Saturday, March 1, 2014

Zagreb, Croatia February 23, 2014

Hi Mom,

I'm so glad to hear that the service project went well! Steven said it was really fun. 

Joe Shumway is great! Thank you for sending me his talk. I only read a little bit of it but I will print it out and read it later today. 

Haha, your pretzel trick would have worked on me, too! You're such a good teacher and are so patient. I wish you could raise a lot of the kids out here who are going through such hard times. They need so much love and the family structure here is just not as strong as it needs to be for people to ultimately be moral and happy. I really believe the biggest reason why you and Dad are such good parents is because of the gospel.

I feel like I keep saying this, but Zagreb is the BEST. I wish everyone in my mission had the chance to serve here at some point. It was such a good week. Igor really wants to be baptized. He still has a few hurdles to get over and we want to make sure that he really is committed to living the gospel. He is doing wonderfully well. He has had a lot of hard days and since we started meeting with him I feel like Satan is working on him double-time. He has had so many problems come up, but when I asked him what were the first things he did when things were hard, he said, I read in the Book of Mormon and I prayed. It was still a hard day for him, but he said he felt peace when he did that. 

Hearing from Elder Charles a few different times was so wonderful. He and his wife are such good speakers and everyone was just scribbling down notes the whole time they were here. Towards the end of one of his first talks Elder Charles shared his credo for success: He said, "It is to obey the gospel with such exactness that the Holy Ghost cannot be constrained from being your constant companion. Then you will have success." 

Often times we talk about faith being like a seed. If we ever feel weak in the faith or in the spirit, we need to always remember that we can nourish, strengthen and let it grow. (Read in Alma 32) Sometimes we forget that there is a God. He CREATED us. He loves us and He roots for us every day of our lives. He talks to us and wants us to talk with Him. He wants us to learn and grow so that we can live with Him again. We cannot forget the things that we have already learned. Reading our scriptures every day, saying our prayers, going to church, etc. are commandments that were not given us to make us miserable, but to enable us to have the greatest amount of peace and happiness in our lives. To help us to feel closest to our Heavenly Father at all times and it helps us to learn and become like Him! So many blessings that we foolishly miss out on from not being exactly obedient and striving to become more like Christ. (Almost obedient, almost blessed).

I just have to end with Elder Holland's testimony from his last April Conference talk: "In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent of {a} boy’s affliction or {a} parent’s desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. It was of this very incident, this specific miracle, that Jesus said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.....What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life, so if your faith is a little tested in this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine. I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."

I hope you have a wonderful week! I love you!

                                      Cute Sister Walker (my companion)                                                               

Kreŝo, one of the members who is preparing to serve a mission.
Wow! All of the missionaries are so proud of him.

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