Monday, March 31, 2014

Unusual, but Miraculous

Živijo, Živijo, Živijo!!!
The sun is out, the weather is warm (a scorching 65-75 degrees), the birds are out singing, the trees leafing out, and flowers popping out everywhere. Slovenija is undoubtedly BEAUTIFUL!! Able to see the alps from the kitchen window today? Yep. Still snow on the tops? Yep. Another great spring week coming up? Yep.
This week has been quite good, and a quite strange week. It started Tuesday with an exchange with Celje, where I went back after 3 months to go serve in Celje for a day and a half with Elder Hunt. It was quite great, and is interesting how much of my influence is still in Celje. I felt like I had hardly left going back to see the members and the apartment. It was great seeing some of the people I had taught there as well, being able to further strengthen them and really see some miracles that had happened there since I had left.
Then on Thursday Elder Burdette and I headed down to Zagreb to a leadership meeting which was absolutely wonderful. This week, on Thursday we have a zone conference with all of the Slovene missionaries and i am REALLY excited for it!! It is going to be great!!!!
Then Friday we went and did service for a less active member which was really great. After the ice storm during February which destroyed a lot of trees across Slovenija, he had a lot of work for us to do, cutting broken branches, cutting them down to firewood size, and mulching the small ones. He then took us home, dropping Elder Burdette and I off about a 5 minute walk from our apartment, and here is where the evidence is that the Lord places his missionaries exactly where they need to be.
As we were walking home from where he dropped us off, we came to a major intersection and waited at the light. While waiting though, we saw someone on the opposite side of the street stop at the light as well on a bike. We looked closely and realized it was our 15 year old investigator whom we had lost contact with in the last week!! He waved at us and when the light changed he rode over to us. We talked and set up to go see him after we got changed back into missionary clothes.
The following lesson we had with him was amazing, one of the best we had had in weeks. He knows and remembers a lot of the doctrine we have taught him, prays often, and believes it all, but we discovered he wasn't really putting in much effort to read the word. So we discussed the significance of reading, and just opened up the Book of Mormon and began reading with him. It was a great experience and the spirit was strong, and he recognized it. He also committed to come to church on Sunday, came, and had an excellent experience.
We then set up with him for Saturday, the following morning, where we would all go together to his 17 year old friend's home to go find him. In the last month, after a great experience with him, his friend completely disappeared, his phone not working, and we didn't know where he lived. But the following morning we went to his door, us three, and knocked. No one was home, but we will go try again earlier in the morning tomorrow.
Otherwise, then Saturday we had an interesting experience of a group finding activity with the Ljubljana district. We all went to the city park, Tivoli, and made a chalk drawing asking, ˝Kako lahko najdemo resnično srečo?˝, meaning ˝How can we find true happiness?˝ We then talked with people who walked by, and had some great conversations.
Then Sunday, we had a really special opportunity and experience. Yesterday was the 23rd baptismal anniversary of the first member baptized in Slovenija who hasn't been to church in a long time, whom we know and have met before. Last week, we made a quick card and had a bunch of the Ljubljana members sign it, wishing her well, and then yesterday, on her anniversary, we baked a little cake and went by her place, and she was home!!!
She was so happy and excited, saying she had been praying all day for someone to come help her, especially for someone to come to give her a blessing. She figured she would have to come to church to get a blessing, but then we came and knocked on her door!!! She was so surprised and so happy!! She recognizes the things she has done in her life, and what she needs to do to go forwards, and has our help for it. Also, she is going to be moving to Zagreb within a few weeks, so we came exactly at the right moment. We committed her to come to church this Sunday before she leaves, and we will all go together.
While this week has been unusual, it has been excellent, and the Lord is obviously the one who is in charge. Great things are happening. here's to another upcoming great and inspired for me, and for you! Enjoy general conference!
-Starešina Benson

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