Monday, June 27, 2016

Good Experiences Doing "Service Tracting"

Elder Shirley on P-day this week

For P-day, they visited a mansion in the area named Zamek

Elder Shirley and his companion

June 27, 2016


Just a few experiences from the past week:

On Saturday, we went tracting with the other Elders in our district. We tracted in work clothes and asked people if we could just do service for them and help them in their garden. We surprisingly got a great reaction from people and we met a few awesome people. One lady didn't even need help, but she just wanted to talk. So we talked to her, she fed us an amazing cake, and we ended up given her a Book of Mormon and we have a return appointment this week. Oh, and last week, we also did service tracting and we got the cops called on us haha. That actually happened twice last week. But all went well!

To celebrate reaching my one year mark this week, we went out to an awesome steak restaurant.  I got a nice rib eye steak!

Next week I could have a new area; I’m excited! I don't think I'll be going to Prague, but you never know! There are quite a few other big cities I could go to. Actually, compared to where I’ve been, almost every other city in the mission is a big city haha.

Sorry about how short this is, but I’m getting kicked off my computer because there are so many people in the library today!
Love you all! The church is true!
-Starší Shirley

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hitting the One Year Mark This Week!

Elder Shirley with President McConkie, who finishes his service as mission president this week

Elder Shirley with Sister McConkie

The church building in Uherske Hradiste

Cleaning up after "a flood in the apartment". Elder Shirley didn't provide any further explanation as to the cause of this "flood".

The last district meeting for the current Uherske Hradiste district

Elder Shirley with some of the missionaries from his MTC group after being in the mission field for a year.

June 21, 2016

It was a great week! I say that every week, but it really was! We had zone training yesterday in Brno, so that is why I am a day late in my email this week.

This week is a special week for me and for this mission. We will be getting a new mission president, a Czech mission President this week. Also, I hit my year mark! Exciting things are happening. 

Yesterday was the last training with President and Sister McConkie. They are people that I have come to love and as exciting as the new change is, it will be sad to see them go. They have really changed my mission and my life.

At training yesterday, we talked about testimony. President shared a few things that really hit me. We opened up to section 80 of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is only 5 verses long but it gives us great insight to what a testimony can be. In verse 4 it says, to talk about things which you have HEARD, things that you BELIEVE, and things that you KNOW. A testimony doesn't need to be a profound thing that you are absolutely sure about, but as you bear that testimony, of things you have HEARD, BELIEVE, and KNOW, your testimony will be strengthened. 

We also talked a lot about Elder Oaks' talk in April 2008 conference I think is what is was. We talked about how there are 3 kinds of truth that exist. Scientific, Personal Subjective, and Spiritual. Obviously 2+2=4 - that is scientific. Something that is also truth is if I say, I love my family. That is truth and that is accepted as truth by everyone. How do I know I love my family? I just know. That isn't a scientific fact, but it is a fact and it is true. And just as I can say I love my family, I can say that I know the Book of Mormon is true. That is a spiritual truth. Spiritual truths are just as real and as valid as these other 2 truths. 

It was a really great training and I will miss President and Sister McConkie. A lot more happened this week, but I don't have any more time to write!

Love you all! 
-Starší Shirley

Monday, June 13, 2016

Being A Missionary Is A Wonderful Experience

Elder Shirley with Elder Swink

Attending a branch campfire activity

June 13, 2016


We had a great week! Pretty normal except we had an awesome exchange in Brno on Friday. 

We contacted most of the day on our exchange, and contacting in Brno is quite different. We have trams and trolley buses to contact on and the city is way bigger. But the coolest part of the exchange was when we found a couple sitting in a park on a bench. We started talking about the plan of salvation and somehow that lead into the restoration. We taught them the entire Restoration and gave them the first vision. It was really cool to see how into it this couple was. They had a lot of questions for us. We started talking about life after death and what we believe about that. The guy asked us what we believe. We told him that we will live in the Spirit world and we will all be resurrected. We asked him to read a few verses in the Book of Mormon. He read them and then stopped, closed the book, and said he was done talking for the day. We had been talking for probably more than a half an hour and all of the sudden he just stopped and said he was done. I really think and believe that he felt something. I think he realized that what we taught was true, but he was scared. It was sad to see them turn away after such a great conversation. 

With all the finding that we do as missionaries in the Czech Republic on the streets, it makes me realize how true the message of the Restoration of the gospel is. Joseph Smith was a prophet, called by God, and restored the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth again. The Book of Mormon is evidence of that Restoration and through reading it, we can and will come to know of its truthfulness. I am thankful for the knowledge that I have of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and that I will be resurrected and live with my family forever. The gospel brings peace and joy to a chaotic and sin-filled world. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and through him, we can overcome sin and trials. Being a missionary is a wonderful experience. This is the message I carry for these people and it is a wonderful thing. I love my calling! The church is true!

-Starší Shirley

{Below is some additional information that Elder Shirley sent in his personal emails to us}
Investigators right now are unfortunately few. The next transfer is on July 4th! Good celebration right? I'll probably change areas this time. Elder Lanham, my district leader, got his license recently so we switch off driving now.

Funnest thing this week: We had an exchange with the zone leaders in Brno this week and I was with Elder Hanis, an Elder from my MTC group. It was really fun to work with him for a day!

Hardest thing this week: We basically had to drop one of our awesome investigators this week. He just wouldn't accept the fact that there can be one true church. He believes that all churches are working toward the same goal and that all you need to do is believe in God and follow him. It was a sad lesson!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Another Great Week in Uherske Hradiste

A picture of the house where Elder Shirley lives

Street view in front of Elder Shirley's house. The blue car is theirs.

June 6, 2016


We had a great week here in Uherské Hradiště! Hope you all had a great week as well!

On Tuesday, we had district meeting in Zlín and we always do group finding with the other Elders that are serving there. This time, because it has gotten warmer, we did something called a chalk display. We went to a busy part in the city and drew out the plan of salvation on the sidewalk. It was huge! And then we contacted people that were walking by and we walked them through the plan of salvation and explained it to them. It was really cool to see how well that worked! 

We tracted a lot this week in different little villages outside the town. We are lucky that we have the car here and are able to travel out to smaller cities to tract. One day when we were tracting, it started to dump rain. And right when it started raining hard, we knocked on a door of a family of 6. They saw the rain and invited us in until it passed. It was crazy with all their little kids, but we taught a little about the Book of Mormon and set up a return visit. 

We had another awesome sports night on Saturday! 12 people came and it was a pretty good game of soccer! I hadn't played that hard in a long time! We also did service for a few people this week. We weeded in somebody’s back yard and we also painted some rails on a deck sort of a thing.

Sunday was awesome! We had a multi-stake conference broadcast from Salt Lake. We texted a few less actives about it and 2 of them came! Since coming here 5 months ago, I haven't heard a single thing from either of these people and they both showed up to church yesterday! It was really cool. We set up with them and are hoping to help them back to activity in the church. Also, this last week, a lot of callings were filled in the stake. It was really cool to hear people be called as bishops and presidents of various organizations and wards here in the Czech Republic. We got to hear the stake president speak again and it was just exciting to see that the Czech Republic is working under Czech leaders. This country is awesome!

This next week should be great as well! Congrats to everybody that is out of school for the summer! Love you all!

-Elder Shirley

{Here are a couple of other tidbits of information taken from Elder Shirley’s personal email to us}
My companion is great! The Czech language is coming along great as well. I feel really good about it, but I realize that I have no chance at being "fluent". But I understand most of what people are saying now. It improves slowly every day! Investigators are few right now, but we just got in contact with a few less actives which is good news!