Called to serve in the Adriatic North Mission.

Monday, November 16, 2015


This week I was on an exchange. It feels like forever since I've been on one of those. I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be with the famed Sister Peterson, who happened to come out at the same time as me. We finally had the chance to get to know each other this week, though, since she was in the other Croatian-speaking district in the MTC, and we did not mix with that district (I'm kidding; we just had a bit of a rivalry is all). She is a wonderful soul.

So, because we had an exchange with the sisters in Tuzla, we drove and met them halfway in a town called Doboj at the beginning and end of the exchange. Now, on the way to Doboj to pick up Sister Peterson, Sister Marlow and I spotted a turkey farm. This is significant because it is almost impossible to find whole turkeys in the Balkans. We joked about buying a turkey and saving it until Thanksgiving so we could do the holiday the right way. Then, when the exchange came to a close and Sister Marlow and I were once again reunited, we were feeling pretty adventurous (or stir-crazy on account of being 4 hours in a car), so when the sign for turkeys rolled around the corner, we pulled over and got out of the car. After making a quick phone call to our senior couple to get permission to buy a turkey for our district's Thanksgiving celebration, we were promptly greeted by an elderly lady whose hands indicated that she had just come from doing something, don't ask me what, that your typical privileged American would probably consider beneath them. Man, I love these people. Anyway, we relayed to the woman our desperate need for a turkey, and she called for a man to come help us. The man then told us that the smallest turkey he could give us was 9 or 10 kilograms. 

Now, you have to remember that this story is about two helpless, patriotic, young girls who simply wanted to pay tribute to the stars & stripes with a good ol' Turkey Day turkey. So when the helpful gentleman offered us a plucked and cleaned 20 pound fowl, we accepted before we knew to what we were agreeing. We were later informed by our beloved Sister Varty that 20 pounds of meat is adequate to feed about 40 average humans. At that point, however, there was nothing we could do, as the beast had already been carried (or maybe I should say forklifted) into the trunk of the car, and the money transaction completed. Unapologetic, we arrived home to tackle our next obstacle: fitting our new friend into the freezer. Thank goodness ours is larger than that of the average Bosnian resident, or it would have been a real struggle. Now, we just need to wait patiently and refrain from buying too much ice cream since we're tight on storage spacet. It was a successful day!

I've enclosed a picture of me and Sister Marlow at the turkey farm. There were... a lot of live turkeys there. You only see a few. It was terrifying.

The church is good and true! Missions are a lot of fun in every way! 

Sve najbolje,
Sestra Watts

The sunset over the Vrbas river in Banja Luka on Sunday night.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This is some artwork in Banja Luka. There are so many walls here with HUGE murals on them.
 This one's really small, and really pretty compared to the rest. Some ten story apartment buildings have a whole
 side wall dedicated to the weirdest paintings. I'll get pictures of those later. The poem says
 "Spiders in the corners, don't worry. I won't sweep you."

Attention, everyone! I went to Sarajevo on Saturdayy! The most historically awesome town around. We had zone conference there, which made it so we didn't get too much time to look around, but afterwards Sister Marlow and I got permission to go out on the town for an hour as dinner break before we started the 4 hour drive home. It's a gorgeous city. You're just going to have to take my word for it though because both of us completely forgot to take pictures. All I have from that day is of the two of us at McDonalds for breakfast (breakfast included chicken nuggets and french fries-- desperate times...). But trust me, it was amazing there! We drank out of this sketchy fountain downtown because legend has it if you drink from there, you will one day return to Sarajevo. I am not sick yet, so I think it was okay water. They also were selling so many beautiful Muslim scarves and rugs and a million other cool things. We also had some of the best burek in the country. I love Bosnia a lot. Oh, and the conference was good too :)

Another highlight of the week is that one of our investigators told us she wants to get baptized once she confirms that this church is true! We've been teaching her for a few weeks, and she loves the church a lot. She was even friends with Kresimir Cosic, the first member in the former Yugoslavia. We're really excited because she will obviously come to know it's true if she's sincere-- and she is! That's a big blessing.

Okay. You all stay strong and keep believing.

Sestra Watts

Monday, November 2, 2015

We did a humanitarian project for the refugees on Saturday with some members. This is me with soap.
Hi everyone! Did you know that the internet is one of the Church's best proselyting tools? People are reading about the Mormons all day everyday on any number of websites and blogs, and some of them are actually finding accurate information! The Church has spent a lot of time trying to correct the rampant hordes of false information that is so prevalent on the world wide web. They are doing such a good job, too. I really feel strongly about the admonition to not put your trust in amateur bloggers and wikipedia articles. That being said, I know that my letters get posted on a blog every week. That means that you probably shouldn't trust me; however, it DOES mean that I get to refer you to beautiful, official websites about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that have so much more validity than I do. Just a few examples are:

And so much more! Please visit them and see what there is to be seen that is true and good in this world! I'm sorry if this sounds like a commercial, but I only write things that I care about in these letters. The Church is true! 

My week was a fantastic one. If you hadn't already guessed, some of it involved witnessing a very good presentation on flooding the earth with wholesome technology. Internet devices have so much capacity to do good things, but also the raging tendency to tempt people with so many terrible things. Resist the temptation! Stick it to the man! Watch a Mormon Message, or a Ted talk, or do family history work or something. Keep your life clean and free of internet baggage. You don't need that bringing you down. Little phone games are as pointless as a dewlap on a moose's neck. Don't give in!

Okay. That's my rant for today. Missions are the best! Superlative intended!

Lijepi pozdrav,
Sestra Watts