Zdravo Maribor!

Dobro jutro everyone!

     Well, I successfully made it through my first week in Maribor. It’s still sinking in that this is my new home – that I’m not just here for a visit – and I’m slowly but surely learning my way around the new city.
     Maribor is a beautiful place. It’s a stereotypical European town with a red-roof center, large catholic churches, cobblestone squares and plazas, and a gorgeous river right in the middle of everything. Maribor also has one of Slovenia’s two universities, which means students, restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. Needless to say, Maribor is a little more happenin’ than Kranj was haha!

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(The Drava river with city center in the background. We live on the side of the river that the picture is taken from, and the church is on the other side of the river, just out of frame to the left)

     One great thing we’ve done this week is started our very own “A Savior is Born” campaign in Maribor. I translated the church’s new video into Slovene, printed out cards and posters, and we’ve now started really using them. As part of this, we got permission from the city to set up a hot chocolate stand in center a few times a week where we’re giving away hot chocolate, showing the “A Savior is Born” video, and talking to people about the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. It’s gone amazingly well! It’s so easy to stop people, offer them hot chocolate, and have them watch a 2 minute video. Very non-threatening. We’re able to show the video to dozens and dozens of people each time, and we’re seeing great success with this activity. Yay for free hot chocolate!
    The District here in Maribor is great. My companion is Elder Pickard. He’s from Moscow, Idaho, and has been in Slovenia for just 2 months. He’s a great guy, and we work well together. The sisters are Sisters Nydegger and Higgins. I was with Sister Nydegger in Celje for 6 months, so it’s fun being back together, and during the last 2 months of that time, Sister Higgins was there too. So it’s almost like the band is back together!

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( This is the only picture I took this week of everyone…I’ll take a better one next week haha. Sister Higgins, Sister Nydegger, Elder Pickard)

We finished off the week with church. The branch here is smaller than the others I’ve served in (about 15 active members), but the people are so nice and have amazing stories. Elder Johnson (who is the Branch President) asked me this week to serve in the Branch Presidency with him. The hope is that within a short time, we can have 2 branch members as counselors instead (that’s my hope at least haha). Overall though, I’m excited to learn as much as I can. I like new things and new challenges, and this is no exception – so, we’ll see how it goes!

     Well, all of that is a quick summary of my week in Maribor. Have a great week getting ready for Christmas, and I can’t wait to hear from you soon!
     Love, Jack
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