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!