Hello everyone from the beautiful little town of Kranj!

     It’s been a fun week, and I’ve had a great time getting to know my new area. Kranj is a small but nice town with an amazingly preserved medieval center. It’s up in the north-westernish part of Slovenija, and is right on the edge of the alps. It’s nice to wake up and see big mountains every day again. Oh, and our apartment is in a 200 year old building. Europe haha. 

I spy the alps!

I spy the alps!

     On Monday (this is still in Celje), we had p-day which was spent packing, getting ready to go, and saying some final goodbyes. We visited a couple of members at their houses, and then went to the church in the evening so I could say some final goodbyes. It was tough (as goodbyes always are), but the beauty of living in the 21st century is that we have email, phones, skype, airplanes… it’s pretty easy to stay in contact with someone.
     On Tuesday morning we got up early, I loaded my stuff into the car with the sisters, and then we headed to the train station. I said one final goodbye to my beloved Celje, hopped onto the train, and then was off! After a number of delays and missed connections, I finally ended up in Kranj, Slovenija, with my new companion, Elder Rice.
     Elder Rice is a great guy, and got to the mission about 3 months ago in the same group as Elder Petersen. Elder Rice comes from a military family, and one of his dad’s assignments actually brought their family to Serbia for 3 years! So Elder Rice is already kind of familiar with the region and the language, which is very cool. We’re having a great time together.
     The rest of the week was missionary work as normal. For the first time since I got to Slovenija, I had NO clue where I was, what streets went where, who the investigators are, etc. It was a bit strange. But, this is a small town and it shouldn’t take too long to get to know it. Anyway, we did some contacting and tracting, but by Wednesday or Thursday it had gotten so hot that nobody was outside. So then we just did tracting haha.
     A highlight of the week was definitely Sunday at church. I was excited to meet the members here, and well…. they are awesome! The Kranj branch is made up of some of the strongest families in Slovenija, and they actually have some babies, a few primary aged kids, some guys my age, and then obviously, adults. It’s a great branch, and I’m excited to start building relationships here.
     All in all it was a good week and I’m excited to be here in Kranj. Change is always hard – I’m still adjusting to all the new things that stem from being here, but change is good and we learn a lot from it. My goal now is to really figure out what my purpose is in Kranj. I know the Lord sent me here for a specific reason, and part of the excitement of transfers is getting to discover what that reason is.
     I don’t have any profound doctrinal insights to share this week, so I’ll simply talk for a second about how amazing the atonement of Jesus Christ is.
     It’s interesting –  we often think of perfection as something way, way, way off in the distance. But something I’ve realized, is that when we enter into sacred covenants with Christ, we are made perfect in Him – immediately. All of us who have been baptized are literally perfect in Christ right now. I read something that explained it well.
     It’s as if we have a checking account that is heavily overdrawn. We have some assets, but those assets are far outweighed by the debts we have. Then, along comes Christ. When we covenant with Him through baptism, it’s as if we are creating a joint account. Our debts flow into His account and His (endless) assets flow into our account. We still have those personal debts – they haven’t gone anywhere – but in the eyes of the bank (in the eyes of God), our account is just fine, since Christ’s assets more than cover our debts. And the beauty of it is that this process is immediate.
     It’s been on my mind a lot this week, and it’s hard to convey how amazing of a miracle this is. Christ asks that we do everything we can do to follow Him – nothing more – and in return He literally makes us perfect in the eyes of our Father. The more I study it and think about it, the more I realized how amazing of a gift this is to each of us. All we need to do is follow Him through covenants such as baptism, and then try our best to stay on the path. Trying our best is all that’s required. The rest is paid.
     I’m not sure why I’ve been thinking about this so much lately, but it’s an amazing thing to think about. I have such an unshakeable testimony in Jesus Christ and in His role as our Savior and Redeemer.  As Isaiah wonderfully said, “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
     I love you all so much, and hope you can take a few extra minutes this week to really think about Christ and what He did for us. I hope you have an amazing week, and know that I pray for you daily. I love you so much!
     Jack
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