It was kind of a hard week. Lots of kontakting and trakting and no one interested in our message. Our investigators are at the point where they just need to get baptized because there is nothing more we can teach them or do with them really. We need a miracle. We have a handful of very prepared people who would just blossom and help the kingdom of God grow if they'd just take that step of faith.
We stopped by at Tesco Express to see a former investigator who told us he works at the meat department and that we should stop by. He’s a jolly fellow and talked to us over the counter for a few minutes. He asked us if we had a Bible or book of some sort and we said we had the Book of Mormon which he wanted to see so I pulled one out of my backpack and he grabbed it with his raw meaty bloody hands. Then he was like “Well my hands are dirty and I don’t want to get the book dirty so just take it back and bring it to me at our next meeting.” And then he hands me the book that’s now wet and has a piece of raw meat on it. It was so gross. Sister Izatt thought it was the funniest thing ever. Oh, the things that happen each day. Sometimes they are just so funny.
We then had a meeting with a guy named Martin. He is in his twenties, is attending vet school in Kosice, and is Lutheran. It was a good lesson and we taught znovuzriadenie [note: restoration]. But he refused a Book of Mormon and we asked him if he was afraid of it being true and he said yes. He didn’t agree to another lesson yet. I hope his heart opens up one day. He told us that whenever he was in a tough situation in life or something big happened he’d always meet the Mormon missionaries after that. We were like “Martin! God is trying to tell you something…” It takes courage though to go against traditions and the mainstream. I feel for these people. I really do. But it’s truth. And truth requires sacrifice.
One day on the Namestie [note: Square] we kontakted a very thin, classy, beautiful middle-aged woman. We accidentally scared her because she was looking off deep in thought. But she was so nice! Sister Izatt started the kontakt and was totally led by the Spirit in knowing what to say! We have our normal things that we say in kontakts “Prominte, dobry den, sme tu ako misionary, sme mormonky (we’ve added that one recently to avoid being confused with Jehovah's Witnesses) hovorime s ludmi o knihe mormonovej…” [note: Excuse me, hello, we are sister missionaries, we are Mormons, and we talk to people about the Book of Mormon]. But Sister Izatt didn’t do the typical kontakt. Later she said she felt the words just coming out of her mouth and she had no idea what she was saying. But whatever she said the woman needed to hear. We asked to share our message with her and she said “Teraz mozeme?” [note: Right now, can we?] So we sat down right away on the Namestie and taught her znovuzriadenie [note: restoration]. It was beautiful! Her name is Helena and she has 3 children. They live in Zvolen. The lesson was simple, but beautiful. At the end Helena thanked us. She told us she was having a hard time in her life right now and that her meeting with us was what she needed. Then she started to cry and she got embarrassed. But she asked us if she could hug us and she did and it was such a good and beautiful hug. We hugged like we’d known each other for years, not minutes. That’s what the Spirit does! We got her kontakt information and she wants to meet again. When she walked away Sister Izatt and I sat there for a few minutes just marveling at the miracle of being at the right place at the right time. We said a prayer of thanks. I’m grateful for the tender mercies Heavenly Father sends us when we’re feeling down and wondering if we’re doing any good here. What a beautiful day! I am so so exhausted! We had an all-kontakting day and we were literally on our feet all day! But I am so so happy! My whole body aches, but I’m so happy!
For our finding activity we finally did what I’ve wanted to do since Brno. CHALK ART on the Namestie [note: Square] !!! The idea was from Elder Romero, since he’s an amazing cartoonist, to draw in chalk the first vision, while the rest of us would talk to the people who gathered to watch. I should fill you in on everything we went through to get permission from the city to draw there…We’ve wanted to do it for weeks now. We ended up having to go to the Urad or city hall to get permission. We found ourselves in a lady’s office and she was telling us we’d have to fill out this paper and then they’d have to approve it etc. She asked us who our leader was here in Banska and we were like…uh we are! She looked incredulous and said there had to be some leader over us so we said we had a President in Prague. She was like “But in Slovakia?” We were like, uh, we are… She asked us where our building was and we said Kapitulska 8 [note: church meeting address] and she said “Okay, who takes care of that?” “We do”, was our response. It was so funny. She asked if there was someone older so we told her about Elder Nye who was older and lived in Zvolen, but didn’t speak Slovak. At that she was totally blown away and told us to fill out the form and come back some other time.
Sister Izatt and I went back a few days later and brought in the paper. I had tried to fill it out for doing chalk art, but it wanted three different leaders and I ran out of people to put down. Anyways Sister Izatt and I sat in the hall for 30 minutes or more waiting for this lady until she returned to her office. We handed her the form and a sample of our artwork and she approved our activity for today! Sister Izatt and I talked about it later how you receive strength on your mission to do things like go to the city hall and in a different language talk to all sorts of people who work for the city, trying to get permission to draw the 1st vision on the street…I love it!
Eder Romero and Sister Izatt
Banska Bystrica Town Square
Pavol and Simona were the only ones who came to our sports day, besides us missionaries, but we had a great time. Sister Izatt kicked the ball over the fence into the yard of some military facility. We tried the zvoneks [note: doorbell], but no one was there. What would they do if a war started right then? No one was in their office…Anyways, Elder Romero hopped the fence and got the ball in his nametag with all of the cameras around…not the wisest, but at least we could play. We walked home with Pavol and Simona after. I love them so much! I wish they’d be Mormon. A drunken guy came up behind us on our way home. He suddenly walked into the busy road and laid down. My stomach churned at that and Pavol went over and got him out of the road before cars came. His police side came out and he walked with him for a while. I was grateful Pavol was there, but I was most grateful for the word of wisdom and for the hope the gospel brings into our lives so we don’t have to turn to counterfeit atonements to get that.
Yesterday church went well. We had 3 members there and 4 investigators. I led the music in Banska, bore my testimony and said the closing prayer. After I sat down the Slovak elders turned to me and with huge smiles on their faces told me that my Slovak is really good! It made my day! I still speak more Czech but as long as the Slovak is in there somewhere it's good. A lot of people we talk to think we are Polish :) In Buca we held sacrament meeting and a lot of Roma came. I again led the music, bore my testimony, said the closing prayer and taught Sunday School. I love it! The Elders had some great news for us. President approved the beautiful green building on the Namestie [note: Square] in Zvolen so we can go ahead and rent it for now and hold church there until Germany approves us to buy it. Hooray! The work is moving forward.
Also something neat that I've noticed is that it's getting hard for me to pray in English:) That's the best news ever! I said the prayer in English in correlation and could not pray comfortable. The words kept coming in Czecho-slovak and I couldn't express myself well in English. Yeah.
I'm learning and growing lots. I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
S laskou, Sestra Pysnakova
Elders Buhler, Tenney, Romero and Sisters Pyšňáková and Izatt