It's Christmas here in Brno! Sister Izatt and I had a fantastic P-day last week, when we spent a few hours on the city square, eating Czech food (halusky, langos, churros in a cup of chocolate, trdelniky, and big chunks of meat on a plate with mustard and bread) and perusing the Christmas markets. There is a huge nativity set up right in the center, which is absolutely beautiful. Sister Izatt and I were staring at it for quite a long time, actually, when we finally realized that baby Jesus was missing. We freaked out for a few minutes, wondering what kind of Czech joke this was. We turned and whispered to an elderly couple next to us, "Kde je Jezisek?" ("Where's little Jesus?") They were a little confused as well, as we all four looked around. We realized, however, that he won't be coming out until the 24th of December, when Czechs celebrate Christmas, and the birth of baby Jesus :)
Well, it was a wonderful week! I don't quite know what to tell you. It was full of wonderful moments, and a lot of work with members and less actives. It was also full of a lot of tram rides, and a lot of getting lost, trying to make it out to members' houses, ha. I spend a lot of time on trams here in Brno, and while I'd rather be walking, I guess it's a blessing in the winter.
A beautiful thing happened this week. I'm amazed more and more each day at how much the Lord is guiding our steps. I mentioned a lesson we had last week with a "miracle investigator." A couple weeks ago, Sister Izatt and I were contacting out on the namesti. We set a goal for how many people we wanted to find, how many numbers, and that we would set up at least one meeting. We were getting numbers on so many people, but we still weren't able to set up a solid meeting. We had about 10 minutes left in our contacting block, before we had to head to district meeting. I turned to Sister Izatt and said, "Let's find someone who will meet with us!" We took 3 steps, turned a corner, and ran into a young man from Syria. Turns out, this young man already knew us! He had met with missionaries a couple times and gone to church a couple times in London, when he was studying there. He said he really liked it, and he asked us if we could meet. We set up for the next day, and like I said in my last email, it was the most spiritual lesson I've ever been in. He said he wasn't really a religious man, but there was a time when he had strong faith in Christ in his life, and he admitted to us that it was by far the happiest time of his life. He lost that connection, and stopped reading in the scriptures and praying sincerely, and that fulness of happiness was lost. He said he had been trying for a long time to get it back, that missing part, but he just couldn't do it. The spirit flooded the room as we spoke of Jesus Christ, the hope we can find through him, and the powerful testimony of him that we find in the Book of Mormon, which stands as a witness that the Bible is true, and that Jesus truly is the Christ.
After the lesson, we spoke to this young man a little more, getting to know him and his family. He then opened up to us and told us about his family, which was all back in Syria, and the difficulty and danger they were facing there. He told us that just that week one of his relatives had been arrested, and that no one knew where he was. The feeling was so heavy, as we could see the concern on this young man's face, and the worry that gripped him in his daily life. We told him we would pray for him, and we told him to pray too.
This week, that young man's uncle was found and freed. He came to our next meeting, and was absolutely beaming. "Prayer works!" he said.
I know it does.
I love you,