Called to serve in the Adriatic North Mission.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sister Durfee and I made dandelion crowns at our member friends' (Luka and Krešimir) house on the mountain before we hiked to the castle last Monday. They live with their grandpa, and he likes to give nicknames to the missionaries he likes. He called me "Sofia Loren," after his mom! Luka told me that that is a big compliment. If I have no other talents, mine is that I tend to win over the old people.

Hello, good people!
I know I say this a lot, but this week was crazy! It started with hiking to a castle on Monday, and then Tuesday was a fantastic Zone Conference, at which Sister Durfee and I provided a delicious lunch that took wayyy too much work. 

Friday we traveled out to the most beautiful village just outside of Zagreb to visit a less active member. Sister Durfee and I both fell in love with the place and I am tentatively making plans to move there to raise my future children. I'm sorry I have no pictures of that. But just trust me, it was magnificent.
Then Saturday we got this call. It was a middle aged man looking for a woman named Violeta. After I told him he had the wrong number, he asked me what MY name was. I said Sestra Watts. He asked me why I was named Sestra, so I naturally told him about my being a missionary. I found out he lives in Zadar. I get real excited because we have missionaries there! So I said I could give his number to the elders there if he wanted. He said something like this (but in Croatian, naturally): "Well, I am actually more interested in the FEMALE kind of missionaries... but if I'm ever in Zagreb, or you're ever in Zadar, we should definitely meet up and go out for coffee." UMMMMMM...
I was about to tell him that we don't drink coffee in our church, but he interrupted and said something (I think he asked me if my accent was from Poland? That was a compliment.), and then the convo ended. Thank goodness.
THEN. We get a call the next day from, you guessed it, my Zadar friend. In essence, after 5 minutes of trying to end the phone call without being completely rude and making it so he'd just call right back anyway, he told me that he was probably going TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ME BECAUSE OF THE SOUND OF MY VOICE. I am not making this up. I thoroughly shut him down, do not worry. But I definitely have not gotten that before.
Anyway... life is so good other than that. I am so happy to say that I am happy. The work here is so hard, but so worth it. I never thought something so hard would be so good. Everyone should really think about serving a mission. It changes your life in so many good ways.
Hope you all have a marvelous week.
Sestra Watts

Us following the 6 Zagreb elders, who are driving what we lovingly call "the box." Isn't Zagreb beautiful though?

Here's some more from her letter just to her parents:

Bok tata i mama,
Yeah, I actually definitely did run into some Finns. Yesterday at church! Two girls were visiting from Finland because one of them had served in Croatia 5 years ago! So she brought her sister and they're vacationing here and visiting stuff. They didn't know who I was but a member Jasna warned me they were here so I went up to them and said "tervetuloa" and they loved it. We have some mutual friends from Festinord, one being Mattias Wiklof, Kirsti's son! 
Ooh! Yesterday I also met the Ostarčevićes! The husband was Krešimir Čosić's best buddy who played basketball with him. Now they do translation work for the church and live in America, but they're here for the summer! I cannot remember their first names for the life of me, though. I wanna say Brat Ostarčević's first name is Mišo or something. Anyway. They're in charge of the Krešo memorial basketball tournament. Oh! I figured out how the tournament works. So each country (out of Slovenia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Croatia) gets one team. Missionaries are technically not invited to participate, but Bosnia was desperate for players so President is letting two elders play. The real point of the tournament is more just for the memorialism, so I think the games are only 12 minutes or something. But anyway. President isn't bringing in all the missionaries like someone told me. HOWEVER. We as Zagreb missionaries will be enlisted to help out in whatever way they need us, so I'll probably most definitely get to go! And Krešo's son, Krešimir, will be playing on the Croatia team! I am SO excited. Then after the game is a fireside! Basically the church is going to get a whole heap of good publicity and interest, and they know it.
Also, Sister Durfee and I were volunteered by our senior couple to sing a musical number in church yesterday, so we sang an a capella version of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief (in Croatian, and we arranged it ourselves. It was actually pretty cool, if I do say so myself). Sister Ostarčević afterwards told us it was really good, and that they are looking for someone to do a special musical number at the Krešo fireside, and she is thinking about having us do it! Ahhhh! I would just die!
On a similar thread, my patriarchal blessing talks a lot about using my musical talents to bless the lives of others. I decided I need to work on that more a little while ago, and now I have been given so many opportunities without even seeking them out. That's pretty neat. 

Anyway. This week was pretty great. We contacted a mother and teenage daughter yesterday, who were Croatian, but actually lived in Toronto, Canada for 10 years. They let us teach them a 10 minute version of the Restoration, and the daughter took a Book of Mormon, and seems pretty interested. She also said she for SURE will come to English class because she misses speaking English a ton. We're excited. She is pretty cool. And she sounds completely American. 

Okay, well, I did a longish one because I am writing this to both of you. Love you both, and I'm so thankful that you guys are so faithful and raised us right.
Have a wonderful week!
S ljubavlju,
Vaša kćer

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