This week we passed the 1/2 way point for the transfer. Something I can't believe. It feels like transfers should have already happened. Elder Tomlinson and I are doing great together-there is just a ton of work that we are trying to get done, as well as be missionaries. There is still a loooong list of things I want to get done, but I'm waiting until after Christmas-- it's a slow week in missionary work anyway.
Yesterday was my first day conducting church. Like everything else in this country it was an adventure. We (meaning I--there are no counselors yet) called a new Branch Missionary, who is SO excited for her new calling, and together with the Branch Mission Leader we will met and develop a Branch Mission Plan. I'm determined to turn this branch into a missionary minded branch if it kills me.
Let me tell you about the last conference:
We had a district training in Brno on Saturday and there we learned that this district, with 1100 members, has only about 400 who are actually active. Ouch.... So what I got out of it (it was all in Czech mind you...) is that our focus as a District is working with the missionaries to find solid members and bring the lost ones into activity. The church did a study where if the missionaries, acting alone, teach 1000 lessons they will get ONE baptism. If missionaries have 1000 lessons with a member present 78 baptisms are the result. But if the missionaries receive 1000 referrals and teach with the members the end result is over 600 baptisms. So we got to be open about the church and share what we know and work with those Elders. (me) :)
We also had a stand-up presentation from the National Director of Public Affairs. She is the first woman to serve in that capacity. Basically we learned that the Church is open about who we are and we as members need to be open to. I can't tell you how many times people ask if we practice polygamy, use electricity and why our prophet is in jail. (a lot think Warren Jeff is a mormon... sigh...)
At the end we had a 4 hour training on the new financial system. Something that was useless for the 4 Slovak branch presidents. They announced that the program won't start on the 1st of the year like the Czech Republic and they would have a separate training for us in Slovakia. The training was a little glimpse in how the church really runs. It's amazing. There really is no room for mistakes. The church, well, really the Lord has set it up in a way that no matter where you serve in this Church you have to really try to fail. The Lord's program is literally set up for success. It's perfect!
Hope everything is going well. Thank you for the letters Julie and Catherine! You're the best! My only question is what did Casey Anthony and Conrad Murphy do? Should I know these people?
Please pray that this week will see some more action. I feel like I'm boring you all with my letters!