Monday, October 5, 2015

Familiar With the Country and Really Blossoming!

Elder Shirley & his companion Elder Bitner (picture courtesy of Sister Gunnell)

Elders Shirley & Bitner (picture courtesy of Sister Gunnell)

A service project. Elder Shirley says "we basically just hit this guys house with these axes"

Another service project - cutting down a tree at the church building

Some Czech food.  "This is a mushroom cake that I'm sure Dad would love. I ate the whole thing and it was actually kind of good."

A bunch of ducks

Some random statue heads

Elder Shirley baked bread!

October 5, 2015

Hey everyone!

This week didn't have too many major events that happened. A lot of the time is spent here going contacting and going tracting. We choose a new part of the city every day and go try and talk to people about the gospel. I think it's funny how many people here are either scared of us, ignore us, or won't even walk by us on the sidewalk. I think most of the people here in Jičín have seen or talked to the missionaries before and they know who we are. Something that has been a little hard for me though is just walking up to people and trying to start a gospel conversation. It's hard enough because I don't know the language, but it's even harder when people respond and I have absolutely no idea what they say! But I'm learning to love it! I'm just glad my companion is good at Czech!

We have about 3 investigators right now that are meeting regularly with us and they are all progressing well. It's cool to be able to relate the gospel in a personal way to all different kinds of people, no matter what their life is like. We are also meeting with 2 great less-actives. One of them have started coming back to church and the other keeps inviting us back to his home, so that is great!

Even though I won't hear general conference until next week, I did hear about the three new apostles. I am very excited to have Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Renlund as apostles. I am also very excited to watch conference. Conference feels like such a bigger deal to me now than it ever has before.

The biggest event of this last week happened at church yesterday. We had branch conference and a new branch presidency was called. The district presidency came and President McConkie and his wife came as well. We got to hear some great talks from them. 

Elder Bitner and I are doing awesome here in Jičín! Being a missionary is great and the gospel is great. I am thankful for this wonderful opportunity to share what I know with the people here that have been prepared by the Lord.

Love you all!
-Starší Shirley

{In addition to Elder Shirley’s weekly letter, we received a surprise email and pictures from the senior missionary couple who recently started serving in Jici (Elder & Sister Gunnell). Their email is included below.}

Dear Shirleys,

Just wanted to let you know we are a Senior Couple serving with your son in Jicin.  We took these pictures one weekend before we were able to move here for good.  Just thought you might want to see them and also know what an amazing son you have!  We love him so much and he has been a great help to us. He has really blossomed over the past couple of weeks now that he is more familiar with the country.  He translated for me, Sestra Gunnell, during Sacrament meeting yesterday.  He will be a great asset to the work here in the Czech Republic!  Sincerely, Starsi and Sestra Gunnell


  1. Hi Brian! I don't know if Josh realizes it or not, but in that plate of food that he shows - that is most likely a rabbit leg, not chicken.

  2. Hi Brett! That is funny! I'm thinking that he probably doesn't realize that he was eating rabbit, not chicken. I'll have to pass that on. Thanks!