This was SUCH A GOOD WEEK! I am happy to report that I am happy and well, and so is Celje. Everything is just a dream right now! I could not be happier.
Last Monday was what started everything off so great! We had a fun picnic up at the castle and ended up registering as frequent visitors. I thought that was pretty cool. After P-day ended, My companion and I decided to go out tracting by the Castle. We had a potential investigator there, so we thought we would stop in. Across the street from our destination, there were two guys out doing some yard work, so we stopped to talk to them about the Plan of Salvation of course! These are the most well prepared people I have ever met! It is so cool how the Lord works. After we talked to them and set up for a return visit, we went to the potential investigator and were welcomed into her home and had a lesson about the Restoration and set up to meet again. Again, another very well prepared person! On the way home for the night, some workers at the local kebab stand yelled to us and told us to come over and sit down. They said how they see us out walking and talking to people every day and they want to know what all the fuss is about. SO COOL! They are some of the most kind and genuine people I have ever met. Miracles are happening in Celje! And I am so excited to be a part of them!
On Tuesday, I got on a train with my MTC companion Sister Rhodes to serve a few days in Maribor!! I was really nervous for the exchange but I prayed that I would enjoy serving in a different place and I knew I loved sister Rhodes haha. The first day produced miracles. While we were on the train, we set some specific goals for our time together and we were reaching them within minutes of walking off the train. We had one amazing contact in the pouring rain where we made a little roof with our umbrellas and taught and testified. At the end, she told us, almost in tears, how strongly she felt the Spirit and how she knows this is right for her! SO COOL! The Lord is preparing people in Maribor! It was the most random life-changing experience! We are still in shock over it.
The second day of exchanges, we went and drew the Plan of Salvation with chalk again. Something about Maribor... it is HUGE! Compared to Celje everything is so large. I was in shock for a little bit at how many people I could share the gospel with! And I got a pretty good headache from the amount of car sounds. I am not used to that. But chalking in Maribor was a whole new world! There are so many people! i had so much fun!!! That afternoon, Sister Rhodes started German class. I learned Quite a bit! I can now count to a million in German and introduce myself and say a few little sentences. Weird... I have used what I learned 4 times since then. German is so pretty!
We had a little surprise... our exchange got extended for a day because we got a special call from President asking us to come to Croatia for the day. So on Thursday, we got up at 4:30 and jumped on a train to Croatia. We were told it was for translating and to bring a native speaker with us so we brought a cute member with us. She knew English but spoke to us only in Slovene. So starting at 4:30 AM I was speaking Slovene. I LEARNED SO MUCH!!!!!!! My head felt like a rock at the end of the day because we were speaking Slovene literally the entire day. The train ride to Croatia that early was stunning. It has been really foggy here in the morning so as we passed still lakes covered in fog I fell in love, once again, with the place I get to serve. SO pretty!!
Our job in Croatia was to translate lds.org into Slovene. It was so much fun! Sister Rhodes and I sat at one computer and translated what we could and then the member would sit at the other and correct. I realized I know some stuff haha. My Slovene is coming along! It was such a cool experience to use this language. I love translating!
That night when we got back to Maribor, Slovenia, a cute English class student insisted that we go to her Italian Pizzaria. She gave us the GRAND tour! We went down to the wine celler, into the kitchen.... literally the grand tour. It was so cool! I felt so important! Then we ate the world's best pizza. It was a dream day.
At 1:30 AM the next day.... the fire alarm went off. I have never seen anyone move so fast! Sister Rhodes jumped out of bed and was in the kitchen before I could open my eyes. The alarm stopped right as I got into the kitchen. The fear in both of us was so real. We didn't know if it had been the fire alarm or the carbon monoxide alarm that had gone off, but we didn't smell or see smoke, so I started to ask Sister Rhodes how she felt trying to see if it was the carbon monoxide. With the amount of adrenaline in our vains, neither of us felt awesome so it was hard to tell haha. Then the alarm went off AGAIN! This time, we were able to tell it was the fire alarm! But we knew there was no fire. So we thought maybe it was a battery or something. We decided to kneel down and say a prayer for direction on what to do. Sister Rhodes decided that since we had had the world's longest day of Slovene the day before, she would offer the prayer in English. It was the most spiritual experience. She said the most sincere prayer I have ever heard. We both cried. We recieved revelation on what Maribor needs. We both felt soooo close to the Savior. She prayed that if we were in danger the alarm would go off again... and if not, that we could go back to sleep. We were fine. All was safe. But I have learned that Sister Rhodes has very very sincere prayers and that one of the most spiritual moments I have had in my life could happen at 3 AM. We finally got back into bed but we had been so touched by the Spirit that it was hard to sleep after that. SO COOL!
Finally..... I got back to Celje on Friday. Not going to lie... I got a little home sick. I missed Celje! I was SO excited when we pulled in! Celje missed me too I think! The day I left, as I rolled my little bag through center on the way to the train station, people were stopping me asking if I was leaving Celje haha. It was so cute. And when I got back, everyone was happy I hadn't given up on Celje and had come back. I missed it!
I got the best package ever since i made a trip to Croatia! Mom and dad... thank you so much for taking care of me. The lemonade is probably the best thing I have had in my life haha. I was SOOOO happy! And I know you didn't intentionally send bubble wrap...... but it has come in handy as well when we have been stressed. Mom, you send the best packages! I love you!
As I have learned SO much Slovene this week and spoken in German and had quite a few conversations in Croatian... I realized how important our language is. The gift of angels as spoken about in the scriptures is not just the ability to speak another language but to speak kindly and with love. I love the primary song "Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too, When your heart is filled with love, others will love you." BE KIND! you really never know what effect your words will have on someone. Elder Holland said "The voice that bears profound testimony, utters fervent prayer, and sings the hymns of Zion can be the same voice that berates and criticizes, embarrasses and demeans, inflicts pain and destroys the spirit of oneself and of others in the process. “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing,” James grieves. “My brethren [and sisters], these things ought not so to be.” Please be kind to one another! It is so important!
This week was awesome! As you can tell, it was full of adventure! I love seeing the Lord work! I love being a part of this work. My mission is wonderful! There is literally nothing else I would rather be doing right now. I am so happy! Thank you all for the support! You are in my prayers!