Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving or Dan Zahvalnosti!

Sestra Black my new companion:)
Hi everyone!

What a wonderful week it's been for all of us, I'm sure! I feel so lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life to give me the support and the push that I need to keep being better. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I really hope you know I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU! Yes, YOU!

I'm grateful for Pizza:)
Last week on Tuesday I got to spend my day with the senior couple in our area: The Smartts. They are great people and it was fun to get a little peek into what being on a mission in Bosnia means for them! We dropped Sister Trumbo off at the airport at 5:45am to catch her flight to Beograd and then we went back to the Smartt's. By the time we got there it was only about 6:20, when I was supposed to be just waking up! haha Sister Smartt was great and didn't go back to bed and we had a really great conversation about missionary work. She is such a great example to me of how we each should view our lot in life and how we need to act as members of the church, wherever we are! I got time to do my regular studies and then we ran a bunch of errands. We washed all the dishes we had bought for the church, went to the bank and got some papers signed for me to be legal in the country. After that we came back to their house, Skyped their daughter for her birthday and talked more about missionary work! After all of this we were pretty starving so we went out to dinner. As we sat down at our table and we were introduced to our waiter President Smartt said, "Sister Giles, now I want you to set up an appointment with this man to teach him and his family, okay?" Needless to say I was a little caught off-guard, but I did it IN BOSNIAN, BY MYSELF! It was the scariest, but best experience for me. I was completely relying on the spirit to help me know what to say, because I have relied on my companion so much up unitl now! I learned he had a wife and a 3-year-old daughter and got his phone number before we left and he said that he would be looking forward to learning more about the gospel. It was a great, great way to finish our dinner! After dinner we went back to their house and talked more about missionary work until we had to go to the airport to pick up Sister Black at 9:30pm. It was a full day of the Smartts, which I couldn't have been more grateful for!

Sister Black is AWESOME! She is coming home December 29th, so she is definitely on the home stretch! She is from Missouri and is a GREAT cook. She knows this language back and forth and is very humble. We get along great and both have the fire to work hard here. We set goals that we both feel very strongly about and have been working hard to achieve them. I feel so blessed that I get to work with her for these next few weeks!

Our bedroom, living room & dining room
Thanksgiving here was great! My heart was so full of gratitude from right when I woke up. President Rowe called to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving and it really reminded me of home. I feel so lucky to be in a place where I may be one of many that are serving, but Heavenly Father knows each of us and guides the president of our mission, wherever we are! Our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of everything we would have had at home (minus the personalized name-place cards. :) ) including turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, marshmallow salad, cooked vegetables, pecan tarts and pumpkin pie! It was a great dinner! We also did an activity that Mom shared with me in her last email about writing down 100 things that we are Thankful for. While I was at the Smartts I printed up a paper with all the categories and we gave them to everyone to fill out, it was a great activity and really helped me think about how much I have to be grateful for! 

One last miracle that happened this week was that we had our first Relief Society meeting in Bosnia. Last week President Lamoreaux announced that we would be having Relief Society and Priesthood meetings along with our regular sacrament meeting and sunday school meetings. Sister Black and I were asked to teach the lesson about the Relief Society Declaration. As fate would have it, all of the english-speaking members of our Relief Society were out of town so it just a room with us and the three Bosnian-born members here. The spirit was so strong as we started discussing the declaration, and all in Bosnian! These women are so strong and are the foundation of the work here in this branch. I am so honored to be in a place where I get to interact with these ever-faithful women. 

The fact that we were starting THE FIRST Relief Society in Bosnia has made me think a lot about the different organizations of the church back at home. I know that back in the states the organizations are much bigger, but it doesn't dim the fact that we are each an important part in making it work properly. In Mosiah 18:21 we read:

 21 And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.

No matter if we have 3 people or 30 people in our class, we are each important and are each needed to keep the church strong! I know that when we have our hearts knit together in unity that there is nothing we cannot do!

I love you all and I hope you have a WONDERFUL first week of December. :)
Volimo vas,
Sestra Giles
Mom sent "12 days of Christmas" and it made it!!! We are all ready:)

Big Leaves. I love FALL!!!

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