This was a week full of service. I've done more service this week than I've ever done on my entire mission. Tuesdays and Saturdays are our days for service at the kindergarten and one of the those days only Elder Hollist and I showed up, but there's this lady that plays the piano for the little kids and she came up to us asking if we could move some large wardrobes for her. She also wanted us to teach all the kindergarten teachers English, so looks like we'll have a lot to do next week! We also had a member (who has a legit Moldovan house out in a village not too far from Chisinau) ask us to help him with some chores at this house. We had to wake up really early to get there on time, but when we got there it was literally like we were 50 years in the past. They had 2 houses: one that was built around 1950 and another that was built later so they could have more living space. I'll attach some pictures. Anyway, we started out by raking some leaves and then this member came up to us (there were about 10 missionaries) and said, "Elders, leave this job to the sisters. Take these shovels and follow me." He took us to the back of his 3-acre garden, had us turn around to see the task ahead of us while saying, "We are going to manually rototill ALL of that." I'm pretty sure all of us were thinking, "Are you serious?" But we went to work right away! It was actually a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work. After working for about 5 hours, they fed us a huge meal and thanked us for our willingness to help them out because if it was just this member doing all the work then it would have taken him a week to finish it. I sure do love service! The very next morning our branch president had us come early in the morning to help clean the baptismal font. It was a very spiritual experience for me because the last time the font had been used was when Cristina was baptized. Over time it gathered dust, so we mopped it and made it look all nice and shiny again.
|Me in front of their REALLY old house|
|Me and my shovel (brought me back to my cemetery days!)|
|Big meal the members had for us|
Right now we are teaching a lot of English to 3 architects who work in the same firm. They are hilarious! We love talking to them and getting to know them. Also, we finally have an English class. Yes, I am now teaching medium because I had taught the same Advanced English class for a year straight. I'll miss them, but they're in good hands now. I'm excited to have new students and help them get better at English and learn some more about Jesus Christ and what we're all about.
This week we have FINALLY started our less-active rescue plan. The city is divided into 5 zones and each zone has leaders, which are members, and missionaries to help them out. The nice thing is is that the members are leading the way. We're really looking forward to a lot of growth in these next two months that will hopefully come from this plan. The branch also had an activity where they watched The Other Side of Heaven and a lot of non-members came. They all seemed to like it!
We got to use our wooden Plan of Salvation visual aids and it worked out really well! We went knocking and if someone says, "cine acolo?" or "кто там?" that basically decides for us who is going to talk to the person. Almost the entire apartment complex was Russian, until we got to this one door where a young woman opened the door and she just happened to only speak Romanian. Elder Hollist showed her the Plan of Salvation and when he got to the three kingdoms, the girl asked, "Why are there 3? I thought there were only 2." So we had her read 1 Corinthians 15:40-41:
40 aThere are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the bcelestial is one, and the glory of the cterrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the asun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the bstars: for one star cdiffereth from another star in dglory.
It pretty much answered her question, and she expressed her interest in learning more about how in the world we have such information. Of course this was all in Romanian, but my companion was kind enough to let me know how it went.
So as many of you know, it was daylight savings, and that meant that we got an extra hour of sleep...But we forgot to change our clocks... So we woke up, got ready, ate breakfast, and then called the senior couples at 7:30 thinking it was 8:30 (they live in the same building as us) and asked them if we could get a ride to church. "Elders, it's daylight savings today!" - Sister Schwartz. We all got a good laugh out of it and we felt so dumb for our silly mistake. At least we got to get some personal study in!
There's another experience that I forgot to write about, but I don't have any time so I'll just have to tell you when I get home in 8 months! Well. I hope you like the pictures and I also hope that my emails are interesting enough. I love you all and remember to always treat others like you would want to be treated!