Hello family! Hope all is well, this has been one of those weeks where I'm kind of glad to be over with. It was the last full week for Elder Bodily and McGowan and they dubbed it "No Fear Week!" (Shark Week aint got nothing on them) They were two big, bold missionaries all week and saw some amazing results. Elder Stansfield and I did our best to be fearless- but we are still pretty timid missionaries. Step by step and we will get there. It really is amazing to see what happens when we hit the streets having no shame in who we are or what we believe. This upcoming week I want to study the way Christ taught and how I can apply that. He was a pretty bold teacher--still is. he had no shame in who he was and what he was called to do. Every week needs to be No Fear Week. Elder McGowan asked that I bring that vision to the rest of the mission- I will do my best.
Everyone in Kosice is doing well. The other Elders each gave a farewell talk in church and Elder Stansfield and I taught Sunday School-kind of a "missionary show", but we will have to do less and less now that we're getting more and more members :) On Saturday we had our Annual Kosice Branch BBQ that was quite a success. About 40 people came. (not bad for an active branch of 6, eh?) It didn't hurt that the Stiles family from England came over to add 6 to our group. It was so nice to have a family at church. We actually had a primary! It was a trip to hear little kids speak in English. I've always thought I just couldn't understand children's Slovak, turns out I just can't understand/hear children. :)
Speaking of kids, thank you Brookie for the update on your sister. Can't wait to see Lewis. He'll be a one year old by the time I get back! Weird....
Here's a story y'all might appreciate. Saturday night Elder Bodily and Elder McGowan left their apartment to grab some things for lunch on Sunday-we were all going to eat together. They come back and unlock the door, but it doesn't open. Uhhh.... They keep trying the lock and it's budging but the bottom of the door isn't opening at all. They spend the next hour and half trying to bust down the door. They try kicking it, body slamming it, even sliding coins under the door as a way to wedge it open or something (I don't get it either....) They prayed (a couple times) and kept at it. They are making all this noise and no one, NO ONE ever comes out of their apartment to see what's going on. They tape a note on their neighbor's door to call them asap. (The plan was to climb over thought the balcony). They finally give me a call around 10:30 to ask if Elder Stansfield and I could pray for them. So we prayed. I thought it was a cool thought that both companionships were uniting in prayer, asking for divine help in getting this door open. No luck. So they call us back to tell us that they are on our way to our apartment. About 11 I get a text saying, "Wrong bus. Long story. Be there soon" Finally at 11:30 they arrive. They told us the story, we laughed and went to bed. It was amazing to me when I thought about it. Here they are, on the other side of the world, 4 days away from seeing their families and on their last Sunday this happens. And despite that, they maintained an attitude that I wish I could have whenever anything goes wrong. While our prayers didn't get them into their apartment it helped us feel that everything would be fine.
The next morning though, presented another problem. Because they had been home writing talks and then ran to the store they were in gym shorts and t shirts. Any other day and it wouldn't be an issue, but we had to get to church and they had NO appropriate clothes with them. Miraculously Elder Bodily fit into one of my suits and Elder McGowan into Elder Stansfield's. Granted, they definitely were not the best fit, but they got away with it. Shoes and all. Elder Bodily didn't even have a nametag so there were two Elder Williams at church :) The Elders gave some good talks, despite having their prepared materials inside the apartment....
After church we went over to the apartment and the landlady was there and a locksmith who, with a crowbar, was trying to get into the corner of that door. Slovaks are serious about security and these doors are solid. The problem was that all along the sides of this door there are pins that jut out when you lock the door and go into hole along the doorjam. One of the pins was stuck down, which was the problem. He left and got a tiny little saw and spent a good 15 minutes sawing away. Finally, after a big mess and a ton of noise we got into the apartment! And throughout this entire ordeal NO ONE ever came out of their apartment. It's no joke when they say Europeans like to keep to themselves.
I'm looking forward to the week ahead. We're absorbing the other area and their investigators/potentials. It will definitely be exciting. district meetings will be interesting with just Elder Stansfield and the Stiles. I'll keep you posted.
Last Tuesday the Stiles fed us, sort of a last supper for Elder Bodily and McGowan. What was on the menu? RIBS! omg... It was amazing. Even better then the first time they cooked us ribs. (That's right, I've had ribs twice on my mission so far) And after that Sister Stiles saved me a piece of the cheesecake she made when I was in Brno. Hands down, some of the best cheesecake I've ever had. Apparently she has a website where she posts all her recipes.
Well, that's about the run down of our week, hope you enjoyed the pictures I sent last week. :) I'll try to take/send more. Wish you all a fantastic week and that school isn't stressing anyone out yet.
Love you all and can't wait to hear from you!