Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A New Companion And A New Calling As Zone Leader

Sisters Valentine and Cyrier and Elders Hymas, Hanis, Carlson (Elder Shirley's new companion) and Shirley

Elders Shirley and Chapple

November 7, 2016


Transfers came! The call came on Saturday while we were in the car. Elder Hymas and I were both new in the area, because we opened the area this transfer, so we had no idea who was going and who was staying. It turned out that Elder Hymas left and went to Prague. But I "left" the area as well. They actually closed that area after the one transfer it was open. But even though my area was closed, I stayed in Brno. I will be serving with Elder Carlson, who was in the apartment with me last transfer. I will be moving into his "area" and will be zone leader with him. So it kind of sounds like a big change written all out, but I will be in the same apartment with one of the Elders that was there last transfer. It should be really fun! Elder Carlson and I got along last transfer living together and we are looking forward to this one. 

Thanks to the fact that my area was closed down, there is now only one Elders area here in Brno now. So we are just combining our investigator pool. It looks like we should have a lot of people to teach. We have 3 people on baptismal date and a few others progressing. It should be quite the change from what I am used to. We'll see how it goes!

Cooking is going great! I ate a really good dish this last week at a member's house and I'm going to try and do it this week. It's called potato goulash. Other than that, nothing new, except Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming so I'll probably be trying something new in the new future.

The weather has been pretty cold lately. It might not look too bad, but when we are outside for 2 or 3 hour intervals, it gets cold pretty fast, especially in the evening!

I have a question for you guys! As in you and Dad and the family. Multiple times a day, probably too many too count, I have the opportunity to promise people blessings that the gospel brings. What kind of blessings, specific, do you have thanks to the gospel? What kind of blessings can I promise to an atheist or an agnostic person to help them want to believe and live the gospel? Your answers will be much appreciated :)

Yesterday, we drove to Prague and our first real stake conference was held! The Republic gathered and heard talks from our newly sustained leaders. It was a great meeting and awesome to see the members of the stake gathered together for the first time after the stake being established. 

Other than that, I probably just have one experience that I would like to write about this week. On Tuesday, I was on an exchange with Elder Carlson, (the Elder who is now my companion - haha). We had a meeting with one guy that evening at his house. He had given us his address and said he would be there. So we drove to his neighborhood, parked, and walked down the street that he lived on. This street was right behind a big and beautiful church. We saw a group of people outside one of the houses there and as it turns out, that house was the address that we had. We walked by pretty awkwardly, not knowing what to do, until one of the people standing in the crowd broke off and came and talked to us. He said he knew the guy that had invited us and that they were having an activity with a bunch of students in that house. He invited us in and we sat around a big table. As it turns out, this group of 20 students meets pretty often and has an activity probably comparable to mutual or seminary. We prayed, read in the Bible and then played a Bible trivia game with them. It was pretty fun and really cool to see these college students meet and have this kind of activity on their own. After the game, they gave us the floor to speak. They knew we were Mormons and were a little curious about what we believed. So we had the opportunity to teach these people the Restoration. We taught for about 20 minutes and then they all had questions for about another 20 minutes. You could totally tell that a few people were really feeling the Spirit and had interest in our message. It was an awesome experience, probably one of the coolest I have experienced here. 

Halloween was this last week! I hardly even realized because nobody celebrates it around here. I actually dressed up this year! We had a Halloween party with the ward on Friday. We had like 10 minutes to run home and find a costume so we just grabbed some sheets and wrapped them around our bodies and put a pillow case on our heads with a tie tied around it and we called ourselves Nephites - haha. The Halloween party was pretty fun! At the end of the party, the ward made us do a "Fear Factor" kind of a thing. We sat at a table in front of everyone and they made us eat 2 things. The first was called Olomouc cheese. It basically is the worst cheese ever, but the Czech people like it. It smells like a wet dog and it is so strong. We six missionaries were all gagging trying to swallow this piece of cheese down. The members thought it was super funny. The 2nd thing ...I forgot what it was called, but it was a little cube of meat that is in Jello. I don't know how to describe it. It is like half meat and half gelatin. That was pretty bad too. (I suspect this may be head cheese or something similar that he is describing hereAnyway, fun Halloween experience for me! 

The Church is true! God really does bless us.

Love you!
-Elder Shirley

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