It has been quite the eventful week this week, and I have lots of pictures to send you all! So let’s start with Tuesday.
Tuesday, July 21:
Was actually fairly normal . . . We contacted around the town square and did some surveys about people’s experiences with prayer. Later in the day, we had a lesson with a less active member and taught about the importance of the priesthood. Then we taught our English class. This week we only had two people come, so we had a one-on-one lessons with both of them. I worked with a man named Zdenek, he speaks English very well. So, we just ended up talking the entire time about his life, and his work in the theater. Super interesting man, who has worked as a lighting coordinator in the theater here in Zlin and has seen an upwards of 1,500 plays in his lifetime.
Wednesday, July 22:
We got our tabling permit! So, we tabled all day basically. Some of you have asked what tabling is. Basically we carry a table out onto the town square and set it up with pictures of Christ or a bunch of Book of Mormons, and try to catch people’s attention with it, so we can teach and set up appointments with them. I will send some of these photos in this email. The rest of the day we tracted and seeded.
Thursday, July 23:
Was when things got a little crazy… So, we taught a lesson at 8 in the morning. Then we ran (literally)
across all of Zlin to change into service clothes and catch a bus to the outside of Zlin, where we did some service for a young couple who moved into our Branch. They bought a small cottage with dirt floors and no running water. So, we helped them prepare their floors to have concrete poured in and dug a trench to the well outside of their home. Afterwards, we had a barbecue with them. , Then we ran back home (once again literally) to change, shower, and catch another bus to Olomouc. We stayed the night there to catch a train in the morning to Prague.
Friday, July 24:
We got up at 5 in the morning to catch our 6 o’clock train to Prague. We traveled with the Olomouc Elders, which was a blast. Once we got to Prague, we met up with all the missionaries and piled in another train (super cool, we basically took it over – haha) to head to Karlstejn! From there
we had a picnic as a mission and hiked up to where the Czech/Slovak mission was dedicated 86 years
ago. It was especially cool because it is also the 25th year since missionaries were reintroduced to the Czech Republic. Also, they are making a Mormon Message about it apparently, so keep your eyes peeled. The service was amazing, and the spirit was overflowing. Afterwards, we realized we were all going to miss our train… So, all 70 of the missionaries ran the 2 kilometer to the train where we began our travels home.
Saturday, July 25:
Was exciting… Kind of… Elder Boyce got horribly sick in the morning and didn’t recover that day. So, we were in the apartment the entire day. I mainly did language study for most of the day, but I also tried cooking Crepes from scratch (it was a success) and I tried making some phone calls in Czech (slightly less successful…).
Sunday, July 26:
Elder Boyce was still sick, but we made it to church. Afterwards he slept the rest of the day and got feeling better around 6. Once again, I did language study, and practiced cooking in the kitchen.
Monday, July 27 (today):
We went to a Castle! I don’t know what it is called, but we went there haha. We got up early and caught a bus to Uherske Hradiste to meet up with our District. From there we hiked 3 miles in forests and meadows that match fairytale descriptions.
The castle was amazing! It was built in 1662 (older than America haha). I have pictures of it all that I will send. Then we came back to Zlin and worked for about four hours, and now I am emailing to finish my day!
This past week has been slightly challenging for me. I have found I can speak the language fairly well, but I have a hard time understanding people. I feel as if I have one arm tied behind my back whenever we teach. Feeling frustrated at my inability to fully understand the people we are teaching I turned to the Lord in prayer and asked for an answer. On Saturday, I received my answer in a Liahona that I read, and this has become this week’s spiritual thought.
In the January 2013 Liahona, there is a talk given by a mother named Michelle Reyes. In this talk she tells about an accident that she was in when she was 17, resulting in the loss of one of her arms. This life-altering event left her wondering if she was capable of being a mother when the time came. She goes on to explain that, that was 15 years ago. Now she is the mother of five children, who hardly notice the absence of her arm. In fact, she goes on to say that it has become a symbol of love to her children as they fall asleep holding what remains of her arm. She goes on to talk about how she once was anxious for the day when Christ would make her whole, as he did the people in 3 Nephi 17:7-9. She goes on to write this last paragraph of her talk, where I found my answer.
For me, this is one of the most touching events described in the scriptures. But my perspective has changed as I have embraced motherhood with one arm. I once thought I was one of the people who most looked forward to the Resurrection and the idea of being made whole. But now I am not in so much of a hurry. Increasingly, I feel the Atonement working in my life now. I have realized that the healing power need not begin only when the Resurrection occurs. The wholeness has already begun when, every night, one of my children tenderly holds what remains of my arm and slips into slumber. This realization has been just as meaningful to me as any miracle of physical healing. I have decided that, for now, I am as whole as I need to be.
The same is true for me and for you. We are as whole as we need to be right now. We may feel inadequate at times to fulfill all that is required of us, whether it is understanding a language, raising a family, repairing a relationship, or whatever the case may be. We are as whole as we need to be, and in addition to that we have the Savior, who we can always turn, for he has promised:
“‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. …“‘My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’ (John 14:18, 27).”
I know that every one of us is adequate to face the challenges that life throws at us. I know that while we might feel alone, the Savior stands beside us, to love and comfort us, when all hope is lost. I know He lives and that He brings a peace into our lives that nothing can take away. I share these thought with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.