Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Welcome to the Czech Republic!

A member of the Church took a picture with Elder Shirley's traveling group in the Chicago airport and texted this picture to us.

First picture of Elder Shirley in Prague: with mission president James McConkie and his wife Laurel McConkie
All of the new arrivals to the Czech/Slovak mission with the mission president and his wife

August 25, 2015

**This entry is written by Elder Shirley's dad to report the details as we know them of his travels from the MTC to the Czech/Slovak mission home in Prague. We will receive an email from him on his next P-day, which will be either Saturday or Monday, depending on the area that he is assigned to.

Elder Shirley departed from the MTC yesterday (8/24) at 2:30am to begin the journey to Prague, Czech Republic. We had the opportunity to talk to him on the phone during his layover in Chicago, which was the first time we've heard his voice since he started his mission in June. He sounded so good and was so excited and ready to get to the Czech Republic and begin his service there. It was a precious hour that we were able to spend talking with him about his experiences in the MTC and his hopes and thoughts about this next stage of his mission. He was traveling as part of a group of 11 missionaries who were all headed to the Czech/Slovak mission so he was in good company. We were pleasantly surprised a couple of hours after our phone call with him to receive a text from a church member who was in the airport and had stopped to talk with Elder Shirley and the other missionaries and took a picture of them to send to us.

We thought of him often throughout the day yesterday and into the night last night as we mentally plotted out where in his journey he was at that particular time. Elder Shirley's itinerary was to fly from Salt Lake City to Chicago, from Chicago to London, England and then from London to Prague, with an arrival time in Prague of 12:50pm local time (4:50am Mountain time).

This morning we received an email from his mission president, informing us that he had arrived safely. Along with the email were two pictures: one showing Elder Shirley with the mission president (President James McConkie) and his wife and the other showing the full travel group of missionaries with the mission president and his wife.

President McConkie included the following letter:

Elder Joshua Brian Shirley has safely arrived in the Czech/Slovak Mission. Sister McConkie and I are impressed with your son and want to thank you for all that you have done in preparing this wonderful young man for his mission. In our estimation he is prepared and ready to ". preach the gospel to every creature that cometh under the sound of .(his) voice." D&C 80:1.

Attached is a photograph of Elder Shirley which was taken today just after he arrived in Prague. Tomorrow, after a good night's rest, he will be assigned a companion and an area in which to work. You should receive an e-mail from your missionary on P-day (Saturday in Prague and Monday everywhere else). We are confident that the Lord will stand with and bless him as he serves.

Your son has accepted a call that will change his life and the lives of those with whom he is serving. These first few months will be full of new and challenging experiences, and your support in the form of encouraging and uplifting letters will help him greatly. Our greatest hope is that each missionary with whom we serve has the kind of mission experience that will establish the foundation for a lifetime of service and discipleship.

With warmest regards,

James W. McConkie
Prezident Česká/Slovenská misie
Sister Laurel S. McConkie

1 comment:

  1. So so so happy to read this! Isn't it great to get random texts...with pictures...from strangers who are looking out for your son? This is my 3rd missionary with Tyler & this is the first time I've ever had that. I've even made a new FB friend. Technology at its finest. I will always call you & Shiree some of my best friends from years ago. You are ALWAYS welcome wherever we may roam. Now in TX but also in VA where my mom is living in our "retirement home". I'll hook you up with B&B there, too!