Monday, July 29, 2013

Pippi Longstockings and rats

This week Sister Cross came to Sofia and its been great working with her! She's super cute and we get along really well. Sister Shumway worked with us for a few days as she waited for a new sister from the MTC to arrive, since she's training again. I was scared to work in a three-some, but it was actually wonderful. I learned a lot, and it was really powerful working with Sister Cross and Sister Shumway because they're both really good, strong missionaries.

Now that its summer there are lots of tourists in Sofia. This week I talked to a family from England, a girl from Moldova, a couple from France, a man from Switzerland, and a girl from China!!! I met the girl from China in the subway, and tried so hard to talk to her, but it was like swimming through mud. I basically just told her i was a missionary, I teach about Jesus Christ, and that I wanted to give her a book about Jesus Christ so she could have faith in him. She wasn't really interested, and seemed confused why I wanted to give her a book, but oh well.

I braided my hair the other day into two tails and the Bulgarians' reaction was so funny! Quite a few people told me that I looked just like Pippi Longstocking. I don't know why, but Bulgarians LOVE Pippi. I see the book all over, and everyone associated my braids with her. I asked one man why he loved Pippi and he said, "I don't know, I haven't read the book. I just like her, with her braids, and how she lifted a cow above her head!" It was so funny. I've got to wear braids more often!

One day when I was contacting with Sister Shumway and Sister Cross, Sister Shumway saw a big rat run into a little paper shop. She went to tell the shop worker, who then got edgy and scared. Sister Shumway and I stayed outside of the shop with her while Sister Cross chased the rat around the room. It was really funny. And really gross.

On Saturday my friend Minka in Stara Zagora got baptized so I got to go down for the baptism. It was like returning home to Heaven!!! I walked into the Church and little Elena (15 years old with
curly blonde hair, new member) hit me with a huge hug. We hugged and hugged, both on the bridge of tears. I love her so much! Then I hugged Minka and congratulated her, and she was pretty quiet but happy. Then I went into the congregational hall and there was Baba Vera!! She was so happy to see me and I was so happy to see her! She called out, "Oh, milichka" or, "Oh, little deary!" which is what she always calls me. She said she keeps a picture of me and my card in her room where she can see it. Then there was Hristo!!! My favorite mustachioed man! He bent down with his arms open so I ran up to give him a hug and he lifted me off the floor! Ha ha! I love him so much! I am grateful there is nothing in the rules about hugging friends. It felt like dying and going to heaven. Both Baba Vera and Elena told me I am welcome to live with them in Stara Zagora if I ever want to, so I have two homes there.

Sofia is hard because the Branch runs on its own and without working with the Branch I don't know what to do with myself! I am used to running and organizing and guiding  Stara Zagora. There's just not a lot to do here in Sofia, or rather, not much gets done no matter how I work. Every day our schedule is full with plans and hopes, and often at the end of the day our numbers are all zeros. I know numbers aren't everything, but it sure feels good to see that I've accomplished something when I count up. Oh well, I'll keep working and fighting even if I get 0's.

We did meet a couple cool people this week. One girl we said hi to, turned and stopped us to ask us what we were doing. We said we were missionaries from the Church and it turns out she's lived in Idaho and knew some really nice mormon families. She said she really wanted to learn more! We haven't been able to meet with her yet, but she came to Church on Sunday with her husband which is so miraculous! Principally, getting people to Church is one of the hardest parts but she came before we had even met! I have great hopes for her.

There was another man who we tried to stop, but he said he was busy and kept walking. So I ran to catch up with him and said, "Well, if you don't have any time, please just read this pamphlet about the Plan of Happiness. I know that God loves you!" He took it, said, thanks, and kept on walking. Then an hour later we were talking to another man when the first man came up to talk to us again. He was done with his business, and wanted to talk to us more about our message. He's really cool, successful, kind, with a big heart, and I am so excited to teach him.

I really do know that God lives, He loves us, and He guides us when we follow Him.
Much love from Sofia,
Sister Stenquist

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