Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ljubljana, Slovenia: GRATEFUL

HI EVERYONE - HI HI HI THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY EMAILS... I also received a few packages this week and lots of handwritten letters.  Thanks for making me feel loved! And FAMILY.. I think the highlight of my whole birthday is watching you guys singing happy birthday in SLOVENE!!!! I am smiling so big right now. Hahahaha you guys did so great at trying to speak it. I will show you one day the correct way ;) But I love you all so much and I feel so grateful right now. I will do my best to respond to everyone, but if I run out of time, know that I LOVE YOU and am so grateful for you all!! 

This week was a GREAT WEEK. The highlight of my week is that Sister Redding and I are now BIKING MISSIONARIES!!! We have had these old nasty bikes in the Kranj basement.. and we decided that because Ljubljana is so big, and we waste so much time waiting for buses.. missing the bus.. walking around trying to get places.. that we are going to use the bikes! So we freshened them up to the best of our ability.. And they are working great!!!!!! They sure are old.. and we have to pump up the tires after every use.. But we got our night reflectors and helmets and we love them! A member saw us riding them through center the other day and took this picture of us.. Hahaha we look ridiculous but hey it is more effective so it works!!!!

Our first night with the bikes was a little traumatic.. We figured it out now, but it was a little bit of a struggle.. Bikes in calf length skirts are not as easy as it looks! We were riding home after spending the night in a park contacting. It was almost 9 so we were hurrying home, so that we could make it home on time. As we were riding, a huge bug flew into my eye.. And there were other bikes behind me (In Slovenia there is a side walk and a road for the bikes.. and then the street. And you can get fined if you don't obey the street for bikes rule)  But anyway, we were riding in that lane and there were bikers behind me.. So I couldn't stop to try to get the bug out. So I figured I would keep riding, we only had about 15 more minutes to go. So I closed shut one eye and kept riding. I tried riding one handed and use my finger because I could literally feel the bug in my eye.. But I just figured I would get it out once we got home! Anyways, I kept saying hello and goodnight to people I passed who were walking and just kept riding with one eye shut. Well we finally made it home, and I turned around and asked Sister Redding to help me because a bug was in my eye, before we went down to the garage to put the bikes away.. She bursted out laughing SO hard and asked how long it had been there! Well... this picture can describe what happened. 

Whoops!! OH WELL still smiling!!! But now after a week of biking, we are PRO and we love them! 

This week I had a BAD language miscommunication. Sister Redding and I are trying to get to know the members better here.. So I have been trying to set up meetings with them. Well a few weeks ago a member told me she would call me in a few weeks when she had time for us to come. On Wednesday during studies she called and asked if we were busy. All we had planned that day was contacting, so we told her we had time! Meanwhile, our phone here has a broken speaker so it is hard to hear.. and that on top of Slovene it is very difficult! She told us her address and to come over around 2. Then I heard something about potatoes so I figured she was feeding us lunch! Well we got there after being on a train for an hour.. And she told us we could go change in the bathroom into our work clothes.. I confusedly told her that we did not bring them. And she asked if we at least brought shoes to switch. I told her no.. And she looked at me so confused. And I told her that I maybe was not quite understanding what was happening. And she then re-explained to me what I agreed to do on the phone.. But we were going to spend the afternoon in her dirt garden, harvesting potatoes! Whoooooops. Sister Redding still wasn't quite understanding everything that was going on, so I quickly explained to her the situation and we both agreed that we would just do it in our skirt and all! We ended up being there for a few hours in the heat and dirt, pulling weeds and picked potatoes and sorting them... sweaty and happy! The cute member at least insisted that we borrowed some shoes so that they did not get ruined. But skirt, sneakers and all, we made it work and had a great time with those sweet members. 

Also this week we did more chalk with the elders!!! We wrote on the street, "Kaj vam prinaša srečo?" We would stop people and asked them to write in chalk what they are grateful for in life. We ended up doing it for about 5 hours because we were getting so many people to stop! And it is a great activity for not only Slovenes, but tourists as well. Most of the answers were in Slovene, but we also had many different answers in different langauges and alphabets. Two of my favorite answers were 1) Milka Chocolate.. 2) In slovene a lady wrote, "Crazy Americans who make us answer these weird questions." :) 

After they would write their answer, we would tell them what we were grateful for. And it led to so many great conversations. I am SO GRATEFUL!!! I am grateful for happy people.. I am grateful for air conditioning. I am grateful for fruit snacks from America (you are the best Mom!) I am grateful for bikes and exercise.. I am grateful for my sweet companion and district who have planned a surprise birthday PDAY!! We will see what happens :) I am grateful for MUSIC and how we can share our testimonies by using our talents. I am grateful for challenges - they always bring us blessings and help us to draw closer to our Savior, no matter how hard they may be. I am grateful for the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for this time which I have to be a missionary and represent our Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful that these relationships we have on the earth, are eternal and never end!! Hvaležna sem za VSE!!! THERE IS SO MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL FOR.. Count your many blessings - we are so blessed. 

THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND LOVE... I am grateful for them, they keep me going.. Thanks for cheering me on! 

Imam vas rada :) Sister Nydegger 

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