Monday, January 25, 2016

The Best Work on the Earth!

Who needs a coat?!?

Out working in the snow & building character

Ducks congregating on frozen river

Headed down into the valley

Snow in the park

January 25, 2016


I'll just get right into it! 

Monday was Family Home Evening and just a regular P-day! 

Tuesday was a day on the streets! We talked with a lot of people and set up a few meetings with a few people. We also went and contacted a little bit with a member here! His name is Vojta and he is actually going on a mission in about a month. So we did some contacting with him to show him what it is like! It was super fun.

Wednesday we did about the same thing. Stopped lots of people on the streets and taught people about the gospel. We've been handing out tons of Book of Mormons lately. We had English Wednesday night and that was a success.

Thursday, we traveled to Brno! We had training there for most of the day. We got training from President McConkie, the zone leaders, and the sister training leaders. We also watched the worldwide missionary training from Salt Lake. Right after training ended, we started an exchange. I was with Elder Rees who is currently serving in Zlín. We met and talked to a few people on the way back and that night.

Friday we were on our exchange for about half the day and it was great. Elder Suwyn, my companion got back, and then we taught a lesson. In that lesson with our new investigator, we committed him to be baptized and he said yes! He is from Slovakia so it's a little harder to understand, haha, but he is awesome. He is a soccer player too. 

Saturday we weekly planned and contacted. We also went to the church that night and had a fun branch activity. One of the members got back from her mission here, so she just talked about it and her experiences.

Sunday, church was uplifting as usual. I have found that I can understand a lot more of the talks than I thought but I have to listen really hard haha. Our 2 people on date didn't end up coming to church though unfortunately. We contacted the rest of the night! 

The work here is great! I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve as a missionary. It really is the best work on the Earth! The Church is true!

Love you all!
-Starší Shirley

Monday, January 18, 2016

Being Out Here Is An Awesome Experience!

January 18, 2016

Ahojte! (Some of the Moravian slang)

We had a good week here! A lot of the same as previous weeks, so nothing too big to report on! I hope that it still sounds interesting, because being out here is really an awesome experience!

On Tuesday, we had a lot of contacting! Of course! :) We also had a dinner at a member's house. It was really good! Also, my dad's cousin served his mission in this same city about 15 years ago so I have talked a few members here and they say that they think they remember him! Pretty cool to be serving in the same place just like a different Elder Shirley did 15 years ago!

Wednesday we had district meeting in Zlín and ate lunch there with them. When we were eating lunch there, a car outside of the restaurant caught on fire. I'm not sure if anyone got hurt but we hope not! We also taught English class.

Thursday, we had a good meeting with a less active and set some goals with him to come back into the church. We did a district singing display and contacted! We also did some tracting in the evening.

On Friday, we changed up our contacting a little. We made a survey about Mormons to see what people know about Mormons around here. We had somebody tell us that Mormons were only in Utah and that they were a secret sect. She looked pretty shocked when we told her that we were Mormons haha. In the evening, we went and helped a member. She teaches an English class here and she was giving her students a test. We got to interview her students and just talk with them while she graded them. It was fun! 

Saturday we took a train to a nearby city called Popovice. We had lunch with a less active and taught her a lesson as well. Then we weekly planned and had mutual in the evening.

Sunday was church of course! We had quite a few people there this time though because a family had their daughter get back from her mission to New Zealand! After church, we taught the guy that we have on baptismal date. He is really busy with work, but he loves coming to church and meeting with us. He is still excited for his baptismal date and is progressing well! We are excited for him!

That about does it for the week! It has gotten super cold again lately so every time we are outside for more than an hour we are frozen! But such is missionary life :) Hope everyone has a great week! 

-Starší Shirley

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Contacting People Everywhere We Go

Out working hard in a winter wonderland

View from the new apartment in Uherské Hardiště 

Another view from the apartment

The frozen river running through town

The kostel on the namesti (in English, the church on the town square)

Scenes around Uherské Hardiště 

January 11, 2016


I don't have a lot of time this week, so it'll be a quick update this time!

This week was almost all just contacting! We contacted in about every way possible and literally everywhere in the city. We contacted about basically every gospel topic as well. I have come to find that my favorite thing to contact about is the Savior! I can bear a simple testimony and then go any direction that we need to with that specific person. We also did a few singing displays and a board display.

This week, I also went on an exchange with the other Elders serving here in UH. I went with an Elder that I served in the MTC with. It was cool being the 2 of us because it made me realize that even though both of us are young and don't know the language too well, we can still be effective! 

Last thing, we had our only investigator show up the church on Sunday. After church, we met with him and taught him a lesson about the Plan of Salvation. He liked it. Then, at the end, we committed him to be baptized. He said yes and was really excited! He said that he was so happy that he didn't even have words. I'm really happy for him and to see him progress! 

That's about it! Love you all!
-Starší Shirley

{Some more details that we got from some questions we asked Elder Shirley}
I am still learning more and more everyday about my relationship to Christ and how I can use his Atonement in my life. But I do know that he is there for us and he will help us! As we have spent all of our time contacting these last two weeks, I have realized that there are a lot of people here that already know the missionaries. This branch goes way back! The branch here is about the same size as Jičín and is just as strong. My companion is very much into Lord of the Rings and Star Wars and things like that. He's always happy which is great! We will have dinner this Tuesday and next Tuesday at member's houses. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

First week in Uherské Hradiště

Elder Shirley with his new companion Elder Suwyn. This will be the last transfer for Elder Suwyn before he finishes his mission.

Fresh, New Year's Day snow

A picture taken from an old area book in Uherske Hradiste.  Elder Shirley's first cousin, once removed (Brett Shirley), served in Uherske Hradiste a number of years ago. Elder Shirley now gets to carry on the Shirley legacy in this area!

January 4, 2016


First full week in Uherské Hardiště went well! I am super excited to be here in a new area. This week was a little weird with the New Year, but this is the simplified run down.

Monday was the day I traveled to get here! I spent the night unpacking my suitcases and getting settled in. My apartment here is huge; so much bigger and better than my old apartment. Also, the view from our apartment overlooks the entire city. We probably have one of the best apartments in the mission :)

Tuesday we had a meeting at a senior home. We talked with them and sang them some carols and that was fun. The rest of the day was spent contacting and tracting! 

Wednesday was district meeting! We traveled to Zlín and had it there. There are 2 sets of Elders here in UH and one set in Zlín. I am in the same district as my MTC companion Elder Newman which is pretty cool. 

Thursday was a little different schedule. Because it was New Year’s Eve, we had to be back in our apartment at 5:30 just in case things started to get a little crazy. We contacted most of the day until that time and also did a board display on the town square with the other Elders. We made it back to the apartment. Our mission President told us that we were allowed to stay up for the New Year, but that we still had to wake up at 6:30 the next morning. We stayed up to watch all of the fireworks and they were amazing! With our view out of the apartment, we could literally see every firework being set off in the city. It was probably the coolest firework show that I have ever seen. So it was totally worth it to stay up :)

Friday, because it was New Year’s Day, was basically like a P-day for us. 

On Saturday, we did some service for a member here. Their family owns some land outside of the city in a forest. Our job was to clear the land of all the branches and trees on it. So we built a massive fire and burned everything. It was a fun service project! They invited us over to eat lunch at their house afterwards too! We had mutual on Saturday night. The youth program is much larger here than in Jičín. We played some games and shared a spiritual thought. 

Sunday, we had church! The branch here is awesome! The branch here is one of the largest in the mission. The members are great and I am trying to get all their names down still. 

Hope everyone has an awesome New Year! The church is true! Love you all!
-Starší Shirley

{Here are a few additional snippets taken from some of Elder Shirley’s answers to our questions}
The weather has gotten pretty dang cold here too! My face basically freezes every time we go contacting haha. It's always under 0 degrees Celsius and the wind chill has to be somewhere around negative one billion degrees.

Uherske Hradiste is bigger than Jičín. by quite a bit. We have two sets of Elders here. The branch is already ward-ready and most of them speak English as well. The Czech spoken in this half of the country is slightly different that the other half. They have a few different words, but nothing that will throw me off.

{We also discovered that there are several family ties between Elder Shirley and his new companion Elder Suwyn.  My brother-in-law’s father and uncle were good friends with Elder Suwyn’s father and family while they lived in Chester, ID in the early 80s and played a role in his family joining the church at that time.  In addition, they discovered that Elder Suwyn has Wasden relatives and that he and Elder Shirley actually share a 4th great grandfather Thomas Wasden! These two were meant to be missionary companions!}