Sunday, May 6, 2012

Paula Update

April 30, 2012
I haven't given you a Paula update in a while. It's been an...interesting couple of weeks. So let me back up a bit.

As you know, she was scheduled to get baptized a few weeks back. However, during her baptismal interview, our district leader asked for her maiden name and found out the name that she is still using is her maiden name. That made him worry a little bit about her marital status. She explained to us that for her family, as orthodox members, whether the government says you're married or not, is not important. Marriage is between a husband, a wife, and God and no piece of paper makes a difference. All that is important is to be married in the church in front of the priest and witnesses (usually family.)

After talking to the President about that, he asked us to get witness signatures from her family members saying that they really did see them get married. That was a bit of a hassle, but after doing so, we got everything sent off to President. He then sent it on to the area authorities, who in turn, forwarded it to the church's lawyers in Romania to check on the validity of it. After waited a couple of weeks, President finally called us back. According to the lawyers, Paula is not legally married. And obviously would need to be before she could be baptized. He told us that only a couple of days after her husband received (after years of waiting for them) his legality papers. He told me that, while I'd probably not be able to see her baptized before leaving, it was my job to get her married before going home.

Not going to lie, when President gives me specific assignments like that, I get kind of stressed. But out of all the tasks he's ever given me, that one probably stressed me the most. How could I tell her that? AND how in the world would I ever get them to get married here? Even if she understood, would her husband? And getting married costs money they don't have, and time I didn't have. Here you have to got to the Marie and fix an appointment which usually takes a minimum (in the commune she lives in) of four to six months. President told me that he felt very strongly that I needed to help ensure they got married before going home. Not having anywhere near four, let alone, six months left, I got stressed.

We looked into every option we could think of, but just couldn't find a way to make it work. One of the biggest problems is their legality status. While her husband has received the approval to be legal, he needs to finalize some things before he can have his card...thus making the wedding possibility even farther away since one of them must be a legal citizen to get married.

See the endless cycle of stress causing obstacles?

And to top everything off, we have only been able to see her one since we got that phone call and it was for about three minutes. So we didn't have time to explain the marriage problem.


This past Tuesday we went to see her - praying really hard that she'd be ready to accept the news we had. She just been so excited to President to get back to us because she was sure they would approve and let her get baptized. But we had to tell her, she'd need to be married legally. She took it just fine. The Lord had completely planned this all out. Her husband got in contact with a friend who is going to Romania this week and can drive their family there with him. They are probably leaving this Wednesday morning. They are going specifically to get married. Going back to Romania, they can get married for free, within a day or two, and then, his Belgian legality with carry over, and Paula and the two boys will have rights here as well! =)

So, as always, the Lord knew far better than we did. With all the researching we did, we could see no possible way to get them married any time soon, especially before I left, but...He did. So while I it is extremely unlikely that I'll see Paula baptized, (it takes a day and a half to drive there, and another day and a half back, plus the actual wedding) I'll get to leave knowing she'll be baptized a couple days after I leave. And I'm perfectly happy with that. I'm just thrilled that it'll finally work out for her. =) After all this time, she'll finally get to be baptized!!! =)

So, I'll get to leave her, knowing she's in a good state. =)

However, that would mean that I'll have to leave to dead. Seriously, with all the mangez-vous we have this week...I think we might literally die this week. No joke. We had a rendez-vous with a new amie that we contacted a bit ago. She made a feast for us when we got there. She must have thought we were starving, because she just would not stop feeding us. We left SO full. We literally thought we were going to die. (Kind as it was of her, she very well could have been trying to kill us ha ha) And then...we had another diner appointment yesterday, another tomorrow, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and next Monday already set. I realize people are just trying to be nice in feeding us. But all I can say is I'm glad that they majority of the ward doesn't know yet that I'm leaving. Because just out of the few people who's going to be an adventure trying to eat all the food we've got ahead of us for this next week ha ha. At the very worse, they may just have to wheel me off the plane on a stretcher ha ha. Poor Soeur Johnson's got to stay living though so she can keep working. Who would have ever thought that the kindness of members could kill missionaries?! ha ha

Well, lots more happened this week, but I'm just about out of time. So I'll have to tell you about out feeding the homeless, wedding choir, and exchanges later. ('s been busy)

I love you and I hope you have a wonderful week!