MY CAST IS OFF!!! YAY!!! Someone celebrate for me! Last Monday, after I emailed home, we went out to this huge awkward mall in Ljubliana where Sister E. and I found the CUTEST things ever! I hate shopping... and doing it in 100% humidity, on crutches, in an non-air-conditioned building, with no money... didn't help! But I actually had SOOOO much fun! It was fun to see how my style has completely changed from being here on my mission! It was also just fun to see how stores work here! SO WEIRD! After that excitement, It was time to go to the hospital! It was kinda crazy when we got there and Sister E. was on the phone with the mission nurse/insurance when I got called back so I went back alone and was SO brave as they sawed my cast off. When I got my cast on, I remember hearing a little boy screaming as they took his cast off... I considered it! But it was fast and they didn't cut off my leg, so I was happy! MY FOOT LOOKED SO WEIRD! I kinda forgot what my foot looked like! I couldn't bend my toes and it just looked... weird. It swelled up instantly so I couldn't fit it in my shoe so I was forced to leave it out and go around with a weird-looking swollen foot I couldn't move. While waiting for my X ray, the old lady I met last time sat down by me! She too was getting her cast off so we compared movement and swelling in our broken limbs while we waited. I impressed the x-ray tech with my Slovene! She thought I was from England and when I told her I was from America she was SO impressed that I was willing to come to Slovenia and learn her language. The Doctor was next, and he liked what he saw in my x-ray! All is well! YAY!!!! I was so happy my body had healed and I didn't have to be the broken missionary anymore haha. After that, we met up with the Ljubliana sisters and had dinner, then it was time for us to go home. I LOVE DRIVING THROUGH SLOVENIA!!! I am yet to actually drive on my mission... but I don't think I would be very good because I just look around the entire time! I LOVE Slovenia and every chance I get to look out the windows at this beautiful place I get to serve in, my nose is pressed to the glass. Rolling hills with churches on top, fields of corn and grain... rivers, cute European homes, amazing valleys... I could not have been happier! That drive alone made it such a good P-day! Plus, I didn't have a cast anymore so I was on top of the world!
The weather here has been SOOO weird. It has been 35 and 37 (no clue what that is in Fahrenheit) with 100% humidity the entire week. Now, I am not complaining! I LOVE the heat and I am learning to love the humidity! We were literally DRIPPING all week from sweat. Our top story apartment with no AC has been fun! Chocolate melts in seconds... things go stale before you can open the bag... it's actually really fun!!! The other day, we had a huge rain storm so the wind picked up and the temperature went down. When we got home, I opened all the windows to cool the house down before we had to go to sleep (lately we have been waking up just sweating). Well, the wind tunnel that opening the window created made the door to the kitchen slam shut. So I went to go prop the door open with a chair... and I couldn't open it! Our kitchen door handle has been broken for a while (missionaries don't really use doors since we always have to be in sight and sound of each other) and we just haven't gotten around to fixing it. So when the door slammed, the other side fell off, leaving it impossible to open. It was pretty funny. Eventually Sister E. got it to open by using my scissors. I have learned my lesson though... always have a snack outside of the kitchen!
A member here made us, and Sister H. lunch the other day! I LOVE this member! She has been such an inspiration to me and has shown me such perfect love since the day I got here. I have always had such a hard time understanding her and that has made me sad since I love her so much! The last day of last transfer, she had us over to say goodbye to Sister N. and I had to have someone translate for me! I struggled SO much! But this week, when we sat down to lunch, I just started to translate for Sister H.! I told her what the member was saying in English and then I would tell the member what Sister H. had said. We had a great conversation and she told us her AMAZING conversion story and just let us feel her testimony. After lunch, a spiritual thought, and showing us some pictures, we left. As I got in the car, I realized what had just happened. I was SHOCKED! Literally 5 weeks ago, I could understand maybe 2%! And I had just translated for over an hour for this amazing member! I felt chills realizing how much I have grown in such a short time and I also felt so cool because translating in Slovene is so fun haha. Sister E., as we were walking up the stairs home, told me how totally impressed she was! She said how she was expecting to have to translate the whole thing and how she thought it was sooo cool how only 3 months in the field, I just translated an entire visit. Ugh, I seriously love this language and I am so glad I am actually getting the hang of it a little! I can understand the people I love so much in their native tongue and that means the entire world to me. Yesterday at church, I got to translate my first full meeting. I translated for sunday school. When they asked if I would -- Of course I said yes, so excited! But soon after, I was a little nervous because sunday school uses bigger words than sacrament meeting. So, I said a little prayer and sat in my little chair with my microphone and began. At the end, Elder L. (my district leader who goes home in 3 weeks) turned around and said "Wow Sister Higgins, that sounded AWESOME! Way to go! You are so good at Slovene!" That meant the world to me! So, The language is coming slowly but surely!
One fun adventure this week took place in Veljenje Slovenia (about 30 minutes from my Celje). We received a referral from the church members that lived there so the next day, we decided to go contact her. The drive... speechless. The fact that we passed 6 castles alone should tell you how amazing Slovenia is. I love it. When we got into town, I went to get out the GPS and found that we didn't have it. But it is okay! Because quickly after, I discovered we didn't have the address for the referral -- just the street name. It was a nightmare. So Sister E. and her magic directional brain found the street in about 1 minute. we parked the car and began to search for our referral. We went to 30 apartment buildings. at about building two, it started to POUR rain! Did we think to bring an umbrella? Of course not! But that made it even more fun! So tracting and searching and searching.... nothing. So we decided to go to the post office to get her real address from a phone book... turns out she isn't in the phone book! It was quite the adventure! But we got her number and I called her and she was SOOOO sweet and is just dying to get together so we can teach her! It was worth the trip and the fun adventure! Plus all the amazing castles we saw! It is always worth it!
Trust. That was the theme of my week. I have learned so much about trust on my mission! I spent quite a bit of time studying the topic and learning to trust my Savior more. I thought... when were 3 times in my life where I had to fully rely on the Lord and trust in Him? My top 3 moments can be described in quotes.
1."You are hereby called to serve in the Adriatic North mission."
3."You have a fractured foot."
In these moments, I had no option but to fully rely on the Lord. The word "trust" means a firm belief in the ability of someone. So when we trust in God, we recognize that although our power is limited, His is not. we know His ability is far greater than our own. I remember back when I had a plan for my life. I was going to graduate High School, go to college, get married, become a doctor, travel the world, and be a mom for the rest of my life. It was PERFECT! I loved knowing exactly how things were going to work out and seeing where I would end up (on my front porch swing with all my grandkids). BUT, I showed my trust in my Savior because He had a different plan for me. The plan meant putting off school for 18 months-- which meant putting off a husband too -- and that means putting off being a mom (my ultimate and dream goal in life). His plan was for me to serve a mission! He has an amazing plan for me, and now that I am on my mission, I am discovering that He is shaping me into exactly who He needs me to be. Elder Simmons, in his talk "But if not..." said "Men accomplish marvelous things by trusting in the Lord -- by exercising faith even when they don't know how the Lord is shaping them." I stand as a witness to that! The song "Lead Kindly Light" says it perfectly "I loved to choose and see my path, but now, lead Thou me on!!" I used to think my plan was perfect... but now that I am on His plan for me and seeing what it is making of me -- lead Thou me on! Some of my favorite scriptures on the topic are Helaman 12:1 "The Lord in His great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in Him." and Mosiah 7:19 "Therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice, and put your trust in God." Alma 36:3 "...I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials." and Mosiah 7:33 "...Turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in Him, and serve Him with all diligence of mind." I have complete confidence in my Savior's plan for me because I am currently seeing how His way is SO much higher than my way. Trust in the Lord and let Him shape you! I promise, it will be better than anything you could have done for yourself.
As you can tell, I had another perfect week here in my Celje. I am learning to put my best foot forward *literally* and work hard. I have never been so aware of my desires as I walk out the door each day on the Lord's errand. I love being a missionary! I love speaking Slovene. I love eating. haha some things never change right? You are all my rocks! I hope you can feel my prayers because they are definitely being said on your behalf. I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Have the best week!