Monday, October 29, 2012

Sretan Bajram! Happy Holiday from Sarajevo:)

Sretan Bajram! Beautiful Sarajevo all decorated for the holiday!
District Bajram party with our investigators Edina and Haris
The Elders love each other and playing Word of Wisdom Bingo!
Hello Everyone!

First off, I am feeling the same as you with the premature snowfall. TODAY IT IS SNOWING! And its no small snow, this is borderline a blizzard here. Im so glad that I get to use my new boots and coat in the right manner. Merry Christmas to all. :)

This week seems like it may have lasted about a year with all the things that happened, but I will just touch on a few of my favorites.

First, Zone Conference. Wednesday I got to attend my first Zone Conference with all of the missionaries and President Rowe coming into Sarajevo. It was incredible! I loved meeting the other missionaries that are serving here in Bosnia. There are only 6 others. Elder DeFraites and Elder West serve in Tusla with Brother & Sister Goodsell. Elder Adams and Elder Gibson serve in Banja Luka all by themselves! Its incredible to see the work that is being done all over this country! We talked a lot about faith and about using the Book of Mormon when we teach. It was everything that I needed to hear! At the end we got to hear testimonies from Elder Shillabeer (who is leaving in 2 weeks) and Elder Gibson (who is being transferred to the Adriatic South Mission). It was strengthening to me to see what these two missionaries have become through perserverance and hard work and to think that I can become like them someday! I was able to add my testimony to theirs by closing our conference by singing and playing --Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing--. The spirit was so strong the whole time we had all of the missionaries there, we hardly wanted to move! After the closing prayer we all just sat and drank in the spirit for a few minutes. It was an incredible feeling!

Our Beautiful Edina!
 In terms of our investigators things have become a little bit tough. We had two baptisms fall through this week and our other baptism on date called us and told us that she cant meet with us anymore. Satan is working hard here! We are keeping up our faith and are trying to resolve their concerns. Its hard to not just want to force my testimony on them sometimes. THEY KNOW ITS TRUE! It has been reminding me how important daily scripture study and prayer are. Every person we talk to that is having problems isnt reading the scriptures! Its not just investigators either, it can happen to life-long members too. READ THE SCRIPTURES PEOPLE! 

Beautiful Cathedral in downtown Sarajevo
One fun cultural experience I got to have this week was Bajram (Bye-rum). Bajram is a holiday in Islam that is similar to Christmas for Christians. Bajram started on Friday and went through Sunday this week. On Friday all the men go to Mosque and the women stay home and prepare a TON of food. When the men get back they go and find a lamb and slaughter it. Half of the lamb they keep for their meal and the other half they give to the poor and those who are less-fortunate that they know. Pretty cool huh? The idea of Bajram is great....just not when you're a missionary! We didnt have any lessons on Friday, Saturday or Sunday because everyone had Bajram, even if they werent practicing Musilms! haha It was cool to be out and about on Friday and see all the men and women in their --Sunday Best-- walking around town. It was like a Muslim version of Conference Sunday!

Boiling water for our showers, looking my best!
Another fun experience that Sestra Trumbo and I have had this week is bucket showers! The power went out on Wednesday night and for some reason when that happened it completely shut off all of our heat: water and apartment. We havent been too cold, but it definitely has been an adventure boiling water on the stove, getting it to be the exactly right temperature and then deciding how to use the precious water the best way possible. haha Oh Bosnia, you will forever have surprises in store! haha

One thing that President Rowe said in Zone Conference has really stuck with me this week. He said, --When prophets pray, they EXPECT an answer!-- Knowing that we will receive an answer when we pray is SO important. Exercising our faith to pray is incredible, but we can receive even more blessings when we pray EXPECTING an answer. I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and that we can each strive to expect answers from Him because He is our loving Heavenly Father.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. VOLIM VAS PUNO!
Sestra Giles
Love my weekly letters from Grandma:)
We love waiting for the bus!

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