Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Warm weather and a new companion and staying in BRNO!
Dear family and friends,
Yes, indeed, the warm weather has returned! For the last couple days, I haven't even been wearing a coat or my boots! It feels so good, and I don't look as intimidating anymore in all that black. It was a wonderful week! Oh, wow, just a beautiful week. How many times have I said "I love missionary work"? Not enough. I truly love it. I think I love it so much because it's a time in your life when all you're focused on is the Lord's work, and all you get to do is figure out what the Lord would do, and do it. I am indescribably grateful for such a unique opportunity to be so focused on something so good. I love when there's so much work to do, that I'm working until 10:20PM, before I have to brush my teeth, pray, and hop into bed, and then I fall asleep, my head swimming with thoughts about what our investigators may need next. I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father for the honor to serve, and spend a year and a half in His shoes.
Well, it was partly a beautiful week because of our new companion, Sister Pysnakova. She is just incredible! She came in with such a head start on the Czech, and I soon learned, a huge head start on just being a confident, courageous, and sensitive missionary. Her teaching skills have already blessed the progress of so many of our investigators. She's bold, and loving, and she makes sure the message is clear enough, that everyone has a fair chance to accept it. Her story is that her parents grew up in the Czech Republic, and even had their first child here. They then immigrated to America around the year 1987, and have lived there ever since. They had three more daughters in the states. I still haven't gotten the whole story about their conversion, but when Sister Pysnakova was 1-years-old, her parents were baptized into the church. Sister Pysnakova grew up in Bountiful. Her parents spoke Czech to each other, so she always heard it in her home, and they would come to the Czech Republic very often - I think almost every summer. Yes, there are missionaries in her parents' hometown. She has a lot of relatives in the country, but none of them are members, so we'll see where she goes, and how her story unfolds as a missionary! I feel so honored to serve with her!
You know what's funny, Mother, is that I actually just spent some time reading that Prayer is a Privilege talk this last week. I have been spending a lot of time studying prayer, and how the spirit works with us and gives us answers to those prayers, as we have many investigators right now who are either beginning their journey of prayer, or relying very much on prayer in order to receive confirmations about the message of the restored gospel. I'm going to reread it again, though. Thank you! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time in the temple. What day is the Boston Marathon again?
Father, you telling me about the Dastrup's mother made me tear up a bit. Isn't it just wonderful when you are able to associate with people who emulate Jesus Christ in such a vivid way? I feel like I've been so blessed, all throughout my life, to be around such amazing examples of him. The members in this country are such chosen, strong people, that I often feel quite humbled to be in their presence, and work amidst them.
Michael, I just about yelled when I read that your mission file is open! I'm going to miss you so much, Mike, but I'm so proud of you. Serving a mission will impact your life in such a profound way; I haven't even realized just how profound yet. Work hard up to it. Everything you read and study in the scriptures and Preach My Gospel will help you so very much. Start digging into the simple doctrines as much as you can. It will bless your mission and the people you serve.
Well, we had a wonderful week, teaching some really golden youth. We've got a full slate of fantastic investigators that we're working with, including 4 really amazing young people right now. One of them is from Slovakia and is a faithful Catholic, but is seeking answers about whether God is still speaking through prophets today. He is nothing less than golden, but is in university and doesn't have a ton of time, so we're praying that obstacle will somehow clear itself up. We're also teaching another super smart young man, who is struggling with believing that he can talk to a real God, and receive real answers. He wasn't sure if he had enough motivation to really read the Book of Mormon and find out about it's truthfulness, but we had a powerful, spirit-filled lesson with him this week, and he committed to put the time in. There's another young man that has had absolutely no experience with religion, or anything of the sort, but had heard about the Mormons because one of his favorite hockey players is a Mormon. We started teaching him, and realized that he is quite the find! He is friendly, inquisitive, so willing and sincere. Prayer is so foreign to him, as well as scriptures, but he's taking it in stride, and ah, he's just so cool! Finally, we're still teaching the young woman who contacted me on the street just a few months ago. Family, she's so amazing! We taught her about tithing with the branch president this week, and they really connected. Though her baptismal date is just in a week, she expressed that she still doesn't know if she's going to be baptized. Her concern was that she wasn't sure she would be able to live all the commandments after baptism. Our branch president was so perfect and sensitive, as he told his own story of converting to the church at a similar young age, and what he did to repent, and bring his life in line with Heavenly Father's will. She's praying hard and reading to receive a confirmation about the Book of Mormon. I've never prayed so often for someone in my entire life. I think I find myself praying for her every hour or so, just praying to Heavenly Father to guide her, and give her what she needs.
Time to go! I love you so much!
The Savior lives. The Church is true!