Zdravo family and friends!! I hope everyone had a wonderful and happy week! WELL - This week has been quite eventful and I am reminded everyday how lucky I am to be a missionary. I am also reminded how long I have been in the MTC... every single week when I see new people coming in and leaving..
On Tuesday we got to go on a field trip to BYU and go to their Tuesday devotional! Since we never get to leave the MTC grounds except for the temple, we treasured every second in the real world!! I saw a few friends which made me happy. Another exciting thing that happened is that I am now in a trio companionship! We received another sister in our zone yesterday who is going to Macedonia, and because Sister Hassell is going to Macedonia as well, she got put in our companionship. Her name is Sister Barch and is from Texas. So now I am REALLLLY solo... :) It is okay though I am loving learning this language and feel very grateful that the Lord has asked me to learn it!
The highlight of my week was yesterday. We were sitting in class and a man came in and said that he was sorry because we were supposed to know this a few days ago so that we could prepare, but that we were Skyping with a man from Slovenia in five minutes. My heart started pounding and I was very nervous!! I said a quick prayer that I would feel peaceful and feel prepared. I got to teach with Elder Hughes - which by the way was SO FUN having someone to teach with!!!!! His name was Elvim and he lives in Ljubljana, and has been a member for 7 years now. He teaches the institute class there which has around 6 students! After getting to know him, I had a huge love for him and the people in Slovenia. Elder Hughes and I then testified to him about prayer. We both shared an experience when our prayers had been answered. I told him how I decided to serve a mission. Once Elder Hughes and I had finished, he paused and asked for us to look right in the camera for a few seconds. After we did that, he said with the biggest smile on his face, in such a humble way, "Wow. We need your testimonies here in Slovenia. We need your light. Thank you. Wow." Hearing that made me feel so happy and good inside. We asked him after how our Slovene was and he said it was "zelo dobro!!" He said our cases were a little off... but he could understand us and I could understand almost every word he spoke! At least I think.. Elder Hughes keeps telling me I was understanding things wrong hahaha so I have no clue. We then said "see you in two and a half weeks!!!" It is starting to feel real that I am really going to Slovenia!! I am so excited and already have such a love for these people. Speaking of, our flight plans come within the next week- YAY!!
This week I have been studying a lot about Christ's miracles. Our teacher asked us to ponder what the great miracles of all time were. As I have been pondering this and talking about it with my teacher, I think the greatest miracle is the power of CHANGE. In Matthew 4:18-20, it says that Christ was walking by the sea of Galilee, and saw two fishermen and simply said, "Follow me, and I will make you fisher of men." And then it says, "And they straightway left their nets and followed him." This is when Christ was talking to Peter, who was once just a poor fisherman. I think it is amazing that Christ could take a poor fisherman, and make him into one of the strongest apostles- who exercised much faith and confidence in Christ. Christ has the power to make us into someone that we never knew we could become. Christ took Moses, who was weak and not eloquent of speech, and made him someone strong of speech. Or in Mosiah 28:4 we learn about the "vilest sinners" of all time and how they later become the strongest missionaries ever known in Alma 31. Or how Christ took Emily's investigator Julia, who once did not know much about the gospel and now has a burning testimony. Or how Christ is taking me, a young 19 year old girl, and is helping me become a strong missionary with an unfailing testimony. He is helping me become who he wants me to be. That is the greatest miracle of all time. Christ can change us. With the atonement, we can always try again and be a little better. I love how later in the bible Christ goes to Peter, when he was one day fishing again, and asks him three different times, "Do you love me?" Peter responds and says "Yes." Christ then says, "Then Peter, why are you here, fishing again? I need disciples. I need someone to feed my sheep. I need someone to preach my gospel. I need someone to love me." He then says, "I need you to leave all this, and go and testify." I love that through the atonement Christ can help us. When we make mistakes, and sometimes forget our purpose, he reminds us. The Atonement allows us to become better.
I am trying to be better at following that advice from our Savior to Peter and apply it to my life. I want to be his disciple. I want to be the person to feed his sheep. I want to be the missionary that loves my Savior so much, that I am willing to give up myself completely and become who he wants me to be. After reading that and studying this miracle of change, I wrote in my journal some goals of what I want to have accomplished when I come home. This is what I wrote... "When I am on my way home, I want to say that I have accomplished all that I was meant to accomplish. I want to say that I was the best instrument in God's hand that I could be. I want to say that I gave 100% of myself the whole time. I want to be known as the missionary that has an unshakable witness of Christ, firm in the testimony that I have. I want to be a true example in all that I do and say. I want to have the light of Christ in my eyes and have a special spirit. I want to be EXACTLY what God wants me to be."
I know that through Christ we can CHANGE. We can become amazing people through the Atonement of Christ. That is the greatest miracle of all time! I am grateful for a Savior who can make weak things, become strong. I am grateful for a Savior who has a plan for us and knows us better than we know ourselves. We truly have a message of HOPE and happiness... now we just need to SHARE it - missionary tag or not!!
Have a wonderful week, go serve someone around you!