Monday, December 26, 2016

Craciun Fericit !

So it's been a fun crazy week of Christmas! To start off, we decided to give our friend Maria (from the Christmas targ) a Book of Mormon and show her the "Light the World" video. She loved the video and wanted to share it with her family and friends! She was also pleasantly surprised about the Book of Mormon! She could tell we were sharing it with from our hearts and I think that made the difference for her. She said she would start reading it that night! 

Wednesday was Zone Conference, and that was really good as always, and we had our big Christmas concert that night. Sora Dusenberry and I had handed out over 600 flyers for it in the past two weeks, so we were really hoping lots of people would come. They didn't. haha We only had two people come, but thats okay. One of the guys we had given a flyer to, ended up meeting with the Elders later that day and when he realized that we were from the same church, he took it as a sign, and is now investigating the church! The concert was awesome :) I got to see Elder Wilkes because he played piano for it! Love that kid!

Christmas Eve was super fun! We went over to a member's house in the morning and helped her make christmas sweets! It was a lot of fun and she said she was so glad when we called. She really needed that! She has two little kids and Sora Dusenberry was able to play with them and keep them entertained while Sora Kiss and I did the baking :) Then that night, we went Caroling with the Elders to different members! It was a lot of fun and the members were really enjoying it :) Sora Dusenberry and I opened and put on our matching Christmas pjs that night! (there's pictures)

Christmas was a lot of awsome! Sora and I had a lot of fun opening presents together in the morning before church. At church, we sang a lot of Christmas songs and read the Christmas story from the Bible. Afterwards,we went to a member's house named Felicia and she gave us the Romanian Christmas classic, Sarmale! She also gave us a lot of desserts and we couldn't finish them all so she gave them to us to take with us. We decided to go give them to the people that were working at the Christmas targ and they all loved it :) 

It was great getting to Skype my family of course! Oh and we had a white Christmas, so that was great :) That's about it! I hope you guys all had a great Christmas and that you have a great new years as well! Love you lots! 
Love Sora Vann

Monday, December 19, 2016

5 Days till Christmas

Our attempt at a Selfie in the snow.
This week I had to give a talk in church. I wasn't too excited about because I don't even like giving talks in english at home; let alone in Romanian. But I got a lot of help from people and it actually went really well :) I talked about reading the scriptures. When I was half way done writing out my talk in Romanian, I had a member who knows english, correct it for me. Some sections she would just add a couple of words or something here and there, and then some sections she would be like - I'm just going to rewrite this sections...oh well haha I'm still learning. The second half I had our investigator Teo correct and I think she went a little easier on me or something, because she didn't rewrite any sections completely. Teo also came and supported me at church when I gave the talk! Every time I would look up, I'd see her smiling face :) So that was awesome. 
Our Ward Christmas Tree

We were super excited to teach Vanessa about the restoration this week and she was excited too. But her finals and school got in the way and we weren't able to teach her about it before she went home BUT we were able to give her a Book of Mormon :) We kept pushing back when we were going to meet and then eventually she said I'll see you after the break. Then we told her that Sora Dusenberry will probably be gone by then. She got so sad! She started crying. So we decided to make it a priority to go see her right then. It made her day and she was so happy about the Book of Mormon! We ended up missing almost all of English class on Saturday but the Elders saved us and took our class for us. Totally worth it though :) 

Other things:

We got utterly lost going to one member's house this week. We walked around for about an hour in the cold trying to find it and finally did! The member felt really bad for us.

We gave a friend we made at the Christmas Targ, some sugar cookies we made and it made her day! She was so happy! 

We also surprised visited a lot of members this week, who every time turns out, they really needed it :)

That's pretty much it for this week! Next week is going to be craziness with Christmas and such! Have a great Christmas everyone! :) I love you all! 
Love Sora Vann

And A Partridge in a Pear Tree

(So sorry I forgot to post this last week)
                                              So Sora Dusenberry and I did a ton of running for buses this week! Try running a 150 meter sprint in a pencil skirt! It's something else!  haha 

For our branch's weekly activity this week, we had a talent show. Our district sang the 12 days of christmas for it and it turned our being quite funny. We got a lot of laughs and the members really enjoyed it and we had fun doing it :) 

My super cool story of the week though is about our new friend Vanessa! She is one of our English students and she is awesome! :) Sora Dusenberry and I both noticed her and felt something special about her. One day after English, she came up to Sora Dusenberry and said I need something from you- I can't find you on Facebook! Sora gave her our number instead and she said she would text us. Now usually that means we might hear from them and if we do it's like in a week or something but she texted us that night! We suggested meeting up sometime and she said how about tomorrow? We said of course! She was super excited about meeting up too! When we met up with her we just talked for a little bit getting to know her and everything and then we showed the new Christmas video (which you can find on its called Light the World :) with her and she cried! She loved it. Later we invited her to take the lessons and she said she would love that! She even asked if she could come to church ! We are going to be teaching her about the Restoration tomorrow  and we can't wait :) 

We also have another friend named Teo, who has been taking the lessons for a little bit now but still hasn't read the Book of Mormon. We had planned to talk about prayer in our lesson with her this week but when we started talking I felt like I needed to change it and talk about the Book of Mormon again. I was very bold with her and said if she really wants to know if this book is true or not, if this church is true or not, she needs to read the book and pray about it. I promised her that if she did this, she would receive an answer. She said she would start reading that day :) and when she came to church, the first thing she said to me was I have been reading the Book of Mormon! with the biggest smile on her face :) She was so happy and I was so happy for her! 

Other fun things of the week: 

-I have now had to start layering my tights to keep my legs warm enough 

-we played that game where you possibly  get hit in the face with whipped cream (and I did haha)

-we went to a Christmas concert at the Pentecostal church sunday and it was super cool :) 

-this week was also saint Nicholas day and Sora Dusenberry was sneaky and filled my boots with candy :) How sweet! 

-we went and visited a huge out catholic church today and it was so pretty!

I think that's about it for this week! I love you all.  

Hope you have a great week!
Love Sora Vann!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy Birthday Romania!

So this week was super fun because Thursday was Romania's National Day! But I'm going to start at the beginning of the week! 
Monday, we had FHE with the Kiss family and it was your classic kid crazy FHE. It was so much fun! We did the spiritual thought and it was about the iron rod (in 1 Nephi 8 & 11) and then the Elders did a game with a string and following the iron rod. It was a lot of fun :) 

Tuesday, we made chocolate chip cookies to take to different people. Everyone we have gave them to loved them, because they don't have anything like them here in Romania. :)

So Thursday! They had a parade in the morning with all the military trucks, tanks, and police cars and everything so that was cool :) Then we went and talked to people in the Christmas terg they have set up for all of December and looked at all the little stands. We also got to be there in the center when they turned all the Christmas lights on at 7. Then everyone sung La Multi Ani the happy birthday song in Romanian and its was so awesome! Everyone was so happy! :) Then they had fireworks! :) It was snowing while we watched them! I have some cool videos of it for you guys. :) It was so great being out feeling the happy energy of the day! I'm sad I only get one December 1st on my mission, but it sure was a good one. :) 
 I got sick this week again, grrrr. I started to get sick Thursday and probably shouldn't have been outside as much as I was but I just couldn't stay in! Friday, I wasn't feeling too great at all and I was trying to decide if we 

should stay inside and rest or go out.
 I wanted to go out but felt like maybe it would be better to stay in. So as I started my studies in the morning, I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me know what to do. As I was reading in the Book of Mormon, I read a scripture that talked about not running faster than you have strength and everything needs to be done in order. I knew that was my answer to my prayer and so we had a chill day. I'm feeling better now, so no worries!  I did end up going to the doctor on Friday and he looked like a crazy scientist and barely spoke any English, so that was fun! haha. 

 I hope you guys have a great week!  I love you guys! 

 Sora vann!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cluj - Napoca (Cluj)

On the way to Cluj on the plane
So this week has been absolutely crazy with flying to Cluj and everything! Where to even start!?

I met this super cool girl at the airport and she was on my flight. Our flight ended up getting delayed for 2 hours and we talked the whole time. We talked a lot about the fact that I'm a missionary and what I'm doing here and everything. Then it turns out that our seats were next to each other on the plane! How cool! So we got to talk on the plane as well. As we were about to land, I felt like I needed to give her the Romanian Book of Mormon I had in my bag. So I did. I told her it was a gift for how nice she had been to me and everything. She was so happy! She thanked me for it and said she would read it and that she already knew about it! I almost couldn't believe it. I knew then, that I was supposed to meet this girl and talk with her so I could give her the Book of Mormon :) 

Other random things: 
Cluj Centru  (You can see some of the Christmas lights)
We had a big Thanksgiving dinner with all our members at the Church. There was chicken and pork instead of turkey but that was okay, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and even some cranberry sauce :) It wasn't super close to your traditional American Thanksgiving but it was still a lot of fun :)
Sora Dusenberry (new companion) and Me

We went block knocking Sunday and knocked on the door of an orthodox Priest. It was quite funny because he was just like oh no - what do you want? Then he gave us two books about the Orthodox religion which we were like, okay haha. So that was funny. But we also found someone who was interested in hearing about our church!  We are going back next week to teach her about the restoration :) 

We had signs up for our English class this Saturday and normally not a lot of people sign up. But this time we had over 100 people sign up! We had to start a waiting list. Craziness. The super funny thing is though there were (and we counted) 99 are girls and only 20 are guys. 
Silly Faces

We also visited with a lot of less actives this week. It was really cool because after every single one, Sora Dusenberry would tell me that their last visit did not go like that at all. That they were so much happier and receptive to us this time. 

Our little Christmas Tree
Today we decorated for Christmas and we are so excited for this Christmas season :) Also, it's pretty dang cold up here in Cluj. I had to finally break out my big winter jacket I had bought! 

Anyway I think that's everything.! I'm loving Cluj :) Have a great week!
Love Sora Vann   

P.S.  My new companion is a lot taller than me and her name is Sora Dusenberry.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm Flying to CLUJ!

Beautiful Sunset in Bucaresti
Yep, that's right I'm flying; not taking a train. It's a little annoying because then I need to worry about how much my bags weigh, but a 45 minute flight is way better than a 6 hour train ride or something.  I'm super excited to go to Cluj! Can't wait to send you guys pictures! :)

Moose at the Mall (Gave him an English class card
This week has consisted of a lot of tea (herbal of course) and chicken broth because I was sick for about half of it and my stomach still isn't feeling super great. I started to get sick Monday evening and it just got worse from there. Tuesday, we ended up going to a less active members house who fed us Sarmale and Salata de Boeuf (which is kinda like potato salad). Needless to say it did not sit well with a stomach that already wasn't feeling good at all. Wednesday, I ended up staying home the whole day, but I stayed home with Sora DJB and Sora Padgett went with her companion (Sora Letinu) since it was Sora Padgett's last week. I had fun staying home with Sora DJB, but I was definitely ready to get back out Thursday. 

One of our adorable Young Women
I will really miss her.
Cool stuff of the week though is we were in the metro headed to meet with someone when they canceled on us. So we decided to go check in on a member that wasn't at church this week, which meant we need to go back to the metro stop we had just been at. When we got off, I decided I needed to go get a soda, so that hopefully the carbonation would help my stomach. While I was doing that one of my bills wouldn't go in and a guy behind us switched me for one he had. Well, we started talking to him and he spoke English, so he was excited to practice his English. He ended up asking about our church and straight up asked what we believe. I got to tell him straight up what we believe and bear simple testimony of our church and it was the coolest thing ever! 
Dumitrescu Family -  I just love them!

I don't have more time to write this week, but I can't wait to tell you guys all about my new adventures in Cluj next week! I love you all! Have a great week!

                                                                     Love,    Sora Vann
One of my adorable English Students


Monday, November 14, 2016

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Fun Graffiti
They have already started putting up Christmas decorations around the city and have Christmas stuff in the stores! It's crazy! haha I was told they turn on all the lights on December 1st and I can't wait! 

Sora DJB and Alexia Vasile

Anyway, this week we got to make Sarmale with a less active member at her house! It was super fun! For those of you who don't know - Sarmale are pickled cabbage stuffed rolls with pork and rice and seasonings on the inside. They are actually pretty yummy too (depending on who made them haha). 

We met with a lot of awesome potential investigators this week and hopefully they will become awesome investigators. :) One was a girl who after we had talked a lot getting to know her, asked about the Book of Mormon we had sitting on the table. We showed her the Book of Mormon video and gave her the copy we had. She seemed pretty interested in reading it.  :) 

Our English class this week
We also had an awesome English class this Saturday! We teach the children's class and normally we only have one or two or maybe three kids come, but this time we had five! It was awesome!! :) 

I also got to see Daniela this week! She flew in on Friday and I got to see her Saturday! I was so happy! :)  She told me that her aunt is going to start talking lessons from the missionaries now! I'm  so excited for their little family!  
Me and a Cute Kitten
(Allergies were getting the best of me.)

Sorry I don't have more time to write! But I love all of you! Hope you have a great week! 
Love Sora Vann 

Monday, November 7, 2016


So Sora DJB has left us because she got a new companion! There was a Romanian sister here who has her mission call to the Dominican Republic but she hasn't been able to get here visa yet. So she is starting her mission here! Sora DJB will be training her till the beginning of December. So it's just Sora Padgett and I for the rest of the transfer. We are used to it now but at first it felt like we were always missing someone. haha

Daniela's Mom at her Baptism
Anyway the big super exciting news for the week is that on Sunday, Daniela's mom got baptized! Sora Padgett, the office elders (Elder Broberg and Elder Gerber-Kai) ,Talita (Sora Jerez's convert and Daniela new friend :), and I all went over to the office senior couple's apartment for dinner and then Skyped into the baptism :) It was so wonderful getting to Skype in! Daniela talked on the Holy Ghost and I almost started crying during it. I'm such a cry baby. She is just so strong in the gospel already and she has only been a member for about a month and a half. She will be a great example for her mom :) Her mom was so happy afterwards :) You could see the joy and peace on her face. I'm so excited for their little family, and that they now have each other to help strengthen one another in the church!  I can't wait to see Daniela in a few days :) 

Besides that....I forgot my planner at home and I cannot remember for the life of me what we did this week.  I know we did a lot of busy work which kinda stunk, but we have a bomb week planned for this week :) Fall is full bloom now and it is gorgeous! Sora Padgett and I took a walk in one of the parks here this morning and took lots of fun fall pictures :)   

So some random things I remembered :) 
1. I carved a mini pumpkin on Halloween! Sora Padegtt didn't want to do it with me so I did it by myself but it was still fun and she talked to me while I did it. I just couldn't not carve one! 

2. We heart attacked the sisters apartment :) 

Yep thats about it. Sorry! I love you guys so much! Have a great week :)

Sora Vann 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Halloween Party
So they don't really celebrate Halloween here, but that's okay! We did have an awesome Halloween party on Saturday though! Sora Majeran (A senior couple sister) put together the whole thing for us! She is amazing! She came up with a ton of fun games for all of the kids. The members also brought a ton of food; which of course, was all super yummy! The adults basically just had a dance party. We got to listen to some Taylor Swift, One Direction, and Spice Girls; to name a few. ha-ha. Our young women also taught us a traditional Hungarian dance so that was fun :) Sora Padgett and I did the three-legged race they had, and almost won! I also took lots of pictures. :) 

Halloween Party

Back to earlier in the week now! On Monday night, we went over to a recent convert's house for dinner! They are the sweetest little family. I love them so much! Sora Dumitrescu makes such good food, and makes a ton of it! So we left their house super full. After dinner, before we could share our spiritual thought, Fratal Dumitrescu started giving us a mini history lesson about Romania. It was all super interesting but I was really tired. Sora Dumitrescu saw me yawn and said to her husband "Lasa copii George!" Which means something like - leave them alone. Ha-ha!  Sora Dumitrescu is so cute! 
Halloween Party

Sora Padgett and I had to try to get around the city this week without Sora DJB to guide us. We fared pretty well, but we did get super lost one time this week. We were trying to find the apartment block of a member we were going to visit. I swear we walked around for like 30-45 minutes in the rain; just walking in circles trying to find the right block. I was getting pretty frustrated and said a little prayer in my heart that we would be able to find it. We did eventually find it after stopping and asking a taxi driver. We were only a half an hour late.....we felt so bad! But I now will never forget how to get to her house! (To be fair that was only my second time going to visit her).

Other funny story of the week; we were at a less-active's house and I asked if I could use her bathroom. The word for bathroom is "baie".  Well, she heard "paie" which is the word for straws. So she looked at me a little strange, said sure, and then got up and went into the kitchen. Realizing she must have not heard me correctly, I went into the kitchen and explained that she must have heard me wrong; I asked if I could use the bathroom. She thought it was so funny and laughed about it for like 5 minutes. 

Halloween Party
We also taught the lesson in Relief Society this week. It went well, no funny story there but I did want to share a quote with you guys that we shared in our lesson :) This is from President Uchtdorf's talk in Women's Conference. 

God “rewards those who earnestly seek him,” but that reward is not usually behind the first door. So we need to keep knocking. Sisters, don’t give up. Seek God with all your heart. Exercise faith. Walk in righteousness. I promise that if you will do this—even until the fourth floor, last door—you will receive the answers you seek. You will find faith. And one day you will be filled with light that grows “brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”
I know this is so true! Answers and blessing don't always come right away but if we keep trying and keep going with faith and trust in the Lord our lives will be amazing :)
That's everything for this week :) I love you guys! Hope you have a great week :) Heres a link to the rest of the talk for those who want to read it :) 
Halloween Party

Sora Vann

Monday, October 24, 2016

5 Months in Romania!

Saying good-by to Sora DJB for the week
So this morning we dropped Sora DJB off at the airport to head up to Cluj for a week because a sister needs to get surgery, but we will get Sora DJB back in like a week so no worries!  It will just be Sora Padgett and I this week! 

Monday night we met up with one of our investigators, Larisa. She is the one who took us to the Jewish Messianic church last week. We meet up with her at a restaurant and a guy from the church was with her. We were a little worried he was going to try to turn it into bible bashing and he did. So that was fun. Not. But Larisa said that she's reading the Book of Mormon and she knows it's true!  That's super amazing! She also basically took every handout Sora DJB had on her because she wants to learn everything. We are hoping this week we can meet with just her. :) 

Finally a picture of Bucuresti for y'all
On Wednesday, two of our lessons fell through and so we ended up going to visit a less active member our branch president has suggested we go try to see. We stopped and got her a flower on the way. Well, we get there and she lets us in and we ask her how she is doing and she just breaks down crying. Turns out her sister and nephews had just died in a car accident the week before. She said she was so glad that we came to visit her. The crazy thing is that when our branch president told us to try to go visit her this week he had no idea what had happened. It really showed me that Heavenly Father knows each one of his children and watches out for them and will take care of them. 

Lunch with our Iranian friends
Oh yeah! I got to meet a recent convert couple this week who are from Iran! They are amazing! We went over and had lunch with them on Tuesday and dinner with them on Sunday. We also taught them how to make brownies :) She is an amazing cook and they both are so sweet and have strong testimonies :) 

Other quick random things: 
Our door after being heart attacked!
We had the most intense game of Signs this Friday night for games night. It was so much fun.
The Elders where supposed to go change a light bulb for an elderly member in our branch (actually one of the first members in Romania) and somehow they got lost on the way. So we went instead. Then all of us were too short to change we just had dinner with her instead. The Elders lose :)
The other sisters heart attacked our door Monday night :) 
Sunday was my 5 month in the country mark! 
Fall is everywhere here!
 We had a random guy on a bus this week ask if we would be his wife so he could go to America....I told him we couldn't help him with that. 

Overall a great week :) I love you guys all so much! 
I hope you all have a great week! 

Love, Sora Vann