Snowflakes and Sunshine

Pounding the snowy streets during the Eatster blizzard. I am the sister in the dark jacket, with a white hat and red scarf ;) Sestra Py on the right, Sestra J on the left

Pounding the snowy streets during the Eatster blizzard. I am the sister in the dark jacket, with a white hat and red scarf 😉
Sestra Py on the right, Sestra J on the left

8 Apr 2013

It’s *P Day again, and what a glorious day it is! I forgot to tell you last week, but on Easter Sunday we had a huge blizzard. We’d been out tracting all afternoon and came home looking like snowmen: sopping wet and literally plastered with snow from head to foot. It provided a trial by fire (or in this case, ice) for my winter gear. My boots and coat have proven themselves to be waterproof and snuggly warm, so I have no fears of being caught off guard by any more freaky, frosty weather. 🙂 *P-Day is mission speak for “Preparation Day”, the day of the week set aside to prepare for the coming week and take care of housework, errands, and personal business such as writing home.

There is sunshine in our souls today...

There is sunshine in our souls today…

Now the Easter snow has finally melted, and we’re enjoying brilliant sunshine! It’s almost a shame though: suddenly the namesti (town squares) are heaving with people (all the better for contacting, my dear), but our entire afternoon will be spent cooped up on a train to Prague for my new missionary training tomorrow.

I’ve finally had a taste of Slovak food this week: the S family had us over for dinner last night, and treated us to Halus’ka (ham and potatoes with sheep cheese), Kofola (like a sweeter version of Swedish Christmas soda,  julmust ), and kolac” (buns with apricot jam). Yummy! 🙂 Also, one of our investigators has agreed to a baptismal date in May. Yay! Continuing to work hard and build the Lord’s kingdom here.

Bread with a side of Books
Svic’kova is a delicious Czech dish (bread with meat and root veg sauce and jam). I squeeze in a bit of study over meal times most days – gotta stay on top of that slovak!

We didn’t watch General Conference over the weekend, but I can’t wait to do so! We’ll watch it next weekend (with an additional English showing for missionaries) over a branch potluck lunch. However, I’ve heard that Utah’s getting yet another temple and that we have a new YW Presidency. Also, our branch mission leader Pet’o  (he served in the Manchester Mission last year and knows Elders Smith and Tautua!) gave us a print-out from Deseret news: a new leadership position is being created for sister missionaries! What used to be Zone Council for Elder leaders only will now be a committee of both Elders and Sisters serving in the area. That’s monumental! =)

Our faithful Branch President, Starsi Cl of Florida; a man without guile,
Brother Pet’o our awesome Branch Mission Leader,
and Starsi U of Oregon, who speaks wonderful Slovak, and sings like a manly angel

It’s brilliant to be involved in such a variety of service opportunities every week: we teach a free English class at the chapel every Thursday and have a community game night every Saturday. It’s so much fun and brings a special Spirit into our group when we’re focused on just helping other people to be happy. Reminds me of that famous quote that President Uchtdorf cited recently: “Teach the gospel at all times, and if necessary use words”. Sometimes example is all it takes.

However, I’ve learned this week that in most missionary situations we cannot afford to be so passive. We are instructed in the Doctrine and Covenants to raise our voices “like unto a trump” in declaring the gospel. Some days it’s tempting to be scared: I’m in a foreign country, talking to strangers about angels and gold plates when I can barely speak the language. But when I stop to remember the atonement that our Saviour carried out so that EACH ONE of God’s precious children could be forgiven and be happy, I know that I can’t hide and that I can’t doubt. The Lord is with us – what more do we want? As I’ve tried to step up to the plate this week and support my companion’s testimony in every tract or contact – even when the person we’re talking to doesn’t have time or thinks we’re crazy or accuses us of heresy – we’ve seen hearts soften and the Spirit is there. Walking away from a contact like that, even if they still say “no thanks”, at least we can answer with a clean conscience that we did our best to invite them to come unto Christ. And that maybe, just maybe, they’ll remember that feeling and want to know what it is. Testimony of two witnesses… I’d never realised before what a powerful thing it can be.

Well, this probably sounds funny, but I have not a clue what else to write about! So much happens every day, but some of it is personal to our members or investigators, and the rest just feels like normal routine by now. Please ask me lots of questions, so I can get ideas for what to write!

Must dash now, but I love you all  – you’re in my heart and prayers daily.

Oodles of love,

Sestra Jones x

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