Can you believe that I left a year ago? My year mark (the 25) was kind of anti-climatic. Which is good I guess-- nothing too dramatic. We had specialized training in Zilina and we spent all day there, we got back just in time for bed. But it was a fantastic conference. Lately, whenever I have been working on something or trying to improve in a specific area of my work it's talked about at conference. This past week we talked about planning (huge focus) and member relationships. We really need to work on making sure the members see us as missionaries who were sent to grow and establish the church, not there to merely support them. At the end of the conference President Irwin showed us the full MTC devotional Elder Holland gave in January. We were shown a little clip of it at Elder Pearson's conference, but the whole thing was really spectacular. I have been worrying a lot about my post-mission life (such a silly thing to worry about really, as I have neither control nor the time to do anything about it). But Elder Holland talked a lot about what the choice to go on a mission means, or ought to mean, for those who serve. He spoke a lot about discipleship and what it takes. All of us must pay a price to come to know our Savior. He paid so much to know us. His price was everything, and as a result He knows us perfectly. We don't have to pay what he did, but he definitely asks us for sacrifices. To follow Him where ever He needs us to go. Discipleship is a concept I'm having a difficult time in understanding. Granted, I know what the word implies, but I don't think I quite get the full import of what it really means. Yet. Until then I will keep doing what I'm doing, trying constantly to improve and see where it leads me.
On Saturday we saw our 2nd baptismal service! Lenka was just glowing and giddy the entire morning leading up to the service. She has this perpetual smile that everyone loves. I really never thought that I would see THREE people baptized in a single transfer. All of them was found, taught and baptized this transfer. It's all a miracle. Naturally, I forgot my camera for this wonderful occasion, but Elder Stansfield took some pics and I'll forward them on. :) The branch just loves Lenka (as well as Ivet and Marek) and on Sunday, when she walked into the chapel everyone just lit up. The branch's faith has been higher then it has in a long time as these new converts are already speaking in sacrament meeting, participating in Sunday school and not falling away like so many converts they've seen do in the past. They have really brought new life into the branch and have enthusiasm for the gospel that is contagious! Ivet never ceases to amaze me, she wants to learn to play the piano for church and we'll be going through the keyboard program the church has. She'll get her own keyboard and I'll teach her how to play some simple hymns. I'm looking forward to the day when it's not a "missionary show" at church. So far we do everything.
Such as teaching.....
The past three weeks in a row I have been teaching either Priesthood or Sunday School. All in Slovak. It's a miracle anyone ever understands me. But it's definitely good practice and I hope (not really though) that I will continue getting opportunities like that to practice. At the very least the members are entertained. Som zlate. :)
Food update: Hot wings at the Stiles last night. 'nough said. All that was missing was Frank's Hot Sauce :( (which would be a nice gift ;)
Fashion update: Because it's been so hot last week (still got nothing on AZ) I've noticed a trend with old, heavy, men; we'll call them gentlemen. They love button up shirts but only with the last two or three buttons done up. Then they just sit with their chests/bellies out in the open as they sit in a restaurant or on the bus. So chic.
Things are doing well here in Kosice. Everyone is enjoying FHE that we do and we are working on geting our next baptismal date, a lovely woman named Viera, all prepped for her baptism at the end of September. We're hoping for a new investigator in the form of a referral from West Virginia. Here's the story:
Arthur was riding his bike when he saw a couple missionaries hanging out on the porch of a house. He went up to them and started asking who they were and what they were doing. You know, the questions missionaries LOVE. They got to know him and started teaching him, turns out he is from Slovakia! We know about Arthur because Elder LeSuer (obvi from AZ), the missionary who taught Arthur is cousins with Elder Tenny, a missionary serving in Bratislava! So when Arthur moved back we were able to get his info and this week will be a "find Arthur" week before transfers. (<--more on that) So far, no luck, but we have good ol' Sister Curtis in the mission home hunting for some more information on Arthur. The news that Arthur is also a young adult made us even more excited about him.
Transfers are ending this Saturday! President Irwin is out of the country all week next week so the new missionaries (4 of them) are coming a little early. The zone is all excited for them, especially because it means we will have more missionaries to help us out. :)
Pday will be on the normal Monday so I will talk to you all there!
Hope everyone is good!