We had a good week here, and as always it would be incomplete without some sort of craziness that comes from serving in the Adriatic North Mission.
Our regular 9-week transfer is scheduled to take place a week from today, but on Tuesday morning (this past week) we got a call from President Grant that threw everything up into the air. A sister in Croatia had to go home for medical reasons, and so to balance out the numbers two sisters were pulled from Slovenia down to the Southern part of the mission. With all of this going on, President Grant decided he might as well just mix up the Elders as well! Our week turned into a crazy one of packing and moving, and Elder Pickard ended up moving to Celje. I’m now in Maribor with a new companion – Elder Frandsen. He’s a great guy (been out for about 4 months) and I think him and I are going to have a lot of fun together. Because of this move we don’t have any sisters in Maribor for the time being… Elder Frandsen and I are just lone men in Maribor.
On Friday I did a nice “Tour de Slovenia” and helped moved everyone around. I got up in the morning, drove to Celje to drop off one Elder and pick up another, then brought that Elder to Ljubljana and picked up a third Elder, and then brought that one to Kranj where I finally picked up my new companion! A LOT of driving, but it was fun to see every Elder and every city in the zone in one day.
All of that craziness took up a good chunk of our week, but it by no means meant that we didn’t have any time for missionary work. We had good experience this weekend, although it ended up being as heartbreaking as it was spiritual.
We met with a couple on Saturday who expressed interest in the church and our message. With the nice weather we’ve been having, the 4 of us sat down outside and started talking. Shortly into our conversation the couple really opened up to us and started to talk about some of the things that have been going on in their life. The husband got into business with somebody who ended up being less than honest, and they lost all of their money in a matter of months. The wife is pregnant (due in a month) and currently living in a hostel. The husband tries to do odd jobs to pay for his wife’s hostel room and stays in a Catholic shelter. It was genuinely heartbreaking, and I think the hardest part was how normal and put together this couple was – they were simple destitute.
We talked about what we do as missionaries about the relief and peace that can come from a relationship with Jesus Christ, and focused our discussion on Matthew 11:28-30.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I have often looked at this statement by Christ in a very spiritual light – I always thought it was referring to spiritual burdens and being “heavy laden” with sin. I still think that’s true, but as I sat on a bench watching this woman cry I thought about the true depth and meaning of that scripture. Those 3 verses are an open invitation for everyone, whether they are burdened with sin, sadness, sickness, pain, financial troubles, relationship issues, or whatever else may be the case. If we come to Him and learn of Him, He will make those burdens light. What a remarkable promise! The couple came to church the next day, and we’re going to continue to meet with them.
Until next time!