First day of April and it's BEAUTIFUL! After a week of freezing cold temperatures and even a little snow, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the apartment is clean! Couldn't have asked for a better day.
This week was full of "Bible-bashing". To be more specific, 4 days in a row of it... People would just come up to us and start complaining about the Book of Mormon and start pulling out the Bible, opening up to the book of Revelations and sharing that scripture we all know. One woman was even brave enough to ask us who has been telling us these lies, and that we are going to be condemned by God. All I could do was share my testimony and try my best not to argue. Let me tell ya, it's difficult to have a "pleasant conversation" (as my companion would describe it) in another language. But in the end, all that matters is that my testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel is deeply rooted within my heart. It doesn't affect me in any way when people start yelling at me for what I believe in, all I can do is smile, listen to what they have to say, then share what I know with them. I love my companion even more because of this because when someone comes up to us, it's either in Russian or Romanian, and whatever it happens to be, the one who doesn't speak the language being spoken just stands close by and enjoys the moment! Elder Groberg and I have an excellent companionship. It's so much fun serving together, and we really get along. It's crazy how much you can learn about someone when you're with them 24/7. This past week, we even had our first experience knocking as a zebra companionship. We talked to a lot of potentials in one building and we're pretty sure we found our next priesthood holder!
Our goal to find people who want the gospel seemed to go better than we wanted it to this past week. I think sometime last week, a guy walked into the church and wanted us to come out to his village to talk with him... So we did... and it was a small village called Vasieni, it was in the middle of nowhere, and I felt like I was put 50 years into the past. Everything was gray, the buildings were ancient, but the people were really nice. The guy we wanted to talk to was working at a little store, so we stopped by, and he told us that he wants to learn more and that we can meet in his home next week when he gets off work (this was all in Romanian so it was from what Elder Gorberg told me). First moment I looked at him though, I knew he was ready to receive the gospel. Very humble man, and he's in a circumstance that seems to have helped him get to this point. On the way back to Chisinau, I talked to a guy whose mother recently passed away, so I gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and told him that we can help him. He seemed very appreciative, but he was a little drunk... Later in the week, we had a lesson with Aba and it was fantastic. We talked a lot about the last half of the Plan of Salvation and he asked, "If someone wants to do better after the judgement, can they move to higher kingdoms?" The answer was very simple: Alma 34:32-34:
For behold, this is the time for men to to meet God; yea, behold the day of life is the day for men to perform their .
And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not the day of your until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the of wherein there can be no labor performed.
Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful , that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
He expressed his appreciation for us sharing that "information" with him, and he also said that he has more questions that have always bothered him, so we look forward to answering those ones too!
Zone training meeting was mind-blowing. The goal set for this transfer was 25 baptismal invitations, and the zone leaders expressed how this is going to help us get where we need to be in the missionary work here. Then Elder Lippert (the district leader in Batli) said, "We gotta be a tripod." and Elder Monroe answered with, "Yeah, because a bipod sucks." We all got a good laugh out of that, but it has a lot of meaning behind it. 3 cities (Chisinua, Orhei, and Balti) = 3 legs of a tripod. If the missionaries in each city don't do their part, it's going to mess the "picture" up. So please pray for us as we try to find those who are searching for the gospel! This country really needs the message that we have, and they're ready to hear it!
I'd like to end this email with a quote that Elder Groberg told me:
"People say that God leaves them during their trials, but the teacher is always silent during the exam." This made me think of Elder Henry B. Eyring's talk Where Is the Pavilion? I invite all of you to read that talk and have this quote in mind. It's changed the way I look at trials even more. I love you all, Happy Easter, and have a wonderful first week of April!