Monday, September 9, 2013

Tuzla, Bosnia September 9, 2013

Hey Mom! Ćao ćao!

Ahh, so many e-mails this week, so I apologize ahead of time if I can't respond to all of them.

I finished reading the Book of Mormon this week, which always makes me feel good! I've also been reading in the New Testament and D&C and will probably finish both today, too. My goal is to read all of the standard works on my mission. The big one that I always have a hard time getting through is the Old Testament.

Yesterday was Sunday. As I think I told you before, we're really pushing for making the church here a member-branch, not just a church run by the missionaries. So, we assigned J the talk, V the musical number, and S the lesson. J didn't show because she had to go to the doctor (she's been really sick lately), but everything else turned out great! S absolutely rocked her lesson. It is so awesome seeing her growth just in these past few weeks.

After church we met with S and taught her about Christ. Since we only have one good translation of the Bible here in Tuzla (it was expensive and one of the Elders bought it up in Zagreb), the members don't really get to read that much in the Bible. I brought my English quad and we went through some of the ways that she may want to start studying about Christ's life. She is so hungry to keep learning! Seriously, every time I call her she is in the middle of reading her scriptures, the Liahona, Preach My Gospel, writing in her journal, watching a church movie or working on a Sunday School lesson. She's such a powerhouse. Her influence has been so great that she's rubbing off on everyone around her! We taught her about budgeting and the word of wisdom, and she he told her mom and her friends all about it! Her mom has been off of cigarettes and coffee for a week! And they're planning on opening a savings account since most people here are just used to spending all of their monthly pension.We're thrilled! Her mom is so sweet to us and cooked us dinner (our second dinner cooked by a local, if that's any indication of how often we're invited over to people's homes for meals, Grandma, haha), and we asked S to invite her to take the lessons with us some time this week :)

B is still indecisive about baptism. She knows the church is true and that she will be baptized eventually. It's just a question of when and leaping with faith, but we're not giving up on her. She's been investigating the church for several months now, and she's more active in church than some of our members.  Her mom, J is baptized and she's having a really rough time right now. She's convinced that since her baptism everything has just gone completely wrong and she always talks about how she just wants to die and finally be at peace. So sad. We visited her on Saturday and told her that we still have trials in life even after baptism, but it's a blessing that she's baptized because now she knows how to better overcome them. She agreed and shared her favorite scripture with us. We encouraged her to share her testimony more with her daughters, and we talked to her about how she can be a strength to those around her. She bore her testimony to her daughters (B and D) and it was great! We still need to keep working with them. She invited us to come over this week so she can teach us how to make burek. We call her every day to check in on her and she calls us her daughters. I love her.

Also, another one of our members has picked up smoking again. The Elders always walk over to his place and he's typically just sitting in his room, smoking and reading the Book of Mormon! Ahh! Sigh. We're working really hard at strengthening our members, and I've decided that people just need love.

We don't really have any new investigators from this week, but we've been pretty busy with visiting our members and current investigators that we haven't really had a chance to go finding. This coming week we've blocked out a lot of time to go tracting and contacting to find new people to teach.

Everything in terms of day-to-day missionary life is going well. I can feel my Bosnian improving, which is always good. I'm anxious to get to the point where I don't have to formulate sentences in my head, proof-read them to myself and then say them out loud to people. Sister Matthews and I are trying to up the ante on our language. Maybe the Lord will bless us by letting us stay together. Sister M keeps saying how you normally don't get along this well with your companions and she's been getting more emotional the closer it gets to transfers (still three weeks away, haha). She really is such a sweetheart and I feel so blessed to have her.

I love you so much!! Have such a great week! Go Cards!

S ljubavlju,

Sestra Orgill

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