Sunday, December 1, 2013

busy busy busy...

-Zone conference! Its always fun to see the other missionaries, get pumped up and feel the spirit! I love sharing testimonies, stories and getting trained on how we can be better! On the way home, we stopped by a graveyard... It was November 1st, "the day of the dead". They honor the dead by lighting hundreds of candles and it was really beautiful!

-Sunday was a Great fast! I love fasting and praying over these people! I think fasting is so cool, putting off the natural man, its such an opportunity to grow! We had 15 people at church including us 4 missionaries:)

-Ok...Ive never been this tired. EVER. And it doesn't make sense that Im so happy! Im learning a foreign language, ME!! I am in awe when I understand these people and they understand me!

-we were doing some "rescuing" of some less actives and we found an address of a son of one of our less actives! we took the tram right over there! haha it was a little bit more packed than normal and I was squeezing my way through saying "samo malo molim" (excuse me please!) I made it through just in time, but I heard a faint "SESTRA"... I turned around and there was sestra clark with the door shut and her book of mormon was held out in attempt to open the tram doors! her face and mine im sure were shocked! everyone was laughing at us! thankfully the driver opened the doors!! it was hilarious! He was home and we were able to get a phone number from him, and another address! it was a miracle!  so we headed out to find her :) we started out on what turned out to be one of thee most sacred experiences of my life... it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day! the weather changed... and we were already really far away from home so we just kept on going! it soon started raining, and of coarse i forgot my umbrella.(kisa bran) i didnt care, i was full of hope and faith. it turned into a much longer walk than we thought... i was freezing...soaking wet and so tired but our Savior kept me walking... In that moment i realized just how sacred each and every soul is to Him. However uncomfortable i was for that short moment, i knew i would get to go home, shower and change...Be comfortable, dry and warm. BUT then i thought...what awaits our souls if we reject our savior? i would have walked for days and days just to let this woman feel our Saviors love. we finally got to her home, she wasnt interested in seeing us at that moment... i thought my heart was going to shatter. BUT me walking in the rain for days, wont bring her back, if it could... i would. the only one that can save her soul, has already done everything he can do...he has suffered for our sins and all he asks is to follow him. why as humans is it so easy to stay in the rain?  when we know what we need to do to become dry, comfortable, warm and safe.

-On friday i really felt anxiety like lehi, nephi and jacob for these people! we walked for 3 hours and not one potential investigator let us in BUT "all is well, all is well."

-Church was so beautiful!! awww my all time favorite by far. just so many people were there, i think there might have been more than 20!!!

-Sestra clarke had me teach the first lesson to maria, her 5 yr old daughter, and husband. Ive never been so scared in my life! with petar, the prestons and maria there, everyone spoke croation, but i just went for it in croatian! i did it!!! it was thee best thing ive ever done! my soul was literally rejoicing as i told her about the restoration! nothing feels better than it. honestly! i could perform in front of a billion people and it wouldnt even come close to how important this is!

-im so thankful that i know without a doubt that our heavenly father and savior live! it is thee biggest honor to put our saviors name, the name of his restored church, and to wear our families name everyday, my biggest hope is that i am representing all three like they deserve.

-MOMMY!! im 100% safe all the time!!! honestly, we are so smart and careful and seriously osijek is so small and everyone is so nice. like, maybe they dont wanna listen to us sometimes but i have never felt scared! we always mix up our routes, and we just avoid scary looking guys and we are just very smart and safe. we always walk in lighted areas, and our apt is in such a nice area, with beautiful families! I'm so safe but im still very aware, i promise!! :)

-we saw luka and walked with him to school, kids switch off with school here! so they go in the mornings, then at nights every other week, so crazy!

-i am getting better with dealing with rejection. then i just pour out in prayer for them that our heavenly father knows them and he has a plan for them and it will all work out in his time not ours.

-i talk to people all the time, its just mastering how to turn the conversation into the church... im getting pretty good at it!!

-i cant believe ive been a missionary for 6 months! im a third of the way done can you believe it?! i love my mission so much, im getting to the point where i am more comfortable and calm and im not as hard on myself. its very nice!

-i know ive heard people say your very tired on your mission. but i seriously had NO idea! honestly anything else in life will be easy. ha! we are full time missionaries and right now we have about every female calling in a church! but i love every second of it! i appreciate church so much more now! i can't wait to come home and ask our stake president where he needs me, and then ask for our less active list... let me at em!!!!

-anna is writing a song as part of her young women projects. the song is really good, i love using music to build up the kingdom.

-nenad came to church!!!!! i have been praying for that for 4 months!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

catching up...

Well hello there... its me, the slacker sister, aka Brandies blog runner. I know, I know I have not updated this thing in a LONG time. But thats about to change! Im not gonna confuse myself and put all her recent emails into order along with putting which pictures go to what weeks.... so heres a little catchup on the past o....5 weeks or so!
Can you believe she's been gone almost 6 months! Come Christmas and we've only got a year left of missing this sweet thing:) ok...

-Looks like me and Sestra Clarke are together for 6 more weeks here in Osijek! WOOT WOOT!

-Honestly my love and appreciation for America has grown so much while being here! Feeling and seeing the affects of a communist government, o man it has changed me forever! But these people are moving forward and they are ready for the gospel they just don't know it yet! haha

-I have now been studying Croatian for 4 months now so I have to remember this when I get frustrated! I love learning and most of all I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!! Its honestly overwhelming at times and I just care so much and I want to do all that i can but i just have to remember that everyone has their free agency and that Heavenly Father doesn't give us only one chance to learn His gospel.

-I am so thankful for the atonement I look at the person I am today, and who I was a year ago and I am so thankful for the grace and plan our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of His children.

-For Zone Conference Sestra Clarke and I got to drive to Serbia all by ourselves!! President Rowe is so close to the spirit, I have never felt the Spirit SO strong for SO long. Its so nice to see other missionaries and to feel the spirit, and to just learn and grow with each other.

-On Saturdays we clean the church and its honestly one of my favorite things! Its so small and humble and it is when I have felt the spirit the strongest! Taking care of our Heavenly Fathers church and making it nice because the Saints here need a nice place to worship.

-Denaja the less active member, we had taught last week and her son came to church!!! It was a miracle!

-We had lunch at Snjezanas, she is quite the chef! In Croatia they start their meals off with soup, its like top raman but so much better! They make homemade noodles and cook the meat in the soup for hours!  Then there was chicken stomach with gravy. (not my favorite!)... BUT! then she pulls out this huge thing of pork like HUGE! plus two salads and potatoes!

-We taught Evica and Jelica and I TAUGHT THE LESSON IN CROATIAN!!! It was amazing and they both were participating and their son Denni even was listening!

-Sestra Clarke and I always get stared at... this one guy ran his stroller into a sidewalk because he was staring at us! haha

- Saturday was by far my favorite day in Croatia! So Vesnar not only just says hi to us at this fair, she like escorted us thee whole time and she is very well known. We did sooooooo much for the church just by being seen with her! She made sure we saw every booth and ate all the food, I bought so many cool things! Then all of a sudden we were riding around in this carriage and then swinging around on these swings in our skirts! We had pizza and brownies then we all went out to the bridge.

-People call us, then hang up, so that we will call them back because they don't have any money, and then it charges us. haha

-We had an exchange with the sisters in Bosnia! Sestra Krump came here and Sestra Clarke went there! Sestra Krump likes to run, so we got up and ran! It was so great! We ran past the Cathedral, up the Drava and over the bridge, it was amazing but so cold! She taught me to relax and said we are doing more than everything right and that it is ok to have fun!!

-Two girls asked us if we knew Justin Beiber and asked us for our autographs! haha

- Conference. Yes! It was very hard to watch it in Croatian!! I will laugh if anyone ever complains or can't understand General Conference again!  I loved Conference!

-We went to visit Evika, she was the member that was in the hospital. It was so good to see her and her daughter who is less active and her kids were there too! Brother Preston gave her a blessing, it was so powerful, they were all in their living room for it and that never happens! Evika doesnt understand English at all but she said she still wanted the blessing because Heavenly Father understand all languages and the spirit was just so strong!

- This sunday we had 21 people at church! We were so excited! well including us 4 missionaries! ha

Sunday, September 22, 2013

hi... o hi !!!

The traditional meal here is... Cobanac, Its this big bowl of red soup, its spicy and delicious and you have it over noodles! Its great:)

How the branch works... We have Sacrament each week and then either sunday school or relief society and priesthood. The missionaries teach primary when our 2 kids come! They love learning the songs, they had never sung "popcorn popping!" Can you believe that?! and they also love the latter day prophet song.

Thursday we taught Mario, he is just the nicest! He is studying so much, he has listened to all these tapes and reads the BOM like crazy! He is sooooo close he just cant get over the smoking and drinking thing.

The Prestons sat us down and told us we need to start taking breaks haha. We just hate wasting time! They say we need to slow down, and not be so hard on ourselves, it really helped me!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Wednesday... I went to Bosnia for the day!
Bosnia was beautiful, the people were really nice, we met so many potentials!
Sestra Compare was so nice! She said the she had never seen the people smile like that before, she said that I need to use the way I can make people smile always on my mission!

Thursday- It was a really hard day...we had lost some time from the drive back to Croatia then it was just one thing after another. It turns out Stjepan made everything up and that he was just scamming us thee whole time. It was really hard because I know I felt the spirit while teaching him. But Im so thankful for my Heavenly Father because instead of feeling sorry for myself He showed me what Christ sees. And all the time I just feel love for Stjepan and I feel sorry for him. I here "forgive him for he knows not what he does" and ya it was a really sacred lesson to learn!

Sunday- A guy gave us an apple on the way to church... it was so hard not to eat it because it was fast sunday haha but fasting is sooooooo cool. I love learning about it! I love my life!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I love Osijek!

Wednesday was quite the day! So we were tracting and rang the bell and low and behold a legit straight up NUN answered the door!!! It was her apt... haha she said well I think you can see we probably won't have much more to talk about but it was really nice to meet you!! haha it was insane ill never forget that!

Thursday we went out to Vukovar to visit a less active member. Her husband is kindof blind I guess, and she said go get them something, so he went and put 5 cough drops on a plate and we each took one! haha adorable! Im keeping mine forever!

(pictures will be coming soon!)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

another week gone by:)

I gave out 3 Book of Mormons in one night!! and they were like to interested people! So even when we have hard things happen we just have to keep going or we miss out on miracles!

We were on our way to church and this super cute lady with a baby said hi to US from across the street...this NEVER happens haha. She called us over, we almost had a heart attack. She said I want to show you something, she had a Book of Mormon in Croatian, and English and a Doctrine in Covenants. I thought I was dreaming, she got us cookies and juice and she was taught by missioanaries 4 years ago and that she lost touch and so we will be seeing her next week!:)

We just learned if you work really hard when you are having a hard time, miracles from other days will comfort you... if that makes sense!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

still loving every minute it.

We went to the church to study the Mormonova Kniga with Bozo, he is a "life long investigator." He wont get baptized but comes to church every week, studies the BOM everyday. He even pays tithing, like he is amazing but why he wont get baptized is because "the catholic church need good people too" haha! We will have a heart to heart sometime!!

sooooooo hot today. 104 degrees. not joking, and no one was outside and everyone was in a really bad mood haha. We taught Stjepan he is amazing!! We taught him the first lesson we asked him if he had any questions and he said no, only answers!! He came to church and says he will be at English classes and we will teach him on friday like what?!! God prepared him.

There is only one young women in their ward! she is pictured below.
The building in the picture below has bullet holes from the war.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My first area.

God is great mom! He knew exactly where I needed to be and exactly who I needed to be with. My new companion is Sestra Clarke and were serving in Osijek.

Weve been tracting in apt buildings. I just laugh off the mean people and focus on the nice ones.
I talk, sing, or yodel to EVERYONE. :)

I made it!

 I got to talk to my family from the airport!!! I prayed to my Heavenly Father that I wouldn't get homesick when I talked to them and he answered my prayer! I loved talking to everyone!!!
 At the Paris airport...
My mission President and Sister Rowe...

MTC. week nine

They made it so fun sending us on a treasure hunt.
Croatia... here we come!

On Saturday- We did a Zonska Activist, it was incredible. We went from room to room and different teachers in the zone talked to us about different things, it was really spiritual probably because it was in english and we could understand it haha.
The teacher had us write down all the reasons the Savior came to Earth.
1: He was thee only one that could.
2: Because He loves us
3: God told him to.
Then the teacher blew our minds and asked us why did you come on a mission? It was all the SAME reasons!!! Im getting teary eyed just thinking a bout it now. The spirit testified to us that we are more like Christ than we realized.

Thought for the week "The Lord and Lucifer have one thing in common, they both desire us to be like them. So choose, and endure to the end.

I really feel like I needed these 9 weeks to detox from the world. I love this gospel, I love God, I love His Son, I love YOU all, I stand all amazed at how great thou art. HE LIVES!

MTC. week eight

Sacrament was so powerful, in one of the talks the speaker said, "our Heavenly Father doesn't send us here to start a race, he sent us to finish the race."

Sestra Peterson read me something when I was upset, she said, " if no one ever offended you, you could never learn to forgive or internalize mercy.....  if you were never wearied by the annoying behavior of another  or the repeated failures of yourself, or someone else, you never become truly patient."

Quote of the day: "Heavenly Father binds us to free us, Satan "frees us" to "bind us"

My goal is to read the whole quad by the end of my mission.

Monday, July 15, 2013

MTC. week seven

"I had no idea mom! This is my 7th week! Can you believe that?! I can't... in less than 3 weeks I will be in either Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia or get this... MONTENEGRO they just added that beautiful country to our mission!"

"My favorite thing from our tuesday devotional was " are you serving time, or the Lord?"

" Wednesday I was thee most tired ive been! Im trying to earn my nights sleep by pushing myself to the limits in all areas! i keep thinking about our reunion at the airport... i kind of tear up every time i think about it... but i want to earn those hugs!!"

"Im learning habits that i want to keep for eternity, I LOVE the book of mormon!"

This week it was Sestra Petersons! She also got a package we sent to her... Van made her some little pom pom animals :)
another funny story for ya...
She ran into Matthew Raun, and wanted to take a picture with him... Well Matthews companion thought that was just a sin! He said to Matthew... " Elder! You cant take a picture with a girl alone!" so Brandie said... "Well could you come on the other side of me then and be in it with us??" his reply... "No! I can stand on the other side of Elder Raun." hahahaha (last photo)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

MTC. week 6

"I came into the MTC believing... but now I KNOW that God and His son live! I have studied and studied and prayed harder than I ever have, and I know that this gospel is true. I know now, that there is a difference in knowing the church is true... and being TRUE to His church."

"Dont EVER confuse Gods patience with absence."

MTC. week five

"Sunday WOW it was just an amazing day! Relief Society was unreal! The speaker was a spiritual beast and she made so many powerful bold statements, one of my favorites was she was explaining how her sons are in the military... She said, "Its a very mild comparison but I know whats its like to have your children in enemy territory." She compared having her sons at war to Heavenly Father watching His children at war. We are literally everyday in enemies territory. But just like her sons who wouldn't go into war unprepared, we are prepared... we have weapons! We have the Book of Mormon and personal revelation, we ALREADY know who is going to win the war and yet we still battle within ourselves everyday."

 So this picture makes me laugh so hard!  here is the story behind it!...
"Let me just tell you how passionate Miss Peterson was about getting on TV she litterally talked about it for weeks! Saying I have to make it on tv so my family can see me and I can show my kids bla bla bla haha I was just like you will be!!! Ok so every missionary wanted to be in the choir to sing at this event. We didn't know if everyone that wanted to sing in the choir would be able too. But Sestra Peterson wouldn't hear of it "we WILL be in the choir!" ok, so we ate our lunch by the gate so we could be first to start walking towards the Marriot Center.... so all the missionaries were getting a little excited... ok we all start walking very fast towards the Marriot center ha ha it was the craziest thing I bet you anything that Heavenly Father and His Son were just cracking up it was thee coolest thing to see thousands of missionaries rushing to the Marriot center like it was a Justin Beiber concert or something honestly thats what it felt like haha......... ok so Sestra Peterson was all but running now ok I get flat tired by an elder behind me and Sestra Peterson looks at me and says "if you stop I will push you!" haha so we are sprinting at this point she cuts across the parking lot ok we were the first sisters in there hahahahahaha and we were on the first row! She was so excited she was getting "camera ready" haha she even told the camera guy that she "would be smiling the whole time" I was just excited to be five yards from the apostles!!!"   Best thing ever.... she NEVER made it on the camera! there is her arm... next to Brandie! hahaha

Monday, June 24, 2013

MTC. week four

In Brandies words... week four going strong :)

"I always have to be in touch with the spirit as I teach because God knows everyone. He just needs us to set it up so He can FINALLY communicate with His children:)"

"Its overwhelming the love and greatness of our Savior! Truly understanding Christ is how we can endure to the end. HE LIVES :)"

"Pray until your knees hurt... (oh by the knees have calluses on them hahaha I cant imagine them after 17 more months!)"

"Elder Gay stated that we have been prepared from the foundation of the world to go serve the people we are about to serve! humbling."

"I just love temples, I think its one of Gods greatest gifts to us! I had a moment where I was looking at the Poland missionaries and I literally felt all the people they are going to teach, it was a very special experience :)"