Happy late Thanksgiving everyone!
First things first, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Our Slovenian Thanksgiving was fun, and all of the Kranj and Ljubljana missionaries spent it together with an American family from the embassy. We had a real Thanksgiving meal, and even played some football out in the cold, snowy yard. It was a blast 🙂
(A classic Slovene “Turkey Bowl”)
Thanksgiving was only the beginning of the week though.
Doctrine & Covenants 18:15 sums up pretty nicely how the rest of the week went:“And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!” This week I got a taste of that heaven-sent joy as I watched Sjoerd be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We spent the week with him getting everything ready – trying on clothes, putting together the program, making treats, etc – all in preparation for Saturday. We had a lot to do, but the big day finally came. There isn’t a baptismal font in Kranj, so we all went down to Ljubljana on Saturday morning and did the service there. This was the Kranj branch’s first baptism, so almost all of the members were there. The program itself was beautiful, and one of the cool parts was a talk given by Albin Lotrič, the first member of the church in Slovenia. He talked about how the Lord had to lead him to Norway to find the church, and how Sjoerd was brought to Slovenia in a similar way to find the gospel. We missionaries sang Sjoerd’s favorite song (I Know that my Savior Loves Me) and then it was time for the actual baptism!
If I had to describe the whole experience in one word it would be: happiness. The general feeling of joy was infectious, and I don’t think there was a person there who wasn’t smiling. It was a day I’ll never forget.
(Elder Hughes, Me, Sjoerd, President and Sister Grant, Elder Rice)
(Sjoerd and I!)
That verse in the D&C goes on to say: “And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” We saw that verse play out quite literally when, just 2 hours after Sjoerd was baptized, a girl in her 20s from the Ljubljana branch was baptized. I don’t think we’ve had 2 baptism in one day in a long time in Slovenia, and the joy just got greater and greater as the day went on.
Needless to say, it was a pretty good week haha.
Things are going wonderfully here, and there are more exciting things in the mix. The woman who got referred to us through the internet just committed to baptism, and we’re really seeing the Lord’s hand in the work. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.