Monday, February 3, 2014

An icy, but MIRACULOUS week. Really really icy and miraculous.

Hello all family and friends. Lep pozdrav... actually from Celje today because I'm here for p-day, but normally from Ljubljana. 

This week, winter really really came and made it obvious that it was winter. Granted it took all the way to February to do it, but it has finally come. The snow that fell last week was only the beginning to a really awful week weather wise. It snowed again early in the week, and then the snow stopped, and the rain began. It was too warm to snow up high, but the air on the ground was freezing, especially at night, so all the rain that fell, soon froze into a layer of ice over EVERYTHING. A bit further south and west of Ljubljana in Postojna, the ice was about 2 inches thick. People's cars were completely encased in ice two inches thick, and the electricity failed along with the water pumps. Supposedly everything will be fine, just not very good. Yesterday getting to church, it probably would have been easier to get to church with ice skates than with boots there was so much ice everywhere. The snow is kind of off and on, but whatever has fallen and not been cleaned up, all has a layer of ice over it now.

So the weather has been really really bad, but other than that, this week has absolutely been amazing for Elder Burdette and I.

It all started from the beginning on Monday. We went to a apartment building where Elder Burdette had met a few people some time ago who had said he could come back. So we went to the first ones, on the 10th floor and knocked on the first door, hearing that people were home, but no one came and opened the door. We then went to a younger woman's door nearby and knocked, but it was obvious no one was home. We then decided we can just keep going then and knock on a few more doors on a lower level where Elder Burdette hadn't reached. Unfortunately, the elevator we got into only went to even floors, so we had to go down to level 6 instead of our goal of level 5. So we go down, and when the door opens, directly in front of us is the younger woman whose door we had just knocked on. She was walking up the stairs, and when she say us get out of the elevator she gasped! It was truly a miracle that we ran into her. It was truly the perfect timing to the second, in a completely random floor. The Lord truly guided us to her in very strange, but intentional way. We talked and she expressed a lot of concerns. We set up to come back on Sunday (yesterday). We came back yesterday, inviting a member to come along with us, and had a great, quick visit with her.

The next truly amazing thing from this week came with the help of one of the member families here in Ljubljana. I had known them from before when I was in Kranj. They always had the reputation of giving missionaries lots of referrals of who they could go to, but nothing ever came of those referrals. My first week in Ljubljana, they asked us to come by, and (in addition to giving us 2 referrals) mentioned they were going to invite their neighbors over to meet with us. We didn't hear too much from them the week after, but this last Monday, we got a text message from them saying they had set up with their neighbors to come over in the evening to meet us. We go over, not really knowing what to expect, and their neighbors come! We get to know them and begin to teach. They are two women, the first a handicapped woman and then her friend who helps take care of her. They were both incredibly interested if not a bit cautious at first. They asked us two very good questions, ˝How can I grow my faith when I have lost most of it?˝, and ˝How can I know which faith is true?˝ They are incredibly good and ready for the message. We were able to meet with them again a few days later and finished teaching the restoration of the gospel. It is truly amazing to see the trust the members have developed with the missionaries, and has now developed to allowing us to meet and teach their friends.

Also, this week we set up with our English class student who is also an investigator. We asked one of the members who is living in Ljubljana to come on the lesson with us. The member actually is an American, not a Slovene, but served his mission in Slovenia, even Ljubljana 8 or so years ago, and knows many people from his time here. So we taught the lesson (and got lunch from it as well), and then asked if he wanted to go try one of the less active members who literally lived a 2 minute walk from where we were. He knew this less active member from when he was a missionary, and she was actually the third Slovene member ever, the first baptized member. So we ring her name outside her building, and she answers! She recognized him immediately, and invites us all up. We go and have a quick visit, getting to know her, and that she still has an incredible testimony of the gospel. We teach a brief spiritual message which brings her to tears, and set up with her for the next week. It was amazing. She is so strong and knows what is right. I can not wait to see where things will go with her.

Other than this we had an excellent visit with another member family who lives outside Ljubljana and taught a much needed lesson on the Atonement, and met her less active daughter. We are getting to know many of the members here now, and building good strong relationships with them.

The work is brightening up, even if the weather isn't. Here's to even more miracles before us in the upcoming week.

Much care and warm wishes-
-Starešina Benson

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