I’m excited to report that after months and months of brown and grey, Slovenia is officially green again. And man is it beautiful! I forgot how stunning it is in spring and summer, and as fun as winter is… this is SO much better. As soon as the sun comes out and the trees start to come back it’s like a whole new world. Missionaries are happier, people on the street are happier, and life just gets a touch easier.
(Maribor’s beautiful city park)
(Two of Maribor’s beautiful churches)
Nature and weather aside though, this was still a great week. I’ll try and see if I can take all of my scattered thoughts and organize them into some sort of coherent email…
We were able to keep meeting with Ines and Gaja, and everything is still on track for Gaja’s baptism this week. All of us are really exited for Wednesday, and it should be a beautiful evening. Gaja is so prepared to be baptized and will be an amazing addition to the Maribor branch. And Ines is still amazing too. They’re truly the dynamic duo!
we took some time to try and track down a few inactive members of the branch. Our first to visit was to a Muslim family that lives out in the boonies. There are 6 baptized members in that family, and so we were obviously anxious to figure out who they are. We took a bus to the outskirts of Maribor and then walked. And then walked a little more. After following a small country road for a while we finally came to their house. And as luck would have it though, the house was all chained up and abandoned… We found an old woman at the house next door who told us that they moved to Germany years ago. This poor old neighbor woman probably thought we were from some secret government agency – two Americans in white shirts and ties, way out in the middle of nowhere, snooping around the abandoned house of a mysterious Albanian family. Yay for missionary work!
(Speaking of missionary work, we also got to help a member move a thousand year old boiler out of his apartment)
This week also marked the start of a new finding approach – tracting the college dorms. It’s probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but we figure that if we’re going to spend time tracting, we may as well do it where everyone is between the ages of 18 and 26! After the initial fear and embarrassment though, it turned out to be one of the best things we’ve tried.
At one of the doors, a young woman answered (probably 21-ish) and we started talking about who we were. She told us that she had been religious in her younger years but that in high school she stopped going to church, and eventually lost her faith altogether. We had a great conversation about how we can each have a personal relationship with God, and I could tell that the Spirit really touched her. She said that she hadn’t thought about these things in years, and that us coming was a wonderful surprise. I’m excited to keep tracting the dorms and helping these students feel the Spirit. There’s really no better work than the work we get to do here, every single week. Love you!