Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 19 Ovce? Anyone?

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

Iveta [note: friend and church member from Ostrava, Zuzi’s Mom] came to Brno yesterday to teach Relief Society. Iveta taught an amazing lesson and it was so great seeing her again. She brought me and the Elder Stimpson and Bahr who served in Ostrava last transfer, bramborovy salad a rizky [note: potato salad and breaded chicken breasts]. The funny thing is that since we were in Prague last week we didn't have time to buy food for the week. But Iveta and Renata brought us last week so much food that we were fine the whole week. They are both wonderful and I love them so much. I forgot to tell you but Iveta and Dusan took us to our apartment to drop off all the food and as we were riding in their car I thought of all the times we took missionaries around in Ostrava for the last few years. Now I'm the missionary:) I LOVE it!

It was a good week. We worked hard and saw some great things happen. Missionary work is so fun when it's warm and sunny outside. It was actually really hot this week and we did some contacting v Luzankach which we call the miracle park. When the weather is nice you can usually catch someone who has time and then do a lesson on the bench right there. We had a few of those and so that was nice.

I had some thoughts that I wanted to share with you that I realized this week. Every week we have tydni planovani [note: weekly planning], where we plan and prepare for our investigators for the upcoming week. One of us says a prayer at the beginning. It's a very special prayer and takes a long time because we pray for each investigator individually. For me it's become a very spiritual experience and this Saturday especially. My testimony was again strengthened in the fact that Heavenly Father is leading and guiding us. As Sister White would begin praying for specific investigators, thoughts would flood my mind and I would jot them all down. As I would write down inspiration for what they needed and how we could help them, Sister White would begin saying the exact same things in her prayer. It was a testimony to me that the spirit is speaking to all of us! And you know, it took me coming on a mission to begin believing that I am worthy enough to receive revelation and to recognize the promptings of the spirit. It's something of course that I will be working on the rest of my life - how to be in tune with the Holy Ghost and recognize and act on that voice, but now I know that it's real. The Spirit is speaking to all of us! And you know I've found that it's easiest to hear when I think of how I can help others come closer to Christ. How I can uplift them spiritually. That's the secret. When you do that you have less time to focus on the worldly things. And you know, you hear "everyone's doing it...that's not're too spiritual..." What?

Brother Saunders gave an amazing talk in sacrament meeting yesterday. He talked about this very point. He talked about sheep in Wales (he's from England) and how they are considered stupid animals. When you try to round them up or get them to follow you they run the other way even if it's too their death. When you go there are dead sheep over the edge of cliffs and on the sides of the roads because they wouldn't follow the shepherd. He compared this to Christ and us. He asked us which sheep we are. Sheep that run away? Sheep that follow for a day, a week, a year? Or sheep that know the voice of the Master and follow willingly? When Christ called the fishermen to follow him and become fishers of men, they came straightway and immediately. Christ is asking each of us to give up our nets and follow him. Your nets can be anything that is keeping you from following Chris IMMEDIATELY and STRAIGHTWAY. If we don't follow that voice of inspiration when it comes, then we miss out opportunities to do good.

Following Christ isn't dropping our nets for a day, either. If we are to come and follow Him, it's a journey that is very long. Brother Saunders shared a story of a little dog that was lost and found some cyclists who were making this very long journey. This story made the news here because this little dog ran behind the bikes miles and miles up and down hills to stay with them. The moral of the story was that if this little dog had slowed down, even for a day, she'd have lost sight of the cyclists. We are also in the race of life. And things are speeding up. There's no time to slacken our pace even for a day. The Savior is calling to us and together as brothers and sisters in this church, we are to encourage each other to keep up, to keep the Savior in sight, and to never never ever slacken our pace. Sometimes some of us may falter, but that's why we have each other, to encourage us to keep moving. Maybe there is someone who reads this who feels like they've slowed down too much, to the point that it's not worth it to run anymore. That's a lie. There's still time! Start now. Run! The Savior is calling, ever calling to us. Not to do things to check it off the list. Did I read the Kniha Mormon [note: Book of Mormon]? check. Did I pray today? check. NO NO NO! Get it into your heart. Realize these things are preparing you to return to God. That's our ENTIRE purpose in this life (Alma 34:32).

As we follow Christ, we will walk the same path and do the same things he did. Keeping our eye on Him and where He leads will allow us to end up as He is - perfect in love, humble, glorious, powerful and yet so so meek. I love HIM!

A few times this week, I had the opportunity to not just teach, but to also uplift and strengthen the members here. Sister Martinova and I met with a member and when Sister Martinova asked her how she was doing, she shook her head and then rushed into my arms and started sobbing. I just held her and waited until she could speak. We sat down with her and ignored the lesson plan we had. I prayed and just talked with her and felt inspired to share some verses in the Book of Mormon with her. At the end she was her normal self and as we prayed together we all felt that everything would be okay. I had a few more opportunities to love, comfort and strengthen some of the other youth here, particularly one whose friend died of cancer and one who felt like she wasn't feeling the spirit anymore in her life. With each one I felt Heavenly Father's love for them. I learned as I shared things with them. Later this week Sister White told me something that I will never forget: "She needed comfort and she knew where that comfort would come from. She came straight to you, not to anyone else, because she trusted you enough to know that you'd give her that comfort and love that she needed. And I saw that in how you hugged her, talked with her and when you opened up the Book of Mormon." I don't mean to share that in any way to boast; rather it was a testimony to me because I truly truly love these people. I have always loved these people. Remember mom how when we'd come here na prazdniny [note: for vacation] and I always wanted to stay longer? Something has always drawn me here. I am so so blessed.

Last story, a few weeks ago by our apartment, we met a lady named Maria. She was walking on the street and didn't have time to talk to us, but we exchanged contact information. She's a nurse and is very very classy. She also belongs to some church which is one of those reformed catholic churches here. We finally got a lesson domluvenou [note: scheduled] for Saturday and she came with her coworker. We taught the restoration and Maria at the end said "I would love to read the Book of Mormon and come back and talk more about these things." She was very honest and said: "Right now I don't think I will change churches..." We just smiled and assured her that her testimony will come when she reads and prays about the Book of Mormon. Afterwards she shared with me how she's a nurse and has been around death a lot. She said she always used to fear it. But then she had some experiences, for example one, where a relative, an hour before she died, was talking to someone and said: "The Lord is calling for me! It's time to go!" She then died peacefully with a peaceful look on her face. Maria said experiences like this taught her to not be afraid of death. She said she doesn't want to die. She wants to live still to enjoy her first grandchild on the way. But she's not afraid because she knows there's something after death. We assured her that there is and that the plan of salvation is an example of truths that have been restored v dnesni dobe [note: in this time].

Well I need to go! We have a vylet [note: trip] planned for the rest of the afternoon. We are headed up to hrad Veveri to get pasovani [note: castle Veveri to get knighted]!!!! Hana Mareckova is the Brno mom and is taking us up there for the event. Hopefully the weather permits it. It's raining today! Raining, but a great and wonderful day because we have the gospel and know why we are here and where we can go if we follow the path Christ has set out for us!

Mam vas vsechny rada [note: I love you all]!

YSA FHE BBQ (Young Single Adults Family Home Evening Barbeque)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 18 z Prahy!

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

What a week it has been! And to top it off I am currently writing this to you from Prague! But I'll get to that part later.

This week I received svuj svedectvi o tom ze [note: my own testimony that] when we truly seek to help those around us come closer to Christ, the Lord blesses us with inspiration above our own and then as we work to make it happen he provides the way. It is incredible. Petra has been a lot on my mind this week. As you know from last week's email she went to the Saundersovi with us. I can't remember if I told you this, but she said she stopped reading the Book of Mormon, because she felt that she needed to read the Bible first. On the bus ride she pulled out of her purse a miniature New Testament that she started carrying around with her since she made up her mind to begin reading it. Well on our way back from the Saunders I invited her to commit to reading the Book of Mormon again and she said: "Well, you're not going to be happy with me. I left my Book of Mormon in Bratislava." And then, pure inspiration, I remembered that I had a mini Book of Mormon in my bag and pulled that out and handed it to her. I said: “You can carry around this little Book of Mormon as well, just like your New Testament, and read in it too!” It was a miracle that I had it with me, but it was such perfect timing. She agreed to read in it.

The next day we met with Petra after rodinny domaci vecer [note: family home evening]. She talked about the Saundersovi again and explained exactly what she had felt the night before. She said she came home after the dinner and lesson there and said she felt something that she will never forget. She said she realized that this is what she wants in her life and when she was at the Saunders she realized that it's not just a dream. It can be real! We testified to her that it truly can be. We had a solid lesson with her about reading from the scriptures and why we emphasize reading from the Book of Mormon so much. We were truly guided by the spirit to know what to say and we all came out of that lesson feeling like Petra finally got it and that well...we finally understood it too! It was a testimony to me as well that instead of explaining in our own words why we emphasize reading from the Book of Mormon so much, we actually read in the Book of Mormon. As we read together Petra felt again what she had felt weeks earlier when she was reading pravidelne [note: regularly]. She was fascinated again! That night I prayed so hard to know what we could do to get her to meet with the missionaries in Bratislava when she went back on Thursday. She wasn't going to without some push and she wasn't planning on going to the branch there either. Both are problems because everytime she returned from Bratislava she had stopped progressing. I prayed and thought hard, trying to be creative, on what we could do.

Well I am here to testify that God answers prayers and that as we pray with our hearts to help those around us come to Christ, he will provide the way. On Tuesday the zone leaders did exchanges with the elders in Bratislava. That means that Elder Nichol from Bratislava came to Brno for 24 hours on exchanges with Elder Buhler. I bet you know what happened! We arranged a lesson with Petra Wednesday morning. It was me and Sister Martin and Elder Buhler and Elder Nichol. We got permission for my companions to do calls during that time so that Petra wouldn't feel overwhelmed. I prayed so hard that night and the morning of that it would all work out. It was meant to be a hand off lesson. And our prayers were answered! It was a marvelous lesson! Petra loved Elder Nichol and he just talked about the branch in Bratislava and the activities they had and before we knew it they had exchanged contact information and she was planning on meeting with them there. It was incredible! A miracle!

We met with Petra Thursday, the next day, before she left to Bratislava. She was a new person! A few days of reading in the Book of Mormon and meeting with the missionaries and she was again progressing. She committed to a baptismal date in July so she is on date again and on track! It was a beautiful lesson and we emphasized the importance of and encouraged her to keep reading and praying to receive her answer. We also emphasized that sometimes you need to just act and the answer will come as the Saunders said.

On Friday, the elders from Bratislava called us. They had a powerful lesson with Petra. They talked about prophets and showed her in the bible how Christ’s church was organized. They then showed her ours and said: “Isn't it the same?” She said: “Yes”. They said: “So what more are you waiting for? You see it. It's true!” They also had a member there with them who was baptized in a month and when Petra found that out she was shocked. She realized she could be moving lots faster. When Elder Nichol was telling me this on the phone I just felt the spirit so strongly. It's been miracle after miracle with her. She knows it's right. She's on the right track! Also we met Brother Saunders in the church building later in the afternoon and he thanked us for the lesson. He said it was one of the most spiritually uplifting lessons they had with the missionaries in a long time. During the lesson I had turned to him and asked him why provomoc [note: authority] is so important and if he could explain it to us. He told me that when I asked him that question he remembered how years and years ago on his own mission an investigator had asked him that same question in a lesson and the spirit had spoken through him. His response in that lesson became a turning point in the investigators progression. When I asked him during the lesson this time that same answer came back and it was very powerful for him. What a tender mercy! I believe with all of my heart that this was a turning point for Petra as well.

Well this week we worked really hard and saw some high numbers. As president Irwin says, the numbers do not tell you if you are successful or not. Other things tell you if you are being successful or not such as if you feel the spirit speaking through you and stuff. But the numbers were icing on the cake for us. It's kind of funny because on Wednesday we had so many lessons planned that fell through. It was frustrating so we started double booking lessons for the next day in case one fell through than we still had another lesson on plan. But then most people came to those lessons the next day so we had to go on splits with members to teach. But it was a blessing! I was exhausted by the end of the day because we had taught so many lessons. But it's a good kind of exhausted.

We had zone training this Friday with President. There were three zones that came to Brno - us, Olomouc and all of Slovakia. It was a powerful conference. I just kept thinking how blessed I am to be here. I love this mission! And I love President and his wife!

Now for Prague. I had to go get visa renewals done so we left on a train Sunday afternoon with the Martins and Elder Hansen to get to Prague. At the Hlavni nadrazi [note: main railway station] in Brno, I saw a man sitting down eating a sandwich and felt like I should talk to him. So I sat down next to him and introduced myself. He looked to be about in his 30s and I found out that he met the missionaries 17 years ago when he was a high school student. He was really nice and personable and it turns out he was headed in the same direction as us. So me and my companions sat with him in a booth on the tram. He had lots of questions about the church. In the mean time there was a beautiful girl from Slovakia in the same booth as us as well. She started talking to us and had questions too about us and so what ended up happening is that we taught two lessons at the same time. I was in the middle so I kept going back and forth between the two. It was amazing! The 2 and a half hour ride turned out so wonderful. The man that I had contacted is named Norbert. He has a family and was so so nice. He immediately exchanged contact with us and we set him off with a Kniha Mormonova [note: Book of Mormon] and after he got off the train we got a text from him saying how neat it was that we had met and that he was looking forward to a meeting in the future. The cool thing about it is that he told me that he had originally planned on taking a bus instead of a train to where he needed to go, but he had missed it and he said is it coincidence that I met you all here? I was like nope, no nahoda [note: coincidence]!

As for the Slovak girl, she was so neat. We met with her today in Prague and gave her a Book of Mormon and got contact information for her so that missionaries can meet with her in Dansko [note: Denmark] (where she will be for the next 3 months). Also just so you know her mom had sent her off with fresh korbaciky [note: delicious Slovak sheep braided string cheese] which she shared with us on the train. Yum!
Prague has been super busy but really great! We had a huge reunion last night with the sisters and one this morning with my MTC skupinu [note: group]. Last night Sisters Clark, Bean, White, me, Jorgenson stayed with Sister Brimhall and Sears in their apartment. 7 sisters! That’s more than half of the sisters out in this mission :) It was so fun! This morning then...I don't have much time to tell you in detail, but I will try... we switched around companionships for the day so Sister Clark and I left the apartment around 6:50 to get to the mission home to carpool with the group to the foreign police. Whoever sent us out by ourselves in Prague without a phone wasn't thinking.... Anyways we made it to the mission home okay, but we got to the office and the office elder met us and said: "Sister Clark, I have bad news, the sisters from the apartment just called, you left your passport there.” Whoops! So he told us to go back to get it. Well, we ended up getting off too early off of the metro, took the wrong tram and ended up back at the church building 25 minutes later without ever having seen our apartment. Yikes! So we tried it again and eventually made it back to the apartment. It's a miracle! But then we didn't know which zvonek [note: door bell] was ours since it's not labeled so we started ringing in random people trying to get through. Finally we made it in and found out that sisters had been sent out to try to meet us with our passport, but we didn't go the normal route since we had gotten umm anyways it was a huge mess and Sister Clark and I just laughed so hard and said we are ready to serve in Prague together. We eventually made our way to the foreign police though and everything turned out wonderfully.

And here's the kicker, when we got back to the mission home after the foreign police, we saw President Irwin and his wife talking to a lady in the mission home. They were discussing something with the office elders as well. I started hearing my name in the conversation and suddenly I was asked to translate for President and his wife. Sister Clark and I went into a room together with this lady and President and Sister Irwin and I translated for them for 15 minutes. There was some issue and I had no idea what it was and if I was making any sense. I just prayed and translated back and forth and it made no sense to me, but everyone else seemed to get it. Afterwards president explained the whole situation and it made much more sense but he said: "Well done, Sestra Pysnakova! Are your parents Czech or something?" Super cool!
Well I need to go now. We are headed out of Prague in a little bit. I love you all so much!  A mission is the greatest thing in the world.

With all of my love, Sestra Pysnakova.

Subway Hooray!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 17 Taking action

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

First I need to thank you all for the wonderful emails that you sent last week. In every email and letter there was something that I needed to hear. Thank you all so much!
So it's been a special week! Something clicked at the beginning of the week for me and it's been wonderful. I'm not sure how to popsat it [note: describe it], but I am so blessed to be a missionary. I love this work! We did a lot of tracting and contacting this week. During the week I would wake up SO tired, but I love it! It makes me feel like I'm a real missionary :) Also, this week Heavenly Father has taught me to seek out the little tender mercies that happen everyday and be grateful for them instead of waiting for something big to happen (my golden ticket to come around).
Pavel is doing so great. Last Sunday he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He showed up in a suit and tie and looked so good. Just like a missionary! Yesterday he had an interview with President Vit in the morning and then received the Aaronic priesthood. I wish you could have seen him. He was beaming! He's glowing! He's full of light! And he's so so happy! I was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday feeling kind of bummed that none of our investigators had come to church. It's always a struggle to get them there. We had 8 planning to come. And no one was there. Then, right before the sacrament a 16 year old boy who we had contacted on a bus showed up with his Aunt! It was a miracle! It was like Heavenly Father telling me: "Sister Pysnakova! Come on! I haven't forgotten you!" They came and it was a really neat experience. The talks were so great and the last talk was from Alena Kautova who served a mini mission in Ostrava vloni [note: last year]. She taught the restoration which was perfect for our investigators :) After sacrament meeting I introduced the young man and his aunt to Pavel and told them that he had been baptized recently. They asked him a lot of questions about his decision to be baptized and why and stuff. Pavel answered their questions and was SUCH a missionary! It was so neat! Afterwards Pavel came up and said "Did I answer okay? Did I say anything wrong?" I just gave him the biggest smile and told him he was a missionary already and that everything he said was perfect. He beamed! He has the missionary spirit in him!
Now something that clicked for me this week is that I CAN do this! I was praying really hard and wondering if I am being guided by the Spirit in knowing what to say, what to teach, where to tract etc. Heavenly Father showed me this week, in His tender mercy that I really am! For example, on Saturday we had weekly planning where we plan out lessons for the next week and what we will teach our investigators and all sorts of stuff. I was struggling with what to teach Petra. Petra has been in Bratislava for the last week and a half, but came yesterday and is staying till Wednesday. I'm learning to be creative and thinking how I can help my investigators progress the most. There's a family in the branch that Petra admires and loves so much-the Saundersovi-so I arranged for us to go to their home for dinner and a lesson yesterday. Anyways, on Saturday I was struggling with knowing what to teach her there. I prayed so hard and pondered hard along with my companions. Finally I felt that we needed to reteach the restoration and that we should involve the Saunders children in it. It felt right and so we planned that. Yesterday morning at church I started having doubts about whether that was the right lesson to teach there, but I had felt that it was right and knew I had to trust my feelings. We had to take a bus to the Saunder's village and it takes 30 minutes. On the way there I talked with Petra. It's been a week and a half since we last saw each other so I asked her how she was doing. She stopped reading the Book of Mormon because she feels like she needs to read the Bible first. Then she said that to her our church is the same as hers and that she can't believe that any other church's baptism wouldn't count except for ours. I realized that the spirit spoke to me and that it was pure inspiration to reteach the restoration. All of Petra's concerns were concerning the first lesson principles! It was a huge testimony to me that I am being guided by the Spirit! I can do this! I just can't sit and be passive, I have to pray and then be actively engaged in furthering the work of the Lord. Take initiative and act!
I was so grateful for the 30 minutes there and back from the Saunders when I could talk with Petra about her concerns. It took all of my mental effort and pleading in my heart for the Lord's help for me to be able to address Petra's concerns. I came home last night exhausted, but so peaceful, knowing that I had given it my all to help Petra. That's what missionary work is all about! I really feel close to that girl. She is so special and means a lot to me. The lesson at the Saunders was amazing! Brother Saunders is from England and his wife is Czech. They have 4 beautiful children. The children put on a skit of the first vision for us and the Saunders testified to Petra that sometimes she needs to act first and decide to do something before the confirmation comes that it's right (concerning baptism). At the end of the lesson Petra started crying as she told the Saunders how much she admires their family and that their family is what she wants and imagines her future family to be like. It was a beautiful evening!
Last thought. This morning in personal study I read in 1 Nefi 11:28. I started thinking about how during Christ's ministry, He was rejected so much and He was our Savior! I thought, I can't expect it to be different for me. I realized that everytime I get rejected, is a time for me to draw closer to the Savior. Then the more I pondered on this I realized that mostly people reject me when they hear me say Jezise Krista as I'm introducing myself. It's not me they are rejecting. It's not even my badge they are rejecting. They are rejecting Christ. This realization made me feel so humbled. How merciful and loving the Savior is. I love Him so much! I am so grateful for this opportunity to bear His name next to mine everyday. But most important is that we all carry Him in our hearts.
Now for the final thought for real. One morning I was kneeling by my chair, praying to open up osobni studium. [note: personal studies] I was intensely focused on how I was feeling. I felt very normal. Peaceful. Then I found myself praying for gratitude for being able to serve here in the Czech Republic on a mission. Suddenly I remembered how my whole life I had wanted to serve a mission and I had always wanted to serve here in the Czech Republic. As I thought back on my life, I was filled with such peace. I realized that I am here on a mission! I am a missionary in the Czech Republic. A desire that I had had my entire life is fulfilling. I am truly so so blessed to be a part of this incredible work!
I love you all! Have a marvelous week!
With love, Sestra Melissa Pysnakova

Monday, June 4, 2012

Week 16 Made it!

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

This week was amazing! It was a week of extremes! There were tears of disappointment, but also many tears of joy!!

First of all, the news you have all been waiting for...Pavel was baptized and confirmed. He is now the newest member of the Brno branch! I can't even convey the joy I felt and that I feel now talking about it. All I can say is "He made it!" The few days before the baptism, I felt unusually calm. In my mind I wrestled back and forth about whether or not Pavel would make it. I worried about him. I worried he'd face opposition and change his mind. It's tough too since he hasn't been living in Brno and so we couldn't see him as often as we wanted too.  But I felt peaceful and knew that everything would be okay. We kept in contact with him as much as we could.

On Tuesday, he had his pohovor [note: interview] with our district leader, Elder Stimpson. Then after that we had Pavel try on some baptismal clothes. I smiled so much when I saw him come out in them. Ah! It warmed my heart. Later I found out from Elder Stimpson that the interview had gone super well. The best part had been when Pavel asked a "kdybych mohl..." [note: if I could] question about a mission!!!! Elder Stimpson said he got so excited he can't remember exactly what Pavel said. But he asked about the possibility of going on a mission and stuff like that! So neat!

Pavel ended up sleeping over in Brno Tuesday night and called us Wednesday afternoon to let us know he was in Brno and didn't have anything to do. We invited him to come to the building early to help us get some stuff ready. As soon as he walked in all the anxiety and worry that had built up over him left. He was here. He was fine!

Now planning a baptism is quite the project. There's all sorts of details that you need to take care of from big to little. Things I'd never think of like how long it takes for the font to fill up and stuff. But we prayed lots and everything came together so well. We're blessed here in this branch that there are so many members capable of helping us out with these things. About 10 minutes before the baptism I started to panic because there weren't a lot of members there and I just prayed so hard that people would come. I felt peace come over me. And, then, suddenly there were so many people there! It was amazing! Members that had helped teach Pavel with us and others who had met him at church came to support him! Pavel was shocked! He said he didn't expect there to be that many people. Petra came to the baptism. I wanted her to be there so she could feel the special spirit that is there. She felt something! After the baptism, she was watching all of the people mingling together and said "It's like one big, loving family!" Petra realized and I know Pavel realized this as well, that he has a family in the church. It doesn't matter where we are - Utah or Brno - this is the Lord's church and we are a family. And you know what unites us? Our love for the Savior. Pavel realized that even if his family rejects him for his decision, he will always have a family here.

Sister Brimhall came from Prague to see the Baptism. We didn't have much time to talk, but I felt like I got 10x closer to her because together we helped someone come closer to Christ. WE worked together to help Pavel make this covenant with God through baptism and that brought us closer together as well. Now there's some advice for strengthening any relationship!

The part where I felt the strongest spirit was when we were singing in the chapel and Pavel and Vasek came in after changing. When Pavel walked in with his hair still wet the spirit was SO strong. I couldn't stop smiling and I looked over and saw that Sister Brimhall was feeling exactly what I was feeling as she sat there with a huge smile as well. After the krestni shromazdeni [note: baptismal service], Pavel kept saying he felt perfect. Yesterday, he was confirmed. He wanted to make sure he got to church on time so he came super early. In fact he came so early he was the first one at the church building and he just waited by the doors until the elders showed up to unlock it. He looked so good in his suit and tie! And when he was confirmed, by Brother Canjo, the man who also grew up in a catholic family of 7 children, I felt this warm feeling come over me. Pavel did it! He made this beautiful covenant with God. But it's just the beginning! He has a whole path ahead of him, but with Christ, it's a beautiful path.

Now, about the tears of disappointment. We'll just say this week we went from 4 baptismal dates to nula [note: zero]. One of our investigators kept canceling her lesson with us until we finally had one with her Friday. She came in and I could just see something was different. The light that she had had before was gone. I was like "Uh oh..." It just didn't feel right. We started our lesson and she said "Prisla jsem rozloucit..." [note: I came to say good-bye] I was like "NOOO NOOO!" She stopped reading the Book of Mormon and everything went downhill from there. She had a lot of reasons of why she didn't want to continue with us, but none of them made a whole lot of sense. She did say she feels she needs to find her own path. It was tough. It broke my heart! I've never felt something like this before. I know the things we have been teaching her are the things that will help her come to Christ. I know it will make her happy. I know it's true! But we couldn't do anything other than testify to her of this. We were with her for about 25 minutes and then said a prayer together at the end. She didn't want to leave though. She stayed for another 15 minutes to talk and I could see how she's just wrestling inside. Finally she said "I know you are busy and have things to do, but could I see you again and could we talk again?" She's out of town this week but we set up for a week from Tuesday. I know she felt something.

I was talking to Sister White about it after, because she noticed that the light that our investigator had had before was gone. We talked about the difference that reading in the Book of Mormon makes in our own lives. Is it possible that when I don't read or ponder enough from the Book of Mormon for a few days that there is that much of a difference in light in me? I know the answer is yes because I felt it before. In regular everyday life we focus on so many other things. We are busy with school and work. We may not notice the difference that, for example, reading in the Book of Mormon can have on us, but being on a mission where I focus on those things all day every day, I've realized I'm much more sensitive to those kinds of things and I can see the difference that the little things have in our life. The little things like praying and reading everyday make a difference!

Well, uz nemam cas. Musim pracovat! [note: I do not have time anymore. I have to work!] There's prepared people out there. I need to find them! I'm grateful for the things I've learned this week. How much sweeter miracles are when there's a backdrop of hardships. Kind of like a diamond looks so much more beautiful against a black background. I love our Savior! I am grateful for His example to us. I am grateful for this opportunity to invite others to come closer to him every day!

Mam vas hodne rada! [note: I love you very much]

S laskou, Sestra Pysnakova

Sestra Pysnakova and some of the beautiful young women

Service Project

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Dinner with Elder and Sister Martin

Sestra White, Sestra Jorgensen and Sestra Pyšňáková

Hi to Missionary Families,
We thought you might enjoy a glimpse of your son/daughter today at our "break the fast" Sunday dinner.  Aren't they a handsome/beautiful collection of valiants?????
We could not think any more highly than we do of these intelligent, disciplined, courageous, diligent young missionaries.
THANK YOU for encouraging them, teaching them, and sharing them.
We love them!
Sincerely, Elder (Starši) and Sister (Sestra) Martinova