Castles, Conferences, & Christmas Time
This week was a really good week! I was able to go to Celje on exchanges! It was wonderful to see a different part of Slovenia! Slovenia is so beautiful, with the rolling hills and the forests and the Celje castle on the hill. As soon as you get out of the city of Ljubljana, the countryside looks just like Germany or Switzerland. Celje is a lot smaller than Ljubljana, so it has that small town feel there. It feels like a little European town should feel like. I saw some Roman ruins discovered during a renovation project right in the city center of Celje. But there is no busing system in Celje because everyone walks everywhere. While I was there on exchanges with Sestra J, we ran into about three people on the street who knew us. That never happens in Ljubljana, so that was different. While street contacting, we ran into some people who were willing to talk to us and they were really suffering from difficulties in their lives. I hope that they take the lessons so they can find the peace that only comes from the gospel! Sestra J and I also ate Twix palačinke for dinner, so that was awesome.
Zone conference this week was really awesome! It was all in Slovene and I pretty much understood everything! We talked about the Book of Mormon and why it is so important. We did this activity where we walked, and while walking, we took turns going through the lessons, teaching, testifying, inviting etc…, with our companion. It was really fun. Then we found out that the members had worked together and made a traditional dinner for us! It was so sweet and all the food was so good! We all felt so blessed! The members here are so great! I wish I would have done more missionary work when I was home before my mission. It really is the best way for the ward to come together, and it helps the missionaries so much! I don’t want to ever leave Slovenia, but I am learning so much that I can do when I get home to help the missionaries and strengthen my ward. It’s going to be so awesome! I am going to fellowship the world! I really feel like the Lord is teaching me things I will need in the future.
I have felt really blessed this week because of the Atonement. Without the knowledge I have of the Atonement, I wouldn’t be able to feel so happy all the time, I wouldn’t be able to progress every day, and I would have no direction in my life. I love the feeling I get from giving a daily accounting to the Lord and from really trying to follow His instruction. Since I have been focusing on not doubting my ability to speak Slovene, on just talking to people and not being awkward, I have really felt more confident. I have felt the Lord’s presence more distinctly in my life. We had a good lesson with a member who isn’t coming to church right now. They said that we had answered their prayers and it was really powerful.
My companion and I teach the intermediate level English class. It’s a pretty big class. We teach twice a week for an hour. It’s fun! The church has a program we follow for English class, it’s pretty simple. My companion can speak German so we are starting a German class in January. People around here speak German or want to learn it, so that is cool.
My companion and I also attempted to make garden pudding this week for an activity…needless to say I shouldn’t have been surprised when it didn’t really turn out. I am not the best cook. Some of the members tried it. After three days, it was so gross (we accidentally used sour gummy worms…and Slovene pudding from scratch is so different). We will be sticking to easier things from now on, at least I will. But all the Elders can cook; they made really good fajitas yesterday. Go figure! But this morning I made palačinke from scratch and it turned out well. We played football with the Elders, and I actually scored a touchdown. There is an Elder here that is so much like Sebastian, it cracks me up. The Elders are awesome, they are always serving us. I never thought I would respect 19 year-old boys, but you can tell that they are really strong missionaries.
I also got to go into the center of Ljubljana today. It is so beautiful with the Christmas lights and everything! I am so excited to go back there and draw everything. There was a guy playing the accordion. The cobblestones, the river, all the different colored houses, and the giant, Disneyland status castle, made me really finally feel like I was in Europe, it was so cool.
It snowed this week, but it didn’t stick. It’s getting darker earlier, which I didn’t think was possible. But now it doesn’t get light until 7am and it gets dark at 4pm.
My companion and I feel so good about this week! We are trying to have absolute faith. We are waking up earlier so we can have more studies. I think it will help. We are also only speaking Slovene outside the house, so that has been fun. The Lord said this work will always be hard, but that we can do it and that is why we are here. Hope you are all doing well and are having a good week!