Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Visit to Slovakia

P-day with the district

Visited an open air museum

In the tunnels underneath Velehrad monastery

Underneath Velehrad

Bones underneath Velehrad monastery

Last district meeting before transfer week

A picture of Uhersky Brod

Entering Slovakia!

Service project: tearing down a wall

Another successful project!

April 26, 2016


Another great week! And we are coming up to the end of the transfer here! Next week I might be in a new area with a new comp, but we'll see! Highlights from the week!

On Tuesday, we had a "culture night". We get one day a transfer where we get to go to some cultural event and learn more about the Czech culture. For ours this transfer, we went to an open air museum. They had recreated a settlement from the 1200s or something like that and we toured around that. We also went to the massive church, Velehrad, but this time, we went underneath it! It was really cool!

On Thursday we had our last district meeting as the 6 of us. We had a testimony meeting at the end of it and it was great. I have come to love the Elders in my district!

We have been doing a lot of service recently and still have a ton of people that want some. But this week, we helped a member in his garden. He had a bunch of small trees and bushes that he wanted us to dig out of the ground. It was good work and I even got a blister from it! My hands have gotten pretty weak haha. We also did service in Luhačovice this week for another member's parents. We tore down a wall of an old shed, which was pretty fun work.

On Friday, we decided to try and do a little less-active finding and contacting in a city near ours called Uherský Brod. It was cool to go into another city and contact some new people.

And on Sunday, we had church! It was great as usual. That evening we contacted and then tracted in a small town called Kněžpole.

Yesterday (Monday) was an awesome day! Training is always the best, and this time it was in Slovakia! Czech missionaries don't get to go to Slovakia too often, so it was a fun experience. We took a train to Bratislava and had training in the church building there. The entire training was focused on learning how to baptize! It was an inspiring and much needed training. I came away knowing what I need to do more and feeling more excited about the work.

Love you all! Have a great week!

-Starší Shirley

{Here are some of Elder Shirley’s responses to questions that his mom sent to him}

Hi Mom! Thank you for asking people to email this week! I had so many people send Happy Birthday emails! It was nice to see how many people are still thinking of me :) I will definitely miss my traditional birthday turkey dinner this year. A member knows about my birthday and invited us over though. So it'll still be good! With transfers coming up soon, I don't know if I'll be able to Skype for Mother’s Day. I know I can at least call you on the phone. We drive on the same side of the road here thankfully. We drive an Opel; I wish we had a BMW haha. We use the car probably every other day. I get my hair cut at a local place; they do a pretty good job!  We email from a library and we have 90 minutes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Nationwide Service Day - Let's Clean Up the Czech Republic 2016

Elder Shirley talking with a young helper at Let's Clean Up the Czech Republic day

Participating in the national "Let's Clean Up the Czech Republic 2016" day

Elder Shirley and his companion purchased local soccer team scarves

April 18, 2016


I apologize for the lack of an email last week! Here is this week:

We have switched up finding a little bit here by going bus contacting! On Tuesday morning, we jumped onto a city bus and contacted everyone riding it. We have met some pretty cool people on the buses, but a lot of the time, there are just lots of old people haha.

We had district meeting in Zlín this week and we talked about Christ-Like attributes. It is a section in Preach My Gospel and it is really good! After district meeting, we got a car! The zone leaders drove it to us and we took it back home from there. I am now driving again after almost a year!

We also had English that night and we had a potential investigator come. After the class, we invited him to stay after and learn more about us. He stayed and it ended up being a really spiritual lesson. We felt that we needed to commit him to baptism, so we did and he accepted! It was awesome! 

On Thursday, we weekly planned and had dinner at a member's house. I love going to member's houses! They are so great! And they cook really good food haha.

Friday we had an exchange. I was with Elder Chapple, who was in the same group as me in the MTC. It's pretty fun to serve around an Elder that started with you and is at the same point in the mission.

Saturday was service day! There was a nationwide service project called Let's Clean Up the Czech Republic or something like that. We put on the church Helping Hands vests and helped clean up trash. We met some really cool people! I'll send some pictures. We also did service for our neighbor in the garden and then finished the day on a sport's night with the young men.

I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting on Sunday and I found out about it on Saturday. I was really surprised with how well it went. At least I think it did! It was cool to realize, from last time I gave a talk, how much more I can express myself without writing out my whole talk. We also had someone show up to church that we met on the street during the week. We did a little tracting in the evening as well!

I ate something pretty different this last week. It is called tatarak. It's basically raw beef and egg on bread. You'll have to look it up! Weirdly, it was pretty good.
{Here's the description of tatarak that we found: Taking cues from the French steak tartare, tatarák—technically short for tatarský biftek—is fresh, minced raw beef with a number of mix-ins: egg yolk, diced onion, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, maybe some diced cucumber, and usually Worcestershire sauce or ketchup (unlike the French, you won’t find capers here). Sometimes it’s served pre-mixed; other times you get all of its myriad ingredients fanned out around the plate, so you can mix it to taste}

It was a successful and fun week! Every week as a missionary is a blessing and a spiritual experience. I am thankful for it and love it! God is in the work!

Love you all!
-Starší Shirley

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

General Conference in Czech and Driving Internationally

An awesome member family here. We ate dinner at their house on Monday

We tracted to the top of this hill

Elder Shirley's new Czech-made Prim watch

April 11, 2016

{Elder Shirley said he was running short on time this week, so he didn’t get to do his normal big email, but I put together some pieces of information from the short personal emails that he sent to us.}

Transfers will be the week before Mother's day, so I don't know at all if I will stay, or at what time I will be able to Skype. I won't know until the week before! 

I watched General Conference in Czech with the branch this past weekend, so I'm not 100 percent sure who my favorite speaker is yet haha. But as far as I could tell, I really liked Elder Uchtdorf's talks! 

The contacting is great! We have really good conversations with people on the streets, but it has been hard to find new investigators. But, the solid investigator we do have, we put her on baptismal date this week! It was an awesome lesson and the member teaching with us really helped. She also came to conference which was great!

This week I officially get a car! I’ll be driving internationally! Has Dad ever even done that? Also, my next training on the 25th of April will be in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, so I’m getting to visit the other country!

I know sometimes I don't send the longest responses back, but I love hearing from everyone! Pictures are the best so keep sending them please! I'll try to send more! 

-Elder Shirley

Monday, April 4, 2016

I Find That I Am Happy All The Time!

Elder Shirley and his companion Elder Lovell

Elder Shirley still loves a good meat and potatoes meal

April 4, 2016

Čau family and friends!

This week went by so fast! Time continues to just fly by. 

Tuesday night, Elder Lovell and I took a bus to Brno to start our exchange with the zone leaders. I came back here to UH with Elder Tingey and we started the exchange that night. 

Wednesday was a day full of contacting people in the city. We also taught English that night. 

Thursday was district meeting in Zlín. We talked about giving people commitments and follow-up on the commitments that we give. We contacted in Zlín for a while about our English class to see if we could get more people to come. The rest of Thursday was more contacting in the city! 

Friday, we started the day with a small service project. We helped a lady in her garden. The rest of the day, we tracted and contacted. 

Saturday we weekly planned, contacted, and then in the evening, we had a sports night! It has gotten pretty warm here and with the time change, it is light enough outside to play sports in the evening. We played a little softball and soccer. It was a blast! I definitely have missed playing sports all the time.

Yesterday was fast Sunday for us because we don't get to watch conference this week. Because of the time change and the translation, we just wait a week to listen to it. I'm super excited though! Conference has to be one of my favorite times of the year. Yesterday we had a good testimony meeting in church. The remainder of the day was spent tracting and contacting.

After writing that summary of the week, I realize how much we go contacting and tracting. But this last week, I have started to realize how much I actually love my mission. I find that I am happy all the time and sometimes, I have no idea why! Haha. The mission really is the greatest learning and growing process that everyone talks about. I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Serving the Lord is hard work, but definitely fulfilling. 

Love you all! I hope you enjoyed conference and were uplifted by it! Ahoj!

-Starší Shirley