Thursday, February 23, 2017

Repetition Is The Mother Of Wisdom

Starsi Shirley with Starsi Lanham, who is going home soon. Starsi Shirley says that he is"one of the people that has had the best influence on me here"

A Cuban lady who knows the missionaries. She contacted us and invited us over for lunch

Starsi Shirley with a pin that was sent to him. It says "missionary of the year"

Starsi Shirley says "just a classic missionary lunch, grilled cheese and tomato soup". We're glad to see that he's not going hungry!

Out on a P-day hike with his companion Starsi Oviatt

On a P-day hike with a member

February 20, 2017


We had MLC (mission leadership conference) in Prague with President this last Tuesday. It is great being able to spend a little bit of time around President. He is definitely a spiritual man. I saw some missionaries at MLC for the last time, namely Elder Lanham. He will be going home soon and I won't be seeing him again. Sad to see him go! He is probably one of the people that has had the best influence on me here on my mission.

We had a pretty good teaching week, teaching 5 lessons on Wednesday. It is funny how often we teach the same things to people as missionaries. Repetition though, is important! As a Czech phrase goes "OpakovánĂ­ je matka moudrosti", which means, “repetition is the mother of wisdom”. Going out and teaching the message of the Restoration of the gospel really strengthens your testimony that it is true!

A few of our investigators are progressing and doing well. In fact, we even had 7 investigators at church this last Sunday between the 2 companionships, which was awesome!

The work is really moving forward here. How could it not when God is at the helm? I love this time that I have to share the gospel and invite people the come to Christ. It brings the greatest happiness and joy to preach the gospel. 

Elder Shirley shared the following lesson with us that he has learned while on his mission:
One thing that I have seen is that, after the fact, it is easier to see things in a different light, whether that be in sports like basketball or whether that be out here on my mission. I have wondered oftentimes out here on my mission, "Why am I with this companion?" or, "Why I am still serving in this area?" I don't know whether it is because God has a plan and blesses us with such "trials," as they seem to be in that given moment, or whether that is just how human nature works, or maybe even a combination of the two, but I do know that with the "vision" that we have after the fact, it shows us the good that comes from these "hardships."

Oh, by the way, I got a letter this last week from two girls here in the CZ. They are high school students here that actually are following my blog. They said they love it and read it every week. I don't know what you guys are doing to make my blog look so great, but thanks! I definitely don't feel like my writing is good enough to keep people interested sometimes, but I appreciate the time you put into it!

Love you all!
-Elder Shirley

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Our Single Most Successful Week Finding People To Teach

Starsi Oviatt, Sestra Harrington and Starsi Shirley

There's a lot of people to contact in that building!

An Elder Shirley selfie

February 13, 2017


As for investigators, this week combined with last week is the single most successful time I have had on my mission as far as finding people to teach. When we weekly planned we had around 20 names of people that had set up appointments with us. Elder Oviatt and I can't even think of anything that we are doing different, but we are seeing the hastening of the work here. We are definitely feeling grateful. And even now, a few of those people didn't come to the scheduled lessons, but we are blessed.

We have one investigator that is progressing well and she is meeting with us often. She came to church as well on Sunday. It has been fun teaching her because she actually keeps commitments! I don't think there is a commitment that she hasn't kept yet. We have a few other regular investigators, but nobody right now is too close to baptism.

Today we wanted to go look at a castle that was somewhat close to Brno. We took a train and a bus to get out to this little town and then we were going to walk there. We hadn't realized from looking at the map how long of a walk it would be. We ended up hiking for quite a long time, but in order to make our train back, we didn't even see the castle. Definitely a good hike, that I'm sure Dad would have loved, but we didn't even make it to the castle haha.

Love you all lots!

-Elder Shirley

Our questions and Elder Shirley’s answers: 

Q. Anything you’d like us to send to you for your birthday?
A. With my birthday coming up, I really can't say I need anything. Needed things are few and far between. I think I'll need a lot more when I get back than when I am here.

Q. If you end up getting transferred next time, is there a particular area where you would like to serve?
A. If I got transferred once more......not sure. Probably Prague or Plzen. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I Really Enjoy Zone Training Days

The Brno district went bowling

February 6, 2017


As for my week, we had zone training this last Tuesday. It was a long training because we also watched the missionary broadcast which I sure you have heard about. Basically we just got a new everyday missionary schedule. As for this mission, not a whole lot changed. Our mission has always been a little flexible with time and when we can do things. The biggest difference is that we have a lot more time at home in the morning and in the evening. So we can fill the time however we would like. My comp and I have started working out in the evening as well. The part of training that we were in charge of, we talked about practicing teaching our lessons in companion study and how important it is. Not too interesting of a topic, especially for those who aren't missionaries, but it was great. I just really enjoy training days to see President and to be together as a zone. Now that I am older in the mission, it is cool because I feel like I, to some extent, personally know the missionaries that are here. 

We had an exchange after training, and it was good. We taught a lady that came to our English class. She has dreads down to her knees and is pretty Buddhist, but she actually ended up coming to church with her friend. That was a nice surprise. We have a few other investigators that are progressing, but the people with dates seem to be avoiding us for the moment. We have another good week planned ahead of us though, again, so we are excited for that. 

As great as the Super Bowl sounded, I can't say that I am too happy with the result. As far as the food goes though, that sounded like it didn't disappoint. Hey, recently I have been thinking about trying to put on some weight before I get back. The goal wouldn't to be just put on weight, but in theory, to put on muscle weight haha.

Sorry for the pretty weak email this week. I'll make it up next week :) Love you lots!

-Elder Shirley

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ready for Warmer Weather

Brno district:  Sestra Huylar, Starsi Oviatt, Starsi Shirley, Sestra Harrington

Enjoying some ping-pong at a recent missionary get-together

January 30, 2017


We had a good teaching week, like we planned on! We taught our one investigator that has been investigating for the last few months. He is great and is the farthest that I have ever been in the teaching process with someone. But we taught him the Law of Chastity this last week, and in short, it didn't go to well. We'll see if he keeps progressing. It might just take a while longer for him to get baptized!

We have two new investigators this week who are both progressing: a 25 year old guy and a teenage girl. We are at the start of teaching with both of them, so we'll see how it plays out. We have this other lady with a baptismal date and she even came to church this week! We think she could make baptism within the next month. 

Other than teaching, we went on an exchange in the city of Zlin this last week. I went on an exchange with a new missionary, and we had a lot of fun and saw success together. It just took me back a long ways to when I was a new missionary. It made me think of when I had exchanges with the zone leaders for the first time and how cool of an experience that was. It’s crazy how the roles change so fast!

Pulled pork sandwiches are the best! I've missed those. I actually had those for the first time about 2 months ago. A senior couple made them for us. {We told Elder Shirley that we had pulled pork sandwiches at Grandma Shirley’s house this past weekend}

I am hoping the weather starts warming up a little here. Finding on the streets is much more enjoying when you are not freezing. Hey, this last Saturday we were outside for quite a while and it was pretty dang cold. By the end of the day, my one my fingers was literally discolored because it was so cold haha. But it turned out alright. I was also walking around in the apartment for about 30 minutes until I got all feeling back in my feet again. Pretty intense!

Q.  What is your testimony of the Plan of Salvation? {Our question to Elder Shirley}

A. The Plan of Salvation. I was just thinking about it this morning. I think the most important part of the plan is the goal. That we can become like God. That is the reason why we are here. It just makes sense. I was thinking about how no other church believes that....kinda interesting. Jesus Christ, prophets, commandments, and everything else that we have in the gospel is for our progression, not only in this life but for our life after this one. God is so loving that he gives us the opportunity not only to live with him, but to become like Him. And it is all thanks to Jesus Christ. 

Love you!

-Elder Shirley