I don’t have too much time to write today, since we’re heading out with Sjoerd for a fun p day adventure pretty soon. I don’t have too many p days left, and I definitely need to be using them to their fullest!
I hope everyone had a great week and a great Father’s Day. Sunday wasn’t a holiday in Slovenia, but I still enjoyed the time to reflect on all of the amazing fathers I have. I’ve got fathers on Earth, a Father in Heaven… I’m pretty much set!
Today marks the official start of the transfer – my last one in the mission field. That means that I won’t have any more companions, any more cities to serve in, any more moving, and only 9 weeks until I leave. Yikes! It’s kind of scary how fast the end is approaching.
I can’t say I ever thought I’d write a Monday morning email from the Kranj library again. But here I am! It’s definitely been a week of transition, but it’s nice to be back.
On Monday, Elder Hughes and I moved around most of the day, and by Monday afternoon I was finally in Kranj with my new companion, Elder Prososki. Elder Prososki is actually in my MTC group, and we never thought we’d have the chance to serve together in the field – especially so close to the end of our missions. So it’s been fun having the chance to do some work together in Kranj.
One of the benefits of being in Kranj again is the fact that I’ve been able to reconnect with a lot of the people I knew and taught a year ago. For example, I took this opportunity to text a former investigator that I found last July, and told him I was back in Kranj. He was excited to get together again, so we met at the church on Friday for a lesson. After catching up for a few minutes we started talking about faith, and I asked him what’s changed in the last year. He talked about how he really wants answers and direction about religion, and wants to start meeting regularly to find those answers. It’s cool to see the change that can happen in a person over the course of one short year.
Getting to catch up with Sjoerd and Jasmina has also been a lot of fun. It’s now been about seven months since they were baptized, and I feel like a proud dad returning to see all of the great things they’ve done in that time. Missionary work is simply such an amazing and life changing work, for the missionaries as well as those being taught.
On Sunday instead of a regular sacrament meeting we watched a Western Europe Area broadcast from Salt Lake and Frankfurt. Elder Christofferson presided. One of the main themes of the day was the Church’s three-fold mission: proclaim the gospel, perfect the saints, and redeem the dead, and how we can work as members to further that mission. They also talked about our responsibility to reach out to the refugees in Europe as well as any others that may need our help. It was a nice conference.
All-in-all I’m enjoying the chance to be back in Kranj. We’re still not sure if this is permanent – we’ll find out on Thursday – but it’s been fun in any case. As a interesting side note, this weekend was the “International Organ Grinders’ Festival” and Kranj was alive with street organs and participants from all over Europe. Honestly I didn’t even know what an organ grider was, let alone that they have their own international festival. All I know is that Kranj looked, sounded, and felt even more fairytale-esque than ever before. Not a bad place to be a missionary!
There is no such thing as a dull week in the Adriatic North Mission, and this week was a prime example of that. Keeping a balance in the number of missionaries here is like a tedious game of dominos, and this week a few of them were knocked down… The Johnsons have been moved to Banja Luka, Bosnia (I’m really going to miss serving with them), Elder Hughes is moving to Celje, and I am going back to Kranj. And this is all happening today! Needless to say we’ve been busy this week with packing, organizing, and setting everything in order to leave Maribor. I’ve really grown to love Maribor and the people here, and am sad to leave so abruptly. But Kranj is fantastic, and I’m excited to once again be serving in the shadows of the alps.
Packing wasn’t the only thing we did though this week. On Monday Elder Hughes, the Johnsons, and I all took a trip up to the beautiful Logarska Dolina. It is “must see” for anyone in Slovenia and Elder Hughes had never been! It was even greener this time around, and I tried my hardest to exercise self control and not take 200 pictures again…
We also squeezed some missionary work into the schedule. On Wednesday Elder Hughes and I were able to go to the University of Maribor and speak for 45 minutes to a comparative religions class about Mormons. Few things are better than a captive audience, and it ended up being a blast! We talked about Joseph Smith, the start of the Church, the Book of Mormon, missionaries, the Word of Wisdom, temples, families, etc. etc. Not only that, but we brought Ines and Gaja along who talked to the class about what it’s like to be a Mormon in Slovenia. Overall a really good presentation, and the students had a lot of questions. I wish professors would invite us to their classes more often!