Well, another week has flown by here in the fairly tale land of Slovenia. It was another busy week for me, but a truely great one. Here are some of the highlights:
On Monday we had a fun p day with the sisters and one of the members here in Kranj. We drove up north to the alps and there my theory that Slovenia is the most beautiful place on the planet Earth was confirmed. We went to a little lake that is the source of the Sava river. The water was unbelievably beautiful, and the whole scene was backdropped by the sheer Julian alps. So. Amazing.
I still haven’t gotten over the fact that I live here.
p day selfie!
We were at the “three borders” – Slovenia, Austria, Italy
A little Russian church up in the mountains
On Friday I had a pretty special opportunity to share some of my excitement about family history. Elder Rice and I got up early in the morning and made the drive down to Zagreb where we spent the day at the young single adult conference that was going on. There were young single adults from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, and I was asked to give a presentation on why family history is important for young people and how people can get started with their family history. It went so well! We talked about the different reasons why each member of the church needs to be involved in this important work and then I showed them how to get started. We filled out pedigree charts, created familysearch.org accounts, and had an all-around great time. In honor of Elder Scott, I’ll share one of his quotes on family history (a quote I used in my presentation). It is honestly one of the most amazing promises I’ve heard from a general authority before.
“Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names for the sacred vicarious ordinances available in the temple, and then go to the temple and stand as proxy for them to receive the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As you grow older, you will be able to participate in receiving the other ordinances as well. I can think of no greater protection from the influence of the adversary in your life.” – Elder Scott
This is a truly amazing promise from an apostle of the Lord and I hope that my presentation and work with these young adults helped get them excited about family history. It was great getting to meet all of them, and I’m convinced we have some of the best young adults in the world in our mission 🙂
The other highlight from the week was the work with our miracle investigator. Watching him progress has been like watching a seris of miracles unfold right before my eyes, and I still cannot believe how prepared he is. He has a strong desire to get baptized, and the whole thing has been a testement that the Lord really does prepare people.
The work of salvation is the happiest work on the face of the Earth, and I honestly couldn’t be happier right now. I was reading in the Book of Alma this week and there were two verses that really stood out to me. Here, Ammon speaks about their missionary experience (chapter 26):
29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.
30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.
Ammon starts by talking about the challenges they’ve faced as missionaries. The trials I’ve faced aren’t half as bad as the ones Ammon lists, but the principle is the same – missionary work is not an easy task, and it involves a LOT of rejection. But, in verse 30, he goes on to say that he goes through all of this just for the chance that he might save one soul. I feel exactly the same. As a look back on the year (more actually) that I’ve been here, I can see that even one acceptance – one chance to save a soul – is worth all of the rejections in the world.
I love you all so much and look forward to hearing from you soon. Love,