Monday, September 3, 2012

Week Full of Love From Croatia:)

Off to get my root canal:)
Sharing some cookies with our teachers and the Elders!!

Our new roommates!!  We love them:)
Hi everyone!

Wow. I probably sound like a broken record, but I really feel like time is flying by! I can't believe there are only 2 weeks left until I fly to Croatia. We get our travel plans this Thursday, so I'll let you all know next week what the plan is.

This week has been another good one. We're finished learning new grammar principles, so we've just been reviewing and polishing our speaking skills. My speaking ability changes from day to day, but I can tell that I am steps. haha

We had some really great experiences with our mission this week.

1) We got to teach a woman from Croatia in the TRC (Training Resource Center) this week. She came over from Croatia with her husband and son two weeks ago and they were baptized about 8 months ago! She was so darling. She helped us a lot with our grammar and after our lesson we got to help her with her English! They are here while her husband is finishing up his degree at BYU. She was super bubbly and talkative. I realized that we are TOTALLY Croatian :)

2) We had a special guest come and talk to us about the 40th anniversary celebration and a lot about Kresmir Cosic. The guest was Sister Ann Madsen the wife of Truman G. Madsen! She came and talked to us for 2 1/2 hours about everything Croatia. She even brought pictures of a lot of the branch presidents, district presidents and women that we would be working with! Elder and Sister Madsen befriended Kresmir when he was out here at BYU and have been to Croatia many times. Sister Madsen and her daughter and granddaughter all went to Croatia for the celebration. She shared some very spiritual experiences that she had while she was there with the 400 people that attended. One of the biggest miracles was the fact that there were 400 people there! They had originally planned on a little more than 100, but there were a lot of investigators, less-active and non-members that were curious and decided to come. They stayed on an island that they all had to be ferried to from the mainland. Sister Madsen said that was the only way that Croatians, Serbians and Bosnians would all be in one place together: if they were on neutral ground. There were many members that were the only ones in their families, but there were also some small families and members that had been a part of the church for the full 40 years it had been working in Yugoslavia. Sister Madsen shared that many of the wives of the leaders aren't members, and that's why they need sisters over there! Not to mention that Kresmir's wife and son aren't members either. We have out work cut out for us!

As you can tell, it's been a week full of Croatia love. :) I'm so excited/nervous to get over there!

Even though this week has been full of Croatia, I still can't speak Croatian sometimes. This week it happened as I was trying to have a heart-felt conversation with our investigator who doesn't really understand that he NEEDS to pray every morning and night. He kept telling us that he was just forgetting. He was busy! I was bearing my testimony to him and I volunteered the closing prayer. I lovingly asked Heavenly Father to "help Srdan to FORGET to pray every day". Whoops. Heavenly Father knows the intent of our hearts, right?

Another thing I've learned first-hand about is the enabling power of the Atonement. Even though Christ suffered for all our sins (the redeeming part of the Atonement), since he knows exactly what we have gone through He can help us to know how to have the strength to overcome other things (the enabling power of the Atonement). The Atonement isn't just needed when we repent. We can use it to in every aspect of our lives! Heavenly Father will help us in whatever we need help with, as long as we know how to ask. We need to be asking for ourselves to be changed to our circumstances, not for our circumstances to be changed. Elder Bednar gave a FABULOUS talk about this (THANKS AUNT STACIE!) which you should all read....I don't remember the name of it though. :)

I love being a missionary! I love you all! Thank you for your letters, thoughts and prayers!

Volim te,
Sestra Giles

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