Okay: So I just LOVE everything.
We have the best members and investigators ever. Seriously. Ill get to the rest of the week in a second, but yesterday was so good. We had a pretty full church (like, 10, not including the missionaries), and we had a good testimony meeting. BUT we then watched the SUNDAY AFTERNOON OF CONFERENCE :D Which was such a treat. Oh man CONFERENCE WAS SO GOOD. Anyway. And after that, our investigator Antonija asked Ivan to give her a blessing, and he did... and man I could ALMOST understand everything!! It was so beautiful... she is just seriously the best, her and her entire family. She has FOUR SONS, so talk about future missionaries. We also went with her on Saturday to visit the grave of her daughter, who died at a month old. It was a really special experience. She is just.. going to love the temple so much. I just cant wait for this mother and daughter, who love each other SO MUCH, to be sealed together for eternity. It just gives me chills. Anway, in this blessing, there were just so many crazy promises given to her... basically, she is totally crucial in the moving forward of this work in Croatia. At the bus stop on the way home from the grave, Sister Peterson was talking to someone and asked Antonija if it would be weird if she gave this person a mormon.org card (some members feel weird about it), and she just shook her head and said, "Why would that be weird? Everyone needs this." And that just... really struck me. I need to stop being so afraid to talk to people, and remember that everyone does need this. Sometimes (okay lots of the time) they might reject it... but thats between them and God, not them and me. I am just... learning day by day what it means to forget yourself. I just hope I can do more.
Anyway, then last night Ivan made all us missionaries this big dinner, and we just spent time together talking and laughing and eating. They really do feel like family. It was just so nice to spend time with people who like you and who have the same beliefs as you and who love the Gospel as much as you. Its really refreshing.
Pula was way fun. We went to the colossiuem and spent basically the whole day in Pula. We took an audio tour of the whole place, and that was so fascinating. Apparently, there were four Roman collosieums in Croatia, and this is the only one still standing. We just learned so much about the history here. I didn't even know that much about collosieums and stuff in the first place, but this arena was used for battles betwen wild beasts, prisoners of war, criminals, and early Christians. I mean... Christians!! What significance it was that followers of Christ could return thousands of years later, and step onto the same ground to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, without the same persecution. It was really special. But it was so fascinating to hear about the popularity of these fights. Like... it straight up was the Hunger Games. (I know I'm sorry I'm so lame but that was the closest comparison I could make) They would train these people for years just to battle, and they would dress them, and the animals, in crazy theatrics and everything, and they would dress them in the war clothing of their homeland, and make them fight with their homeland traditional wepaons... It was just so fascinating. And the winners of these battles would earn more than the actual leaders of the armies. And I mean... this building is like, 2000 years old. The city of Pula itself is 3000 years old. It was just like stepping back in time itself. It was so cool. And everywhere we went, all of the houses were all different colors. Every other road looked like a rainbow. We even found a little Mexican restaurant!! It wasn't nearly as good as anything in California, or La Juanitas in Sioux City, but it was tasty. Haha. And satisfied the craving I've had for Mexican food... so that was good. Also, remember when I was in the airport calling you guys and I was excited because there was a McDonalds in the airport and it would be the last McDonalds Big Mac I would have for 18 months? ... Why did I ever think that McDonalds WOULD NOT be in Europe?? Because it is. And its like, 10x better than the ones in America. Hahaha. Its still McDonalds... but all the food is actually fresh. And they sell this apple pita with ice cream on the side, with carmel all over it... what the heck. Its actually delicious.
Also, you know how they tell you that all the models in magazines and billboards are photoshopped? Thats a lie. They all live in Rijeka. I feel like such a squat little stump next to all these long, tall, beautiful women. Especially cause they are all trendy, and Im just in my missionary attire... Hahaha. Everyone here is seriously so well dressed. I try and be as trendy and cute as I can, but... you can only do so much within the missionary boundaries. Oh. But everyone wears tights here, like, all the time. If even a part of your leg is showing, they expect you to have it covered with tights. So that is one thing I have adopted. I wear tights everywhere, because they ask you about it it you don't.
Anyway... I cant think of much else that has gone on. Oh, we did talk with Deleise the other night, the American Messianic Jew. She is seriously so cool, and I can't remember if Ive talked about her before, but she has all of this crazy insight into the Bible. So we had a big discussion the other night, and I pulled out John 10 and 3 Nephi and compared the two verses that say "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold". We read the one in the Bible first, and then the one in 3 Nephi. And she read it... and then paused... and said, "Wait... where did this book come from?!?!" Because she was just so excited about it. I think it really hit her then that this book is worthwhile. Its so fun to talk about the Gospel. And we have lots of English-speaking investigators, so... I feel like I can contribute sometimes :)
I've been assigned to give a talk on Easter in church. Im not totally sure how well it will go. I'm actually super nervous about it. But!! Ill do my best :) Im going on exchanges this week! I leave tonight and come back on Wednesday. Going to Zagreb. Nothing new for me. It will be great though, and Im excited.
Love you all. Cant wait to hear when Candace finally has this baby. Miss you!
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