This week the weather changed over. My first few days here (before last email) were so cold haha I wore gloves and a coat and borrowed Sister N's blanket haha. But this week was AWESOME!!!! It is finally spring in Slovenia! The trees are popping out the prettiest blossoms and the flowers are all out and its just the cutest European spring. I love it. It has been SOOO warm! When we go running in the morning it is nice and cooled down and by the time we are out contacting it is a beautiful temperature perfect for a tee shirt and skirt! We have been sweaty and got a little sun burnt and some awesome tan lines on our feet from the shoes but it is so so great!!!! I have loved it! Spring here is darling and I am SO glad I came here at this time. Spring (Pomlad in Slovene) has always reminded me of my cute mom for some reason. So with every cute flower and warm breeze, and butterfly I think of my mom and remember to be the missionary she is praying for. I also feel her love for me as I walk these cute cobblestone streets . The weeds here are straight up daisies haha so cute.
I have eaten some of the best food of my life here. It is finally hot so we got some ice cream! (Sladoled) haha It's kind of sad that that is one of the first words I learned here. It is about 1€ so we can't get it often which is so sad because it is the best thing that ever happened to life... so we have been freezing yogurts for the days we are dying of heat. I was introduced to Kebabs? Look them up on the web they are magic... I know my dad would LOVE these! I will get a picture next time since it was gone to fast to take one this time. haha Honestly I don't know why we buy groceries sometimes! probably the best thing I ate this week was Balkin Pizza. It was so good. It had bacon, sausage, a super thin crust, cherry tomatoes, and cream cheese. It was so good. Also we had grilled pineapple!!!!!! IT WAS HEAVEN!!!! It is different here! It is like a pineapple cobbler inside of a pineapple. I thought of my dad the entire time I was eating it and knew how much he would love it!!!!! I love Europe!
This week I studied a lot about hands haha I know that is the future doctor coming out in me. SO in my studies I read 3 talks: "Hands" by Thomas S Monson, "Becoming Instruments in the Hands of God" by Don R Clarke, and "You are My Hands" by Dieter F Uchtdorf. They were sooo good. I love reading talks from our Prophets and Apostles. So first off let's reflect on my mission scripture Alma 29:9. It mentions how being an instrument in the hands of God is a joy. Elder Clark's talk talks about how everyone can become those instruments! He tells a story of a man who answered another man's prayer and then asks the thought prevoking question "how can I become the one that the Lord can trust?" I just love that!!!! As a missionary I have to be humble enough to be the one He can trust. The rest of the talk goes on to tell us how we can become those instruments! One of my favorite quotes says something like: God's confidence in us increases when we respond to the promptings of the Spirit and we are then given more opportunities to be instruments in His hands! I LOVE!!! I trust in God so much! I am on a mission haha! And now I strive to be the one He can trust! Like When it says in 3rd Nephi "I know in whom I have trusted." Sooo good. The talk by Elder Uchtdorf was good too. But the one that hit me the most was the one by Thomas S Monson. He talks about how the Lord used ears, feet, face, back and other parts to teach important things. He also used the hand!! He evaluates different stages of hands such as children, teenagers, the engaged adult and finally mothers and fathers. This part was my favorite!!! Because of the loving hands of my parents, I am here in Slovenia serving my Savoir and preaching the gospel every day! Everything I testify of I learned by watching my amazing parents. I am so so grateful that their hands were once clasped in a Holy temple to be sealed so I can always be with them and my great siblings. President Monson said concerning these special hands Loved are the hands of a mother and honored are the hands of a father. Last week we had the privilege to sustain our Prophet. Our upraised hands were an outward expression of our inward feelings. Precious are the hands of a prophet. Finally He closes with the hands of our Savior. This is what He said. Finally, may we speak of yet another hand—even the hand of the Lord. This was the hand which guided Moses, which strengthened Joshua—the hand promised to Jacob when the Lord declared: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; … I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isa. 41:10.)
This was the determined hand which drove from the temple the money changers. This was the loving hand that blessed little children. This was the strong hand that opened deaf ears and restored vision to sightless eyes. By this hand was the leper cleansed, the lame man healed --- even the dead Lazarus raised to life. With the finger of this hand there was written in the sand that message which the winds did erase but which honest hearts did retain. The hand of the carpenter.The hand of the teacher. The hand of the Christ. One called Pontius Pilate washed his hands of this man called King of the Jews. Oh foolish, spineless Pilate! Did you really believe that water could cleanse such guilt?
“I think of His hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love, and devotion can I forget? …
Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!”
--Hymns, no. 80
So beautiful right? By the marks of His hands the people knew who He was. I know if we do as the brother of Jared and seek His hands in all things we will see them!!!! I know that because I see His hand every day here!!! I know His hands lead and guide this work and I am honored to be a part of it! Being an instrument in His hands really is my joy.
I think one of my favorite things that has happened here happened yesterday at church! It was Fast Sunday, so I decided to bear my testimony in Slovene without anyone asking me.... to show the branch that I wanted to speak this hard language haha. As I said the feelings of my heart, a few cute ladies cried and I got TONS of smiles and encouraging thumbs up. Afterward, everyone came up and thanked me for it. It was so great. I love the branch so much! All 15 members!!!!!! They are my pride and my joy! I love serving them!
This week I get to go to Ljubljana for visa stuff and zone conference! I am super excited for that! We get to ride the cute European trains!!! SOOO fun!!!!
We have had some funny things happen this week. But my favorite thing is always our NEXT TIME ON THE DISTRICT joke. for those of you that have watched The District, you know what that means. well, for us here in Slovenia some random things happen to us, haha so when something awkward or sooo not normal mission life but normal Slovene missionary life we say next time on the district... haha I'm bummed they haven't filmed the district here yet... i just don't understand hahahaha. I love my district and especially my companion. I cant express enough gratitude for everything she has taught me and shown me. We are completely ourselves together and I know people see that and see the light we have. She has made this week SOOOO much fun and our favorite days are the days we are so stinking tired and our heads hurt from all the Slovene. I just love her so very much and I am so glad I am put with her right now! I am so happy here!!!
Well, I think that is all for this week! It was such a good week! I have never ever been happier in my whole life! I have missed you all this week and wish you could all be here experiencing this with me! It is unreal and so perfect! I love being a missionary!!!!!!! It really truly is my joy. I am always so excited to wake up the next day and serve again!!!! Plus \I am finally to the story of Bountiful in my scriptures which is my all time favorite so what else could be more perfect?!?! This is the best thing ever! I LOVE my mission and I LOVE every little weird thing about Slovenia! Best week ever! OK I love you all!!!! Have an AWESOME week!!!!
OK i promised a list of culture shock things but that will have to wait another week haha I can't describe some of them yet so it is hard. I am in a different country that is for sure!!!