Thursday, September 22, 2016

I'm Living the Movie "The Best Two Years"

Elder Shirley and some of the missionaries from Brno

September 19, 2016


The big city of Brno is great! Investigators are going pretty well. We have a few pretty good potentials right now. Nobody is really progressing a ton but there are a lot more people to find in a bigger city like Brno. The ward here is pretty big - about 80 people I think. It feels pretty weird to be in such a big ward and not feel as needed like we were in other areas. We actually had 2 meals with members this last week! Dinner on Wednesday night and lunch on Thursday, All the members are pretty great here. We also had dinner with one guy that is from Michigan, but originally from Rexburg. He knows Grandpa Wasden. He was here for work and took us all for dinner.

This last week we went and did service tracting and we found some people that were harvesting some of their apples as well. So we offered to help and they let us. It was pretty fun and they were super nice people. It is cool to see how much some people open up just we you do a little service for them. They ended up feeding us lunch as well.

Here are some answers to questions that we sent Elder Shirley:
Q: What is the last thing you laughed about?
A: I couldn't tell you the last thing I laughed about...but with the 4 of us Elders sharing an apartment together, it has been a blast. Definitely a different experience than I have had on my mission so far. We have joked that we are kinda living “The Best Two Years” movie.

Q: How has being companions with Elder Hymas changed you for the better?
A: Elder Hymas is really just a people person. He is just a really nice guy. You can tell that he just loves the people here and it helps me to work harder. 

Q: Which gospel principle do you feel most passionate about at the moment?
A: Lately I have just been telling people that we talk to that I know that faith and the gospel can help them in their lives.  Nothing bad comes from having faith. And I know that everyone could use a little more happiness in their lives. Basically, the church is true and it brings us happiness in ways that we can't imagine.

Here are some random comments in response to things we emailed him about:

  • ·         Porter really still remembers me? That’s crazy! Everyone looks a lot more grown up in that picture that you sent me! It makes me realize how long I have actually been gone. (We sent him a picture of the Wasden kids who came over to our house to visit)
  • ·         Dan and Claire looked good together! She was the homecoming queen,huh? Dan must have chosen right haha. (We sent him a picture of his brother Dan with his homecoming dance date)
  • ·         Oh hey just so you know, I bought myself 3 pairs of pants between this week and last. I decided to just chuck my other ones because they were super faded.

 Gotta go, I'm about to be kicked off my computer haha. Have a great week!

-Elder Shirley

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I've Learned How To Really Work Hard

Elder Shirley and his new companion Elder Hymas

P-day with the new Brno district

The problem with 4 elders in one apartment - a mess!  Elder Shirley says that, "thankfully we cleaned it today."

Another apartment pic

The massive cathedral in Brno

A picture of Brno

September 12, 2016


This past week has been pretty different from what I am used to. With the big city, it’s pretty easy to get lost. Especially when both me and my companion are new. Actually, I would probably say that we are almost always constantly lost haha but it is getting better. And the people here are nice so they give us directions. I knew Elder Hymas a little bit before. Our mission is unique in the fact that I think I know every missionary in the mission. With 60 or so Czech missionaries, it’s not too big. Living in an apartment with 4 Elders has been a blast. I'm sure in some situations, it could be hard but the other companionship is also really cool. On the day I found out that I was leaving Uherske Hradiste, I had lunch at a member's house, but because the members don't really know when we leave, they don't really have the opportunity to do anything for us. It was a little sad to leave, but no tears. 

The biggest lesson I learned in Uherske Hradiste was probably one of faith. I learned to rely on what I know is right and continue on even though I didn't really see any results. I could also probably say I learned how to really work hard. I had to, and I had to do it every day. Well, I guess no matter what, I have to work hard every day no matter where I am haha.

Just for a little more detail on our area. A usual day is spent mostly looking at the map and deciding what part of the city we want to go to. We jump on a city bus or tram and kinda just go. We usually end up getting lost, but I guess in the end it doesn't really matter because all we do is talk to people wherever we are. My companion came from an area that did street contacting or tracting almost the entire day, just like I did in Hradiste. So we are pretty used to just doing finding all day. The people here in Brno are a lot more open though. Maybe it is just because there are so many here, but we have already found a few investigators and we have quite a few potential investigators already. It has been a fun week full of teaching on the street. Hopefully this week we will see those people turn into progressing investigators. The ward here in Brno is pretty big. We have our own building here and about 80 active members I think. It’s a great place!

To answer your question, yeah, I guess I have missed going to the temple. I can't say that I understood it and went enough times to really love it, but I can't wait to go again! 

Love you lots!
-Elder Shirley

See below for some more pictures from around Brno

Pic taken while on a tour of a Brno castle

Brno castle tour

Brno castle tour

Main square in Brno

The tram where Elder Shirley and his companion do a lot of their contacting

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Welcome to Brno!

Elder Shirley and Elder Hudson near Uherske Hradiste

Elder Shirley enjoying the Czech countryside near Uherske Hradiste

Early morning soccer - a regular occurrence

Last district meeting in Uherske Hradiste

Elder Shirley's companion was sick for three days

Packing up for the transfer to Brno

Brno cathedral.  This is pictured on the back of the Czech 10 crown coin.
Last picture taken from the Uherske Hradiste town square

September 5, 2016


So the big news....I will now be serving in the big city of Brno! It is the 2nd largest in the Czech Republic next to Prague. It'll be quite the change from what I have had my whole mission. I will actually be opening up a new area here with Elder Hymas. It should be quite the adventure. We will be starting with nothing really and we'll have to go out and find people in a big city that we are not even familiar with. I'm pretty excited! Elder Hymas is great and we'll get along really well. He is from Pleasant Grove Utah. Oh, and even though we are opening up a 'new area' we will be living in the apartment with the zone leaders here in Brno. I don't think this happens almost ever that 4 missionaries live in the same apartment in this mission. It should be a blast.

Even though I am super excited for the change and the new transfer, it was pretty weird to leave Uherske Hradiste. I have been there so long that it was a little hard to go. They also closed my area in U.H. so my comp and I both packed up and cleaned the apartment. We had a chance to say bye to the members and they are super awesome. I can't wait until we go back and get to see them again. 

But of course, you can't dwell on the pass. You take what you can from past experiences and move on to a better future. I like a quote from Elder Holland. He said "Faith is always in the future." My mission will continue on and I have to have the faith to move on and work hard this next transfer.

I can't believe school has already started again! Good luck to everyone! :) Abrea and Dan sound like they have good soccer teams this year. Enjoy going to the Blackfoot fair; I always looked forward to that. It's worth going just for the fair food haha. I get a few emails every so often from friends. Nobody is really consistent, but I'm still remembered :) 

This last Sunday, the Freiburg, Germany temple was rededicated and all of us got to watch it through a broadcast. I have never been involved in a temple dedication so it was a really cool experience. Temples are such a blessing, especially having them so close in the United States. It is awesome to know that with temple blessings. We can receive all the blessings that our Heavenly Father has for us. Families can be together forever

Love you lots!
-Elder Shirley

 I missed posting Elder Shirley's email from last week; I've posted it below.

August 29, 2016


We had zone conference yesterday in Bratislava. It was great! I got the package as well. Thank you! I enjoyed the letters and I’m excited for the mac and cheese tonight. You guys are the best! Transfers are coming up but I’m trying not to think about it or have any expectations. You never know what could happen! As far as investigators, we don’t really have any. We have a few grandmas that we visit every so often but I don’t think any would be considered as investigators. This week was a little weird too and we didn’t have as much time to find people due to Elder Hudson getting sick. On Wednesday all day he felt pretty sick and then in the evening after our English class, he threw up a few times. He slept all of Thursday and most of Friday. Those are usually are two big days of finding to go teach and find people on the streets so our numbers were pretty low this week. It was pretty tough to be inside that long! I got pretty bored with all the time in my apartment alone while Elder Hudson slept. I ended up studying quite a bit. I also cleaned the entire apartment. I called most of the numbers in our phone. Made homeade breadsticks. And then studied some more haha.

We had a cool experience on Saturday though. We went tracting for service and on the 6th or 7th house, they let us in. It was a family, and 3 generations lived there in a few different houses that were connected. They ended up not even needing service, but we had a good talk with them and they really enjoyed our company. We left a pamphlet too so hopefully they read it! That was pretty much it for the week. 

Oh, and so you know, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight. I’m at 167 or so which only puts me up 10 since leaving home.

I’ll let you know where I end up after transfers next week! Love you lots!
-Elder Shirley

Elder Shirley sent some additional pictures of a cultural event that they attended in Uherske Hradiste, a castle that they visited, and a balloon festival that was going on in the area.  Those pictures are included below: