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