Monday, July 24, 2017

Inspired Pizza

Selfie with Sora Schow
So -  my fun story of the week starts with contacting in the park with George. We had been trying to talk to people for about an hour without much success and George had to leave for work. As we were walking, he hit his head against the Book of Mormon he was holding.  We asked him what was wrong, and he said something along the lines of -  we didn't find anyone that was interested. We told him that we simply just need to show our faith by going contacting. That's what matters; not whether or not we find someone who is interested. If we show our faith by contacting, even when it's hard, God will bless us. Sometimes, that comes through finding someone that's
Titan Park 
interested or sometimes that comes through someone who is prepared just walking into the church wanting to know more. He said okay, I get it. THEN later that day, Sora Schow and I decided to order pizza to the church before English and when we went out to meet the pizza guy he said, "Can I ask you a question? What do you believe in your church?"- SO COOL. So it turns out, that this guy used to come to church and had met with the missionaries when he was young but lost interest.  Now he wants to learn more! He even has a Book of Mormon. We told George about it and he thought it was pretty good too. 

The Beloved DJB
Besides that we....
almost missed our train...twice 
had exchanges with Sora DJB (the beloved) and Sora Lee. I got to go with Sora DJB! I was quite happy. 
Ate very very yummy curry made by a member named Canut who is from India and he is very awesome as well 
got insulted by a less active member (woo-hoo) 
and Sora Schow was part of a concert last night and rocked it! (she played the Violin)

The elders snuggling on the metro on the way home from the concert

Sorry for the short email this week. I love you guys. Have a good week. 
Love Sora Vann 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Did I mention that George is awesome . . . ?

Me and Sora Schow at the village Museum
So this week was pretty crazy and I don't have a lot of time so I will have to make this quick.

We got an awesome new investigator this week! Her name is Allex (yes two Ls). Her friend invited her to English class and she asked if she could do 30/30s with us. The first time we met with her, we told her about the Book of Mormon and she loved all of it and said she could feel the spirit very strongly (apparently to her it feels like she is hungry - haha). Second time we met with her, we told her the whole Restoration lesson and she loved all of that as well! She thought everything just made sense and she told us that she knows the Book of Mormon is true already! She is 17 and super cute. She wasn't able to make it to church but we can't wait to meet with her this week! 

Sora Schow, Me and George
We also had a lesson with George (our recent convert) this week and instead of us teaching him, we had him teach us! He is preparing to go on a mission himself so we thought it would be good practice for him. He did a good job and it was cute because he was nervous even though it was just us and he really had nothing to be nervous about. We are going to help him work on his teaching skills and learning how to understand and teach the gospel better. He is a very eager learner :) George also went contacting with us this week. He goes contacting with the missionaries in Bucuresti all the time, it's so awesome. 

Tuesday night after English, we had dinner with our friend/investigator Lidia at this Greek place. She ended up ordering a lot of food for us and it was so good and we didn't want it to go to waste, so we ended up being completely stuffed. I was thinking Sora Schow might have to roll me on to the metro to get home because of how stuffed I felt but I was able to make it okay. haha. 

Village Museum
Today we went to the village Museum with George and it was so cool! (see all the pictures!). So they have all these little mini traditional houses they have built from all other the different regions of Romania. I have really only been in the Transylvania region so it was cool to see houses from the Moldova region (it's the eastern part of Romania not actually the country of Moldova). 

Sheep at the Museum
Anyway, I think that's about it. I'm doing okay, thanks for all the prayers for me and my family. I love all of you. Have a great week! 
Love Sora Vann 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How Does One Missionary . . .

This week has been interesting trying to figure out how to be a missionary yet still deal with all the emotions, all the "feelings". I'm working on it, along with getting over jet lag.  

Me, Sora Schow and Lidia
We realized that our two most promising investigators were not progressing at all and in fact ,were very stuck and so we realized that we can't really teach them anymore, so that kinda sucked, but that's okay. One of them, Lidia, is a very sweet girl who just thinks of things in very abstract ways and she thinks all churches are good. We met with her Tuesday and tried to have a lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ and we couldn't even get past faith; so that wasn't good but we had a 'taco party' with her after our fail of a lesson. haha. 

Cute little (full of fleas) Kitten
Wednesday night we had a fun crazy adventure of deciding to pick up a stray kitten off the side of the road and then having to figure out what to do with it. It turned out that this poor little thing had a TON of fleas all over it! We ended up being able to take it to the vet with the help of George, our recent convert, and getting it some flea shampoo. We were also able to find it a home and a new loving owner before the end of the night; so go us! Even if it was a really stupid decision in the first place. 

Thursday, we had our first zone conference with our new mission President, President Hettinger,  and it was awesome but very different from zone conferences with President Ivory. It will be exciting to see how the mission changes in the way it needs to for this time. 

A cool thing happened this week when we went less active finding (where we take a list of members that don't really come anymore and try to go visit them). One of the couples we tried visiting actually let us in and we talked with them for about an hour. It turned out that that day was the day they had gotten baptized many years ago. They shared pictures with us and their stories of how they came to know the church was true. It was super cool, and the wife came this Sunday! (The husband has health problems). 

I think that's about everything or at least I'm out of time. I love you guys. Have a great week. 
Love Sora Vann

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Old One

Heidi and Michelle
One of my nicknames for Michelle was "the old one" because one time I meant to say that she was the older one, but accidentally said the old one and then it just kinda stuck. 

This week I was home to say goodbye to my sister. I think most of you know, but my sister, Michelle, passed away. 

Sunday morning here, and Saturday night, there, my mom called to tell me that Michelle had a brain bleed. She was brain dead but still hooked up to life support. I was able to fly home the next day and get to see her and say goodbye before they took her off life support. She was able to donate her kidneys and her heart valves. 

Sisters saying Good-bye
Tuesday morning, I was able to go to the temple with my parents, and I am so grateful for that. I felt a lot of peace being there with my parents. I am so grateful for temples and the peace that we can find there. 

Thursday was the viewing and Friday was the funeral. She didn't look much like herself, but people never really do. A lot of people came to both the viewing and the funeral; which was nice to see how many people love and care about Michelle. They had time at the funeral for people to get up and say things they wanted to share about Michelle. All three of her kids got up and talked about what an amazing mommy she is. I might not have Michelle anymore but I am so lucky to have her three little wonderful kids, along with Abe (who is wonderful too). 

A lot of people from Michelle's ward reached out to help in the form of food, so we had wayyyy more food than we could eat and so did Abe. It was very sweet of people. 
Abe and Michelle

Michelle and her Children (Ace, Cash and Heidi)
I flew back out to Romania Saturday night, and am still planning on finishing my mission. I know that's what Michelle would have wanted and I know the Lord will help me, and strengthen me to be able to do it. 

Michelle in college

I am so grateful for Michelle. She is such an amazing example to me in everything she did. She is the most amazing mom, sister, wife, and daughter. I cannot wait until I get to see her sweet smile again and give her a big hug. I am so grateful that I get to be her sister, and that I am part of her life and she is part of mine.

Michelle's casket
I am so grateful for the knowledge of the plan of salvation. As hard as it not having her here, I know that I will see her again. I also know that even if I can't see her or touch her, I know that she is still there for me. I know she has a work to do right now on the other side. I know that I will be with her for forever after this life, and I am so grateful for that. She will be my "old one" for forever. 

I love you guys. Hope you have a good week. 
Love Sora Vann 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Back to Bucuresti

Our Oradea District one last time

So transfers were this week and I got moved back to Bucuresti but now I am in the other branch, Mihai Bravu. Which means I am with Daniela again :) So excited! My new companion is Sora Schow and I am super excited. We are going to have a great transfer together. 

This past week has been so crazy....

Small update on my sister: She got moved to Penn hospital in Philadelphia (still in the ICU).  Tomorrow they are going to try to wean her from the ECMO machine or move the cannula to a more central location to allow her more mobility. In the meantime, they are trying to get her accepted as a candidate for the transplant list.  This is a long process and they want to be prepared if they need to go that route.

Sora Ivory, Me and President Ivory.  They are leaving soon
One last picture of Oradea
This week Sora Gubar has been handing out a ton of letters to people because she thought for sure that she would be leaving...haha jokes. I really didn't get to say goodbye to too many people because I had no idea that I would be leaving till Saturday. I am going to miss Mariana and Denisa so much! 

Flying back from MLC to Oradea

We also had MLC this week so we were gone for all of Wednesday. MLC was sooo good! It was exactly what I needed right now. Also I got to see Sora Andrus but now I am in the same district as she is, so that's exciting! 

Sora Gubar, Mariana, and Me - We are so cool!
Wednesday Mariana ended up spending the whole day with us as we went around doing missionary work. She had a blast and cannot wait to be a missionary herself! 

Sora Gubar, Danisa, and Me.

Denisa is progressing and I couldn't be more excited! She came to our FHE activity on Monday and she loved it! She just jumped right in with the members and had a blast. She also came to church this Sunday and we were able to have a lesson with her after church. In gospel principles (my first by the way on my whole mission haha Romania) , she made a ton of comments and was super involved. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she said it all makes sense to her. I was also able to bear testimony to her of how grateful I am for the knowledge of this plan especially with what's going on with my sister right now. I think everyone was a little teary eyed. I hope that she continues to progress :) 

Monday I flew to Bucuresti with Elder Bird and Elder Perrett. I was not happy about flying because of all my stuff but packing actually turned out okay and I only had to leave a little bit of stuff (yay!). It was super nice flying with Elders, they put my bag up for me :) haha. Once I was on the plane I decided that yes this is much better than a 14 hour train ride. 

I think thats about everything. I love you guys so much! 
Love Sora Vann 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Who Needs Warm Water Anyway . . .

Small puppy :)
Update on my sister: Not much to update about, still in the hospital in ICU connected to her ECMO machine. They are waiting on insurance to be approved so she can be moved to Penn, in case she needs a transplant. They are hoping to move her to a different machine called an RVAD that would let her move around and sit up. 

Sooooooo Mariana's baptism was this Saturday! It was amazing! It went so smoothly and Mariana was/is so happy! 

Mariana :)
Mariana and Me :)
Did I mention that Mariana is scared of water?

The only small problem was that Oradea, the whole city, starting Thursday didn't have hot water (and still doesn't). It has been fun taking showers...not haha but that meant that the water that she got baptized in was ice cold. We found out that there wouldn't be hot water on Wednesday. When we told her, she said, "I don't care! I am going to get baptized, even if that means in ice cold water." So awesome! As soon as she got out of the font I asked her if she was cold. She said "No, I feel so warm and happy. I didn't even feel that the water was cold at all." She could not stop smiling! 

Sora DJB was able to come and she gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. Mariana's family and friends were able to come as well, and it was cool to see Mariana stand up in front of her friends and family and say that she knows this church is true. She is such an amazing example. 

Celebrating Sora Gubar's one year mark with some ice cream!
The district plus Sora DJB
Other than Mariana's baptism, we celebrated Sora Gubar's one year mark this week! We got some ice cream that she loves. We also had to work on some Visa stuff for her because her visa is going to expire next month. Hopefully everything gets done on time. 
The dam with Sora Gubar

Country side with Densia
We also taught our friend Densia about the restoration this week and it went so well! The spirit was so strong as we talked and Densia even pointed out that she felt goosebumps. She had a lot of questions because of stuff that she had read online about Mormons, but it's good that she is asking us about what she read, so we can tell her what's true and what's not. She said that she would read and pray about the Book of Mormon :) We went to her house last Sunday and visited her family (sorry I think I forgot to write about that but I have some pictures of that). 

Anyway, I think that's everything. I love you guys! Have a great week! 
Love Sora Vann 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

When the internet cafe is closed on Monday because of a Pentecostal Holiday.....

I am so scattered brain right now because everything going on with my sister. So I will apologize ahead of time for this email, because I don't have a lot to say. 

Small update on my sister: She is still in the ICU on her ECMO machine. They were able to take her breathing tube out so she is able to talk a little now, my mom said she is even joking a little bit. They are starting to look into getting her into a transplant program to replace her lungs, in case weaning her off the ECMO machine doesn't work. Please continue to pray for her. 


We visited a lot of members this week, did a lot of contacting, and helped Mariana get ready for her baptism. She had her interview.  We made the program for her baptism and now she is already to go! We are so excited for her. We also found out this week that Sora DJB will be able to come to her baptism, which is amazing news. Sora DJB was the Sister missionary who started teaching Mariana with Sora Gubar. 

White stuff that is fun to burn
So there is this white stuff, that looks like cotton that is on all other the trees near our house and is all along the walk way home. Apparently it's a tradition in Ukrian to light this stuff on fire because it burns really well, and it's fun to watch. So we decided to try it. Don't worry we didn't burn Oradea down and we didn't even get yelled at.

Eating out with Friends (Mariana is sitting beside me)
We also went out to eat with a bunch of our friends this Friday night after game night. It was a lot of fun. Mariana even asked, Levi, someone the Elders are teaching, what he thinks of what they are teaching him and the Book of Mormon. Go Mariana :) 

Sora Fodor
Also one of the memebers we visited was Sora Fodor. She is about 80 years old and she is adorable. She has now become my favorite humna. She is starting to go a little crazy which makes her even more fun. We visited her and she just told us stories from her life and I could just listen to her tell story after story! 

That's all I can think of for now. I love you all. Have a great week! 


Sora Vann