Sunday, August 31, 2014

Zagreb, Croatia June 9, 2014

Hey Mom,

This week was great! We have had a lot of things happening. First of all, due to some mission illnesses, Sister Erbe is in Novi Sad, Serbia this whole week and she won't get back here until Friday or Saturday. I'm serving with Sisters Matthews and Sare right now who both work in the office, and I go out with members, the Karlovac sisters, and the senior couples during the day to teach, translate and find. It's a little bit different, but fun. The members love being able to go out and work and see what it's like being a missionary. One member that I'm going out with this week has said she's free to go out all day with me-- so, we're meeting at 10 and she'll be working with me until 9. I hope it doesn't wear her out.

As a mission we're trying to get 500 people at church and this week we got 491. We worked so hard going all over Zagreb visiting less-active members this week and we met some really great people. The area seventy has designated this month as the month of invitations, which means we're encouraging all of our members to invite someone that they know, whether they be a friend or a less-active member, to come with them to church. It's such a leap of faith for members to invite someone that they love, but it's really neat to see how much we're strengthened when we truly exercise our faith and trust in the Lord. A lot of the less-active members who we visited have asked for no more contact from the church, which is really sad, but we've also found a few people who are ready to come back and who we can work with. I was reading in Alma this week about Aaron and how they "preached the word unto many and few believed on the words which they taught." And then right after that they were cast into prison and "suffered many things." I love studying their missions and think about how we often have a tendency to idealize them, when they had really hard times too, they were discouraged, and then resolved to move forward.

I was talking with Sister Matthews this week and we were talking about how in the face of our adversities and hardships we choose how strong we will be. We were talking about in those moments where you feel like you have nothing left to give and you are stripped of all energy and motivation, how our real natures and character is revealed. Whether or not we will turn inward and give up, or trust and continue on. I guess her dad told her that as she was dating someone, that it's easy for someone to be polite, kind and charitable in air-conditioning, a couch, a nice room, but that he wanted her to take the person that she was considering marrying hiking, and see how he acted when they ran out of water, with 4 miles left to the top, was hot and exhausted. For me, I think about how deeply sad we were/are after Dad passed away, but I remember your strength and all that you were able to accomplish in the face of hardship. How it would have been easy and understandable to stay unmotivated, in bed, tired and sad, but the things that you were able to accomplish, going back to school, re-taking the bar exam, buying a house, getting a job, getting us in school, etc. etc. was an example to me of miraculous strength in the face of hardship.

My guess is that we're going to have another transfer for the sisters, even though we just had one a few weeks ago. It's hot and people are really tired. I never realized how hard missionaries work until I became one. Fortunately, I'm doing great and feeling good! No sickness or too much fatigue. :D I still love this quote: At the end of the day, it doesn't matter so much where we have been, or the things we have done, but so much more the person we have become.

I love you lots! Keep sending me the things that you're studying in your scriptures. You inspire me and your spiritual thoughts and insights help those we teach in our lessons. :)

Hope you have a great week and that your interview at WashU goes well!!

Sister Orgill

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