Saturday, June 15, 2013

June 9, 2013

New friends in Čelinać
Palačinka for Aktivnost
June 9, 2013, Banja Luka, Bosnia

We have officially been in Banja Luka, BiH, since the 15th of May.  We have begun the process of getting registered in a new country.  It takes sometimes several weeks before the process is complete.  We have had 2 fun activities with our Branch members and four Sundays.  The members are all quite new in the Church but are very faithful and are coming to Church, taking part and learning.  They are great and we really love them.

On Monday, May 20 we had a really great missionary experience while walking 20 minutes to a member family’s home for FHE.  A man was riding his bike by us going the same direction and noticed our nametags.  We always try to greet everyone while we are walking; they all stare at our name tags, some smile and return the greeting, but most look away and keep on walking.  Some are reluctant to look us in the eye, let alone stop and come back to talk to us as Zlatko did.  He told us later that he never stops to talk to strangers.  He returned our “dobar dan” and asked about our nametags and the church.  We talked in broken English and a little German and got his card .  We got his name and phone number and invited him to the church (we live above it) to learn more.  He said he would love to come.  He came the next day and we helped teach him with the sisters.  I offered a prayer and afterward he said, “That was for me.  Thank you.”  Then he said “I guess I should tell you how I came to believe in God. “  He was raised by an atheist/communist father and was never baptized.  He said he believed there was more to life and has been reading the scriptures every day.  He is someone who is one of the elect, someone who has already been prepared by our Heavenly Father, one who Heavenly Father placed in our path.  He hasn’t always been a believer, but he is now.   He was very open to reading the Book of Mormon and was thrilled when he was given one to take home and read.  I told him that things happen, sometimes good and sometimes bad and we may not know why until much later.  But God knows why because He sees the big picture.  Later when we can see in hind sight then we too understand why some things happen.  He was very humble and understood things as they were told to him.  Sister Crump asked him to be baptized and follow the example of Jesus Christ after he knows the gospel is true.  He said, “You don’t know me.  I don’t know you.  I may be a bad guy.”  We then knelt and Zlatko offered a prayer.  It was a wonderful strong spirit present in the room

 Zlatko came the next night and brought his friend, Darko with him.  They had both read the Joseph Smith pamphlet and said they wanted to know which church is true, just like Joseph Smith.  Dad told them about the Book of Mormon being translated by Joseph and that it is a history of three different groups of people who came to America from Jerusalem before Christ’s birth, that it is a record of them and God’s word to them.   That morning I had been studying Moroni 10:3-5 and felt impressed to read it to them in English while they followed along in Croatian.  They both said they would read the book to find out if it is true.  We all knelt down and again Zlatko offered a prayer.  What a great experience we have been having.  Zlatko came to church on Sunday and is coming tomorrow morning for a lesson on the restoration taught by the sisters.  We are excited to help him learn more.  

We met with Zlatko again and had another great lesson with him.  He has read quite a bit of the Book of Mormon already and as we talked about it with him he said while holding the Book of Mormon, “This is good fruit!”  He had been reading about the tree of life.  He said he has investigated other churches and something has always made him stop.  He said if nothing stops him while he is studying he will get baptized.  The name Zlatko means golden.  We feel he is a golden contact!  He has left for Austria for work so we haven’t met with him since then.  We continue to pray for him and hope he will return ready to be taught some more.

Aktivnost fun
Zorana and Kača