Hello friends and family!
There has been so much going on that I hardly even know where to begin. Let's start with last Tuesday...
So, Tuesday night Sora Koth and I got a call from President Ivory and he says "Sora Savoie, I have a new assignment for you: CHISINAU. Pack your bags; you leave in the morning."
Just when we thought we were safe because transfer boards (the board that tells all the missionaries where they'll be going for the next 6 weeks) had come out on Saturday, things got shaken up! I stayed up all night crying/packing with Sora Koth. It was so sad. When we got the call, we just sat on the floor for a good 20 minutes and cried. Leaving your first companion halfway through training is one of the hardest things ever. The next day we woke up and headed to Bucharest so Sora Koth could train the new sister who came in that transfer. We split in Bucharest and I took a night train to Moldova...
On the Night Train
Sora Smullins was my temporary companion while we headed to Moldova. We took a night train for 14 hours and it was just like the train from Anastasia! It felt so Russian. We kept getting woken up throughout the night because when we crossed the boarder, guards needed our passports and, get this, they change the wheels on the train when we leave the country. This is because Moldova still uses train tracks built during the Soviet Union, so they changed the wheels on the train while I was sleeping! Seriously! I didn't even wake up. [Pictures soon to come] We also made friends with the Russian guards and they would come by and check on us periodically. At one point they even brought us extra blankets because they didn't want us to freeze. Tender mercies of the Lord!
One Week in Moldova
I got to spend Christmas AND my birthday in Moldova! As of right now I'm working with a senior couple on humanitarian projects for some of the villages around Chisinau and Orhei. This is like a dream come true - I love it! The senior couple I'm with even made me a birthday cake to celebrate, but I didn't take any pictures (sorry mom!) and they took me out to this amazing steakhouse for my birthday dinner. It was such a lovely birthday gift!
Surprise! Transferred. Again.
AND I found out today that I'll be headed back to Bucharest on Wednesday. So crazy, right? The Lord obviously has different plans for me and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to go back to Romania!
Going Through A Rough Time
Time for a moment of honesty: I went through a rough patch these past few weeks as a missionary. I've honestly never been so close to going home. Things were eating away at me and I simply didn't feel like I was good enough to be here. How can I be a missionary when there are so many things that I need to work on? There are so many flaws I possess and so many things I need to be forgiven for...how can I ever measure up? What I discovered was a very humbling truth I have known for a long time: I can't, and we can't, do it alone. And the Lord knows that. He knew that we would come to this earth and live our lives and forever be unprofitable servants. And it's not even for lack of trying! It's because we are asked to do the impossible: follow in the footsteps of the only perfect being to have ever walked this earth. But you know what? It is okay not to be perfect. It is okay to hit rock bottom, fall flat on your face and cry. You know why? Because Jesus Christ loves us. He truly, truly loves each and every one of us. He knew how hard this life would be and how seemingly hopeless the journey would seem. He knew that we would have moments of self-doubt, self-degradation, and seemingly endless mental torment in the form of the words "you're simply not good enough." I've felt that way recently and I'm sure we've all felt this way at one point in our lives or another. Because of this experience, though, I now have a much greater appreciation for prayer and fasting. And I now have knowledge that the Lord is merciful. He answers prayers. He answered mine. I know He loves us because it is not just our sins He bore, but every single pain we have or ever will have. He bore them all and has the scars to prove it. I am so grateful that Jesus Christ kept His scars so that I don't have to keep mine. I can repent, be clean, and as Elder Holland would say, "keep on keeping on."
And what better time to do that than when...
IT'S A NEW YEAR
Our mission president asked us to choose a word to define 2016. He wanted to know what word would help us this year as we strive to be better.
Mine is True.
To be true can mean many different things. For me, I want it to mean that I am deeply honest with myself and with the Lord. I am true to the things I know to be right and I am humble enough to accept correction. I will make necessary changes. To be true means that I will act in accordance with who I am, who people think I am, but most importantly who the Lord wants me to become. I want to brave and humble, bold and teachable. But more so than anything, I want to be true to the things I know to be right and develop the character of a worthy disciple of Christ, both inside and out.
So, what will your word be?
Thank you for your love, prayers, and support. Oh! And also for the Birthday wishes! I love all of you and hope you enjoyed reading my novel of an email this week!