Seriously, the world's best week just ended. I could not be happier! I worked so hard this week and every single ounce of effort resulted in so much joy. I am on cloud nine... or just a mission. I am convinced they are closely related.
Something I LOVE about my new companion is that she loves Slovene as much as I do. The second we walk out of the appartment every day is when we stop speaking english. We are in Slovene mode all day long. I have learned SO much about this beautiful language from speaking it and hearing her speak it and asking people on the street for help when we don't understand something. There were a few moments this week when I walked away from a contact and thought... was that in English or Slovene? I can't tell the difference. I am told constantly that I speak so well for only being in the country for 4 months and it makes me feel like my efforts are showing. My Slovene makes for a very good conversation starter about the gospel. People on the street are shocked that I have only been speaking for a short time and I say "Yes, it is a very hard language... but for me, the fact that I can speak it and understand it is evidence that my message is so important to God that He wants me to be able to tell people about it." It has made some superficial conversations turn into the gospel very easily. I love it so much! I love Slovene because I adore the people who speak it. It gives me so much motivation to learn the language because I am just dying to communicate with everyone I meet. One time this week, mid- contact, an old English class student came up to me while Sister R. was talking to a lady on the bench. Since I had been in Slovene mode for days, I just started to speak Slovene to him. At the end of our conversation, he looked me in the eyes with tears welling up in his and said " I remember your first day here in Celje and how you spoke Slovene. Sister Higgins, You have learned so much and you speak so beautifully. I am so proud of you." It made me want to cry haha. I love him and hearing that seriously changed my life I think haha. I am learning! It is slow, but prayers are helping!
I worked the hardest I have ever worked in my life this week. It felt SO GOOD! I love working. I love being so sweaty hahaha summers are rough. But I love walking around and knocking on doors and being turned down and having people stop and listen and testifying. I LOVE WORKING! And the Lord loves missionaries who work! We got 8 new investigators this week and one of them committed to be baptized in late September. I saw MIRACLES this week as we focused so much on the why of the gospel and helped people see how it would help their life. My companion and I both LOVE missionary work and one thing we do is focus on it all day. At lunch, we learned about the definition of "apostle" and "mercy" from Preach my Gospel. We talked about how we can help members and investigators all the time. We memorize scriptures and hymns in Slovene to help improve our teaching. It is seriously the best feeling in the world to be fully lost in this work. "It is only those who do not know how to work that do not love it. To those who do, it is better than play."
One of my favorite moments this week was after church yesterday. We have a member here from Peru and he is an AMAZING example to me of how to learn Slovene. He can speak like me haha. He is so cool! So this week after church, I had been missing some of the hymns I love in English ( I don't remember the last time I sang in English...) and so I asked him what his favorite hymn was in Spanish. We sang 5 hymns in Spanish that I knew the tune of in English. I tried my hand in Spanish! I am not too bad according to him hahaha. I felt the spirit really strongly as we sang. I love seeing other people happy.
This week I felt so happy the entire time. I read some talks entitled "Be of Good Cheer" and they made me realize... it is possible to feel like this all the time. We have gospel gladness! It is such a real thing! I think the commandment I struggle the most with is "be of good cheer." But I am working on it. Joseph Smith once said "Now what do we hear in the gospel which we have recieved? A voice of gladness." I am matching my behavior more closely with my beliefs and letting people see how happy this gospel makes me. I am sincerely happy. It is a kind of joy I have never felt in my life. Being happy is a choice. An easy choice haha. The gospel is not just about what you get at the end of it. It is about what you get by going through it. There is joy in every moment of every day because He lives! Be of Good Cheer! He is near you!
I wish I had more stories to tell you this week because I am sure I will always look back on it as a huge turning point in my life. It was the best week ever. I am so happy. I love you all! Have a great week!