We were in the newspaper! We didn't get too much more notice throughout the day, (it came out on a Friday), but we did have a couple people ask us if we had been in the news that day. We had a fun lunch break on Friday and bought ourselves lunch, took it to the big "Hotel Osijek" here, then bought ourselves huge amounts of fancy ice cream (I bought something called spaghetti ice) and then we read the article about ourselves, for the last half of language study. It was a fun afternoon. It's a relatively innocent article, although the facts aren't totally right. The reporter wrote that I go to BYU in Provo (not Idaho) and that Joseph Smith died from being tarred and feathered, but overall it was a nice article. We were on the front page, and had a big picture in the middle of the newspaper.
So this past Tuesday (Sept. 9th) we had a European Womens meeting. Elder Ballard and Elder Bednar (church leaders from Salt lake City) came to Frankfurt, Germany and spoke to all the women in Europe. It was really cool, but the translations were a little sketchy sometimes. The translators didn't have time before to translate their talks, so they were doing it all life, and they didn't do their best. But our translation here wasn't even in Croatian, it was Serbian. But it was still pretty great. And the church members here seemed to enjoy it. It was just great that our women in this area, got to feel special and noticed, and I could tell they really appreciated it.
We also went to go visit a member of our branch named Sally (name changed) who lives about 1 1/2 drive away, in a town called Slatina. Sister Russell the senior missionary "Mom" here in Osijek took us. Sally was baptized in Zagreb, and she has such a strong testimony and such strong faith in the gospel. She told us that she misses going to church, because it is the one place where she actually belongs. I love the church, not just the Gospel, but the church organization and the members, and the activities we have. Those things aren't for show...they really do bring us together. This lady, Sally would come to church if she had a car, and didn't live so far away. It was so good to visit her. She has a cute little son. Sister Russell took out her iPad, and played a video of little kids singing, "I am a Child of God." His eyes got so wide, and he was smiling so big! When we came back from Slatina, we found a HUGE antique building. It was beautiful. I felt like we stepped into Disneyland. It is so cool to be in a country with such a rich history.
We have also officially begun the Young Mens and Young Womens program here in Osijek. We have two deacons, and Anna. (The 13 year-old girl) We had our first Sunday school meeting last Sunday. It was great. I feel like it was a historical moment. We had been doing primary, but they are just too old for it now. We are progressing in our branch members activity level, which makes us happy.
I turned to a random page in the Book of Mormon the other day, and I'm not sure if I already shared this with you, but I really love Alma 37. I was having a rough morning, and I needed some sort of a pic me up, and there is the comparison made there with the Liahona and with following the words and the Gospel of Christ. It is just so wonderful, and is now my favorite.Everything is by small and simple means that God works miracles inout lives. It is the small and simple means that the Lord will lead us to those people who are prepared to hear the Gospel here. By saying hello to someone on the tram, or just stopping someone on the street to pass them a flyer or a pamphlet. That's the way that the Liahona worked, and it is the way we can be led in our lives today. I have worn my Liahona necklace every day since reading that verse as a reminder.
OK. That's all the news. I love you.