Week 71 – Brașov, România

Thank you mom for the wonderful reminder of this holiday. Mary’s perspective is one that we don’t really see. Meaning we don’t put ourselves in her shoes very often. She really had it rough. You said it straight forward. He was her best friend, and she had to go through the pain and grief of the whole situation. That is a hard thing to do.

I love this time period, and I love the Savior. My goal is to serve Him as best as I can in the time I have been given. (which is running out). In my little world here I feel like I have been going through some hard times. Dealing with personal trials and the natural wear and tear of missionary work has really gotten me down. I think that I have even had some nights where I didn’t know if I should cry or just give up. I have this thought in my mind, and it has never left me for years, and it is only ever reaffirmed whenever I read about the Savior in the scriptures. I remember a very specific quote form someone. I believe that it was President Uchtdorf, but I do not remember which talk or when. He said that we should never give up, because the Savior never gave up on us. Elder Holland has also said something similar. “This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ ‘at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,’ for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone.” (Elder Holland “None Were With Him”).

I have felt the love of the Savior more in my life than I have ever felt. I have never felt more spiritually alone and in need of Him either. This mission has brought me to my knees. Often I ask “Why me?”, or “It isn’t fair”. I have felt so lost and confused, and hurt that I didn’t know where else to go but to the Lord. Even in those times, though, He let me feel the pain and learn, and then pick me up to see the level that I could now stand on if I chose it. Only through my tears and pain could I have gotten to that next level, and only with His help. Thus, I have told myself that I can NEVER give up. He never gave up on me, and I will never give up on Him. The end. No questions asked. I will do whatever it takes to follow Him. Sadly, this attitude of trying to be better, isn’t even popular among some missionaries. I have never felt more spiritually strong though, and it is all to do with Him.

Hike_02_04Conference was a breath of fresh air and I went into it prepared to be fed. I knew that I would get out of it what I put in. So I spent a little time the days previous to pray and ask that I might be spiritually prepared for the whispering of the spirit in those meetings. It was a wonderful General Conference. I always think that the last one can’t be beat, but every time is has been. I loved Priesthood session. Each talk was very inspired and President Uchtdorf’s talk was really strong. I love it when the apostles say it how it is. I love it when they get a little fired up about what they are talking about too. Elder Ballard’s talk came out of nowhere. I loved it! It was powerful as well. I wasn’t able to watch all the sessions in English, because our investigators came to two of the sessions. That was really cool. They are two amazing people and they are solid. I mean I have not met more prepared people. They are both very very prepared, and I feel honored to be trusted to teach them.

This week we find out transfer boards, which is sad because the people we are teaching are leaving on the 10th to go to China till the 22nd. Which means that our next visit could possibly be the last. They are really the only really strong investigators that I will mention. We are working with a few others, but they are not at the same level yet. They are SO COOL!

Brasov_22What else happened…Easter is actually this weekend. Orthodox always waits a week before they have their celebration, so candles are this week! Thank heavens, because it is snowing right now, and it has been raining for a long while now. We are supposed to see sun though this week so I am really happy about that. I love the sun! It makes me happy, or maybe Vitamin D does… I am glad that the kids still make blanket forts. I LOVE FORTS! They are so much fun, and warm. I am sad to hear about their architectural flaws though…They will probably have to make another one next week to make up for the one this week. ;).

I hope everyone is happy. I had a crazy thought. The next general conference, will mark me only having a few weeks left on my mission. Scary… Things are going good. We are going to continue to work hard this week, and I am going to continue to ignore the bad things. That is how it will be. No questions asked. I do feel the respect of some of my colleagues in the district though. I am grateful for them that support me. I am so happy that we have a champion who has conquered all things for us. I am so grateful that we don’t have to walk this path alone, ever. I am doing the right things, and I am trying to do even better ones. Thus, I can have the peace that comes from doing the Lord’s work. It has been a good week. I love you all very much, and don’t forget to read. It is probably the single greatest thing to help protect against Satan, and the easiest one to forget about.  

 Love, Varstnicul Nick Oldham