Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tuzla Bosnia, November 11, 2013

Hey Mom!

That is great news about Steven's soccer team! They're so great! Yeah, Ladue!!

I'm proud of you for being healthy! We have over a month to get down to our goal weight- let's do it!! It helps me when I know someone else is doing it with me as well. Even though it's cold, I think Sister M and I are going to start waking up a little bit earlier to go running in the mornings.

We still don't know where we're going for transfers. It's so weird. The Elders all found out where they were going on Friday, but for some reason the APs said the sisters weren't going to hear back until this morning. It's now Monday afternoon and all the sisters are getting pretty antsy to hear some news. For the Elders in Tuzla, Elder S is going up to Zagreb because he's the new AP and Elder , who's been here 6 weeks, is training a new missionary! So sad and exciting at the same time. We're all so sad to see Elder S go, because he's such an awesome missionary and he loves the people so much. Everyone knows him here and he was such a saving grace when it came to translating and speaking the language here. We sang "Come Thou Fount" together on Sunday and he bore his testimony during Sacrament meeting. He's going to be so great up in Zagreb! Elder F is fresh out of high school, but he has so much energy and enthusiasm, so he keeps us on our toes. He'll do a great job training.

Zone Conference in Sarajevo was really good. We talked about how light cleaveth until light and how we can feel the Spirit if we too are pure. We were talking about catering our lessons to certain people that we were teaching, and President Rowe talked about how truth is truth; the Lord has designed His teachings so that they can resonate with everyone. While obvious, I still thought that was so interesting. One thing that I loved from President Rowe was actually about marriage. He was teaching the law of chastity to his taxi driver one day on a way to a meeting, and the taxi driver interrupted him and asked him about what specifically our church teaches about relations between a man and a woman before marriage. President Rowe said, "that's the best part. Our church teaches you to fall madly in love with someone, marry them, and then continue falling in love with them for the rest of your life." Often times in Bosnia when we teach about marriage, the plan of salvation or the law of chastity, we've heard comments that the gospel is too idealistic, it's naive, or it's a fairy tale. President Rowe and his wife love each other so much and are still like teenagers together. I thought about you and Dad, Mom, and how much you loved each other. I know that marriages that are lasting and happy are not just a fairytale, but are real and possible. I love that and I want that for my future family.

I was sad to hear that some people were going through a hard time back home in our ward. I know that bad things happen to good people. One thing that I really like from a talk by Elder Holland was when he was talking about when people asked him "Why me? Why do I have to go through this?" He talked about how this life is not and can never be easy, because salvation is not easy. It's not easy, because it was never easy for Him. It cannot be a cheap experience. In order to call ourselves disciples of Christ, we have to experience some minute portion of what it means to go to Gethsemane and suffer with and for Him. While life has its challenges and trials, I also love what Sister Marks' dad says, "ignore the fear, embrace the faith." We don't always know what will happen next, but if we cling to what we know to be true, we can experience peace, even if we don't always have understanding.

This week has been really good. We've been teaching some of the same people and while progress is slow, we've had some really great lessons. Our Bosnian has improved and I translated again for part of Sacrament meeting yesterday, which definitely helps me make faster connections between Bosnian and English. Sister M and I will have to do that more frequently now that Elder S is gone. 

Mom, I love you so much! You are so great and I talk about you all the time to the people we're teaching and our members. They all, especially S, send their love! I hope you have a great week!!

S ljubavlju,

Sestra Orgill

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