Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No letter but new bikes

Dear Readers,

No e-mail was received this week, only a reply to his parents letter.  Here is an interesting side note from Elder Benson this week.

Twyla Benson "Mom"

Elder Simon and I bought bikes last month at the police auction, mine for €25! And then I had to get all the things for it, a helmet mainly.   In total it has been probably €80.

We are using the bikes A LOT. They are absolutely wonderful and save so much time! We live in Nova Vas (an area in Celje to the north of center) and before it was a 30 minute walk to church every Sunday, and another 30 minute walk back home. Now it is only about 10 minutes each way. Saves a ton, TON of time. Elder Simon however didn't buy as good a bike I think though. His gears aren't working right now and will have to take it into a shop soon to get it fixed. Until then he's stuck in like 2nd gear perpetually.

Such is life as a missionary.

-Starešina Benson

Monday, June 17, 2013


Heyo all družina in prijatelji!!
I hope everything is well at home. From what I hear it has been raining a ton in Texas, which is ironic since it has been perfectly clear skies here in Slovenija for the most part this week. I think the weather is just going to be whatever is opposite here as in Texas. Then again, I don't know if Texas will win on the rain side if that's the case since it rains so much in Slovenia.
This week has been an incredibly busy week with a whole lot of I don't know what. We had a Zone conference on Thursday so I got to meet all the new sisters in Slovenia, Sister Kovač in Maribor and Sister Fugal in Ljubljana (Sister Porter of course in Celje I already know). Our investigator who was on date for baptism this Saturday went for 11 days without smoking before he gave in again. We all came to the conclusion to meet with him again maybe in a few months when he feels he will have the strength and stronger desire to quit smoking and be baptized. I went on an exchange with Elder Mills on Friday and did service for an older member of the branch cutting her lawn. It was a lot of work, but we will probably get another service opportunity out of it as her neighbor asked if we could help him in 10 or so days with his lawn as well.
This next week looks like it is going to be a whole lot of talking to everyone finding new people to visit. It is going to be so much fun!! Also, this Friday is the last day of school for the high schoolers and I think exams are ending on Friday as well for the college people, which means, as rumor has it, that Celje is about to become a ghost town as everyone goes to the coast.
I don't really have any cool stories I can think of today, so here are a few pictures to make up for it instead from last p-day. Notice Sister Legro's Rocking Slovenia flag t-shirt. We went to the university of Maribor building with the member we were with that day and everyone was staring at her. Way to stick out even when we're not wearing nice clothes!!
-Starešina Benson

Monday, June 10, 2013

To be lifted up

Lep Pozrav moja družina, prijatelji, in najljubši-
Hope all is well and warm as well back home. This week has taken a turn for the warmer, still wet, and really strange weather. The good news about thunderstorms with the sun shining? Rainbows! I've seen probably three of them this week. But still, it's really eerie for it to be pouring and it to be completely sunny with thunder in the background. The summer storms typically only last about an hour, though, before it stops and the wonderful humidity kicks in.
This week has been a busy week of preparing for this week. This week we start English class sign ups again, and we're having an informational meeting to start a stop smoking program. We'll see what kind of response we get, it should be interesting. Because we have the sisters here this time, we have done x2 the amount of fliers as last time.
The person we meet with right now who is set for a baptism in two weeks is on his 10th day having not smoked!! That is amazing progress and is the furthest he's come since ever meeting with missionaries in the last, at least 5 years, maybe, if not ever? But of course this is the longest he's gone, because there is nothing longer than being a non-smoker for the rest of your life and eternity, right?
Also, good story from this week is that as we were passing out fliers for English class and the Stop Smoking Program in a neighborhood called Ostrožno, we started talking to a guy who was sitting parked in his driveway getting ready to leave. We explained we were here passing out fliers for English class, and he started asking about our church, if we had any brochures about faith we could give him. we gave him one we had on us about the restoration, and he explained he was friends with the branch president here in Celje. We invited him to come to church and set up with him for tonight. We will see what comes of him.
Also, one of the less actives I mentioned last week who we had a strange time contacting him, actually met with us last week! It went! It turns out he was one of the first members ever to join the church in Celje, being baptized in 1991! He was still very interested, and we discussed how to do missionary work and maybe methods we could use to improve it. However, he has a difficult family situation which prevents him from doing much of anything besides be at home and work, much less go to church. However, we will work with him to ease his problems. It is amazing how much lives can fall apart so quickly when someone leaves the gospel. Equally amazing I think however, is how quickly they can be rebuilt and healed once principles of the gospel, such as love, forgiveness, patience, and repentance, are applied as well. This is the true miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It isn't that it is a bandage to support people, but it changes people to be better such that they can lift and support themselves out of the trials and difficulties of life.
Hope all is well and warm as well at home. Life is great! Here are a few more pics for y'all, maybe I can get one of our new sister in Cleje, Sister Porter today. We're going hiking in the mountains today for P-day. Should be fun.
Še naprej in uživaj vse!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Miracles Everywhere!

Zdravo moji najljubši ljudje doma!
This week has been another absolutely miraculous week. The person we meet with who has been off and on with his baptism date is now on day 4 being off of smoking, the longest I've been with him. Also, two of the people who are ˝semi-active˝ or in other words are around but not incredibly involved or regular, both came this Sunday, one of them the second time in a row after not having come for well over 3 months. And we have established contact with two new members who haven't come in a long long time and have/will set up with them before too long.
Also, we found a new person to work with this week totally by the inspiration and well intentions of the members here in Celje. On Wednesday, we had been asked if we could help one of the members ˝saw and cut˝ wood. So we accepted and showed up at the other member's house where it was at, expecting to pick up an ax like I had many a time in Kranj to cut firewood. We soon discovered however that not all was as I had assumed it would be. We went around the house of the member's neighbor to find piles and piles of abandoned wood, majority of which used to be furniture. And, with a chainsaw and screw drivers, began removing the metal from the wood and sawing the boards into fire pit safe pieces.
As we worked, one of the members we were working with showed me an older woman who I didn't know who was helping us, and told me that this all was for her. She also told me that she had just lost her husband ten days ago. Noting the information, I assured her we would talk to her. Some 3 hours later, we finished for the day and she invite us and the member who had invited us to have lunch with her. Over lunch, we discussed her challenges and trials with the recent passing of her late husband, and discussed how the gospel provides tools for our lives to bring us peace, even in the times of our utmost turmoil.
She gladly accepted what we gave her and told her, and mentioned as lunch was coming to an end that we were guided by God, that where ever He needs us, we go, and today we had to be at her home. Unfortunately for us, she lives in the Sister's area, but I trust they will care for her well.
Also, we have had an... interesting series of events transpire to setting up a time to meet with a less active member we still haven't met tomorrow. He hasn't been to church in at least... 5-10 years. We will see how it goes tomorrow.
In other news it is strangely cold again here in Slovenia. Who would have thought it would be in the 50's to 60's in June now. I've had to wear my winter jacket a few times this week!! It snowed on the tops of the higher hills outside of Celje Saturday night, Sunday morning. And rain. rain every where every day (except today!! :-D) But still, everyone keeps saying it is strange strange weather.
Hope everyone is warm, even maybe hot if you have that opportunity at home. What I wouldn't give for nice sunny weather. None the less, let the miracles keep flowing!

-Starešina Benson