15 April 2013
I’m afraid I have even less time for writing this week than I did last week! We’re cutting our P Day short to take a train to Martin. And I forgot to bring along both the letters I was going to respond to, and my camera cable, so individual responses and photographic illustrations will have to wait until next time!
Family, when I was at the mission office last week, I got the parcel and the macaroon recipe you sent! Thank you! How did you know we had 500g of coconut sitting around in our cupboard? Tried mixing choc cereal in macaroons – great!
Editor’s note: You can try the recipe for yourself, by following the link here. These delicious coconut macaroons are so easy to make, and are gluten free (unless you add chocolate cereal!).
Training was brilliant! I’ve still hardly seen any of Prague (again, whisked straight in and out), but it was so good to see our MTC group reunited – however briefly – and hear of the success we are already achieving.
We have a new senior missionary couple in the branch! Elder and Sister Wr from Idaho Falls. They’re lovely and settling in so well despite the language barrier and a rather traumatic arrival. Sister Wr broke her foot just before leaving the States, and when they arrived they found out the apartment had no oven. So then the Elders took them out for a meal and accidentally ordered cow stomach for them, poor things! And yet they are still chipper and eager to help in every way they can. It is so nice to have the Wr here; they are marvellous – they’re doing just fine and even taught in Slovak with us today, which was fab!
Our next transfer looks interesting (“transfer” refers to a specific day planned for moving missionaries from one assignment to another within the mission. Most missions have a transfer day every month or two): we have 4 Slovak sisters coming in next transfer – fresh from the MTC. The problem is that we only have 4 Sisters currently serving in the country (that’s Sestra B and her companion, plus us). When I asked President Irwin how he would train all these new sisters, he told me: “Well, let’s just say that sooner or later you and Sister B will be the senior sister missionaries in Slovakia. Just how soon remains to be seen, but start preparing now. No pressure, but PRESSURE, okay?”. I take comfort in knowing that it’s all in the Lords hands, and He obviously knows what He’s doing. =)
I just hope our Slovak will be good enough for us to get by if I end up training a new missionary next transfer (meaning she would simultaneously have to follow-up train me)! As for the language, I’m slowly improving as I listen and do my best to express myself every day. One of our investigators recently said: “Sister Jones, you may be quiet but I can tell you know it’s true and that it’s changed you: it shows in your smile – you’re just glowing.” That meant so much to me! I’m grateful that despite my weaknesses and limited vocabulary, I can be an instrument in the Lord’s hands. Even as a new missionary, it is so good to be able to contribute however much I can.
Just by working closely with Sestra Py and interacting with the Church members here this week, I feel that I’m already learning great lessons about loyalty, optimism, and courage (among others). Some days I’m scared stiff to start contacts, but I’m finding that if I have a smile on my face and love in my heart, it doesn’t matter the scowls that greet me or the rejection I encounter. Besides, for all those who turn us away, it’s worth it when we find those who stop to listen. I’m already convinced that there are no coincidences in this work: time after time we approach one person in a crowd and they turn out to be previous investigators. (Besides the delight and fun of meeting fellow French- and Norwegian- speakers).
I loved General Conference – and one of our investigators came! I particularly appreciated President Monson and Elder Perry’s talks: I’m slowly learning that only absolute obedience can call down the powers of heaven in this work. It was lovely to be gathered as a branch in sustaining the Lord’s prophets and apostles. As we’ve been able to spend time with the members of the Church here, they’re each becoming precious friends and fellow-labourers.
Samo (a Church member) had volunteered to teach with us the other day, but the investigator never came and we were all so disappointed and felt awful that Samo had rushed over just to be there. Feeling foolish but trying to lighten the mood, I asked Samo for a referral: “Who do you know that needs our message?”. The next day, he called us up and invited us to meet one of his friends. We met in the park and chatted for a bit – Samo was the happiest I’ve ever seen him, and his friend seemed pleased to meet us as well. Samo came up and thanked us at Conference. He said: “It was your question that got me thinking, Sister Jones. Thank you.” I laughingly responded: “Who else do you know?” As the number of people to look after and pray for slowly grows, somehow so does my love for them and our desire and capacity to help.
I know that this is the Lord’s sacred work for the salvation of His children, and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.
Love you all to bits!
Smiles across the miles,