Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 14 / Loving this Life

Family, MOM!

Here in Slovenia, we sound like a funeral march when we sing. It is the most hilarious thing ever. I love it. We have ward choir every Tuesday and I am usually just laughing at how interesting we sound. But it's still quite good despite my misgivings. There is one guy in the choir who apparently can only sing soprano (he looks like Bane) who gave me a "sweet" but disgusting sweatshirt that is tiger print this week. He told me to be tiger woman. I got strange looks wearing it today - but hey,  I was very happy.

They don't celebrate Halloween here so during English class we brought candy and made them trick or treat. They were eating it up, literally. I can't believe the time is flying though. Soon it will be Guy Fawkes day! Remember Remember the 5th of November.... So have a good one for me alright? 
Anyway this week is like the week of dead and they take candles to the cemetery and clean it up. We went on Halloween and it was quite peaceful and everything was just glowing. We had a Halloween party afterward where we had to stuff our faces with whip cream to find the gummy worms and make each other mummies with toilet paper. One of our members brought a friend and he could only speak Serbian. He singled me out and was going off about how I looked like his daughter in Serbia. I just used it as an opportunity to invite him to church since we are already like family. Aye? aye. It worked! But it's been really fun talking to the members about being bold in talking to their friends and just bringing up the church in small ways. It's making progress here. 

This week we were looking for former members and we are going to all different kinds of apartments and knocking on a bunch of doors. They are hard to track down and sometimes we feel like just big stalkers. But hey, it just makes the work more fun. 

It's amazing how much I can feel the emotions of the people I teach. When one of our investigators walked in I just had a deep feeling of stress rush over me. We went along with the lesson and yet it was still pounding at me. I stopped the lesson and asked how she was and that I was having this feeling that she was just hurting. She admitted how much she was hurting and needed our help! It was nice to see the Spirit prompt me and even though I didn't know at the time if it was just me or not - I went with it and it made the rest of the visit so much more peaceful that we could help with her needs and go in the right direction. The Spirit is fantastic and we are so lucky to have it in our lives, we really just need it to let it illuminate the way. The Spirit we feel is a reflection of our own strength, our devotion, and our goodness. If we are seeking the good and being the best... We will feel the Spirit wrap itself along our path. I know this and have felt it in my life. It's amazing how sensitive you become to the Spirit. I get the chills even on the slightest of remarks... like "families are forever". It's a great hope and not wishful thinking that brings me peace that I can share with others.

We walked in to another house yesterday when it was pouring hard, Sister Porter and I were hugging each other and were drenched. A man let us in and led us to his mom who was dying to see us. His mom was not looking so good - healthwise. The man didn't know why this was happening to her because she has so much faith, prays and reads scripture everyday. He asked "Where is Jesus now?" It hit us because we knew even especially now Jesus and our Heavenly Father is always with us and actually even here in this room. We asked if we could pray and try to help. During the prayer the room got brighter and the Spirit began to pour out to him. He took great comfort when we talked about the Plan of Salvation and how we are a big family and that God and his servants will take good care of him. That Jesus is taking good care of them. He was unbelievably happy and was glad we randomly stopped by.

If you are ever thinking about giving up... As Elder Uchdorf said -stay a little longer, there is room for you here. Hold on. Hold on. God is with us.... and loves us a ton. 

The parable of the Prodigal Son has been coming up a lot this week. After the son left, after squandering all of his inheritance and then realizing later what he had done and how much he wanted to come back, and thinking that he would do anything to even come back even as a servant to his Fathers house. Is humbling. (How often do we as children do this to our parents.) Then as he returns, his father sees him and has compassion and runs to him, and falls on his neck and kisses him. I love that because the father was already waiting for him, and when he could see him even when he wasn't close - he was still a far way. "great far way off" and the father doesn't just walk to his son...he runs to him.  I feel like that brings so much love in my heart. That he runs to his son. How much do we do wrong in our youth. How much we can hurt and disappoint our parents. But all we have to do is just turn around and want to be better - they have such compassion for us - such love, ready with open arms. Already forgiving. How much we need to know that our Parents here on earth do that but also knowing that our Heavenly Father is running to us as well. We need to Let him in. Letting us find in that space, His peace. It brings me such comfort that our Savior has given us the Atonement and we can always turn around, that we can always come back home. We may be lost at times... but know that - we can be found. Hope springs eternal.

I have been focusing a lot on light this week for one of my investigators and it's amazing to know and to feel that everyone has a light, that we all have the spark of Christ in us. That all religions have a beauty, a flame. That its up to each of us to grab that light and see the beauty in it all.  The Gospel is the source of the greatest power and the brightest light in the world, it is amazing and the best thing ever. But what is so cool about it, is that we, mere mortals can reflect that light, and whats more is we can and must magnify that light.
Looking down in to the valley in Celje...see the light

Family you magnify the light... never just merely borrowing the light, but letting it grow brighter and brighter, showing Heavenly Father's radiance and your own beautiful radiance. I love it and Thank you for letting me grow in this Gospel.  It's a true blessing - to have you forever is all that I ask. I love you, and I love my Savior and Heavenly Father. Thank you for all the wishes and prayers. 

Love to you all
Sestra Holly

P.S. they love spiritual energy and yoga here. We do it a lot with friends and members and it's hilarious how I can't do the positions. 
It's been a really eye opening week.  
I miss american peanut butter and hispanic food. Mucho mucho chupaccabre'
Beautiful Slovenia

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