This has been the most crazy, exhausting, exhilarating, and spiritually uplifting week of my mission yet. So many miracles and blessings, and my Czech has gotten to the point where I feel like I can actually communicate with people. Here is the day by day summary:
Tuesday, July 7:
Was fairly normal in comparison to the rest of the week. We contacted people about baptism in the morning, and spent the afternoon teaching a lesson to a less active member and inviting people to our english class. We decided to go above and beyond for our english class. We hosted a mock cooking show, where all of the people in class would use the kitchen supplies they brought from home to make a Czech meal, and explain how to do it in english while they did it. It was a huge hit! At the end of it almost ever person there said they were going to invite their friends to the next class. Expectations are high now.
Wednesday, July 8:
We had district meeting in the morning, which was fantastic as usual! After which, we went out on splits. I was able to go with Elder Shepard (our District Leader from Idaho Falls!), and teach several lessons with him. Then we all met back up for lunch at a little Czech restaurant near the Town Square. After lunch, Elder Boyce and I got to work and taught a less active lesson, followed by a new investigator lesson. Both went splendidly! Then we went out and left letters, in preparation for tracting at 60 houses. We decided it was appropriate to sing children’s hymns the entire two hours we did that, and were able to get a lesson out of it as well. Then we went up with the Assistants to the President on the Town Square to begin our exchange.
Thursday, July 9:
We officially began our exchange in the morning. I was paired up with Elder Esser from Saratoga Springs, Utah, and we went for a run, got ready, and then we were out the door right away. We had a lesson with an investigator at 9, and afterwards we went home for a quick companionship study. Then it was right back to it. Elder Esser is probably the most amazing missionary I have had the pleasure to meet. We contacted every single person we ran into, and he was able to bear incredibly powerful testimony to each person we met. I learned so much. We had lunch with the other Elder’s at 2, and then taught the rest of the day. I can’t even begin to explain how exciting and tiring that day was. At 8 the exchange ended and we planned for Friday.
Friday, July 10:
We did service for the first part of the day at a less active member’s cottage. It was the most tiny cute little thing I had every seen! Unfortunately, I did get any pictures… But we helped her weed her garden, replace some roofing tiles, and clear away some construction debris. Then we worked the rest of the day trying to find a new family to teach!
Saturday, July 11:
We did weekly planning the first part of the day followed by a lesson with a new investigator we found on Thursday. It was super exciting because I extended my first baptismal invitation completely in Czech with no help, and then helped him understand what it meant to be baptized! The gift of tongues is real. To end the day we had game night, but only the Branch President came with his kids… So, he taught me and Elder Boyce to play what he called “real table tennis”. It was a wonderful night.
Sunday, July 12:
Church was fairly normal, and we spent the rest of the day tracting those 60 homes we had seeded on Wednesday.
Monday, July 13, (Today):
We went on a run to the grocery store in the morning and got our shopping done with early. Then we did some studies followed by lunch. Haircuts followed that. We decided that we wanted to work the rest of the day, after that, so we contacted about prayer from 2 until 5:30, when we started emailing, and we are planning on heading back out when we finish to work some more.
That was the week! There are so some many other things I wish I could tell you all about, but that will have to be another day.
The spiritual thought that I would like to share this week is about making the most of what we are given.
In the book of Enos (Chapters 2-3) we learn about the Brother of Jared and his experiences building barges to cross the ocean. Those familiar with the story know that in building the barges the Brother of Jared faced two challenges: one, how they would get air into the barges; and two, how they would light the barges. The Lord provided the answer to the first problem, but the second problem, the light, he left for the Brother of Jared to figure out on his own. Now, the Brother of Jared had very little to work with. Fire wasn’t an option. Waves would break the glass. So, what was he to do? You could say he was stuck in an impossible situation, that there wasn’t really anything he could do. However, the Brother of Jared decided to make the best out of what he had, and he gathered clear shiny rocks. There was no way that these rocks could light the barges, but he took what he had to the Lord, and told the Lord:
Enos 3:4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.
After this the Lord touched the stones, and they were full of light.
Many times we are stuck wondering what we are to do with the difficult and even seemingly impossible tasks placed before us. Like the Brother of Jared, we may feel that all we have is a hand full of rocks. However, when we take what little we have and place it before the Lord and plead for His help, he can touch those small rocks, the little amount of work we can do, and turn it into the solution that we needed. I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers. I know that His hand is outstretched waiting to touch those challenging tasks in our lives. I know that when we allow him to touch our lives, miracles happen. And I share these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.