Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I just returned from serving in the Czech/Slovak mission! It was an incredible experience!!! I'll be speaking this Sunday, August 18 at 11:00 with Sister Debbie Clark who also returned from the same mission. The address is 1800 E. Mueller Park Rd. Bountiful, UT 84010.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Week 68 Kosice

My dearest family and friends,

I survived transfers! Kosice is a beautiful city. We live up on a hill and have a lovely view of the city. It's really green here and rains everyday. Actually it's raining throughout our mission and I heard there's even flooding going on. But we're fine here and keeping dry to some extent. Our apartment is really nice. We live in a good neighborhood. The namestie [note: Town Square] is gorgeous and like I said, I love how green everything is! The people here are so nice. I really love talking to them.

My new companions are doing well. Sister Johnson is 19 and from Kansas and Sister Baird is from California and is 21. Both are beautiful inside and out and they are SO on fire. They were already contacting by themselves on public transportation our first day in the area and they even got a number on their own! Our area was dead when we came in and we finally arrived in our area Wednesday late at night so we were only able to work in our area a few days last week. Kosice is beautiful but I feel like I'm on the end of the world. It takes SO long to get here by train. But at least the travel is beautiful. We'll be traveling to Brno for new missionary training and because of the distance it's ending up being like a 3 day excursion. But at least the travel gives me time to think and most of the time when I'm looking out the window as the train rolls along I think of how much I love these people and these lands and I think of everything I've learned on my mission.
Sestra Pyšňáková and her new companions Sister Johnson and Sister Baird

As I said our area needs to be built back up again and we're working hard to do it. I keep reminding myself that I need to be patient. I haven't even been in my area a week yet. But still we're talking to everyone we can and I just hope that we'll be able to start teaching lessons soon. It's been overwhelming at times trying to train two sisters while trying to quickly get a teaching pool. I feel like there's a lot of expectations too and sometimes that gets stressful. But I know Heavenly Father wants me here and this morning I was reading in the Ensign about personal prayer and it hit me that what I need to be praying for is to align my will with the Lords, not try to get Him to conform to my will. 

Kosice is very special. I felt it before I was officially transferred here. For several weeks before transfers I had felt that I would be going here and I felt something special about this city. I don't know what it is yet, but I can tell you that when we went to church yesterday I felt like I was in the temple. It was a really sacred and holy experience. President Van Dalen was there. He's from Holland, but married a Slovak. He is incredible! He has devoted his whole life to the church. I wish you could see how much he cares for the members and for each less-active. He's amazing!
He was at church yesterday along with a 24 year old member name Lenka, plus five of us missionaries. That was it! After sacrament had started one other member came in but she left right after sacrament so for most of church it was just us missionaries with 2 members. But it was so so special. I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting and then taught Sunday School and Relief Society. It reminded me of Banska Bystrica a little and it was nice to feel needed. I was so happy to be there in Relief Society because Lenka was so happy that we were there. Last week she'd been the only female at church with President Van Dalen and the 4 elders.
During sacrament meeting I felt something really special. For the closing hymn we sang the spirit of God. As we sang I yet again marveled at how the Spirit is the same no matter where you are. I thought about how it didn't matter that there were only 8 of us. There was a really tender and beautiful feeling.  As we got to the chorus, a powerful feeling flooded the room. I listened and thought to myself "it sounds like there are much more people singing than us 8". And then it hit me. I knew we were not alone. Heavenly Father wanted me to know that. There weren't just 8 of us there. That little chapel in Kosice was filled with angels and they were singing along with us. I did not see any, but I for sure felt them and that feeling was so powerful and so real I wouldn't have been surprised if the veil had actually been lifted. For a few moments I felt like I was in the temple.
Last experience, we were headed out one morning to contact before our meeting with the branch president. On our way out we realized one of us had left our bus pass so we went all the way back to get it and Sister Baird said it's ok, everything happens for a reason. On our way back out again we passed a lady and stopped to talk to her. At first she was closed off. She said she was already a believer, but we kept talking and then she opened up and said, you said your message is for families, then tell me. I have children who don't want to believe in Christ. They aren't doing what they should be doing. I hurt inside for them and I don't know what to do. What should I do? We were able to testify of the Book of Mormon and promised her if she read it she'd find her answers. At the end of the contact she told us she'd been praying that day as she was walking. She was thinking about her children and was hurting inside and she prayed and told Heavenly Father she knew He loved her despite all of this. A few minutes later she met us. She said she took it as an answer to her prayers and a sign that Heavenly Father loved her. And He does as He does all of us. How amazing it us knowing you were an answer to someone’s prayer. 

Please keep us all in your prayers. Pray that those who are prepared will be guided to us and we to them. Heavenly Father loves Kosice. I feel it very strongly. The Lord has a plan with this area. I'm looking forward to seeing it unfold! 
S laskou, Sestra Mel Pysnakova

Monday, April 8, 2013

Week 60 Sunny Zilina

Draha rodino a priateli, [note: Dear family and friends]

Ako sa mate! [note: How are you!] For the first time this transfer, the sun is up and shining! It's beautiful and so springy:) There's not a whole lot to write about this week. We've been out finding a lot-contacting, trackting and looking through formers. We've taught a few people which was a blessing, but mostly the people we found on the streets never answered their phones or came to their meetings. All in all, there's really no results from our labors at this point, but we’re working hard and we have faith that Heavenly Father will help us find those who are prepared or help them find us.

I miss Bratislava sometimes but I know I'm here for a reason. We haven't received the warmest welcome either. But I'm enjoying every moment. This transfer has been different than any other transfer. I just have felt this immense peace since I got here and I feel it when I stop people and talk to them, when I'm trackting etc. I'm not sure what it means. But I'm grateful for it! It's helped me to keep moving forward in faith, even when no one comes to their meetings, when no one lets us in, when people yell at us. I just feel like it's okay. I'm so happy to be here. I love this! And oh how time is flying. I get out of bed in the morning and before I know it I'm climbing back in at night and I can barely remember what happened in between. It's just speeding by. There's nowhere else I'd rather be than here!
I love you all so much! I'm sorry this is so short, but I figure I'll just send you pictures since I couldn't last transfer. Pictures are worth a thousand words anyways.

S laskou, Sestra Mel Pysnakova

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Week 59 merry christmas?

Draha rodino, [note: Dear family]

What a week it has been. Sorry I couldn't email yesterday. A lesson we thought had fallen through ended up still being on so instead of emailing yesterday we got to teach a little family the restoration. 

There's not much to tell you about. It's hard to believe it's only been a week since we arrived in Zilina. It seems like we've been here much longer. Our area has nothing so we're doing a lot of finding. It can get frustrating when you set up meetings with people and they don't show. It's always slow at the beginning trying to build your teaching pool; I just need to be patient. But I have faith that Heavenly Father will help our area to blossom just like it did in Bratislava.

Sister Jones, my new companion, is a beautiful person. She's 19 and already an amazing missionary! I don't know what will happen next transfer with us getting 4 new Slovak sisters, but I know if she'll have to train one of them in her second transfer, she'll be ready. Her language skills are incredible! I tell people she speaks better Slovak than I do and I'm not joking! She understands most of what people say in Contakts, chimes in at the right points and is just doing things way ahead of what you'd expect from a new missionary. It's neat to see that Heavenly Father is in charge of this work and knows where his missionaries need to be.

Sister Jones and Sestra Pyšňáková

We have a good district. There's one companionship of Elders in Zilina with us. Elder Clem is also the branch president. We have about 20 members I think who attend church here. Elder Utley has been out for 4 months and sings beautifully. Both elders have been keeping me on my toes making sure I'm speaking only Slovak and not teaching Sister Jones Czech:) Another set of elders in our district are in Trencin so every other week we get to take the train to Trencin for district meetings. 

Elder Utley, Sestra Pyšňáková, Sister Jones and Elder Clam

It's been snowing like crazy. I thought I should wish people a Merry Christmas rather than a Happy Easter last weekend. It seemed more appropriate with all the snow. 

Sestra Pyšňáková

Heavenly Father sent me a beautiful Easter surprise though when I got to spend church with Renata and then afterwards saw Iveta Kolkova [note: family friends]. I needed that so much and Heavenly Father knew it. He's the best! 

Sister Jones, Renata Blombergová and Sestra Pyšňáková

Iveta Kolková and Sestra Pyšňáková

Last thing, I was looking through our area book and saw a list elders had started back in 1993 when Zilina opened up to missionary work. The 20th elder on that list was Derek Jenson [note: long time family friend]. There was also a sheet listing a few sisters who had served in Zilina and at the bottom of the page was this paragraph "The 25th day of the eleventh month in the year 1998 - Sisters leave Zilina. The people will never know what hit them. No worries. We will be back!!!" Well...we're back!

I love you all! Thank you for your emails, letters prayers and testimonies. I am so grateful that I am a missionary. It's the best thing in the world! I love my call so much. It means everything to me. I'm grateful for our Savior and for his life and resurrection. It's worth it to give up everything for Him. I wish you all a beautiful week!

S laskou, Sestra Melissa Pysnakova

Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 58 Žilina it is!

"Sister Jones and I on the train going to our new area. We couldn't find a place to sit with all our luggage so we stood for 3 hours."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 57 Miracle Week!

"Lunch and dessert with President in Blava because I got my second language level po slovensky and Sister Sears got her first one."

"The blue church in Bratislava. The one of me laughing is when we met some members of the church randomly on the street. They were from America, but living in Poland for a while."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 56 Ahojte!

"Sister Sears and I and an entire box of Slovak copies of the Book of Mormon that we managed to lug from Prague to Bratislava and then all over the city to the church building."

A cake that the YSAs made for the missionaries. It was SO yummy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 54 Miracles!

Sestra Pyšňáková near her apartment.
The following photos are from a trip to the Bratislava Castle:

Sestra Pyšňáková with her companion Sister Sears.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 52 It's here!!!!!!!!

My dear family and friends, [note: Dear family and friends]

It was another tough week! We've set up with so many people but then they don't show up or they cancel it. But Heavenly Father has been supporting us and we always find new people. Plus Heavenly Father blessed us with an incredible miracle this week.

For the past 2 weeks the mission had been buzzing about a leadership training that would take place on Friday, the 8th. Apparently the entire mission would be gathering in Brno and everyone was so tight-lipped about it that we all figured something special was going to happen. There were rumors going around that the Book of Mormon was finally printed po slovensky [note: in Slovak] and we thought that maybe we'd get it that day.

On Friday we took a bus to Brno with a bunch of other Slovak missionaries. It was wonderful seeing the entire mission. There's always such a powerful and special feeling when all of us are gathered together. President announced that the new mission president was called. His name is James McConkie. He'd served a mission years ago and has a family with 4 children ranging from ages 6 to 16. He speaks Czech and loves this mission. I appreciated so President's thoughts. We all love him so much and it's hard to see this change. But President, even thought he was getting emotional,  said that President McConkie will be just what the mission needs for that time. He said the mission belongs in Heavenly Father's hands and whatever changes he'll do doesn't mean that President Irwin did something wrong. He did what was right for the time. I love that!

Well, we went over a Survey that our mission took because a general authority will be touring the mission next week. We went over the results. There was a question about studying the Book of Mormon everyday in personal study and although it was a good percentage, it wasn't the best. After the Survey President started his training about the scriptures and the importance of the Book of Mormon. It fit in perfectly since more of us should be studying the Book of Mormon daily in studies. What happened next is something I'll never forget.

President called up two elders - Elder Bird who is a Czech elder and Elder Meridith who is a Slovak elder. He handed Elder Bird the Czech copy and gave Elder Meridith the spiral bound rough draft copy of the Book of Mormon that Elder Tenney and I had held and read from months earlier. He asked Elder Bird to read Moroni's promise in Czech. He did. Then he had Elder Meridith read Moroni's promise in Slovak. Elder Meridith began reading and then President interrupted and said "Hold on!" He then pulled out from behind the podium a thin blue Book of Mormon. 
It's here!!!!!!!!!!! The Book of Mormon in Slovak is here!
We all gasped! There in President's hands was a Slovak Book of Mormon. He handed Elder Meridith the copy and had him finish reading Mormon's promise in Slovak. Elder Meridith struggled to keep from crying. The room was so hushed, the Spirit was so strong and the peace was so tangible. I can't put into words the exact feeling. But it was incredible.

After he finished reading President bore the sweetest testimony through his tears. I've never seen him get so choked up about something. He said in all his years of church service he had never seen the adversary work so hard against something as he did against the publication of the Slovak Book of Mormon. He then proceeded to relate to us how everything that could have possible gone wrong had gone wrong. I could hardly believe how much opposition there was. But President wouldn't give up. He did all in his power to get at least 20 copies of the Book of Mormon to Brno - one for each missionary in the Slovak mission- and he did!

As we stood to sing the mission song, there was hardly a dry eye. As we sang:

"The seeds are sown, the field is white
 in Czech and Slovak tongue
come join the harvest of mens souls
until God's work is done.
We are called of God to a land once cold.
Bringing forth His wondrous light
And with us the Lord labors here!"

The tears just rolled down my cheeks. The seeds are sown in Czech and truly now in Slovak tongue. How grateful I am that finally we have the Book of Mormon in Slovak. How grateful I am to be a part of this magnificent work. After the closing prayer the Slovak missionaries lined up and President handed each of us our own copy of the Book of Mormon. We then took pictures.
Mission President handing out the Book of Mormon.
Picture time!
Sestra Pyšňáková with President and Sister Irwin
All of us Slovak missionaries returned to Slovakia with a renewed fire, hearts rejoicing for this miracle. I wish you could have seen how these missionaries were just holding their copies so carefully, just thumbing through the pages. Our hearts are filled with so much gratitude! I returned to Bratislava with the biggest smile on my face!

I love you all! This is truly the Lords work! In this "secret" conference there had been several milestones made - a new mission president announced approval by the area presidency to open up a new area in Slovakia, Nitra, to missionary work and establish a unit there, and the Slovak Book of Mormon. President says it's significant and I agree!

S laskou, Sestra Mel Pysnakova

Monday, February 4, 2013