Monday, September 14, 2015

Fairy Tale Festival Week in Jicin

Doing some service at a member's house on a bright sunny day

Eating bramborak, a traditional Czech food. It is grated potato with some seasoning that is deep fried.  It wasn't too bad!
Posing on the dragon in Jicin

A character seen at the annual Fairy Tale Festival in Jicin.  The other pictures below show additional sights from the festival.

September 14, 2015

Hi everybody!

A few highlights from this past week.

On Tuesday this week, it was one of the sister missionaries birthdays in my district. To celebrate, we went and got McDonalds. That is the first American food that I have eaten in a while. We also do a game night at the church on Tuesday nights. We play ping pong and have a couple other games to play with anyone that shows up and that was pretty fun. It’s hard to talk to people at events like that though because I don't know any words or phrases except gospel words. 

We have a new investigator this week who is a strong Catholic. But she was interested in our church and we got to teach her why we believe what we believe and got to answer all of her questions. She speaks really good English too, so I got to teach some in English, which is really nice. But it did feel a little weird because I'm used to teaching in Czech.

A little while ago, we learned that we would be getting a senior couple here in Jičín with us. We were pretty excited and on Friday Elder Bitner and I took a bus to Prague to pick them up and take them to Jičín. Their names are Elder and Sister Gunnell from Meridian, Idaho. We took them on a little tour of the city and of the church building. They really enjoyed it and are excited to be serving here with us. I've heard the great impact that a senior couple can have in an area so I'm excited to have them here. Being with them also reminded me of my awesome grandparents who just finished their mission in Brazil. 

Saturday was a cool day. Jičín is also known as the fairytale city. Every year they have a fairytale festival here to celebrate. The fairytale festival was this past week. All the missionaries get 3 hours a month to do a culture day. We chose to go to this fairytale festival that was happening here in Jičín. It was pretty cool and there were lots of booths with food and Czech made things. There were lots of fairytale characters walking around. It was a fun day.

We have a couple of other investigators. Neither of them came to church this week but we are trying hard with both of them. One of them is on baptismal date and we are hoping to get the other on date as well. 

Something that I have noticed as we have been meeting with our investigators this past week is that all of their questions can be answered in the scriptures. I have already come to love the scriptures and the answers that you can receive from them. We were asked this week why the Book of Mormon is so important. The Book of Mormon is what sets our church apart from the rest. It contains the convincing evidence of the gospel. I am thankful for the scriptures and for the personal revelation that we can receive from them. 

I'm still struggling learning Czech and I rely on my trainer a lot. He is great and he is helping me to learn as fast as possible. I'm sure the language will just come with time and practice. All is well here in Jičín and I am enjoying being a missionary of the Lord!
That's all for this week! Have a great week everyone!
-Starší Shirley

Elder Shirley sent a separate email responding to some questions that we had asked him recently.  Here are some of his responses:

It’s good to hear that Sugar-Salem soccer is still winning and that Dan is playing well. It’s good to hear that Abrea is doing awesome too! I'm missing canning season! I loved eating all of the peaches. I don't get any of that here.  The language is still way hard but my companion is good about it. Today on P-day, we kinda deep cleaned our apartment and it reminded me of Saturday jobs! I haven't eaten anything crazy yet, which is good. Living here isn't much different, but everything here is sooo cheap. You can buy a package of noodles for 8 crowns, which is about 30 cents. An average meal at a restaurant cost 100 crowns which is about 4 bucks and we can make meals at home for like 40-50 crowns. We get in every night by 7:00 or 8:00pm, depending on the day. Also, a slight difference is that here they go by military time. I don’t have a specific calling/assignment in the ward here, but we do teach different classes every week.  I heard that it takes around 6 weeks to send a package here. And I could also use another sweater.....maybe blue. Just a suggestion though, haha. 


  1. Brian, can you please ask Josh if the city of Usti nad Labem is part of his zone, and if he can get clearance to go there on a referral? If he can, I'll send you the person's contact information. As Josh moves throughout the country, I will, most likely, ask you this question again.


    1. Hi Brett, I'll check in with him and see if that's a city he can go to right now. At some point, I think it's inevitable that he'll be able to visit some folks that you know over there. It's so cool that he's able to serve in the same mission that you did!

    2. I just heard back from Josh on your question. He says: "Usti nad Labem is not part of our area. It's in the Prague area and it is like an hour and a half from there. It used to be its own area, but not anymore. It would be hard to get there even if I was in Prague."