This has been a great Christmas week here in Celje, and I hope it has been just as good for all of you back home.
On Monday for P-day, we had the chance to go with a returned missionary from the branch to Šmartinsko Jezero, a really pretty lake north of Celje. The weather was nice, so the five of us walked up there together, the member showed us around, and we had a picnic for lunch. It was a lot of fun, and the area around that lake is so beautiful!
From Monday night through Wednesday I was on an exchange in Ljubljana and Kranj, a small city about 30 min. north of Ljubljana. The exchange was a lot of fun, and I loved seeing Kranj for the first time. It’s the fourth largest city in Slovenija, and is a really nice European-esque town up towards the Austrian alps. It’s a really old city, and the Elder’s apartment there is in a 200 year old building. During that exchange we did Christmas caroling, and I passed out 20 Book of Mormons in an hour. It was really cool! We also spent some time in Ljubljana, and did some contacting in the city center there. Exchanges were a lot of fun, and it was great to spend some time with the other Elders.
Thursday was of course, Christmas, and we were given a 24-hour “vacation” by President Grant. So, at midnight on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, we went to Mass in St. Danijel’s church, a beautiful old gothic church built in the 1300s. Midnight Mass was really cool. They sung the entire chapter of Luke 2, and the chior there preformed some beautiful numbers. I really thought Midnight Mass was a wonderful experience.
On Thursday we spent most of the day at the Lamberts’ apartment. We had Christmas brunch, and then everyone took their turn skyping. Christmas was a nice break, and (of course) I loved getting to see all of my family over Skype! The time was short (it felt short anyway), but it was still so good to see everyone.
On Friday we had a lesson with one of our investigators. He’s amazing, and is the best investigator I’ve had on my mission so far. We’ve taught him the restoration and about the Book of Mormon, and he liked it all a lot. At the end of the last lesson after I had prayed, he said “Next time, I’m praying!”. In the last two weeks he’s read 50 or so pages of the Book of Mormon, has come to church both weeks, and even comes to English class to help us teach. He also came to our “hot chocolate activity” and passed out pass-along cards with us. This week I challenged him to read the entire Book of Mormon and pray about it, and he said he’d read every day until he finishes. He’s an awesome guy, and I’m really excited for him.
The other big event of the weekend was the sudden arrival of winter!! Up until this point it has been really warm and nice. The days have been in the 40s and 50s and the nights have been in the high 30s. Not too bad for December. Well, on Saturday night it started to snow lightly, but nothing was really sticking, and we didn’t think too much would happen. Oh how wrong we were. We woke up Sunday morning and it had SNOWED like I’ve never really seen. I’m talking almost 2 feet of fresh beautiful snow. Plowing here is nothing like it is in Utah, and when we left for Church nothing was cleared. We trudged through the snow to church, and then cleared the sidewalk and street in front of the church. Because of the snow (and because the roads were terrible) a lot of people didn’t come to church, but it was still really nice. It should be better next week when the roads are all clear. I’m really loving this snow, and right now everything looks magical. I’ll have to take a bunch of pictures today of Celje and the mountains!
All in all this was a good week (: I hope you had a great Christmas together, and I hope you all have an equally great New Year! Happy 2015 everyone!