Happy day after Easter everybody!
"Христос воскрес." – Missionaries "воистину!" - People of Moldova
The Orthodox church celebrated Easter yesterday, and we had the amazing opportunity to celebrate with them at Midnight Mass. A ton of people gathered at the main church in center, and among them was a small group of young men (and women) dressed in white shirts, ties, and nametags! It was a great experience to share with people what we're doing here, and to also see how other churches celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Jehovah's Witnesses also had their Congress (General Conference) on Saturday and Sunday. There were SO MANY of them outside our apartment. Remember how we have a soccer stadium right next to our apartment? Well. That's where they had their meetings. It was kind of intimidating to walk outside in the morning, but I walk among them every day.
The assistants had Elder Monroe and I go down to Bucharest this past week one day early for Mission Leader Council just so we wouldn't be tired during the meeting (But we were tired anyway). We were really grateful for that extra day because it was probably the most relaxing day of our mission! We took the whole day to explore Bucharest, and enjoy the things that we don't have in Moldova (ex: Subway, Pizza Hut, the underground metro, big malls, a different culture, a massive city, and people who only speak Romanian) And even though we don't speak Romanian all that well, we were still able to do some missionary work. One guy came up to us while we were walking around and asked us in English, "Do you believe in God?" ...Of course we do! He continued to explain how he knows about the Mormons, gave us his number, and really wanted to meet up the same day to talk some more. We told him that we live in Moldova and that we'd give his number to elders who serve in Bucharest. As for the Mission Leader Council, it was the first time I had been in the mission home! They fed us breakfast and lunch, and we had a really good meeting about how we can do better.
We've been trying to meet with Aba a lot this week, but the lessons just haven't happened.... We heard from Elder and Sister Pinde
r that his co-workers have been hassling him about meeting with us... That's just really unfair to him, and to us... So we're still going to try and meet with him as much as possible because he's a really humble guy and we love him! We also dropped by Rocky this week at his Waffles place, but he was asleep, so we let him enjoy his nap.... BUT. Later that night, we were walking around center, and we suddenly realized that he was walking right in front of us! So we called out his name, and walked and talked around the park. After a while, he brought us to this random girl and asked her, "Would you like to speak to the Mormon missionaries?" She didn't understand English, so we kind of laughed and continued to explain in Russian. She accepted the invitation to listen, so all 4 of us sat down on a bench and we had a lesson on the restoration right there. She seemed very interested, so we gave her a Book of Mormon, and the sisters scheduled a lesson with her this next week. Looks like Elder Garlick and I should go contacting with Rocky more often!
Sunday was a really special day not only because I had the opportunity to speak in church... for the first time on my mission... but the wonderful message of Christ's resurrection was in every ones minds. "Through him came the resurrection of all men, women, and children who have ever been—or ever will be—born into the world." - Howard W. Hunter. What a blessing is it to have the knowledge of Christ and His life, the Atonement, and His resurrection. The evidence from the Bible of the resurrected Son of Man is incredible evidence that God exists, and that this life is not the end. I just wish every day was Easter, because that's how it should be: remembering Christ every day.
Oh yeah, our neighbors say hi! Just as we were about to leave our apartment Sunday morning, our neighbor Sam knocked on our door, and invited us over for lunch. I'll attach some pictures in another email so you can see the food that we ate and who our neighbors are. Even though we didn't have a lot of lessons this week, I feel like we were still fulfilling our purpose as missionaries by helping others come unto Christ. I could say it a million times: missionary work is hard, but it's worth it! I'm sure we will all say the same thing when we are standing before our Heavenly Father after we die, "Life was hard, but it was worth it." I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week.