Monday, October 8, 2012

Can You FEEL the Strength of the Church?!

One of our sweet investigators, Sandra:)
   Zdravo porodica moj!
I am so overwhelmed with gratitude reading the letters and emails that I have received from you. I am so lucky to have so many incredible people in my life! Thank you for the updates and the thoughts and prayers. I am the luckiest!

Our investigator, Jelena in Fojinica!
 A few fun things happened this week:
     1) We were able to take a 2-hour bus ride   to teach a referral, named Jelena, in the little town of Fojinica. It was literally a fairytale. The mountains are just like the mountains at home and the cottages looked like they were out of a picture book. Each house had a huge garden in the front yard where they grow their own food, there are HUGE beef cattle grazing all over and colorful clothes hanging on the line. I think I'm going to retire in Fojinica. haha

2) I got kissed by a little person (midget.)
I love Jelena's home and the perfect woodpile outside!
 3) I got the "opportunity" to use a standing up toilet this week! I will never be giving myself that opportunity again. :)

4) Funny Language Moment: I was having a good conversation with a woman we met about the problems in the world today and about the problems especially in Bosnia. She kept using this word that I didn't know that sounded like "Traoumau" or something like that. Around the 3rd time she used it I realized that I needed to know what the heck she was talking about. I asked what it meant and she couldn't really explain it so I turned to Elder Shillabeer just a few feet away and asked him what the word was. He informed me that the word she was using was TRAUMA, IN ENGLISH! The poor woman was using an english word that I couldn't even understand. Woof. 

Miracles are happening here in Sarajevo. Sestra Trumbo and I are continuing to find and teach all that will hear us and we are finding success! We are lucky enough to be meeting people who are prepared for us. It's an amazing experience as we begin teaching them about the Book of Mormon and asking them about their lives that the things I had studied in my scriptures that very morning were meant for this person. I love being able to feel the love that Heavenly Father has for each person we encounter. 

Some of our students:)
One of the biggest blessings we have in our work right now is English class! It has become our best finding tool. People first come to learn English, but most of them tell us that they keep coming back because "They like our positivity" or "They feel good when they are with us". It is a testimony to me of the Light of Christ that is given to all of us when we come to this earth. They spirits long for the peace and joy they feel when they are with servants of the Lord and are out of the way of all the drugs, immorality and violence of the outside world. I love every single one of our students. I can hardly keep myself on the ground I get so excited to see them every week! This week Elder Brown gave the spiritual thought at the end of our class about prayer and then invited them all to conference. He looked over the quiet room of 25 people and said, "I can see right now that you want to come and if you want to feel the way you are feeling right now again, you need to come". It was silent for about 30 seconds after and we could all see the spirit working on them. 
I love English class!
The real miracle came as we arrived at the church for Conference on Saturday night. We watched it live so it was 6:00pm on Saturday for us. We had pizza before conference and then we all went into the chapel and got ready to watch. Here's the miracle: There were 11 investigators there to watch General Conference! We had people from a Dad (TOTALLY future branch president material) and his two sons ages 15 and 9, an old woman with her son and some of our English students!!!! It was incredible for all of us who were actually members to be outnumbered. The Saturday session of conference was absolutely perfect for the people that were there, talking about the importance of teaching good morals starting in the home, the plan of salvation and the importance of missionary service. As we looked around the room to the different groups of people you could see how the things that were said may have been new to their ears, but to their hearts it was familiar. It was a great session.

Milk drinkers and mustache makers!!!
The announcement of the new ages for both Sisters and Elders almost turned me into a puddle, okay, let's be honest, it did! haha My heart was so full and it still is. As I am here in Bosnia I can see the impact this new knowledge is having on the people and WE NEED MORE MISSIONARIES! Last Monday our Zone Leader told us that President Rowe had just put in an "order" for 8 more sisters to be sent to our mission. What better timing than this? The first face that popped into my head was Maddie's. I think about the person she is and the example she is and I can understand why the age was changed. They have been prepared! GO MISSIONARIES!

I also loved Elder Holland's talk, another one for the record books. It is such a blessing to listen to their advice and be able to apply it as a missionary. As he was pounding the pulpit asking, "Do ye love me?" my heart was racing. Sometimes as we are contacting I get intimidated because I don't know what I am going to say, or how I am going to say it or even if the person wants or cares about what I am going to say etc. But as I listened to his talk I realized that if I REALLY loved Him I wouldn't let my fear of men get in the way of my love for His gospel, the love for the ability I have to wear His name on my chest. We each need to love him, by trusting in His power, His gospel and His will.
Thanks for all the love and support!

I love you all. Remember to step back and remember your blessings, we have a lot to be thankful for!

Volim vas,
Sestra Giles

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