Monday, April 24, 2017

A week of Birthdays!

Some of the birthday decorations :) 
So Wednesday was Sora Gleason's birthday. Thursday was Daniela's birthday.  Friday was Cash's birthday (my nephew). Saturday was Sora DJB's birthday, and today is my birthday :) So there has just been a lot of birthday celebrating going on this week! 

My amazing breakfast Sora Simmons made me
Sora Simmon, bless her heart, has gone completely out of her way to make sure my birthday has been so special! She cooked me breakfast and lunch! And she decorated the apartment for my birthday last night after I went to sleep.         She is basically the best!

Our view from our hotel window, Casa Poporului (house of the people)

Anyways, we also had Sister's conference this week in Bucuresti and it was so much fun! It was great getting to see everyone and all the speakers were amazing and we got to stay in a super fancy hotel! I also got to see Alexandra Miron from Brasov and Daniela :) 
Me and Alexandra Miron!

The day after Sister's conference, we had exchanges and I got to be companions with Sora DJB again for a day! I love that girl so much! We had a ton of fun together! We went and saw Maria and talked to her more about baptism. She feels like she isn't ready and she doesn't know enough yet. We tried explaining to her that all she needs to know to get baptized, is that this church is true and the rest she can learn later. She seemed to agree with that, but she wants to read the Book of Mormon all the way through; which is a great idea. So we made a plan with her to help her do that :) The next day after our exchanges and Sister's conference, Sora Simmons and I laid on the floor after waking up, instead of exercising, because it felt like we got hit by a train! We are doing better now :) 
Selfie with DJB and the plane we took to Sister's Conference

Sora Simmons gave a talk on Sunday, and we had Lidia, Gabi (Lidia's friend), and Teo all at church (Maria was out of town). It was so awesome :) There are so many great things going on         right now here in Cluj.  We have so many great people, and I have a great companion!

I love you guys so much! Have a great week! 
Love Sora Vann

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sweet Letter from Sr Missionaries in Cluj

This is Kate's mom.  Below is an email I received from Sora Biehn who is a new Senior Missionary couple in Kate's area - Cluj.  I have posted it with her permission.


This is Sister Biehn, my husband and I are serving as Senior Humanitarian Missionaries in Cluj-Napoca.  I just wanted to send you a quick note and tell you what an awesome daughter you have!!

We are starting a new area in Cluj-Napoca. A few of the sisters found our apartment and set things up for us. The evening we arrived in Cluj-Napoca, about 7:30 PM, she and Sister Simmons had lasagna, garlic bread and brownies ready for us.  The two Elders also came over. What a fantastic welcome that was!  My only regret is that we were so jet-lagged we didn't even think to take pictures.  After dinner they took us shopping to get a few things and acquaint us with the mall and items that we had no idea exactly what we were buying.  A couple days later they helped me purchase a new IPhone for our humanitarian work. It took two hours!!  She and Sister Simmons have been invaluable to us!

Not only is your daughter a great cook, she is a phenomenal missionary. We sat in on the missionaries role play teaching the Plan of Salvation.  I was so impressed with her knowledge and ability to explain that message.  Her ease with the language is very impressive. A few nights ago, she and Sister Simmons had one of their investigators over to our apartment.  I was amazed at how well your daughter handles herself and knows exactly what to say. The Spirit was so strong and she has a very strong testimony!  She is full of love for those she teaches. 

We have really come to love your daughter in just a matter of days. I wish President Ivory would leave both of them here until they go home!  I know that won't be possible and I will definitely shed a few tears when they leave.

I commend you in raising such an awesome daughter!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Paste Fericit! and one year as a missionary!

Sunday, was my one year mark as a missionary, so that was really crazy! Easter was a fun way to celebrate that :) 

I don't have a ton of time, so I'm just going to do the highlights from the week! 

Overlooking Cluj at night 
Monday night we hiked up to the cross which over looks almost all of Cluj; after getting some amazing Indian food. It was a super fun night with amazing people :) 

We made Sarmale with Sora Handebut (the most adorable member) and Sora Biehn for our branch Easter activity :) 

We had an amazing lesson with Irina, whose grandma just died, about the plan of salvation. We talked a lot about how she will get to see her grandma again and how we can find a lot of comfort through Christ. 
All the eggs :) and Sora Simmons ha-ha

Dying eggs with the gang 
We had a branch Easter activity that mainly just consisted of everyone eating all the sarmale that members made. There seriously was like 200 sarmale! The missionaries were in charge of dying 50 eggs for the activity, which was a ton of fun :) Lidia helped us and the Biehns took a ton of pictures! The kids had fun finding them :) Also one of the traditions here is to take an egg (usually a red one) and one person says Hristos a inviat (Christ is resurrected) and then the other person says adevarat, a inviat (true, He is resurrected) and then you hit the eggs together and the one whose doesn't crack - wins. Fun little Romanian tradition :) 

We went running with Lidia one morning and she told us how she is loving the Book of Mormon :) Her and her dad are fighting over who gets to read it at night. We will definitely be giving them another one so they don't have to fight ;)

We had the most American Easter dinner you can make in Romania with the Biehns and the Elders on Easter because no one else wanted to have us over (oh well). It was a lot of fun :) Felt like home!

Us and our tulips
Oh yeah on Saturday, a guys that sells flowers gave Sora Simmons, Lidia and I all two tulips for free for Easter :) Super sweet! 

Our hike this morning
Me, Lidia, and Sora Simmons on our hike
We went on a super awesome hike this morning with the Elders, the Biehns, and Lidia! I have lots of pictures :) 
Up high on our hike today

I think that's it! I love you guys so much! Have a great week!
 Sora Vann    

Monday, April 10, 2017

We have a senior couple! and they are awesome!

We spent a lot of time this week either preping for the new senior couple or helping them get everything figured out here in Cluj. They came straight from the United States, so they are trying to get used to Romania. Their names are Elder and Sister Biehn and they are awesome. They call us and the Elders their little family. Its fun :) 

This cool license plate we found.  STL - stands for Sister Training Leader
and that's what we are - pretty funny!
We made them dinner the night they got in. They were very grateful for that and we lucked out because we ended up making Sisters Biehns favorite, lasagna. We helped them do a lot of shopping and helped them get their phone. That was such a mess! It ended up taking two hours! But they have a phone now :) 

Anyway, other things that happened this week: 

We had a dinner night with Carla and her family. Carla is a member from the United States whose husband works for Garmin. Their house is the closest thing here to an American house and it was so weird, but awesome being there this week. It felt a lot like home! We made homemade pizza with them, which was super yummy and a lot of fun! They are a great family! 

We had a lesson with Teo this week and she has decided that she will read the Book of Mormon for 5 minutes everyday before she starts studying and text us about what she read :) She is such a awesome girl who is really searching for the truth and I know she will find it if she is willing to put in the work. 

After basketball with my cute companion
There is another awesome girl name Lidia! We meet her last transfer in the park with the other sisters and they started talking to her, but I get to work with her now that we combined companionships :) She is so prepared! She came to General Conference and is reading the Book of Mormon and is loving it! She loves hanging out with us and we are super excited to start teaching her! 

This morning we played basketball with the Elders and it was a blast! We might have kicked their butts a little bit.... :) Sora Simmons is a kick butt basketball player ! 
Our cool district after playing basketball today!

Anyway, I think that is it for the week! I love all you guys! Have a great week!
Sora Vann


Monday, April 3, 2017

A Week of Miracles!

Walking through the train station with our mirror #rebels
This week was such an awesome non-stop week! I have a new companion, Sora Simmons, and we are just rocking life here in Cluj! 

We met so many cool people this week, ran into so many of our friends randomly, and so many great lessons! Plus, we had General Conference :) 

We also got the opportunity to do service for two different members this week; so that was awesome :) We helped Erika clean an apartment she is renting out and the Lepures clean their apartment. We also brought them lunch. We made chicken salad, and it turned out super yummy! None of them had every had it before because its such an American dish but Sora Lepure really liked it. 

I think the coolest thing this week was that we got to bare our testimony many times to different people about God's love. About how much God loves us and He will always be there for us. I love this simple truth so much! One of our investigators was telling us that she was taught to always fear God and that He only punishes us. How far from the truth! Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us more than we can imagine and is just waiting to bless us! So that was dope :) 

The whole gang! Sora Falkenberg visiting with her parents

We also had a lot of funny things this week happened too, like we walked backwards through the train station with a full length mirror we had just bought. Just walking over the tracks and all, no big deal, when in Romania haha. We also rushed home one night to pay a block bill, got on the wrong bus and ended up in a part of Cluj I have never been before, had to take a taxi home, and then barely had enough money to pay the bill. 
We will miss you Sora Falkenberg! 

We had two investigators come to conference and they both really liked it! Conference is a big meeting that happens twice a year where the Prophet and Apostles and other church leaders talk to all of us. Its awesome :) All the talks are usually really inspiring. Here is a link if anyone wants to check it out :) 

Selfie with Sora Simmons - new companion
Anyway, I think that's about it! 

I love all you guys so much! I hope you have a great week!
Love Sora Vann