Zadar is so cool! There are tons of people....young people....and tourists right now, the sea is here, our apartment has a clima (air conditioner thing), and the weather has been nice! So yeah....this area had bikes until about 2 weeks ago....then they got stolen during tracting. So now we walk...a lot. It's not too big of a city. I'm used to walking from Karlovac, but a bike would've been nice. Oh well. The sea organ is pretty cool. We went the other evening, but it was covered in tourists so you couldn't really hear it, but it's still way cool.
Yeah....I had never really heard of Steven Covey until I went to BYU. My old roommate is somehow related to him....like a 2nd cousin or something. That's too bad. Was he old? I don't really know anything about him. I've never gotten a letter from Grandma yet....That's weird....
1. Do you like your new area?
Zadar is awesome. I'll talk about it a little bit further down.
2. Do you like your new companion?
Elder M**** is way cool. He's from Sandy, Utah and he's been on his mission for about 10 months…the same as Elders B****, K****, C******, and K*****. It seems like I can’t get away from their MTC group :).
3. Are you on a bike?
Nope....the Zadar bikes got lifted a couple of weeks back....but I'm glad that someone else is now enjoying them....that's the missionary spirit, right?
4. Does your apartment have air-conditioning?? I hope so…..
5. How big is the branch?
Hmmmm.... smaller than Karlovac. We have about 10 to 15 active attendees and somewhere about 50 on paper. The Branch President is awesome. His name is Ž**** and he's been a member for a little over a year now and he's up to his neck in church calling, but he's way good and on top of things. He's like 33, I think, and his wife and daughter are members too. His wife is pregnant with a boy so that's exciting. His brother-in-law and mother-in-law are members, and his mother is getting baptized in August. He speaks pretty good English and has a good sense of humor. We get to spend a lot of time with him, because Elder M**** is first counselor, which means if I stay here after Elder Marks leaves, I’ll eventually be first counselor also. This leads into the scary story of the week.....So every senior companion gets an advance which is 3000 Kuna extra so they can buy transportation tickets, pay utilities, etc.... So Elder M**** doesn't have an advance yet, which normally wouldn't be a problem, but the branch also doesn't have a bank card, so whenever the branch needs money for welfare/whatever, the senior companion just pulls out the money, gives it to the Branch President and gets it reimbursed....well.....guess how long we lasted without the advance? Yeah....about 3 and half days. By Friday both of our accounts were completely empty. So we figured that we would make things work, not worry, and we would be provided for. So we scrounged all of our change together and we had enough for 2 loaves of bread. We had some meat and cheese. So we survived. And for the first time ever I found money on the street here! 10 whole Kunas....yeah about $2...but still....money! So it's all good now. Don't worry. The Tanners (the senior couple) are coming today and bringing money for us from the office. And that's more than enough until the reimbursement comes in. We survived....
Something else cool about this branch is that we have youth....4 of them. And only 3 are related, so we have 2 different families of youth! Also, only 2 of them are baptized. The one that is baptized turned 18 and so that's why she's baptized. But D******, the 12 year old, almost 13, is really cool. He considers himself a member, and wants to serve a mission. He speaks pretty good English and is a funny kid. We hang out for about an hour or two a week, just to keep a bond strong with the missionaries. He tries to teach us parkour, but when I see him jump off of stuff, I just see a plane ride back to America or Germany on a stretcher, so I bow out. We also try to do some sort of youth activity every Saturday to involve them. This week we are trying to plan a mini trek to celebrate pioneer day. I'll let you know how it goes.
6. Do you miss your old companion?
We did well together. And after 4 months of being with someone 24/7 and you get along with them, it's kind of weird to be apart. But it's a constantly changing party out here!
But yeah, Zadar is super cool. The only bad thing is that Zagreb is a 4-hour bus ride away, so that won’t be too fun on Wednesday for zone conference, but the bus can be alright sometimes. It's sometimes nice to have an excuse to just sit for a few hours.
We have some solid investigators here, but I haven't been able to meet them yet, because it's major vacation time. So hopefully this week! We also have a bunch of potentials to meet up with. It's pretty cool here. People are usually pretty impressed with our language abilities, because most of the foreigners here can't and don't try to speak Croatian, but we do both.
Sorry I don't have a bunch of cool pictures yet. We are going to explore Centar today for p-day. It's so cool. Around Centar is an ancient roman wall, and the inside has a bunch of old Roman buildings and cathedrals and ruins. So hopefully I’ll have some cool stuff for next week.
I better go! The sisters are here at the church to use the computers, so I've got to scram!