Good morning everyone!
Another week has come and gone, and like always, this one was filled with a number of great experiences. If I had to sum up the things I learned into a simple phrase though, it’d definitely be this: the Lord is always in charge. I think Sister Johnson may have already sent you some pictures, but this week the Maribor district was involved in a funeral. The request for us to help with a funeral seemed fairly random at first, but looking back now, I can see how the Lord uses “random” (although they actually aren’t random at all) things to further His work. He’s truly at the helm!
Last week, we got a call from an Austrian-American member asking us to help with his mother’s funeral. She was born and raised in Slovenia, but lived in Graz, Austria from the 1970’s on, where she joined the church and started her family. Due to her Slovene roots though, she wanted to be burried here, in a little town about 30 min. from Maribor. Wanting to have a more LDS-style funeral, the son reached out to us for help. He asked me and Sister Nydegger to speak (I spoke on the Plan of Salvation and Sister Nydegger talked about eternal families), and asked the 4 of us to sing “I Need Thee Every Hour”. Although we had never met the woman, we were happy to help, and spent time on Monday getting prepared.
On Tuesday morning we packed into the car and headed out to this tiny town, not really sure what to expect. We gave our talks and did our musical number though, and it turned out to be a beautiful service. The even cooler part though was how the Lord used this as a missionary opprotunity. Right after the service finished, the photographer started talking to us and was very interested in who we were and what we were doing here. Then, a member of the Catholic choir that was there asked the Sisters if they could come to her house and talk more about our message.
This wasn’t the end of it though! After the service, everyone headed to a nice lunch at a nearby resturaunt. When we missionaries got there, the question of where to sit of course came up. We spotted a really nice, young couple, so chose seats across from them. Sister Nydegger and I ended up talking to this couple for the entire lunch, and they were full of questions about who we are, what we teach, etc. They asked us if we could get together and talk some more, and Elder Pickard and I met with them on Friday to teach them about the Book of Mormon.
As we were driving back to Maribor after all of this was over, it dawned on me how “in charge” the Lord really is. He directed so many different paths to get all of these people at a funeral that we happened to attend, and then used that to further His work in Slovenia. All we missionaries had to do was be in the right place at the right time! I know I’ve quoted it before, but Proverbs 3:5-6 comes to mind – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” All we need to do is trust in Him, and He’ll direct our paths (often in a much more literal way than we think).
The rest of the week was good, although the funeral was definitely the focal point. We had some good lessons, church was nice on Sunday, and we did our fair share of contacting and tracting. All-in-all, a solid week of missionary work.
I love you a ton, and hope you have a great week. Experiment this week with putting more and more trust in the Lord, and watch as you are directed exactly where you need to be!