Saturday, April 6, 2013
Happy Easter to you!
Happy Easter to you! Bulgaria doesn't have Easter for another month, but it was fun to hear about your Easter celebrations!
This week I felt like I didn't work at all and then at the end of the week our numbers were huge. We had 14 lessons, and got a lot of receives from people. We even met a few families who want to meet with us! I've heard that you get what you work for, and I'm working for families. I try hard to talk to every family we run into and we've been tracting a lot to find families. Its terrifying but really exciting!
The most exciting thing about this week was that Stara Zagora had two baptisms! Blagoi, one of my favorite men in the world, got baptized, as well as a 15 year old girl. Blagoi was so ready. I can't imagine anyone being more prepared than he was. The baptisms went smoothly and this time I didn't even cough. For the baptisms Sister Shumway and I made lemon bars, homemade brownies, chocolate-chip cookies, and apple cake. The apple cake was so delicious! I love baking and sharing it with everyone. I am so happy for Blagoi!
At Church yesterday I got the hiccups which is something I have been dreading! My hiccups are so loud and disruptive! It was awful. Sister Zoya came up to me at Church and said, "Sister Stenquist, when you were at my house on Wednesday you took something." At first I was confused because I wasn't sure if I was hearing her right. "You took something from my house. Don't you lie to me." I was really confused and worried and asked her what it was, "You know, you took it. You need to give it back to me." What?! Then she started laughing. She said that to get me scared so that I would stop hiccuping. And it worked! I stopped. She said its the best Bulgarian medicine for hiccups. It was so funny and I'm so glad that she was just joking!
Its really hard to help people progress to baptism. It seems like people either come all ready and gung-ho, like they're pre-packaged. Otherwise, they just flounder until we eventually drop them. We invite, invite, invite, invite, and its exasperating when people don't do what they need to. I've learned that we just need to obey! No ifs ands or buts! We just need to obey, trusting in God, and then we'll see the blessings evidenced in our lives afterwards. God always blesses us when we obey, and when we don't we're only denying ourselves the blessings of heaven. This is so clearly seen as a missionary because everything depends on people obeying and keeping commitments. When they do, they progress and their faith grows and they are so happy! When they don't nothing happens. Their lives stay the same, because they don't do anything to change it. It is sad to invite people to partake of God's blessings and hear them say that they can't, they won't, its too hard. With one sister, who is extremely poor, we had a lesson about tithing. We explained how it opens up the windows of heaven and I felt so strongly that God has so many blessings waiting to pour out on her, but can't do it until she follows this one law! But she thinks its impossible for her to do, and won't do it. Everyone comes up with their own exceptions to at least one law. We think, "With God everything is possible except this law in my life. I can't do it and therefore don't have to." Everyone just needs to stand up and obey to receive the blessings of heaven.
I'm so glad you all had a wonderful time celebrating Easter. I'm really excited to celebrate it here. Its so exciting and joyful to celebrate the Resurrected Christ!
Vsichko Hybavo, everything beautiful,