
Sora Armstrong




Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Romanian Elevators

Hey hey hey!
So this week was one of those weeks where when I look back on it I am like "yep I for sure in Romania" 
GUYS I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!!!!! This week Sora Armstrong put her family history skills to work and tackled the names of Mercy and Sora Ghiman late family members to get them ready for the temple. I think she did around 45 names in all, and believe me doing work for people in Nigeria and Romania is not as easy as doing American names. At first it was hard on me because we were inside a lot. We tried getting branch members involved but nobody else could take care of it. But Sora Ghiman came on Wednesday night and we showed her the names and this smile lit across her face. She jumped up and hugged Sora Armstrong, when I saw that a thought entered into my mind that even though we weren't out on the streets talking to people we were still doing missionary work. Then Mercy came later on in the week and we showed her her names and she had her interview after the interview she burst out of the office and just grabbed us both and hugged us and just said how excited she was to go to the temple and how much it meant her to be able to take the names of her family members and again I felt the sweetest spirit. In our lesson this week Mercy bore testimony of the hope that the temple gives her. That when she is missing her family and wants to cry she thinks of how through the temple she will see them again. As we talked about the temple I got to feel a little bit of that special spirit that we feel there, I miss that spirit a lot. But after seeing the smiles on Sora Ghiman and Mercy's face as we printed out there family member's names I also just felt so grateful that I get to be here in this incredible country at such a pivotal time. I just want to say again what a whiz Sora Armstrong is at familysearch.org she is seriously such a champ and put with all my cabin fever grumpiness. Also my friends and family GO TO THE TEMPLE but also FIND NAMES to take with you. Sora Ghiman had to go all over Romania looking for her family names it is got to be easier for you guys in the states, make a call to your mom/grandma/great aunt ask them to tell you stories about your relatives and then just explain we believe we can be with our families FOREVER after this life, ask them for their permission to do service for their passed on loved ones in the temple. BE BOLD it will be worth it and Heavenly Father will soften the hearts of those that you work with.
Okay next miracle. We went and visited a member from Bacau that has just married a man that lives a little bit outside of Constanta when we got there her new granddaughter was there. We had planned on talking about the Book of Mormon w
ith the member but I had the feeling that we should teach the full restoration so we did! It was powerful and we committed her granddaughter and husband to reading the book together. MEMBERS are the key my friends!! MIracles are happening here people are being prepared and Heavenly Father will not let this work be stopped.
Now to explain my subject line. This week we all went to visit a less active member that has been coming a lot more often. The whole district went because we wanted to show how grateful we are for him. So the Soras headed to his tenth floor apartment in the lift and the elders decided to race us up the stairs. Let me just say I REALLY DO NOT LIKE Elevators but they made me get in so I did. We were all squished in and around the third floor the lift just STOPS. Sora Trebas and Sora Armstrong immediately start freaking out, Sora Trebas starts going off about all the worst case scenarios, (which is the worst possible thing to do in a situation like that) Sora Armstrong calls the elders, Sora Green is just in the corner like "Oh my gosh is this really happening?" and I start hitting all the buttons on the panel to no avail. The doors to the lift were just this wooden cupboard type doors so I opened them and it turns out we are right in the middle of the wall and the metal door leading to freedom. But in order to open the metal door there is this lever that normally the lift triggers as it arrives at the level but we were still about 4 feet below it. Sora Armstrong reaches her arm up to pull the lever and Sora Trebas is like "You are gonna cut your hand off!!!" but sora Armstrong risks it anyway and gets the lever  door opens to our elders who are just standing there looking down at us. Elder Jardine has this dead serious look on his face and says "If you guys try to climb out you will get cut in half" I am like whatever how is that even a thing and I am so sick of everyone being so dramatic that I decide to shake things up so I jump and the lift kinda falls down a little bit but not really and everyone starts screaming at me. So then the Romanians come out of their apartments and they are like just climb out and I am like what they said so I climb out and everything is fine no one got cut in half and we had a great lesson with Fratele Vitel. 
We had another fun experience with our friend Sora Corinna this week. She is a less active that says it is too hot to come to church and yes it is hot but not too hot to renew your baptismal covenants. Sora Corinna is very devoted to helping Sora Armstrong speak the language better so she tells me to be quiet in lessons and makes Sora Armstrong teach the whole thing. Sora Armstrong does teach the whole thing and does awesome at it. Recently Sora Corinna has come under the impression that I look Japanese so she started calling me Samurai. During lessons she will look at me and say hey samurai and then karate chop the air. This week during the lesson I started do my part of the lesson and she looks at me says "Be quiet Genghis" and does a karate chop I was so shocked she had called me Genghis Khan I just said "Poftim" Which means excuse me?! She started cracking up and would not stop laughing so now I am Genghis Khan. Sora Armstrong thinks it is hilarious too so she likes to call me that too. 
One last miracle of the week familia Fotea came to Constanta!!!!!!! It was so good to see them. They are such a solid family. Being with them and the Constantinescus at the same time just made me so grateful for the caliber of people I get to be around here in Romania. Both Fratele Fotea and Presidentele Constantinescu are in the district presidency which is the equivalent to stake presidency here in the Bucuresti District and wow are they INCREDIBLE men. We talked about the Book of Mormon and they just got so excited. We talked about how the book encourages us to see the best in others, it is not only a book of doctrine but it can help us grow closer to Christ by teaching us how to be more like him. Fratele Fotea led the discussion being with their family just reminded me of my first couple of months in Romania. They are truly some of the strongest saints.... ever!
Life is good, I LOVE being a missionary, I LOVE this gospel, and I LOVE you all!
Sora Genghis Khan
 
Fratele Vitel
                                                       Trapped in an Romanian Elevator

Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Day Update

What's up my friends and family? 
I wrote you five days ago so here is another update on the happenings here in Constanta Romania.
We had an awesome recent convert lesson with our buddy Liviu. We asked him how he felt about the Book of Mormon. He looked up and said it has become the most important book in my life. It was the coolest feeling! Liviu has progressed in this gospel so quickly, he just gets it and it has been such a blessing do be apart of it. Then he blessed the sacrament on Sunday! It was so cute, I almost cried. Afterwards I was like Congrats! He just smiled and said I no idea what I was doing but I did it and it felt great! The priesthood is a very powerful thing and I invite all who have it to SEARCH for opportunities to use it.
On Wednesday night we headed out to Costenesti a beach side town outside of Constanta to visit with some friends of the Assistant's to the President. They called us on Sunday and asked us to just go visit with this couple that they had met through English class. We headed out there at 7am on a bus. We had an AWESOME conversation about the gospel. They have such a desire for the truth, it was cool. This couple wants to start a fitness program. They have so much drive and passion for what they do. We talked a lot about how the gospel should play a part in every single aspect of our lives. It should be more than just a thing we think about on Sundays so that was really cool. Then we start making our way back to Constanta and we go wait for the bus that had taken us out there. Little did we know that the bus had gotten stuck in traffic and so by the time it finally reached us at 9:30 pm it had finished it's work day so it wasn't picking people up anymore. So there we were stuck about 30 minutes outside of Constanta when we are supposed to be home already. I was going through options of how to get home in my mind, my thought process went a little bit like this. "Well we could hitchhike, no Sora ivory would kill us if she found out we hitchhiked, we could call a taxi no we do not have enough money for that, we could just stay here for the night, wow I am the worst trainer ever, President is so going to fire me when he hears about this." Meanwhile Sora Armstrong the trainee realizes that there is a train that runs through the town we are in and she says we could just take the train so we start going to buy are tickets, the train pulls up as we start buying our tickets so I am just like come on come on we gotta go! We grab our tickets and sprint onto the train. We make come to find out the train is SO SLOW and it takes us like 45 minutes to get home. BUT either President still doesn't know or he thinks I am an okay trainer because I get another whole transfer with Sora Armstrong and I am so excited about it!!!
The gospel is true, our Father in Heaven loves so much!! He hears our prayers no matter where we are or what we have done.
I love you all!!
Sora Armstrong

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Botez, Mountains, and the Book of Mormon

To whom it may concern (WHICH SHOULD BE ALL OF YOU), 
I am literally in THE BEST, MOST POSITIVE MISSION ON THE PLANET. This week has been jam packed I am not even sure where to start. Thank you to all who sent me the birthday wishes. I would love to reply but I have 0 time BUT I love you all thank you so much for the thoughts! 
Okay I will start with the BOTEZ!!! Liviu got BAPTIZED!!!!! He is so AWESOME! But wow is it a story. 
So.....Liviu decided to get baptized at 10 o'clock in the morning. Because it is so hot these days, he thought would be best. We were so excited for him that the logistic side of our brains did not kick in so we were just like yeah of course perfect. Then we are walking home from the lesson and I am like "wait a second, it takes 5 hours to fill up the font and we have to do it the day of or else the water will be freezing." So after some convincing on Sora Armstrong's part (I had to convince her,) we decided to sleep at the church the night before the baptism so we could start the water at 3:30 in the morning. Saturday, we wake up at BEFORE the crack of dawn to start the water. The way we fill up the font here is through a hose connected to the kitchen sinks that runs into the big plastic tub in the next room. So I wake up turn on the water and fall back onto the couch and then I hear this flush of water and the hose as shot OFF of the sink!!! Sora Armstrong and I spent the next HOUR scotch taping the hose onto the sink because the connecting piece had BROKEN!!! Then we finally fall back to sleep around 5:306:30 rolls around, we pray, then I look into the font and there is like no water in there, so I walk into the kitchen and as soon as I set foot into the room my foot is SUBMERGED in water. I was like "uh oh" and Sora Armstrong comes running in. Turns out our scotch taping job was not as pro as planned so there was a major leak and resulted in a kiddie pool in the church kitchen. We fixed the leak, mopped up most of the water, and then the Elders brought us some pancakes. Then we had a BAPTISM. It was BEAUTIFUL. Liviu just BEAMED the entire time. He thought the baptism suit was hilarious and just busted up laughing when we showed it to him. Baptisms always have an awesome spirit about them but I think the baptism is different depending on the person. The gospel for Liviu is just such a happy thing. It is something that gave him the hope and change of perspective that he needed as he came out of a very tough challenge in his life. It has helped him heal and after he got baptized he said he just felt ready to start life again. Everyone was smiling. The second counselor in the branch president gave the welcome and he said something so beautiful. He looked at Liviu and said, Brother we are small but we are strong. Liviu just smiled. After, Liviu got up and bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Christ. It was so simple but so SOLID. Not really sure how to put the feeling into words but wow it was an INCREDIBLE day.
The day after Liviu received the holy ghost, the priesthood and a calling as a Sunday School teacher. He was a little dazed but still smiling. He was walking around with all these books and I was like "Liviu, it's my birthday! Why do you get all the gifts!" He said "It's my weekend. I got reborn yesterday." hahaha I let him have it. 
I am so BLESSED!!! I had the best birthday ever. The branch all kissed me and wished many birthdays upon me and blessed me to have beautiful children and a strong husband and great old age. I was like guys I'm only 20, I got awhile but they just kept giving me blessings which is a Romanian thing. Back to the point. THE LORD IS PREPARING PEOPLE. EVERYWHERE!!!! Go find them! Let me reiterate MISSIONARY WORK DOES NOT WORK WITHOUT THE MEMBERS!!! Get busy!
Monday, we took our favorite 5:30am train to Buceresti. We made with 20 minutes to spare I will have you know. Then we headed up to climb mountains with EVERY SINGLE MISSIONARY IN ROMANIA AND MOLDOVA. It was amazing! We got there and it was pouring rain and President was like "Let's go!" So we hiked to this amazing waterfall and was so beautiful and so much fun. That night, we had this delicious dinner in A CASTLE. It was so much fun to be with everyone. This mission is changing. We are obedient, we are striving everyday to find the one, we are committed to building the Church here in Romania and you could feel the power as we were all gathered together. There are also just so many awesome people in this mission. I got to talk to my home girls Sora Allen and Sora Marchesci who are going home soon but who are two AMAZING missionaries. I am so blessed to be making the friends I have made here.
Then we had an all mission conference. It was all about the BOOK OF MORMON. President Ivory's sister was there with her husband who is a surgeon. He and President Ivory both bore powerful testimonies of the Book of Mormon. It was thinking how cool is this gospel? Here are two incredibly intelligent men, President attended Harvard Business College.....and where is the first source they turn to for guidance and direction in their lives? The Book of Mormon. A book that some people argue was made up by a 24 year old unlearned school boy. Would a man that graduated from Harvard and now runs a very successful company turn to a book like that for guidance? NO The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It was written by prophets for our day. In it we can learn how to be a better parent, friend, teacher, sales guy, co-worker, brother, sister, spouse whatever we can learn to BE BETTER. So guess what my peeps I have a challenge for you. READ IT!!!!! The Romania Moldova Mission is starting to read it from front to cover tomorrow. Read it with us! We will finish it in 84 days. When a people unite in something this good MIRACLES WILL HAPPEN. Romania needs miracles, Temecula needs miracles, WE ALL NEED MIRACLES. 
My friends and family I love you, I pray for you, I promise you that there is no truer book on this planet than the Book of Mormon and you will find no greater joy than the joy you can find in the Book of Mormon. 
Over and out 
Sora Armstrong
         

                   when you wake up expecting the font to be full but instead the kitchen is


                                                           Flexin' by the waterfall
                                                    

                                                     Brittany in Count Dracula's Castle
Brittany in Brasov with Sora Armstrong, Sora Green, and Sora Trebas