Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Beginning Preparations To Return Home

Starsi Shirley with his companion Starsi Kevern

Several pictures taken in a town named Jindřichův Hradec

Dragonboat racing: their investigator competes in these races which are held in the river that runs through the city.

Starsi Shirley with a member

June 26, 2017


This last week was a little interesting and our usual lessons that we had scheduled fell through with our guy that has a baptismal date. He is still on to be baptized; it'll just be a question of getting all the lessons in and his acceptance of all the commandments. So we'll see!

President Pohořelický this last week gave us his own version of "My Plan." Apparently that is a program that a lot of missionaries get in order to prepare for the transition back into regular life. We don't have it here, so our mission President just made up his own version. Basically, it’s just goals and plans that we have for when we return home and how we are going to stay spiritually strong. Lots of, I wouldn't necessarily say, uncertainty. But I definitely need to set some goals for life! I'm not scared to come home, but it'll just be another adjustment.

I got to visit Brno one last time on Saturday. There was a priesthood conference there and the priesthood holders in our branch all took a car and drove their together. It was a great meeting. The leadership in the church here is phenomenal. I’m so grateful to know the strong active men of the church here. 

I've been studying a lot about faith this week. Hebrews 11, Moroni 7, Mormon , and Ether 12 are all awesome chapters about faith. Faith is a means by which God brings to pass miracles. As a district we are committed to having faith and showing that faith to God in order to be led to those prepared for the gospel and prepared to help this branch grow. Expect a miracle!

Glad to hear everything is well with all of you at home. Can't wait to see you soon :)

Love you!

-Elder Shirley


June 19, 2017


Our investigator with a baptismal date is still going strong! He has been to church the last 2 weeks and we have seen/taught him 2 or three times the last three weeks or so. It might not be the best term, but I could potentially hit a "buzzer beater" with this baptism on my last weekend haha :) 

Being in the branch presidency has been great! It has been really cool to see things from the "other side." It has also been a privilege to serve with President Chrdle, the branch President here. He is so awesome. He is definitely someone that I look up to and have learned a lot from. 

As for things to prepare for coming home...I'm not even too sure what we could prepare. I'm kinda moving back into an unknown world, so I'll just have to see how it is when I get back :)
Guess what? Nobody this last week wrote me except you and Dad haha. After the 2 years, everyone forgets about you haha :)

We had training this last week in Prague on Tuesday. President Pohorelicky gave an awesome training on faith. He is definitely an example of faith and it was great to learn from him. He talked about how we need a vision of what we want to accomplish and how we need to ask God for his help. I think that we all know that. Like it says in the scriptures "Ask and ye shall receive." But President focused more on how we can make a covenant with God and not only ask, but also sacrifice something, or give something, to show God our faith. President has big plans for the mission here and we just need the faith to see our goals achieved.

We had an exchange with the APs after training. It was great to be in Prague with them. The two APs right now are actually Elder Hanis, (my soon to be roommate), and Elder Carlson, who I served with 3 transfers back. 

That's about all I got I think....Today for P-day we went to a "neighboring city" called Jindřichův Hradec. It was really pretty and there was a nice big castle/mansion thing that we got to see.

Sounds like a great Father's Day as well! I honestly just miss all of your food. In that month and a half before I go to college you'll have to make everything for me again :) As for the first meal home....I might just have to request the classic roast and mashed potatoes (Sunday dinner). Or we could have cafe rio....or tacos! That's a Mom's classic too. Just do whatever. I'll be happy :)

Love you!

-Elder Shirley 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Constantly Reminded How The Gospel Has Blessed My Life

June 12, 2017


This last week was a pretty normal one for us. We did have an exchange though with the zone leaders! It went really well. They actually both came to our area and helped us in our city. My exchange was with an Elder that is actually from Rigby, ID so we know a few mutual people. 

Recently I think I told you about a guy that mentioned at the end of our English class that he had interest in the church. We have been teaching him the last few weeks and he is really cool. Anyway, he accepted a baptismal date this last week for the weekend before I come home. That would be awesome if he made it! :) We'll see how it goes. Tibor, who was baptized last week, is still doing awesome. I think he should be getting the priesthood in two weeks if everything goes as planned.

The work is going well! People are great and are prepared for the gospel! We are just tools in the Lord's hands. Again and again I am reminded and can see how much the gospel has blessed my life and how it can bless the lives of everyone so much. The church is so true! 

Love you!
-Elder Shirley

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Two Baptisms!

Baptismal picture with Starsi Shirley, Starsi Kevern and Tibor

Sestra Miller & Sestra Hayden with Vojtech

Tent that was used to get dressed for baptism

Ready for the baptism

River where the baptism was performed

Some members that Starsi Shirley and Kevern visited this week

June 5, 2017

Hi there!

The baptisms on Saturday went well! Tibor, our investigator, was baptized as well as the Sister's investigator. We met at 8:00 in the morning at the river. We did it early enough that people wouldn't be out on the river that early. There were about 10 of us there. I definitely feel blessed and am thankful that I could have and am serving in Ceske Budejovice at this time to have been able to teach and baptize Tibor. They both came to church, got the gift of the Holy Ghost, and willing be getting a calling and the Aaronic priesthood soon. Pretty exciting! :)

My companion wrote this, but I decided to steal it from his email....
“We went knocking doors yesterday, and had been knocking for about 2 hours with little success. We had passed the man who was handing out newspapers a couple times on our path. After the third time he talked to us and asked to meet!... Just kidding he didn't, he actually screamed and swore at us and shoved both me and my companion. He said he'd call the police if we knocked one more door. So... we went to the other side of town and started knocking there :) Can't let a little opposition stop us!”

Other than that, nothing too big happened during the week. We're just excited from the baptisms. I think that seeing these two baptisms will help push us to work even harder. We have a few other people that could potentially have baptismal dates this next week. 

Love you!
-Elder Shirley

Elder Shirley also sent the following information about the two individuals who were baptized this past weekend:

Their short stories: 
"When I came to the age when I realized that I am an individual with free and rational thinking, I started to search for purpose in life. My thinking of the purpose of life lied in freedom and truth. But my opinions on freedom and truth were crooked. Gradually I started searching in music, philosophy and theology. None of these things solved my desires. Religion interested me though. In religion I learned to look for God in Christianity. I liked that way of life. I also liked that in Christianity, I am a part of the purpose of life. But, I didn't like living according to what was taught. Because of that, I procrastinated actually joining a church and living it. After falling many times in my life after many years of failure, I realized that I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior. After meeting the missionaries on the street and at the Church, I found out that my searching and my life failures would come to an end. I sealed my covenant with God by being baptized into the church."
Vojtech was found in January by Sister Heap and Sister Brown on a cold day in the winter. He saw how hard they were working and decided to talk to them for a while. From then he set up with them and they started to meet. He is from Slovakia and was raised a non-believer. He was interested in religions however as he grew up. He became a believer when he was 20 and met the missionaries ten years later. From the very beginning he believed what the missionaries taught him, but still had many trials on the path to his baptism. The break through point happened when he really started to read the Book of Mormon and scriptures, recognizing answers, and performing acts of faith. Through his own efforts to become converted, he finally felt right about his baptismal date and was baptized and then confirmed.