|Seko is the slang word for "Sister"! How fitting right? There is lot's of graffiti here in Bosnia. At least I know what this says:)|
Thank you for all the emails! I have reallz been looking forward to reading them. I love all the pictures too!
I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally get to get in contact with you! First of all, you should know that they have different keyboards here so if I spell something wrong, Im really sorry! Also, I cant find the apostrophe so....thats awesome. hahaha
Oh my heavens I have so much to tell you all!!!!!!!! Where to start............
|Moj nova suradnica (my new companion) Sestra Trumbo!!!|
Okay, since I know Mom is DYING...I am currently in SARAJEVO, BOSNIA! I was originally assigned, before I was interviewed, to be in Zadar, but after we were interviewed president really felt like I needed to be sent to Sarajevo with Sestra Trumbo. I LOVE HER! She was born in Spain, but went to high school in Provo and has been going to UVU for the past 3 years and guess what else? We found out last night that we both dated Parker Hansen!!!! hahahahahahahahahahah (Hes the really tall guy from UVU that I met at the MR. UVU pageant.) How funny is that? She is beautiful (as you will see) and is great with the people. Everyone loves talking to her about Spain. We get along really really well. We are SUPER similar!
So, our travel here was actually really nice! I was nervous about the weight of my carry-on, but they never weighed it! I only sat by Sestra Compare on our flight to Chicago then I didnt sit by any missionaries all the way to Zagreb. I had some really nice conversations and people to talk to too! We talked a lot about the gospel and I got to discuss what I believe and they were very receptive! It was a really good crash course.
We got off the plane and I didnt really feel tired. We got our passports checked and we were in! We picked up our luggage, which ALL got here, YAY! and were off to meet President and Sister Rowe. They are just as everyone described them. SUPER sweet and they have a spirit and power about them that is unmistakable. We piled into their cars and they drove us to the mission home in the heart of Zagreb. Zagreb is beautiful. There are old buildings and cathedrals and it really looks similar to Italy a bit. The mission office is right in the center in the top floor of a super old building where church was held up until they built the chapel outside of center Zagreb. We got right up there, ate sandwiches and chatted with the other missionaries. Then we had our interviews with President. The spirit was definitely there and I could feel that I was in the right place at the right time. (This is when I sent you that 2 line email!)
After we were done we got right out on the street and did some contacting! I was paired up with Sestra Jolley. We went right out to the park by the office and started talking to people. I was QUITE overwhelmed and would have rather been anywhere but there at that time. I tried to keep praying for comfort, but it was hard to really catch the vision when I was running on 2 hours of sleep. It was an interesting experience and I wasnt sure if I really wanted what I had gotten myself into! haha There were hundreds of people around, none of them wanting to talk to us, especially someone like me who can hardly speak, but this is what I signed up for! haha
We contacted for about an hour and then we headed up to the Rowes home for dinner. We had some delicious chicken made by Sister Rowe and they kept us up until about 8:30 to get our sleeping patterns on track, then we went to bed! I slept really well that night. We woke up, made pancackes, then drove to the Mission office for training! At this point we still didnt know where we were going so President pulled me aside and told me that he had been praying all evening and this morning and has really felt impressed that I should serve in Bosnia with Sestra Trumbo. I was SO excited and nervous! No Croatia for me for a while AND most things are in Cyrillic here so I am working on that. :)
We had training, then they put us right on our 9-hour bus ride to Bosnia! It was an experience to get all my big purple suitcases all over Croatia. haha I loved seeing the Elders pulling them behind them. haha The bus ride to Bosnia was beautiful! Its reallz mountainous here and driving down was kind of like driving through park city but more poor. It made me miss home a lot! Sestra Trumbo and I got to talk a lot and got to know each other better. We got in at about 9:00 and took a taxi to our apartment. We live on the 5th floor with NO ELEVATOR. We were quite the spectacle getting those same suitcases up the stairs. haha
|My rock! I mean bed. haha!!!|
Our apartment is very quaint and nice too! We have everything we had in my apartment in the states.....except for a dishwasher, a clothes dryer and beds! haha We sleep on these couch/fouton things that are as hard as the ground so I will REALLY be able to sleep anywhere after this experience. hahaha We hang-dry our clothes in our drying room. haha
The work is going well here! Something that we do a lot and that I didnt think I would like is tracting. I LOVE TRACTING!!!!! We call it Trick-or-Tracting. haha They have these HUGE apartment buildings here, so we ride these absoutely frightening tiny elevators to the top and knock all the doors to the bottom. I love seeing peoples lives and even just into the doorways of their homes. People are really open to talking to us here. There is a very large population of muslims here, so we hear the Call To Pray multiple times a day. It is a WHOLE new world here. Muslim beliefs are very similar to ours so its good, but also a little trying to have discussions with them because they wont accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Its hard not to get offended by that! But I guess we then tell them that Muhammed wasnt a prophet and they feel the same way.....so we are figuring out the best way to make a breakthrough there!
All in all, I am SO good. The time change hasnt really affected me that much surprisingly. We eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and fresh bread from the Pekara under our building. I had my first Čivapi a few days ago--which is this pita-type bread called Somu filled with delicious sausage and onions. Its always made fresh and they give you some sour cream to eat with it. Its delicious! We also have homemade sacrament bread each week. I have a hard time only eating one piece! haha
One HUGE blagomilosrđe (tender mercy) I have seen from the Lord this week is the opportunity I have had to be able to share my testimony through music. I have REALLY struggled with not being able to understand or talk to people very well. But Sestra Trumbo loves to sing so we have adapted it as a method of bringing the spirit. My first lesson here at the end of the lesson, Sestra Trumbo turned to me and asked me if I could sing one of my favorite hymns to close our lesson. I decided to sing I Know That My Redeemer Lives. I didnt know it in Bosnian, but I was able to sing it in English and I felt the spirit so strong! I was really grateful that Sestra Trumbo felt prompted to ask me that and that I could actually contribute to the lesson in some way.
I love being here. I love this work. I love you all. I think about you many times a day. I know that the Lord is aware of us WHEREVER we are in the world, or in our lives. I know His church is true and that it is THE SAME gospel that Jesus Christ organized when he was here on the earth. Thank you for all your prayers and love. I cant wait to hear from you!
My new address for letters and packages is:
Sestra McKenzie Giles
Bosnia i Hercegovina
VOLIM VAS PUNO!!
This is a note from Mom: McKenzie said that anyone who wants to is allowed to email her. She just has to send them snail mail back. She would love to hear from you:) Here is her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org