Okay... well, this is personal news: I cut off a foot of my hair. Yep. I have short hair. I know it might not sound like THAT big of a deal, but it was. We also bought blonde hair dye and attempted to give me highlights, but that kind of failed because my hair is still super dark. I have kind of highlights though.
Thursday we had a 3-Zone Multi-Zone Conference, and a member of the second quorum of the seventy came to visit. We also had the District President of Slovenia come, and gave the best talk on faith. It was so awesome. He asked us, "If a missionary works really hard all day, but doesnt have any faith, will he get results?" And he didn't even answer the question, just told us to think about it. It was really inspiring to realize that working hard doesnt cut it in the Lords work. The Lord doesn't work according to the work of man. He works according to the faith of man. Granted, we can't just have faith without works to have succeed, but in the same realm, we can't have works without faith to succeed. I also got to have a great show of my new hair style because we got to Zone Conference late, and all three zones were standing, waiting to take a picture in the chapel, and in we come and everyone just goes WAHHHHAT? Some people hated it, and lots of people loved it. I love it, so Im fine with it :) I also got to see ELDER BROWN AND SISTER KROPUSHEK. I didnt even have time to chat with Elder Brown and see how the heck he was doing, we just had a little bit of small talk and then I got distracted. We did get a picture of the "tricycle" though. That was good.
Two more big things happened on the way home from Zone Conference in Zagreb. First, Sister Russells (The Senior missionary couple) daughter is coming to Croatia next week, and the Russells needed to buy a bed and a mattress for her so she could stay in their apartment. Where do we stop?.... IKEA. Oh my goodness I was so stoked out of my mind. I have been feeling super Christmasy lately (you know me) and IKEA was just decked out in Christmas decor. You couldnt have seen a happier Sister Chauncey. We had dinner there and got to walk around the store for a little bit. I was very happy.
Then, on the way home from Zone Conference, we got a call and found out our member Nikola, who recently had a stroke, died in the hospital that day. It was kind of a shock. We have been going almost every day to go visit him and see how he was doing, and he seemed to be on the uphill. We had not seen him that week because I was sick, and apparently the hospital decided to move him to a type of a nursing home for better care, and he died from the stress of the transportation. They had a funeral service for him on Friday. I went to a graveyard on Halloween, fittingly enough. We had to ask people whether or not he had gone to the temple, because we needed to know whether or not to dress him in temple clothing. Turns out, he was, and we didnt have time to get temple clothing to him. How perfect is this: Elder Radavanović, while he was packing for his mission, randomly put HIS temple clothing in his bag, even though he knew he would never go to a temple while in Croatia. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and because Elder Radavanovic' had clothes, they could dress Nikola in the proper temple clothes, before the burial. We also found out that Milkas husband passed away, which was less of a shock.
Saturday... We thought the week was weird, and then we got to Saturday. We got a call from President Grant, and theres another emergency transfer - and Im involved. Im going to Banja Luka, in Bosnia, to be Sister Training Leader with Sister Peterson for the last 3 weeks of her mission. This will have been the 3rd missionary I have sent home, and its my trainer. I cant believe that!! I am already as far along as she was when she trained me, and now she is ALREADY going home. These missions really do go by so quickly. Im nervous but Im excited. President told us he doesnt even know why he feels its necessary, but he got this prompting and he needs to act on it. I trust in my mission president and Ill act in faith. So Saturday was lots of planning for the next week (we had not even done weekly planning yet), and then we went out with our member Anita, because it was "Dan Mrtvih" or "Day of the Dead", where everyone goes to the graveyards and places candles on the graves of their loved ones. We went and put one on for Nikola. It was kind of hauntingly beautiful to see all of these candles. There was a large statue of Christ in the middle of the cemetery, and people who have had loved ones die in wars, or who died and don't know where they are buried, put candles there instead of on a literal grave. All the candles are red, and it was beautiful to walk through and see the whole place lit up. We have some pictures, but it does not quite do it justice. It was really great.
So now we are rushing around seeing everyone we can before I leave on Wednesday. We met with our investigator Dubravka yesterday, and she was pretty bummed I was leaving. Sister Lee still struggles with the language and so one concern she had was how she was going to talk with Sister Lee when I wasnt there. I just laughed and said she would get along just fine without me. Dubravka was really nice with the compliments yesterday. She told me I was fluent, which was nice, but really I had practiced our lesson a lot before we went in there. Sister Lee is also really good and really brave adding in comments when I asked her to. We taught her the plan of salvation. We also asked her to get baptized. She said "Da, ali već sam se krstila." "Yes, but Ive already been baptized" So we asked her just to pray to know if this church and this life was the life that God wanted for her. She kind of said yes, and then ended up telling us a lot of her concerns and questions she has about religion and the purpose of her life. The baptism question really helped us understand more about her as a person and her needs. So we didnt set a particular date with her, but we definitely have her thinking about it, and we have a better idea how we can help her. malo po malo!
Also here are some things I would like in my christmas package: funfetti, ranch dressing, but also mostly funfetti. AND CHRISTMAS STUFF FROM TARGET. lots of christmas stuff. In banja luka, they dont celebrate christmas on December 25, the celebrate on January 7, which is kind of weird... Im still going to celebrate on December 25.
Yesterday was also a great fast. I have been praying for guidance lately on how I can improve myself, and certain things Ive been struggling with. I have been looking for specific guidance from the words of the prophets and the scriptures, and I have been looking for some specific amount of guidance that I have found bits and pieces of in different places, and so yesterday, it was just me sitting and pondering and writing myself a pep talk. It was weird, I felt like I was writing myself a general conference talk, but I was just thinking about change and agency and the atonement, and wrote myself the talk that I needed/wanted to read. I didnt bring it with me, I wanted to type it to you today, but I can type it to you later if you want to read it. The thing I realized is that the Lord knows that we are going to mess up. He knows we are going to sin. He knows that we are going to have struggles with the same dumb sins and problems, and that is why he gave us the atonement. We are not supposed to be perfect now. And we should not -- cannot get upset with our sinful nature. We have to use the Atonement of Christ, and let that perfect us. We can't perfect ourselves. It was just a really great study time, and lots of personal revelation came.
Anyway. I love you all. I pray for you every day. :) I have lots of pictures this week, so get ready!