Monday, January 28, 2013

Insane Week and the Beginning of Training!

Hey all friends and family!!

Hope all is well back home in the warmer states (especially Texas).
High's in the 70's? That's just weather I dream of right now.

This week has been a bit of insanity, but has gone by super fast and
already last Monday feels like ages ago. Of course last Monday I was
still companions with Elder Bateman before his death to all the
Slovene missionaries with his defection to Croatia. We spent the whole
day running around different government buildings in Ljubljana trying
to get him deregistered from Slovenia so he would be able to get a
Croatian visa. Then once we had it all done some 5 hours later, we ran
to Celje on a train to spend the last few hours of p-day with all the
other missionaries in Slovenia. We were there for an hour or so, but
it was great to see everyone.

Then super early Tuesday morning at 5:40 we were on a train to Zagreb.
The new missionaries arrived at around 11:50, but didn't actually come
to the mission office where I was helping for the day, doing some odd
jobs for the office couple and Zagreb missionaries until about 3. We
then went out with them to do a little intro to missionary work talking
to people on the street before heading out and doing some missionary
work in Zagreb with a Croatian missionary. The language from Croatia
to Slovene is hard. Even if I spoke perfect Slovene, there was still
only like a 50% chance the people would understand me.

The next day, Wednesday, I found out who my new companion was!! All
day we had a training conference with President so we were in the
Zagreb chapel from early in the morning until about 5 pm. We then had
to catch our train to Ljubljana at 6, and then head back to Kranj that
night, arriving home around 9:30 pm.

Slept well that night after all the travel and earlier than normal
mornings, and then back to work!! We had a bunch of lessons packed
into this week, having to compress a 5-6 ish day work week into 3
days. But it was a really effective week. We had our first English
class that Thursday evening, and a few dinners with the people we met
with. I don't mind if I don't eat again for a few days. So much

We also had one of the first people we meet with come to church on
Sunday as well!! She is a friend of a member here and is incredibly
outgoing and nice. In Kranj, it can be difficult getting people to
church for the first time as it is a 30-40 minute drive to Ljubljana
each way, but she seemed to have a great time there.

So my new companion's name is Elder Wilson. He's from Provo Utah and
is a great guy. I think he knows Slovene better than I did coming out
of the MTC. His week of course has been hard, what with the compressed
schedule, jet lag, and being in a country where you can't really
understand anything that anyone is saying. But he's doing great and
will be a great missionary before too long. Everyone I feel has that
transition time.

On the other hand, it really shows how quickly I have grown here in
the mission to now be training a new person. I no longer have a
companion who's been in the country longer than me, and with Elder
Wilson not understanding hardly anything right now, I'm the one having
to have most of the conversations with people. But I've had hardly any
problems in the past couple of days. I've only had one moment this
week in Slovene where people didn't understand what I was saying, and
only a handful of moments where I didn't understand what they were
saying. So it should be a fantastic transfer this transfer!!

I am so grateful for this opportunity to train. I expect it is going
to be difficult, but that would come one day or the other when I would
be in the country longer than my companion. But because it is going to
be difficult, I know that I am about to grow so much more in the next
two months in language, as a missionary, and as a person. Even in the
first few days, I have seen more and more where my weaknesses are, and
places I can improve. Being the one someone relies on makes this even
more apparent, and even more necessary to correct. And so I am looking
forward to the great experience we are about to have.

Ajdaj, Gremo naprej!! (alright, we go forward!!)
-Starešina Benson

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