Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hello everybody!!! 

It has been an amazing last week because of Christmas and having the chance to be able to see my family!!  I was able to skype them at the home of a less active (for 8 years!) that we have been working with and we are almost at the point that we can say that he is fully active!!  He is so amazing and has such a strong testimony of the gospel and he has been coming very regularly to church, he just had got distracted among the years.  And then he was so kind to let us come over to his house on christmas day and to give us a slovene dinner!!  He is so awesome! :D  
For the rest of christmas day we were at the Senior Couples home in Celje and the Elders and Sisters from Maribor stayed the day with us and we just relaxed and played board games, pretty dang awesome, because it reminded me of basically what I would do with my family for christmas. (besides the fact that I had to wear a shirt and tie instead of pajamas all day, haha!)
I hoped you all had an amazing christmas day with all of your families!!  That is definitely something that I have noticed so much while being on my mission is how special family is and how the gospel really does bless peoples lives!  All I can say is to love every second you have with your family! :)

For this week it has been a little slow, because of the holiday, but it is still going great! We have been seeing amazing improvements with one of our investigators and we are becoming very excited for him.  This past week we have had about 3 lessons with him and all with members present.  The lessons are always good and he always enjoys them and always HE notices the spirit.  In almost every single time we have met with him, he has noticed the Holy Ghost and he has mentioned this good feeling that he has all the time here in the church.  That was actually one of the first things he mentioned when we had contact with him.  He came for english class and we went on a tour of the church and at the end of the tour the spirit was so strong and he said out loud: "There is a really good peaceful energy here" and he has held onto that always.  We have told him that it is the Holy Ghost and we have taught him that it testifies of God and truth and that is something that he really liked.  Just in our last lesson he told us that he believes in truth and then he believes in pure truth and he totally agreed with us when we told him that the Holy Ghost will teach/testify of that "pure truth".  Also with our last lesson with him we went in expecting to tach about the 3rd lesson, but as soon as we got in he started asking us about questions from the Plan of Salvation, like: where do we go after this life and why do we have trials.  He told us that his Mom has been bed ridden for a long time and she asked why this happened to her.  We instantly switched to the Plan of Salvation and he loved it!!  He agreed with everything and then at the end of the lesson he prayed and told us how much of the spirit he was feeling and how amazing it was!! :)  We are really excited and he is coming along very well.  He also came to family home evening last week and he brought refreshments without even being asked! :)

We then are making great progress with another investigator that we have and at our last lesson she really started to notice the Holy Ghost.  We talked about it alot with here last time and that she said she always has this great feeling with us and is so happy.  At the end of the lesson she also prayed and asked to have this feeling stay with her.  We told her that it is a gift from God and we plan on teaching the 3rd lesson with her next time and put a lot of focus in the Gift of the Holy Ghost from baptism.  We still haven't have been able to have a lot of contact with her family, but her husband likes us and he is completely fine with staying for lessons, the only problem is that he has a really difficult work schedule.  Then her two sons have not been very interested, but she told us that they always ask "When are those two guys coming back again?" and they have really started to become use to us that it is almost a routine and they really like us, and now we are going to start trying a lot harder to get them involved and we are bring a Book of Mormon Stories next time, which is tonight!! :) 

I hope that you all will have a great week and Happy New Year!!  - That is another thing here in Slovenia.  New Years Eve is I guess one of the biggest (if not biggest) holiday here and they go crazy!! They have already been shooting fireworks for the past couple of weeks and this last week there have been lots every day.  My companion Elder Benson still tells met to "just wait", and that New Years Eve is insane, and I pretty much expect it to sound like a warzone with how it is already like now.  I'll keep you all posted!! 

Love you all and remeber to enjoy every day and if you ever are having a hard time, kneel, and I promise it will get better.  That is something that I can definitely testify to that when you need the strength, a simple prayer is all you need.  "When life gets to difficult to stand, kneel"  I have been baffled with the results, and I know God is watching over us and is wanting to help us if we only ask. :)

- Starešina Lyman!

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A little bit of christmas from Slovenia!  I got Pajamas and Mocassins!! (That is not how you spell that...)  Haha the funny thing is that my family sent me mocassins and then I sent them these special slippers from Slovenia called "Copati", haha!  I don't know how to say mocassins in Slovenian, so I have just been telling people I got "Indajski Copati! (Indian Copati)



More Christmas shops! :)



"Fairy Land" :)





More giant pine trees everywhere!! Merry Christmas!! :D



Monday, December 23, 2013

ZDRAVO!! Vesel Božič vse!! :)

ZDRAVO!!  Vesel Božič vse!! :)

We had an amazing week full of lessons.  We have been so busy, we have had very little, to no time, because of all of our lessons we had.  Despite we had the Christmas party this week (which was amazing and super fun!) we still had 13 lessons, and yesterday was an amazing day!  We had lesson literally right after another and they were all with investigators!  In total we had 4, and then also at sacrament meeting we had two of our investigators at church.  Which was the first time that I had any investigators come, so that was special.  We had a man named Bojan, who is not a member, but he comes every week, and we had just started teaching him as an investigator, so we will see what will happen.  Then we had another man named Vlado, who is just amazing!  We found him through English class and he was one of our few students that came to every single class and also to every spiritual thought.  Once this round of english class ended, we asked him if we could still meet at this time every thursday and friday, and he said yes and that he would enjoy that.  And then he also came to our Christmas concert and he is coming to Family Home Evening tonight, and then we will have another lesson with him tomorrow.  Yesterday we had a lesson after church and we offered him the baptismal commitment.  He was a little confused, and he said that it was a big promise, but he didn't give a straight answer, but he really enjoys meeting with us and he still wants to.  I believe that he will get baptized, but it will just require a little bit of time to learn more, but he has a very deep knowledge about Christ, and he is interested.  He also has a really cool story how he got involved with our English Class, which he told us yesterday in our lesson.  He said that one day he was in the library and said that he saw me and Elder Benson in the library on the computers.  He didn't think much of it, so he continued on.  He said that when he left the library to go home, he decided to go a different way then he normally did.  While he was going he then ran into the sister missionaries and they stopped him and gave him a flyer and invited him.  At first he said that he thought: "Meh, I don't think so."  So he kept going on this different path and then a little while later he said he walked past our church with the sign for english class in the front.  He then told us he thought: "Okay, NOW I have to at least give it a shot."  Haha, it was a really cool experience and we all know that it was a sign that he was lead by God, so I am very excited to see what will happen. :)
Like I said: the Christmas Party was a ton of fun!!  And I had the chance to see my old MTC group, which was so great!  Also me and Elder Benson, and Sister Jones sang a song that Elder Benson had arranged and it was all acopela (pretty sure that's not spelled right) and it was all in parts too.  We also had our christmas concert with the branch, which was a huge success!  We had about 50 people show up!

Well that is about all right now, but before I go I will leave you with a small funny language mistake I made.  So last sunday I called one of our less-actives before church and I asked "Ali hodiš z Milko v cerkev danes zjutraj?" Which literally translates to: "Are you walking with Milka to church in the morrning?"  Well as I said that, our less active (Konstancija) kept saying "Kaj? Kaj??" (What?) over and over again, so I kept repeating what I said, over and over again.  Elder Benson then stopped me and told me to say a different way, so I did and it all worked out.  Well once i got off the phone Elder Benson told me what that phrase really means, and it means: "Are you dating Milka this morning?"  Haha!  Just wanted to let you all know about the adventures you get to experience in the missionary life!! XD

Well I hope that you all have a wonderful christmas this week and I hope that you all enjoy this precious time with your families and remember what this holiday is all about. :)

- Starešina Lyman

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Just some christmas photos that I got, I will try and get some more.  This is how center Celje looks.  We have tons of huge christmas trees everywhere and then a ton of little christmas shopping huts! :)



Then the trees are all lit up at night! :)



Missionaries in Slovenia


Funny Story:  Our lightbulb is out, and we are too lazy to go buy a new one, so.... yeah we use our christmas lights for light, haha! XD

And then just ya know... another castle.  They are everywhere in Slovenia!! :D




Waiting for the train:  Slovenia is a Magical Winter Fairy Tale!! That's all folks!! Marry Christmas!! :D



Monday, December 16, 2013

Hey everyone!

This has been a great last week and it has flown by! And you can tell that Slovenia is getting ready for Christmas!! It is so cool here in Celje; they have all sort of decorations all over the city and especially in Center. They have gigantic pine trees that they cut down from the mountains and brought them down and then put them around the city and put lights around them. Then all over the center buildings they have lights going up and down and across, which makes the city gorgeous! Then also on the streets they have all sorts of little huts outside on the streets selling all sorts of stuff like: meat, cheese, chocolate, funny furry hats, pastry's and pretty much everything else that you would imagine that would be in a fairy tale land, haha! ;) Slovenes really know how to celebrate christmas!! Strangely though we are still waiting for it to snow. It's only about 0 C here, and about every morning we have a ton of fog, but still no snow, so we will see what will happen.
Also the branch is getting ready for christmas too! For the past few weeks we have gotten together a branch choir and we will be having a Christmas concert this friday! One of the in-actives we have been working with (Konstancija) for last few months is actually incharge of the choir and she has been doing a great job! Also she has came for the last 4 sacrament meetings and now I think is fully active!! :D The other members then talked to her yesterday and asked that maybe after the concert we could continue doing choir practice every sunday before sacrament. It's an idea that is going around and I think that it would be so great for the branch. One problem that we have here is having members being unified and friends with each other, but I have seen miracles with this and it is really helping them to strengthen their relationships and best of all it helped Konstancija to come back and she now feels needed and this is the happiest I have seen here since I got here. :)
I also kind of left you all on a cliff hanger last week, so I am sorry for that, but now I will tell you about my experience that I had last week. It was last Sunday and we had just gotten home from church and had lunch. Elder Benson was doing calls and getting the weekly numbers for our district and while he was doing that I had nothing to do. I was sitting on at our table and as I was sitting I felt that I should pull out Preach My Gospel and look at chapter 4: recognizing the spirit. As I was reading some of the chapter I felt all of the sudden that I should write down some scriptures about feelings of spirit on a piece of paper. It seemed to me simple enough, so I thought "why not". So I searched and got a good list going, and once I was done I decided: "ya know what: I'm going to save this", thinking that maybe it would come in use later on in the week. I then put it in my Slovene Book of Mormon and then went on about the rest of my business.
We then had a lesson later on that evening with a less active that we have been teaching for a while. At first we wanted to talk to him about his personal progression, and how he could continue. We then kept talking with him and listed some things that help us to progress such as: reading, praying, church, and then the last one we got to was revelation. We asked him how do we receive revelation and he then told us he didn't know. He was baptized very quickly and doesn't know all of the gospel very well, so we told him that the Holy Ghost gives us revelation. I then felt that I should ask him: "Do you know how the Holy Ghost feels". He told me: "Honestly, no". Right then when I heard that I slapped my knee and said: "Well I have something for YOU!" I reached into my back pack and grabbed my Book of Mormon and gave him the piece of paper. Elder Benson who was right next to me was completely in shock, because he didn't know what this was. I then told them what had happened this morning and that we as missionaries can receive revelation for those that we teach, and that we receive it from the Holy Ghost. It was such a cool/amazing experience, and I want to/can testify that we can receive revelation from the Holy Ghost to bless our lives and those around us, any time that we need it. The only thing that we need to be doing is one: asking for it, and two: looking for it. God is there for us and he is always ready to bless us with the things that we need and I know that he will be there for all of you. :)

I am so grateful for all of you and all of the impact you have all had on my life, and I pray that you will all keep striving to choose the right and helping others along the way! That's all for now, but I will talk to you all next week and tell you more about Christmas in Slovenia AND if you are all REALLY nice: maybe Santa will sneak a few pictures on the computer for all of you! ;)

Love you all!

- Starešina Lyman

p.s. Last week I finished my second transfer here in the mission and I will be finally done with my training this next week! It is kind of crazy to think about how fast time has gone! For transfers absolutely nothing happened in Slovenia and it all stayed the same! I am still here in Celje, with Elder Benson and that is how it will be for the next 7 weeks. :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Zdravo in Dober Dan!!!

This past week has been so amazing! But really quickly I will try and catch you up on what happened the week before, because I couldn't send an update.

For thanksgiving we had it at the senior couples home with the Maribor Elders and Sisters. It was so much fun and it was SO good!! I am so grateful that we had a "Grandmother-experienced cook"! It brought back a lot of memories and made me miss you all a ton! But me and Elder Benson cooked a ton of pumpkin pie, so that lessened the pain. ;)

Then for my birthday I had some fun experiences. The first thing I did in the morning was open the package that I had received from my family, which had been sitting in the corner daunting me for the past 2 weeks. Well, the first thing I opened was..... Leather work gloves!! Hurray!! Haha, I'm not going to lie when I say it was a surprise, but it was funny little reminder telling me that: this day is still dedicated for the Lord and I am meant to go and work. Which I did. :) Sadly though that evening, we had all 3 of our lessons cancel on us which was the saddest thing ever. They just kept dropping one after the other. So that cleared up all of our time for that night, so we decided to go to an area and start trackting. It was dark at this time and we had been trakting for about 30 minutes so far and pretty much nothing was happening. People weren't home or weren't listening. But we kept on going.
As we were going I noticed that we had walked past a house (it was in a complex, so easy to miss), but all of the lights were off and it seemed empty. I thought "Ehh, we should just keep going - no one is going to be home", but I knew that I had to try it and give that same house the same opportunity I gave to all of the other people. So me and Elder Benson went up and knocked, and we sat there for a while. Then a light flickered on and an older woman came to the door. We told her that we were missionaries and that we had a message about how we could receive the most joy in this life and in the next. She was so nice, and kindly told us that she was not interested, but we were persistant. She then asked us where we were from, because obviously she could tell. We told her that we were from America. Then she asked the most perfect question: "How old are you two?"
Elder Benson first told her and then I replied with a grin: "I'm 19 and actually, today is my birthday!" She said: "Joj! A res??" (Really??) Then said: "Well I have to do something! Would you like to come in for some toast and some juice?" As a missionary you learn never to say no for an invitation to come in, so we said "sure!"
She served us home made bread, jam, and juice and we had a great conversation with her. She was just one of the nicest ladies I have ever met and we talked about her and here family, etc. She is jewish and she has lived in Celje here whole life. We then just kept talking for about an hour, but sadly not much of the gospel was brought up. As it was about time to go, she told us to hold on and that she was going to go grab a picture. I thought "okay, she's going to go grab her camera." Then all of the sudden, she comes walking back around the corner holding a box and she told me to look through it and pick one. They were all hand made paintings of landscapes of Slovenia that she personally made from water colors, and they were gorgeous! I told her that this was too much and she told me no and that it was my birthday and that she had to do something! I then eventually picked one and told how thankful I was. And then we went on our way.
Another thing that we also talked about with her, was how we really wanted to go to this museum here in Celje, but we couldn't because all musuems are closed on mondays. She told us that we had to go and that she has friends there that she would call and set everything up for us. Well that is what we did today!! She called us later on in the week and told us that it was all ready and it would all work out! She was such a kind person and I am going to call her this week and thank her for everything she did! And then I am going to ask when her birthday is, so I have the chance to stop by again to return the favor and hopefully this time have the chance to speak more about the gospel. ;)
But yeah this musuem thing... So basically Celje is city that is built upon another city. The museum is called: Mesto pod Mesto. A city below a city. And there are tons of ancient roman ruins under celje and they find all sorts of new stuff every year. What happened is that there is a river by Celje and over time there were multiple flash floods that eventually built up sediment that covered the whole city. So we went there and it was so cool!! We saw all sorts of cool things and we had a personal tour guide too! Hopefully I will have the chance to send some pictures.

For this week though we found another investigator who is 17 years old and I also went on an exchange to Ljubljana. There I went to a Catholic mass (weird huh?!) But the night before we were contacting and we ran into a girl and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. She was really interested and also told us she was singing in the choir the next day and asked if we would come. We said sure and that we would try and meet up after. This was my first time ever going to any other church service, it was very interesting to see what catholics believe and it was a big learning experience. We then met up with her after and spoke with her, but she didn't have much time to talk, so Elder Wilson was going to try to meet with her later on in the week.
Also we had the coolest experience and I kind of got my first baptismal date randomly, haha! While I was on the exchange, we were in the church and a man called Elder Wilson and said that he wanted to be baptized! He told him that he could meet us in the church in an hour. It was one of the most interesting visits I have ever had, and maybe it will just have to be a story I will tell at home, becuase I don't have a ton of time. But he told us that he wanted to change his life around and that he wanted to do missionary work. He's 33, so that won't work, but there is always different ways to do missionary work. He is very ready, but he has a lot to learn. This was the first time he has ever had contact with the church, other then online, and he has a little confusion on some things... and then a lot of different theories on life. But he is very prepared and I am really excited for him! Sadly I won't be teaching him, because I am in Celje.

I also had an amazing impression/prompting with the Holy Ghost yesterday, that I will try and tell you about next week, because I am out of time. I love and miss you all and I wish you the best. I know that this church is true and I am so grateful to be out here!

- Starešina Lyman

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week (something!)

Hey everyone!  I am really sorry, but now update for this week. :(  Today was really busy and I didn't have any time for emails.  We helped a member at the church today, because he is renovating the whole church and only him and his wife have been working, so we decided that we would help him today.  He is awesome!!  I will tell all about this last week, next week, and we had an amazing thanksgiving and I had a really cool/funny experience for my birthday this week! 

I love you all and miss you so much!  Thanks for all of the support!! :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 8

Hey everyone!!

This week has been great!!  It is so crazy to think that November is almost over!  It has flown by!!  It is also really weird to think that I will be turning 19 this week and quite honestly - I don't want to!  I love telling people here that I am 18 and seeing their faces, when they realize that an 18 year old boy is teaching them about God.  Kind of funny, and people are really surprised about it and a lot of them say that they thought I was in my 20's. xD
This week it has also been raining almost everyday here, but I actually really enjoy the rain, so that has been a ton of fun!!  Today the wind actually really picked up, and it reminded me of Cedar City, but I just laughed because it didn't even compare to all of those freezing days walking around in Cedar's snow and 1000 mile per hour wind. :)  But winter is definitely getting closer here and they are just starting to put up the christmas lights, which I am really excited for and I will send you all pictures.
The branch is also getting ready for winter her and we are putting together a Christmas Concert and we will be singing and have a nativity story.  We started this last week and meet every tuesday and thursday and one of the best parts of all is that the person in charge is actually a less active we have been working with for a long time now.  She is the music director for the branch here in Celje and two weeks ago she came to church for the first time in months and did her calling and lead the music.  She has progressed so much and now is so close to becmoning fully active again!!
We have seen some great strides of success here in the branch!  Lots of people are becoming active again, and one man that we have been working with has come to the last 3 sacrament meetings in a row!!  He has been inactive for the past 8 years and he is amazing!! We think that he is become solidly active again and now we are working on getting him a calling.
We then had an amazing lesson yesterday with one of our investigators.  Her name is Štefka and we also brought a member named Olga.  Štefka was completely and totally prepared when we got there; she had her Book of Mormon on the table, her pamphlets, pencils, and was completely set!  We then sat down with her and we had a great starting conversation and then asked before we go anyfarther if we could start with a prayer, and the greatest thing was that she offered to say the opening prayer!!  She has been struggling with prayer, because she is a little shy, but it was a great and her prayers are becoming better and better!  We then taught about Jesus Christs ministry and his apostles from the first lesson and surprisingly that was the whole lesson!  We were going to finish the whole first lesson with her that day, but we just kept going and answering questions she had about this and that and she even asked about children baptism and what we believed about that and she thought it was great.  And then throughout the lesson she even marked scriptures we used and now she is really dedicated in investigating.  She said that she would continue to pray every day and to read the Book of Mormon everyday and we feel really strongly that she could ready with a baptismal date the next time we visit!! :D  We are really excited for her and feel that she is really prepared.  

Some funny things for this week are that one night while we were trackting, we tracked into a potential that Elder Benson got before I came on my mission, and as we were talking with her, she really didn't seem to interested.  While we were talking I noticed, in a reflection of picture in her house, a man get up and start walking to the door and I just thought: "oh no, here it comes" - thinking that we were going to get kicked out.  Then all of the sudden the man looks straight at me and says:  "Utah Jazz".  I was so shocked and I just looked at him. At first I just thought it was something in a different language, because it was SO unexpected.  He then saw my blank face and then said: "your mo.. mo.. mo"  - "Yes, we're mormons!"  He then told us that right now wasn't a good time for them and asked if we could come on wednesday in the morning.  We said of course!! And then headed out!  It was such a funny moment and it was completely opposite - usually we set up the lessons, not the other way around! xD

This week I will be celebrating thanksgiving with Senior couple here and the missionaries from Maribor, and I am so craving sweet potatoes and marshmallows!!  I hope that you all will be having a great thanksgiving and I miss you all SO much!!

- Starešina Lyman

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 7

Hey everyone!!
 
This week has gone by so quick!!  We have been really busy this week with a lot of lessons and nothing too out of the ordinary happened, so this letter might be a quick one.  Something that was amazing this week was that on Sunday we had three less-actives come and one visitor who is the girlfriend of one of the less actives we have been working with.  We also had 30 people to church and I know that probably doesn't sound that amazing, but let me tell you: it is!!  When I first got here I guess the branch was about averaging 15-20 people coming every sunday, so they has been a lot of improvement!  I love the people here and some of them have some of the strongest testimonies and are all some of the coolest people ever!  I am actually in Ljubljana right now and am at the University here, because we went in the morning with a member named Marko, because he was coming here for school and we hitched a ride, so we are waiting for him until his class gets out.  He is so cool and he is about 20 and he is the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency.  He is so young, but thats what happens when you have such a small group.  I hope you all love your wards so much, because it really is  a blessing to have a ward and especially a chapel!! :)
Something I should have probably done a long time ago is tell how mission is like here in Slovenia.  So we have branches and four areas that are open to misssionary work right now.  The four areas are Ljubljana, Kranj, Celje, and Maribor.  Ljubljana and Kranj are apart of the same branch and in Ljubljana we have a chapel there, that have about 60 members that attend weekly.  Then in Kranj there are 2 sisters serving there for the whole city; Ljubljana has 4 elders and 2 sisters; Celje has 2 elders (me!), 2 sisters, and a Senior Couple, and then Maribor has 2 elders and 2 sisters.  So in total we have 18 missionaries in Slovenia right now, and we are supposed to get more senior couples in january.  I lucked out and am in the same district as the only senior couple, so I get dinner ever once and a while, haha!  Then for the other parts of the mission are Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and I forgot to mention that we also had a new country added a while ago named Montenegro!  There one of my MTC companions is serving right now and there are only 3 members there for the whole country, so its very new and it will be hard work to get it up and going.  Most likely I will not be going to any of those other countries, because Slovenian is very different from their languages, but you never know what the Lord will need! :)
For our success this week we found one new investigator and it was completely by surprise!!  We originally went  to go teach a member, but when we got there his mom had a friend over and so we sat down and started talking with all of them.  Eventually we got into a very good conversation with her concering the Godhead, and now she wants to know more! We will be going over to her house this week with her member friend, so I am really excited to see what will happen! :)
 
It is so weird to think that I have been out for about 4 months already!! It really blows my mind, because it has gone by SO fast!!  Right now I am still with my trainer Elder Benson and I have only 5 more weeks left of training and it is so weird to think pretty soon I won't be a greenie anymore!  The langauge is still coming and I love it so much!  It's really hard, but I am so excited for when I can actually be fluent and that is where the real fun is going to be!
 
Well that is it for this week and I forgot my camera so I will send more pictures next week!  And now I am going to go party (sort of) with the Ljubljana elders and play basketball and maybe watch Johny Lingo, haha!! Čhao vsak, in lepo se imate! (Cya everyone and I have yourself wonderfully!)
 
- Starešina Lyman

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hey everyone!!

I have had another great week in Celje!! :)  It is definitely getting close to winter and it has been raining a ton here!!  But that is okay, because I love it!! :)  I want to mention something that I have wanted to for a while, but kept forgeting and it is that Slovenes are totally paranoid with weather here!!  My first 5 weeks here it was so warm and perfect (Utah) weather and so I was walking around in short sleeves, but... everyone around me had jackets and everything!  There were so many times when I would be talking to people and they would say:  "Why arn't you wearing a jacket, you'll freeze!!"  While it was about 70 degrees outside!  But it also started up a lot of conversations, which was good! :)  They are also very paranoid about breezes and drafts.  If they are in a building and they feel a draft, they will literally stand up and move somewhere else to get away.  They are a very superstitious people and they think that if you are even a little bit cold, you are going to get sick and die, haha!
  The first transfer just ended and I am on my second, but nothing too exciting has happened with it.  I am still staying in Celje and I am still with Elder Benson and will probably stay with him until my training is over.  The sad thing this morning was that Sister Legro (one of the other sisters here in Celje) was going home, so we had to help her with her luggage.  A couple of nights ago we went out with the sisters and some members after an activity and we went over to a Palečinke stand.  Basically palečinke is a crepe and they have them all of the time here in Slovenia and they are amazing!! They have lots of little shacks around that serve them, so we went with Sister Legro for one of her last nights in Slovenia.  I mention this, because I made a really funny language mistake while ordering mine.  As I picked up my Palečinke, the server said: "Dober Tek!" and I said: "Enako!" - Same to you - and he then had a very puzzled look as I walked away.  As I was walking I totally realized "Dober Tek" means "Bon appetite!", and then thought: "Oh no... I am Brian Regan..."  =  "You TOW!" (I hope you all understand that reference, haha!) ;D

This past week we had Zone Conference and we went to Ljubljana and were there for the whole day.  It was so great and President Rowe came and talked with us!  Another really cool thing that I would like to mention is that one guy me and Elder Dearinger ran into last week on exchanges came and handled the lunch for Zone Conference.  He came and delivered the food and met all of the missionaries and then President and Sister Rowe, which I think was a really good experience with him.  He then said goodbye and said: "I hope we can do this another time!" and I thought to myself: "OHH, we most definitely can!" ;)  After that I think President and Sister Rowe went and showed him around the church.  He is such a cool and nice guy and I am really excited to see what happens with him! :)

I have talked about my bike "The Legend" before and again I would like to talk about it more.  You just cannot win with this bike, haha!  So as I said before, that it had completely broken down a couple of weeks ago, but we took it into the shop.  I paid 28 euros (more than what it was bought for) and repaired it.  After that it was amazing and it was basically heaven on wheels and the "The Legend" was back from the dead.  Well... while I was on exchanges, Elder Wilson was riding the bike and the back tire exploded! Haha, he then had to carry the bike all the way to the apartment.  Once I got back we then had to replace the tire, which was pretty painless.  So everything has been totally fine now.  But another funny story happened this morning while I was riding it.  We were riding to the library and we went down a hill and I realized that there was a person in front of us riding their bike, but they were going really slow, so I tried to go off to the side and go around.  As I was doing this, my tire didn't make it over a little tiny bit curbing and it totally wrecked.  Miracuously, and I don't even know how,  I ended up just running and ended up on my feet.  Kind of a surreal experince, but "Hey!" Everything worked out.  Kind of a dumb story, but I just want to mention again: you can't win with "The Legend"! ;D

This week we have had a lot of success.  Yesterday we had a less active that we have been working with come back to church!! He is so awesome and has such a strong testimony and belief in the gospel, but he just needs the little push to come back out.  He then has a non member girlfriend that has been coming with him to church.  They both came to district conference a couple of weeks ago, and she seems interested.  She sits and listens to our lessons, but she doesn't want to be involved in the lessons, so she is observing, so we will wait and then teach her when she is ready. :)  We then are also teaching two other people (a brother and sister) and they are doing very well.  They are so nice and at first the brother said that he is not interested in switching religions and that he is comfortable with his (meaning he doesn't go), but they are both becoming really interested.  They are also really excited that we are from America, because people over here LOVE us!  The sister that we are teaching has a son and he went to school and told all of his friends that he met American's and they all thought it was SO cool!  Haha! :)  
We then are also teaching two other investigators that are friends with that less active that I mentioned earlier and we have had amazing lessons with them.  And they are the same people that I mentioned were rolling cigarettes in our first lesson.  Still happened in our second lesson, but it was a lot less this time, haha!  And then we are suppose to have another less active come to family home evening tonight and he says that he will be coming back to church this Sunday.  The work is really coming a long here in Slovenia and we are getting more and more people to teach! :)  Sorry if this was all a little confusing, but I'm trying not to use names, just to be discreet. :)

Well I have to get going, but I hope that you all have an amazing week!!

Se vidimo!!

- Starešina Lyman



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Testimony

Hey everyone, our Zone leader wanted us to send him our testimonies, so I thought I would send it to all of you also! :)

Over these past few months while being on my mission I have realized just how amazing the gospel is, and that I have been so blessed to have it in my life.  While at the MTC I was amazed to see that my whole perspective of the gospel was completely changed and before I thought that I had already known why/how it was so important.  A mission really does change your life and my has already been changed over these past few months and I am so excited to see how it will change in the rest.
This gospel is a gospel of change and everything is based around us is to help us change.  We are in a current fallen state and our purpose is to try the best we can and change our hearts toward God and become like him, but I know that we can't make it alone, and our Heavenly Father has sent so much to help us along the way.  The gospel is evidence of this, and then we have the scriptures, and prophets, apostles.  With these testimonies we can develop the faith/hope necessary that we can accomplish this change. (Jacob 4:6)  But we still need more, and our Heavenly Father knows this and has given all of us everything that we need to make this possible.  One of these things is the opportunity to have a constant companion that will help us along the way as long as we are honestly and sincerely striving to obey and have our hearts constantly turned to God.  This marvelous and miraculous gift is the Holy Ghost, and I have seen him bless my life so many times.  I can testify that he is real and that he can lead and direct us to know what is right.  He can protect us from danger and he can comfort us when we are sad.  He is one of the best friends we have and is also the humblest, because a lot of the times he is unnoticed.  I know and have seen miracles happen, because of him these past few months and they are what I like to call "little-miracles".  There are miracles all around us and so many times they go unnoticed.  If you look in the scriptures it says that "by small and simple means can great things come to pass".  
This is where I have greatly appreciated keeping a journal, because that is how you catch these "little-miracles" and one of my favorite scriptures for this month is 1 Nephi 16:29.  The scriptures are journals of ancient prophets and that is how they have so many amazing stories and miracles in them, because they recorded them!  Everything that happened, whether it was small or big they recorded them little by little..  And now people look back at all of these events and are amazed at "what the Lord hath done".  And becuase of the scriptures or these spiritual experiences, we can understand the ways of the Lord.
And now there is the other side of the spectrum and that is in Alma 37:41.  And this talks about how because people thought that because these "works" (miracles) were done by small means, they didn't perceive them to be much and they eventually just forgot about them.  It then tells us that these "marvelous works" ceased and that they stopped, and that happend because people stopped looking for the small miracles of this life.  Miracles don't have to be big and surprising - which do happen - but it is by the spirit that we feel that determines what a miracle is.  I want to say that I have a testimony of the Holy Ghost and that miracles happen and they are still happening in this day and age.  Like I said, he is our most humble friend, because he can be hard to be noticed, but he is only noticed by those that are looking.  But you have to be quick about it, because he doesn't want to be TOO obvious, because we are on this Earth to "walk by faith and not by sight".  But I can testify of the importance of journals (like the scriptures), that when you write down every spiritual experience or "little-miracle" - you can catch him in the act. :)
 
Now with all of this we still need more help to make it back to our Heavenly Father and then He sent us the ultimate gift of his son, Jesus Christ, to perform the Atonement.  It is because of him that we can change, and that we can become better, and become - God Like.  It's because of him that we can change our hearts and change from our fallen state, and be born again through repentance and become again the righteous sons and daughters of God.  (Mosiah 27:25)  This is our purpose in life and our purpose is possible through Christ, that we can climb that ladder up from our fall, step by step, and return to live with our Father once again.

I know that this church is true and that Jesus Christ is our savior and that this gospel blesses each and everyone of us, in ways that we sometimes don't even know.  Miracles still happen, and this church being restored through Jospeh Smith, was a miracle. 

And I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 5

Hey everyone!! I can't believe I have hit my third month already and my first month mark here in Slovenia!!
 
This past week has been so amazing and being out here in the mission is so amazing!!  I am learning so much and a mission really does change your life!! :)  I am really beginning to love the people here!  Last week we had a Chestnut picnick with all of the branches of Slovenia (3) and Celje was hosting it.  We had about 40 people show up and it was so much fun!  Our Branch President (Predsednik Stojanovič) put so much time and effort into it, and he has such a big heart.  The people are amazing and have such strong testimonies, despite the struggles of being in such small branches.  They also served SO much food at the picnick, which was amazing!!  The food here is really good!!  On another note I also found out I not allergic to chestnuts, haha!! And then I also found out I'm not allergic to Nutella either, so.... I have been eating a ton lately, catching up on everything I have been missing out! XD
 
This last Tuesday we also had an exchange and I went to Ljubljana with Elder Dearinger.  He was in the Older group of Slovene missionaries in the MTC and me and him became really good friends and so I was SO excited!!  It was such a fun excgange!!  When we got to the apartment my heart pretty much dropped!  It was like a mansion/palace compared to our apartment in Celje!!  Our apartment is so small, and I'm not sure if I have sent pictures of it yet, but I will next week.  But it was like heaven to me!  It had 2 rooms, a kitchen, a big entry hallway and then 2 bathroom, AND they actually had a real shower curtain and not a poor man's curtain, made out of trash bags (haha I hope you all saw the picture of ours from my last email! XD)   But literally the best thing of all was somehow the Ljubljana Elders had......... a guitar!!!  It was amazing!!! And I was so happy and I played it so much while I was there!!  It brought back such great memories and it amazing to see how such simple things can bring you so much joy, haha! 
 
Throughout the day we did lots of different things like preparing for English Class and then we teaching it and then we went out and went contacting on the way back to the apartment, because it was late and almost time for to end the day.  A lot of the day was taken from traveling from Celje to Ljubljana by train, so we didn't have much time to proselyte, but we tried to do about an hour after English Class. 
 
As we were contacting, nothing was really happening and there weren't a lot of people out on the streets, so me and Elder Dearinger went and prayed and asked for help and guidance to find someone that needs this gospel, and after that we continued.  In those last 15 minutes we still didn't find anyone to teach, which was disapointing, but we decided to walk back and go to the apartment.  As we got to the apartment, we stopped, and I felt that we should go for just a little bit longer and when I asked Elder Dearinger how he felt, he agreed.  We then turned around and walked down the side walk and as we were walking we saw a car driving by with a kid sitting on the drivers lap.  Elder Dearinger then pointed it out to me, kind of disapointed in the man, and then all of the sudden the car turned into the parking lot right in front of us and stopped.  Turns out it was a really good friend of Elder Dearinger's and that they met him at his restaurant the last week.  We started talking to him and we met his young boy, who he was having some fun with him and "teaching him how to drive" the little bit before home.  He wasn't in any danger, because they were going slow and his son loved it!!  He was just beeming with smiles! :)  We kept talking to him and then he asked us what we are up to this week and if we were working, and we said "Actually..." and then told him that we were missionaries and what we do.  He had never before heard of Mormons, Joseph Smith, or the Book of Mormon.  So we kept talking with him and then we got a little off subject, because we started talking about where he was from (India).  Then he had to go and said that we were welcome anytime to come over to their home and have dinner!!  We then walked back to the apartment and Elder Dearinger told me how great that was and that him and his companion have been wanting to bring up the gospel with him for a really long time, but that they were just waiting for the right time and if we hadn't have turned around we would have missed him! :)  I want to testify that the Lord really is involved in this work and that "little-miracles" are all around us, and I have actually noticed a lot more around me this week, but ya gotta be quick, because Heavenly Father doesn't want to be TOO obvious. ;)  But if we're looking, we'll see them. :)
 
Another thing that I would like to mention is that this Saturday we got 5 new investigators all in one day!!  It was crazy!!  Our goal was to find 2 for that week, but we found them all in one day!!  One is a family of three.  A brother and his sister and the sister's son.  They are atheist, but I think they mainly just know what to believe in.  She believes that all of the churches are just corrupted, and we told we understand and we would LOVE to teach our message. ;)  But for the first lesson we mainly focuesed on God, and who he was.  And then we got a feel of who they were.  And now we have another set up! 
Then the other investigators were a man and a woman (boyfriend and girlfriend) and we taught them the first lesson.  They are kind of in the same boat as the first family, and the woman asked the question why are there SO many churches and faiths.  So we talked about Joseph Smith and the first vision.  It was really funny, because in the whole first half of the lesson, they were actually rolling up cigarettes and smoking them in front of us, haha!  He smoked two and she smoked three and had a glass of wine, all in 30 minutes! The spirit wasn't really there until they stopped and were done and then that is when we got to the point of Joseph Smith and I recited the first vision to them.  The spirit was really strong then and it just shows that the spirit will not dwell in unholy places.  They took the lesson pretty well and we have another set up with them later. :) 
 
Well today I am in Maribor for P-Day and am currently in the Library there, but I am going to get going and go have some fun!  Thank you all for all of your letters and they are such a joy!!  They really help a lot and give me a boost, when times get hard.  I love and miss you all!
 
- Starešina Lyman

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 4!!

Hey everyone!!! 

I am so sorry that I totally just bombarded you with pictures, but it has been something that I have been wanting to for a long time, but I kept leaving my darn camera in the apartment, haha!!

But I will have to keep this message short, because I took too much time with the pictures, but we have had an amazing week!!  We are working a lot with less actives and we have almost brought back 2!  One of which is a father that has a girlfriend who is not a member of the church that came to General Conference and we are slowly working with her and I think she might start taking the discussions.  We went over to his house (I am going to exclude names, for personal information reasons) and we watched the Restoration film and as we were watching it, she walked in and slowly reached her way to the couch and watched the whole thing.  We know she is interested, but we just need to give it some time. :)

I just want all of you to know that I am doing very well and that the work is moving along here in Slovenia!  The language is coming and it is exciting everyday, and I am having so many experiences here that I want to share, but time is always an issue here!  But next week I will fill you all in on these past few weeks and will send less pictures. :)



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This is a hike we went on last P-Day.





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This is my dreaded bike "The Legend"!  It finally died last week and I had to get it repaired.  It was so funny, because it was so loud it sounded like a motorcycle when I rode it, but.... it went about 2 mph, because it was so slow and beat up!  I'm not lying when I say that I had to pedal going down hill!! XD  


And then that other pic was my lunch yesterday because I was out of food, haha!! XD


But now everything is perfect, because my bike is actually a bike and I have food!! :D

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Thought I would share this funny little thing!  This is our shower, haha!!  My companion made a shower curtain out trash bags a long time ago, because I guess European bathrooms don't really have curtains, haha!  And then he tied the shower head to hang up, because a lot of bathrooms you just hold it, haha! :)




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These are some pictures that I took today around our church.  As you can see our church is a little small think tucked away in an alley and then we have the huge Catholic Cathedral across the street, haha!!  I've heard that sometimes missionaries have had to go and get there investigators that went to the wrong church for the first time! XD






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Monday, October 14, 2013

2nd week!

Zdravo vsi!!

It has been a great second week here in Celje and it is absolutely gorgeous!!  Slovenia is an amazing place and it is so cool!!  Here in Celje it turns out that it is built on an ancient Roman city and there are roman ruins everywhere!  It is also really cool/hilarious, because they are doing construction on the cobble stones (which are everywhere!) and they keep find roman stuff!  The Slovenes sometime get really sick of this, because it then puts back the construction for weeks, haha!  A couple of months ago they found an ancient Roman Well and restored it and I got the chance to go see it this morning! :)

This week has been very busy, because we have had Visa Paper work to do, Zone Conference, a big Open House for the Church, and Conference!  So I have been very busy!  

Here in Celje we have about 70 members on recored, but only about 15-20 are active and these past few weeks we have been doing a lot of reactivation work.  We have been meeting with a woman named Kestancija and she is awesome!  She has been inactive for a couple of months, but we are trying hard to get her back.  She is very sweet and very nice and is about 50 years old and she came with us to Conference yesterday! (conference was yesterday, because we had to wait a week for the Slovene translations and for the first year the Slovenes actually did their only translations for conference instead of having a returned missionary in Salt Lake do it.  It is actually a lot better for the members here and it was a blessing for them.)  Kestancija loved general conference and I think that she will start coming back to Church, which will be a great blessing for the branch.
The Branch President here is President Stojanovič and he is amazing!  I love him and he has such a great spirit and is very kind!  Me and Elder Benson actual gave him a blessing last night, and I had to do the Anointing in Slovene.  Kind of hard, but I did it with the help of the White Handbook! Wahoo!! ;)

I absolutely loved this last conference and I have never been so excited for one ever before!  We watched the saturday sessions at a Senior Couple's home (Elder and Sister Ewell) and we sat in their living room eating snacks while watching it on a laptop.  It really made me miss my family and remembering the good times of sitting with them in my pajamas (which I couldn't do, haha) and thinking that only a year ago was I sitting with all of them, when the age change was made!  It made me miss them so much!  So I want you all to know that I love you and am always thinking about you!

Yesterday we watched the Sunday sessions in Ljubljana in the church there and it was awesome!¨ The first session I watched in Slovene, which was so hard!  I literally only understood about 5% of what was being said, but it was really good practice.  I then watched the second session in English with some of the slovenes that were in the MTC with me, but were a group that was about 3 weeks ahead of me.  It was great to hang out with them again and it was really cool, because on of them brought an investigator to conference and as we were watching he started to ask a lot of questions about the Plan of Salvation and I was able to help Elder Dearinger and Elder Stot (the MTC missionaries) teach, it was great experience and we all felt the spirit a lot. 

I will mention a little about my daily life here in Celje!  So me and Elder Benson live in an apartment that is the very last room in the entire building, 6th floor actually.  And every morning I walk down those steps and every night when I am exhausted I walk up those steps.  Our apartment is very small and has about 3 rooms: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom.  Very basic, but it's home!  Then me and Elder Benson have bikes and we are actually one of the few missionaries with bikes.  Elder Benson and his last companion bought them at Police auction last transfer.  They are so nice, but... my bike is probably the most awful bike in the world, haha!  It literally sounds like it has an engine on it when you are peddling and it is so slow and old.  But I am grateful for it, because I am definitely getting a workout from it everyday, haha! :)

I have to get going now, but I hope this was a good update letter!  There is so much to do and so much to write about, so it is really hard to get everything done!  I hope you all are doing well and I miss and love all of you!!

-Elder Lyman


Monday, October 7, 2013

Hey everyone!!!

I just want to say this before I get started:  sorry if the spelling is off on any of the words.  The keyboards here are really different and the y and the z are switched so it is kinda hard, haha! BUT anyways....

This past week has been so amazing!!!!!  I love Slovenia already and it is so cool!!  So gorgeous!!  I'll get to that later though and talk about my trip over here! :)

So we woke up at the MTC at 5:00 and left at 6:30 and took a bus over to the train station and took the train to the Salt Lake airport. Then once we got to the airport we checked in all of our bags and headed to our gate.  It was so weird, because it was so surreal to be out in the real world and out of the MTC!!  Felt like I was breaking
so many rules, haha!  But then I had the chance to call home and it was so awesome!!  Loved hearing from my family! :)  We then got on the plane and headed towards Chicago.  While waiting at the airport I was able to give a man and his wife some pass along cards.  Really nice people and had heard a little about the church from their uncle, but that was it, so we will see. :)

Nothing really special happened on the flight, because I was sitting by Elder Bennet (MTC friend going to Croatia) so I just slept the whole way there and did a little bit of scripture study.  But once we got to Chicago all sorts of things started to go wrong!!!  We went to go through security and once we got there we realized we didn't have our boarding passes to Paris, so we went over to Airline France to go print them off.

As we were doing this we gave them our passports and then the workers started to tell us that we didn't have any visas to Croatia (our final destination) and that we couldn't go.  They said that as soon as we got to Paris they would arrest us/deport us and send us straight back!


This was the point when we all started freaking out, because we were just a ton of young kids with no guide and that hadn't really had much experience with airports.  They then told us that there was one way and that was we had to buy return tickets and that it would be very expensive.

Lucky one of the sisters (Sister Burton) with us whipped out a pre-paid cellphone that her mom had mailed her so that she could call her in the airport instead of a pay phone, so she called the Church offices.  We started getting really nervous, because we were running out of time and our flight was suppose to start boarding in 10
minutes.  The church offices told us that they had never had this problem before and Sister Burton tried figuring it out with the Airline employees.  It didn't seem like it was going anywhere and we were almost out of time, so Elder Frederick look around and asked if we should say a prayer and asked me to say it.  We all huddled around
while Sister Burton kept figuring things out and I said a prayer asking for help.  Once we ended the prayer I'm not lying when I say this: literally 5 seconds after the prayer an employee came up and said that our flight had been delayed 20 minutes and then another 5 seconds after that Sister Burton came up saying that the Church
Offices had figured everything out.  We were set!  Then Sister Burton called her Mom and started talking to her and she started to cry and she told us that her Mom was debating a week ago whether to send a prepaid phone or a prepaid phone card to use, but she said that she felt prompted to send the actual phone.


It was literally a miracle and I am so amazed, and I want to let you all know that I have a very strong testimony that prayer really does work and that we have a loving Heavenly Father that cares for us whenever we call his name in need.  It was a great experience and we had truly been blessed! :)

After that we went through security and made it to the gate and it turned out that our flight had actually been delayed about 40 minutes before we got on, so I had the chance to meet and talk to a lot of people and it was pretty fun!  I even met a missionary from a different church and it was cool.  Everyone there was awesome and very friendly. We then boarded and headed from Chicago to Paris.  My flight was pretty simple.  I sat to next to a man named Muhammad and he was muslim and didn't speak very well English, so I didn't have the chance
to share the gospel.  So I just slept and studied the whole time.

Once we got to Paris we found out that we had missed our flight to Zagreb, Croatia and so we headed back over to Airline France and started talking to them.  They were very helpful, and it took about an hour for us to get everything settled again, but that wasn't the struggle for us. The REAL struggle was trying to figure out how to
work the pay phones, haha!!  We needed to call the church offices and let them know we missed our flight, but the phones were all in french!


Luckily we had two people with us that had taken a little bit of French before the mission and with the two of them together they were able to figure everything out in about.... an hour, haha! :) We then were rerouted to Frankfurt Germany and then got on our flight and headed there.  It was so cool to go there, because two of the
people with us were from Frankfurt!  Elder Uhlig and Sister Konec and they were both going to serve in Croatia, so it was so awesome having our own personal guides around the airport!  Sister Konec was so scared, because her Mom actually works at that airport and so she was scared that she would see her and break the rules.  I still noticed her looking around trying to catch a glimpse of her and I can't blame her!  If I had a chance I would! :) But she didn't see her.

We then finally made it on the flight to Zagreb, Croatia and it was so awesome!!  Everyone around me was speaking croatian which is close to Slovene, so that was really cool to hear that, but I still couldn't
understand anything!


We then landed in Croatia and we flew over Slovenia, but I couldn't see anything, because it was dark and we got there around 7:30. We then went over to the baggage claim and waited.  We waited about 5 minutes and then the bags started coming out one by one and slowly everyone was grabbing theirs and slowly everyone had theirs.  But for me I just sat there patiently holding my hands watching the baggage line go around and around.... and around.  And once everyone was gone there was nothing left on the belt.  Everyone else in our group had
theirs except for Sister Burton.  She had her carry-on, but that was it.  They didn't have enough room for all of the carry-ons so they had us check them in before we left Frankfurt, and my carry on didn't come
on the belt.  So we both waited there for 10 minutes and nothing came.

 They had lost our baggage!!  And the funny thing is that they told us to pack an extra pair of clothes and some other essentials in our carry-on just in case this happened, but, my carry-on was lost too, haha! So there I was in the airport in a foreign country that I knew nothing about with only a backpack on my shoulders and a set of scriptures in my hand and I looked out in the world and said: "Bring it on!"

I went back with all of the other missionaries and met our mission president outside.  His name is President Rowe and he is amazing!!  Me and Sister Burton told President Rowe our dilemma and he sent us with his 1st counselor and we went and made a report with the airport. After that we loaded up in vans and headed over to the mission home. It took about 20 minutes to make it there, but it was so cool to see Zagreb!  I couldn't see much, because it was dark, but I saw a lot of the city and buildings because of the lights and I loved it!! The architecture is so cool!  But what surprised me the most was that there was a TON of graffiti   Everywhere you looked there was graffiti and all over the building's bases.  It was still so amazing though to be there and it was still nonetheless gorgeous!

We then went to the mission home and ate an amazing home cooked meal there made by Sister Rowe, and then we talked for a little all together and then went to bed.  I managed to borrow some stuff from my companions for the night, like some shorts and an extra tooth brush, and then we went to sleep.

The next morning we had interviews and breakfast and I found out that I had been assigned to Celje!!! In Slovenia!!  I actually had a feeling that I would go there in the MTC and I found out when President Rowe closed the interview with a prayer and said to bless me as I go to Celje - really cool way to find out!  

Well I have to go, but I did get my carry-on that day and then survived the next few days with what I had and some stuff from my new companion (Elder Benson - he is so awesome!! And I will write more next week!!)  I got the rest of my luggage 2 days ago too! :)

I love you all so much and miss you all!!