Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Here I come SOFIA!!!

We got transfer calls on Friday and I'm going to SOFIA!!! The capital of Bulgaria!!!! So big!!! Wow. I am super excited and I have a ton of stuff to do. Today is my last day in Stara Zagora so I have plans, and this email will be pretty short. In Sofia my companion will be Sister Turnbow who has been out for a long time and knows French (hurray for France!). The Branch there is huge and the work is really busy so it'll be a big learning experience.

Ha ha, when I told Hristo I was leaving (my beloved mustachioed man who got baptized in January) he said, "You're leaving! Half of Stara Zagora is going to cry when you leave. And it'll be all the men!!!" Ha ha, he is my favorite!!!

The party was great! We had all the members help us with decorations and food and the spiritual thought which was great. We had chili, chips and salsa, apple cake, and peach cake. I pretty  much made all of the food. :) I just love cooking! The chili was a little spicy but the members ate it all which is surprising (Bulgarians don't like spicy food.) We danced to country music which was so enjoyable. I miss dancing! I taught them how to dance like cowboys. After the fun, we went to the Sacrament meeting room where we watched the end of 17 Miracles. Then Brother Denev got up to testify of faith in Christ. His testimony was so powerful, backed up by all of his emotions, and it was really good. At the end Minka said she never wanted to leave the Church, because it feels so good to be there.

Minka has a baptismal date! She's the homeless woman with a mullet. She is awesome. Since we've started teaching her, she's changed. She looks happy. She smiles. She glows! At the end of one of our lessons, she said, "Can I ask a question? Why do I feel goodness in my heart when I read the Book of Mormon?" Ha ha, what a good question! She has a baptismal date for July 13 and I'm so happy for her. She is a sweet heart. She told me her dream is to have a job and her own apartment to live in. I looked in her eyes and told her that she is a daughter of God, and that God has mansions prepared for her in heaven, as long as she lives worthy of it. She smiled, glowing, and said she was going to cry. God is very good to us. Minka is so special. I love her a lot.

I've been thinking a lot about how people have changed as I've taught them and they've developed faith in Christ. Reni, the mom with the sick child, still only has small faith, but she has changed. She smiles more. She is more humble. She prayers with humility and sincerity instead of yelling at God. Her daughter used to have fits of violently rocking and looked very upset and uncomfortable. Now, whenever she comes, she grins and laughs and prays. Its really cute. She is so joyful, it makes all of us laugh and rejoice too.

Baba Vera is also different. When I first met her she was always on the bridge of tears, she was so sad. She lives alone, her daughter died when she was young. She was so lonely and sad. Now, she is so beloved by the Branch and she loves the people there too. Stara Zagora is a little family, and now they have Baba Vera to love. She doesn't cry anymore, except when she talks about me leaving. She's so adorable. She even reads the Book of Mormon in her spare time and continues to pray every day. She came to the Branch party with a bright red cowboy hat and even danced like a cowgirl with us. She's adorable

I am so grateful to have served in Stara Zagora! The members here are amazing and I love them with all my heart. I am sad to leave, but it feels right too. I know I'll love Sofia and there is a ton of work there to do!

Talk to you next week!
Sister Stenquist

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