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 lost...so 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.