The rest of the week was great as well, though it’s been raining pretty much all week, so there haven’t been a ton of people outside (that big umbrella has saved me). On Tuesday, we had a great lesson with an older couple here in Celje. Elder Lyman and I met them 2 months ago, and they let us in to teach a first lesson. After that lesson, we asked them if we could come back and teach more, but they told us they were not interested. This past week though, Elder Dearinger and I happened to be on their street and I decided we might as well just stop by and see how they were doing. The wife answered the door, and I asked her if she had time that we could share a little more of our message. She agreed, and we were able to teach both of them about the Plan of Salvation. It was a really powerful lesson, and I could tell that both of them felt the Spirit. We stayed for a long time, and they had an endless trail of questions about the Church, missionaries, us, what we do, etc. It was a fantastic visit! This time when I asked if we could come back and share more, they gladly accepted (:
This week was a big week in the Balkans, because it was the holiday “Miklavž” or “Sveti Nikolaj” (Saint Nicholas). This is essentially an Eastern European Christmas holiday, and here in Slovenija they celebrate Miklavž and regular Christmas. On Friday and Saturday night, there were TONS of people in Center (I didn’t even know there were that many people in Celje!), and they had concerts, preformances, bands, food, etc. It was a lot of fun to just walk around and see the festivities. We ended up running into the sisters, so we all went and tried some of the traditional Miklavž desserts that they were selling on the street. It was tons of fun!
This week we’ve also had a few more meetings with our investigator who is trying to quit smoking. He has made some pretty amazing progress, and is really wanting to be a part of the Church. He got up and bore a powerful testimony on Sunday about Jesus Christ during testimony meeting. He was the very first one up, and I was very impressed at his willingness to do that. Granted, we still need to work on the smoking, but we committed him to get baptized, and it will likely happen next month. The Lord’s work is moving forward!
This week we also had a little miracle with that guy that 18 year old hip hop dancer we met last week. We were set up to meet with him Thursday night, but he didn’t show, and I realized that we didn’t have his number or address. This meant that we had no way of contacting him. The next morning before we left the apartment, I prayed that somehow during the day we would be able to run into him, so that we could get his number and be able to set up again. That night, Elder Dearinger and I were walking through a crowded part of Center, looking for the Sisters who were also in that part of Center. There were tons of people out for Miklavž, and I had no idea how we would see the sisters in the crowd. As I was looking around for them, I spotted the guy I had prayed about standing off to the side of the road. We were able to go over and talk to him, and had a great conversation about our missionary work. We were also able to get his number this time, and we set up again for this week. Again, it was one of those moments in the life of a missionary that most people would chalk up to coincidence. I know though, that it was the Lord hearing and answering my prayer. There really isn’t much better than having Christ on your side to help you accomplish your work!
So, winter nights are pretty hard in Celje. It’s cold, dark, and people just don’t want to talk to you, open their doors to you, etc. So, on Sunday night, we did something a little different. We set up a table in front of the Church, sung carols, gave out free hot chocolate, and just talked to people as they walked by. It was a wonderful activity! It was just a nice way for people to see the Church, talk to us, have some “Kakav”, etc. It’s also a great way to to help people have a good first encounter with the Church. Overall a great activity, and we will probably start to do it weekly during the winter.
This week has been yet another great week in Celje, and I hope all is going well back home! I love you all and pray for you constantly!