Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Small acts of kindness

Hello all, fam and friends!
The weather in Slovenia has been outright wonderful this week. Up to seventy degrees F, sunny, and flowers blooming all over the place... until Sunday. It started raining in Sunday, and it poured, and is still raining today, but it is good. Hopefully the next few weeks will be sunny again and then it can rain for a day or two. I would be completely happy with that. We need rain every now and again, at least to selfishly clean up the air so I can see the alps from my kitchen window again. ;-)
Otherwise, we have a great new person we are meeting with from Macedonija whom we know through English Class. He has come to three spiritual thoughts / institutes, and we were finally able to meet with him this week for a lesson after the spiritual thought on Tuesday. He has been living in Slovenia for awhile, and speaks great Slovene as his wife is Slovene, and has a 5 year old daughter. He grew up in a completely atheist family in Jugoslavija where there was no such thing as faith. However, when he started going to college, he became curious about different faiths and started investigating different ones, including Hare Krishna, through which he developed a faith in God. Then, he graduated as an archaeologist and began working in the field in Macedonija. One of the places he worked at was near a Russian orthodox monastery where a sect of Russian monks who had been exiled because of Stalin's regime were staying. He got to know them very well and began learning from them as well, and developed a faith in Christ through them. However, he has a deep dislike for churches, and very clearly can see the apostasy. However, since he has moved to Slovenija, he has not been able to find an outlet  for, as he puts it, ˝living water˝, and so is very grateful for being able to meet with us. We are very excited for him and hope and have faith that he can progress.  Otherwise the week has been fine. Elder Burdette, myself, and the Thompsons, the new senior couple in Ljubljana, went with a member family on Wednesday to visit a member who lives about a 2 hour drive from Ljubljana. She used to be an incredibly active member, until she was suddenly struck with a degenerative neural or muscular disease which now has her confined to a wheelchair and unable to talk. She was so happy to see us. The moment she came out of the elevator and saw us she broke down crying and began embracing the members and grabbing our hands. We had a good hour long chat with her before we had to leave, having gotten her address to send her mail, and the phone number of her daughter. This for me was the definition of pure religion in James, that ˝Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.˝
It is all about the small things we do for others that matter. Think about it, and find some small act of kindness you can do for someone this week, and I promise your week will be 5 times better than it would have been because of that.
Otherwise, hope you all have a great week!!
-Starešina Benson

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