Thank you so much for all the love again this week-- I'm so lucky to have you!
We leave for Croatia in 3 days! It is so crazy to me. I'm pretty sure I"m going to fall flat on my face with the language, but I know at least I'm improving and I'm just really excited to teach real investigators!
My mission is actually really small (40~ something missionaries total), but I think they're trying to get it up to 70 or 80 in the next year or so, which is exciting. Also, I didn't realize this, but remember that story that Elder Eyring told during priesthood session of Conference about that boy from a far away land (Bosnia)? One of my teachers taught and baptized him! Apparently he's super awesome and strong in the branch (of only 5 or 6 members). The branches are small, but I keep hearing that the people are just so wonderful-- I hope they'll be patient with me.
Oh an update on technology stuff: I know many missionaries have been making new accounts on Facebook or corresponding with investigators via e-mail, but I guess the rule is they can't contact or add anyone that they met before their missions to their new social media accounts, which makes sense. I still don't know anything about implementation in my mission, but it will be cool to see how it all works.
They have a district here of 10 or so missionaries who serve their entire missions here at the MTC, for various reasons but mostly because of physical handicaps. A few weeks ago we had mission conference where the MTC President, President Nally, spoke and invited one of these missionaries to come up and speak. He spoke about how he's been corresponding via Mormon.org with this one man in Arizona for the majority of his mission, and how last week the investigator flew out to Utah, and this amazing elder was able to baptize him. He spoke about how online communication is effective and bore a really powerful testimony of this work. I was a basketcase during his testimony.
I saw Danny Gessel this week! He teaches Portuguese at the MTC and is just amazing. It was really great seeing him after so long. Mom, he says hi to you and Steven! Also, I got another package from Sister Page. She is a saint on this earth.
This week has been good. Life is good. I'm going to miss the MTC, but I'm feeling ready to go at the same time. I've come to really understand how much being on a mission prepares you for marriage and families-- along with a lot of other qualities, you really need a lot of patience and understanding. I realized a few weeks ago that I'm not a very patient person, so I've had some good opportunities to learn and grow here.
TRC has been really good again this week. We taught the same member we taught last week and she kept her commitments to make her prayers more sincere which was awesome! This week we taught her about the importance of studying the Savior and coming to know Him using the Book of Mormon (what I've been studying this week). The lesson went really well and I had a chance to share the time when I developed a testimony of the Book of Mormon.
Saturday night we had this amazing seminar from the teachers in our zone (Croatian, Slovenian, Bulgarian, etc.) which was really fun being able to listen to other teachers teach. Surpisingly we don't really get to have a ton of gospel discussions here (we don't have Sunday School here), more just find the answer, now go and do, so I really appreciated it! The teachers and the classes were so amazing. We talked about goals and how to have a perspective of optimism (you get what you go for-- we can always be better and improve!), the Atonement, our desires for serving, and my personal favorite, why the Savior did what he did. All the teachers are so amazing.
I know that miracles can still happen in our lives, but it only happens if we are reguarly exercising our faith. When we fail to exercise our faith, we cannot progress. We cannot expect mountains to be moved unless we are willing to have the faith to pick up the shovel at the base of the mountain and start digging.
Also, this week I've re-learned the importance of not being easily distracted or procrastinating. When we're distracted, we're led away. Elder Trotter in my district said this in one of our devotional reviews that I LOVE, "The biggest thing Satan can do for us a missionaries (and as members) is to make us lazy and procrastinate the work. Learn to work hard in every aspect of your life. Learn from those moments that test you and try you."
Sorry, there's never enough time to tell you all that I want to! I love you all and hope you have a great week!