29 April 2013
This past week has been a busy one, with some big meetings and a fair bit of travelling: on Friday we left early to take a bus to Brno in the Czech Republic for Zone Conference, a meeting where we receive training from President and Sister Irwin. Yesterday (Sunday) was a District Conference (that’s like Stake Conference, except we don”t yet have a stake anywhere in the mission, so it’s called District Conference). All the members of the Church from Slovakia and Moravia (a region of the Czech Republic) were gathered together for that.
The landscape here is gorgeous! I tried to take some pictures of the scenery through the bus window on our way to Brno, but my photos don’t do it any justice. The countryside is all green and growing, and even the trees on the high street are covered in blossoms. Vel’mi krasny (very beautiful). =)
Brno was amazing! It would have been too far to travel home on Friday only to return again on Sunday, so we made a weekend of it, and stayed in touch with our investigators back in Slovakia by phone. Friday Zone Conference was inspiring , even though part of it was watching a depressing documentary about the Nazi occupation of Prague and the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. The film had a missionary message, but it was just really sad to think of the suffering that occurred. That night we held a singing display – my first! Basically it’s enhanced street contacting – a group of missionaries stand in the square singing hymns, while other missionaries go out and talk with people. I gave it a go, and for the first time contacted not only by myself, but in Czech! I didn’t find anyone interested in setting up lessons, but I was able to share some pass-along cards, and hopefully sowed some seeds. We had 16 missionaries together (not counting senior couples) on Saturday for a sports day with investigators. Satuday we also had more singing displays, and “Polar Bear”. Polar Bear is what we call it here, when a group of missionaries gets together for language study (I have no idea why…neither does anyone else I’ve asked! Just a funny tradition, I guess). Our language study was in Czech this time, so it kind of confused me, but was good anyway. 😉
It was President and Sister Irwin’s last ever Disctrict Conference here, as they’ll be released in June (noooo!), so it was a bittersweet but spiritually uplifting event. And we saw Sestra Py’s family’s friend Renata. Did I tell you she speaks Swedish? It was so fun to put my Swedish to good use 🙂
By the way, I finally met the infamous Starsi L (nephew of our High Councilor John L back home)! He speaks really well, and has tons of energy. There are quite a few other British missionaries here, although I’m the only sister. One really nice aspect of gathering for these meetings is getting to know such wonderful people! Sestra Py and I stayed over Saturday and Sunday nights with the Brno sisters: Sestra W (from Missouri, super fun, plays violin) and Sestra Gr (from Alaska, really sweet, has taught English in Ukraine and China). It’s lovely to make friends!
“Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.”
Karen Lynn Davidson
The temperature here is steadily rising now, and every morning I have to slather myself in SPF 50 suncream to keep from scalding, but I’m happy, we’re busy, and life is good!
Love you all so much. Until next week! <3, Sestra Jones