Monday, January 27, 2014

Enduring Till the End

Hello everybody!! :D

I hope you have all had a fantastic week, because we sure did!! I am just having a blast with my new companion Elder Hunt and we are working so hard and we have seen so many miracles this past week. We have really started focusing on contacting and trakting this week and it has been so fun! We found so many great people this week and this month I am really focusing on improving on contacting and trakting, because they very well might be one of the hardest parts of missionary work, and if you can master those, it's "smooth sailing" (so to speak) ;) But really this past week has been so much fun, contacting has become one of my most favorite things to do! :D
We have had a lot of miracles this week and I have so many experiences which I would love to share with you all, but it would take way too much time, so I'll just have to have a ton of stories to share when I get home, but definitely the title of the week is "Enduring Till the End".
One experience which we had was while we were out trakting this week. We had been trakting for about an hour in a small neighborhood a couple of minutes out of Celje and it was pretty late. We didn't have much success except for a few "come back later's". Well in this neighborhood we had just gotten to the end of the street and we finished the second to last house with no success and then we started walking to the last house. Well this house was pitch dark and it was pretty beat up and ugly and it was not the most friendliest looking of houses and so we wondered and asked oursleves if it was even worth it to give it a shot. Well we knew we had to give this house the same opportunities we did the others and so we went and pushed forward, and this is where we found a young man named Tilan. Tilan is in is 20's and is very friendly and we just started talking to him right on his door, about God being our father and how prayer is that way to communicate with Him. We had a great contact with him and he seemed very interested and we gave him a Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith pamphlet, Plan of salvation, and Restoration. He then gave us his number and said that we could come back. It was an awesome experience, and it is amazing to look and think about how always when we are near to the end of our journey, we get temptations and trials that try to knock us off the path, but if we can just push a little bit harder, we will get our reward!! :D
We then had another amazing experience last saturday. It was Elder Hunt's birthday and our mission president called that morning and wished him a happy birthday and he gave us the commitment to go and find an investigator that morning and and promised us if we worked hard that we would get one and that he wanted us to call him that night to tell us what happened. Well that made us more determined than ever and we went out that morning and went and contacted for 2 hours straight. So fun and again we talked and had great contacts with so many people, but not a whole lot of potential. We handed out a lot of pass along cards, but it's up to them to call us. :) We then went through the day and did various things like calling all of our inactives in the Branch and invited them to church the next day and then going and teaching one of our investigators and then teaching a member that night. Well after that lesson we had one more to go to, but it fell through, and we thought: "YES!" (that is never the result) "We have another chance!!" :) So we went out and started again contacting and we did this as we made our way back to our apartment. Well again, we talked and had some great contacts with a lot of great potential, but nothing huge. Well we eventually made it back to our apartment and it was 8:30. At this time we were tired and we were also very hungry, because we didn't have lunch that day, but we decided that we still have 30 minutes till we have to be back home and we still have that time to find that investigator. Well we turned around and immedietely we found a young man in his twenties waiting in the parking lot. We stopped and started talking with him and he was just one of the most open and fun guys I have ever met. We had a great conversation with him and his name was Miha. He said that he has seen missionaries here for years and has talked to them here and there a little. Well before we could get anywhere his friend came in his car and Miha had to go. So he wasn't the person we were looking for (we are going try to find him again, because he lives near ;) ) but so we continued on. Well we tried a few more people and not much more happened, and then this one kid walked pass us with his music on his phone blasting. Elder Hunt say "Dober Večer - Good Evening" to him as he walked by and then as he was walking I looked back and I yelled: "Hey! What's your name?" He turned around and turned off the music and then said "Mark!" I then told him "No way! That's an American name! We're from America!" :D We then started talking to him and told him who we were and asked him about his beliefs. He told us that he goes to church pretty regularly and he believes in God. We then started talking about his family and he lives with his Mom, Dad, brother, sister, and his Grandma's. He loves his family and told us that they are the most important thing to him. We then kept talking to him about our beliefs about God and the family and then we asked if it would be okay if we could come over and speak with him some more. He said yes and gave us his number! We then said our goodbyes and started walking home. Right when we finished with the contact it was 9:00 and it was amazing! Again it is amazing how this things work out and that you don't get your reward until you do everything you can and endure till the end and that is when you find success. It was an amazing experience, and I know that it was a lesson the Lord had in store for me and Elder Hunt and I cannot wait to see what will happen this next week! :D
I love you all and my only advice for this week is: when times are rough, keep sticking to it, because even if you can't see what is over the horizon - you don't know what treasures the Lord has in store for you if you just push a little longer and a little more. :)

- Starešina Lyman

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hey everyone!!

This is going to be another short update letter, because I don't have a ton of time to write today.  The big news for the week are:  Transfers!!!  My companion, Elder Benson, is being sent to Ljubljana and I am staying in Celje.  He served here for 10 months, which is extremely long.  Right now I am only at 3, so we will see what happens.  My new companion will be Elder Hunt and I am so excited!  I met him in the MTC, and he came out only 6 weeks before me.  We are going to have so much fun together, because we both are still learning the language, and we are going to have some pretty hilarious/strange moments.  I can't wait!! 

Another thing that it pretty big is that I went searching for a music store last p-day and I found a ukulele!!  It has been so fun this past week, and I am really excited to start using it.  I plan on bringing it to church every once and a while and playing with the primary to help out and then I plan bringing it to other activities like our English Class which we are teaching.  I am really excited and it is going to help make things a little more lively and fun! :)
The work is going along great here in Celje and I can't wait to tell you more!!  I am really sorry that this is so short, but we didn't have a ton of time, because we had to get
things ready for the transfer tomorrow!  Love and miss you all and I hope you will all have a great week!!

p.s - I am going to send you some pictures of what we did today for p-day!!  We went to another castle, haha!! In slovenia, castles are everywhere, and in every single city, even the small ones!! :D


My ruthless steed, haha!!

This is a Korant  - "Kurant"  and they are so cool!!!  Every February they have a HUGE holiday called "Pust" and it is when they dress up in all sorts of crazy costumes and they have big bells where they bang and then they try to scare away winter.  I have heard so much about it and I cannot wait!! So excited!! :D

In the castle!! :D  (In a city called Putj!)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Smešna Izkušnja (Funny Experience)

Hey Everybody!!!

This is going to have to be a really short update this week!!  I don't have a ton of time, because all of the missionaries (only 16) came to Celje today and we are going to go play some games at the park and then go on a hike and go to a temple of hurcules, which is going to be awesome!! I'll send some pictures next week! :)

This past week has been a little interesting, but what I will tell is my experience with yesterday at church.  We had one of our investigators come to church for the first time!! She has been investigating with us for a long time and she finally came, which was a huge success and a big step with her.  I then sat with her for sacrament meeting while Elder Benson was at the piano playing some prelude music and this was about 10 minutes before sacrament meeting started.  Once it was about 5 minutes before sacrament meeting started, we started to get a little nervous, because none of the Branch Presidency was at the church yet and we were still waiting on the person to bring the sacrament bread, so we decided to wait.  Well, it wasn't until we were 10 minutes late when we made the decision that nobody was going to be coming, so me and Elder Benson ran upstairs frantically looking for something that we could use for the sacrament, and the only thing that we were able to find were some cookies, so we thought: "Well... here we go!!"  So we started to make our way down the stairs until one of the members stopped us and told that magically she had one slice of bread in her bag!  We were so grateful and asked her if she would go grab it.  Elder Benson then conducted sacrament meeting and then we sang songs and went through announcements and once it came time Elder Benson blessed the sacrament and I passed it, because the only priesthood holder that was there, wasn't dressed properly.  We then went into the testimony meeting and despite all of the chaos before, the testimonies were amazing!  And they brought the spirit in so much and it changed the meeting completely around. The best part of all was that for the last testimony a little 9 year old girl named Alija stood up with her mom and talked about how grateful she was that they read the Book of Mormon as a family together and she was so cute that everyone loved it and I really think it touched our investigator, because she has a young family and she really wants her family to be closer together.  We then ended sacrament meeting and our investigator told us how much she enjoyed it, so I am really excited for her to see a normally orgainized sacrament meeting! :)

Well that is my short little funny/interesting story for the day, but I hope that you all love your wards so much and give thanks for your leaders.  I have never been so grateful for my ward back at home, and I am so grateful to be out here, because it helps me to see all the blessings that God has given to me throughout my life!

I hope you all have a great week! And I miss you all so much! :)

- Starešina Lyman