Dobro Jutro Everyone!
This has been a great week, and I guess I’ll get right into it! On Monday we had an amazing Pday in the small town of Ptuj, where we got to see the celebration of a Slovene holiday called Pust. It is a very traditional, old, Slovene holiday, focused on scaring away winter and welcoming spring. It’s very… different haha. The tradition is to dress us as a “Kurent” which is something I would describe as a cross bewteen a yeti, a sheep, and something out of a Tim Burton movie. They tie giant cowbells around their waist, and then run around being as loud as they can. If I was winter, I would definitely be scared away for a few months haha (: Anyway, it was a blast to take part in some very traditional Slovene culture, and we all enjoyed.
From Tuesday to Thursday, I had the chance to go on my first exchage this transfer. I went to Maribor and served there for a few days. I had a great exchange with the Elder there, and I think we both learned a lot. Maribor is a beautiful city right on the Drava River, and is much larger than Celje. One of Slovenia’s two universities is in Maribor, so there are also a lot of students. That made contacting pretty fun, and we talked to some great students. One thing that we did which I really liked was that we prayed to find specific types of people. Instead of just praying to find “someone” to talk to, we prayed to find “someone who will be able to feel the Spirit on the street when we talk to them” or “someone who will read the Book of Mormon every day”. This made the contacting much more meaningful, and we found quite a few great people. Right toward the end of the exchange, we met a young guy who lives in Celje, but was just in Maribor for the day. We went to a little cafe with him and his friend, and were able to have a great conversation about what we do as missionaries. Because he lives in Celje, I was able to get his number, and we set up to meet tomorrow.
Friday and Saturday were pretty uneventful, and we did a mix of tracting and contacting. We had our Branch activity on Friday night, which was another great success. It’s great that the branch is having these activites, since it gives the members, non members, and missionaries a chance to just have a good time and get to know eachother better, outside of a sacrament meeting setting.
Church was great on Sunday, and the Spirit was strong during sacrament. Sunday night was pretty good as well, and we had a great lesson with someone who we met about a month ago. We knocked on his door, but he didn’t have time then, and gave us his number to set up for a different time. Well, he finally had time, and we were able to go over and teach about the Restoration and Joseph Smith. Something we are trying to do when we teach new people is introduce the idea of baptism in the first lesson. Often, missionaries feel like they have to wait to talk about it, but by bringing it up in the first lesson with someone, it makes the idea of baptism something very normal. This way, we aren’t springing it on the investigator weeks or months into the teaching. I like it a lot, and it worked really well with this new investigator.
Well, that was pretty much my week! Life is great in Celje, and I’m loving the work. The weather is warming up and spring is on it’s way, and I’m just excited for another week here (: I love you all so much, and hope everyone is happy and healthy!