Živjo Family and Friends!
Well this is it… next week is officially my last week in the MTC, and then it’s off to Slovenia! Even though we’re all pretty nervous to have to speak to real Slovenes, it’s so exciting to be able to actually go on our “real” mission. And it is coming just at the right time. I’m not sure how much more of the MTC I could handle. It’s an awesome place, but it’s hard being completely isolated from the rest of the world, and it’s hard to sit in class for hours and hours each day. We’re all going a bit stir crazy I think (8 weeks will do that to a person), and just want to get out there and do real missionary work!
This is officially week 7, and we get to go to Slovenia in 2 weeks from Monday! A week from today, we get our flight plans which will tell us exactly when we leave and what our itinerary is. I’m so excited!
This has been a great week though (as they always are!). Each week, we do something called “TRC”. Instead of teaching a lesson to an “investigator” who isn’t a member of the Church (which is what we do almost every day), each week we teach a lesson to a returned missionary member, so we get practice teaching people who are already members of the Church. This all happens in Slovene of course. It’s a bit hard though, since (according to our teachers) there are only 7 known Slovene speakers in the Utah valley, all of them returned missionaries. Sooo, on Wednesday morning we got quite a treat. We got to Skype with an actual Slovene!! Her name is Nada Stoianović, a woman living in Celje, Slovenia. She joined the church in 1993, which means she was one of the first members in the entire Balkans. She was SO nice to us, and let us teach her over Skype for 30ish minutes. I was shocked by how much I understood. Granted, she was speaking VERY slow for us, but it was still encouraging to be able to understand and converse with a native like that. She had an amazing story about joining the church, and about being (essentially) the only Mormon in that part of Yugoslavia. Her Spirit was amazing, and you could sense she had one of the most rock solid testimonies I’ve ever seen. Anyway, Skype was amazing, and we get to do it every week until we leave.
Also new this week, us 5 Slovenes did a full, 24 hour, “no English day”. It was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I wanted to say so much, but just couldn’t form the sentences in Slovene! The hardest part about it was that I am somewhat conversant in Gospel topics, but know absolutely NOTHING about “every day” conversation in Slovene. That’ll be something I need to work on.
Yesterday we had our lesson with Bostjan, and it was…. interesting. He’s the investigator that’s a bit difficult, and we went in there planning on teaching about the Plan of Salvation. Well, as we started, I had the thought that maybe we should be teaching about something a little more simple and fundamental: faith, baptism, atonement, etc. but ignored that thought, since Elder Wise and I had already planned out a full lesson. The lesson went okay until he started asking questions. He wanted information on deeper doctrinal points concerning the life after death that I can barely answer in English, let alone Slovene!! So that got the lesson a little off track and made it a bit difficult. It was okay though, and was a good lesson for me in how to handle lessons that don’t go exactly as we plan.
Anyway, I love you all and miss you! Know that I’m praying for all of you and think about you all of the time.
– Starešina Davis