Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 47

Hey Fam,

So this week was pretty good. We had some fun over here too! It was a good week for missionary work too. I can say that I have felt a connection and a reason for my assignment in every area and that has begun to set in here for Rijeka as well. I know that the Lord is mindful of every single one of his missionaries. He knows each one of his children, is mindful of them, and is always willing to help. The Lord sent me to Rijeka for a reason and I love finding out why more and more everyday. I know that I make it sound like I found some amazing investigator and I kinda did but I just love helping the Lord in His work even if I don't get to see the results.

So English class is underway here and I still love it. It is a little stressful because we are teaching beginners who know absolutely nothing. But it has already proved worth it already. We have a little survey when they sign up for the class in which they can indicate if they want to learn more about the Church, most of our students said yes. That in and of its self is a cool thing. So we started calling a couple of people after the first few days. We looked through our list and thought about who might be the most prepared.

There was this one lady in class that had been kinda crusty the first day so she was not on that list. She was talking the whole time and complaining a little about how easy it is. So after we had called the others who we thought would do good, we called her... Turns out she is great! She asked if she could bring her husband with her as well and I said of course. So they both came to English class then we met for a lesson after. It seemed like we were telling her everything she wanted to hear by explaining the message of the Restoration. So we invited them to come to church and it didn't sound to solid. However, they both showed up and the husband started crying. They really felt the Spirit and said they would definitely be back next week. They are just really unhappy with the catholic church... can't imagine why.... I know that we can help them and I am excited to see how it all goes.

We have also been calling previous investigators and seeing how they are doing and things. We have met with a couple of them and see some potential there.

I am no longer a district leader but am training. We are still doing well. We are just loving the working and.... working the love... sounded better in my head. He is really great. We are starting this area up and it's fun to see it change.

My birthday was good. Nothing to special. It had a lot of potential when the day started because we had 3 lessons planned but none of them worked out. We called one of them after and she asked why we didn't come by and that she was waiting for us. Guess her husband isn't too supportive because he told us she wasn't home when he answered the door. I was a little bummed about that. The other companion took me out to lunch then we went to McD's for dinner. But not on purpose we just needed something quick.

This Sunday we had a Thanksgiving dinner with the branch. It was lots of fun.

I didn't get any packages so hopefully I have something waiting for me in Zagreb. Mom and everyone else yes I would be completely ok with money for Christmas. I will buy myself something and put it under our little trees. It will be great, no worries.

Sounds like the Reunion was fun too. What did you guys do?

I think that is about it. Sounds like you all had a good Holiday.

I cant wait to talk to you all in 31 days

Love you all!

World War II cave

Birthday Lunch

Birthday Dinner


Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 46

Hey Fam,

So it sounds like everyone is doing good and getting ready for the holiday's. 

I feel real old and in fact I have been having nightmares that I get home and people ask me how old I am and I accidental say like 25 then they ask where I served a mission and they ask me to speak Croatian and I don't know anything.  Maybe it is the Lord telling me to work harder, whatever it is, it is working.  It is freakin me out man.

Training is going great and I am loving it.  He is just as sassy as I am so we understand each other pretty well.  We have been contacting some past investigators from a list of people that our branch mission leader gave us so that is fun.  It is so nice to have one of those.  He is so helpful. 

We found some new investigators that live in the same building as the church.  That is convenient. 

We are out to visit some WWII caves today so sorry I dont have much time.  It was good to hear Hurricane finally won. 

I love you and hope you all have a great Holiday.  I didnt realize what a Mama's boy I was, or to such an extent till I was away for so long.  I LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL.

Love you all!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week 45

Hey Fam,

So I apologize that I was so short last week. The important thing is that you know what I am doing, where I am, and that I am safe. And that I am so be happy!

I am here in Rijeka and it is pretty but not as pretty as Zadar. The sunsets just don't compare. They have a couple young members here though so that is fun and they are all willing to help with the work anyway they can.

Sounds like everyone is having fun. I'll go ahead and start on my week then.

So Monday evening I was in Zagreb and staying with Westie, who by the way is the new Zone Leader AND training. We were both talking all night long about how scared we were. It was so good to be able to talk to him and see how much we have both grown since the MTC. He is going to be a great ZL. So that was Monday evening. We also got a hold of a less active that Lifferth and I used to visit all the time so that was good to go see him. He is now thinking about going on a mission.

Tuesday we had a meeting with President just for us trainers. All the people from my MTC group except one are training this transfer and for two of them it is the second time in a row. So that is fun to see us all doing good. The meeting was good and it was just a couple of us so we all got to ask all the questions we wanted and so that was good. Pres told us about a talk that Elder Holland gave to the new mission presidents in the MTC about how the trainers in the mission will have a more lasting effective on the mission that another other person of position. That really meant two things for me, both of which motivated me. First is that this is a great trust from the Lord. Second is that I better be a good example. It was just a really good meeting.

Wednesday we has a meeting in the morning where we got to meet our new companions. We didn't know previous to that who we would be with. Pres Rowe waits till the missionaries are here then interviews them. Then, based on what he feels after the interview he assigns the trainers. That isn't what President Hill did but I think it is a good way. So we had a short little meeting with the trainee's and trainers and then were on our way.

We got here to Rijeka at about 6 and went to dinner then went home and unpacked a bit before it was time to go to bed.

Thursday we had to get all registered and start working on Visa stuff. That was a little stressful, luckily I understood everything, to which I was very surprised. So that was all good. Then we went grocery shopping so we had some food.

Friday was our first full real day and it was good. We have been looking through the area book and seeing if we can find some people to start working with. We also put on our Relief Society hats (only because I know how good I look in it because of my last experience), and baked cookies for the people in our apartment building. So basically went tracting with cookies and introduced ourselves as the missionaries as well as neighbors. We totally got 2 new investigators out of it, a mom and her daughter. So it has already paid off and that is only the first 3 floors, we have 7. It amazes me how many people do not want free cookies. We just wanted to give them cookies and some people just start questioning us like they have poison or something. On more than one occasion they would bring up the fact that they were catholic. Ummmm ok... I just have cookies for you and wanted to say hi..... One lady told us that people don't do that here and just shut the door.... whatever. I don't let the haters get to me.

That is the adventures of the week. I stopped going through the week because nothing else really happened.

Ok so now I know you all want to know.... how is training. It is going very well. It is just another GREAT experience to learn and grow. His name is Elder Compton. He is from Mesa, AZ but went to BYU before he left. I have looked past that in an effort to focus on the work....

I do not exaggerate when I say he knows the language better than I do. He really is so good! I like to attribute it to the fact that they have since changed how they teach in the MTC, just to make me feel better. But we are learning from each other. He is working on his understanding and I am working on my vocab so we are a good combo. He is a great Elder and we are getting along great. This is going to be a great transfer! We were white washed into this area and they really didn't leave us anything to work with but we are already up and running.

I always feel really pressured to know everything thought. He already knows that I am not to good at the language so we are learning together. But I am trying my best to be the best example I can be. I want him to know that in this mission we are 100% obedient. I dont want to do something wrong and let him thing that it is ok. So we are definitely working hard together to be the best we can.

I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Love Elder Massey

Some pics of us setting up or apartment for Christmas. Amazing the things you find when you clean.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Week 44

Hey Fam,

So just really quick because I have to get on a bus to Zagreb because this... is... TRANSFERS!!!

So I got a call from Pres. Rowe about some things earlier this week and since he was down last Sunday for branch conference.  So I was giving him crap about calling me with transfers and he and I were just joking around.  So when he called in the middle of the week I asked him and he said well I wanted to talk to you.  Oh snap... what have I done...

I will be going to Rijeka and training.  Ya let me repeat that TRAINING.  I am so scared and can't teach a language I don't know but good thing the Holy Ghost can speak a lot better than me. 

I really have to go so sorry.  I love you all!  I will have a great email for you next week!

Love Elder Massey

Last birthday request,  really dont worry about the packages  money is soo much easier.  but if you must you all know just what I like so no specific.  Just throw some letters in there and pics


Monday, October 31, 2011

Week 43

Hey Fam,

Sounds like everyone is doing good and that you all have good weather.  The weather here is great as well!  I love wearing long sleeve shirts now, but mostly because I think it looks better.  So it's nice and really quiet here in Zadar with the summer and all the tourists gone.  It was windy and raining one other day this week but now it's all good. 

So this week was pretty good.  Nothing really too exciting.  I have a couple cool stories so I will continue with those. 

So one member in the branch is really doing great.  He has been a member for about 4 months and will be receiving the Melchizedek priesthood this next Sunday.  He has read anything he can get his hands on and is really doing good.  So Elder Truman, as the branch president, had a interview with him this week.  Him and his wife have had some problems with having children and she is now pregnant but seems to being having some problems.  So I asked him how she was doing before he went in for his interview and he said not to good.  So I slipped in the office and told Truman about that before the interview started.  So that is just some back ground info.  So the interview started and I busied myself with playing piano and doing dishes.  So while I was doing the dishes I felt that I should pray for both of them.  This was a tough time for this member and his family and Truman's first interview.  So I thought ok I'll be sure to pray for them tonight.  Then the thought came again, no now while they are in the interview.  So again I thought ok when I'm done with the dishes.  No sooner than the Lord had to tell me one more time that I needed to pray now was I literally running to the couch, soapy hands and all, to kneel down and pray.  I just prayed that both of them would be comforted and that everything would be ok.  I thought that this would be one of those times that you do what you know is right to possible never know why.  Well that wasnt quite the case here.  I later found out that in that very frame of time, and not just the interview as a whole, but in those few minutes, that this member has begun to cry as he told Elder Truman that something had gone wrong in the pregnancy and that the baby was not developing correctly.  I then learned that this was not one of those experiences, but that I was able to see the need for my prayers. 

I was reminded once again to follow impressions as they come and not to delay them.  Also, I now have an increased testimony of the mindfulness of our Heavenly Father.  I know that he knows each of us by name and knows exactly what we are going through.  This is in times of bad as well as times of good.  This knowledge is so comforting to me.

I came across a talk by Elder Uchdorf this week and he put it very well.  It said something to the effect of, God, the most powerful and supreme being in the whole universe, knows your name and loves you!  That is just a little of the thought but nonetheless, how wonderful a thought that is to have.  I am so thankful for the love that I feel from my Eternal Heavenly Father and the opportunity that I have to share that love and knowledge of him with others. 

Also we have a new investigator this week.  He isn't a new face to any members or missionaries but he is a new investigator.  He is the husband of a very strong and active member.  He is down here is Zadar working at a resort as a chef.  Some one that we went to for that buffet and all. So this is how it went down. 

So his wife is living in Zagreb with her parents.  She was down here but has since gone back up to Zagreb while he finishes working the rest of the summer/tourist season.  So he has notoriously avoided missionaries in the past.  Well we had a bag for him that had some stuff from his wife in Zagreb and so we were going to visit him.  So I told Truman that we are not living, or giving that bag to him, until we talk to him about the church and things.  So we went to his house, helped him with some things, and we about to leave.  So I told him that before we left I wanted to make a deal with him.  Mind you that all of this is in English because he doesn't speak Croatian.  So he said ok.  I told him that I wanted him to do two things for me and if he did those two things and didn't want to talk about religion anymore I wouldn't bother him.  You return missionaries can probably guess that those two things are read and pray.  To that he said ok but he doesn't like to read.  I quickly responded that we have the Book of Mormon on CD and he can listen to it.  So that curve ball handled no problem.  Like I said this was in English so I was being as bold as possible.  I talked about his family and how I wanted them to enjoy the blessings of the gospel TOGETHER.  So he was very open with us and told us that he was free every Tuesday.  I was happy to hear that seeing as I hadn't asked him when we could come back.  I hope that it all works out, even if he does want to play hard ball and say he doesn't like to read. 

We had branch conference on Sunday so Pres was down and Truman and I had interviews.  It was good.  Rumor has it I might be a Zone Leader but I told him that wasn't necessary that I am find down here for the winter.  I think I will stay down here for at least another transfer.  Transfers are on the 8th so that is fun. 

So just to prove that I am indeed my mothers child I put on my ˝Relief Society Hat˝ and got us a new family to teach.  I made some banana bread and took it over to introduce ourselves as the missionaries who live next door.  It may have looked a little gay but they understand.  They are the nicest little family with one little boy.  They let us right in and we talked for about an hour.  They asked some great questions about the Church.  One obstacle is that the wife is a vjera nauk teacher.  That means Faith Doctrines.  It is a requirement for all kids here.  So she teaches that.  Good for us that means we have a lot of knowledge to work with!  She said that she hear we have apostles.  So we explained that this is the same church that Christ organized when he was on the Earth, only to have her husband comment, ¨The Catholic church doesn't have apostles.¨  It was great.  I followed it with a, ˝ya and we have a couples quorums of 70 too!˝  It was the bomb.  So look at what a little banana bread can do to people. 

For the Packages just go ahead and send them to the adress that I sent last week.  It is a Coratian address and is in Zagreb.  If anything goes to the other Slovenian address it runs the risk of getting lost and taking forever to get to me.  So that is it and the finally birthday list is as follows.  I forgot my real list at home so these are just the things I remember

Sour Patch Kids
Beef Jerky
Velvita Cheese
Recipes (be mindful that we can not get cheddar cheese hence the want for velvita)
Reese's peanut butter cups  NOT REESE'S PIECES, enough for two (they are Truman's fav)

And really the exchange rate is great over here like 5:1 so if you don't want to bother putting together a package or buying things you can just put money in my account and I will buy myself a tie and go to dinner.  Same applies to Christmas.  I know the packages are a bit of a hassle and one was already lost (mom never got your package) so money is great and easy.

I think that is about it for this week.  I love you all and hope you have a great week.

 The Sister Missionaries carved this pumpkin for them...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 42

Hey Fam,

Well I'm back in country now.  Slovenia was great! (see pictures)  I actually understood the language fine and was able to participate in lessons.  It was a really good experience and lots of fun.  It was really cold up there but it was all good.  My companion was Elder Niemenin.  He is from Finland and so awesome.  Poor guy has to translate everything, sometimes through 2 languages.  It was just a really good breathe of fresh air.  It looks about the same.  The people are a little different.  I don't like to make excuses for myself but I think that it is easier up there.  The people seem to be a lot nicer.  Doesn't really effect what I do down here but just an observation.  Again, great experience and lots of fun. 

I got to see a Zone Conference in Slovenia and Croatia, same meeting different place.  That was a little boring at time but highly beneficial at others. 

When I got to Slovenia one of the first things I did was tiddy up the apartment later.  Elder Niemenin was thankful as well as his returning companion seeing as after the conference we had apartment checks. 

We have senior sisters now.  One is a nurse for the mission and her companion is Sister Rowe, President's mom.  They are so fun!  We call them Grandma Rowe and Turner.  I love them.  They make me miss my grandma's. 

So nothing really happened while I was away from my area so nothing much to talk about.  Sorry fam. 

So about the packages your all wondering about.  I still haven't got that one from you Mom but you didn't say where you sent it.  Go ahead and and send whatever you want about 3 weeks before my birthday and send it to Zagreb.  The address is:

Adriatic Mission
Crkva Isusa Krista Svetaca Posljednik Dana
Svačićev Trg 3/1
Zagreb 10000

Put that in the address of where you want it to go and in the return address put my name with your address.  This is so that they don't have any problem accepting the package but still know who it is for and who to return it to if it doesn't quite make it.  Make sense??

So that is about it.  The pictures of Slovenia are not to great because it was raining the last day when i started taking most of the pictures. 

Love you all!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week 41

Hey Fam,

Well this email is coming to you all from Slovenia.  Due to a short notice invitation to come up I will be serving up here for a week.  I am in Celje and will serve with an an elder who's companion is still waiting in the states for his visa.  So basically I am being used as a pawn.  No worries I like it.  Always an adventure.  Previous to my coming up here I was on an exchange in Zagreb.  I got to see all my old friends at church and here West give the gift of the Holy Ghost.  That was cool.  So I was asked on Saturday to come up here till Friday and so I had to call Truman and have him send my passport and more clothes.  So the Slovenes are getting a little taste of Massey as I will be attending a meeting up here on Wednesday.  I feel like a Greenie again. 

I will have you all know that I am still one of the fav missionaries in Zagreb.  Now my opinion is a little bias so I will share with you an example.  I want to remind you this is in spite of the fact that I was in Zagreb for my first six months and my Croatian was terrible.  A language barrier is no match for my personality.  So I get there and we started planning the next day.  We had a couple lessons and I suggest we try and get a member to come on a few.  So I called one of my fav and I told her it was Massey.  She reassured me that she would know my voice anywhere.  That part I'm not sure is good.  I had called a member in Zagreb previous to going to ask a question and she found out i was coming to town.  She invited me to lunch.  Loved that.  Also ever member that I saw after that asked if I was going to lunch at the Sambunjak's.  I asked how they knew and they all said, ˝Oh Lydia has been bragging about it for a couple of days now.  You're her favorite.˝  Needless to say I felt very loved upon my return to my ˝birth city˝.

So other than the fact that I came up here and to Zagreb last week nothing much really happened. 

A member in Zadar needed some financial assistance so I can now add that to my resume.  I can't decide if I like it so much when I hear that a mission prepares you for your life and other service in the church than I see all that I am doing now.  What does that mean for the future?

Well turns out that the rotating wheels on my suitcase don't particularly like the cobblestone here.  I will be needing to buy a new suitcase when I move next.  Those wheels I thought I would like so much don't exactly work out as nicely when the bag is 50 lbs on bumpy roads.

Sounds like everyone is doing good.  Sorry for the short email.  I'm in Slovenia for perhaps the only P-day I will send here so I'm going to be a tourist for a bit.

Love you all and hope you have a great week.