Dang, I will be in Romania for this entire year, that is insane. My New Year's Resolution is to learn Romanian. I have a few others but that is a major one.
First off I want to thank everyone for all the Christmas packages, letters, and cards. I was definitely the most spoiled missionary in Romania this year. Seriously, your letters of encouragement and love meant a lot so thank you so so so much!
Okay now for stories from my first Christmas in Romania. We ate a lot of PORC, everything was porc. I have never eaten so much meat in my entire life and I am not even sure what part of the pig it was coming from. The members were so generous. We had two families invite us over. We went first to eat with Sora Violeta. She is an awesome woman. We have been working to reactivate her and her husband, they are such a cute young couple. They have come to church four times in a row so that is awesome! Anyway we ate with them, we had mamaliga which is baked corn flour, then we had lots of different types of porc, this mayonnaise salad thing and sarmale. It was so much fun to see all the traditional Romanian food, at the same time, it was so interesting to see what a humble Christmas it was for them. Then we went to the Familia Musat's home with the Elders. We got to watch the Lego Movie which was fun and weird at the same time. The Musat's have this little girl that reminded me of Mandy so much. She would crawl onto my lap with this make up set she had gotten from Mosii Craciun ,Santa Claus, and try and put pounds of make up on me. She already had a ridiculous amount on her own face as well. She is a gorgeous little girl though it felt just like I was hanging out Mandy Brown having her hanging off me. It was great. Then we ate more food. I was done with porc at this point but Sora Musat made me try this porc jello stuff and I almost gagged. I really cannot even explain it. Just think all the excess parts of the pig that should never be consumed put into clear jello. Yes I ate that, it was rough. Thank Goodness for water and bread. Sora Musat asked us about our ancestors where they came from and stuff and I got to share a couple of stories from the books that Grandma put together for me. They loved that, especially the story about the missionary in New Zealand finding the bread on the side of the path from his wife at home. Translating that into Romanian was a little difficult but Sora B had my back. All in all it was an incredible Christmas, one that I will never forget!
This week I have been working on going forth with faith not fear. One of my favorite things I have learned is that when we push forward with faith, our will begins to be aligned with Heavenly Father's. No matter that trial we are encountering we can overcome it if we have faith that our Father in Heaven is there helping us. I promise you He is. There are days of discouragement for sure, days where we feel the weight of all opposition pushing against us but I have never had a day here in Romania where I have not felt my Heavenly Father's love. Sometimes He saves it, but when I need it most His love encompasses me and bears me up. This is not an experience only missionaries are allowed to have or even only Mormons.... all of God's children can feel His encompassing love and power. All we have to do is get on our knees and pray for it. I know that Christ died for all of us and that we all can be recipients of His saving grace through faith, repentance and enduring to the end. I love you all so much! Have an incredible week!
La Multi Ani