Monday, September 16, 2013

Aug 16 - Week 16

Oh! Hey there!
Good news and bad news. Good news: We finally got test results back from the pulmonology test. Bad news: Something is wrong (we knew that already) Good news: It's NOT emotional. We have finally been able to rule that sucker out. Bad news: We don't know exactly what is wrong. Good news: We've finally started experimenting with different medicines. Bad news: We have to wait to get an appointment with another doctor (pulmonologist) Good news: The doctor from Mission HQ assigned to me called me and let me know not to stress about a deadline. Bad news: I have no idea when I will be returning to the field or when a decision will be made.
In other news! The family (my parents and two of my brothers) were in Wyoming this weekend. Since I am pathetic and weak I stayed behind and got to spend the weekend with one of my brothers, his wife, and their adorable red glava-ed little girl. It was great! I've been on an exchange with them once before and really wanted to spend more time with them while in the states. Then this wonderful opportunity came up! Someone up there loves me. 
I learned how to daily/nightly plan, how to help a toddler drink Gatorade out of the big Gatorade bottle, how to answer the question "What are you doing here?" and "I didn't we had sisters in the area." My niece taught me how to bust down a move, and I finally tracked down and read The Fourth Missionary. I would definitely suggest this to every missionary. It's may look intimidating because it's a 25 page essay (no exaggeration) but so is a mission. So learn it and love it!
As if my mission wasn't unique enough as it is, I got to do some service at the local theater. If any of you see Shrek: The Musical at the Scera Theater, think of me when you see all the "sturdy brown" set pieces. I painted those myself, with love.
With all the fun and exciting things that happened, I didn't take a single picture! So here is a list based off of "White blonde girl problems" and the such.

Sestra in Utah Valley problems:
Accidentally talking/texting to family in mission language after talking to a friend
"What are you doing here?" and "Are you a REAL sister missionary?"
Do you remember the last time you were babysat? I can. (It was 5 minutes ago.)
"I can't! I'm a missionary!" vs "Well it doesn't EXACTLY say anything against it in the white handbook..."
"Where are you from?" Here. "Oh."
Talking with friends family and strangers turns into "Hey, want to talk about the gospel?" 
Never knowing who and if you're allowed to hug
As Ses Marks would put it "Where are my friends?"
Receiving farewells that are ONLY appropriate in this situations such as "I hope I don't see you again for a long long time."
Seeming like a rather unfit personal by gasping like a fish after coming up a small flight of stairs. Haha 
Discovering unlimited access to General Conference (dating back from the 70's) and Music and the Spoken Word (M & SW) becomes a highlight and tender mercy. Who's up for a M&SW marathon! I'll make ćevapi!
Becoming companions with someone you met 5 minutes ago.

More to come. 
Peace and Blessings!

Ses Farnsworth

Sept 9 - Week 15

Well Howdy there!
It's funny how accustomed to the strange and weird you become on the mission. Now it's the normal-ness of home that feels weird. In some of my encounters I can tell it's just as strange for some of you. Haha You know those dreams you have when someone comes home form their mission for a day or two? Yeah... It's more strange in real life.
Never in my dreams did I ever think I would be a missionary on my school's campus. I feel so very sorry for the missionaries who serve here. They do not have it easy. I never thought my presence could bring people so much anxiety. I was walking to a dinner with my parents and a student saw me. She looked at her friends and not so quietly whispered "Look! It's a sister missionary! Run!" and thus they did. How can you not laugh? It's a good thing they're gaining an education. ;)
I have loved every moment with my family and I have loved surprising my friends. I've been learning a lot about the missionary efforts here and I am excited to learn and apply in my own way in whatever field I return to.
My blood tests came out clean, and it only took them 5 pokes, 3 nurses, and 2 separate buildings to get blood out (3 times in one hand and once in each arm). Now we just wait for results on tests and to find out what other tests will be needed. Fun fun!
One of the perks of this experience is the opportunity to study. I LOVE the scriptures! A popular philosophy from my MTC group is that if we representing Christ, wouldn't it be important to know about his life? So I've been delving into the teaching of Christ.
A great "ah-ha" moment that I want to share came from reading the book of John. By this point in the new testament, everything has been said at least 3 times. I guess it takes that many times to get some points across. The story of the loaves and fishies is no exception! Yet, it has taken all those times for me to gain a new understanding.
To explain it simply:?
loaves and fish = us (our talents, abilities, etc)
people = people (needs and demands, lost sheep, those in need, etc)
Christ = Christ

We may not have very much to begin with. Maybe you only have a couple loaves or a couple gifts. I can walk backwards, I have very recognizable laugh, and I have a good memory for people. With Christ's blessing and help we are able to reach and satisfy all that is needed with an abundance left over. In fact we are left with more than we started with! Ironically, Christ broke the bread. Sometimes we feel like we are being broken up when we are really being built up. Make sense?

So with that thought, đenja!
Sestra Farnsworth

Sept 2 - Week 14: Plot Twist!

Well, Howdy!
This week has seen many interesting events. It's one of those weeks that starts one way and ends completely different in a way you never would imagine. They weren't kidding when they told me the mission take me to places and situations I never imagined.
The week started with a rather successful FHE. I have introduced Do You Love Your Neighbor to Novi Sad. I think I've created a monster. They LOVE it! It was so much fun and we had a couple non-member friends come. Everyone got really involved! I think you'll be seeing a Do You Love Your Neighbor revolution from Serbia in the news soon.
The major plot twist was revealed on Tuesday. We were working on English fliers when we got a call. I was going home on a medical leave and Sis E would be going to Sremska. 
Let me clear things up so there isn't confusion or potentially awkward moments in the grocery store.
Medical Release: Honorable release from mission duties for medical reasons. Reapplication to mission is required in order to go out into the field.
Medical Leave: A period of time to recover and/or figure out medical issues. Still a missionary, so still counts on clock. Still wear the badge and follow mission rules as possible. Can turn into medical release, reassignment, or return to original area.
Yes. I can talk to you. Yes. You may ask me who/where my companion is. Do I feel weird here? yeah.
Saying good-bye to our English class was surprisingly emotional. I've become attached to those silly little bubice (bugs). They were rather disappointed too. Good thing the Elders are so amazing. I also had my very first milka bar.
The next day we went to Sremska to drop off Sis E with her new trio. I ended up going to Zagreb with the Babbels. They're the senior couple in Rijeka, but Elder Babbel is a patriarch and was giving blessings the previous night and that morning. 
First day of travel ended with a wonderful dinner discussion at the mission home. I wish everyone could see the President and the APs in action. I think Zagreb might be receiving a new member or two soon. The night ended with s'mores. How can you not feel the spirit?
I had an early morning flight to Munich, then D.C., then finally SLC. Literally the longest day of my life. I saw over 24 hours of sunlight. Thank goodness for the "relief society" I met in D.C. They made the last flight very enjoyable.
I was very blessed to come when I did. On Friday, I had the very unique opportunity to surprise my Grandpa by being apart of his very last session as an ordinance worker. It was very special. I can only imagine what it would be like to see your posterity in the temple and standing in front of them. I felt honored to be there. Maybe there is more to this medical leave then any one thinks.
The rest of the week has been spent in a cabin in the woods in the mountains in the rain. It's like nature's humidifier. 
Never a dull moment on the mission. Oh the places you'll go!

Until next week! 
Unless I bump into you somewhere. Haha

Sestra Farnsworth

 Pictures: (to come soon!)
-Finally seeing the beginning of a sunset
-Utah weather: If you don't like the weather just wait a few minutes.
-Do You Love Your Neighbor translation board. That in itself became a fun game of What Does Sestra Farnsworth Need to Fix. It was a blast. The dictionary let me down too many times. I'll never forget the word for "pants" now. See the A+ in the corner?

Aug 26 - Week 13

Joj! This week has had its moments.
After emails on Monday, we spent some time with one of our members. She's been wanting me to try something called Silver Water. She's been trying for a while. She finally hooked my arm and walked us over to a drug store to buy it. She then shoved us on a city bus (˝for this one˝ she would say, indicating me). Neither of us have been on the city bus and so unbeknown to us, we missed our stop. We kept waiting for the bus to turn around but it didn't. After going through a couple villages, it finally stopped. We were the only ones on the bus except for the bus driver and a woman who just got on. The bus just sat there. So naturally we made friends with them and the bus driver explained when we should have gotten off and what to remember next time. We had a beautiful view of the country side! The best part is that on the way back, one of our investigators came on and sat with us. This investigator is solid! She has been gone on a yoga retreat at some monastery so we haven't heard much from her. She had broken her phone and lost our number. She was hoping to get into contact with us somehow and WAH-LAH! There we were on the bus. We're pretty sure she's going to be a general relief society president. She understands the 2 Nephi Isaiah chapters in English! Joj!
Our new group is already poised and ready to turn the area upside down. The other Sisters are powerhouses! Big things are happening here. Temple 2020 as one of the zone leaders always says. It's going to happen!
This week has also really impressed on me the importance of always being a missionary. It's little things like reading your scriptures in public or not being ashamed of what you believe in that will open up the door to finding those who see for the truth but don't know where to find it. Member missionaries are SO important!
Believe in good things to come!
Sestra Aubrey Farnsworth
Gate made out of bike parts

"Place for kissing"

The Maughn's (humanitarian missionary couple) living room

Aug 19 - Week 12

Week 3 in the field! Third of the way through my first transfer! The members are finally making their way back from their temple trip. Some of them got back yesterday and some are getting back today. We missed them and we're all very excited to have them back. From what we can tell, they all absolutely loved going to Germany and getting to see the temple.
Elder Adams goes home tomorrow but all the elders went to Zagreb today. Things are getting really mixed up this week. All three of the new missionaries are going to be in my zone! Two of them will be in my district and one of them will be in Novi Sad! Sremska is the other town in my district and they are taking the elders out and putting sisters in. Yep! More sisters in Serbia! Now our district will have just the one companionship of elders.
We actually went to Sremska this week for district meeting. It's small but their church is cool. I'm excited for the sisters and for the town! Things are changing in the mission! But of course, the only constant is change.
Funny moment this week, we were in a taxi and the driver was talking to us (this doesn't happen very often) and he spoke English! We asked where he learned it and he told us from American movies. We asked which one is his favorite and he said The Fast and the Furious. He invited us to Beerfest in Beograd, so we invited him and his son to church.
Sorry, this week hasn't been too exciting. I'm sure this next week will more than make up for it. Any questions I can answer?
Work of salvation continues!
Sestra Farnsworth
Why yes, I do dry my own laundry. 

There's a pizzeria at the end of our street. This pizza is called Roma. That's an egg in the middle.

The sunset is for my mom. The rays peeking through remind me of her story about ˝I made this for you˝.

Aug 12 - Week 11

First, I want to thank everyone for their stories, their advice, and their prayers. Each and every one of them mean a lot.
It's been a fun week! Last Pday we kicked around a soccer ball and later were joined by some little Romas and a pup. All excelled at soccer. Yes, even the puppy! Fun fact for you, the dogs are a lot more obedient than the people. I am not making this up or exaggerating! I'm a witness to these things! They dogs here stop at the red lights and cross when it turns green. They even use the cross walks and will stop at the median when the green man starts flashing! if you don't believe me, come to Novi Sad and see for yourself!

Friday we had zone conference in Beograd. President wasn't able to make it. Beograd has some beautiful buildings! The sisters from Osijek were able to come. That means I got to see Sis Frampton! She is doing wonderful and apparently has been doing some wondrous work over in Croatia! She was so excited to be in Serbia. We both agreed that we will be more than sympathetic to the missionary plight for the rest of our lives. I got to see where the American Embassy use to be. All the windows are boarded up and there's no flag.

Our branch is in Germany right now! People are going through the temple! I am so excited for them! I senior couple went along leaving one of the elders in charge. It's a sacrament meeting I don't thin I will ever forget. We had one member (an old man, Stravko), one investigator, and two visitors (a singer from brazil and a young man from a nearby mission area). Then the four of us. Stravko read a page of quotes for sacrament meeting. Oh! And guess what! I played the piano. :) I'm sure you can imagine how well that went, considering I don't actually play. It's the thought that counts, right? We'll be excited to have our branch back.
Thank you again for all your love and support!
Sestra Farnsworth

Pictures are of Centar (in Novi Sad) and Beograd.

Novi Sad Centar in it's nighttime glory

Random building show the beauty of Belgrade/Beograd

Random building showing the not so beauty of Beograd/Belgrade

I realize that right now you are either just getting to work or waking up or some joyful activity.  You are probably wondering what your darling angel daughter is doing right now. Well besides figuring out foreign keyboards, she is seeking your advice and help.
I want to start FHEs over here. I need some help with ideas. What are some activities we can do in relation to provident living?

Still working on converting the masses. I'm considering the Parley P Pratt soapbox approach. My companion isn't too wild about that.
Can you send me some little recipes? Some short and simple ones. Just email them to me.
The mail system here is a little strange. We only get mail once a month. Sorry about misspellings. I'm using a Serbian keyboard. Things move around a bit.
I love you oodles and oodles.


Aug 5 - Week 10: First In-Feild P-Day

"How did I end up in this country, standing in the middle of a street with a broom." This thought has crossed my mind. Well I'll tell you. I went to the SLC airport, chowed down on some cafe rio (By the way, Did Dad tell that I actually could have talked to you longer?), called Mama, got on a plan and sailed off to Detroit. It was fun! I sat with Elder Bursell and Elder Epperson. We were travel buddies for a good portion of the time. We then boarded a flight to Paris. It was overnight and I was already suffering from Jet Lag. Who knew Jet Lag was more than just having a time zone change? I spent most of the time with my head on the tray. However, we ended up playing musical seats within our district. One poor lady started out with Sister Marks (brunette), the Sister Peterson (blonde), then woke up with me (redhead) next to her. She's American with French citizenship. She let me sit next to the window and I got to watch the sunrise over Paris from an airplane.
We got on a smaller plane and our district got broken up (seating wise). I sat next to a 20 yr. old girl from New York who hardly speaks Croatian. She was headed to visit family. We got picked up by the Rowes, went to the mission home (SUPER nice, by the by) and ate some lunch. Sis Rowe is a magnificent cook! We started cycling through showers and interviews. Pres Rowe is very nice. I think I'll keep him around. We then went to the mission office in Zagreb. The mission goal for that day was to keep everyone awake. Not an easy task. I fell asleep during a debriefing or two and was promptly woken up. It worked well! I haven't slept so well in a very very long time.
The next morning we got our assignments, went to the church, met our trainers and had a trainer/trainee meeting then went off to our respective places. I think it was a 3 to 4 hour drive to my assignment. My companion is Sis Erbe. she's from Oregon and this is her 2nd transfer. Yep. We got to our stan (apartment around 9 or 10, I think)
I was the second one to find out my assignment. When it was extended to me, he said that Elder Freeman had worked wonders over there, that the people view themselves as rather individual, and that there were many inactive members. It's funny how the people here practically whisper our teachers' names. 
That's how I ended up here. the only Sister companionship in Serbia, in a town called Novi Sad. I've spent the last few days just distributing flyers for English classes. I've gotten to know one member in particular, a Hungarian woman name Tajna. She's great. We're teaching a woman named Maja who is wonderful and a couple more people. We're always working on finding while I still try to figure out where I am. 
That's all the news I have for this week. I made it my first in-feild P-day. Thank you all for your prayers! They help!
Sestra Farnsworth 
My Birth City: Novi Sad

Me, Sis Erbe (Oregon), Tanja, Elder Adams (Arizona), Elder McAllister (Lehi, Utah)


These are the Rowes and this was just outside of the airport.

I've made it to Zagreb. We get our assignments tomorrow. I'll email you more on Monday. I have some emails/people to add to the list. Monday is P-Day. They're trying to keep us all awake until 8.30 tonight. I'm not making it easy for them. I'm zonked! But I am so happy to be here. I love it and I'm excited to dig into the work.
Sestra Slaubs