My Journey Begins

Editor’s note: Full-time missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints typically begin their missionary service with a brief period of intensive training and study, and depending on the assignment, language instruction. There are 15 Missionary Training Centres (MTC) worldwide, the largest of which is located on the outskirts of of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, U.S.A.

Full-time missionaries of the Church are typically addressed by the titles “Elder” (for men) or “Sister” (for women). The Slovak equivalents are “Starsi” and “Sestra”. They generally work in pairs, referred to as a “companionship”. One exciting and enriching aspect of serving as a missionary is working with companions from many different lands and walks of life, but all sharing a common faith.Image

All called to serve in the Czech/Slovak Mission

28 January 2013

Hello Everyone!

Thank you so much for your messages, help, and kind well wishes!

Today is my first Preparation Day. (In LDS missionary jargon, that just means the one day in the week with working hours set aside specifically for attending to necessary housekeeping, errands, and personal rejuvenation. Think of it as a missionary’s Saturday).

I just got back from a session at the Provo Temple, and am currently writing from the Missionary Training Center’s basement / laundry room / computer lab. I only have 30 minutes every Monday to write messages, so I’ll do my best to respond to those who have written to me, but please forgive me if I am not able to respond personally to each one. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness in writing, and wish I had more time to write back.

I love it here! My French companion – Sestra B – and I share a room with Sestri  D and R who are learning Czech. There are two other sisters and four elders also learning Czech, but the two of us and Starsi  C are the only ones currently learning Slovak.

We’ve taught our first investigator (Jaro) twice now – in Slovak!  We know he’s just an actor hired by the MTC, but the practice is invaluable so I’ll gladly buy the illusion. We’ve given him a Book of Mormon and he accepted the challenge to pray, but I’m still not sure we’re meeting his needs. Third lesson tonight – we just lack the vocab to understand the challenges he says he’s experiencing. Wish us luck!

This place is like a beehive: currently 2500 missionaries here, but that number will triple by the summer (growth mostly from sisters)! Because of this, we’ll only have 3 weeks in the field before we have to become trainers. I’m praying that I’ll be prepared by the time my 9 weeks here are up.

Awesome stuff: The ground is covered in lovely packing snow and Sister Burton (Relief Society General President) led our RS meeting yesterday.

Funny stuff: the fire alarm went off @ 21:45 last night (someone on second floor burning popcorn) so sisters in towel turbans and PJs hung out in main building singing Primary songs until allowed to go to return @ 22:20. Next thing speakers come on: “Sisters, 22:30 bedtime is still in force.” It’s a rough life. 😉 Vending machines here are full of American heart disease candy: Pizza Bites, Pop Tarts, chimichangas, and Fat Boys. Can’t help but laugh!

Must close now but will try to write again soon. Love you lots!

Sestra Jones


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