Monday, July 9, 2012

American 4th of July feast, a table set nicely, and an amazing teaching experience!

~Elder Quinn can fry up some chicken...thanks to his Chicken Express days!~

~Table set for the 4th of July dinner (wow...considering these are four 19-21 year old guys...check out the table setting!  I want to know which one of them had a mother who taught him that???)~

Bok, Family!

Guess what is this week? July 11th....know what that is? It's my 6 month date. Isn't that crazy? I know I'm not supposed to keep track of time or whatever, but it's not messing with my mind. It's just crazy to think that I'm already a quarter done. I'm pretty sure that I can do everything 3 more times. Does it feel like it's already been 6 months to you?

I'm glad that Bri's birthday went well. Texas de Brazil sounds so good right now. I could go for sirloin or something. Oh my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I haven't had steak since Texas de Brazil before I left. That's too bad that Mollie couldn't go, but she doesn't like meat anyways.....

So I got a surprising email from J***** W***** this week. I've been thinking about writing a letter, but I haven't gotten around to it. He said that he was guessing email addresses and he was hoping that it was right. But it sounds like he's doing well in Brazil. It's weird to think that it's almost been a year since I've talked to him.

Your 4th of July sounds good. The swimming part, especially. I was never a huge fan of swimming, but now that I can't, I miss it more. Especially since it's so hot and humid. The rivers look so good when we walk by them! If you think "Little Niagra" was cool, just wait until you come here and go to Plitvica. You can't swim there, but it's cooler, I'm sure.  Our 4th was good as well. I'm attaching pictures, because Shutterfly won’t upload on this computer. But we had Fried Chicken, Mashed potatoes (from the branch garden), salad (also from the garden) with ranch dressing (from America), Velveeta (from my birthday package), cherry Koolaid, and lemon white chocolate chip cookies. It was all so good. And Elder K***** busted out a can of A&W root beer and we all had little shots of it (yes, their apartment has shot glasses). It was so good. Fried chicken, fake cheddar cheese, and root beer.....just like America. It was kind of funny. Everybody pitched in stuff that they got from packages and had been saving for a special date.

And what the heck, Steve Nash? He used to be cool. He was pushing the limits by going to Phoenix, but now he is officially dead to me!  
1.  Did you guys ever get your fan?
So we bought a fan at Kaufland. The thing is so ghetto! You touch it and the metal post bends, but it does the job. It helps, but it's still hot.
3.  How is English class going?
English is going all right. We have 3 students and none of them seem super interested in the gospel yet, but we keep trying.
4.  Did you find anything out about transfers?
Nope. We get the calls on Thursday or Friday. The only news is that we are pretty sure that Karlovac is getting lowered down to just 2 elders, but even that's a rumor...although I'm guessing it's true. And the rumor that Tuzla, Bosnia is opening... It's definitely opening. We just don't know if it's this transfer. Cool story: Sis. Turner, the mission nurse was looking for an apartment for the senior couple and doing health inspection stuff, and these two 20 something guys came up to her and said, "Is the church here now!? We used to live in Salt Lake City and we were baptized, but our parents died in a car accident a little while back and we moved back to Bosnia, and we haven't been able to find the church for a while now." I guess they were super excited and emotional. Isn't that just crazy? In a city of a couple hundred thousand people, they run into each other. So Tuzla has at least 2 members that no one even knew about.
5.  Who are you teaching?
 We had an awesome lesson with a lady this last week on Saturday. We hadn't met in a couple of weeks just because we had been busy, but I called her on Friday and set up a time for 10 in the morning. The previous time that we met she had mentioned that she had issues with organized religion, and that she didn't see the need for it and wasn't too thrilled with it in general. Well Elder B**** and I had been thinking about organized religion, and it's something that comes up a lot, but we never really had a good solid answer for it, other than "it's what we're commanded to do.....we help each other when we have church".....Well, we finally got the conference Liahona from April this last week....better late than never, I guess. And I’ve been reading through it during studies. Well, on the first day I was reading, I found a talk from the Saturday morning session called, "Converted to his gospel through his church" by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom. The whole talk is about how the purpose of the church is to help us live the gospel. It was so perfect. And the even better part is that she knows perfect English, so we were able to use it. So we set up the lesson and asked L***** (a member who  knows perfect English and went to school where M***** taught...they already kind of knew each other) to come with us. She came and the lesson was great. We talked a while about her career, like usual, and she was showing L****** photos from different reunions and things,  and then we started the teaching aspect of the lesson. She started by saying that she read what we had asked her to (Moroni 10) but she told us that by saying, "I read what you asked me to." We asked her how she felt when she read and she said that she really likes it and says that as far as the chapter goes, she believes it is true.

We then moved in to talking about organized religion....And I don't want to get all missionary with you, but it was one of those experiences where you feel like an open your mouth and words come out beyond your control. I don't even remember what I said, other than the fact that it was about organized religion, and the need for it so we can live the gospel. And then we read verses from Moroni 6 about coming to church and being led by the spirit. But it was pretty powerful, for me at least. But L****** talked about her experiences with being a convert, going inactive, and coming back into activity and how the church helped her. It was so good. We finished the lesson by asking her to come to church. She had been to activities in the past. She said that she would try to come. So fast-forward to Sunday at church. Guess who came? M****** showed up! It was the first time we've had an investigator at church in over a month. It was so good. And all the members were talking to her and she looked like she was enjoying herself. We asked her if she would stay for Relief Society, and she said that she didn't know that church was for 2 hours, and that she had never been invited to stay for the next meeting, but she said that she would. I talked to her before she left, and she seemed very happy and like she enjoyed herself. The only down side is that everything in church was about temples yesterday and we have never mentioned temples to her before, so now we have a direction for our next lesson. Now we are working on teaching her about prayer and the need for it. Except unfortunately she is going down to Split on the coast on Thursday to visit grandkids and she could be gone for up to 2 months. But we'll see what happens.

I think that's about it for today. I don’t have a ton of time to say much else. I love you all a bunch and hope you have a super awesome week! All of you stay out of trouble!


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