Sunday, July 26, 2015

Speedos & the Restoration

Buna Ziua,
My friends Constanta is HOT!! So HOT! I have the strangest tan lines I have ever experienced in my entire in life and I have decided that I can only live in places with dry heat, we walk outside everyday and it feels like we are hitting a wall of wet heat it is the wierdest thing BUT I LOVE IT!!! I love it in the sense that we still walk outside everyday, and people are outside and if people are outside we got stuff to do! 
This week started out way fun we headed to Alexandru's with Steve and the district for family home evening. We had a barbeque and we showed them how to make hamburgers and s'mores. When Alexandru took a bite of his s'more his face was PRICELESS! He proceeded to have like 4 more it was awesome. Also, fun little story about me putting my foot in my mouth. Steve picked us up to drive out there and I was the last one in the car because Sora Armstrong and I had been talking to someone so we get in the car and Steve is like quick quick let's go. So I just hop in and then I realize the elders are not in the car with us. I am kinda freaking out because we are not supposed to drive with guys alone but Sora T is like they just disappeared. So I start calling them and they start texting me all these cryptic messages like "we don't if we can come" "we will call and explain later" So then I say man I do not how those two get anything done, they are so crazy, they just run around all the time. Everyone starts cracking up and Sora T is like "Stop, just stop talking" and I'm like "no for real like where on earth are they what is going on?"  Then we get Alexandru's and Sora T says hey Sora Armstrong will you come back here and let us know what we need, so I walk to back of the car and out pops the elders....... they had been hiding in the back THE WHOLE TIME. Steve played me good. 
Then at Alexandru's we had a testimony meeting for Family Home Evening and the spirit was THERE. It was so cool! Hearing Steve and Alexandru bear their testimonies was so beautiful, they are both so incredible. Then as we were leaving Steve said Alexandru on Sunday will you do me a favor? Alexandru just looked at him and Steve said in priesthood when President Olteanu asks for volunteers to bless the Sacrament will you sit next to me so that we can raise our hands together and then bless it together? It was the CUTEST thing ever!!!!! Alexandru said yes of course and THEY DID! Yesterday they blessed the sacrament, seeing Alexandru exercise that authority of God and knowing of all he had to overcome to receive it bore testimony to me that the atonement is REAL! Christ suffered in the garden of Gethsemane so that we could be rinsed clean of sin, so that we could become perfect beings, wow is that amazing! 
This week we did some solid English contacting and we are hoping to meet some cool new people on Tuesday. We also went out and saw Alesea again she is doing well she decided on the end of August for her baptism because she will not have time off from work until then which we understand. While we were finishing our lesson with her this guy in a speedo walked up and was like what message to have for me, personally? I started to give the simple reply of we are volunteers here but then a voice in my head was like "NO be bold!" So I said we are here to tell you that the church that Christ established on this earth has now been restored again. We then taught him the entire restoration lesson. It was SO COOL! Sora Armstrong bore testimony and found some great scriptures to share. Fratele Ciurdea then bore testimony to him of the Book of Mormon. The man wanted to know more but unfortunately lives in Brasov and did not have a phone number to give us because he was in his speedo so he did not have his phone on him. BUT just having the opportunity to share the story of the restoration is such a blessing. I have really dove into it this week in my studies and wow is it INCREDIBLE!! 
I hope none of you are dying of heat in your respective locations, please know that I love you, I love this gospel, it changes lives, I promise! 
Life is good,
Sora Armstrong

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Which Sora Armstrong?

So I am going to get this out of the way now, I am training Sora ARMSTRONG!!! Yes, I am dead serious yes she is the coolest human ever! The way President told us was, we are standing in the foyer of the office and we say a cheesy line about the area and then the trainer from that area would stand in the center of the group and then he read the trainee's name. So it got down to me, Sora Trebas and Sora Koth and then Sora armstrong, Green, and Rich left. I put my arms around Sora Koth and Trebas and I was like one of you is going to get Sora Srmstrong! Then I heard President kind of giggle and I was like no way in all the Heavens and Earth would he ever put us together which is such a bummer because she is so cute. So then Sora Rich goes with Sora Koth and I'm like cool Sora Green is my new colega! Then President says Sora Trebas and Sora Green and me and Sora Armstrong's mouths DROPPED. Then we hugged, it was an was a sold hug to. Then I looked at President and I was like Really? For real? He had this giant smile on his face and he said "this is not just because of your names, you two are going to do amazing things together... just be Armstrong." Cue all the jokes. Every time someone calls we get a joke about "May I speak to Sora Armstrong" The Elders are having a lot of fun with it. The members are very confused by it. The call me "Sora Armstrong cea mare" which is like Sora Armstrong the older. But yeah we love it and we have a lot of fun with it. Sora Armstrong is AMAZING. Never have I seen a missionary with such stronger desire. Not only does she have the desire but she ACTS on the desire. It is beautiful to see. She is a contacting fiend.  She is already helping plan for lessons and participating in them. She is powerful. Obedience is an expectation for her, there is no other option. She is pushing me to become a better missionary and I am so grateful for that. She has an incredible love for the people her. Sora Armstrong is a missionary of integrity and I am honored to get to serve with her. I know that this companionship has been divinely appointed and our names are just a coincidence but we are striving to live up to them and having a lot of fun while doing it.Okay on to my amazing week,
Saying goodbye to Sora Barrera and Sora Sayre was hard man. They are two of the most solid missionaries in this mission but they are going to awesome things at home and they both promised they would write me, even though Sora Sayre is slacking, I am sure I will get one from her at some point.
We FINALLY got back to my spot called Constanta and proceeded to have an AMAZING week!
We had two lessons with Alesea. We testified to her of the Restoration and then she brought up the priesthood and said she would like a priesthood blessing to feel comfort and peace. She has been struggling recently with the decision to get baptized because she knows her family will be against it. So on Saturday Sora Armstrong felt we should share Alma 32 with her. We read through and told her that her faith had not yet brought forth fruit. My stomach dropped when I said that. I thought I had offended her but she just looked up and said you are right. So if I get baptized do I have to tell my family? She then answered her own question saying that of this is right it doesn't matter. She then planned her baptism for August. After Elder Robinson gave her a beautiful blessing where he made her some very bold promises Alesea decided she wants to do it sooner!!! The spirit was SO POWERFUL!!! We are setting a date on Thursday!
Another miracle this week is that Alexandru received the Priesthood FINALLY!!! We had a lesson with him this week where he really opened to us and just explained how unsure his future is, he cannot continue to work in television because of all the temptation that is there. We could just feel his anguish. I had one of the most powerful experiences on my mission in that lesson. I looked at him and said "The answers you need are in the Book of Mormon, if you will read from it, every morning for 30 minutes you will receive guidance" He just looked at me and asked me how I was so convinced and I told him as a representative of Jesus Christ we have the authority to make these promises. He promised he would do it. When we left he still was not sure about the Priesthood but on Sunday he RECEIVED IT!!!! We were quite surprised, when I asked him about it he said he had received revelation that Sunday that it was what he needed to do.

HUMANS, we are putting this church on the map here in Romania and Moldova, I am honored to have the opportunity to interact with the people that I interact with on a daily basis. They are INCREDIBLE. I am honored to be a member of this church but more so I am so humbled by my knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This GOSPEL is TRUE, the church part is just kind of a side effect. God and Jesus Christ appeared to a 14 year old Joseph Smith and restored through him the EXACT SAME gospel that Christ established and taught while he was on the earth. You think I'm crazy for believing this? Give it a try, read from the Book of Mormon and then get on your knees and ask your Father in Heaven if this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I BEG you to do this because I LOVE YOU. Because through this gospel you will develop a stronger relationship with your Savior than you have ever had.
Love you all! Keep looking for that one!
Sora Armstrong cea mare

                                                           Brittany's MTC Roommates
                                                  Sora Rouston, B, Sora Trebas, Sora Koth

                                                        Brittany with Sora Armstrong
                                           Brittany with members from her 1st area, Ploiesti

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Happy 4th!!!!

The past couple of days have been INSANE. I am currently in Bucharest I have been here since yesterday morning, Sora Mits and I caught a 5:30 AM train on Sunday to get here in time for her to fly to Chisnau to work on some visa stuff. Saying goodbye was not fun and now I have been dealing with separation anxiety. The past two transfers I have been constantly looking out for my girl, then all the sudden I had to put her on a plane to head to Moldova ALONE!!!! I was not excited about it. SO now I am chilling with Sora Marcheschi and Sora Spangler waiting for trainer's training to start. That's right I AM TRAINING AGAIN!!!!! I am so pumped. It is such an honor to have the opportunity to bring these incredible new missionaries into this INCREDIBLE country. To be a 100% honest I do not feel qualified for this but I am excited all the same. I figure as long as I am involving the Lord in everything he won't let me fail. 
My Fourth was AWESOME!!!!!! I woke up and was so excited and Sora Mits did not quite understand my excitement so I explained it to her by saying "America just wins at everything" which probably is not 100% true nor is it very politically correct but what can I say I'm a patriot. Anyway I spent my Fourth with the COOLEST peeps in Romania. We taught our English class how to make s'mores then we headed out to Eforie and had a BBQ. Steve hooked us up with a bunch of American stuff from the base INCLUDING PACE SALSA, it was a dream come true. We teamed up with the elders and made homemade burgers which everyone loved. Oh yeah so the peeps were some Nigerians including my girl Mercy and then Alesea a Moldovan and then Fratele Ciurdea's family who are all Romanian it was the sickest group of humans and watching everyone mix was so much fun. Even though they didn't speak the same language we all fun together. We got a dance circle going, sang along to Sora Treba's gutair, threw the football and Alesea who randomly mentioned that she was European champion wrestler taught me some wrestling moves. So watch out Luke and Owie I am Russian trained now! It was just such a fun day full of awesome conversations. The Fourth is my fav holiday in the states because of how we all get together so I was worried I was going to be missing you guys hard core and I did but I realized I am surrounded by INCREDIBLE people right now where I am at and I need to take full advantage of that. 
This week we got to teach a lot of restoration lessons which I LOVE. I want to bear my testimony that I know that this GOSPEL is TRUE, we often say this church is true, and I realized this week that we aren't teaching people about this church we are teaching about the RESTORED gospel of Jesus Christ. That same authority that our Savior established on the Earth when He lived is here AGAIN. We can experience the joys of it in our everyday life. As long as we will just read from the Book of Mormon and center our lives around his. I LOVE this gospel. It is TRUE. Our Father in Heaven loves us and knows us. If you want to know this for yourself JUST ASK!!
I hope everyone had an incredible week and I hope you all continue to look for THE ONE. Use your talents to better the lives of others. You are all incredible!
Sanatate (Health)
Sora Armstrong
                                                                     Dance Circle

                                                              Happy 4th of July!!!!

                                                             Caught in a rain storm


Sunday, July 5, 2015

"Meet the Peeps"

Ce faci? Cum e viata? Cum e vara? Life is sweet here on this side of the planet. Every time we see someone they ask us if we have gone to the beach because we just keep getting tanner and tanner so that is fun. Summer is beautiful here, the days are long and people are outside so it is awesome for contacting. Speaking of contacting. We did a ton of it for the "Meet the Mormons" film project this week. One day we were at a park and I saw this lady just sitting in the grass with her dog. I thought how sick would it be if I just walked up to her sat down and had a conversation? Then I thought wait I am a missionary why can't I do that? SO I walked over to her and sat down. We had a sick conversation right there in the grass about life and she complimented my Romanian which always feels good. I begin my email with that experience because I think it explains how cool being a missionary is! Having this tag allows me to just through all the social rules about talking to strangers and about keeping to myself out the window. I have an excuse to just talk to humans and it is so so cool!
Onto the "Meet the Mormons" film project. This movie is a MIRACLE!!!!!!!! It has been dubbed in four languages and ROMANIAN IS ONE OF THEM!!!!!! We rolled it out across the country this last week and AMAZING things happened. This movie is literally the most inspired, brilliant thing since the Book of Mormon okay maybe not exactly but CLOSE!! When we introduced the film to our English students I told them that my mom had cried during it and they were all like whatever and then they ALL cried!! I even shed a few tears. The movie is POWERFUL. If you haven't seen it yet, STOP reading this email and go watch it NOW! Okay so when the Elder Armstrong part started everyone in the room looked right at me! It was hilarious. But after that one EVERYONE was crying. Our investigator learned over to me and was like "I understand your mom". After the film ended we missionaries stood up and bore our testimony about why we left all you loved ones behind to come out here. I did shed a tear when I said "I left my family too come here because I know the Jesus Christ lives". Never in my life has that truth hit me harder. This Church is so beautiful, but it is also real. We are real people, with real problems and God knows that. My Heavenly Father knew that I needed that truth to be confirmed to me right then, that is a  moment I will look back on in my life as something that has defined my testimony. I am so grateful for all the experiences that I have had up to this point. I cannot imagine the things Heavenly Father has in store for me. I do know that I need to keep on pushing myself and developing if I want to continue to have these experiences.
Miracles continue to happen in Romania. We had 624 people at church this week (countrywide), which is a record breaker, and we have been having at least one baptism a week which is INSANE!! We are hoping to keep that trend going here in Constanta, we just need to help our friends use their agency correctly...ha ha. The work here is going super awesome. 
Mercy gave an INCREDIBLE talk on charity yesterday. My favorite part was "When you judge people, you do not have the time to love them" so true! It literally sounded like she had been a member since she was born, at this point she is teaching our lessons! haha Alexandru is also doing super well, he told us yesterday that he has two friends that want to meet with us! These two are on fire.
Another transfer is coming to a close, I cannot believe how quickly time goes by. I love where I am. The people that I am surrounded by are some of the most INCREDIBLE humans ever. This zone training President Ivory challenged us to find "The One". The one that Heavenly Father wants us to touch each day. Yesterday I went to church looking for the one. I found her! She is a member that has been in Italy that I have never met before so I sat by her in Sacrament meeting. After, I asked her if we could come visit her this week. She said yes but come after this time because her daughter will be there. Through talking to members we learned that her daughter is an in active member who we have been trying to get a hold of months! We were able to set up an dinner appointment with them and we are planning on teaching the restoration as a way to jump start Mirabela's testimony and man are we excited about that. 
My challenge for you this week is to find "The One" before you leave each morning. Ask God in prayer who he wants you to help today. I promise you you will find with them. We are God's instruments here on earth, let's involve him in EVERYTHING. Allow him to use you to change lives. 
Love you all, have an awesome week and let me know if any of you have experiences with helping out "The One".
Sora Armstrong

Sharing The layup at a time

This week was a little bit slower for us. People just keep disappearing. It's like one week we meet all these incredible people and we expect to have 15 lessons and the in Satan gets in there and is like "nope not happening" But that's okay, it means we get to go meet lots of new friends. This week we said goodbye to Sora Georgetta, we took her to lunch as a thank you for all that she has done for us. Sora Georgetta has changed the course of my life. Her enduring faith has given me a vision of the type of member, friend, mom, and woman that I want to become. She expressed her desire to go serve a mission in the temple after she finishes working in Italy. I think that will make her Romania's first senior missionary! Sora Georgeta just gets the Gospel, she understands the principal of sacrifice and she has trust that whatever sacrifice she makes will be repaid a 100 fold. The friendship of Sora  Georgeta has been one of the biggest blessings in my life and I plan on keeping the friendship going.
Alexandru her son is doing well. He wants to play an active part in this branch but he is also working a lot. This week I think we are going to talk about the importance of keeping this gospel our number one priority. We are also going to invite him to come contacting with us for the 'Meet the Mormons' movie project, so I am really excited about that.
We did not get top meet with Mercy this week, she had exams, but we did keep in contact with her through phone. She is planning teaching us the Restoration this week using Preach My Gospel and has been filling out information for temple work for her parents!
We also got to meet with Alesea this week, she expressed doubts about baptism, we were a little discouraged because she used to be so excited about it, but she expressed a desire to go to the temple still. So, we told her we have 5 lessons for her and if she will continue to read from the Book of Mormon, she will know what to do. She said of course and Fratele Ciordea bore his testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost which was really cool to hear.
We made three new friends. These two Romanian women interested in 30/30s. We were very clear in our purpose and they were almost excited to hear about we believe which was really cool. We also began teaching a Nigerian. He is a friend of Anca Ghiman's and she invited him to the lesson.
Things are happening here in Constanta. The district has committed to complete obedience, it is a process to get there but we are holding each other accountable and going to work. I have seen the power that comes from a district of 100 percent obedience so we are really pushing for that, Constanta deserves it.
Sora Mits is booming in the language, it just exploded this week which was really cool to see. I have really been trying to keep her involved in lessons, making sure she understands and that she has the opportunity to bear testimony. We decided to make goals together for the rest of our missions. She is pretty incredible and I know that she will be an incredible force for good here in Romania.
Another super fun thing was in English I mentioned I loved playing basketball. One of our students said she liked it too which is pretty rare in Romania because girls don't really play sports and it drives me nuts. So we set up a time to go play. While we were playing, this 7 year old girl asked if she could play. I am pretty sure I just met the Romanian version of myself. Let me just tell you how it started it, she walked up to me took the ball said okay you three against me, Play! Then she ran down the court made a layup and said 1 to 0. I was like oh my goodness it is me! haha I quickly showed her that is a lot better to play with a team by scoring the next three points. haha It was so much fun! Her name is Sonya and she commanded us to come back and play again, so we will. (she used the command form in Romanian) We also got to share our purpose here as missionaries with Sonya's grandma and with our English student and set up a lesson with our English student! Basketball works miracles!
That's our week for you, it was slow but this week. We are going hard on the 'Meet the Mormons' movie contacting and we are looking forward to meeting a lot of new friends. I love this branch! It is ready to grow. Our sacrament numbers were very low yesterday but what was cool was that the members were fired up about it. Sora Ghiman was calling people to find out where they were, President Olteanu gave us people he wanted us to go visit. They are not willing to settle, they are pushing against the resistance and it is so cool to see!
I have been thinking a lot about "Good, Better, Best" this week. I think a lot of times we get to the level of "Better" and we decide to just chill out a little bit but that is not an option. We need to push, sometimes figuring out how to push ourselves to that next level is the hardest part. This week don't settle for Better, push for Best. Rely on the Lord to do it!
Sora Armstrong