Monday, February 21, 2011

Hey y'all

Have I ever described how Slovaks wear their scarfs on the outside of their jackets? Like around their hood. I can't really accept it yet.

If you read the mission news letter, "Faith to Fly", you would know that we had a very good week numbers wise. The whole Slovak Zone hit at least 56 hours of SOL (Speaking Our Language) and Elder Taylor and I taught 11 lessons and 3 lessons with a member. It was the first time I think that I ever hit standards in SOL. (For those of you who think that I am somewhat compentant in the language by now, guess again. I just don't like to talk about it anymore... :) ) But I am proud of what we accomplished this week. It was definitely a busy one.

Our soccer, err... I mean futbol, player, Fanendo, left. He signed onto a better team in the Ukraine. We helped him pack this week and we now own about 6 pairs of soccer cleats, two bags of clothes, and 5 or 6 other pairs of shoes, and a bunch of other random junk. I managed to fit into 2 of his shoes (he's got big feet) but we will see how long I feel like hauling them around Slovakia....

Our investigator that we have set up for baptism had to postphone it for the 19 of March. We're hoping and praying that he can make it. I know he will be baptized.... eventually. He wants to make sure that he is ready. Who is ever really ready for anything though? He has been reading the Book of Mormon and it is amazing how that book changes people. At first he was really only interested in the history aspect of it, but now he is really seeing how the teachings of those prophets can apply to him. It has taken him about 6 months to read up to Alma, but he KNOWS that first half. He can tell you anything that happened. Which is so good to see. I know that when he is baptized the branch will really benefit from someone with such a deep love and knowledge of the scripture. Plus he would be a priesthood holder in Trenčín which means we would have another person we could teach with!!

My Valentine's Day was uneventful, as a missionaries Vday should be I guess... Thank you Mara for the Valentines, Taylor liked his, but felt a little insulted. (something about he being the robin to my batman) And my Valentines Card came through today mom! Thanks! I loved seeing everyone and it's so comforting knowing that somethings don't change. ps where is Logan in the second one?? :)

Caute! Hope everyone enjoys their Presidents Day! (That's today, right?)

Elder Adam

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Zone Conference and a Wedding

Hey all,

This is has been an extremely long, and extremely busy week. Was it only a week since my last email??

We started off the week pretty well volunteering at that school again. Always fun. The highlight was probably one girl asking if we had ever been to California and then wanted to know EVERYTHING about it when I told her I grew up there. Another girl in the class asked what she could do in CA because her family was going this weekend. The first girl looked like she was going to cry-she wanted to go that bad.

Wednesday night we travelled to Brno to stay the night for a mulit Zone Conference on Thursday. We stayed with some other missionaries there. It's nice to get out sometimes and get to know your fellow missionaries. The Zone conference was great and was exactly what I needed. During one of the roleplays (we roleplay alot at these things..) I was reminded of how important it is to remember spiritual experiences and that there can be real power in sharing them. Sometimes in the chaos of finding people to teach and boosting our numbers I forget why I am in Slovakia in the first place. I am here, first and foremost, because Heavenly Father has asked me to be here. He knows there are people here that are desperately trying to find their way back to Him and they need me to show them the way. That is why we all have specific callings in the Church, isn't it? To help others find that peace that God has to offer. The Gospel is so true and I love it!

On Saturday we had the first LDS wedding in Slovakia!! Hanka, the daughter of our Branch President, got married to Ondrej, a member in the Czech Republic. He is a convert to the church and actually served a mission in Salt Lake City. It was great! I managed to wear a green tie to match the colors (like I always do:) The best part was seeing that SOOO many people came from ALL over. My mind was mush at the end of the night hearing all of the Slovak, then Czech, then English- but it was so nice to be around so many members in Trenčín. :)
In between the wedding and the reception Taylor and I had a meeting with Roman, one of our long-term investigators. President Irwin was in town for the wedding and not wanting to pass up the oppurtunity to teach with a member we asked him to join us. President is a fantastic person to teach with! We planned on giving him a baptismal date for March 5 and he accepted! We are hoping that he can quit smoking and that he can follow through on this date. (He's had two other dates before) He is a great guy who really just wants to follow Christ.
The reception was tons of fun and we ate some good food. I just love receptions. I was worried that 2011 was going to be a dry year for me. 2010 was full of receptions. But I should be good until 2012.
We were literally filled to capacity at church the next day. 26 people at church. Definitely a record and a pleasant change from the average 8. It's a shame none of them agreed to stay in Trenčín when I asked. :(

Hope everything is going good with everybody and that everyone has a Valentine!

Starší Williams

Monday, February 7, 2011

An American Week in Trencin!

Hello all!

Had a busy week. Feels like it was two weeks. But I survived.

Today is the start of "American Week" at Lidl, one of the grocery stores here. So of course all of the missionaries in the country know about it and are going to this week. I learned/remembered a couple things. 1) Just because the picture looks authentic doesn't mean the actual food is. 2) Europeans don't do American very well. I got a bag of frozen onion rings (gross), fry sauce (even grosser), marshmallows (I'm now worried about opening them...), and honey mustard (for the onion wings of course) I was wondering why it tasted so weird, and then I realized that it tasted more like honey and less like mustard. Oh Slovaks. That's not supposed to taste anything like honey! However, the hamburger patties and bbq chips were pretty good, as well as my own redition of hot wings. I had a disgustingly large and very "American" lunch as you can see. :)

This week I had exchanges in Zlina with Elder Walker on Tuesday/Wednesday while Taylor stayed in Trenčín with Elder Evans. Walker and I had a good time and it's always refreshing to work with someone different, learn some new things and spend some time outside of your usual city.

It seems that everyone has been getting sick in Trenčín. So far Taylor and I have given/participated in about 7 blessings. All of them great experiences. The inactive/non-member family really appreciated and really felt the power of the priesthood as a result of the blessings. Things got a little irreverant near the end though. But that's almost to be expected after 5 blessings with a bunch of siblings in the room. My mom knows my siblings and I had a hard enough time not bugging each other. But it was mostly Logan that was the problem anyway. :) jk jk

Mom, don't read this next part. Ok?

An experience on Saturday made me feel like a real missionary. We went out tracting (always) to a part of town that we are trying to finish up. We get to a tall ponnelok and we buzz the first name, he asks who we want to talk to and we tell him that we wanted to talk to him (trying to be cutesy or something). He responds with a, "Me? Ya, sure you can talk to me!" And he buzzed us in. Kinda weird, that never happens. Well, when we get to his door it's wide open and I see him walking towards us. In his hand is a tiny gun, whhhhaaaaaat?!? I decided to just ignore the weapon as he didn't look angry and I'm pretty positive that anything that would've come out of it would just bounce off me. Or it was a water pistol.... Anyways, I tell him who we are and what we're doing here. Then he just waves the little gun in our face and tells us never to come back, then he slowly shut the door. I must have had the gift of tongues, because I understood everything he said. Needless to say we won't be coming back. But we kept going and tracted the rest of the building and it turned out to be a slow evening. But that is the life.

Ok Mom, you can keep reading.

I'll be praying for Michael's safety as well. I wouldn't worry about me falling through any roofs here, everything's made of cement. But rest assured that I am safe in ol' Trenčín. :)

This is going to be quite the busy week. Combined Zone Conference in Brno and the first LDS Slovak wedding in Slovakia! (Well, she's slovak, he's Czech) We just wished they would stay in Trenčín. :(

Hope everything is going good at home and everyone is happy. I'm a little sorry I'll be missing Logan's senior year! How exciting!!


Elder Williams