Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Spring is Arriving in the Czech Republic

Elder Shirley with Vojta, a branch member who is leaving on his mission this week.

Branch party potluck

Branch party

Other missionaries in Elder Shirley's district.  His description of this picture was "my district - pretty crazy!"

Elder Shirley reunited with his MTC companion (Elder Newman) for a day

Outside a museum that the missionaries visited on P-day

One of the displays in the museum. Elder Shirley described it like this:  "We went to a museum. Interesting."

Another museum display

A church building in the area with interesting architecture 

Elder Shirley and his companion went to tour the castle pictured in the distance. More pictures to come next week.

February 22, 2016
Ahoj Everybody!

Here’s a quick rundown of the week!

Monday we took a train back from Prague. It was a long ride! But we got back in time to get fed by a member here. It was super good!

Tuesday was all finding! We basically walked the entire city and talked with everyone on the streets.

Wednesday we had district meeting in the morning. It was the last one that we will have with this district. Afterwards, we started another exchange! My companion and I went on a ton of exchanges this transfer! 6 to be exact. Mostly because he is district leader and we did exchanges with every Elder in our district. But this last time I was back with my MTC companion for a day! It was cool after 6 months to be back together and work again.

Thursday our exchange ended and we went to Zlín to switch back. We tracted in the evening when we got back to Uherské Hradiště. 

Friday was another full day of contacting and tracting!

Saturday, we weekly planned, contacted, and then ended the evening at a branch party. One of the members here, Vojta, is going on a mission and is leaving tomorrow! We had a party for him at the building. We ate lots of food and had a good time. It is awesome to see how the gospel can really change somebody's life. Vojta was baptized about 2 years ago. And now he is leaving on a mission! So cool to see the power of the gospel and the strength of the members here. 

Sunday was good as well. Church went well and we contacted afterwards!

This past week felt like it went so fast! It is crazy how time flies when you are out here on a mission! Spring is about here in the Czech Republic, which means no more snow and freezing. But we did get rained on pretty hard this week. But I don't mind the rain other than the fact that everyone is inside when it is raining and it makes it a little harder to talk to people. We were not able to meet this week with the two guys who have been on track for baptism. We have basically lost contact with them and we don’t know why. Hopefully we find out soon!

This week is the last week of the transfer! Next week my companion is heading home and I will get a new one. I am quite sure that I won't leave the area since my companion is. 

I think that is all from me! We are going to see a castle today so I'll send pictures of that next week! Love you all! 

-Starší Shirley

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Work Your Hardest and Truest in the Lord and He Will Help You!

Elder Shirley in Prague (a photo from December, but he's there again this week)

February 16, 2016


Today has to be a short email because we are currently in Prague! I had visa work today and we woke up at 2:00 in the morning and took a train to Prague. We had our visa meeting and now we have an extra hour or two until we catch our train back and get back to Uherské Hradiště at 8:00 o’clock tonight. Talk about a long day! I should have my visa by the 8th of March. Also, I should be getting an international driver’s license soon! Pretty scary, right? Driving here in the Czech Republic will be pretty insane.

This week was great! We contacted tons this week, about basically every gospel topic there is. It was great! Hard at times for sure, but definitely worth it! We found a great guy this last week and he came to church on Sunday. He loved it and said that it was the most true of any church that he has ever been to. We are really excited for him and hopefully his wife as well. We are planning on giving him a baptismal date this week.

Over the last few weeks, I've been studying the language hard as well. It makes a lot more sense now and I feel like I'm progressing a lot more recently in my ability to speak. Work your hardest and truest in the Lord and he will help you! I love my mission and being able to preach the gospel. Love you all!

-Starší Shirley

Monday, February 8, 2016

I Am Blessed To Be Here!

February 8, 2016

Ahoj everybody!

This week was great as usual. Lots of contacting, teaching, and we are seeing lots of success! This mission really is great!

On Tuesday, we talked to people on the streets all day! We also had one meeting with a guy that is paralyzed and is stuck in a hospital. It was really cool to visit him and just talk to him. He isn't a member, but he has a strong testimony and is really just grateful for the life that he has. It was cool seeing someone so grateful in such hard circumstances. We also went on 2 more exchanges this week - one with the zone leaders and one with the other Elders that are serving here in UH with us. Tuesday night we drove to Brno and I had my exchange there on Wednesday.

In Brno, we contacted and taught 3 lessons. Being in a city that is so much bigger is pretty different. There are so many more people to talk to and so many that haven't heard the message before. We had the opportunity to teach a girl in Brno from Brazil. She is so cool and so prepared for the gospel. She loves the Book of Mormon and testified of it to us. It is awesome when we find people like her because it really does show that the Lord prepares people.

On Thursday we had district meeting in Zlín. That night we also went to a member's house and ate dinner there. They are such and awesome family and the food was great as well! That night, we started our other exchange.

Friday I was serving with Elder Croney, an Elder serving here in UH. We had a great exchange. We found this guy on the street that wanted to hear more so we went to lunch with him. He has strong faith and loves us. He bought our lunch and desert for us. Friday night, we visited our investigator who is committed to baptism later this month and had a great lesson. We taught the Word of Wisdom and fasting and he agreed to both of them. We are coming up on his date and he is getting excited and still looks strong!

Saturday was a regular day. Planning, finding, and then we ended the night with mutual.
Sunday was great. Testimony meeting was spiritual and the lessons were as well. That night we went to the guy’s house that Elder Croney and I found on our exchange. We taught the restoration to him and his wife and they liked it. They asked lots of good questions and they want to meet again!

This week I was just reminded of how great a mission is! We work to find those people that are prepared. Sometimes it may take a while to find them, but they are there. And when I see how the gospel really changes their lives to the better, I realize how blessed I am to be out here!

Love you all! 

-Starší Shirley

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Day in Prague and a Tour of the Velehrad Monastery

Outside Velehrad monastery

One of Elder Shirley's favorite meals:  Svickova

Velehrad monastery, which Elder Shirley and his companion visited on P-day (several different views follow below)

Elder Shirley mentioned that Velehrad monastery is one of the oldest churches in the Czech Republic.  He said the inside was "amazing", but that they weren't allowed to take pictures of the interior. Apparently Velehrad is one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in this area of Czech Republic which is also known as Moravia.  The original monastery was completed in the mid-13th century.

February 1, 2016


I hope everyone had a fantastic week! 

On Monday, it was just a regular P-day. We had Family Home Evening in the evening and my companion and I taught the lesson. We taught on what it means to be converted. 

Tuesday, we had an entire day of finding! Tuesday seems to be the day in the week where we find all day. But it's great! We talked to lots of people, did an easel display near the town square, and tracted a little. My companion didn't feel well, so we ended up going home early that night.

On Wednesday, we had district meeting in the morning. We talked about effective study and why it is important. Then, right after district meeting, we jumped on a bus and went to Prague! We had exchanges with the assistants to the President Wednesday night and Thursday. The drive to Prague was a long one and then we contacted in Prague that night.

Thursday was an exciting day! I served with Elder Karjalainen, from Finland. He is one of the APs and he is awesome. I had an interview with President McConkie on Thursday as well and that was great as usual. Elder Karjalainen and I literally talked to everyone about the gospel that we could. We contacted on the streets, on trams, in the metro tunnels and on the metro. We met lots of new people and shared the gospel with everyone. It was fun! We took a bus back to UH that night. We were on the same bus the entire ride for 4 ½ hours. It was pretty rough, but we made it back home safely!

Friday we were back to normal. Lots of finding! :)

Saturday was pretty normal as well. We did weekly planning, contacted, and then had mutual at the church building that night. We also had a meeting in Hodonin with our investigator who has committed to a baptismal date. We were like a 5 minute walk from the Slovakian border, although we are not allowed to enter.

Sunday, we went to church! Afterwards, we had a choir practice. This branch has a pretty good choir! We had another lesson with our investigator. He is progressing well and should make his baptismal date on the 27th! He is awesome and we are really happy to see him grow in the gospel.

And then today, we traveled about 10 minutes out of town and went to a huge church in Velehrad. I'll send some pictures!

That was the week! I am grateful for the gospel and my opportunity to share it! I love you all!

-Starší Shirley