Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Youth activity with interesting scenery, Crispy M&Ms, and he's eating pork!!

~Sunset off the coast in Zadar~

Hello everyone!  This week's post will be a compilation from his e-mails to everyone in our family.  He wrote basically about the same things, but wrote about them differently to each of us.  Enjoy!   ~Dore


So Oklahoma sounds like it was fun. Wish I could've been there, but I had plans....and it was a bit of a long trip. Swimming sounds so nice. I wish I could. It's a bit of torture being on a nice coast, but we get by. 

(To his sister...)  Sveta Krava! Hurry up with your papers. I think you're the only person that's been spending like 5 months on filling them out. By the time you get them sent in you could have left and come back already........... I’m impatient and want to know where you're going. 

I got to spend 2 days in Zagreb. We went up on Wednesday for Zone conference and I stayed until Friday morning on an exchange with the zone leaders. The zone conference was really good. We talked about effective study and planning, and that what we do a lot of times is scheduling....just doing activities that are good, but really are just time fillers, and that what we should be doing is planning activities that will help us accomplish goals. 

The exchange was good too. We had a really good lesson with probably the most prepared person I've ever met. And we asked him so think about baptism and start preparing for it. It was great. He's a nice guy that the zone leaders found while tracting and they had a lesson with him....and we went back for the second lesson. He is so nice and has what he describes as a close relationship with God, and I wouldn't doubt it. He is just so prepared. We had a lesson about the plan of salvation, and everything we told him he already believed. He's thought about religion a lot, and the conclusions he's come to, are the doctrines that we teach. We would describe some parts, and he would say, "Well, my opinions a little different." and then he would describe his opinion, and his opinion would be what we were trying to get across, but better worded. It was funny. When he saw that he was in agreement with a lot of our things, he said, "How about I start a church off of my beliefs. It sounds like you agree with them. Want to join?"  The coolest part was at the end when he said, "You know what? About 2 weeks ago, I was praying and asking God that he would send a way in which I could follow him better and know more about him and his will for me.....I really am starting to think that that's how you got here....You were just a couple of weeks late."  I hope that he is willing to change some things, because he is such a great person....I guess that's one way I've changed now that I think of it.  I saw him just as a person. I guess it's just seeing that certain choices a person makes doesn't necessarily define who they are or what they can become. We are all the same in the respect that we all have different issues that we struggle with, but we also all have the same great potential ahead of us.....end of the preachiness....sorry.  That was pretty much the only super worthwhile thing to report about the exchange. 

The next big thing this last week was the trek. It was great! We had 3 youth show up....2 pretty much members and 1 nonmember. So we planned it to be about 12 km long (about 6.5-7 miles) and we planned for 3 stops/activities along the way. The first one was about burdens and to get there they carried heavy backpacks and we talked about how burdens can be lifted through the atonement and that it's not necessary to make things harder on ourselves by refusing to let Christ help. The next stop was about following the Holy Ghost. S****, a member, set up a string obstacle course around a park that we had to follow together, blindfolded. In order to go the right way, we had to listen for someone who was telling us the right way, while everyone else was telling us the wrong way, and we didn't know who was who. It was way good. Afterwards, S**** explained it and gave a spiritual thought. It was great until a 40 something year old lady went behind her and took her top off and stole my innocence. It was right in my view too....I don't think anybody else saw it because of the way we were sitting. So it probably looked weird when S**** was talking to us and I was looking in a different direction.....But eventually she put a shirt on and walked away....But then she walked back AND FREAKIN' TOOK HER SHIRT OFF!!!! It's not like it was a topless beach. Everyone else had swimsuits on. But then a van pulled up and thankfully blocked her. So yeah....I saw a topless lady at a church youth activity. Fun story, eh?

Zadar is still pretty awesome.  Zadar is pretty hot right now. I don't know what the temp is, but it's enough to make it slightly miserable. Pretty humid because of the coast too. But it's been good. So unfortunately, a lot of people here are centered on summer vacation as tourists, and the locals like to use it as a source of business, so I still haven't been able to meet any of our investigators yet because they are all so busy. We met a lady while tracting. Her husband is an invalid on death's door and her family doesn't visit her much, so she is stuck at home all day taking care of her husband. We were there for 2 hours while she talked about anything that she could think about. We were pretty much just soundboards because we weren't following for the majority of the time. But we had to fight tooth and nail to get out of there at 8 in order to get home on time. It was kind of sad. She said that she doesn't usually let guests come over, but we are welcome any time and that she wants us to come back.

We don't have anybody near baptism...but hopefully we will soon. The sisters do, though. They are teaching the branch president's mom, M*******. Her baptism is scheduled for August 25, so that will be cool. It's kind of cool how the family is all becoming members. It started with a 22 year old named D***** who went to Utah to go to school and ended up getting baptized. He came home to Zadar and his mom, S****, got baptized and his sister, B***** got baptized. After that, B*****'s husband, Ž**** (the branch president) and his daughter L**** (shes 9) were baptized. And now his mom is getting baptized. And this is all within the last couple of years. The bp has only been a member for a little over a year. And President's  16 year old sister is starting to read the Book of Mormon now, so who knows what's still coming. 

But ya, things are pretty good here. We went out to Supernova today, which is like a mall.....Guess what I found!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We went to Müllers today (a German store) and I got a milka chocolate bar with an Oreo filling.....and I saw a blue bag of m&m's, and I thought, "No way....I didn't know they had pretzel M&M's here!" so I walked over and picked it up.....except they weren't no pretzel M&M's.....they were freaking CRISPY M&M'S!!!!!!!!!!!!! It pretty much made my life. They are so good. They are the crispy ones with European chocolate. So freaking good. I just thought that you might be excited to know that they still make them.

On the walk back home, we passed a restaurant that was roasting whole lambs, pigs, and chickens on spits, so we decided to go there for lunch. It was such a good idea! We got a kilo of roasted pig and french fries for the two of us for like $10 a piece. It was the moistest pork ever. If all pork tasted like that, I might like it. I thought you might find that interesting. 

I thought of something cool the other day....Less than 5 months until we get to talk again. I think this will be the most exciting Christmas in a while for me. And as of next Saturday, I have 18 months left! The time is starting to go by faster. This last week flew by. And on the 11th will be my 7th month mark. 

I think that's about it. It's weird how everything changes while I'm out here. It doesn't feel like the same life I used to live. It feels different, so it's weird/hard to realize that everybody else is carrying on like before like nothing's changed. It's just kind of a weird feeling. But luckily I haven't really gotten homesick. No offense or anything, but I usually don't have a whole lot of time or mental emptiness to dwell on it. I think the craziest thing to think about is the fact that everyone back home speaks English....or Spanish....but the point is not Croatian. I think of scenarios of things back home and wonder if I'll be able to survive in certain situations with my Croatian ability, but then I remember that I can just speak English....Like if my car broke down and I went to the shop. I don't think I could describe a car problem in Croatian, but I have to remember that I'll never have to.....random thought.....

Well, I better get going. I love you all a lot. Thanks for the time spent on emailing me. I appreciate it. Tell everyone I say hi!


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