Monday, November 5, 2012

Katarina

Dear Family and Friends, As our Relief Society president said yesterday during our small Relief Society gathering, "We are writing new history in Banska Bystrica!" This week was full of progress. One thing we spent some time on as missionaries and members was renovating and dejunking our church building. It was just full of junk and unused furniture. One day I expressed that we could be using all this stuff so much more effectively! That began a whirlwind of brainstorming with Sister Izatt and I, and by the end of the week, we had completely beautified and Mormonized our Banska Bystrica church building. We're quite proud of it. The other more important addition is our new member Sestra Katarina! The week leading up to her baptism went well. She accepted the final commandments well, including tithing, and she had her interview on Wednesday. By Wednesday she was ready! I always think the interview days are the best days, because went they come out of that meeting with the district leader, you know they have just born their testimony of the restored gospel to a representative of the Lord, and yet another one has joined the ranks of the Latter-day Saints. After that significant interview, comes the planning of the baptismal service and the actual ordinances themselves. We had the service at a hotel in the city, which has a nice indoor pool. It's not as great as having a font in our nice, clean church buildings, but it works alright. We had a whole GROUP of investigators show up! Many of them had never seen a baptism before. The service went well, and the talks by our members were wonderful. Elder Nye, the senior missionary, baptized her in Slovak! After the service, we all took a bus or cars back to the church building to have cakes and banana bread. Katarina and Sestra Dobiasova had made a beautiful set up beforehand and it was really pleasant. My favorite part about the whole experience is how close Katarina and Sestra Dobiasova are. We know she will be taken care of, and she feels like a part of our family here. I also heard Katarina talking to the Elders; investigator (who should be baptized in a couple weeks) about his concerns. He's not sure if he has the strength to keep the commandments, and he asked specifically about attending church every Sunday to keep the Sabbath day holy. "What if you have other errands and things you need to attend to at that time? What if things come up?" he asked. Katarina simply responded, "Those things will take care of themselves another way. We just need to come to church and keep the commandment." That is truth! The Lord provides a way when we keep the commandments He has given us. On Sunday Katarina was confirmed by one of the younger missionaries, and now she is a member of our branch!! This coming weekend we have district conference in Brno, so half of the Czech Republic and all of Slovakia will be traveling up there for church, and Katarina will be coming with us. I'm excited for her to be among so many saints, and to receive the strength and encouragement she needs to go forth, serve, and endure. We were very blessed this week with miracles and new investigators as well! The work is looking good, and we are happy. Last night was the first time I think that it really hit me how soon the end of my mission will be here. I knelt and prayed for a long time to my Heavenly Father, thanking him for what I have seen, and the people I have grown to love. As I knelt there, memories flooded my mind of Heavenly Father's little manifestations of love for His children. I know He knows each one of us, and I know He loves us. I love you, Sestra Lucy Brimhall

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