Can I just say how much I LOVE being a missionary? It is a privilege beyond description to watch the Lord as He conducts this work. The past 7 days were just awesome. I love being an instrument through which the Lord can help people learn and LIVE the gospel.
As many of you noticed... 9 months of my life now have been spent behind a cute black name tag in this sacred and inspired work. What an honor!!! I am NOT excited to be half done... a slight melt down might have happened. BUT! I still have a whole 9 months in this beautiful country with the people that I love beyond measure and without end.
Thank you for the Halloween photos!!! They were all so cute and made my day! In Slovenia, Halloween was just like any other day, but for mutual my companion and I got some pumkins (at a very dear price here) and took them to our girls' house and carved them together. How fun?! We also cooked some mashed potatoes and made granola bars (Slovenes are healthy food people but granola bars are not a thing thing here. But we are creative enough that we make them ourselves. SO. GOOD! (Probably something I will make for the rest of my life.) OH! And we treated ourselves to some ice cream. :) So yeah, Happy Halloween from the other side of the world! I love you all!
The Halloween holiday here is on November 1st. It is called The Day of the Dead. It made for some TERRIBLE tracting because not a soul or their dogs were home. BUT the cemetery was FILLED! Never have I seen so many Slovenes in one place at one time! So cool! We got to go and see what was going on, which was the coolest part of the week haha. They are very Catholic here and they put candles on the headstones and all around. The grounds here are SO different anyway, but COVERED in red lights, they were mesmerizing. I really loved it. It was breathtaking (...and freezing). I have fallen in love with this Slovene holiday. We went to the grounds with our district and took photos and listened to them sing a song that said something like "enjoy after the manner of peace?" It is probably the same as rest in peace. It was unbelievable! You all would have loved it! I will send photos!
We had a really cool week teaching the members here. We have 5 and we go to them every week and teach them basic doctrine. Why? Because WE ALL NEED IT! I wish they had more primary songs in Slovene because that is how I learned my basic doctrine. How beautiful is the doctrine that we have a Father in Heaven that loves us? Just that knowledge can change the behavior of a nation. So, we have been starting with the message of the restoration and teaching all the lessons we teach as missionaries. Not once this week have I taught and NOT felt the Spirit. There were moments where I was moved to tears with the Spirit. It was an incredible Spirit to rediscover the beauty of the core doctrines again with our members. At church, one member who has been struggling with a few things, testified to us in Relief Society about the exact thing we had taught her this week. She testified with so much heart and a true spirit of testimony behind her words. At the end, she turned to Sister C. and me and asked if she had expressed it correctly. The Spirit overwhelmed Sister C. and me as we saw our hard work this week pay off. We saw the gospel touch this amazing rock of a member. It was a really powerful moment for me. The Lord touches us through His gospel; His pure and perfect gospel.
The only way to real happiness is to live the gospel. Living after the manner of the gospel is a sacred privilege that each of us have. I love living this gospel. I love the commandments! This week in preparation for some lessons, I read the talk "Music of the Gospel" from last April's General Conference. Never before has a conference talk hit me so strongly. Neither words or actions can express the love and gratitude I have for my parents for teaching me the steps of the gospel AND HELPING ME HEAR THE MUSIC!!!!! It is true, on the street I seem odd, leaving my life behind to teach people about God. But I only seem odd to those who can't hear the music. They see me dancing, but don't know the steps and can't hear the incredible music. I kinda feel like I am in an amazing orchestra. We all have the music and the proper instruments. But, if we don't watch the conductor.... if we live the gospel in our own way... the music doesn't come. ALL members of the orchestra must always have their eyes on the conductor. HE CONDUCTS HIS WORK! It is a sincere privilege to have a spot in His orchestra. To play alongside all of you. Read this talk. It is incredable. I love dancing through life with all of you to the music of the gospel. Keep dancing and seek the music!
I ask for your prayers on the half of my investigator. This week, on my sister's birthday and on my year mark of being an endowed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (an honor I hold so dear to my heart), she will have the opportunity to enter the waters of baptism. It has been an honor to teach one of God's children. She is one of the elect. It has been a privilege to watch the gospel come alive in her. She is my hero. Her testimony radiates. She glows. I love her. I have felt the Lord's love for her each time she tells us of the experiences she is having with Mormon's book and with prayer. She loves the gospel. Sister C. and I have been lead by the Spirit in every aspect of her teaching. God wants this for her. I cannot wait to see her in white. Tears WILL be shead. This is a sacred and inspired work. I love it with all my soul.
I love you all! Have a gospel filled week!