Prague Preview, and Postal Protocol

* Scroll down to the end of this post for the Czech/Slovak Mission address, along with important instructions to achieve successful delivery of letters and parcels.

Prague

Prague Castle and Vltava River as seen from Charles Bridge

all photos taken by Sestra Jones’ father, while on a business trip to Prague in 2006

25 March 2013

This week Sestra Jones and her classmates will be leaving the familiar routines of the Missionary Training Center in the U.S.A. and reporting to the mission office in Prague, where they will receive their first assignments in the mission field!

As they wing their way across the U.S.A. and over the Atlantic Ocean, let’s take a moment to become better acquainted with the grand old city of Prague:

Where in the World is Prague?

Map time! Class is in session now. Prague is the capital of what European country?… What small, European country?… Anyone?…Correct! It is the capital city of the Czech Republic, you may go straight to the head of the class.  On this map, the Czech Republic is the little, blue, vaguely fish-shaped land sandwiched between Poland and Germany.

Image

Former Centre of the Universe
The city of Praha, or “Prague” as we call it, has a long and illustrious history;  like many other European cities of a certain age, it has had its seasons in the sun, and days of glory as a seat of great power,  scholarship,  and cultural influence.
Saints of Charles Bridge

Saints of Charles Bridge

There has been a settlement in that place along the Vltava River since at least the late 800’s, when the foundations of Prague Castle were first established. In fact, the name “Praha” which means threshold or doorstep, originally referred only to Prague Castle itself.  Just to put that into perspective, in the late 800’s the earliest known Chinese book was printed, the Maya mysteriously abandoned their great city Teotihuacan, and Alfred the Great was throned as the very first king of a united England (nothing like repelling a horde of  invading Vikings to bring people together.  Ragnar, Ivarr, Halfdan and all you berserker guys:  thanks. We owe you big time).
Prague was the home of the kings of Bohemia proper, and at times,  the capital of the Holy Roman Empire as well… read all about it on Prague’s own excellent and official website!
Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Prague Castle through rain- drenched glass

Prague Castle through rain- drenched glass

The Dawning of a New Day
The tides of human fortune are ever fickle;  despite the heady days of yore,  the Czech Republic has been right through the wringer along with the rest of Europe during the 20th Century.  Wars, military occupation, and political turmoil have formed the fiery crucible from which the modern Czech Republic has emerged.  Just 20 years ago, on January 1st, 1993 a new Czech Republic was born. Like the Spring sun melting off the last of the winter snows and thawing the frozen ground, the past 20 years have seen a renewed warmth, openness, and optimism growing and taking root in the land.
Chapel at Prague Castle

Chapel at Prague Castle

Church Membership
There are currently just over 2300 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Czech Republic, meeting in 13 congregations in different parts of the country. (For more facts and stats, czech out this link: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics/country/czech-republic/).  This represents phenomenal growth, considering that in 1990 there were fewer than 300 members of the Church there! While these hardy and courageous members of the Church are still very much in the minority compared to their friends of other Christian faiths, there is a true flowering of faith taking place in the blessed land of the Czech Republic, and Sestra Jones and her fellow missionaries are honoured to serve the people of the Czech and Slovak Republics.
Drop a Line, Post a Parcel
Sestra Jones is available via email; just message this blog or her Facebook page, and her family will pass the message on to her (private messages sent to this blog will not be published! Just make sure you say at the beginning that it is a private message for Sestra Jones).
If you’d like to drop her a few lines the old-fashioned way and post a letter, you must send it to her mission president in Prague, and he will see that she gets it, wherever she happens to be at the time! It’s really important that the envelope is addressed with the name of the Church on the first line, and “Sestra Jones” on the next line. If you put Sestra Jones’ name on the first line, those delivering the letter are under legal obligation to deliver it to none other than her. It is highly unlikely that Sestra Jones will be at the Mission office in Prague at the particular moment when a letter arrives addressed to her!  You can’t go wrong if you just print the address out like this:
Cobbled streets and lofty spires in Prague

Cobbled streets and lofty spires in Prague

Církev Ježíše Krista
Sestra Jones
Badeního 1
Prague 6 160 00
Czech Republic
Now, that address is for letters only. For packages and parcels, the address is slightly different. Just message this blog with a request for more information, and we will be happy to walk you through the process.
Address information will be re-posted in November, in case there are those who wish to send a Christmas card. Na shledanou for now!
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