Tuesday, January 15, 2013

President Rowe and Joy Beyond Measure

Greetings everyone!!

It's snowing today all across the former Yugoslavia, especially in
Kranj. It snowed perhaps 9in to a foot last night and looking outside
right now, it's still snowing. I was getting used to the cool but snow
free weather of the last 3-4 weeks. But it is winter in Europe I
guess, so it all comes in the same package.

This week has been a great week. Elder Bateman, my companion has
finally fully kicked his sickness at the beginning of the week, and
just in time too! On Thursday, we had President Rowe, my mission
president (the person in charge of all the missionaries in my whole
mission) come up and spend the day working with us.

He arrived in the morning, shortly after our studies for the day were
over, and we spent an hour or two talking about the Kranj area and
Ljubljana. It was great since I'm now the most experienced missionary
in the mission in Kranj since I helped reopen it, and Elder Bateman
spent 4 months in Ljubljana and so knows a lot about there.

After that, we went to lunch, contacting people on the way. It was
pretty funny trying to make it down the one little side road in Kranj
as one of us stopped to walk backwards with a person, talking
to them, then the other would to do the same, with President kind of
following us around making small talk with us. After about 1 hour of
this we hadn't made any progress what soever, so he said, ˝You know,
we do need to make it to lunch eventually, so you don't have to talk to
EVERY person you see, just if you're inspired to do so.˝

After lunch, we went to try to visit a less active member
President knew from last year but she wasn't home, then Elder Bateman
and I both said in unison, ˝Then we can go visit these people!˝ We
hadn't mentioned it to each other at all, but that morning we had both
thought of visiting the same person that day with President. Now
that's inspiration.

About the beginning of November, I visited this person and did some
service with her and Elder Grover on exchanges. Unfortunately, her
husband was in Germany sick, and so we met with her once before she
went back to Germany to be with him. And so we went to stop by their
home to see if by chance, they were back from Germany... and they

We rung their door and within a few seconds the door unlocks. I crack
the door open and there is the wife at the top of the stairs, ˝Oh!!
Starešina!! Živijo Živijo!!! Pridi notre!!!˝ (Oh!! Elder!! Hello
hello!!! Come on in!!!) She was incredibly excited to see us, and her
husband was with her from Germany. It was difficult because he can
only speak German, and maybe a handful of Slovene, but we managed
with his wife translating for us. Ultimately, we discussed our purpose
in helping them be happier and having more blessings in their lives.
They already know everything there is to ever know about religion and
the church. And so we invited them to baptism and they were prepared.
They will set the date themselves, but they are ready. Her husband has
a fear of water, but we can accommodate them.

Having been around the church for so long, they recognize the
blessings the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has to offer, and are
eager to be able to take part in them, most particularly the blessings
from the temple. After the long time growing comfortable and sitting
on the invitations of older missionaries, they are ready to partake of
the happiness they can have, the strengthened relationship with
each other, and personal eternal peace, comfort, and strength which
comes with entering into the restored gospel and kingdom of God. The
experience really helped me understand exactly, what my purpose is.
It is, most simply, to help others find happiness. To understand who
they are more fully, and receive blessings in life beyond measure. I
am so grateful to be a part of this great work going forward, and
feel privileged to be able to have the joy of helping others
experience joy.

I pray everyone at home is safe and has an absolutely joyful week
beyond measure.

-Starešina Benson

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