Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Don't All Things Denote That God Exists?

Elder Shirley and Elder Carlson

An Elder Shirley selfie

Elder Shirley's companion after a hard day's work

A view from the streets of Brno

The church building in Brno. Currently the only church-built building in the Czech Republic.

October 3, 2016


I bet General Conference was great! We'll be watching it next week and we're pretty excited! 
Instead of conference, we had regular church yesterday. It was fast and testimony meeting. And what was really cool was that between the 6 of us missionaries here in Brno, we had 8 investigators show up. 4 of them just came in off the street because of a card that we had given them during the week. It was really cool. We set up a meeting with them and we'll see how that goes.

I had an exchange with the zone leaders on Tuesday last week. But because we live with the zone leaders, it wasn't too different of a day haha. But just like usual, exchanges are successful. Elder Carslon and I, one of the zone leaders, found multiple people who said they could meet this week. So, we'll see how that goes. We actually met with one guy yesterday who was found on the exchange on Tuesday. We sat down with him in the park and taught the Restoration. He is searching and has a lot of good questions. And he is just a good guy who would definitely help the branch here. The only thing is, is that he can't meet for 2 weeks because of work.

We also did service this last Saturday. Everyone here has their house in the city, but they buy small plots of land and have gardens outside the city. So we went and helped an old guy out in his garden. We mowed the grass, moved some stuff around in his cottage, and picked up some branches in his yard. At the end of service, he fed us the usual, Spekačky. Spekačky are kind of like hot dogs, but quite a bit better. And we get fed them pretty often. Czechs are nice people! One grandma this week, when we talked to her on one of the city buses, gave us some cake and some bread. 

You know, when I look at the day I have ahead of me and see that I have 5 or 6 hours to spend on the street talking to people, I sometimes dread that. But then when I look back and remember all the good things that come out of it and realize how fast times actually goes, I dread it less and less and look forward to it more and more. I feel like I am finally becoming the missionary that I want to be, and time is running out so fast. Pretty crazy! But I love it! I just need to work as hard as I can in the here and now.

We went tracting this last week a few times and met some interesting people. Most of the time, we just stick to buses and trams though. Contacting on public transportation becomes easier and easier with practice. It is amazing to me sometimes how atheist some people are here. We run into those people a lot and it is pretty crazy to me that they can deny the existence of God. Just like Alma wrote, don't all things denote that God exists? And of course we know that God is, because when we live by his gospel, we are blessed. I notice that I constantly promise that to people because I know that it is true. God blesses us when we do what he asks. He loves us.

Love you lots!
-Elder Shirley

I didn't get Elder Shirley's letter from last week posted - here it is:

September 26, 2016

We had training this past week and it was really good! President talked about how foundational the doctrine of God is. People won't understand what the commitment and promise of baptism is if they don't even know who they are making the covenant with. Right after training, Elder Hymas and I had some finding on plan and so we contacted people about God and about why that relationship and knowledge about God is so important. We found an investigator that day and met with her the day after. We also did service for a member this past week. We dug some trees out of the ground. It’s just been a pretty good week all around. 

The most important lesson that I have learned so far in Brno is probably that people can be found anywhere and that we need to take advantage of every opportunity to talk to people about the gospel. Because we are in a big city, we constantly are riding on transportation. Sometimes I still feel a bit hesitant to talk to people in a tram when I know 20 other people can hear me, but that is what is required of us and that is what will help us find people. It is funny how sometimes, we go tram contacting and literally you try and contact everyone on the tram and nobody has interest. Sometimes people get mad and it is like the whole tram car of people are against you. Oh, the joys of being a missionary haha :)

You already celebrated Marissa's birthday? I can't believe I have already been gone for 2 of them. It sounds like you had a meal to die for! It's been a while since I've had a home cooked meal from mom. I have been designated as chef of the 4 of us missionaries so I cook pretty frequently. I wouldn't say that I am that great of a cook, but I'm definitely better than I was when I left. 

We write our emails from an Internet place in the center of town. It is a pretty interesting place with a bunch of guys that like computer games, but it works! The weather has gotten fairly cold here. We've started wearing sweaters and long sleeve shirts again. I don't know if I'm excited for the cold to settle in again. I can't say that there is anything in particular that I miss about home. Mission life has kind of just become normal life. I miss you guys of course! We have 4 elders in our apartment right now, and for this mission, that is a really rare experience. I feel like we have it pretty good here. We are living at a member’s house right now on the bottom floor. He lives above us. He actually is the son of the man that started the church here in the Czech Republic. It's pretty cool. Between the 4 of us here in Brno, we try to just speak Czech. We are all fairly old in the mission and we are all able too. It helps a lot to just speak Czech. There are currently no native missionaries here, most of us are from the US and there are a few from Canada. 

Have a great week!

-Elder Shirley

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