“I am the Living Water”

Happy Monday everyone!

It was another great week in Kranj and we saw a number of miracles in the past few days.

The first miracle? I somehow successfully made “Cafe Rio Sweet Pork” haha. It was Sister Nydegger’s birthday on Monday and for months she’s been talking about how much she misses Cafe Rio. So, Elder Hughes (in Ljubljana) and I organized a little Cafe Rio lunch, and it was my job to make the pork. It’s truely amazing what you can do with Coke, brown sugar, and a crock pot! Anyway, us 4 missionaries in Kranj went down to Ljubljana and the 8 of us had a blast together for p day. We celebrated Sister Nydegger’s birthday, ate Cafe Rio, played soccer in the underground parking garage, and closed off with a game of hide-and-seek. Some good missionary fun 🙂

Nope, it's not moonshine... Because of Slovenia's lack of rootbeer, Elder Rice and I are brewing our own! We'll keep you updated haha.

Nope, it’s not moonshine… Because of Slovenia’s lack of rootbeer, Elder Rice and I are brewing our own! We’ll keep you updated haha.

On Wednesday we tried a new contacting activity with the sisters which we called “I am the Living Water”. We went a bought a ton of water bottles at the store, ripped the labels off, and replaced them with water bottle labels I made a few days ago. The lables said (in Slovene) “I am the Living Water”, and underneath said “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again, but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” Then, we passed out water bottles to hot and thirsty people on the street! It was a lot of fun, and it was really easy to just ask people, “So what do you think Christ meant when He said He was the living water?” There were quite a few good conversations that came from it.

a close up of the label

the “living water” bottle up close

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(Refilling my "living water" bottle)

(Refilling my “living water” bottle)

     Thursday we did some more chalking and it was – as always – a great success. We had a pretty great story that came from it this week though…
     To provide some context, I guess it’s important to know that we’ve been doing this chalk drawing without any sort of official permission from the city haha. I asked someone in the city at one point a few months ago, and they said they didn’t think it would be an issue, but they weren’t sure. So, in a typical Elder Davis fashion, I figured we may as well just go for it until someone tells us to stop 🙂 On Thursday though, Elder Rice was down on the ground drawing and I was a few feet away talking to people. All of the sudden a police car pulled up into the square and the officer got out and started making his way toward Elder Rice. My first thought was, “well, it’s been a good run… but this is the end”. I braced myself, expecting to be reprimanded or maybe even fined. Instead, he stopped, looked at the drawings, looked at us, and said “the drawing about families being important is my favorite one” and then walked away with a smile. Talk about having a positive influece on ths city! It was such a fun experience, and I guess we’re influencing people in ways we don’t even see.
     The best part of the week though was Friday, when we really saw the hand of the Lord in our work. Remember the man that was 5 days from baptism? Well, this week we felt really strongly about visiting him. He wasn’t home when we went, so I wrote a letter to him saying that we still loved him and that the closer we get to God, the harder Satan pushes back. We also told him there is always a path back to Christ. We put that in his mailbox, and then just prayed! Not too long afterward, we got a text from him where he thanked us for the letter and said that he had thought a lot about all of these things, and really wanted to come back. I guess he had been having some probelms with a friend who is VERY against the church who pressured him into cutting contact with us. To make a long story short though, he is back now 🙂 He was at church this Sunday, and says he still wants to get baptized. I’m so glad I was able to be here long enough to see it come full cirlce!
     All-in-all an great few days here in Kranj, and I’ve felt the Spirit very strongly this week. I guess there is no more fitting thought to close out on than that which we spent all of Wednesday afternoon sharing. In John 4, Christ is speaking with a Samaritan woman at the well, and this is where he introduces the idea of being the “living water”. It says in verses 13 and 14 that “Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water (from the well) shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The function of water in our world that of giving life – we drink it daily, plants need it to grow and survive, etc. In the same way, Christ’s ultimate function is that of giving life. Not life as we know it though, but eternal life. In fact, His entire purpose for coming to Earth was to die so that we all can live. Christ’s is an open invitation to all of us: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,and I will give you rest.” I know firsthand that this is true, and that is can have more practical and everyday meaning than we can even understand.
     I love you all so much and hope you have a great week! I’ll hear from you soon.
     Jack

Kranj Adventures

Good Morning Everyone!

     My week was pretty good. Hot… but still good haha. The beginning of the week was transfers, but since Elder Rice and I are staying together in Kranj, we didn’t have to worry about any of that. Both of the sisters transfered though and two new ones came in which meant we were called upon to help carry luggage up and down the stairs 🙂

(The old Kranj District ice cream selfie: SIster Redding, Sister Christensen, me, Elder Rice)

(The old Kranj District ice cream selfie: Sister Redding, Sister Christensen, me, Elder Rice)

The two sisters in Kranj now are Sisters Erdman and Duffy. Sister Erdman was in the MTC with me, and we’re finally getting the chance to work together! Sister Duffy is here straight from the MTC. It should be fun getting to work with the two of them this transfer. IMG_3684DSC02256

     We started of the week with some solid chalking. The theme this time was “Who are Mormons?”. Most people in Kranj have seen us walking around but have no idea who we are or what we actually do, so we wrote out a big “Who are Mormons?” and then just talked to people about Mormons. It was really successful. The best part of the night was a young couple I stopped and talked to. They didn’t know anything about Mormons, and by the end they told me this was the best church they’d ever heard of! In general there are a few points about our church that really appeal to people here: the fact the priests in our church can (well, should) have families, the fact that nobody is paid, the idea of praying with our own words, and the concept of getting answers from God for ourselves about the truth of different doctrines. This couple loved all of these things, and they gladly took a brochure and gave me their number.
     The rest of the week was good and we had a few follow-up lessons with people found during chalking. During our “who are Mormons?” one, I talked to a young guy – maybe 22 – and set up with him to meet the next day at the church. Sure enough, he came to the church and we had a great lesson on the Restoration with him. The best part of this is that it shows chalking not only helps us talk to people on the street, but is actually able to help us find people who will be willing to investigate. It feels good when things actually work out the way you’re hoping haha…
     All-in-all it was another good week in Kranj. I don’t have anything special or profound to say this week, so I’ll just say this: I have an undeniable and unshakable testimony of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Jospeh Smith. I’ve watched the Restoration film quite a few times this week with investigators, and each time I do, I feel the Spirit telling me of its truth. There’s a lot I still have to learn and there’s honestly a lot I don’t understand – certain doctrines, parts of early church history, etc. That doesn’t change the truthfulness of the message though. I couldn’t be happier than I am now, having the chance to share that with other people 🙂
     I love you all so much and hope you have a great week! Hear from you soon.
     Love, Jack

Transfers and More Chalk!

Dobro jutro vsi!

Another good week in Kranj and another transfer come and gone. The new transfers were announced on Thursday, and there isn’t too much to say – Elder Rice and I will both be staying in Kranj together for another two months. I’m excited to see what creative things we can come up with now that we have another transfer together!

It rained during the first half of the week which meant no chalking for us, but as soon as it cleared up on Friday we were out there, chalk in hand 🙂 This week we decided to do a big collection of pictures having to do with the Restoration, and the centerpiece was a giant chalk version of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, complete with the entire account written out. It looked so good, and almost every person that walked past stopped to read Joseph’s account. It was very cool, and was equally successful this week as it was last week. We’ve gained the reputation in the mission of being those “crafty and creative” Elders, and it’s a reputation we’re happily embracing haha

(The sisters got this great one of me telling a teenage couple about Joseph Smith)

(The sisters got this great one of me telling a teenage couple about Joseph Smith)

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On Saturday we had the chance to go to Ljubljana for a baptism. A 16 year old who basically found the church on his own got baptised this week, and so we were able to go down and be a part of that. He’s an amazing kid, and the Spirit was amazingly strong during the service. The two of us and the two Elders from Ljubljana sang “Where can I turn for Peace?” in Slovene as a musical number, and Elder Rice gave a talk on baptism. All-in-all, it was a beautiful service, and everyone was crying by the end haha.

This is the coolest part though: Jožica (one of my Slovene relatives) came to the baptism!

She called me earlier this week saying she had a few pictures for me and asked when I was going to be in Ljubljana next. I told her I’d be at the church in Ljubljana for an event on Saturday and we agreed to meet early so she could give me those pictures. Well, she got to the church and after we talked for a minute, I finallyasked her if she wanted to stay for the baptism. To my pleasant surprise, she glady agreed! Jožica told me at the end that she really enjoyed it, and it made it all the more special to have a family member there.

Talk about a great baptismal service!

(Me and "auntie" Jožica at the baptism)

(Me and “auntie” Jožica at the baptism)

Overall this was a great week. The work goes forward slowly but surely, and I’m excited to see what this transfer will hold. I hope everyone is having a great summer, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

z ljubeznijo,

Elder Jack