South of the Dunaj

10 February 2014

Ahojte!

Bratislava is FANTASTIC! The branch here is the largest I’ve seen so far, with FAMILIES at church! 😀 For starters, Prezident B and his wife are practically superhuman with rock-solid testimonies, and have a fine family. The Ruz family are a couple from Russia with 3 angelic young children. The Val family have a special place in my heart; they have 5 children (one boy fostered, a pair of twins, all VERY energetic). Both Brat and Sestra Val served full-time missions in the UK (Brat in Aberystwyth! Cymru am byth! *That’s Welsh for “Wales forever”). Brat S is great: he’s in his 20’s, comes from Latvia, and is a super talented musician.

Sestra Seni and I both feel that our service this transfer is for the members of the Branch: while still aiming for Prezident McConkie’s vision of at least one baptism each transfer, we are also feeling focused on building a strong, happy Branch with active members sharing the load and ready to welcome more into the family.

I’ve already had some experiences which help me to know I’m in the right place: T was being taught in English, but during our most recent meeting with him I spoke to him only in Slovak, and at the end he said he now understands nuances that hadn’t been clear to him before about the Book of Mormon and its role.

Our District is well-balanced, and we’re all going to be great friends. Elder Roos is the new Elder (another missionary from the UK! Small world!). He’s Filipino/Dutch and hails from London. 🙂 Elder Lam was inspired to divide up the city amongst the four companionships for contacting and tracting purposes. We sisters were assigned Petrzalka (basically everything south of the Dunaj), and we’ve spent some time finding buses and scoping out good routes. We feel it’s a perfect fit for us, and Sestra Seni kept saying: “We’ve crossed the bridge!”

"And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness..." Moses 7:18 The Bratislava District chow down as one.

“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind…” Moses 7:18
The Bratislava District chow down as one.

Our goal is to find at least one family there and end the transfer with strong, active members and a handful of baptismal dates to take the final step next transfer. Follow-up training is a privilege. Sestra Seni is ever patient and optimistic. She said to me on Tuesday after a taxing day of contacting: “I’ve never participated this much in contacts before. Thank you so much!” It was a moment in which the Lord let me know that He’s helped me grow and change over the course of my mission. I hope I can stay sensitive to her needs, and apply everything I’ve learned through all my experiences so far.

I’m also currently acting as District Language Study Co-Ordinator. I’m still trying to learn how to effectively share my talent for speaking Slovak. Just because I am able to speak and understand fairly well myself, doesn’t mean I can easily teach grammar to another missionary.  🙂 This will be another great opportunity to stretch myself a bit, and hopefully gain new understanding and skills.

Love you all so much, Sestra Jones

 

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2 thoughts on “South of the Dunaj

  1. Thank you so much for leaving a comment on Elder Brown’s blog! You totally, completely made my day. I sent your message on to him and he will be so happy to read it next p-day. I LOVE this blog. I’ve had a fantastic time reading through and looking at pictures. I noticed in this picture, the Elder at the very far end of the table was with my boy in the MTC! I love how small the world becomes through the gospel. It looks like Sister Jones will be home this summer. She’ll have to look up the Slovak branch in Sheffield and meet the people there. I’m sure they would love to talk with her. 🙂 I love being a part of the missionary program through these awesome young people who are valiant and true. I love the happiness that Sis. Jones radiates. Here’s to the gospel that binds us all together!

  2. Amen! 🙂 One of the great blessings we have experienced as a result of Sestra Jones’ missionary service has been a rich increase of good people in our lives. Almost effortlessly, we have become enriched and strengthened by the faith, service, and love of her companions and their families, the Slovak Church members, her Mission President, investigators, and fellow missionaries all around the world. It brings a special thrill of joy. Your lovely message is yet another example, thank you so much!

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