At the beginning of this month, our district set a goal to shatter the past finding records for our city. As a white-washing companionship, we had hardly any idea what work was like in Bosnia so we set some pretty high goals in faith. We worked HARD and prayed a lot and talked to so so so so many people so we could find enough to make our goal. Well, then I got really sick and we didn't get to find people for a while... this was the last week to make our goals! I have never been more determined to offer people the gospel! haha Just kidding, but really, we worked so hard! One cool story, in Tuesday, we set a goal for 8 new investigators (we knew we would be in Croatia for a few days for MLC so we wanted to knock out a lot of finding early on) by lunch, we already had 4 and we were on top of the world. We had some miracle finds and came in for dinner. It was 8:30 and we were in for the night and I asked sister Bushong how many new investigators we had for the day. She counted and said 7! 7!!! That was so so so close to our goal! We don't come close to goals in this mission; we shatter them. I looked at her and said WE STILL HAVE TIME! We jumped up and RAN down the stairs and flew outside. It felt so cool! Anyway, we talked to the first person we saw... nothing... a few more fun conversations... nothing. With a prayer in my heart, I contacted our 8th investigator who accepted a Book of Mormon and a return appointment. That was one of my favorite contacts ever! We spoke almost solely on the atonement and repentance and it just felt so right. As we reached Sunday night, Sister Bushong and I had made all our goals but the elders still needed 5 more. In a short 2 hours, we found the additional 5 and we were able to beat the record for this city... But we were not the ONLY district in Bosnia to do that... in fact, as a zone, we got 85 more investigators than our goal. EVERYONE is feeling the spirit of missionary work and working hard to share the gospel with these sweet precious Bosnian people.
Can I express my love for my mission? Ever since I read the words "Adriatic North Mission," this place became a part of my heart that will never wear off. From an email I sent my very first week in the field (16 months ago) I mentioned the incredible spiritual experience I had walking off the plane into my mission field.
"I almost cried walking down the steps of the plane. I was in MY mission! I was finally there. I thought about the months of preparation, the moment I got my call, the days I spent crying over stress, the words in my Patriarchal Blessing telling me that I was to serve a mission and that I would be okay, the look in my parent's eyes when they dropped me off at the MTC... The emotions I felt right then were indescribable! I was so happy and excited. We got our bags and walked into the front of the little airport and saw the biggest teddy bear you ever did see! His name is President Grant and he is my Mission President. He is so cute! And his wife is the cutest thing ever. I might be obsessed with them! They are SO nice! So there I was jumping up and down holding back tears shaking the biggest hand of my life and I think I called him dad... but he said welcome Sister Higgins we are so excited to have you here! My heart was on fire and every nerve in my body was screaming with the Spirit or lack of sleep or something. I was where I was supposed to be and I knew it with every fiber in me."
At that moment, I had no idea what the end of my mission would look like. I had no idea that I would LOVE Croatia and Bosnia as much as I loved Slovenia. I had no idea the challenges that this land would bring to me or the blessings with which I would be showered. I just felt the Spirit in every nerve telling me this was my place. The song from Narnia called "Cant Take It In" has been ringing in my mind for a while as I have been basking in the beauty found here. It starts out by saying "Can't close my eyes, I'm wide awake. Every hair on my body, has got a thing for this place. Oh, Empty my heart! I've got to make room for this feeling. Its so much bigger than me!" Since day one on the Balkans... every hair on my body has had a thing for this place. This land has completely captured my heart. Every time I cross a border I feel the love for my mission. Not MY country... it does not matter which country. These people are the people I was called to serve and how blessed I am to have had the opportunity to serve in more than just one of the beautiful countries found in the Adriatic North Mission. The feeling of love I had for the Slovene people needed more room. I felt I would burst ALL the time. It was so much bigger than me. Then I moved to Croatia and I knew I could not fit another soul in my heart. God's love for these people is so much bigger than me and its exhausting to feel that. I have been on the brink of tears my entire time in Bosnia as I have felt God allow me to love and make room to love so much farther than I could imagine i had room for. Truly... every hair on my body has a thing for this place. I love my mission. The chorus of the song says "IT COULDN'T BE ANYMORE BEAUTIFUL... I CANT TAKE IT IN!!!!!!" Every day for 16 months, i have woken up in the most amazing place and been filled with an incredible, boundless love which has overwhelmed me. I cant take it in. What a privilege.
Miracles are occurring. I am happier and sweatier every day. I am anxiously engaged and taking in every second!
Love you all!
С 'љубављу, сестра Хигинс