Saturday, February 1, 2014

Zagreb, Croatia January 13, 2014

Hey Mom!

I'm so glad that you guys got snow this week! That makes it really nice for Steven and Jen Jen :) I'm glad that you got to soak them up. That was so sweet of you to think of R, I know she appreciated you thinking of her. I think those simple acts of kindness are so important-- they really don't take that much effort and are so wonderful because they mean so much to the person that we're serving. Sister Marks and Sister Walker when they were here together were so good about making cookies for people or anonymously dropping off a bag of groceries for someone who they knew was going through a hard time.

I'm loving being here. Zagreb is gorgeous, serving with Sister W is great and we have so many members and other missionaries around, which makes it really fun for the work. Working with members is something I've never had the chance to do before! We always try to bring them on lessons with us.  When I was in Saint Louis, I never remembered having the missionaries ask us if we could go on lessons with them. I love it and it's definitely something I want to do when I'm back in the states-- as a member you just bear your testimony and you just teach people what you know about the gospel with the missionaries. Have they passed around a sign-up sheet or anything for members in the ward to go on lessons with them? I wonder if Steven would be interested in going out with the elders one Saturday morning and teaching a lesson or two. I know that would have been such good mission prep for me before and is definitely something I would seek out if I could do it all over again.

This week we had Zone Conference in Zagreb which was really, really good. President Rowe called me up to do a role-play with him in front of the zone and he played a really tough investigator and I was the only missionary teaching him. Haha, oh my intimidating. It actually went pretty well and also was a good learning experience. :) Also, this made me feel pretty good, our branch president here asked me to get up and speak on Sunday right before church started (ahhhh! I'm still working on just loving being put on the spot to teach a last minute RS lesson or speaking in church in a foreign language by the time I leave here...) and I got up, and I really just felt so blessed and capable in the language. After the meeting a lot of people came up and complimented me on how well I speak, which just made me feel really good. I think it kind of scared me a few months ago when I realized that a lot of people who serve here, if they don't work at learning the language out here, can go home without ever really learning it (sadly, we've had a few people like that recently). I just always kind of expected it to come really easily and naturally to all missionaries in the world. Since that point, I decided that I just wanted to speak as well as I possibly can. I've been more diligent about studying it these past few weeks, so I've felt a noticeable increase in how well I'm able to speak. Yay for goals! 

For P-day today we organized this big ultimate frisbee game behind the church. We invited missionaries from different cities to come play with us and one of our investigators and his friends to come too,  We woke up this morning so excited for it. Exercising really helps us decompress and it will be really great to just run around and let loose instead of just running errands, like we normally do. Mom, I'm so proud of you for exercising! It just makes you feel so good! 

This week we fell out of contact with a lot of people-- whether they just didn't show up for lessons, their phones are shut off (that happens a lot because they don't have money), or they say they aren't interested in meeting with us anymore,. We had something like 25 lessons planned for this week and only ended up getting 7! If that tells you anything. Fortunately, even last night when we realized how low our numbers were this week, we were just so happy. It was so, so cool. We couldn't stop smiling and laughing. I know that feeling of inner peace and happiness comes from working hard and from doing the things we know we're supposed to be doing. Being obedient to those little and simple things, like you were talking about Mom, make the difference in our daily lives.

In two of our lessons this week we shared a scripture in Alma 37:46-47 which I have loved, maybe mostly because it was a scripture that I really needed to learn in my personal study. This is Alma talking to his son, Helaman: "O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way, for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever. And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell." I heard this yesterday from the mission president, President Hill, who served before President Rowe. He asked the missionaries in a mission conference to stop reading their scriptures and to actually start knowing and living the scriptures. Perfect, perfect.

I love you guys so much, you mean the world to me! Have such a good week and give the freshly-bathed Skip-monster a hug for me :)

Love you!

Sister Orgill



On Mon, Jan 13, 20

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