Last you all knew, I was about to get my cast! That was such a long day! When we got to the trauma clinic, we waited in line for a solid half hour. Then as we checked in, they did not like that I have a temporary address here so that extended the check-in process for about 45 minutes. After that, we were sent to wait in a hall with about 80 other people. Everyone had a cast, or sling or something! I must say, I was surrounded by a pretty cool but rough looking group! I was dying to know how everyone else ended up there! I should have taken a vote or something... "How many of you are here because tracting on cobble stones is a rough buisness?!? ...Okay, that makes one of us!! And does anyone else have a better story?" But really, I felt so pathetic haha. So finally, after listening to painful moans in Slovene and the distant sound of a saw cutting off a screaming child's cast, I was called back to see the doctor. After a good examination, he determined I needed another x-ray. So I was sent back out to wait. The good news is, the nurses and everyone were so impressed with my Slovene! They all guessed how long I had been in the country.... I got 7 years, 5 years, 4 years... You can imagine their reaction when I said only 2 months. So that was fun! After all that, it turned out my break was a little worse than we had planned on so the doctor had to adjust the planned casting... finally, I was sent to the casting line. Casting wasn't too bad. Everyone in there spoke so fast and didn't think I understood haha. But it was all great! All casts in Slovenia are white! So I got my official slovene cast and had one last check with the doctor and was good to go! It only took about 4 hours! But we fully enjoyed ourselves! It was a great day. Life in a cast is just a tad different! Showers are much more complicated, sleeping is not as comfortable and a few other things, but overall, I can't complain! Every day is an exciting new adventure as a missionary on crutches -- and we all know I love a good adventure!
So, since the typical missionary day is a little out of reach (I mean, tracting on crutches doesn't sound THAT bad!) this week's finding efforts required a lot of creativity! I can get from our apartment to the river! I mean, it takes a half hour and I am literally dripping sweat when we arrive, but I can do it! So we have been putting up a sign next to a bench (no benches in the shade... that would be way too easy!) and talking to people that walk by! At first we were asking questions like "What does restoration mean?" or "What does faith mean?" we have recently started doing a true or false quiz! We write up statements like "Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon." or "We do not drink coffee." it has been so great! I will admit, this might not seem or be as effective as tracting, but I am simply doing all in my power. We most recently have added ukuleles to our contacting! My new district leader had one he bought here and the Hansens got one for Sister E. So we sit out on the bench and I teach her hymns. We have received lots of attention doing this! Plus I am in heaven! So, don't let anyone fool you into believing a broken foot means a 4-week rest! It simply means trusting God and using any and all talents and every resource to still be a hard-working missionary. I am giving every ounce of effort and have seen the Lord's hand countless time this week.
One lesson I have learned this week is that of gratitude. One of the first nights with the cast, we were coming in after a long hot day of contacting. I was so sweaty and tired as I crawled up the 66 spiral stairs that lead to our apartment ( much easier to crawl than use the crutches to climb up) and the thought came to my mind "Well, you have officially experienced challenges on your mission." That thought BUGGED me! SO I started to sing "Because I Have Been Given Much" in my head and thinking of all the positive things that had happened that day! I instantly could think of 12 wonderful things!¨My thoughts changed back to being positive and I was happy. While getting ready for bed, I reflected on my thoughts and realized that focusing on what I was grateful for had changed my attitude back to being positive. No one needs a broken foot and a negative attitude! And I have control over one of those things! SO that night as I knelt down to pray, I only expressed gratitude... and I had quite a long prayer! A conscious effort to be grateful helped me to recognize how very near the Lord had been to me that day and helped me to recognize his hand and all the tender mercies he had sent my way. So, that is what I have decided to do! I say only prayers of gratitude! Honestly, what else do I need?!?! I am in Celje! My favorite place on earth! I have every reason to be grateful! In my sincere desire to be grateful, I stumbled upon President Uchtdorfs talk "grateful in any circumstances." This is currently my favorite talk! He said "As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to thank the Lord our God in all things, and to let our heart be full of thanks unto God. Why does God command us to be grateful? All of His commandments are given to make blessings available to us. Commandments are opportunities to exercise our agency and to receive blessings. Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness." A spirit of gratitude is something I hope to develop! By focusing on what I was grateful for this week, my instincts became focused on gratitude. President Uchtdorf also suggested that "we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation." In other words, I'm suggesting that instead of being thankful FOR things, we focus on being thankful IN our circumstances -- whatever they may be. I sincerely have found this week that we can choose to be grateful, no matter what! I think my favorite quote from his talk is "Being grateful IN our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God.... By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, "Not my will, but thine be done." True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will." Being in a cast on crutches for a month is not an ideal circumstance but it has given me so many opportunities to talk to people. My doctor, the x-ray people, the pharmacists.... so many people stop me on the street (people I've contacted before or bought ice cream from or simply people who see me literally every day walking around and talking to people) who ask me how this happened. I get so many cool opportunities to smile and show my faith in Gods plan! Who knows why I had to break my foot on my mission? GOD KNOWS!!!! and I am so grateful He is in charge! No, this has not been the easiest week of my life and no I don't want a broken sore foot... but my will doesn't matter. I will cheerfully do all in my power because He is blessing me for it! I have every reason to be filled with gratitude. I love being a missionary! Even with a broken foot!
Overall, this week was absolutely wonderful! I loved every single second of it! Back home this week was my amazing parents' anniversary! I had completely forgotten until I was walking by a cafe and heard the song "My Girl" through the door. I immediately realized it was my parents' anniversary! It was a tender moment as I listened to their wedding song. I remembered right before I left on my mission, they took me to the Salt Lake Temple and I got to see where they were sealed. My heart was filled with love for them this week as always! So happy anniversary, parents! I love you both with all of my heart!!!!
I love you all! Go out and find something to be thankful for! It doesn't take much looking! Have a great week!!!!!! You have all my love and prayers!