Sunday, June 1, 2014

Zagreb, Croatia May 26, 2014


Hi Mom
 
I'm doing great. My companion is great and the members are great. We are doing really well :)
 
This week was a bit of challenge- everyone kept cancelling on us! It was crazy. This really hasn't happened to me for a few months. Lessons with people who are so consistent and really never cancel, all fell through. I feel like Satan works double-time on the people we make contact with. Also, it is getting hot here. Maybe not actually all that hot, but I feel like seasons are so much more severe to missionaries because we're outside all the time. We talk about this all the time, but, even when we get results we don't like or don't anticipate, we continue showing our faith and obedience, regardless of the outcome, because we trust that God knows better than us. At the very end of our harder week,we were walking to an appointment after church, and a man stopped us on the street (this never happens out here) and he says "Hey! I LOVE YOUR CHURCH!" We started talking to him and it turns out that he's researched our faith quite a bit, has a Book of Mormon and came to church a few years ago. He brought up some really great questions he has about our faith that he wants help answering. We ended up talking for like 20 minutes on the street, and in mission lingo we call him a golden investigator. They don't come around very often, but when they do, you can tell that God has been preparing them to meet with you. He's 28 and seemed to be really sincere and normal. Tender mercy.
 
This week I was putting something on our Zagreb English facebook page and I saw that one of our less-active members was online. We have had the hardest time getting a hold of her (stopped by her apartment a little ways away, she's never there, called her a bunch of times, etc. etc.). She's been translating for the Church here for years and she never comes. It's crazy. Anyway, we ended up messaging her, set up an appointment, and got her new phone number and address. On Saturday when we had our appointment, we were trying to find her apartment, and the address that I had wasn't lining up with where she had lived before, so we figured she had moved. We got in a cab and asked the driver to help us find it. We found out that not only did the address not exist, neither did the phone number. :( We got back on a computer later on in the day to double check that we had written down all the information correctly, and it turns out that this woman we had talked to, had a really similar name to our less-active member here in Zagreb. She somehow was Facebook friends with our Jadranska Misija Sjever (Adriatic North Mission) page, but she wasn't in any way connected to the Church. We found out she actually lives in Beograd, Serbia, so we immediately called the elders there, gave them her information and they have taught her two lessons with members. She came to church on Sunday! It was the craziest whirlwind trying to figure everything out, but wow. Miracles happening in small ways.
 
In the lessons we've taught this week and in my personal study, I keep being led back to this analogy that we like to teach about Christ and anchors. I like to draw it out, but essentially it's this: there are a lot of anchors in a sea (which represents the world). From our perpective we are above water and we hang on to different bouys. Some of the bouys appear more well-kept, larger, more stable, even more decorated, and some are old, rusty, don't look very secure, etc. All of these bouys have anchors, and when you can see underwater, you can see that a lot of the seemingly-secure, large, and grand bouys have really shallow, light anchors. Some of which don't even reach the sand, but are just dragged around and they sway from side to side. Then, there's one plain-looking bouy in the middle. It doesn't look very impressive and it's simple, but when we look under water, its anchor is HUGE-- it takes up half the picture. The chains are firm and clean and it is solid. The bouy is the gospel and the anchor is Christ. We will not drift from the place we are planted, because He will never change. He will never drift. He is constant and He is firm. The other bouys represent different things; money, career, education, clothes, food, friends, prestige, fame etc. Not all of the buoys are bad, most are things that we actually need, but sometimes those things pass by while we're on our simple, little buoy. And sometimes we jump ship (or buoy). We forget that our buoy already had everything that we already needed, including aspects of the other anchors (family, food, job, etc.) We are standing still and we are not moving, while other things may appear to be more enticing, inviting and fun. We forget that our buoy is the strongest, and that while our seemingly simple and unimpressive platform stands firm, the other anchors ultimately will be taken over by the sea and will be inconsequential in the grand scheme of this life. Sometimes we think that we can go and try different things, and then when the time comes we can just jump back to to our buoy. The difficulty is that it is hard to turn back. It is hard to wade through the deep blue sea to find our way back, working through potentially life-threatening animals and thrashing waves. If we stand firm and are unwavering with the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will never need to wonder what our ultimate destination will be.
 
I don't know if that makes sense, but I really like teaching with it because we get so caught up in other things (not inherently bad things) that we forget the first and great commandment. "To love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, might, mind and strength." We forget that that the ultimate purpose of this life is to come to know our Heavenly Father and to know true happiness through the way He has shown us.
 
I love you! Hope you have a great week!
 
Sister Orgill

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