Tuesday, June 30, 2015

dirty chestnut

district selfie with Wanda who just got baptized!

Everyone, I am in the most beautiful, magical place. Trenčin is so wonderful. We are literally in the shadow of the castle all day and the Vah river is the most beautiful thing and it seems to always be perfectly partly cloudy with a good amount of ice cream stands on the tiny namestie. I really really adore the people here. They seem to all know me already! People just ask us how we are doing all of the time. It seems like a good forty percent of the people we stop are already best friends with the missionaries! The church has had a branch here for the longest, so all the members have been coming to church since before (and through) communism. They are just all really cute. 
"The District" haha minus me and elder garner and the cottles
One of the members is probably nearly ninety years old, and even though she has met me twice before, she was so excited that the new sister had come to Trenčin that she decided that she simply had to come down to town from her garden to see me. So she rode her bike down in a little suit and hurried down, bought us ice cream and little kolačiky, and then pedaled back up to her little garden, leaving us holding our ice cream and pastries and some berries from her garden with very confused and happy faces. And when she was getting the ice cream, she is so darling, she keeps telling the lady, These are our missionaries. They work for us all day every day, so I am buying them ice cream for free. It was really the best thing ever.
Also, I discovered the true color of my hair this week. We no longer have to guess. An elderly man fondly called sestra eggers a "Blondinka" and then pointed at me and said "špinavý gašton" As confused as we were, we looked up gašton, and, yep, I have dirty chestnut hair.
kind of awful but beautiful picture of trenčin castle!
We have also just had so many miracles this week. Trenčin is just awesome. We have an investigator (Well, the elders investigator technically, but we teach him more often than they do) who is SO excited to be baptized on saturday. He just keeps telling us, I wish it was the fourth of july. I wish it was the fourth. And we just smile and say, yes, we do too. It is so amazing to see someone with such desire to change everything about their lives and have a new start. It is inspirational to see people overcome addictions and weaknesses, and rely on Christ. We can see it in peoples faces, when they are becoming nearer to Him and finding out what it actually means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. It does not always mean to go to the kostol every week and listen to recited prayers. It is a real thing that each of us can have! We love it and we love these people who are already great examples to us of trying to live as Christ lived and walk as He walked.
blava castle

We went on an adventure this week and found a complete fairy town. It is really incredible. I did not know that the woods you read about in fairy tales existed!! But they DO! And as soon as we walked into this little town we made friends with everyone there. Everyone started inviting us to their town get togethers and asking us why on earth we were there and were so open to hearing our message...we are looking forward to going back again and again and again!
The best part was that on the bus on the way back from this place, two little (slightly drunk) old men got on the bus and were telling us how beautifully we smiled, etc etc, and then proceeded to tell us about seven jokes about catholic priests. They were laughing so hard and we were too, even though it is really hard to understand slovak when spoken slurred and without any teeth. Just so good.
We have been making lots of food. I am inventing over here! I feel like a  mom.
blava grafitti coolness
Ah. Also, this week, seriously it seems like everyone (well, who doesnt know the missionaries) thinks that I am russian. It is like, they will have this whole conversation with me, and be like, so, you are from russia? Er, no....Who knows what in the world my accent sounds like! I always have dreams that nobody can understand me. Well, teaching with love, teaching with the spirit...
We also have a really big district this transfer because we are in a district with the two elders who are in Nitra right now. They had to close an area there (We are a little short on missionaries right now) But it is fun that they get to come to Trenčin for district meeting now! We are excited because we will be able to do a Koncert with them! And go to Nitra! YES

anyway, I read a really incredible talk by Elder Holland on discipleship, and was really thinking about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I read in Luke 9 this morning about people who had the desire to follow Christ--surely a wonderful desire, but were not willing to give their all to him. 

 57 ¶And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
a really cute picture of sister russell
 59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

We are so privileged to be disciples of Christ! He knows His disciples and I cannot express how grateful I am to be one of them. I hope that I can act and show my devotion to him in everything I do.

PS Happy 4th! ´merica.
Sestra Abbott

elder ringger left this week! He was my first district leader in Košice!

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