Monday, January 25, 2016

Another great week in the Czech Republic Jan 25

​these are the only two pictures i took all week. One is of this soup that a member made us while we were at the church weekly planning, and the other is of the other two elders here on a day with some huge snow coming down.

​This has been a really fun and challenging week. We got some more snow which is really awesome! but it turns to ice and slush and everybody is slipping and falling like crazy! It makes running to try to catch trams and busses really interesting. So we had some cool experiences, like we were walking home and when we were walking, a lady came up to us and asked if we baptised people. haha yeah we do! thats our purpose here, so we taught her about what we do and she said that she has met missionaries here, and then she explained about how she wants to be baptised, and married into a church, but not the catholic church, but she wants to be married in a kostel, which are the catholic church buildings. She wouldn't give us her number so we could set up and meet with her to explain more about our church but we gave her ours so hopefully she will contact us so we can explain a little more. But we also we tracting, which was different here than in the states because most people live in apartments and so we went and found some houses and left letters telling about us and that we will be back to talk more with them in a few days. We went back yesterday and its so cool here because we stand outside by the gate and ring the zvonek which is like a door bell and then usually they will come out of a window, or a cool sun roof thing and see who is there, haha its so awesome seeing people hanging out Windows and we yell up to them and its always funny. We went to a members house and had lunch, she is known for making svičovič i think is how its spelled, and its what i had the first day in prague. But when we got there we had a nice soup and that's what all i thought we were going to have and it was the perfect amount of food, then she brought out the other food that i wasn't expecting and i was already full! She then filled up my plate and I ate it all, which was four peaces of bread and meat, and then sauce and i was so full! The other missionaries ate around12 or 15, the record is 24, and I walked away with 4 and i was stuffed beyond belief. So that was interesting for the rest of the day. that meal put my to sleep. Oh and sleep, boy I love sleep. Tomorrow we are going to prague and have to wake up at 3, then when we get back at night it will be at 11 and then we wake up at regular time, so this should be interesting haha. But everything has been great here, the snow is fun, the people are nice, teaching and learning the language is a constant challenge that is awesome, and I'm so excited for the week to come. 

Hey Everybody! Jan 18

here is me cooking some food at our church and the sisters, who i honestly didn't know were in this Picture until i just looked at it.

​and this is me, on a cool bridge on a cold day
So this has been a super awesome week! I'm sorry for not adding you to the email sooner, I couldn't figure out how to put the @ in the Czech computers so i couldn't add anybody.... But I figured it out, so sweet. This week has been good. We have been doing a lot of contacting which is super fun, and is always interesting. This week we contacted a man on a tram and he was not interested, then he pulled out some meth and so we walked away, but man he got up and I thought he was going to come at us because the tram like stopped and he fell at us and I was right by him and I thought this can't go well, I had a flash back to the first week where a guy wanted to fight and almost hit Elder Breyman my companion haha ( that was right after I said I am starting to like contacting). But we have got offered weed, invited to parties, and so much funny stuff and then the people are surprised when we are like no we don't do that stuff, as we said earlier we are here as missionaries! and then they don't know what that means so we get to explain to them and then teach them! and they LISTEN! most of the time, well sometimes but hey we get to teach somebody who just offered us weed about the Gospel! It's actually really awesome if you think about it. There are a lot of people who don't believe in God so when we tell them why we are here, they either don't care or are interested why we are here for 2 years and learn their language and its such a great teaching opportunity. That's why we talk to everyone. Not just the people that "look nice". One things I have learned is that you literally can't judge a book by its cover. Some of the best people we have talked to are the ones who I wouldn't go up and talk to before my mission. God really does love all his children and I can testify that I'm here to help bring all of them back. Everybody deserves the chance to know about this gospel, and I have realized that my purpose here is to give the Holy Ghost a chance to testify of it to everyone. The food here is great by the way, and the people are awesome. Our branch here in Ostrava has some awesome members who love the missionaries! that's so great haha. Luckily for me, Elder Breyman is a good cook, so with his cooking skills and my interesting ideas, we can make some good food out of like nothing which is the best haha. We don't eat at restaurants a ton because some are expensive, but occasionally we do and get some good Czech food and i always eat it to fast to take a Picture for everybody, but ill work on that. Anyways things are going great and I will talk more next week! My mission is awesome, if you aren't currently serving one, I challenge you to smile at everybody and bring joy in even that simple way. It makes a difference in your life, and theirs. =)

Weekly Email - Jan 11

This week has been great! the language is still really hard but i have been expecting that because its Czech, so i am doing all I can every day and the gift of tongues is helping me with the rest. We are usually contacting a ton everyday so talking to people is getting easier but its still hard to talk to some people. I have started conversations and then they are like are you speaking dutch or German or do you want to just speak English ( because they teach English in their schools here) and I'm like hey I'm trying here, and no that wan't dutch that was czech, i read those words right out of a dictionary and they tried to apply all the grammar to have it make sense. Anyways that it very humbling and quiet funny sometimes on how much work I have before I can have a conversation with someone. I'm doing okay during lessons because the gospel terms are what we studied in the MTC so i can contribute there haha. We had a bit of a crazy experience this week coming back from Brno for a follow up training. We were going to catch a 1 o clock train but barely missed it so we took a 2, then got back around 4 30 and decided to do some contacting after a quick dinner. We then went to a pizza place but it was way expensive so we were going to go contact to find another place to eat, and as we were going a man came out of a bar and so elder lanham asked him if he knew of any places to eat that wasn't a bar, and the man was a little drunk, not bad but hes like sure ill také you there. So about 15 minutes later walking through a confusing part of town, we come to a place and he is like eat here. So we said okay and then he left and we went in and I asked for the menus (yes in czech, not my best moment) and they waitress said yeah and then she read my name tag, had an interesting look on here face and then later her and her friend ask us some questions and elder Breyman (my trainer) and elder Lanham (Elder Marcuccis) trainer talked with her quite a bit and then tried to set up a time to meet with her because she was really troubled by this, but she didn't want to meet but she did accept our contact info and said she would think about what they said and maybe call. all the crazy things that happened to set that up was just amazing. Today we spent a while cleaning a kostel for a Catholic Priest who had some questions, did bash on us or anything. We had a nice meal with him and cleaned some stuff and talked and it was really awesome. He now sees the LDS missionaries differently which is awesome. (By the way im sorry for all the misspelled words and stuff, this computer is in czech so all the words are red saying they are wrong, and i sliced my finger open which is hard to type with)  here's a few random pics, i can't say a lot more because a new investigator just showed up so we are going to go talk with him! yes! 
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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

1st week in country

Picture of Prague
President James McConkie and
Sister Laurel McConkie with Blake
Well this has been crazy. I am in Ostrava which is the third biggest city in the Czech (300,000 peole here) and is known because the people talk to fast there. and I have definitely noticed it. The plane ride here was super crazy long and fun, there were people who sat in front of us that spoke Czech and we didn't find out until the end so when they spoke it we were like oh man i bet they were just laughing at our bad grammar and pronouncation. (thats not how you spell it but it'll work). When we got here we stayed at a cool little hotel that a member owns and I had the best night sleep ever! Jet lag took over and put me out like a light. the next day we met our trainers, mine is Starsi Breyman who has been out for 10 months and is our District Leader. He has served one transfer so far here in Ostrava so he knows the area well which is good because its so huge! Such a change from the MTC which i was used to haha. It is also freezing here! yesterday we contacted for a while and I literally thought that I lost my toes, which are kind of important. Luckily I didn't so that is definitely a blessing. The difference here is amazing. We walk around and see 12 or 13 year old kids smoking and stuff like that and we have been asked several times if we want to go smoke weed with people or do stuff like that (the people are very blunt here and and not afraid to speak their mind). There are a lot of awesome people here who are nice, and a few that aren't as nice and don't have the nicest things to say all the time but hey that's the beauty of agency. We did have an interesting experience when we were on a tram and contacting about the word of wisdom so i asked a man in my broken Czech if he thought is was important for him and his family to be healthy, he then started yelling and i of course had no idea what he was saying so i stepped back and Elder Breyman said some things then it was clear that we were to go, so i headed to the stairs to the next person and then the guy yelled at elder Breyman and grabbed his arm then the tram stopped so he lost his grip, then went again and was yelling to get off at the next stop and fight ha so i said the quickest most meaning prayer to God to protect his missionaries and he did. The man stepped back and we went on our way talking to more people. The Lord has a hand in all things. I know this because I see it everyday . A lot of the people we talk to are nice but just don't have interest, but even their niceness helps brighten my day and cheer me up enough to keep going. There are a lot of cool people here and the members especially are awesome. I learned alot at church even though i didn't understand much. That was awesome because i am getting to know the members and even though a lot of them have the same name, it is great to put faces with names. It has been a crazy week, everything moves so fast, and at this rate I feel like i will be home in less than 2 years. i'm just getting to like it here! oh I forgot to mention that Elder Marcucci from my MTC group is also here with me! he lives far away but he is in my district which is 4 elders and 2 sisters. I will be going on an Exchange with him later in the transfer. Tomorrow I am going on an Exchange with a zone leader in a city that is so hard to say that i will not be able to even type it to sound it out. My mission so far has been amazing and very hard but I am excited for the trails to come and how they will form me to be the missionary that God wants me to be.


Last few days in the MTC

Well, its been crazy here! holy cow, almost time to go. So Merry Christmas Eve, Its my Preparation day so that's sweet! especially because we have to pack today, so basically we are super excited all day! Yesterday was our In-field orientation all day and it was super sweet! We got our flight plans, but we don't know about our visas yet so that still has me on edge. I know I'm leaving but I'm not positive that I'm going to the Czech haha so i guess we will see. We had a devotional about leaving our weapons of rebellion behind like the Anti-Lehi-Nephites and that way we can come close to God. We all have things that we can improve on, and the best way to do it is to bury it deep in the earth and never go back. Surround yourself with people who will help you keep them buried and pull them out in times when you are week. That was a great devotional. The MTC choir (which I have been a part of for 8 weeks) is singing a hard/awesome version of The First Noel and it is so amazing! We get to sing it for our devotional, which will most likely be an apostle speaking because it's Christmas! So this is awesome haha the spirit is always so strong when we sing and our choir director goes into depth about why they chose the words they did and how we are teaching when we sing because of the truth of the songs. We had our last class with Brother Knapp who was the best teacher ever! He flew home for Christmas on Saturday so that is the last we will see him unless he randomly shows up in the Czech, which i wouldn't put it by him because he has been back twice sense he got back from his mission.

The MTC has been so great. I love my district! The 9 week experience is the best! I don't know how you can get the full MTC experience only being here 12 days. But it seems like the people who are here for 12 days are glad. Every time they ask how long ive been here and the response is 7, 8 weeks they are all like wow that sucks. NOPE I LOVE THE MTC, however, I am leaving in 4 days so I think I will love the Czech too. Who are we kidding of course ill love the czech! I can't wait to get there and have to give out a pass along card the first day... in a language that i don't speak. I can say hi though so maybe I can start with that. One thing I love about how hard it is to learn a language is how it teaches you to teach simply. Sometimes we want to go into depth about everything but when our doctrine is explained simply, other people can understand it better, and because at this point I don't know how to teach deeply, It's gonna work out great!

Here are the pictures with my teachers (2 of 3) Bro Knapp and Sister Godfrey. They are the best teachers ever.
I will send the pics in a minute. I have to switch computers.

​Matching sweaters... even though Bro Knapps looks black it was maroon 
​Laundry this morning.
Last day with Sis Godfrey
Zone Pic