Really really strange week. but no French... sort of... yet... This
week started with the first transfer of my mission. Surprise! Nothing
changed. Elder Hardy is still my companion and we're still in Kranj.
The only thing that really changed in the Ljubljana/Kranj area is one
of the sisters, Sister Gullo, in Ljubljana moved to a town called
Celje half way up Slovenia to the Northeast. So Sister Ary who was in
Celje is now in Ljubljana. But ultimately not a lot changed. Next
transfer though, in two more months, Pretty much everyone is
predicting Elder hardy to go down to Ljubljana and I'll either be back
with Elder Burdette or be training a new missionary in Kranj. Not that
I mind, I absolutely love Kranj. Language would be something
interesting, but I'm working hard to prepare myself for something like
that. But it's all speculation. We'll all have to wait until the
middle of January to find that out. :-)
Thanksgiving here in Slovenia was awesome as well! Of course, Slovenes
don't celebrate Thanksgiving, they hardly even know about it. When we
mentioned it was Thanksgiving today (like to my English class) every
one asked, but isn't there a big holiday on July 4th?.... Yes, but
So all the missionaries in Kranj, Ljubljana, and the sisters from
Celje all came and was had a big Thanksgiving lunch in the church
building. I cooked my mom's homemade pumpkin pie (hoorah for bringing the recipe with me from the states!) from this massive 17 pound half pumpkin I got from the sisters who got it from one of their english class students. I'm practically drowning in pumpkin puree right now.
But there was turkey (not a full one though, can't find those in
Slovenia), sweet potato casserole, salad, rolls, stuffing, practically
a full good thanksgiving. Then one of the Elders in Ljubljana made a
big murder mystery to solve over lunch. It was super awesome,
basically an alternate reality where one of us at the table killed him
and was have to figure out which one of us it was. Clues were left
around the church to find and some people randomly were given clues.
You really wouldn't have any idea how aggressive some of us can get
until it's a competition to see who can get that one vital clue that you know one of the other missionaries has.
Then, the next day, we had a weird convoluted exchange, where Elder
Grover who usually serves in Ljubljana was my companion for a few
days, then Elder Hardy went up to Maribor to be Elder Burdette's
companion for a few days. Was really strange. But we had a baptism on Saturday! This man the Ljubljana elders have been teaching was baptized and it was an amazing experience. Sister
Ary and I did a duet of ˝Vem da Odrešenik Živi˝ (I Know that my
Redeemer Lives) for the service, which was interesting but amazing with ~30 minutes to prepare/practice.
And then on Sunday, all the elders in Ljubljana drove up to Maribor to
end the exchange. So I have now basically driven through all of
Slovenia, and seen Celje and Maribor. And so we are today.
But this week, we taught this man who had met with missionaries a lot
before. One of his missionaries was actually Brother Sherman, one of
my Slovene teachers in the MTC. He is super prepared. We basically
rediscussed with him the restoration and asked him his relationship
with Christ. He said Christ has been there for his so much, and He has
ultimately saved his life. We discussed getting answers from God
regarding anything, whether life troubles or questions of what is
truth and he said God has spoken to him many times. We finally
discussed what it would mean if our message was true, if the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was Christ's church, and he said ˝I
know it is true˝. A little surprised we asked how he knew and he
answered, ˝Because I know Jesus and He told me it's true.˝
As we were leaving he mentioned to us that us reappearing to him was a
sign from God, that he hadn't been thinking of Christ for a long time, and had begun smoking again recently after God and Elder Sherman
had helped him quit. But now that was have returned, that was are a
sign from God that the time has come to once again refocus his life on
what is important and to quit again.
We can all be messengers of God. Just because you don't do what I do
full time in reaching out to people as a set apart, full time representative of Jesus Christ doesn't mean God can't use you to help others in bringing to pass His will. Something I have come to realize in the last few months is that God is one of the greatest architects
ever. However, He is not the architect of buildings, but the architect of
people. We are all influencing each other in a grand masterpiece we
can't begin to comprehend, and slowly bringing to pass His ultimate
goal and His glory, our enternal happiness through eternal life. And
why does He do all this? Because He loves us. Because He has already
sacrificed and paid the ultimate price for us. And now we just need to
bring the final pieces together to complete His purposes. This is my
work. And thus is the work of all those around us.
I pray everyone is and will be safe as the Christmas season starts.
Lights are going up in the city centers now. It's going to be