Monday, February 27, 2012

Week 2 Draha rodina!

Draha Rodino! Jak se mate? [note: Dear Family! How are you?] It has been a wonderful week. I have learned so much. Thank you for all of your letters! I have the best family and friends in the world.

This week I began teaching in Czech. Sister Heinzen is a returned missionary from the Czech and teaches at the MTC. My teacher, Brother Gabriel, arranged for me to have a one-on-one language session with her every day for about 30 minutes. I get to teach her in Czech and it's been great because my confidence has grown and I'm becoming more and more familiar with the gospel terms. She helps me with sklonovani [note: Czech grammatical endings] too which is always good. Sister Cubova [note: Sister from the Czech Republic called to serve in England] is in the classroom two doors down from me so I get to practice my Czech with her as well. I'm realizing that Heavenly Father is blessing me so much with opportunities to learn and grow, not just in Czech, but in everything. I taught a lesson in Czech at the TRC for the first time on Friday. The TRC is where you go into a classroom that is made to look like a room in someone's house and you teach a lesson to people you usually don't know. Sometimes they are members and sometimes they are real investigators. We never know. Anyways, I went on Friday after practicing with Sister Heinzen and I was nervous because I was teaching by myself in Czech (no companion), but when I knocked on the door, guess who opened it? Sister Amanda Laws! [note: returned missionary] I got to talk to my friend in Czech for 40 minutes and it was so great. I did teach her a lesson just for practice, but it was such a fun evening.

Here is what a typical day for us is like: I get up at 6 to go to a special exercising class they have each morning for the sisters. It's not required, and 6:30 is normal wake-up time, but I love to go because it gives me more energy during the day. Each day is different and we do yoga, pilates, aerobics etc. I love it!  At 6:30 we return to our residence and get ready for the day. Breakfast is at 7:10. Class starts at 7:40 and is for 3 hours. Brother Gabriel and Sister Singer are our teachers and class is amazing. I learn so much everyday! We are learning to teach people, not lessons. Part of the 3 hours of class we teach our progressing investigators--Jake and Alexandra. Jake is played by Brother Gabriel and Alexandra is played by Sister Singer, but it's not like pretend. When you go into the room, you are teaching Jake or Alexandra, not one of the teachers. It's so real! I have learned so much about teaching by the spirit and I still have so much to learn, but it's a great experience. After that we have an hour of personal study. It's so neat to be sitting there studying a passage of scripture that I've read hundreds of times before and then suddenly it clicks. It makes sense. It means something to me. I finally understand it. And then the realization that I have just been taught by the Spirit. I love it!

Then we go to lunch and then back to class at 12:25 for another 3 hours. We have zone teaching after that for an hour, but during that time I usually go into Sister Cubova's class and practice my Czech. Dinner is at 4:40 and then we have gym for an hour plus more personal study plus a workshop or teaching at the TRC, daily planning session with companions and then at 9:30 we are allowed to go back to our residence. Lights are out at 10:30. The order may vary, but typically this is how the day goes. We are busy and spend most of the time in class, but I am loving it. Tuesdays and Sundays we have special devotionals. Sundays are special!

I had a neat experience in the temple this morning. We get to go for our P-day. I was in the celestial room after a session and thinking about Megan. I prayed that I'd know she was with me. As I was leaving the dressing room later and lady came in and saw my badge. She grabbed my arm and started talking to me about how she served a mission a long time ago and loved it and she went on and on. She was older and I was just waiting patiently for her to stop talking so that I could go, but then she said "...And you have an angel right behind you. Every missionary has angels behind them...." I knew that Megan was right behind me.

I love you all! Keep smiling and working hard. I love being a missionary! I wish I could tell you more but I am out of time. Love you all!

S laskou [note: with love], Sestra Pysnakova

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 1 Ahoj!

Draha Rodino! Jak se mate? [note: Dear Family! How are you?] I can't believe I've only been here since Wednesday. It feels like I have been here for so long, but I LOVE it! I am learning so much. The Spirit is so strong in the MTC. I can't even use words to describe it. I don't have much time on the computer, just 30 minutes and it's timed so sorry for all of the grammar mistakes. Thank you all for the wonderful letters, dear elder notes, and emails. I've never been so excited in my life to get letters!

I have been placed in an advanced language course. Most of the missionaries in my group are international and are pretty good at English so they've been placed in the ALC. I am the only one who is a native speaker and leaving the U.S. My companion was supposed to arrive Saturday from Taiwan, but I learned yesterday that she won't be coming in anymore until the end of March. I think it's visa problems. Anyways, I was assigned to be with two other sisters in my group so we are a threesome now. Sister Saili is from American Samoa and knows Elder Josh Wells [note: from Melissa’s home ward]. Sister Eggenberger is my other companion and is from Switzerland. I love them both. There are five of us in a room. Me and my two companions, and then Sister Edmond from the Marshall Islands and Sister Dominic from India. We also have Sister Yoon from Korea, Sister Hara from Japan, Elder Kowano from Japan going to Mesa Arizona and Elder Mauluu (something like that) from Samoa in our group. We have quite a big district. The biggest one in the ALC. I love them all. I've been learning words in Korean and Hindi and Samoan and all sorts of other languages. Hopefully I won't forget Czech :)

Our Branch Presidency is wonderful! I love them all. One of the counselors is Brother Yost. He and his wife served in the Pennsylvania Harrisburg mission with Michael [note: Melissa’s brother] and they love and remember him. They left the Pennsylvania mission to serve as mission presidents in the Czech Prague Mission. They are thrilled to have me in their group and I am thrilled to know them.

I have only been teaching in English so far. I was a little worried, but everything is so under control here that I am sure someone knows what is going on even if I don't. I see Sister Cubova a lot [note: Sister from the Czech Republic called to serve in England] so I have been speaking Czech to her every chance I get. This week I should start teaching a returned missionary in Czech so hopefully I will get some practice with the gospel language. I love my teachers. Brother Gabriel is the best teacher ever and Sister Singer is wonderful as well. I can't believe how much I am learning! Every day you feel the spirit so strong. Oh and I have met my Czech group and I see them every once in a while. Sister Clark [note: from Melissa’s home ward going with her to the Czech Republic] is doing great. I love our group. I stopped by their classroom and saw Sister Austin [note: returned missionary]. She said my Czech is really good. Anyways, I wish I could spend more time with them, but there is no time for that and we need to stay with our district.

I wish I could share everything I am learning, but there's no time. I do want to share though what happened yesterday. We had a fireside with President Brown (the MTC president) and after that we sang Called to Serve in a special way that Sister Nally, the wife of a counselor in the Branch Presidency, came up with. She had us start very softly singing the first verse and chorus. We then sang the second verse medium loud and the chorus loud. On the last line of the chorus all 2000 missionaries stood up and sang the chorus for the third time with all of their might. I can't even describe how powerful it was! The spirit was so strong as we missionaries sang together I thought my heart would burst. It was powerful! It was incredible! I know that this is where I am supposed to be! I love being a missionary. I love our Savior Jesus Christ! I love you all!

With love, Sestra Pysnakova

Saturday, February 18, 2012

First letter from the MTC

Because of her language proficiency, Sestra Pyšňáková is not with her Czech district, but is in the international group with sisters from Marshall Islands, India, Samoa, Switzerland, Japan and Korea. Her companion was supposed to arrive shortly, possibly from China. "It's quite the international group, but I love it. It's different, but good. The gospel of Jesus Christ unites us and we are united in our purpose as missionaries to invite others to come unto Christ." She gets to practice her Czech with a sister from Prague (called to serve in England) and her Czech district.

With these missionaries from all over the world Sestra Pyšňáková is enjoying the beautiful missionary spirit. "On Wednesday in orientation we sang Army of Helaman - around 380 of us new missionaries - and the spirit was so strong  during the chorus. They changed the words to say: And we are now the Lord's missionaries to bring the world his truth, instead of will be. The spirit was incredible. I am the Lord's missionary!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sestra Pyšňáková reports to the MTC

On February 15th, 2012, Sestra Pyšňáková enters MTC.

With her sister.
With her Daddy.
With her Mom.