I am writing this email from Chisinau because we just finished our zone conference, and it was the last time we would get to see our beloved mission president and his wife. I sure will miss those two! They've been like my grandparents away from home for the past two years, and I cannot begin to tell you how much they've taught me. I also gave my "dying testimony" where the missionaries, who won't get to be at the next zone conference, have an opportunity to share their testimony about their missions and what they've learned in front of everyone. Tears didn't burst from my eyes, but my heart was full and my eyes watered as I shared with them what my mission means to me. I've never been the best at speaking/testifying in front of a large group of people, but I will treasure that moment for the rest of my life.
Well. I usually like to look through my journal and write down experiences I had during the week to share in my weekly email, but I forgot to do that before we headed to Chisinau for 3 days. I'll try and remember as much as I can.
Tuesday we had a lesson with Nastia where our focus was getting her mom to start investigating. That was the goal of our lesson, and it worked out perfectly. We said, "Well. Nastia. We want to start doing discussions with your Mom. What do you think?" Her answer: "I've had a plan in my mind about doing that for a long time!" Great! What she wants to do is have us "casually" meet her and be like "Oh, the missionaries! I want you guys to meet my mom." And then work from there. Hopefully we can set that up on Wednesday. Also, as we were doing some park contacting one day, we took a little break on a bench and the thought came to my mind to call Baba Tamara. So I had my companion call her, and I could hear her yell, "Where are you!? Come over!" Typical Tamara. We ended up having a pretty great lesson with her on the Priesthood. She likes to say, "Show me where it is written in the Bible!" And this time she even said, "What are you here to prove?" We simply told her that we are not here to prove anything, but to inspire, lift, encourage, help, and invite others to know for themselves if our message is true. But that doesn't mean that answers aren't in the Bible. We read Hebrews 5 and showed her how God CALLS men to the priesthood, and how we have that same preisthood that Jesus gave to His apostles. There is nothing mores pleasing to my ears than to hear someone say, "Oh..... That answers my question. Thank you." The Holy Ghost is real, and He can bring a peaceful feeling into the room when people are reminded of the truths they were taught in the Pre-Mortal Existence. After we finished our little lesson, she turned to me and asked when I was leaving. I told her 4 weeks...... she responded with, "You know what, I am going to be very sad when you leave. You and Elder Streletski were the first ones to regularly come over to my home and it won't be the same with you gone." There is nothing better than the feelings that fill the soul when doing missionary work. I love these people a lot. I cannot begin to describe the love I have developed for these people of the past two years. They're my second family, and Moldova is my second home. They'll always have a special place in my heart. My favorite thing was what she said after our closing prayer. "You can't leave until my Katia knows English!" Oh, what a teaser she is!
Let me quickly explain why we were in Chisinau for 3 days. On Saturday all the branches in Moldova got together on the hill where M. Russell Ballard dedicated Moldova for the preaching of the Gospel. We took pictures, played games, and listened to a member re-tell his experience about the day Moldova was dedicated. I'd say about 100 people came, and it was great to see members/investigators/friends that I haven't seen for a long time. On Sunday we had our District Conference where a member of the Seventy came to speak to us. And of course today we had our zone conference. Pretty busy weekend. It will be nice to be in Balti tomorrow. Which is my birthday. Thanks for all the birthday wishes by the way and I'll see you all in four weeks!
With much love,
P.s. I would send pictures, but I forgot my cord..... Sorry!