Life in Slovenija has started to take a turn for cooler and damper weather in the last couple of days. A storm rolled in Friday night/Saturday morning at 4:30 am and since then has been overcast to partially cloudy and cool and damp. Not cold, except in the morning, and it's rained every night I think since then. I just hope this early cool down doesn't mean that we are going to have another long, cold, snowy winter again like last year.
So the new developments!!! We received 4 new missionaries in Slovenija this last week! Elder Deringer (my grandson by missionary lingo!) and Elder Stot in Ljubljana with Elder Wilson (my ˝son˝ cause I trained him) and Elder Burdette respectively. Then Sister Legro received Sister Jones here in Celje, and Elder Simon received Elder Hunt in Maribor. It is exciting to see all these new missionaries fresh from the MTC with all the light and energy of bringing people the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, their Slovene is spectacular. Really, they are light years ahead of where I was at the beginning.
This week, Elder Baldwin and I had more great success working with less active members. For the one I mentioned last week, who was super strong a few months ago, then randomly stopped coming. We ran into him spontaneously on the street this last week, on Wednesday I think, and set up to meet with him the next day. We spent the afternoon with him, and at the end, he rejected the invitation to come to church this Sunday, but said he would come maybe next Sunday, or a Sunday!! Progress! One step at a time.
Then for another less active, this is the one who was very strong 8 or so years ago, and actually referred the other guy I just mentioned to the missionaries and his whole family was baptized. After we spontaneously met with him a few weeks ago, he became incredibly difficult to get in touch with and set up. We would either set up and he would text us cancelling the day of, or we would show up and his son would say he was gone. Then this week, when we were meeting with the first less active, and the branch president shows up and we start talking to him about him, and how we haven't been able to meet with him. The branch president was really good friends with him and knew him, and so we asked if he would call him and set up with us. He said, ˝ Yeah I will. Actually, why don't I just call him now?˝ And so he called him right in front of us and set up with him for Saturday afternoon!! We meet on Saturday afternoon and have an excellent lesson with him. We discuss how the gospel changed his life for the better and how it can still bring blessings to his life. We committed him to pray regularly and start reading the scriptures again and he willingly accepted. Also, we will be having a fireside in Ljubljana in a few weeks where all 70 are coming, and invited him to prepare himself to go with us and the branch here. He accepted!! He has the desire and the connections now, all he needs is the faith and courage to act. As long as we keep regularly meeting with him, I can see him coming back after 8 years of inactivity within the month. And then he has a family he can share the gospel with once he is strong again!
Miracles are happening here and the work is marching forward!
Hope all is well and that you stay cool back home.
Much Care - Starešina Benson