Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Well, it was another wonderful week.
Thank you, each one of you, for your emails! It was so great to get one from each one of my siblings this week, and to be reminded that Valentine's day actually happened. It came and went, and I had completely forgotten to reminisce about all of our traditions at home, haha. It's as if time doesn't pass, when you're on your mission. I would forget the dates altogether if I didn't have the coming and melting snow to remind me. I forgot to tell you the week before, that we had to go up to Prague yesterday to renew Sister Smith's visa. Sister Izatt and I had a good two hours to go and see a museum in Prague - we chose to visit the museum of the artist Alfonso Mucha. He is super famous in the Czech, and his art is quite beautiful. Pictures are included!
Well, it was a another wonderful week. High points: We had another zone conference at the end of the week, and the trainings were absolutely fantastic. President introduced the vision for the mission for the next 5 years that he and leaders of the mission have been working on. He talked about new areas we're hoping to open in Slovakia, new buildings we want to acquire for several branches throughout the mission, and other goals such as having enough priesthood and members to turn this mission into a stake in 5 years time. He also talked about the challenges the last two seventies who have visitied our mission have given us. They each challenged each companionship to teach at least 21 lessons a week. That challenge is a big one for us! President wants each companionship to take the challenge and be teaching that much by the end of the year. I've done it maybe once before on my mission, with Sister Anderson in my first transfer. It is quite the feat to teach that much. I know that many areas in this mission are only teaching about a handful of lessons each week. However, it has been absolutely amazing to see the response of this mission since Elder Causse came. Our lessons and lessons with members has literally skyrocketed in a matter of 2 weeks. I think the call to have more faith revved up our missionaries a bit, and we all want to show Elder Causse before he returns with Elder Christofferson in a couple weeks, that yes, this mission CAN do it! We have the faith, the will, the obedience to find people and spread this message like wildfire. President's big message to us this week was that we've been complimented on our obedience and our work ethic, and the leaders of this area of the world have recognized that we have a perfect foundation to help this mission experience "real growth." However, with such high compliments, they expect results. Now is the time for those results.
Something else beautiful that happened this week is that the young man Sister White and I began teaching in Ceske Budejovice was baptized this weekend. I wasn't able to go to the baptism, but Sister White called me up and told me that he gave a beautiful testimony at the end of it, he already has the Aaronic priesthood, and he's getting ready to go to the Frieburg temple next week with all the youth in the country. Can you believe it? I'm so excited for him! I'll never forget the first bench lesson we had with him. He came from absolutely no faith in God, to a strong testimony of the restoration of the gospel. We're praying that he will grow his desire to serve a mission and go ahead and serve after he graduates from high school!
I also received a letter from Elder Petru Tirzuman in Spain. He is still doing so well, and I was glad to hear that his mission president has been encouraging him to use his happy attitude to brighten the attitude of the people he's serving, and spread the joy of the gospel. He was very, very blessed with a happy attitude - that is the one thing I remember the most about him. He is currently praying to do well on an English test he will take on his mission soon, so that he can get into BYU Hawaii! His English has improved so much, from his letters, and he's learning Spanish at the same time. I'm so proud of him. Keep him in your prayers, so that the exam goes well!
Funny moment of the week: I got a call from President Irwin this week and he asked me if I would be willing to be interviewed by a newspaper that runs in southern Moravia. The journalist was doing a piece on what motivated people to do what they do, including a Catholic priest, a couple other religious figures, and a Mormon sister missionary. President said the journalist had specifically requested a sister missionary, and he suspected he had been contacted one before by them. I definitely agreed to do it! When the day came, I was talking to our district president about the interview, and he asked if I could do it in Czech, even though the guy knew English, so we wouldn't have any problems with translation. I was a little nervous to say the least, haha. My Czech is still very basic. However, it all worked out for the best, because when the journalist walked in, I turned around and it happened to be this guy Sister Izatt and I contacted before! He was a super, super cool guy, and we talked to him for a long time, because we actually went to see a monastery that he volunteered in, and so we were able to talk to him about his beliefs a bit. I ended up giving him a contact card at the end of the conversation, and that's how he got in touch with the church's PR people. The interview went well, they took a photo of me in the church building, and after I go proofread it with the journalist tomorrow, the article will run this Thursday. I'll try to buy a copy and send it home!
I really love this work. When this journalist was interviewing me, one of the questions he asked me was what I would take from my experience here as a missionary. I thought about it for a moment, and then I told him that the opportunity to see the CHANGE in people when they choose to follow their Savior, Jesus Christ, and they truly apply his atonement is one of the most precious things I've ever seen in my entire life. It is that CHANGE in people that I will remember for the rest of my life.
I know the gosepl of Jesus Christ has been restored. I love this gospel, and I know it can truly change us from the inside out. I love my Savior. I know he lives.
Love you all!
Sestra Lucy Brimhall