Well... this week was pretty epic, and random... and full of small miracles. I don't even know where to begin actually. This week... my inner Latina DEFINITELY came out! ;) But oh man I'm getting ahead of myself! Let me start from the beginning :)
- push-ups. So, have you ever heard of the object lesson about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, where someone volunteers to be "the Savior".. and everyone gets passed around a treat. And whether they take the treat or not, "the Savior" person has to do 10 pushups! Even if they don't take the treat. It's an awesome lesson that teaches about the sacrifice that He made for us, and how even if we don't accept or use the gift of the Atonement, he still suffered for it.. it is amazing and truly teaches people the love and compassion that Him and our Heavenly Father have for us. Well, we did a huge group lesson with a member family this week, and did this lesson. I got to volunteer as "the Savior"... and had to do a total of 150 pushups in the lesson!! It was absolutely nuts. My arms were superrrr sore for like 3 days. It was incredible though... I had this realization of how difficult his sacrifice truly was. To this day.. one of my absolute FAVORITE things about missionary work is that every lesson I teach, I truly learn that concept more and more for myself as well as the people we teach. I receive that same spiritual enlightenment... and that is such a blessing. I love learning more about this gospel every day, and feeling the spirit when I teach! It's a feeling I truly cannot describe :) So yes... the extremely sore arms are totally worth it!
- gypsy fights. while venturing through the smallest, sketchiest gypsy village I have seen on my mission so far... we may or may not have been attacked by a gang of 12 year old gypsy punks!!! Yes.... I know what you are thinking. 12 year olds, McKay? Really?!... but I can assure you... these are the gnarliest 12 year olds you will EVER meet. Gypsies are absolutely nuts, and these kids were NOT HAPPY that we were in their village. We got rocks thrown at us.. and the kids followed us for a long time and we were finally just so sick of it.. we all went over and had to start yelling at the kids in Romanian. It was super scary because they are violent and like to make fun of Americans.. haha. YIKES. So that was an adventure.. finally we escaped and basically ran out of there as fast as we could!
- mexican fiestas. I mean it... my inner Latina came out this week ;) This week we had a HUGE BRANCH PARTY. And okay let me give you the back story. So... they recently did a HUGE showing of the Meet the Mormons movie ALL ACROSS Romania. We had to advertise it and everything, it was awesome. In Romanian it is called "Faceți Cunoștință cu Mormonii" :) Well, in my new city, my new district.,... we have TWO mexican missionaries. SOOO... we decided to throw this HUGE BRANCH FIESTA and call it "Faceți Cunoștință cu Mexicanii" !!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAH =.... Meet the Mexicans!!!!! So hilarious! And it was amazing to eat Mexican food and everyone was speaking Spanish. Romanian and Spanish are like EXTREMELY close, so basically everyone here knows Spanish. So random, so weird! But yeah.. the past 2 weeks I have started to do a Romanian language study AND a Spanish language study every day! It is actually super fun because I get to practice my Spanish with some of the members. I am hoping to keep studying both languages over the next year, so that I can talk to all of my Spanish speaking RM friends too :) It has been super fun. I loved our fiesta night. All night we got to dance to Mexican music.... and some good old Shakira and Enrique Iglesias!!! Basically the funnest night of my mission so far :) We did pinatas, wore sombreros, ate fajitas, and painted mustaches on everyone! It was a blast and basically I wish I was Latina... hahaha.
- mountains to climb. So... I have talked a little about the crazy awesome event that is happening in a week. Our entire mission gets to go on a 2 day excursion in Brașov, to go hiking in the mountains and do some cool devotionals up there. These Romanian mountains are absolutely INCREDIBLE, I am so excited to be back in my own element :) So we found out some more about the trip! After we hike... our President has rented out a CASTLE to have a giant dinner in with all the missionaries, and there will be music and games and everything. Sooo cool. And the next day, we will be having a mission wide conference.. and then...... the entire mission is traveling to go tour DRACULA'S CASTLE. Yes... legit Dracula! The castles in Romania are BEAUTIFUL. I can't wait for this awesome adventure and I will take a million pictures to send home! I cant wait :)
- japanese people. Okay... here is the BEST part of my week. So, since it's Summer in Romania, EVERYBODY leaves for vacation. Almost all of our investigators are gone, the work is superrrrrrrr dry here right now. Basically in the whole country, it's pretty rough for just about everyone. Tough to find people and tough to get lessons! So, it can be emotionally trying sometimes. Not being busy is like death on the mission. Feeling like you aren't fulfilling your purpose, but just trying to trust in the Lord that everything will fall into place and that you will be blessed for your efforts in some way. Well, in my frustration... I have been praying and praying and praying for some miracles. I have been asking for ANY opportunity to teach an investigator, any way to find someone new to bring to the light of this gospel. And lo and behold...this week, I actually received the BIGGEST ANSWER to these prayers. Absolutely HUGE. I received an email from one of my very good friends, Sister SARAH HANDY. She is serving in the Tokyo, Japan mission. She emailed me to tell me that her and her companion found a new investigator... who is a ROMANIAN WOMAN. She married a Japanese guy and has 4 children, and she is VERY interested in the gospel and has many questions, but speaks Romanian. She wants to SKYPE WITH MY COMPANION AND I and receive the lessons in Romanian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So... yes, we got permission to teach her via skype. We are going to start this week! I am telling you.... God watches out for his children. How blessed am I to have a good friend serving in that area in Japan, and that she was led to that woman who is ready for the gospel. And how blessed am I to be here, in Romania, speaking the language that this woman needs to hear the gospel in. :) The Lord works in mysterious ways. He not only answered my prayers, but also answered the prayers of Sister Handy and a questioning heart that is searching for the truth! This work is LITERALLY crossing oceans. This is the coolest miracle on my mission so far... absolutely incredible :) How great is the work! I am so full of gratitude. This was such a manifestation to me that Heavenly Father is watching me, and his helping me and guiding me through this work with his gentle and omnipotent hand!
I had an incredible week full of miracles and I am soooo grateful for the hand of the Lord in my life. Take some time every single day to think back and reflect on your "hand of the Lord" moments that you experience. Small tiny miracles that make everything better. Small inches of progress or gentle pushes by the Lord. Small outcomes and beautiful miracles that make everything worth fighting for :)
Everyone read Doctrine and Covenants 78: 17-19. This scripture changed my whole mission this week, and definitely my life. Live by those words, and you will be able to endure anything and everything.
I love you all, thank you for the love and support! Have an amazing week :) <3