A cathedral in Novi Sad, Serbia. Sestra Chauncey saw some amazing architecture in this city.
This week was awesome. We had zone conference on Thursday in Beograd, (Belgrade, Serbia) which meant that we left for Beograd the night before on a 3- hour bus drive so we could get there on time. We stayed the night at the Beograd sisters apartment. They just reopened the city to sisters, and they live in a beautiful, huge apartment! It felt like we were staying in a hotel. Zone Conference was wonderful. The more I hear President Grant and his counsel for the mission, the more I really feel like his mantle of responsibility as mission president is real. Everything he said, even the little changes and things he has asked of us, it all felt right. I felt like the Holy Ghost was confirming all of it to me. That was really cool. And my favorite counsel was actually given by the STLs and the ZLs. They were talking about finding, and referred a scripture in Moroni 9:6, where it says
"And now, my beloved son,notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." And now that scripture is my new favorite scripture. Its my new motto! This people are hard here, thats true... But notwithstanding their hardness!! We need to labor diligently!! It really cant matter to us in the end, whether or not they accepted or rejected our message, but the fact that we had the courage to offer it to them. I am much more excited to find this week. I get more courage all the time.
After Zone Conference, we went to Novi Sad with one of the Sremska/Novi Sad sisters. I remembered Elder Radaković (an Elder from their mission) telling us that Novi Sad was the best city in the world (he absolutely has a bias, because he IS from Novi Sad), but wow... He might be right. I dont know why, I just assumed that Serbia was a cold and communist place, but I saw more beautiful scenery and archtiecture there than, probably, the entirety of my mission. A large part of our day we spent out in Centar handing out English Class flyers, and it was so beautiful. The buildlings were so colorful and had really beautiful detail and design. It was a big city and at the outskirts had all of these little homes. Osijek is a little small sometimes, and Novi Sad just felt like a nice breath of normal life. If that makes sense? There was more going on in Novi Sad than there is here, basically. And not that its a bad thing, but just different! It was so wonderful. I really hope I can serve in Novi Sad for a part of my mission. I really liked it. And I got to see Elder Dyer again, from the MTC! That was fun. He has gotten really good at the language. It was cool to see his progress. People tell me Im getting good too. I hope I seem as smart as he is.
We also got 2 new investigators this week! That was cool. We haven't gotten in some doors to teach for a while. One of them was a woman that the elders tracted in to. She is open to all religions and likes to invite everyone over, so we arent sure how serious she might be about it, but she is definitely interested. She was so kind and so funny. I really liked her. And she and her husband were hilarious together. Our next lesson with her, we really want to talk about how we want to help her to know if this church is true, and the only way she can know that is if she actually acts on the invitations we give her. Its going to be great. She has so many good questions. I really hope it goes well!
One thing I'm grateful for on my mission is the fact that my testimony has really grown. My faith has grown. And my trust has grown. I trust the feelings that I have. I trust the Holy Ghost. And I've softened my heart to allow this faith and this trust to grow. Sitting in one of the lessons this weekend, I just realized that I know this church is true. I mean, I really know it. I dont think I've ever known it so much before. I've allowed the word of God to be planted in my heart, as Alma asks us to do, and kept it soft enough to grow. And it is so good. The phrase "it beginneth to be delicious to me" is definitely an accurate description. It is delicious! And I dont know everything, but I know that what I know is enough. I love this gospel.
I miss you both a lot and I pray for you every day. I really do appreciate the fact that we are an eternal family... it makes missing you a lot easier. Even for a brief separation, like a mission, or moving away for college, or even death... it is only a separation. I get to be with you all forever. I love you more than anything and I hope everything goes well!! Tell Cammy I miss her and I can't wait to play with her for 2 weeks straight when I come home.
Love, Sestra Chauncey