I'M GOING TO ZAGREB!
We found out about transfers last Thursday, and after a magnificent 4 months in my first area, Karlovac, I am finally leaving the town of 4 rivers, destined for the magical mountain-enclosed metropolis of Zagreb, Croatia. Annnnnd I'm whitewashing it.
For those of you not well versed in Mormon mission lingo, a whitewash is when the president of the mission decides, through inspiration from the Lord, to remove a missionary companionship from an area and to place two completely different missionaries in their place. Most often, one missionary will stay, and one new one will come and learn to navigate the city and get to know the members of the church there and the people they are teaching, with the guidance of the one who has lived there previously; however, on rare occasions, and for a wide number or reasons that sometimes only the Lord knows, mission presidents will remove both missionaries and place two new ones in their stead to fend for themselves.
With that definition in mind, it is fair to say that I am not exactly whitewashing Zagreb. I will have a week's time, starting tomorrow, to serve with a sister who has been serving in Zagreb previously, and to learn the tram systems and where important places are, and to familiarize myself with the members and the like. After a week I will then be with my rightful companion, who has never served in Zagreb, and I will be responsible for getting us places successfully. We are also both going to be Sister Training Leaders once again. I am so, incredibly EXCITED. I love when stuff gets shaken up like this! Sister Durfee (my future companion, who's been in Beograd, Serbia this transfer) and I are going to have a great, sometimes confusing time together. And there are apparently FIFTY active members of the church there! I never thought I would rejoice at the idea of 50 people coming to church when I was raised seeing around 4 times that many at church back home, but things are different here. I can't wait.
And now, not to leave you on a depressing note, but one of the less active members, with whom we've worked very regularly, called usto tell us that she has decided to go back to her Evangelical roots and no longer be a part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We were heartbroken, but we know that each has their choice and we cannot tell anyone what to believe. I just do not see how someone can belong to the true church of Jesus Christ, and receive a witness from the Holy Spirit that it is true, and choose to leave it. But it is not my place to ask. I can only love her and pray for her, and respect her decision. Suffice it to say, however, that Sister Derenthal and I definitely went home that night and ate ice cream and watched seminary videos like we'd just gone through a terrible break-up.
On THAT note, I hope you all have a fantastic week, and that each and every one of you watch as much of General Conference this weekend as you can. If you don't know what that is, go to this link and learn about one of my favorite times of the year:
Love you all!