Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 9 Dobry Den!

Draha rodino i kamaradi! [note: Dear family and friends]

Jak se mate? Dekuji mockrat za dopisy a emails. [note: How are you? Thank you so much for your letters and e-mails] Thank you all for your support, love and prayers! It's been another wonderful week. I've learned a lot and a lot of things came together for me. A lot of "aha!" moments. And can you believe I've been here officially for a month now! It seems like forever and at the same time it feels like time is flying.

On Thursday we had exchanges with the zone leaders. We don't get that opportunity very much because you can't have a sister/elder exchange for the day. But Sister Brimhall and I had studies with the zone leaders Thursday morning at the church and then we went out to the Namesti  [note: Square] and contacted. We paired off so I was out contacting with Elder Coleman. (You stay in sight of the other companionship). It was POURING rain! But it was great! I love missionary work! I also like to see different contacting approaches so I'm glad we got this experience. We learned some things from the Elders that we want to incorporate into our contacting. Also, the best compliment was that a lady we were contacting didn't realize I was an American. She said my Czech was so good... Some guy on a tram told me something similar later that day. I'm not sure what it was because most of the time people figure I'm American right off the bat as soon as I open my mouth. But it could be my new nametag:)

We had a great lesson this week with the girl I told you about who just showed up at church. She's 20 years old and we taught her a lesson this week on the Book of Mormon. We had wanted to teach her the first part of Plan of Salvation, but there was a mix-up in the first lesson we had with her and somehow she didn't ever take a copy of the Book of Mormon with her. Ooops! So she didn't start reading. If investigators haven't read in the Book of Mormon, we don't teach them anything else. We read with them! They have to be reading in the Book of Mormon if they want to progress and come to know what we are saying is true. So since she didn't even get a copy of the Book of Mormon we read the introduction with her and discussed some things about it. We teach her in English because her English is amazing! She also wanted an English copy of the Book of Mormon, not the Czech one. She said it would be easier for her to read it in English than in Czech.

Anyways, so we were teaching her in English about the Book of Mormon and how we came to know it's true and what it means to us. The spirit was SO so strong! It was amazing. As Sister Brimhall and I testified, the Spirit just increased and she felt it. She almost accepted a baptismal date, but then said that she doesn't want to promise anything she can't keep. Keep her in your prayers! She is zlata. [note: golden] Really sharp and really great. After the lesson Sestra Brimhall and I were evaluating the lesson. We realized that we don't often share our personal experiences when we teach in Czech. I mean we always testify, but there's so much more focus on the language when we teach in Czech that I think we sometimes forget the power of sharing personal experiences. It's something we are going to be focusing on a lot more. This young woman came to church again yesterday. She has a better record than some of our baptismal dates right now! She stays for the full three hours always and enjoys it. I am soooo grateful for the members. We cannot do missionary work without them. We need them! We try and teach with a member in every lesson. We make sure members know what investigators are coming to church. We arrange for someone to sit by them at church etc. They are vital to the progression of our investigators.

After sacrament meeting, Sister Brimhall went to correlation meeting so I taught this young woman with a member named Sara. She didn't have time to read so we read from the Book of Mormon together. I was so grateful to have Sara there because when the young woman explained she was so busy with school that's why she couldn't read from the BoM, Sara bore her testimony of how she reads right when she gets up in the morning and how that makes the rest of her day better. We invited her to commit to read from the BoM everyday and she said yes. She is excited for our meeting this week.

Pavla is doing great. We've had a good time taking her to members homes and teaching lessons with them. We're binding her to the church, I guess you could say. It's been a great experience. This week on Friday we visited the Kislenkovi who are a younger couple and have a 3 month old baby girl. We teach all the lessons again to our new converts, so we taught law of chastity/ eternal marriage with the Brother and Sister Kislenko and it was so great! Pavla loved it. After the lesson Brother Kislenko who is a counselor in the Branch presidency asked Pavla to speak in church on Sunday. Her answer was "Well you don't say no when you're asked to do something in the church so of course I will do it!" She has so much faith. She gave a beautiful talk yesterday on personal revelation. Earlier this week she taught a lesson with us and told us afterwards that she wants to go on a mission...tomorrow! She is on fire.

We are teaching a new guy. We had our first lesson with him last week and it went well! I met him either my first or second week here in the Czech Republic. I was contacting a guy on a tram who ended up not having interest so I moved on to another guy and started contacting him. He was really nice, but then I had to get off the tram and wasn't able to finish the contact with him. About two weeks later I was at Billa [note: supermarket], right across from the church building. I was buying dinner when a guy approached me and said "do you remember me?" I recognized him as the guy I had contacted on the tram a few weeks earlier. He was really nice and polite and I was able to "finish the contact". He's a believer, young, married and studies in Brno during the week. He goes home on the weekends to be with his wife. Not sure where he's from. He said he loves the Bible though. I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon to him and he exchanged contact information with us. Our first lesson with him was this week. He had lots of questions. We have another one with him tonight and we are looking forward to it.

Like I said this week a lot of things clicked for me. That has come through diligent study and lots of pondering. I love the hours in the morning where I can dive into the gospel and learn. It's amazing! This week especially I realized how grateful I am for Sister Brimhall, my trainer. I mean I was always grateful to serve with her, but this week I realized how blessed I am.

It's amazing what you can do when a companionship in unity seeks heaven's help and guidance!

Love you all! Working hard!

Love, Sestra Melissa Pysnakova

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