Today should be pretty fun: we’re going to the little town of Ptuj again, this time to see the celebration of the holiday “Pust”. It is a super traditional Slovene holiday, and I’m excited to see it. Essentially the idea is that people dress up like giant yeti/sheep/monster things, and then scare away winter. It’s the holiday to celebrate the coming of Spring and you can google “Kurent” to see the yeti/sheep/monster things. The holiday is centered in Ptuj, and we’re all excited to experience some good Slovene culture.
We’ve had a good week in Celje. On Tuesday we did some tracting, and met quite a few people. One of them was a really nice 19 year old, and we talked to him about the Plan of Salvation for a while, and we’re planning to go back early this week.
On Wednesday and Thursday we did… more tracting (: Though tracting is great, and we can definitely find people that way, I really want to start doing something more. There is a quote that I really love: “If you want to achieve something never before achieved, you need to do something never before done”. Well, missionaries (and Jehovah’s Witnesses) have been knocking on the same Celje doors for 20 years, and I feel like though it works (sort of) it’s not going to be what will turn the work around. The answer, at least in my opinion, is working closely with the members. As President Hinkley said, members are the key to it all!
Speaking of the members, we had a Branch activity night on Friday, and it was a lot of fun. We all played ping pong, fuzeball, board games, and just had a good time together. I’m really happy to see people coming to the church to have a nice time together, and I hope we can do more of these.
On Saturday morning, we did a special missionary project for Valentine’s Day. We went around in the car and “heart attacked” all of the active members. Everyone liked it (I hope haha), and it made for a fun morning.
The last event of the week though, is probably the biggest for me.
We were leaving our apartment after lunch one day, and I saw that we had a missed call from a number we didn’t have in our phone. I assumed it was someone calling about English class, and I made a mental note to call them back. Well, I promptly forgot that mental note, and we went about our day. Later that night we were walking through the city, and all of the sudden the thought came rushing back: you never called that person!
So, I called them. A woman answered, and I said who I was and said I was sorry for taking so long to call back. She told me her name, and as soon as she said it, I knew that I knew that name, but just could not for the life of me remember where I knew it from. Maybe someone we talked to on the street, and gave them our number?
After a second of talking with her, I realized who it was: it’s one of my family members!!! This woman is part of my “Zidarič” family line, and is the main family contact we know of in Slovenia! We ended up talking for some time, and she is VERY nice. She is going on vacation with her family soon, but will be back at the end of the month. She said that as soon as she gets back, she wants me over for a visit to meet the rest of the family. She also offered to drive me down to the town of Brežice to see the old Zidarič family farm. I’m so excited to finally get to meet the family. I feel like meeting my family is one of the purposes of me getting sent to Slovenia, and that it’s all finally coming together.
Anyway, have a great week, and I love you all!