I have arrived in the country safe and sound and LOVING it! :) I'll do what I did for my day at the MTC and try to explain all that has happened in the last 60+ hours...
I left the MTC at 5:00 AM for New York. We had to get up around 3 to get ready and eat. Our flight took off at 8:30 and arrived in New York around 3. During our layover we had out last American meal at Wendy's. A couple ladies walked past us jabbering with each other in Czech. Sister Anderson freaked out. "They were speaking Czech and I didn't catch any of that!" At least we recognized it was Czech, right? I just hope that Slovak is easier... lol From NYwe we had a flight at 5:45 pm for Prague. We finally arrived in Prague at 7:45 Tuesday morning. We met the mission president and his wife at the airport along with the two Assistants to the President (APs). President and Sister Irwin are two of the sweetest people I think I've ever met. The AP's tried to secure a cab and I was amazed with how it was possible for them to communicate in Czech. I felt right at home with them in the Mission Home. We had a little orientation with Elder and Sister
Anderson (they emailed you already); they are the office senior couple-also very sweet. We were able to have a mini interview with President Irwin. He mainly wanted to get to know us personally to see where we should go and who we should be with. We then had a small lunch and then went off to see Prague with the APs, Elder Anderson and Elder Thompson. (ps there are about 7 Andersons in the mission now. lol) Prague is a beautiful city and there are no words that can describe it. Really. I took a ton
of pictures that I'll try to send next week. We saw everything! Or anything that you could see in 6 hours-- and I'm not quite sure what we saw exactly, we had just arrived and was going off of about 6 hours of sleep since Sunday, so I'll have to check my pictures again... At the end of the tour we got to a small namestia- or town square- and the APs put us in groups: Sister Anderson, Elder Bacon in one and I and then Elder Nichol and Sis. Bartholomew in another. Then they said, "Go talk to someone!" We didn't have much success at first, we went for the old ladies as they look much less intimidating. Boy was I wrong. But we shuffled the groups around and we actually got a couple numbers to give to the Prague missionaries. It was a little easier because almost everyone we talked to knew a little English But we tried to speak a majority of the time in Slovak/Czech. We did that for about 45 minutes and then went to a Czech restaurant. The food here is soooo good, but soooo heavy. Definitely what I needed.
Around 6 we went back to the mission home. That night Elder Bacon, Nichol and I slept in a hotel by the mission home. It was probably the best night sleep I ever had. It was a nice and cozy
hotel- more like an apartment. The tubs are pretty goofy in that they're pretty deep and you don't stand in them. There was also NO hot water. But I'm told it'll be better in Slovakia. ...fingers
We rolled out of bed around 7 (see, best night sleep) and had breakfast with the President, his wife and the Sisters. The APs were back as well as two Sisters that Anderson and Bartholomew are replacing. After that we had another short meeting where we went over the dedicatory prayer of Slovakia and the APs gave us an orientation to the language study program and some other details that we're expected to do here. Everything was really brief. They are going to hold a longer training meeting in Brno next week where we'll get the meat. President Irwing recognizes that we can't take everything (more like anything) in the day of arrival. So I'm excited to see Czech Republic again. We'll also be back in Prague for a Christmas conference. It'll be really nice to see Prague over Christmas as well as the sisters. It's like they’re slowing weaning our district apart....
We then met the trainers and were given our assignments. I'm paired with Elder Bodily and we will be spending this transfer in Trencin! (cue everyone hopping on Wikipedia figuring out where that is and what's so great about it) Elder Bacon is with Elder Fish (I know, weird combo) and they will be in Zilina and then Elder Nichol is with Elder Wilson and they will be in Bratislava.
After the assignments we managed to separate from the sister sans tears (We held up a lot better then with Elder Freeman) and off we went for Blava! This is about 11:30 am. After a couple subways (I just love big cities with the public transportation) we got to the train station and hopped on a 4 hour train ride to Blava. From there another tram/bus and dropped all of our luggage at the church building. In Blava the church building is the first floor of an office building and is pretty nice. From there we went down some sketchy alleys (again, I just love big cities) and got to an internet cafe were I am right now. It is now almost 7 pm. We will be staying in Blava til Friday. So two days (it should be Wednesday, right?) Tomorrow morning we have to get a medical card to use the health system here and we need a physical that requires a return appt. the next day. We also have to do something else with the attorney here-- not sure what it is. For the
past 3 days I have just stood around until someone tells me to do something or go somewhere. It's an efficient system for sure, I don't want to get in the way.
My trainer told me a little bit about what's going on in Trencin. He had to reschedule 6 appointments because of this Bratislava stay. 6!! He told me to prepare for miracles and I told him I expected them :) One of our investigators is a family and some other very promising individuals. He's expecting a baptismal date from one of them soon. We'll see!
I am so happy to finally be in the country! The MTC was an extremely humbling experience and the past 3 days have been an even more humbling experience. Not sure how much lower I can go, but I'm sure I can go much lower. But I know that I just need to get "myself" out of the way so the Lord can work through me.
Well family and friends, just to reiterate, I'm safe and happy and still appreciate and feel your support and prayers. I love you all!!
From Blava with love,
ps, Mom can you forward my emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com? They were in my branch presidency. I forgot to copy President Creer's email address- its in one of my bags- but I'll give you his next week.