Monday, January 25, 2016

COLD, Protests, Agents

Hey, Hey, Hey!
Guess what it is still cold!? Winter is a very big thing in Moldova. It is adorable though, all the parents pull their kids around on sleds. Which apparently sledding is a major part of everyone's childhood and I missed out big time on that one. Or at least that is what EVERY Moldovan we meet tells me.
This week was solid. I am STOKED on the Restoration. We had an INCREDIBLE lesson with my good friend Ekaterina and a member from Orhei that comes into the city to participate in a BYU-I course we teach. She had gotten to the church early so we invited her to sit in on a lesson. This girl met the church through a peace corps worker a few years back, she has one of the most beautiful understandings of the gospel I have seen. So we watched the Restoration video with them (if you ever want to feel the spirit watch the restoration video) before we started the video we asked them to think about how the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ has changed their lives. After the video I asked Alina, that same question. She proceeded to bear the MOST BEAUTIFUL testimony I have every heard! She connected the restoration to her coming to understand the gospel of the Jesus Christ. She said because Joseph Smith sincerely prayed to find his answer she now has been able to develop her faith in Christ. Through that faith she has been able to repent and can feel at peace with her life. She then bore her testimony about the sacrament and how through the priesthood, because that bread and water is blessed by a worthy man holding the authority of God, that bread and water become so much more. She said through taking of the sacrament each week she is able to endure to the end. It was one of those lessons where I was like "Yep I am here because I need to be taught not because I need to teach." It was awesome!!! Like literally I was in awe.
Also, fun fact there are protests happening here in Chisinau, the government has been doing some shady stuff and the people are fed up with it. The other day I was on an Exchange with Sora Kitchen and we ended up in Centru which is where they are happening. There were all these people standing outside the main government building, chanting and waving flags around. Honestly, that is all the do I kind of wanted to actually show them how to protest. No one even seemed very upset. Sora Kitchen and I decided that it probably was not a great spot to be so we tried to catch a bus and ended up right in the middle of a giant march that was happening. I was just thinking "wow Sora Kitchen is going to call President and tell him her Sister Training Leader took her into the very middle of a protest march" So I grabbed Sora Kitchen and we got out of there quick and then who calls me as soon as we get out of the march? PRESIDENT! I was like "uh, Hi President" Sora Kitchen was dying. Then a couple days of later we are at the church and the march comes right on by the church! So from the safety of our hiding spots behind the blinds we took pictures!

Well my people that's the week. I love you guys have an awesome one!
Sora Armstrong

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Winter Wonderland

Sup Familia mea? 
How is life? Life here is cold, icy, and LEGIT. Guess what? I love being a missionary. Bottom line it is literally the best thing ever. 

We had some super cool experiences this week. The first was with our cute friend Olga. Sora Black and I met her through english and we called her up this week and asked her if we could come over and talk to her more about our message. We headed over there in the winter wonderland that is know Chisinau due to the fact that it has snowed for a week straight and she comes to meet us at the front door of her bloc and in her arms she has this little girl all bundled up like a marshmallow. When we got into their arpartment she unbundled the marshmallow and we got to meet literally the cutest moldovan baby I have ever met in my entire life. She had red hair and pig tails and and giant blue eyes and I was just like that is it these people are getting botezed because we need this little ball of light in our branch! We start talking with her and she tells her that her protestant friends told her that mormons believe that Jesus came from the moon. Sora Smullin and I just busted up laughing. She was like yeah I did not believe them. We got to introduce the Book of Mormon to her and focus our entire message on how much this gospel will bless her family. Then when we asked if we could pray with her she was like "oh yes I love when you guys pray, I feel something." It was such a sick lesson. You can just see the love she has for her husband and little girl. It was beautiful watching her interact with her little girl. It was one of those lessons that you walk out of and just say a prayer of gratititude because the lesson was so good. 

Then this is kinda a funny story, we headed out to give some cookies to someone we have been having a hard time getting ahold of and I got us 100% lost. So I was like oh, well let's go bloc knocking. We head into this bloc and just got a wierd feeling but me being the stubborn human I am keep knocking. I decided to call it quits when I rang this doorbell and this bright white light started shining in my face. Moldovans have the strangest security systems.... Anyway we head out and we are like well the missionaries in all the stories always say prayers after experiences like this. So Sora Smullin starts praying and I just could not hold it in I just started laughing. It had been such a ridiculous day, I was pretty much at my wit's end. Sora Smullin then starts laughing too so we couldn't even finish the prayer! We headed out to the bus for some bus contacting. I was just standing there feeling like a lame missionary becuase I've been out here for like 14 months and I can't even keep my cool through a prayer and in my mind I am thinking wow have I even progressed? Then I see this girl waiting for the bus and I go over and start talking to her and we ended up having an awesome conversation. Getting off the bus together ( I accidently left my comp on the bus) exchanging numbers and now we are going to meet this week.

 The Lord has plans for each one of us my friends. He is in the details of our lives. He knows how we  are feeling, He is aware of how much we can take and sometimes He doesn't even get too upset with us when we start laughing during a prayer. I know that as long as we are striving to do all that we can and to align our will with his will things will work out. He will use us to bless others lives as well as He will send people into our lives to bless us. I have been so increidbly blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people these last 14ish months. I thought I was coming out here to help the Romanians and Moldovans but in turn my life has been changed by the examples of each of my amazing companions and the friends I have made here wether they are american, romanian, moldovan, or nigerian... or any other nationality. I have been missing my mission friends lately being stuck out here in Chisinau and I just want them to know how much I love them and how much they mean to me. Wow I have become a sentimental softie Ce sa fac, va iubesc cu toate sufletul meu si mi-a schimbat viata. 

Love you guys! Have an awesome week!
Sora Armstrong

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Romanian Blessing......

Hello my family and friends!

I hope everyone is well on their way to acommplishing their New Year's resolutions. President had us out attcking the New Year despite the 1 degree weather and it has been AWESOME!For New Year's Eve we headed over to a members home Sora Gorgos. We had made Sarmale earlier in the week with an investigator and so we took it over to her and had our own New Year's Eve bash. It was fun, Sora Gorgos is a sassy old moldovan lady. She told us all about her life, raising her son on her own in communist Moldova. I could have sat there for the hours listening to her but we had to be home by 9. She then spent 20 minutes warning us about all the dangers of being out on the streets after 8 so we got home a little later than normal but we were all good. Then on New Year's day Sora Smullin and I hear a knock on our day which is not normal. We decided we were not going to answer but then I realized I had not locked the door. So I go over there and look through the peep hole and it is a man. So I am like nope not answering it. I went to lock the door and our lock is so loud he could hear me locking it and then I felt bad so I opened the door and as I open it I get hit by water. I open the door more and realize it is a priest from the orthodox church that has come to bless our apartment. He then splashes me with more holy water and procedes to bless me in Romanian. I was just like thanks thanks you okay have a good day. I go to shut the door and he sticks his foot in the door and asks me "how much will you give for health and joy this year?" I was like Sorry we don't have money becuase I was not gonna give this priest money for disrupting my study and splashing me with water. he did not like my answer and he went from the friendly neighborhood priest to the grumpy priest. I closed the door and was like uhhh I just got blessed by a priest. Well, ce sa fac? We had an incredible lesson with Dina and her boyfriend is from Suceava this week at the Voglesbergs. We had the opportunity to share our purpose with him and then introduce him to the Book of Mormon. He was so excited about it. It was so cool to watch him as he learned that it was another testimony of Jesus Christ. He expressed to us that he has always felt there is so much more to the Bible that we are missing. When we gave him is own personalized copy, he hugged it! It was cool to have Dina who is not yet a member bear testimony of the changes that the Book of Mormon has made in her life and how is has strengthened her relationship with the Savior. We are planning on doing skype lessons with him and finding him the closest meeting house to Suceava.
Sorry this week is gonna be a short email but hey I love you all and challenge you all to go out and attack the New Year!
Sora Armstrong