I have been horrible at sending group emails lately (oops) so I am veryyyy sorry about that. But this week I have some fun stories and I will send pics home in a little while!
This week was PASTELE (EASTER)!!!! What a BEAUTIFUL and INCREDIBLE week to live in an Eastern European country, where every single soul is Orthadox. Because I'm tellin ya.... it is ALL ABOUT JESUS over here :) Its by far the most amazing country to be in for Spring and Easter time. The Orthadox Easter traditions are BEAUTIFUL. Maybe some of you remember my experiences from last year when I was in Bacau for Easter. Well it was similar here! We got to go to midnight mass at the central Orthadox cathedral here in Chisinau, and we did the lighting of the candle ceremony. It is DEFINITELY a tradition that I will continue with my family and my future family!! Basically everyone has beautiful colored candles, and a light is passed around and everyone lights there candles while the priest is doing some Orthadox prayers and hymns. And everyone light their candle, then spreads their light to someone else. It symbolizes being filled with the light of Christ, and sharing that light with those around you! MOST BEATIFUL TRADITION!! And we got to stand in the cathedral (I will attach pictures) which is covered in crazy gold engravings and icons and murals. I sure will miss these extravagent cathedrals! It was a beautiful warm night, and we then traveled home after the candle ceremony. But the special tradition is that you have to make it all the way home without letting your light burn out! It symbolizes your faith and how you have to keep it lit at all times. If your candle burns out before you get home, you supposedly have bad luck until the following Easter!!! Hahaha it was awesome. My candle stayed lit :) And I love this tradition and connecting it with the idea of never letting our faith die out. Faith is something that we must constantly uphold.... and granted, we all have moments or months or years in our lives when our faith weakens or "dims". But no matter what we much continually strive to keep our faith brightly lit, and to never let the flame die out! Faith takes us all the way through life and what comes after it... it is something we will continually possess with us. It is what brings us HOME. :)
Well, other than Easter, nothing too exciting happened with us this week! In fact it was almost impossible to get lessons because everybody leaves and goes to their countryside villages for the weekend. So the city was pretty empty :) But we had a baptism on Saturday, Elder Findlay's investigator Artiom got baptized into the Russian branch. He is dating a girl named Nina from the Russian branch, a member of the YSA. It was a super happy day :)
Today for our pday we got to travel to the countryside, to some incredible ruins near a town called Orhei. We explored the beautiful green countryside and saw some beautiful old churches, it was a beautiful adventure. IUBESC ACEASTA TARA!!! <3<3<3
We are working hard out here, enjoying the INCREDIBLE sunny spring weather and continually searching for those who are searching for something more in this world :)
I love you all!! I cant believe I will only send like 9 more emails home! Time is passing like crazy and Im just trying to enjoy every second I have being a little Romanian girl (that currently lives in Moldova hehehe).
Love you all with my happy little Kay Kay heart!
I will add pics in a little while!
xoxoxo Sora Draper