Attention, parents! I have not been transferred to Slovenia. Seeing as this week is the first of a new transfer, travel plans to get all missionaries to their respective locations can get pretty creative. With that in mind, I only ended up in Slovenia for a couple of days to help people get to where they need to be. We got to Celje, Slovenia Sunday evening, had an amazing p-day in this town called Ptuj (great name, I know) where we saw some things celebrating the chasing away of winter. They have a huge parade (it was Sunday, we didn't see it) where they dress up like CRAZY and go insane. I got to try on one of the headdresses. It's very traditional. And then we had the three hours Monday night of missionary work in Slovenia, which was SO HARD. I think it was worse than being a new missionary. I was with Sister Yardley (from my MTC group, she's also a Croatian speaker) and then a Slovene missionary Sister Redding. Sis Redding barely taught us a few opening phrases in Slovene before we were out the door talking to people. The languages are similar, but they're not THAT similar. Especially the shorter, common phrases that you have to use. It was the most intriguing thing because we understood maybe half of what they were saying (I'm not sure how we understood because I don't remember any specific words, it just kind of made sense-- WEIRD) but we had absolutely NO idea of how to respond, so did our best and then turned to Sis Redding and she'd take over till the end. It was sooooo fun. And also I have a huge appreciation for how far I've come in this language. Crossing the border back to Croatia was the biggest relief. I can communicate here!
Okay. Now for the big news: I'M TRAINING! Finally! My last chance! We have two Serbo-Croat-speaking sisters coming in, and I get one of them! Sister Yardley has the other one. I'm staying in Banja Luka (it'll be my longest area-- 6 months by the end of the transfer) and am also still a Sister Training Leader. That is what MY trainer did when she trained ME, so I think that's sweet. President told me like a month ago I'd be training, but he pretty much swore me to secrecy. I'm so excited! As I type I am sitting in the mission office in Zagreb, and the missionaries' plane will land any minute and then they will come to meet us! I couldn't be more excited. I'm a little nervous, but I know I won't ruin her.
Our investigator is still amazingly on target for baptism. She came to churchand President Grant was visiting, and he thinks she's in for sure. She loved church. And TWO of our members, having heard last week that she was on date, felt inspired (without conversing with each other beforehand) to bear amazing testimonies about baptism and their own conversion. I cried because it was so wonderful to see the members get excited. I've never experienced that before. Another amazing thing is that one of those members, has recently been reactivated, and now wants to receive her endowments in the temple in the spring. President Grant asked us sisters to teach her temple prep, and she's so excited, and we're so excited too! ALSO, Sister Varty (the senior sis) bore her testimony in Serbian because for our hour of language instruction with them we taught how to bear testimony. We mostly just gave them phrases to say (kind of rote), but in recent weeks we've also been doing a lot of grammar, so imagine my surprise when Sis Varty gets up and bears a completely UNIQUE testimony with sentences that she had made up entirely on her own, correct grammar and all. I also cried at that. The members LOVED it.They need to see that the missionaries try.
Okay. Sorry if I'm giving you a lot of information at once, but one last thing. Literally 10 minutes ago I was talking to Sister Halling, a senior office sister, and she saw the picture of mummi you sent me and asked who she was. I told her about her, and her being from Finland, so she mentioned the recent area authority visit from a Finn (whom I did not meet). Then she told me that her husband's cousin actually baptized that area authority about 40 years ago! So I said what years? And she said '75-77. His name is Dean Halling. Isn't that when Pappa served as president?? I told her about that too. I don't know. That's pretty cool, huh?