Whoo! Hello, Family!
Goodness, I don't even know what to tell you. I've just completed my first full week as a missionary! It feels like I've been here a lifetime. I spent about 10 minutes in church on Sunday, thinking about whether I really did just get here last week. I couldn't believe it. So much has happened, and it's been just the most incredible time. I've seen so many miracles this week, family.
Last Wednesday we headed up to Prague again because my whole MTC district of greenies had to go to the foreign police to do stuff for our visas, and all the trainers had trainer training. It was so much fun to see all of them again! They're all doing so well! This mission is packed full of the most astounding missionaries - all of our trainers are just unbelievable. Prague was just the best day - our visa stuff didn't take very long, and so all the missionaries who weren't in training got together and went out in the middle of the city to do go "whiteboarding." I dont' know if I"ll ever do this again on my mission. They only do it in the two biggest cities - Prague and Brno. Essentially, we put up a whiteboard with words and pictures about Christ on it, etc., and then we get in a big group and sing songs about faith and Christ. We had about 20 something missionaries that day, so it was quite a scene! Once we began, I decided to just start contacting right away. I knew that if I got in that group, I would get too nervous, and I would stay. So, I started talking to people. Phew, missionary work can be scary sometimes, haha. But I loved the atmosphere that Prague brings - it's so fast paced, so busy, and so BIG. Everything is big and crazy. As I went around talking to people, I had the most incredible contacting experiences I've had yet. I talked to 3 different people (among many others who waved me off) for a really long time. I taught the restoration, I taught about faith, about the Book of Mormon. I can't understand a thing they say back, but somehow it still works! As I testified to one lady, the group of missionaries hit a swell in the song, and I felt the spirit so strongly. I could see that she felt it too.
In the Dallas airport on the way here, Elder Heath said that he wished there was just some beam of light over people's heads so we could see who was ready to receive this message, or who was searching. I felt like that happened that day. There were so many of us, and we sang so powerfully. I would sing a little bit, and watch very carefully, and whenever someone slowed, or looked up for even a second, I could see something was there. Perhaps they felt the Spirit, or perhaps their heart was just slightly ajar - enough to take in the peace that emanated from those 20-something missionaries. I would then b-line it to those individuals and share our message. There we were, young, professionally-dressed missionaries, singing songs of praise in this "Godless city" of Prague. I gained a lot of strength from that day.
The rest of the week was pretty frustrating, I must say. Being bold is a struggle. Talking to people on buses, trams, while we're walking somewhere is something I've been struggling with. It really gets to me - it's so easy to envision yourself as that missionary who will blow through a city, talking to everyone, never letting anyone pass by. It's different when you walk out your door, you see a Czech person, and you have no Czech in your head that you could possibly say to them. I'm a-workin' on it. I'm going to be a contacting machine! Just you wait. I love talking to people, I love doing this. The Czech will come.
Oh, I don't have much more time, but I have to tell you about one investigator! I won't be putting names in here, since this goes up on a blog. But this man is absolutely incredible. We're not sure if we'll be swinging his baptism this week or the next, but we've struggled so much to help him gain a testimony of the restoration and the concept of "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." But oh, family, what miracles I've seen this week! This man has faith like I've never seen before! Since other things weren't working, we sought to let the spirit guide us in our lessons this week, and let the spirit teach him instead. It worked. One day I will tell you the full story of this man's journey to faith, but for now I'll tell you that I'm so grateful I've been able to witness these things in my first few days. On Sunday we had a particularly beautiful lesson with him. I got to watch, right before my eyes, him gaining a testimony of Jospeh Smith and restored authority. At another point in the lesson, as we spoke about baptism, he mentioned that he had seen my face in a "vision," before, about 3 years ago, and then I came in last week and he recognized me. He said he took it as a sign that he as in the right place. I didn't really understand what was going on, as I don't understand much in Czech ha, but that's kind of cool, huh? I don't know. I'm glad it strengthened his faith.
Have to go! Off to see some castles today!