Monday, April 25, 2011

We are the Contacters!

**Side note: right now we are in a gaming cafe because it's the only thing open on a holiday. Everyone is playing either a military game or World of Warcraft. From what I can tell the guy next to me is pretty good- he's killing a lot zombies. Uhhh... where am I??**

Sorry this email is so late, we had a busy day. It is Elder Doxey's last p-day and we went over to Bojnice Hrad. I went in November, but it was definitely a better experience in the spring. Being from AZ I really missed out on foilege. The trees look huge now that they are full of green leaves. I made sure my camera was charged, but naturally, I don't have a cable to load my pics into the email. A thousand apologies. The train/bus travel took 3 hours each way so I was able to catch up on my letter writing. But since transfers are next week, y'all are going to have to wait, incase my address changes. (Besides I can't afford to send 10 letters to America right now.... next month)

This past Wednesday was our "contacting day". The entire mission made it a goal to contact as many people as they could. As a mission we talked to over 8,000 people!! We went home abolutely exhausted. My little tri-ship handed out literally hundreds of pass-along cards. We felt pretty good-and we got a couple phone numbers. We are looking forward to seeing what happens with that.

Besides that our week was extremely slow. It seems that the work has just stopped for our area. We can't seem to arrange times to meet with anyone. Because Easter is such a big deal everyone has been telling us to call after the holidays so we're hoping that things look up this week. As the last week of Awesome April our goal is to handout at least one new baptismal date. We have a couple people we have been praying about and we are feeling good about commiting them to making the leap to decide to be baptized. Uvidíme....

Tuesday was a specialized training up in Brno and I left totally rejuvenated for the end of this transfer. Five fantastic missionaries are going home and they were able to bear their testimony for us after the conference. I realized that I hit my 8 month mark today, and while I still have SO much to go I realize that the time really is short and that it is slipping away. I really look up to these Elders going home and I hope that I can one day measure up to their example and ability. I know that it will just take time and diligence to develop into the missionary that the Lord wants and needs me to be. I really feel that I have finally adjusted to being myself while wearing the nametag. Thank goodness.

No shout outs, but I did receive a mystry letter from Germany written in German. I need an interpreter. Anyone?

Like I mentioned earlier transfers end next week, so try not to send anything to the Bratislava address anymore. Wait until after May 4th when I'll email again. Chances are Elder Bacon and I will stay in Dhly Diely (I REALLY hope so) But you never know. My tri-ship has never been better and we have had such a great time together. Our new favorite past time after dinner is to sign/interpret Mo-Tab songs. My companions also have this voice they've developed that I won't miss. Think of the Hoops and YoYo cards but with helium. I can't figure out how they do it... Their companionship is something I'm really thankful for. Despite the hard time we've had with our numbers we keep encouraging each other to keep working hard.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Starsi Williams

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hey family and friends!

This has a been a FAST week for us in Bratislava, the transfer is winding down and we're trying to get things tied up. This has been our "member week" and so we've been busy meeting with all of the members we could, sharing with them President Irwin's vision of what he wants to see in the mission. Basically, we're asking our members to share the gospel with their friends more and give us opportunities to practice teaching them. Our numbers this week looked pretty poor as a result of the member focus, but we're hoping to see big results in the coming weeks/months as the members help us more and more.

We are slowly watching more general conference and so far Priesthood session has been my favorite. I've really had to look at how I am cutting myself short from the privileges of being a priesthood holder. it really is something that if you don't use it, you lose it. We had the oppurtunity this week to give a blessing to a woman in the branch who has been pretty sick. She is a Slovenka who married a German and she usually reads from her German Book of Mormon and even taught her children to pray in German. It's interesting to me that some of these converts here who heard the gospel in another language still read the Book of Mormon in that language, rather then their mother tongue. Our Branch President said he connects English with his spiritual experiences, so he usually prefers to read the Book of Mormon in English, not Czech.

Saturday was Gabriel's baptism. He is a younger guy, 19, and has been taught for months. The missionaries tried to give him a baptism date about 7 different times. He refused each one. But when new missionaries came in he accepted their first invitation! He's a great guy and the branch will really benefit from having another priesthood holder. :)

Tomorrow we have training in Brno and Wednesday is our mission-wide contacting day! We haven't made a goal of how many people to contact, but we're again praying for miracles and hoping to see some great things.

Some shout-outs: a happy 22 to Katie Mills (err.. Katie Watkins) and a very happy one year anniversary to the Morris'! Wahoo! (ps, write me)

Thank you family for the birthday wishes already. For those of you who may have forgotten I'll be 22 on the 27! :)

Hope everyone is having a fantastic time doing what you're doing,

s laskou,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hey all!

I've had an exhausting p-day so far, and there is still more to do. This morning we had a "tea party" at our friend Tibor's house. Tibor is an older man who has been coming to our English class for about 10 years now. He's great and it was so much fun to just relax and talk to him. It took us about an hour and a half to get there as we kept getting on the wrong tram and second guessing ourselves. Please don't ask why we just didn't call Tibor, you'll just get dirty looks....

It has been quite the week for us here in Bratislava. Things have just been happening that it's hard not to count them all as miracles. On Wednesday we had our "Restoration Day" where we had a goal to give out 20 Restoration pamphlets and get 10 "A#s" (Appointments with a phone number) Since Bratislava had a short supply of the pamplets we only had 13 for each companionship but we managed to give out all of them as well as 20 other Joseph Smith brouches. AND we were the only companionship in the city to get 10 A#s. A feat that Elder Doxey had never heard of happening before. We worked all day and literally took every single oppurtunity to talk to as many people as we could we ended up meeting a lot of very cool new people and we are very excited to see what happens this week and next.

This weekend was also conference weekend for us as we finally got the dvds of the conference. We watched all of Saturday morning in Czech (Slovak comes later for some reason...) And just the missionaries were able to watch the afternoon session in English. We had a fantastic experience on our way to watch it. We were waiting for a meeting inbetween the sessions and this guy, Emil, was way late. Normally we would've left but we stuck around. Then this random guy just walked up and started talking to us. he had lived in America and spoke perfect English. We invited him to watch conference with us- and he agreed to come! But then Emil showed up for our meeting so Karol, random guy, said he would just go to our building at 2 when we would start it. At 2:00 guess who walked into the church building... Karol! We were all estastic! I was panicing at the beginning when the leaders of the church goes though all the business and the goings on over the past year (Which took FOREVER this year) I was worried he would get too bored, but he thought it was all interesting that the church would take that much time out of the conference to let 14 million people know who is serving as what where. When it was all done and the speakers started it was just perfect for someone with interest in the church. After Elder Packer's talk I felt like a prayer had been answered. He gave a PERFECT talk for a non-member to hear. Karol stayed for nearly the whole session missing only Elder Ballard's talk. I asked him how he felt watching it all and he said he enjoyed it a lot. "Like a spiritual reboost". Whch is exaclty how I feel after watching General Conference. He said he would be back Sunday to watch the rest of it. The sad part of the story is that he didn't come and wouldn't give us his number. Lesson: you always get a number!

Tonight we are teaching a FAMILY! We told them about FHE and we will be doing a fun little activity for them. We're excited about it. Any excuse to play minute to win it games, right??

Some shout-outs: Congrats to Helen and Linda at the ol' USAO for an early retirement! Wish you all the luck! And to Catherine for getting into Iowa State. My hat's off you to smarty pants!

Well this week of Awesome April is Member Week, so i will report to see how that goes with you all. Again, I hope everything is good with you all and you will hear from me in about a week! :)

-Starsi Williams

Monday, April 4, 2011

Awesome April!

Hello all!
Can you believe it's the start of a new month?? Things is Bratislava have been a little quiet. I can't help but feel that the past two weeks have just been the quiet before the storm. The weather has been near perfect. Around 18-23 degrees (Celsius that is) and the people on the streets are a lot more open to talk to us. Plus, the most fantastic ice cream place near OId Town reopened. :)

Despite all that we had an extremely slow week in terms of teaching lessons and finding people, but we are convinced that that will be changing. The mission home announced that this month will be "Awesome April". Each week will have a special focus beginning with the Restoration. I think it's perfect to get us pumped up and keeping things fresh. On the 6th we will be handing out at least 20 Restoration pamphlets and setting up at least 10 meetings. This will coincide with the 181st anniversary of the organization of the church by the way.... the week after that will be member week, where we will have a special focus on working with the members. After that will be a finding week with one whole day blocked off to just find and talk to as many people as we can. As a mission we are all very excited and I definitely feel more unified with the Czech side of the mission as they will have the same goals in mind. Yesterday we started the month off with a special mission-wide fast. We expect miracles this month!

I realized that the city of Bratislava has 4 baptisms on the board which is so exciting! All of them are solid and really have a desire for it, however, everyone is a little on edge about them all because they never have time to meet with the missionaries- which is so important for people preparing for baptism. But everyone here has been keeping their attitudes up and working hard.

Sano, our deaf member, has now been coming to every activity, though he missed church yesterday, I think he worked. I've been relearning a lot of sign language and he's been teaching some of the other missionaries. Which is so good. If I stay in the city for a long time I'm going to come home my signing will have a lot of Slovak in it! Sano has actually been helping with my Slovak too. Sometimes I'll know how to say something by signing it, but then I think, "ok, how would I say that in Slovak??" I've been finally able to visualize Slovak! Maybe now I can actually make some headway in the language. A member told me my Slovak could be better, BUT she said the Slovak I do speak is spoken with a very good accent. So I have something to be proud I guess.

So how was conference everyone?? Us missionaries can't wait to watch it! We won't see it until next week when we get the dvds with Slovak/Czech dubbing. We'll watch it during lunch throughout the week. It'll be fantastic!

Well everyone, I hope that this will be a good week for all of you, thank you Tara for the letter (finally...) It was good to hear from you :)


Starsi Williams