Friday, December 20, 2013

Tuzla, Bosnia October 28, 2013

Hey Mom! 

I cannot believe that the Cardinals are 2-2! Ahh, know that I'm rooting for them this week all the way from Bosnia! Also, Steven's soccer team! I really hope they beat Kirkwood tomorrow!! Steven said if there were ever a year they could win state, this could be the one! Cheer a little louder for me at his games this week. 

Both you and Steven always sound so busy! I'm so glad that you are both involved in such good things. I hope both of you start feeling better soon! Just take an off day and let your body rest up-- so much better than to drag it out for a week and to just work at half-capacity.

We kind of have themes of the week, but we talked a lot about the tree of life this week and also Alma 49 with our members and investigators. We talked about how we can pray to identify our weaknesses and what we need to be working on now, that will best prepare and strengthen us for the future. W

e went through our Area Book and Sister M randomly decided to call this one woman named Z. We were at lunch and we weren't even calling people at the time, but she just kept thinking about this woman, so she called her and set up an appointment. It was such a great lesson. I feel like we were meant to find them. She has such a sweet little family with 2 younger daughters and a really nice husband. They don't really practice any religion now, but they pray every night and they said they wanted to learn more about God. We showed them the Joseph Smith movie and taught the first lesson about the Book of Mormon and how we can pray to know that it's true. We have another appointment with them this week-- pray for them! 

Another great lesson that we had was with this other family about the Plan of Salvation. The Elders brought us with them to teach since the Grandma just lives with her two grandchildren, while their mom works in Afghanistan. They live about half an hour outside of Tuzla so they have a harder time coming to church, but it was really great meeting them. When we started to teach the lesson the 17 year-old granddaughter just said that she didn't believe in God or anything she couldn't see, nor did she really have time to try experimenting with different religions. I told them about Dad and I can feel him watching over me. I told them that if they shut their eyes, they would know that we were still in the room with them. I told them it was the same thing with our Heavenly Father, that even though our eyes are shut, so we can't see Him, God is there and he is mindful of us. That we are all His children and that He loves us. It completely changed the tone of the lesson, and we talked about the feeling that she felt was from God. It was a great lesson and was such a good reminder that God is always with us.

We have been working hard and our bodies were so exhausted this week. It seems like everyone that could have had a breakdown this week, did! We came up with so many uplifting, "you can do it", lessons this week and we were totally drained by Saturday night. Fortunately, we had daylight savings where we got an extra hour of sleep and we went to bed right after planning, so we ended up getting 10 hours of sleep. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it was such a blessing. We're grateful that we get some time to decompress a little bit today.

Sunday was wonderful. The Gs were in town from Beograd, Serbia and they gave the Sacrament talk and taught Sunday school. Everyone loved them! They're the ones who are in the same home ward as the Rs, who we knew from Malaysia, Mom! She gave me a big hug when I first landed in Zagreb from Sister R (her and her husband are also serving a mission right now too but they correspond often). They are wonderful. Elder G talked about how we're like little kids learning to walk; how we will fall down and then try to wobble around and stand back up, but God is our Father, encouraging and uplifting us every step of the way. He talked about how sometimes it's hard to see that we'll really be able to walk when we keep falling down over and over again, but how we have the ability to one day, spiritually run. He also talked about exercising our faith-- how we can't really expect true results if we read from the Book of Mormon once a month, just like we can't expect to grow physical muscle if we only workout once a month, but it takes continuous and routine exercise to develop spiritual muscle and strength. Sister G talked about desiring to go to the temple and how "yougottawanna." 

ALSO, F got ordained to the office of a priest in Sacrament meeting, he wore a suit, helped pass the Sacrament and he was just glowing. He said he felt so good. It was so wonderful seeing such a drastic transformation in him just from our lesson with him a few weeks ago. The first time I met F he was smoking. He introduced himself to me, I realized he was one of our members, then I grabbed the cigarette out of his mouth and stomped it out with my foot, haha. Now, he says if he ever falls asleep on the couch watching TV, he'll wake up in the middle of the night realizing he forgot to pray before bed and he reads his Book of Mormon everyday. I'm so proud of him!! He's setting such a great example for V and the rest of our members. They're all rooting for each other and are working on going to the temple together next summer. It's so great!

One thing that I loved, was a letter from Sister M's little sister who was talking about service last week. She said something to the effect that often times there are simple acts of kindness that don't really take any effort or hinder us in the least, but we withhold our love because we're too lazy, or because we decide we simply just don't want to. I thought that was so sad, and I've been thinking about that a lot this week and how I can be better at doing simple acts of service for those around me. Her sisiter is only 13, but so wise! I love hearing her pure and simple thoughts that she writes every week to Sister M.

It's not too cold here anymore, it's been really warm these past two weeks, which we're grateful for. Sister M is wearing sandals today, so hopefully we get a few more days like this before the cold sets in again. I don't think I'll need anything, I packed really well for winter :) Also, they have some pretty inexpensive clothing stores, so I'll be good either way. Thank you! 

Love you lots! I hope you have a great week!!!

S ljubavlju,

Sister Orgill

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