Is This Seat Taken?
This week we visited one of Brasov’s recent converts. I remember having visited him way back in December, when I couldn’t understand Romanian at all. It’s truly gratifying to have been in Brasov this long, because visiting those you’ve visited before really makes you realize your progress. I couldn’t understand much of anyone back in my 3rd transfer. In this visit I understood practically everything. And thanks to my talk last week, he (as well as other members) now have confidence in my linguistic ability. This of course gave me confidence, and I really felt at ease (linguistically speaking) for the visit. Seeing the members thinking I know Romanian really does make a difference to me. I better work to keep up that reputation.
We’ve been doing a lot of bus contacting lately, and I’m so addicted to it! You don’t contact as many on the bus as you do street contacting or bloc knocking, but you can actually “contact” on buses. People will actually treat you as a normal person and talk to you rather than simply walk by as if you weren’t there, which happens all the time in street contacting. People’s “it’s those random religious Americans again” defenses aren’t up on buses, and we usually ask those who sit next to us language questions, which doubles as language study! You get to sit, people have real, casual conversations with you, you learn something new about Romanian (rather than repeating one basic phrase all day long), rejections aren’t even that bad, and you get to go to whatever part of the city you want…what’s not to love? Well, it is ineffective when nobody sits next to you, but on the whole, it’s amazing.
Transfer notifications came out this week, and wow, it truly is training madness. There are only three companionships (four if you count the senior couple) in our entire zone that don’t involve training, and the Arad zone only has two. The other zones are generally the same. Luckily, our Zone Leaders are not changing. There will be several changes in the district, which means I’ll be older than anyone else by at least three transfers (6+ for everyone besides Varstnicul H), which is a scary thought.
I made carrot cake this week. We won’t be having a district meeting due to transfers, but I’ll be making brownies this upcoming week since this Sunday will mark the branch’s first linger-longer attempt.
I’d like to talk a little about trials. Trials create growth. One of the purposes of life is to experience trials and grow from them. The harder they are, the more growth we experience. In Doctrine and Covenants 122:5,7-8 we read:
If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
Trials are, by nature, difficult, but we can always rely on our faith in Christ to get us through. He has passed through all for us, and has all power (and a matching desire) to help us. I challenge everyone to take a specific step toward increasing their faith in Christ this week, whether through scripture study, increased sincerity in prayer, etc… I know that faith grants strength, and surely we all need strength to make it through the trials in our lives.
Wishing you all the best,