Dobro jutro družina moja :)

     My email today is going to be pretty quick. The reason for that is the amazing p day we have planned! As soon as we finish here in the library, the 6 of us (4 missionaries and Elder and Sister Hansen) are getting in the car and heading to… Piran! Piran is Slovenia’s picturesque coastal town on the Adriatic Sea (google it!), and I’m so excited to see it. Believe it or not, this is the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing the ocean, and I weirdly miss it. It’s funny how you can take something like that for granted when you’re around it all the time, but as soon as you’re gone – you can’t wait to get back to it! So today should be a blast.
     This week was a good one. On Monday, I had the chance to go with Elder Petersen to the town of Rogaška Slatina, the town where (if we’re correct) Alojz (Louis) Cvetko was born. It felt strange to return to his home town like that, 100 years after he had left. Funny how this all works out! We spent the day seeing the town, visiting the local churches looking for records (I found out they’ve been moved to the Catholic archives in Maribor – the hunt is on), and I dragged Elder Petersen around the town graveyard for a while. I found 5 or 6 tombs with “Cvetko” on them, and now I just need to figure out who is who. It was an amazing town, and looked like something straight out of… Europe haha. A great p day, and I’m getting really excited about the family history aspect of my mission.

Me in front of the main church in Rogaska Slatina

Me in front of the main church in Rogaska Slatina

It was quite a town!

It was quite a town!

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I forgot to mention - it's been raining for a week straight, without stopping!

I forgot to mention – it’s been raining for a week straight, without stopping!

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There is usually a sidewalk under there somewhere

Tuesday was zone conference, and that was (as always) a very spiriutal experience. The testimonies shared were beautiful, and I left with a renewed determination to follow the Holy Ghost more completly in my life.

     In fact, that was my main focus during the last 7 days. For part of my studies this week, I focused on Proverbs 3:5-6, which say “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” As missionaries, our number one desire is for the Lord to “direct our paths”, both spiritually and literally. What do we need to do to make that happen? Trust Him, acknowledge Him, and not trust in ourselves. It’s easy as a missionary to think “Oh, I know what I’m doing!” or, “I’m from a successful ward in America – I know what’s best for the people here!”. The trick though, is to let go of the “I know” thoughts and focus only on the “He knows” thoughts.
     So that’s what I tried to do this week. Instead of going where I thought was best, I tried to let the Lord direct my path. It was a great week, and I definitely saw an increase in Spirit and in direction from the Lord. I’ll make sure and share more next week.
     I love you all so much, and cannot wait to hear from you soon! I hope you had a great week, and know that I continue to think about you and pray for you.
     Love, Jack
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A Fun P-day, Surprise Trip to Croatia, and More!

Dobro jutro everyone!

We had another good and busy week here in Celje, so I guess I’ll just get right into it.

On Monday, we had a great “Celje hike & bike” p day. After getting up and doing our emails and shopping, the 4 of us (plus the sisters from Ljubljana) went up to “Celjska Koča” the local ski resort here in Celje. It’s up in the hills above the city, and in the summer there are trails to hike, an alpine sled, a resturaunt, bike rentals, etc.

We started by doing a really nice hike. Above the castle and overlooking the city is a mountain called Grmada, and at the very top of the hill is a big cross. We hiked up to the cross (took a million pictures) and there enjoyed the view of the entire valley. It was so pretty up there, and the hike was a blast.

Tired and sweaty…yey!

Tired and sweaty…yey!

After hiking back down to the resort/lodge, we decided on a whim to rent bikes. They had a special deal – 4€ for 4 hours – and we just couldn’t help ourselves. So, all 6 of us got on our bikes, and then were off! We biked all through the forest there, and eventually found this little town up in the hills with a beautiful old catholic church in the middle. I’ll send the pictures 🙂 All in all, p-day was a blast, and it just felt so good to be out in nature hiking and biking around. It’s something I want to do way more of when I get home.

District bike ride selfie

District bike ride selfie

DSC01148 DSC01143 DSC01064 DSC01065 DSC01124 DSC01130So that was the first exciting thing of the week.
The second happened on Tuesday. We normally do companionship exchanges once every two months, but out of the blue, the Assistants to the President called us and told us we would be doing a last minute exchange. One of the APs would be coming to Celje with Elder Petersen and I would be going to Zagreb with the other AP. We were both pretty suprised, but by that afternoon I was in a car to Croatia.
I ended up spending the next few days (until Thursday) working in Zagreb. Apart from a few administrative things we did the normal stuff: contacting, tracting, etc. It was really cool to see more of Zagreb – it’s like New York compared to Celje – and I had a pretty fun time trying to speak Croatian. The languages are similar, and so I was able to (sort of) communicate in a half Slovene/half Croatian… mess 🙂 It was a lot of fun. By Thursday afternoon, I was back in Celje with Elder Petersen – back in a land where I could actually speak!
The rest of the week was filled with finding, and we ended up doing a lot of tracting. Tracting is… well it’s tracting, and it went alright. Though not my favorite thing in the world, we were still able to find quite a few new people. A teenager from a Muslim family, a really nice mom of 3 kids, an older man and his daughter – we’ll have some good people to follow up with next week. My favorite parts of all of that were simply the times when people allowed us to share our message. Nothing feels better than telling people about why we’re here as missionaries and what our message is, and I’m so grateful for each chance we get throughout the day.
Well, that was about it for the week… it rained a ton, the hills are still crazy green, and I’m still happy and healthy 🙂 I love this work – I really do. We may not find a ton of “success” in the numbers sense of the word, but I don’t think I could feel more successful. I’m closer to the Lord now than I’ve ever been in my life, and I’ve found more answers to my spiritual questions than ever before. I’ve learned to love these people, I’ve learned to follow the Holy Ghost, and I’ve learned how to really appreciate the priceless gift of the scriptures. Nothing beats sharing His gospel, and having that opprotunity each day is all the “success” I’ll ever need.
I love you so much, and hope you have a great week next week! Keep me updated on how everything is going, and I’ll hear from you soon.
Z ljubeznijo,
Starešina Davis

Good morning everyone, and happy (late) Mother’s Day!

We had a good week in Celje, and it was a week that left me just absolutly exhausted (in a good way of course). On Wednseday we had our “Return and Report” conference, which is a conference for all of the trainers and trainees to talk about how training is going. It was held in Kranj, so we left early Wednesday morning and drove about an hour and a half to the church there. The conference was great, and we talked about training progress and about what we can do for the rest of the transfer. The trainess also had to teach a 5 minute lesson in Slovene (in front of everyone), and Elder Petersen did great on his lesson!

Celje District!

Celje District!

Thursday and Friday were pretty crazy, and we spent a good chunk of the time getting ready for our spring concert.

Speaking of the concert, it was… amazing! We put a lot of time into preparing, but simply had no idea what to expect. Maybe a handful of members would come? Maybe more? We just didn’t know. But, Friday evening rolled around, and everything was set up and ready to go. The four Maribor missionaries were downstairs welcoming people, and the four of us Celje missionaries ran upstairs to grab a few last minute things. We said a quick district prayer up there that everything would go well, and then headed down to see. We walked into the chapel, and I was honeslty shocked! We had 50 or so people sitting there, and over half were non-members. The music ended up being great; we had some amazing piano pieces, a professional violinist, multiple singing numbers, and more. We had refreshments afterward, and had an amazing time getting to meet all of the non

getting ready for the concert

getting ready for the concert

DSC01053-members who had come. All-in-all, a great night.

Although doing the concert has left me dead, I feel really good about it. This is my kind of missionary work. As much as I enjoy tracting and contacting, I loved spending our time and effort putting together a quality event. Events, activities, workshops, service projects – these are the things I would love to spend more time doing.

Other than the concert and the conference on wednesday, there isn’t much else to report. Church was good on Sunday, the work with Elder Petersen is a blast (as always), and I feel lucky to be able to be serving here in Celje, Slovenija.

You’re all in my thoughts and prayers, and I love you all. I hope everyone has a great week of work and school, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!DSC01042

"the cake" at Bled

“the cake” at Bled

bled

bled

Elder Jack

Hello Everyone!

Hello Everyone!

Well, there’s not a whole lot to report from this week, but as always – it was great. It’s had not to have a great week when you’re on the Lord’s errand.
The first thing noteworthy from this week is the arrival of our new Celje senior couple, Elder and Sister Hansen! They’re a very sweet couple, and we helped them move in on Friday and then took them on a little tour of Celje Saturday morning, showing them the church, Center, and a few of the main sights. We’ve had more than a month without a senior couple, and it’ll be interesting to have one again.
a district selfie from last p day

a district selfie from last p day

This week was also a spiritual one for me, and I’d love to share some of those experiences 🙂

In our apartment we have a binder full of records of former-investigators: people who were at one point taking the lessons, but then stopped for whatever reason. Well, I was looking through the binder and came across the record of a family not too far from our apartment. I felt something good about the family, and so wrote down thier info, making a mental note that we needed to visit. Well, a week or so passed, and as Elder Petersen and I were getting ready to start some tracting one afternoon, this family came to mind again, and I felt like we needed to go visit them. Following that feeling, we went over to their apartment and knocked on the door. They answered, and after a second of friendly small talk, the mom stopped us and said, “You know what’s strange? I was doing some spring cleaning this morning, and found my old Book of Mormon. I’ve been thinking about it all day. And now you’re here at our door! There really are no coincidences…”. We ended up having a great conversation with them, and the whole thing was a witness to me of how involved the Lord is in His work. We had no way of knowing that she would happen to find that Book of Mormon on that specific day, but if we follow the Spirit, we’ll be led exactly where we need to be.
This week we also had the exciting chance of helping one of our investigators accept a date for baptism. The whole experience with him has been spiritual for me, and one of the favorite things about him is his sincerity. We’ve had obstacles with him: reincarnation, baptism, authortiy, etc. but have been able to overcome every single one so far, simply because he’s sincerly searching for the truth. If someone wants the truth – they’ll find it. The Spirit was strong in our lesson with him yesterday, and he told us he believes that what we’re teaching is true. I’m excited to keep working with him to see if we can get him prepared for baptism!
Overall we had a great week in Celje. A lot is going on, and the work is moving forward. We’ve got the concert this Friday (cant wait to see how that goes), and we’ll be spending some time this week getting ready for that.I love you all a lot, and hope everyone has a great week. Happy Mother’s Day!
Jack

(In Celje we have a game, where if we see the other companionship during the day, we have to get a picture of them without them seeing. This is one that the sisters snapped of us walking with a 90 year old Slovene grandma along the river haha)

(In Celje we have a game, where if we see the other companionship during the day, we have to get a picture of them without them seeing. This is one that the sisters snapped of us walking with a 90 year old Slovene grandma along the river haha)

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