“Improve the shining moments; don’t let them pass you by…” Hymns 226
20 May 2013
I can hardly believe it: the final week before Transfers has arrived! It feels like it’s here way too soon! It’s been a rough ride at times, but looking back I’ve learned so much and we’ve been blessed to work with so many good people. It’s not over yet though, and I’m determined this last week will be the best yet!
We took a little výlet (outing) to a castle in Považská Bystrica today. We had a gorgeous day. The weather was sunny and bright, and we treated ourselves to Speculose (cinnamon/honey) ice cream – it was to die for!
Most of our week was fairly typical, apart from an unusual number of investigators cancelling meetings: the hockey championships and exams are ruining our work! 😉
Ice Hockey is HUGE in Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, too. The National Hockey League in the US and Canada is full of very talented Slovak players. The Slovak team often does quite well in the World Championships – last year they just missed taking the title, and placed 2nd. As one sister missionary serving in the Czech Republic recently observed, the evidence of hockey’s popularity is all around; how else can you explain the phenomenon of finding six men missing their 2 front teeth in a branch of only 50 members? Ice Hockey, you’ve got a lot to answer for!
We did have a very special experience on Saturday, teaching a lady named J. We found her name in the list of Potential Investigators – she had been contacted by missionaries in 2011 but a meeting had never worked out. No sooner did we sit down than she pled with us to answer the question in her heart: “17 years ago, I found my 8-month-old daughter dead in her crib. For 17 years I’ve been searching: I’ve met with Catholics, Evangelicals, Buddhists, Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, mediums – the lot. None have been able to help me. Where is my daughter?”
My heart went out to this woman: she had carried so much pain for so long. A sweet spirit filled the room as we testified that her daughter still lived, that God loved them, and that they would be reunited after this life. We opened the Book of Mormon and began teaching her the Plan of Salvation. She said repeatedly: “Yes, that sits right, it feels right.” It was a sacred experience to share with her that Heavenly Father is aware of her, that all things have a purpose, and that healing comes through the Saviour’s Atonement. She is still facing many emotional and physical challenges, but she agreed to come to church when her health permits, and to meet again.
This Sunday I gave my first sacrament meeting talk (in Slovak), about charity. I had forgotten about it until Friday night (Ooooops), so I felt very poorly prepared, but Sestra Py and the members of the Branch were all very supportive and encouraging and I’m so grateful that I was given that opportunity. We were blessed to have one of our investigators present at sacrament meeting, and I hope she felt the Spirit testify to her heart about the things she heard there.
There is so much to look forward to this coming week! A wonderful young lady that the Elders have been teaching will be baptised, and come Saturday we find out about Transfers. (Insert nervous and excited girly squeal here! The suspense is almost tangible!). It’s been such a wonderful first transfer. I pray that I’ll be ready for whatever next transfer brings, but I trust that no matter what the Lord is in charge.
Until then, you’re in my prayers, and I thank you so much for your support. I know that this is Jesus Christ’s church restored to the earth. When we give our all to do the Lord’s will, to love Him and others, the great plan of happiness is brought to pass and we find true joy.
I love you all so much!