Overview:Well this week was very long but went by fast. Sorry that i didnt write anyone last week. I was super busy and am pretty busy today as well.
This week was exciting simply for the fact that we had zone conferences. My companion for the week was Elder Johnson (assistant). We got the great opportunity to go to Chisinau for ZOne conference! Super dope.
While being in Chisinau, i realized something..It is literally a land of miracles....We felt like we barely tried and we talked to so many people easily and got numbers and contact information. The Spirit of the Lord is preparing those people so much. It was quite a sight to see. It made me miss these wonderful people so much and this great country of Moldova. #hearts
Anyway, Zone conference was great (both in Chisinau and in Bucuresti). We learned a lot about contacting and helping build the foundation for stakes in Moldova and Romania. We talked about the sacrifices people will need to make and the things we will have to do to "prepare the minds of the people" in order for these countries to be ready for a stake. It was great!
Let me give you a crazy fun story.
Once upon a time, Elder Johnson and Elder Nango went to go to Chisinau for zone conference. They drove their car and luggage at 5 am to the airport to fly to Chisinau. They arrive with enough time to go through check in (or so they thought)..They wait in line for the international check in and see that there are 3 lines all trying to enter the one counter..Eventually, after about 30 minutes of waiting, Counter 1 closes..As a result, those three lines of chaos budge and nestle their way into Counter 2 (which had like 2 lines running into it). After about an hour of waiting counter 2 closes...And all those people scurry to Counter 3. By this time, Elders Johnson and Nango are almost to the front of the line, thankfully.. but there is a huge crowd of chaos in their midst. By the time they get to the counter it is 7:20. The lady at the desk tells them "The check in closed 40 minutes ago!" And all they could say was: "Sorry, we had to wait in line!" And she gratefully took the bags and said to run to the security and everything. Elder Johnson and Nango get to security and see a HUGE line. Elder Johnson takes the lead and rushes to the front of the line and asks the guard and the person at the front to allow entry. They are able to cut through. #success. They go through security and dont even re dress ourselves. Running to the passport counter, they gather their documents and wait for the man to stamp their passports. They book it to the gate. The plane was being held for the tired Elders by their Mission President. The Spirit of God must have been strong with him to stop a plane. Faith can do anything i guess. ;) They ride the bus to the plane and make it to the flight. All seems well. They land and are safe. Now they wait for the baggage to drop. Nothing comes... An announcement is heard that not all the luggage made it on the plane..And that wasnt just them,it was many angry customers...So the Elders see another line to wait in to get their missing baggage slip. Well President Ivory gave them good advice that day "Never be last in line." So, they went to the front of the line while prez goes to his sofer and Elder Johnson and Nango were going to taxi to the conference. They sign the forms and make it outside and look for a taxi but they see President Ivory is still in line to get out of the parking lot..They enter Presidents van and ride with them. We come to figure out there was an issue with the parking entrance machine..And it caused a back up..A Large one..They all made it to zone conference in Chisinau about 40 minutes late. But they were safe and sound. Their bags arrived later to the center that day (with delay because Elder Nangos phone didnt work in Moldova..So they had to call other numbers) The universe was just wigging out that day..
Elder Jensen and I are finally relieved from our duties at the office. We planned the night before to look for some less active YSA and and see if they still exist. We started our contacting session spiritually with a prayer to find the one in need of our message. After the prayer, we wrote down half the address and talked to people to try to find the address. We talked to a few people but we wernt able to get our bit in or make a good contact. So we finally make it to the bloc we are looking for and are a little down that no one wanted to talk to us before we got to the bloc.
And it came to pass that, we knocked on many doors. Unfortunately, most the lights in the blocs didnt work except at the end of the halls. So we went to the ends and knock all those doors. People either didnt answer or they shrugged us off quick. I had an idea to wait to see the little light in the eyeglass looker thingy to go out and then smile and wave so they knew that i knew they were home. We talked to some more people but most of them just said that no one knew their neighbors in the bloc and they wernt very kind. That was a bit strange. We started knocking in the dark too just to see if anything would change. Nothing.. So we are on like the 10th level and we say we are going to knock the actual door of the person we were looking for at 8:30 pm. Well, it arrives at the hour of 8:30 and still no one talked with us...A little sad, we go to the door of the YSA person on the third floor. We hope that this will be the golden contact we are looking for.
We knock on his door and give them the good ol smile and wave and ascantily dressed woman answers the door and we ask if she knows the person we are looking for and she gives the same response that no one knows eachother and she had been living there for years..Well, a little heartbroken that we didnt have that golden missionary experience where "just as all hope is lost and you make it to the last door, God blesses you with the person you are looking for as a trial of your faith". That didnt happen at that door.
Glad that we had the opportunity to get out of the office but a little bummed we didnt find anyone in the whole time of finding, we walked out to the entrance of the bloc. As i open the entry way door, i see a couple walking up the stairs carrying groceries, so i decide to give it one last shot. You know, why not. And i say my shpeel and ask if they know who we are looking for. They reply "i have no idea who that is" in a really good english accent. And i kinda sit stunned and realized that they were speaking english. I ask them where they are from and he is from the Netherlands and his wife is from Iran. We had a great conversation with them outside the bloc. I did my usual, where should i go in your respective countries topic and we talked about life in general too. I looked for numerous ways to introduce the gospel and nothing was working and then he finally comes out and says that he isnt religious.
Regardless of that fact, we shared our purpose and why we were in romania and it caught their attention still. After my many attempts to get the gospel with them, i felt i should try a different approach. I asked them if they couldprepare an Iranian meal for us if we bring the food. And they agreed and we got their number and apartment address! It was a miracle and definitely after following numerous promptings from the spirit, we found ourselves with some potential investigator friends that could lead to something great.
After having this experience, we realized the importance of keeping our mindset positive and our finding spiritual. When we followed the Spirit, we found this couple at the literal last door and last second. It was definitely an experience where i could say i have seen the Hand of the Lord in my life.
Crazy things happen in our lives (many crazy things have happened while only being an office elder..) But no matter what, when we are sad, stressed, lonely, or angry, we need to remember to look for the Hand of the Lord in this work. I wasnt feeling adequate when i returned form zone conference, only to figure out many things had gone wrong while i was gone and that i didnt know what to do. It stressed me out, and made me angry. Why do all these things happen when i am trying my best? I try and try and try and things go well for a little and then BOOM they fall further down than before..But at the end of that day, i remembered the Lord and turned to prayer. I recounted over my day and found that i had no reason to fear or be stressed. I did all i could and i didnt have to worry about Prez being mad, the visa office being mad, the missionaries being mad. If they are mad then thats fine..I did all i could do, so the Saviours grace will do the rest. After that moment i sat and thought..I guess i dont need to stress then..It was that simple X) I felt so much better and could tell that God was helping me in the office. The Lord blesses His children and wants us to work hard and He WILL help us as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have come to respect and love that title more and more with time. Since i love that title so much i have decided to look for ways to humble myself more during these last 8 months of service i have left to give. Hopefully i will have updates next week.