Well let me start off with HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!!! I used to say that the 4th of July was my favorite day in the world... This week I discovered it is only my favorite day in America, bummer. But I loved my week as a missionary and wouldn't choose to be anywhere else in the world so I am happy.
For most of this week my companion was Sister R. She is the Sister Training leader for the Slovenia zone so we had an exchange and Sister E. went to Maribor and Sister R. came to Celje with me! IT WAS THE BEST EXCHANGE EVER!!!!!!! I have not worked and laughed that hard in so long. She is an absolute GEM!!! We got 7 new investigators in only 3 days of work. In our short time together I learned SOOO much from her! She is an amazing example and I hope to serve with her some day. We had some of the most spiritual lessons while she was there and we can teach in unity so well! She has an amazing missionary spirit that I admire and she knows Slovene SOOO well! I honestly had the best time ever with her! At the end of the exchange, we have a review and it was one of the most spiritual moments as what she said ended up being answers to my prayers. I LOVE sister Robertsen and I had the best time showing her around my cute Celje and watching someone else fall in love with this little place.
I don't know if I mentioned this before, but the senior couple in Celje have their granddaughter here for a month and she has been coming and doing missionary work with us. She is a total doll and has picked up on Slovene SO fast! I taught her a line to stop people on the street, and she did it without even thinking about it! She has so much courage and I am learning so much by being around her! This week in lessons, I really wanted her to share her testimony because I feel how strong it is whenever we are together. Her Slovene is amazing but she could not share a testimony in a lesson very well yet. So, I asked her to sing in all the lessons we had and that was how she could share her testimony. She immediately has won over the hearts of the members here. Her voice is AMAZING and when she sings hymns it brings such as strong spirit to the lesson. I told her the first day "Language is a barrier if you let it be... so don't let it be!" and she hasn't! The Spirit speaks in all languages! I am in a mission where we run into lots of different languages-- something I have learned is there is ALWAYS something you can do to teach someone of Christ and show them His love! I might not understand some people but I can ALWAYS show them love. I am so grateful for her example to me to be fearless. I have learned so much from her!
I had a really cool dream this week I thought I would share with you all! So in my dream, Elder Holland came to zone conference haha I know, weird, and he said "You know! I just love the 8 sisters in this zone! I know you all love your mission and never want it to end! So I am going to allow you all to extend 4 months... in any mission in the world." Immediately, sisters started to shout out where they wanted to go! Most wanted to go to a 3rd world, others wanted to serve where their dad had served... it got to my turn to say where I wanted to serve. I got up and said the words "Celje, Slovenia." and then I woke up. I instantly felt peace. Yeah it was a weird dream, but It was so cool! I know with all of my heart now that there is literally no place else on earth that I would rather be. Slovenia has my entire heart. I LOVE MY MISSION!!!!
This week I was reading in Mosiah 4 and it talks a ton about service! I decided to pray for the opportunity to serve someone. Suddenly, my life was like a "Drivers Education Movie!" Older women with heavy bags, run-away strollers, I even got "let on" by a bird and had the option of cleaning myself first or the poor man I was contacting. One simple moment I got to serve this week happened after a hot sweaty day of missionary work. We decided to take a short ice-cream break and refocus. So we went to sit in center and found we were not the only ones who had the idea. A homeless man had gotten a cone as well and sat near us. Because of the heat, none of our cones lasted long! I could barely keep the fast melting ice cream from getting all over me. He had a much harder time. He ended up VERY messy. I looked down at my ice cream and noticed the napkin in my hand. I asked him if I could help and gave him my napkin. He was so grateful and used it all up, then my companion gave hers, followed by the sweet granddaughter of the senior missionaries. No, this was not a huge act of service, but it was how I could show love that day, and it touched "one of the least of these." As members of the Church we have the obligation to serve and love one another. Christ spent His life loving and serving the impoverished and the disadvantaged in an extraordinary way. He spent His life among those we first think to avoid. I learned this week that there is ALWAYS a child of God in your reach that could use some love. Yes, there is a staggering number beyond our reach but we can love and serve all those in our reach with whatever resources we have. Our work is about love!! The song "Because I Have Been Given Much" has been my mission theme song. I love the 3rd verse because it is something all of us can do.
"Because I have been blessed by
thy great love dear Lord
I’ll share thy love again
According to thy word
I shall give love to those in need
I’ll show that love by word and deed
Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed"
So go read Mosiah Chapter 4, also "Are We Not All Beggars?" by Elder Holland, and "Because I Have Been Given Much." THEN go find someone to love and serve! Pray for opportunities to serve and the ability to recognize them. I promise, you won't have to look far to find someone. As Thomas S. Monson says "let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way.”
I am sure you all want to know how the 4th of July was here in Celje! It was a lot like the 3rd of July... bummer. But we made it fun! We went swimming (okay... we actually just set up the baptismal fount for our baptism in 2 weeks.) We ate a FEAST of BBQ (We ate a little chicken.) There was a long parade (traffic on the way to get something for the font) The night ended with s'mores (this part actually happened!) Haha We found marshmallows! It was a miracle! So we invited some investigators to have s'mores with us and they LOVED them! How we found marshmallows in Slovenia no one knows! But it was such a tender mercy. We also got to watch fireworks (while we were in the church we heard a firework go off. It was so confusing but reminded me of home.) So over all, the 4th of July is still my favorite holiday (in America).
The day after exchanges, Sister E. and the granddaughter of the senior missionaries and I went out to the river to go contacting. We sat down on the bench and started playing songs on the ukuleles when I noticed a man at the next bench down watching us. So, I got up and hobbled over to him on my crutches. I sat down by him and started to share the gospel. A short 5 minutes later, his friend came along, so of course I taught him. Then another, then another, then another! I was giggling in my head as I realized... I was teaching 5 men about the gospel. At first, they were all OBSESSED with my blue eyes, and they all said I had a special light in my eyes. I was able to teach all of them the first lesson and recite the first vision in Slovene and understand them all enough to answer their questions. 4 are now investigating the church.
Yesterday, after the best American lunch of my life, Sister E. drove me to Ljubliana where I will have a doctor's appointment later today. As we drove, we listened to church music and I just stared out the window at the beautiful country I am in. We had the most AMAZING drive! I felt so much peace! Time after time again I just kept thinking " I am in Slovenia, Europe!" We watched the sunset over the Austrian Alps. We drove past fields and forests and streams. We spotted hundreds of amazing European churches on the peaks of the rolling hills. I really wish I was good with words and describe how amazingly beautiful it all was... but I just can't! It was too good to be true and it reminded me how much I love Slovenia! Today, I will be getting my cast off!!!!! YAY!!!!! I can not wait to shower! Honestly so thrilled! So yes, I am in Ljubliana today for p-day with Sister N. and her two companions. They let us stay at their apartment last night and it is always so good to get together with other missionaries. I love them all so much!
I am glad you all had the best 4th of July! I missed you all! I am glad you are all happy and well! I had SUCH a good week! It is getting very hot and humid but I am loving every second of summer in Slovenia. I am seriously in the best place in the world and I could not be happier.
Have the best week and go find someone to love!