Wednesday, September 25, 2013
My eating has been slowly improving. I have been studying my "Where's mom now that I need her book" to come up with new ideas. After emailing we will head to the store.
I am not cooking food just yet. I made a realization yesterday that I don't know exactly how to handle/cook/prepare any kinds of meats. So I would love some advice on that.
It is getting cooler here. We bust out our sweaters from time to time, like right now:) I don't know exactly when I will need/get the coat. Only time will tell.
A lot of good things have been happening, it has been a good week. We had zone training where I learned SO MUCH & how to be so much better. So I am constantly trying to improve & think of creative ways to be a better missionary in all aspects. I am constantly just learning & absorbing information & trying to keep track of it all. Different kinds of things for not just spiritual things & missionary things but about life & leadership & the home. It is incredible!
I received an email from Brock that he got his call to Guatemala I think? that is super! Who else have received calls in our ward?
I studied a beautiful topic that was on my mind this morning that I studied/read a little bit yesterday. It was the conversion of the Anti Nephi Lehies. I wanted to understand more why they were so converted & how so I can apply it to myself & to other people here like members & investigators. It was beautiful & I found it all in Alma 23-25 I believe. The believed! They knew the knowledge of the truth & they believed it. Not only that but they hid their "weapons of rebellion" Our weapons of rebellion are our sins, our favorite sins even. They can be anything. If we put them away & covenant with God to never do them again we become so much stronger. They would rather die than sin. They knew the things were true through the power of the Holy Ghost.
I thought it was incredible. We then studied how to prepare for our investigator. I read this verse in Mosiah, Mosiah 4:19 & it was so powerful, it touched me deeply. Are we all not beggars? Think about it.
We only have one week of this transfer. I don't want to leave Hackovo, there is so much more for me to do. But be it according to God's
There was a wedding outside our apartment in the morning. Bulgarian weddings are so awesome! Haha
APPLY WHAT I RECOMMEND. Pray for my Bulgarian I really need help.!!!
What is going on here first:) We have a few investigators: S….., C……, & I…. (the most common names here are Ivan & Georgi it is hilarious haha because every other person we meet has one of these names) They are all progressing but we will see how things go. We had a very successful week last week with numbers & such. For some reason it felt soo long haha but very good & rewarding.
There are two weeks left in the transfer & Elder S…… has the feeling he will go, & I believe him. So anything can happen; I could stay, I could go, he could stay, he could go. But it has been an amazing experience & I have learned so much from him. Even when I thought I had learned everything I needed to I still learn more! Again the top two things that i have learned so far are patience & listening. Patience is definitely the first though.
We find people through street contacting still haha it is a thrill. I love missionary work! Every day I just beam with joy because I love it:) I learn so much during my personal studies. Many, many things have been impressed upon my mind. Many things for now & in the future. It's almost too much!
Yesterday (Sunday) we had the great privilege of having President & Sister Wilstead in Hackovo with us:) It was so awesome! I got to talk to them a bit & get to know them better. President Wilstead is seriously the coolest. He is so bold & powerful. I wanted to get to know more about them & I did which was cool. I will tell dad a bit when I write him because I know he will be interested. I had my first interview with him, I guess there are 4 a year. So it was nice:)
The church is focusing so much upon families, which would at first seem obvious because we have known this, but I never realized how much.
Strengthen the family. Live the Family Proclomation. Have family home evenings. Read & pray together every day? Will you & Dad do this? Encourage our new little family as well. I have realized more how imporatant family is!
Things have been hectic. For example today I am starting my emailing an hour later than normal because there was no room in the internet zala where we use the computers. So we went & did our shopping at Kaufland (it is like a store it is really nice) & got our for food the week.
This last week, like all other weeks have just flown by & I have learned a lot. The saying "the longest days & shortest weeks" on your mission is true! Yes I can't believe I am already 4 months out! In two months I will already be 1/4 of the way done!
I have many precious spiritual experiences like one this morning. I studied the Atonement, just the Atonement. I received many important things & made some important realizations. My perspective has definitely changed
Elder S……. has had the greatest influence upon me. He is just full of the spirit & I learn so much from him & the Holy Ghost. He will have truly changed the entire course of my mission. It is hard to believe that I might only have 3 weeks left with him.
Last P-day I played chess with Miroslav from the city of Plovdiv. I don't know when but he was the champion of Plovdiv (which is the second largest city in Bulgaria) we played 3 games then a fourth.
I won, drew, won, & then decided to play a 4th & I lost. It was very thrilling! Haha because he is good & I felt at home:) I played very recklessly because it was very fun & excited! I felt like Mikhail Tal doing all these crazy sacrifices. It was just really fun & enjoyable:)
I love every thing happening here:) I am so happy.
Let me talk about C…….. He has been so difficult haha. Soooo difficult. But he is getting baptized. He really wants to be baptized! He is a very interesting & tricky character. He is sooo smart. So he has so many questions & they are difficult to answer because he doesn't have the foundation. So we are teaching him all of the commandments Tuesday. He will be baptized here or back in Holland where he lives. It has been quite the experience.
My Dear family & friends
We are teaching C…, he has a date for September 21st.
I received the package from grandma it was great thanks:) I especially love the letters, the jerky, & peanut butter.
I have many spiritual experiences through the week.
I am healthy, I love the people, I love the work, I love the gospel.
Please do family home evening when you can. It will strengthen & refresh you. Personal prayer & scripture study are essential. Essential I say!
For me lately the simple things have truly been emphasized lately. The Sacrament, prayer, our relationship with our Father in Heaven, the role of Jesus Christ & the Atonement, faith, hope, patience, compassion, & humility.
Easily the number one thing I have been cultivated & learning while out here is to be patient & listen.
Patience & listening in interpersonal communications like with people but even more important is spiritual patience & listening. Because I have been listening more for the spirit, humbled myself to submit to know & follow God's will, patiently waiting & seeking. Because of these things I have had more spiritual moments & promptings from the spirit. I still have a LOT to work on & improve in this area. But I am glad I am learning right now at the start of my mission to work on for the rest of my life.
We really are blessed with so much here. We need to be more grateful for what we have. We have a difficult investigator at the moment named C…. He is so close to progressing but anything can happen with him. He shows a lot of possible potential but he is more of asking questions than looking for the right church exactly. We are meeting today & will challenge to baptism so make it or break it today.
There are all sorts of little experiences that happen every day. Learning moments, tender mercies..
The cardboard flat of me is.. interesting haha.
Please I beg of you, put God first in everything. Don't lean upon your understanding, knowledge & talents. Rely on God & resort to Him for everything. Pray pray pray.
Pattern for revelation: Desire, study, ponder, pray, do and repeat! The spirit told me this:) it works:)
I love you, you be missionaries out there:)
To sum up though haha church service is only 30 min Sacrament, small break, then sunday school. & that is it haha. Our investigator’s family is completely against the church.. so they have forbidden him to come. But we are working on that so it is all good haha. We survived the first transfer so I am staying here with my companion to finish my training. Things are picking up again:) Missionary work is incredible & works in mysterious ways haha. I have met a few more chess people & I might play on today so we will see what happens today. It is not a huge tool that I have been using though. With time we will see how it goes. The members meet at a little building that is actually pretty good sized but nothing like a chapel. There are two room, a small office & two bathrooms. No home or visiting teaching. No ward missionary. Very simple:) haha
Things are just great. I have been learning so much. Impossible to explain.
I wish the best for this week. Emails have been terrible today.
Reason, pray, reason, pray, do.
God knows us all so perfectally & is in the details of our lives.
I am safe, I am healthy, i love every moment here. Time flies by & I don't want to miss a minute. Everything is put into place. The first law of the kingdom of heaven is obedience.
Prayer, the Holy Ghost, & our relationship with God the Father was really impressed upon my mind this week. God knows you & loves you. Trust him.
Faith is action. Prayer is specific & heartfelt.
I have learned so much about patience & listening hahah. & boy did I need it:)
I love you all, I wish the best for the wedding & thank you all for the birthday wishes.
Things have been really interesting here.. it is completely impossible to explain what goes on here. There is just so much. So much goes through my mind about so many different things. I have so many things I want to ask you haha & so many thoughts & little things to say & tell.
I have survived the first transfer. It was amazing.
So I am still here with my same companion. I am really focusing on the work. I don't struggle with anything..
Our investigator is having large struggles with his family, but he knows this is all true. So it is a process. I love being our here & working. I can't fathom how I do this every day & life continues on & all the things you & my family do.
This week my understanding of God as my Father, the sacredness & specialness of prayer, & the role of the Holy Ghost have been strongly impressed upon my mind this week. My perspective has completely changed. Something for you to contemplate if you would like is truly your nature as a daughter of God. How well he really knows you. He hears & knows everything. All your thoughts, desires, needs. It just changes the way you think of prayer.
So pray:) pray always! About everything. Listen for an answer. Listening in general is something that I have been learning A LOT about.
Things are great here. Stuff happens for good & bad every day haha missionary work is crazy! I don't understand how the Lord works. I just have to trust Him & he makes it happen.
God knows us!!
Bulgaria Week 4
Our first investigator was baptized & confirmed this yesterday & Saturday. It was an amazing experience & his story is great! Before he met us he prayed that something in his life would change & then we met him the same day! When we asked him to pray about Joseph Smith, the church, & the Book of Mormon he went home & prayed about it that night. Later he testified to his mom who was against are church (protiv as we call it in Bulgarian here) he testified to her & she is no longer protiv incredible! He is an amazing person! He is so ready & prepared so we are still working with him. I still can't believe we found him. We were up north contacting & we were by a park by some blocks (old communist apartment complexes) & we stopped & prayed where to go. We had the thought to go west & that is when we ran into him:) He said he agreed to meet with us because we were so friendly. So that shows you always need to be friendly & an example, you never know who you might find.
I have been studying & reading so many things it is super exciting. Alma 12 is amazing & completely outlines the Plan of Redemption & it is awesome! Alma 13 is all about the Priesthood which has excited me to study all the chapters about Priesthood. I restarted the New Testament which is awesome as well I am in chapter like 20? or 22 or 23? Christ just said woes upon the pharisees, it was intense.
I have been learning a lot about myself, thinking about the future, trying to improve. My Bulgarian is definitely improving which I am happy about:) I can understand better if I really listen & God helps me.
I have been having a lot of thoughts about prayer. Prayer is simple, be specficccc, express gratitiude. Every prayer should be different. Never the same.
Earlier last week I went to Stara Zagora with my companion of course because we had to get the font.. yes there is a portable font that we have to grab & drag between cities. In Stara Zagora they have giant chess boards, & people playing chess.. unlike in Hackovo where I am. We had extra time (2 hours) I introduced myself & began playing with all these old men:) they seemed skeptical at first & I was a little afraid because I wanted to make a good impression & I hadn't really played in a while. I played this gentleman twice & won both:) then I think I played another guy? I don't remember exactly. But the last guy I played was (as everyone there had told me) Bulgarian champion 30 years ago. We played, I was black but equalized in the endgame but lost a pawn, then created a drawn rook endgame pretty much but he pressed for the win made a crucial mistake & I went on to win:) I was trying to be as nice as possible & speak in my broken Bulgarian but I also explained why I was here & such. I hope I left them with greater respect for us missionaries. I directed them to the church & told them good day:) so that is my chess story!