Monday, March 25, 2013

I saw a stork!!!

I have been so excited all week long to tell you that I saw a stork this week!!! It was the coolest thing ever! I was on a bus to Plovdiv and there, on top of a Church dome, was a stork nest with two storks in it! The nest was huge! And the storks were so cool!!!! I even got a picture of it. It totally made my week.

I'm still coughing but I think I'm getting better. I slept last night which was wonderful! Most nights I cough from 1:00-5:00 and it makes me really tired. I'm excited to be getting better and coughing less.

I've decided I really like missionary work. I thought that talking to strangers about Christ, being rejected all day long, and testifying to strangers would be really hard and exhausting. I guess its hard, and sometimes it feels exhausting, but most of the time I'm just really happy. I don't mind getting rejected most of the time. It just means they're not ready yet. And its an incredible feeling to share the Gospel with all of God's children! I love it!

Yesterday at church Sister Elena gave a talk and in it she said, "Are the Apostles and missionaries today less important than the Christ's twelve apostles? No! They are just as important." When she said that I got a wave of shock realizing that I have such a huge responsibility! I'm supposed to be as powerful as the twelve apostles?! I don't feel like I'm a very powerful teacher. I just go and work, try and follow the Spirit, and trust that God is doing all of the rest.

Speaking of Christ's Apostles, I have some interesting Bulgarian history for you (which I learned from a member here and I'm assuming he's correct). The Apostle Paul taught in Bulgaria and started a Christian Church in a city further north in Bulgaria. That is so amazing!!! Then, one of Paul's students came to Stara Zagora and established one of the first Christian Churches in all of Bulgaria!!! In little Stara Zagora!!! I wish it was still standing so I could see it. Bulgaria has a rich history of Christianity. One day we were walking down the street and we ran into a Roman ampitheater. It was so incredible!!! Unfortunately, I found out later that that ampitheater was where they used to kill Christians. I'm so glad that they don't do that to us anymore..... I can't complain about my mission being hard since I don't have to worry about being killed. Its incredible to learn about Bulgarian history and realize that I'm teaching the Gospel right where an apostle of Christ taught it. Those are some pretty big footsteps to follow in.

Yesterday at Church no one came to teach Sunday School so guess who taught? Me! In Bulgarian!!! It was crazy. I was so nervous that I kept on tripping over my words but it ended up being okay. I talk much better when I'm with people on the streets or in their apartments. Its a lot harder for me to speak Bulgarian when I'm in front of lots of people staring at me. I knew that the lesson wouldn't be very good---goodness gracious, its coming from my poor Bulgarian---but I just said a prayer and said, "Heavenly Father, I'll do what I can. I know you'll take care of the rest."

I have a funny story about Bulgarian for you. Some little kids were showing me their sticker books and there was a page with lots of elephant stickers. I wanted to say "I love elephants!!!" but instead I enthusiastically said, "I love shelters!!!!" The boy looked at me weird, and I bursted out laughing when I realized what I said. You see, shelter is podslon (literally means under elephant) and elephant is slon. So I got a little confused. It happens all the time.

The trees are blooming and it is so lovely to walk past them. All the blooming trees have martenitzis tied to them which is adorable. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for this beautiful earth! Not only did he prepare everything for our salvation through the atonement of Christ, but He gave us a beautiful world, beautiful families, and wonderful experiences, to enjoy along the way.

I love you! I hope you're enjoying all the blooming flowers.
Chao! Vsichko Hubavo! (everything beautiful!)

Sestra Stenquist

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