Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Our tri-panionship with Sestra McKinnon
Coming back from the grocery story:) Our apartment is on the top of the building on the left.

Zdravo, zdravo, zdravo!

First of all, I LOVE BOSNIA, BOSNIANS and BOSNIAN! The longer I am in this country and am really starting to understand these people better my heart is just getting more and more attached. I wish I could bring each of you out with me for a day so you could experience the wonderful people here. 

Loved having Sestra McKinnon work with us this week!
This week we had a great opportunity to become a tri-panionship. President Rowes niece, Audrey (Who, as it turns out, I already knew from Liberty Square. We were in the same ward! haha), came and stayed with us this week. IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE WEEK, to say the least. It was definitely a tender mercy from Heavenly Father to have a new perspective with the people that we are teaching. We had a hard time letting her leave yesterday!

Our week started out with a great lesson with M... We testified very strongly of the reality of Jesus Christ and His gospel and how it can change our lives. We specifically focused on repentance and baptism. The best part about teaching M... is that she asks SUCH good questions! You can tell by the spirit of her questions that she really does want to know the answers that we have to give. In the end, we invited her to be baptized and guess what? She has a baptismal date for December 8th! :) We told her that being baptized means that she needs to stop drinking coffee and smoking and keep other commandments that Heavenly Father has given us. She simply replied --When I put my mind to something I definitely can do it and I want to do this!-- She is an incredible person.

We started our new round of English classes this week. We have been so excited to start teaching a new round of people since we have more experience than when we started our last round, but nothing could have prepared us for what happened....we had 57 people show up. 57!! The room we usually use for English class fits about 40 people comfortably, so we were getting creative! We got out every chair we had in the whole building and by some miracle we fit! It was incredible to stand at the front of the class and see all different kinds of people: giggly teenage girls, widows, successful businessmen and even a woman who spoke only french and have them all in a room with 5 representatives of Jesus Christ, eager and ready to learn. The spirit really testified to me that this would be where we would find the prepared people in Sarajevo, and it has already started! In our usual end-of-class spiritual thought Elder Mecham shared about the Book of Mormon and how it brings us more happiness. After class we handed out every last copy of the Book of Mormon that we had in the church! I am so excited to get to know these people better and introduce them to this comfort-giving gospel!

Yesterday we had Zone Conference, and just like last time the spirit was definitely there! President Rowe talked alot about --Hastening the Gathering-- and how with all of the new revelations (the new mission-age, the new youth curriculum, etc.) we can definitely see that we are being prepared and called to share the gospel with even greater force! As we are serving more people and in a more-effective way we need to remember that it is through LOVE & SERVICE that this work is shared. How beautiful and simple the gospel is! Seriously, the more I learn about the gospel the simpler it becomes to me. It almost feels backwards! haha I feel so blessed every day to be able to uncover a new truth and have it always tie back to the fundamentals.

 Along with Zone Conference we had our interviews with President Rowe. Meeting with him strengthened my testimony that this man is called of God! I'm so grateful to be here in this mission! As part of our interview he let me know that in a mission we get to experience a lot of change (yeah, NOT my favorite. haha) and that that would be happening to me this transfer. Sestra Trumbo is going to be going to Serbia and I am going to be getting a new companion, Sestra Black! Sestra Black has been serving in Serbia for the last two transfers and only has one more transfer left on her mission, so she is coming to work with me in Sarajevo! The catch is that Sestra Black starts school at the beginning of January and the transfer doesn't finish up until the end of January. What does that mean for me? I am going to have ANOTHER companion for the last 3 weeks of the transfer and guess what else? SHE IS A NATIVE FROM BOSNIA! President is going to call a 20-year-old member from Bosnia named Viki to be my companion! I am really nervous and so excited for all these changes, but as he was explaining it all to me I felt Heavenly Fathers love for me and I know that this is what he would want to happen. :)

Autumn in beautiful Sarajevo:)
I have been thinking a lot about what sets us apart as Latter-day saints this week. Every day I testify of the fact that we have a living prophet today, that we have the true priesthood of Jesus Christ on the earth and that we believe in another book of scripture that testifies of Jesus Christ, named the Book of Mormon. All of those things set us apart. But the more people I meet, the more families I teach, the more people I see start to change their lives to live in accordance with the teachings of this gospel, I really see what it is that sets us apart: THE LIGHT! In D&C 93:37 it says, 37 Light and truth forsake that evil one. I know that wherever we are: around many members of the church or not, that that light sets us apart. Having this light doesn't mean that we will be without trial or difficulty (even though sometimes I wish I could promise people that) but that we know who we are, where we came from and what our purpose is on this earth. How could we not shine if we really understood these things?!  I know that as we each keep stoking our spiritual fire that we can each be that --Light on a hill that cannot be hid-- and in turn help our own testimonies grow.

I love you all and pray for you every day! Keep shining!
Sestra Giles

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