Happy Tuesday everyone!
This week was a whirlwind, and a lot happened. Let’s see if I can make sense of it all.
On Monday we had the chance to take a fun p-day trip to Varaždin, a Croatian city about 45 minutes from Maribor. The Elders there are Elders Rice and Burnette, my former companion and Elder Frandsen’s good friend. So it only seemed right that we pay them a visit. Varaždin was nice, and it was fun to explore a new city. The city castle was probably the coolest part, and was yet another reminder that I live in a fairy tale land.
The middle of the week was pretty standard, but on Thursday we got up the courage to try something I’ve never done before – tract student dorms. College aged students are always the most open and willing to listen to us, and so we figured that we might as well go right to the source. We would have tried it sooner, but I had to spend some time building up the courage… Something about knocking on the door of a college dorm where I knew 4 guys my age lived didn’t sound pleasant. But, after some coaxing, we started. And it worked! At the very first door a student answered, listened to who we were, and then invited us in to talk to him and his roommate. They weren’t the only ones who listened, and we found a number of students willing to listen.
Friday was zone conference in Ljubljana, and that was where the week really got crazy.
During my mission I’ve had many different opportunities to see the hand of the Lord at work. Specifically, I’ve been able to teach people that weren’t found by us, but rather lead to us by the Lord. These people are examples of how the Lord hastens His work in His own time and in His own way. Zone conference brought yet another of these examples!
After finishing lunch we were all sitting in the church listening to a presentation. A number that I didn’t recognize called our phone, so I sent a quick text saying that I was in a meeting and would have to call back later. The response was unbelievable.
The mystery person on the other end responded by saying that they had known missionaries for quite some time and would like to meet with us to talk about getting baptized. That’s not a text we get very often! So, I took the next chance I had to call the number and see what the situation was. It turned out that the mystery person on the other end was actually a young woman in Maribor. She’d been living in Germany for some time, and there met the missionaries and investigated the church. She told me that she had made the decision to be baptized, but had to leave Germany and come home to Slovenia before the actual baptism could take place. So, she’s now home and wants to finish what she started!
We set up a time to meet her in person the next morning at the church. Elder Frandsen and I weren’t sure what to expect, but it’s safe to say that we were both pleasantly surprised. While living and studying in Germany she investigated for a few months but had to come home to Slovenia right before she could be baptized. We had a great time talking, and I was able to take her into the other room and conduct a baptismal interview the same day. The depth of her testimony is amazing, and she expressed a desire to be baptized as soon as possible. So, we set a baptismal date for this Saturday, April 2nd.
Since then we’ve been working to get everything ready for Saturday. We weren’t expecting to have to plan a baptism this week, but it’s a welcome surprise. More than anything though, all of this was another testimony to me that the Lord is in charge of His work. We come up with good ideas, we work hard, we try our best, but in the end it’s the Lord who makes it all happen. Isaiah was right when he said “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in my time.” This is true in missionary work and in every aspect of our lives. Of that I have no doubt.