Draha rodino a kamaradi, [note: Dear family and friends]
What a week it's been! Lots of rejection, lots of tears and lots of beautiful tender moments.
Death and the Plan of Salvation has been on my mind all week. On Tuesday I had a really special experience. I was flipping through an old general conference Ensign and saw an article by Elder Holland on angels. He gave it in 2008. There was a picture on his page of a mom and her two daughters. One of the girls reminded me of Megan when she was little and I started to cry. For a moment I just longed for her to be here. I missed her. And then I had a glimpse. I saw me sitting in the chair where I was and then I saw Megan standing in front of me. I couldn't see her, but she was there and I just felt how she wished with her whole heart that I could see her. It was just a glimpse, but it was so beautiful.
Then on Thursday in the morning, Sister Izatt asked me questions about Megan and as I thought back to the accident, the hospital, the viewing etc. I started to cry again. Sister Izatt started to cry too and we just hugged and then everything was so so still. It was such a tender moment. We received permission to attend the funeral service of our Relief Society president's father-in-law. She's the only one that is a member, let alone a believer in her family. We dressed all in black out of respect and then took a 20 minute bus ride to the crematorium. I've never been to a non-Mormon funeral before, let alone one that was completely nonreligious. It was so so sad. There was no Christ, no hope, and no plan of happiness. It was cold and empty in there. Everything pointed to this being the end. They'd never see him again. The mother-in-law just sobbed and sobbed. I thought about Megan again, and about Christ and then about God's plan for us. I can't imagine ever getting through Megan's graduation without that knowledge. How I wish I could have just shared that knowledge with everyone there-That we live after we die. That life goes on. That God has a precious plan for us.
After the funeral Sister Izatt and I had a few minutes before our bus came. So we went into the woods behind the crematorium where there was a cemetery and just walked there for a few minutes. I kept thinking "If a man dies, will he live again? Yes!" It kept replaying over and over again in my mind and I knew it was true. How blessed we are to know that our Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for us and that because of Christ we will all live again with our loved ones when we die. Because of Christ we can find peace even when it hurts. Later that day we taught Jan-Ivan the plan of salvation and it fit in so perfectly with the events that had happened earlier. Yes, God has a beautiful plan for us indeed!
Our investigators are progressing well. We had a lesson with Jan-Ivan earlier in the week and talked to him about the gospel of Christ and he loved it! He said he's known that stuff his whole life, but never had he seen it presented so clearly and so well. He also accepted a baptismal date for the 22nd of this month! We are looking forward to working more with him. We met with him a few more times this week to teach him and each time I am so amazed at how humble he is. He loves to study and will take notes when we teach him so that he can go back and study about it later. He studies like no other investigator that I've met. He loves the Book of Mormon. We read Alma 36 together and he was so amazed at how simple repentance is. It really is! It's beautiful. Another investigator, Martin, accepted a baptismal date for the 29th. It's going to be tough though because he told us he doesn't believe in or trust his feelings. To je velky problem! [note: That is a big problem!] He said that feelings are lower than truth and what he believes in is truth. Feelings are like faith which as Alma says is not to have a perfect knowledge of things. Martin said he only believes what's been proven to be true. Oh dear! But he's sincere and has a good heart and we are just praying for a miracle. He's opened up a lot since we started teaching him. But we keep trying to tell him peace won't really come again until Christ comes. We'll keep working with him. Sports day this week was so fun and so successful. We really had a good turn-out and everyone had a fun time.
We had some scheduled time to find this week. We kontakted a guy on a bench na Namesti [note: on the Town Square] right before a lesson with an investigator. Turns out he's a priest from Liberec. He was so so cool! He said he'd stay on the bench so that after the lesson we could come back and talk more. So after the lesson we ran out there and had a lesson with him on the bench. Than we had to leave for another lesson and to teach English, but he told us he'd come back so that we could teach more. So we did! And he was waiting for us again on the bench. Afterwards he told us he wished we were in his congregation and we told him we wished he was in ours:) He'll be coming back in a few weeks so we plan to teach him more.
President gave us permission to go to a huge service project in Zilina. It's called the Toronto project and members from the Czech/Slovak area come to do service. There's a fireside the night before and then the next day is packed with service projects. We came down on Saturday in the morning with Simona. We were so grateful for the time we got to spend with her. We wanted her to see that the church is for people of all ages because she hadn't ever met any youth members. It was great meeting so many members from Slovakia, seeing members from Brno, and also seeing Derek! That was a treat. Also, President and his wife were there and I just love them. For the service stuff we cleaned up a skolka [note: preschool] and also picked up trash around a dam.
I love you all so much! I wish you a beautiful week. I can't believe it's transfers already! I've loved the transfer here in Banska with Sister Izatt and all of my district. I learned so much! But I know that I'll serve where the Lord needs me next transfer and I'm looking forward to it, wherever I go! Mam vas vela rada! [note: I love you!]
S laskou, Sestra Melissa Pysnakova