3 Apr 2013
Hello! Writing on a Slovak keyboard for the first time, so please excuse any typos. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to write since leaving Utah last week. The Monday after Easter is a holiday here, and all the internet cafes were shut. Tuesday, we were too busy teaching people to squeeze it in. But our mission president encouraged us to make it a priority today, at least to let our families know we are still alive! 😉
Yes, my MTC district and I all made it safely across the Atlantic to Prague after over 24 weary hours on the road, in the air, or being processed through airports. We were a bit travel worn, but spirits were high and we were warmly welcomed by the lovely President and Sister Irwin. No sooner did we set our bags down in the mission home entryway than we learned that we would be travelling to Bratislava that night. We were promptly introduced to our fine companions and whisked away to the metro and a four hour coach ride (no worries – Slovak coaches serve complimentary hot chocolate!).
No such luxuries when my companion and I took the train from Bratislava to our assigned area; we couldn’t find a place to sit with all our luggage, so we stood for the 3 hour journey with not even a wee dram of complimentary tap water to cheer us. 🙂
I have been assigned to Z – a little city in the northwest where our good friend Natalia’s family lives (Natalia was the volunteer who helped us with our language study in the MTC). I love it already – its most impressive (and not a little intimidating) feature is the gorgeous twin-spired kostel (small cathedral) which towers over the main square. Ironically, just beside it is TESCOs. We have 21 members out most Sundays, and meet in a little 3-room office block just off the Námestie (town square). Only about 10 of them actually came for Easter (most either ill or away), so I´m excited to meet the rest of them this week. Starsi Cl (one of our two Elders here) is currently serving as Branch President.
We have a lovely little apartment on the fourth floor of a poňelok (like Swedish apartment buildings) not far from the chapel – when I first opened the door I thought I´d walked into IKEA. 🙂
My companion is Sestra Py from Salt Lake City (although her parents are from the Czech Republic). She is lovely, and doing a brilliant job of training me in the art of missionary service. She was in Bratislava last transfer, so neither of us knew anything about Z or the members here before we arrived. We´re both still learning to speak slovak, but thankfully we know enough to get by – I understand most people as long as they don´t speak too fast, I get the gist at least, although I´m rubbish at reading signs and labels and filling out forms. We ´talk to dozens of people every day and have taught a few lessons, but are still building our investigator pool (no were no current investigators left over from last transfer). We’re working hard and keeping the faith! Need lots of prayers so please send them our way! 🙂
I know this is Jesus Christ’s restored church on the earth, that the book of Mormon is true, and that when we give ourselves over to the building of the Lord´s kingdom that despite all our weaknesses He will work miracles through us.
Love you all, sorry I didn´t have more time! S laskou, Sestra Jones