Ok guys I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!! This is seriously so great! I think I used to hate when missionaries would write home every week saying how happy they are, but it’s true!!! I am SOOO happy! Even the snails make me happy. I don’t know if it’s the spirit or something, but I just LOVE Slovenia!
This week I realized.... I am not in a "normal mission" haha. Honestly, nothing about my day here is ever normal. Since I am a greenie and being trained right now, we have to watch parts of The District, (lds.org has it for prospective missionaries) every day to help us make the transition into mission work. I love watching it and getting help, but I am always laughing the entire time at how different my mission is. I should have known how different it would be when I read the words "Adriatic North Mission" and couldn’t pronounce it and no one in the room knew where it was. Yes, that should have been my first sign! The second sign should have been that I met every single missionary serving in Slovenia within 12 hours of being on my mission. This is a small country. There are some awesome things about being in such a weird mission, and there are some things that are really hard about it. All-in-all, I love my mission and would not want to be anywhere else in the world. We decided to print off some talks in Slovene from the prophet to show people what the prophet is telling us now... it took us 3 hours to find any talk in Slovene on lds.org, and then finally we found the Slovene version of lds.org which unfortunately did not have any conference talks in Slovene either, the fun thing was that I knew every single person on the website! This is such a small place in a big world.
While watching The District this week, there was a part when they were in a kitchen.... I almost died! American kitchens are HUGE!!!!! Not so much here. It made us laugh and cry a little at the same time. Every morning we wake to the sounds of birds in the walls that sing to us while we do our studies…at first it was annoying, but then I got used to it, and love it. We got to see the Ljubljana church this past week (aka the only church building in Slovenia) It was BEAUTIFUL! I think I reacted as if I was inside a temple! It was HUGE! They have a podium AND a baptismal font! Oh, it is so huge and there is such a sweet spirit there! We are sooo blessed to have a church in Slovenia! It was amazing! We have a concert coming up here in Celje so we went to a house of a professional violinist to invite him and his family to the concert. HIS HOUSE WAS AMAZING!!!!! His kitchen was like one in America, only with a wood burning stove for cooking pizza. It was so cute! His house was very big. He ended up playing his violin for us for a while, and it was honestly so beautiful! I loved it! I wish I was better with words to describe it to you..... but, just know it was awesome.
The language is coming! Yay for Slovene! haha It is so impossible, sometimes, but I am improving! The cute Albanian kids can understand me now, so that is a bonus! I have officially recited the First Vision story to 2 investigators! One was on the path near the river and there was a sweet spirit when I spoke the words, and the other time was in a home of a cute old man in the country side. It was a wonderful experience. I have held some phone conversations in Slovene! In fact, the other day, the phone started ringing and I just picked it up (SISTER HIGGINS WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!) and suddenly I realized I just volunteered to speak Slovene to the person on the other line.... haha! I immediately said in Slovene, "Hello, Olga this is Sister Higgins, so you must speak very, very slowly, so I can understand!!" It ended up being a great conversation and I understood a solid 5% of what she was saying, and I guess I answered all her questions! Sister N. was proud of me, ha! I would say the hardest time I have with Slovene during the week is on Mondays at Institute.... Slovene... hard.... Isaiah... hard.... Isaiah class in Slovene.... headache! haha It is nearly impossible to understand. Sister N. is a doll and will translate to the best of her abilities for me, when she remembers. I love Isaiah in Slovene! One of my favorite moments with Slovene starts right at the beginning of the day in companion study time. Sister N. and I sing a hymn in Slovene together. There is always a cool spirit in the room with our two voices, and I look forward to it every day. I love singing hymns onary, but there is something about being in that little room with the birds in the wall and singing in this beautiful language with my companion that invites the spirit into our day.
I had two of the best days of my life this week. One was last Tuesday! First off, I finished the book of Mormon this week! SO GREAT!!!! I LOVE THAT BOOK!!! The end of it is just so great and I learned so much! So on Tuesday I was at the story of the brother of Jared, so that started my day off perfectly. Then, we had a lesson with our sweet investigator and we decided to show her our faith that God answers prayers, so at the beginning of the lesson we asked her if there was anything she was in need of, so that we could pray for that thing together. As we did this and showed her and our Father in Heaven our faith, there was such a sweet spirit and the lesson then went amazingly well. It was a very wonderful experience. Next, we went contacting and I was just messing around and decided to contact this teenage boy who I was pretty sure would just say no and walk away--Oh ye of little faith, Sister Higgins--we ended up having a 30 minute lesson where I presented The First Vision. It was really special and taught me to go into every contact expecting them to stay. Then we had a lesson with an investigator and he asked us if Mormons were vegetarians. We thought that was so funny. Then we had English class. I LOVE TEACHING ENGLISH!!!!!!! Our students are SO great and I love each of them so much! They are soooo supportive of our learning Slovene and think it is so cool that we are here. After Sister N. and I gave the spiritual thought, one of the students who is my age came up to me and said that when I speak Slovene it is her favorite thing, she loves it! It made my entire week to hear that coom her because she refuses to listen to most Americans speak Slovene because of our accents, but she said mine is so cute and you can see my personality in the way my Slovene sounds. Oh it made my whole week! On our way in for the night, the nice man who is always on the corner in center was playing his guitar and invited us over to sing with him. We spent the next 30 min singing and dancing in center. It was a needed break and SOOO fun! I loved every single second of Tuesday!
Another cool day was April 24th. We were tracting in the small village behind the castle (my new favorite place in the world) and it was my turn to start the door. I knocked, said who we were, and we were getting rejected... right there on the door step of this little old man’s house in Slovenia, Europe... I was speaking Slovene and getting rejected again and suddenly.... I felt God’s love for the people here. Not my love that I have had from the moment I read "You are hereby called to serve..." But GOD’S love for these people. All the nerves in my body felt this love and tears welled up in my eyes. It was the COOLEST experience I think I have ever had in my whole life. It gave me motivation to keep working and speaking this hard language. It was an answer to my prayers. I have never loved being in Slovenia more. That night I read Alma 26:37 and felt the spirit. I know that God is aware of the people here and that he sent me to teach them and invite them to Come unto Christ! HOW GREAT IS MY CALL!!!!!!! I love Slovenia so much!
So basically, I love being a missionary! I really am the happiest I have ever been! I am finding confidence in myself and my ability to be a missionary! I am learning SOOOO much humility and how to rely fully on my Savior. I am being more myself and letting my personality show in everything I do. I am having SOOOOO much fun! I love all the moments in the day when I think "This would never happen in Utah!" I love being a missionary in Slovenia! It really is my joy! I love each of you and pray you have an amazing week!