Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Transfer to BRNO

My dear, wonderful family and friends,

Mother and Father, I just read the lyrics you sent on of "Amazing Grace." What an incredible description that song is of what I've been so privileged to see over the last few months. I'm sitting here in a new city, thinking back to the last four months I spent in Ceske Budejovice with people that are coming from lives of sorrow and so much pain, but are finding their "fears relieved," their "hopes secured," through the grace of Jesus Christ, our Savior. How "sweet the sound" of the gospel was to their ears and their hearts. How beautiful it was to hear people say in their own words, "I once was lost, but now I'm found, Was blind, but now, I see." My heart is so full right now of gratitude to my Father in Heaven. It is nothing less than an honor to be a carrier of that message of hope and redemption. Those words are beautiful. I want everyone to read them this week.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Well, I'm writing a little later as this week was a transfer week. I'm in a new city! BRNO! It is on the Moravian side, and is kind of like the Prague of this side of the republic. It's bigger and it's pack full of university students! I didn't really expect to leave Ceske Budejovice, but I got the call and was immediately so excited. I love how quickly transfers happen. Got the call Monday night, taught all day on Tuesday, left at 6 AM on Wednesday to come here to Brno. I'm not one for long goodbyes, or for things that disrupt missionaries' focus on the work. Focus is so important on a mission, and I was happy to have such a smooth transition, so that Sister White and her new companion can start working as if I was never there. I hope it can be that smooth on every transfer. Of course it was sad to leave those members and investigators that I love so much, but I'm already excited beyond belief for the new experiences and challenges that Brno will bring. I will be follow-up training Sister Izatt, who came in last transfer. Let me tell you how much I already love my companion: I LOVE HER. She is a tall, determined, assertive girl from Provo, Utah who went to BYU before. We've talked a bit about the area and some goals we have, and some things she wants to work on. She's bold, a hard worker, thirsts for improvement, has vision for the church in this country, and most wonderfully of all, her long legs make her walk even faster than me! I've been so blessed. I can hardly wait to dig in and start working tonight.

The area is going to be quite a different experience from my previous area. Here, we have a large branch and we even have our own, beautiful building! There are also I think 9 missionaries, total, here, and we have a senior couple, The Francis', who live down the hall from us. The Francis' work with the young adults in Brno. I'll actually get to know a few missionaries in the mission, and I'll get to see how a larger branch functions. Sister Izatt has already laid down several of her ideas for the area, and I think I felt similar to my first day in the MTC - like a rocket that was about to take off. I am so excited. I love to work, especially when we're talking about missionary work :)

Well, I'm not really sure what else to say, to be honest, haha. I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to tell next week. You asked about the language now. Well, I love speaking Czech. I'll say it again - it's like doing a puzzle all day, and it's just a joy. I'm so far from fluency it's ridiculous and often hilarious, but I'm realizing that I'm actually not too bad at it for how long I've been here. Czech has seven cases in it, which means that depending on what you're doing with the word in the sentence structure, it puts on a new ending or changes in some way, and it's different for both singular and plural, and what gender it is as well as all those irregulars. It's a puzzle! I'm really, really enjoying learning the language, and I realized I was so blessed to spend my first four months in Ceske Budejovice, where essentially nobody speaks English. In Brno there's apparently a lot of English speakers in the branch and on the street, so I'm hoping that doesn't have a negative effect on my language progress. I'm sure it will be great.

Well, I love you all so very much. I'm so grateful to be here, serving as a full-time representative of Jesus Christ. I KNOW that this gospel is true. I know that Jesus Christ laid a path for us to follow. I know that when we follow that path, and we partake of his Atonement, we have hope for a better world, and that faith can be a sure anchor for our souls (Ether 12:4). I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that he loves each one of you. Do not deny that gift that he so freely gave to you. He died for you, he took upon himself your sins, pains, and sorrows. He stands there with arms outstretched and he invites ALL. Never think that he left you out. He loves you, and he wants you back.

Sestra Lucy Brimhall

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