Called to serve in the Adriatic North Mission.

Monday, August 24, 2015

I am going to be a little bit coarse here and start out with the announcement that a middle aged crazy man almost relieved his "waters" all over Sister Berrett the other day. We were talking to this woman on the street, and all of the sudden this man walks between us and starts... yeah. Long story short I whisked Sister Berrett right out of that situation (the other woman had just told us she wasn't interested anyway) and let's hope the man was very drunk and very ashamed of himself. Good times.
The weather was an absolute delight this past week, with mid 60s temps in midday, and delicious rainfall after dinner and all throughout the night basically every single day. We pretty much ran to get out the door every day and soak in the cool before the 90 degree weather comes back as forecast for this week. We talked to a lot of really cool people. There was this one small family that we talked to for a really long time, and I really thought they had a lot of potential, but then it turns out they're from a village 200 km away and we don't have the church out there. We gave them information though, and who knows, one day they might be our first baptisms in that small town of southern Serbia --you know, when the Mormons take over the world and everyone starts converting :) Get ready, nonbelievers! It's hard to resist the true church.
I was also on the B.E.S.T. exchange with my MTC companion Sister Washburn last week! I can't even TELL you how much both of us have grown since those first 9 weeks of our mission. Her -- and hopefully my-- Serbian has skyrocketed in the last several months. It was the most surreal experience to be together again, but this time doing real missionary work in real, live Serbia. Unforgettable. I love that woman.
Alright, I think that's it from me. Live it up out there. Life is good, the church is true (promise!), your family is essential to your happiness, and you are more loved than you think.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dobar dan!
I'm going to start this one off with a fun little thing that happened this week that I probably think is a lot funnier than Sister Berrett does.
Background: We buy bottled water here. It's just a precaution, and it barely makes a dent in our budget because you can buy a big old 6 liter thing of water for about 80 cents and that will last us about 2 days. Typically we buy a few of those on pday and they last us the week.
This week, we happened to be running out of water on Saturday, and seeing as we couldn't purchase water on Sunday and we definitely wouldn't make it without, we ran to the shop up the street and quick grabbed a jug that wasn't our normal brand, but we were in a hurry so we took it. Come Sunday morning, I open up the bottle and start pouring myself a glass of what we THOUGHT was nice, NON-carbonated water--- then I saw the bubbles. Turns out, we had accidentally bought carbonated water. I'm okay with that since I was blessed to acquire a taste for the stuff; however, Sister Berrett absolutely LOATHES it. So poor her had to drink milk all day in the heat and fill up her tiny bottle at the church whenever she had the chance. The end.
Friday was the best zone conference I've ever had. I probably say that every time we have a zone conference, but I'm SERIOUS this time. Top 2 highlights: at the end of the meeting, President opened the time up for us to share our testimonies. The Spirit was so strong strong in that room as both people I knew well and some I barely knew got up and shared what they believe and what brings them hope. Then at the very end, we sang a song from the LDS Children's Songbook simply entitled, "Baptism." We had to sing it twice because some of us (I won't mention names...) were crying too hard to get through it the first time (Note: it is a tendency for some people to cry when they feel the Holy Spirit very strongly; it's a joyful cry, not a sad one, like seeing a baby born or something). It was a very sweet moment.
The other day we met the best couple while we were in a park. We talked to them about prophets and the Book of Mormon and they basically accepted everything. They are the most hipster Serbs I've ever met, too, which I absolutely loved. Plus, the woman had curly blond hair, so I couldn't NOT love them. I am excited for them and hope we get to teach them more!
Okay that's enough of me. You all keep living your lives.
Ooh! Let's get a fraza dana up in here today:
Haos (house [but the h is harsh sounding, don't know how to describe it]) -- Literally, "chaos," but the kids use it fairly often as a kind of filler type word, like we say "crazy" or when somebody says/does something cool/legitimately crazy.
Sestra Watts

And in her email to mom in response to the arrival of our Serbian exchange student:

Wow, you guys look like you're already having a blast with Suncica. Good! She's the coolest. Tell her I say hi too. But don't let her teach you any Serbian. I want to come home and talk to her and have you guys not know a thing we're saying. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Okay, this title seems pretty intense, but it's just that with every companion I have, we eat completely different things. With Sister Kawai, it was a lot of rice. Sister Berrett and I are now in the process of figuring out what our go-to will be when it comes to lunch and dinner breaks, so stay tuned for any updates.
Hey! I am now with my new, beautiful companion, Sister Berrett. She is fresh out of Rijeka, Croatia, and ready to tear up Belgrade with her love of missionary work and all things gospel. I am really excited about this transfer, and you all can expect at least a few baptisms to come from these next two months.
This past week was another Mission Leader Council, and we focused a lot on finding faith in our goals to find people ready to accept the gospel and enter the waters of baptism. We talked a lot about how we go about developing faith in our ability to succeed as part of that. One of the things that I decided I want is to hear more stories from others who have served missions or participated in missionary work.
That being said, will anyone reading this who has served a mission/ been a member missionary in any way send me a story of success, or when you've seen the promises of the Lord fulfilled in your life? Thank you. Send them directly to me at
I want you all to know of my love for Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. After everything else in the world falls apart, they will be there with open arms to welcome us into their rest.
Have a wonderful week.

(And here portions of a couple of emails from the past few weeks when she only had time to write to her parents)

Aug. 3

Just so you know, I'm in Zagreb right now (naturally) and I potentially don't have a lot of time to email (of course).

We found out about transfers last week, and I am thankfully staying in Belgrade. My new companion is Sister Berrett! We're already friends because I saw her at MLC a lot, but I don't know her very well. From what I hear though she is an excellent missionary and she works hard and talks to everyone. I am really excited to serve with her. Sister Kawai got sent off to Zadar again. I'm in Zagreb as part of the transfer travels, I actually drove up here with Sister Chauncey, the sister from my district who's going home TOMORROW. We've been together since last night (Sunday), and it has been really cool to talk to her about her mission and everything that she has learned. I was afraid that all her talking would get me thinking about going home, but she's actually inspired me to work harder while I'm here instead. But yeah we had a long time to talk because the drive to Zagreb is about 4 hours. 

I'll hopefully have time to email you all in a few hours when things settle down for the day, but I thought I'd fill y'all in really quick just in case. 

July 13

First of all, DON'T FREAK OUT. I know that it is past curfew and it's not even p-day anymore technically. It's been an insane day. Even more so than normal.

So on Friday we get a call and find out that Sister Hertz, who's serving in Novi Sad, is getting kicked out of the country because of visa problems. So President had to rearrange the companionship situations a little bit in the mission. Sister Kawai and I did not get moved, but we were asked to be a taxi for the entire day today for moving sisters. So last night we drove down to Novi Sad, stayed the night there with Sister Hertz and Washburn, then took both of them and headed to Sremska Mitrovica (2 hour drive). There, we met Sisters Deschler and Kropushek, took Sister Kropushek and left Sister Washburn in Sremska with Sister Deschler. Then we crossed the border into Croatia and went to Osijek (2 hours), where we left Sister Hertz to be in a trio with Sister Derenthal (my old companion-- it was SO good to see her again) and Sister Lee. So now it is just me, Sister Kawai, and Sister Kropushek in the car. We drive all the way through northern Croatia and cross the border into SLOVENIA, and land in Ljubljana (4 hours). There had been a trio splitting their time between Ljubljana and Kranj because they were short a Slovene sister, so Sister Kropushek got moved allll the way up there to even out the companionships. The crazy thing is, Sister Kropushek has 3 weeks left of the mission and doesn't know a bit of Slovene. What's wonderful about it though is that her grandfather is originally from Slovenia, so she has the chance to look up tons of relatives, living and dead, while she's there. It was especially nice for Sister Kawai and me as well, seeing as we'd never set foot in Slovenia, and it is the most beautiful country in southern Europe. We honestly felt like we were driving into Narnia on that border cross.

At this point it's almost 8 pm, so President, having foreseen the insanity of asking us to drive back to Beograd tonight (probably 6 or 7 hours from Lake Bled) invited us to stay at his home in Zagreb (2 hours) and email y'all, sleep, and then drive back in the morning.