Monday, August 28, 2017

Aia este pisica ta?

Is this your cat?- 
As we were leaving to go grocery shopping this morning, we noticed this kitten that we are always seeing on a balcony below us, was just walking around the courtyard by itself. The balcony is only on the first floor, so we figured it just jumped off the balcony. I picked it up and loved on it while we took it back to the owner. When we knocked on the door a teenage boy answered and just looked at us. I said "Is this your cat? ", he said "Yes, thank you" and took the kitten. When we came back with our groceries the kitten was out napping on the balcony :) Our good deed for the day. Sora Roberts reminded me once or twice that we 
couldn't keep it. 

The Lost Kitten
Chilling at the Food Festival
We spent half of our week in Bucuresti, but that's okay. The DeSpains were wonderful! It was like staying at Grandma and Granddad's house. Oh, cool thing! When we got into Bucuresti last Sunday, we happened to run into Teo, my friend my Cluj, at the train station! It was so good to see her! Also, George came to say hi to us there :) 
At the Food Festival

The food festival came to Brasov! It was the same one that was in Oradea. It was more crowded here though. 

Saying good-bye to the Winders

We said actually goodbye to Elder Hubbard this week and to the Winders! They will all be dearly missed! 

Real good-bye to Elder Hubbard

I hit my last "in country mark" this week (I will be three days short of it when I fly home), and decided to celebrate with a covrig! (chocolate filled pretzels). I will miss them! 

Celebrating 15 months in the country with my covrig!!

We had another awesome lesson with Ileana this week! She just wants to get baptized so badly, but they are still working on things with getting married. I have never prayed for an investigator so hard. They had decided to wait until till December to get married and for her to get baptized. She said she was okay with that, but as we talked about it more, her true feelings came out. So we are working to get everyone on board with a marriage now or someone moving out.

I think that's about everything for the week! As a cute old man who lives in our block said to us one night "weekend good"! I love you guys! 

 Sora Vann

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What to do when your companion is sick . . .

So  . . .  poor Sora Roberts has been sick all week! We are actually in Bucuresti right now trying to see some better doctors. We are having some luck, so hopefully we will have everything figured out with her soon! 

I don't have a ton a time because Sora Roberts needs to go home and rest so; here are the highlights of the week! 

Daria (Ileana's daughter), me, and Ileana
We had two awesome lessons with Ileana and her daughter! She is progressing great and cannot wait to be baptized! We taught her the plan of salvation and Sora Roberts and I were both able to bear powerful testimony. The spirit was so strong! 
Sora Roberts grilling on the balcony

We had a tiny cook out on our tiny grill :) and then had our upstairs neighbor come and yell at us about the smoke and said if we didn't put it out he would call the fire department. Romanians are very dramatic like that. Oh well. 

We bought and set up a hammock on our balcony, and it's my new favorite place. I have done a lot of reading out there this week, while Sora Roberts was napping (poor thing). 

Saying good-bye to Elder Hubbbard
Elder Hubbard is going home this next week, so we said goodbye to him! He will be missed! 

Hopefully next week, I will have a more exciting email for all of you! Hope you guys have a great week! 

Love you all! 

Sora Vann 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Basically a week in Iasi

On the train to Iasi
Well, we really only spent two days in Lasi, but  then we spent a day getting there and then a day coming back. It was a nine and a half hour train right there.  Man, the train was so hot, but it was a good amount of fun. We had our Elders there to keep us company. I will miss fun train adventures in Romania. We took a sleeper train back though and that thing was miserably hot. Sora Roberts and I both did not really sleep at all! That's mission life for you. 
Sora Roberts and me in Iasi

Also Sora Roberts finally went to the doctors this week for this pain she has been having for a  while and it turns out that she has tonsillitis and possibly a dislocated jaw. So we have kinda laid low for the past couple days.... except for our awesome lessons with Lleana! Such a cool story! 

Ileana and her family
So Lleana was first taught by Sora Jerez before I got to Brasov at the beginning of my mission. Once I got here Sora Jerez would tell me all the time how awesome Lleana is so ready to get baptized and all this stuff. Unfortunately, we were never able to meet with her. I come back to Brasov and her boyfriend, who is a less active member, has started coming back to church with her. Carmen (a member here) sets up a lesson for us with her because she wants to get baptized! Our first lesson with her, we teach her the restoration. The spirit is super strong. She says she already knows this church is true and can't wait to get baptized! So - we set a baptismal date with her for September 9th, because her and her boyfriend have to get married first. Sora Roberts and I are hoping she will let us help her plan the wedding :) Her and her daughter are so cute! We love them so much already! 

Other fun things: 
I went on exchanges with Sora Gleason! (I totally forgot to take pictures) 

Loving our mac and cheese!!
Also, Sora Roberts and I finally ate some of the mac and cheese I have! I miss mac and cheese so much! 

The Elders kind of tried to steal our investigator this week, this resulted in Sora Roberts calling them very angrily at 10pm at night and telling them she wasn't happy with them. She put the fear of God into them a little bit. They apologized and we did to, so it's all good now. 

Romanian countryside
I think that's about everything. I love you guys! Hope you all have a great week!
Sora Vann

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back in Brasov!!

NOTE:  I apologize for not posting this one last week!!!  (Kate's mom)

I so don't feel like writing my weekly this week but that's okay....a ton happened this week (as usual). 
Branch in Brasov

I didn't get to Brasov till Wednesaday night (very very late), and I didn't finish unpacking all the way till this morning... 

We had MLC on Wednesday and it was awesome! We are just really working hard to make this mission the best it can be and it's so cool. The Hettingers are really willing to listen to us and what we have to say and our ideas of how to make different things work better. Good changes are coming :) 

Rainbow over Brasov centru
One thing that is really changing is our goals. We used to set our goals a little lower to more what we thought we could reach, but President wants us setting them HIGHER (our past baptism goal for the mission was about 8-10 and now it is 27). He told us that with our big goals, we need to have big faith. So that is what everyone is focusing on right now; having big faith to match our big goals :) I believe we can do it! 

My new companion - Sora Roberts
My new companion is Sora Roberts, who I absolutely adore! She has been one of my friends since we served around each other in my 4th transfer and now we are finally getting to serve with each other! It has already been so much fun! We laugh a lot together and she gives me lots of affection :) 

Sora DJB and Family visiting
Also Sora DJB and her family were here for a day and a half visiting so that was a ton of fun! Her family is so sweet and sassy! A lot of fun to be around :) 

It was super awesome getting to see all the members here again! Most of them recognized me and were super happy that I am back; which made me super happy :)  I got lots of hugs on Sunday. Sora Hettinger came up to me on Tuesday in the office almost in tears, and told me that I have a special work to do here in Brasov and part of it is with the members. I am so excited to see how I can help them and serve them.It's fun being in a place where I already love the members. 
Roasting marshmallows on our new grill

Also, we decided to buy a small grill for our balcony and we roasted marshmallows one night! Super fun! We are going to try cooking some hamburgers later this week! 

Me, Tibi, and Sora Roberts

Tibi, a member from Mihai Bravu, visited Brasov on Sunday, which is funny because he came and visited my first Sunday in Brasov a year ago as well. Also, this was Mihai and Ovidu's last Sunday here. They are finally moving to Germany to be with their dad. They have been "moving" since the last time I was here. It was good to see them one last time. I love those kids so much. 
Me, Mihai, Ovidu, and Sora Roberts

I think that's all my random bits and pieces from this week. I love all of you.  I hope you guys have a great week! 

Sora Vann 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Where Do I Even Begin . . .

I have a lot of randoms thoughts from this week; so here we go...

Some of my most favorite people :) George and Sorina
First off, transfers are this week and I found out that I am going back to Brasov (my first city) for my last transfer. I still can't really believe it. I will miss everyone in Mihai Bravu soooo much. I made a lot of close friends here who I will miss dearly. But I am also excited to see all the members in Brasov again. I also can't believe I am starting my last transfer! It's literally so crazy! 
Can you tell how I love packing?!

My big thing I've thought about this week was about feeling peace through the atonement of Jesus Christ. My mission President had asked me how have I felt peace since being back after my sister died. I thought about it, and though I had felt a lot of peace when I was home for the funeral, as I looked back over the past three weeks I could only remember being sad. This thought really bothered me. After that I read a talk from  about grieving and one of the things it said was that we need to realize that you can feel sadness and peace at the same time.

The actually quote- "After a faithful member of the Church passes away, the surviving family members commonly report feeling profound peace that they will see that loved one again. At the same time, however, family members usually feel tremendous sadness. It is important for us to understand that one can feel both sadness and peace at the same time." (The Healing Power of Grief -By Steven Eastmond )

This had a big impact on me. I realized that over the past weeks as I feeling that tremendous sadness, there probably was a lot of peace there too that I just didn't realize. Over this past week, I have tried to notice the peace that Christ is continuously offering me, and I was able to see it and feel it more. I realized that just because I was feeling sad didn't mean that I couldn't feel peace at the same time. 

Other random things from this week: 

We had a ton of friends at sacrament meeting this week to say goodbye to Sora Schow and I. Sora Schow played "God be with you till we meet again" on the violin and the spirit was super strong for that; so hopefully they felt that :) 

I got clothes lined while playing red rover (short people problems). Elder Ditto said I would have made Americas funniest home videos if someone had been recording that. After that happened we made a rule that you had to keep your hands down ha-ha 

I hate packing so much! (only one more time after this!) 

Kitty from Mexican Restaurant
Our Group at the Mexican Restaurant
We went to a Mexican restaurant that actually tasted like Mexican food! (well, pretty close). It even looked super Mexican and they even had a cat, so I was pretty much in Heaven!  

One night as we were walking home, I saw this huge pile of watermelon this guy was selling (classic Romania) and I decided I wanted a picture. So I made Sora Schow go stand by all the watermelon and then the guy runs over and jumps in the picture with her, it was pretty fun. We talked with him and he was a really nice guy and he ended up giving us a free melon. I love Romanians. 

Watermelon Guy

   I think that is all for this week.  Have a great week.  I love you all so much!
Sora Vann