07 April 2014
It was 22:10 on Saturday night and we still hadn’t received a transfer call. So Sestra Seni and I safely assumed we were a low-priority call and would both be staying happily put together. I’ve never felt more indifferent about a transfer call. And yet here I am emailing you from Žilina, back where it all started a year ago! Can you guess why?
I won’t keep you in suspense any longer – here’s my fabulous transfer news: I’m training a new Sister in Bratislava! 😀 It’s such an honour, responsibility, and joy to be counted worthy and ready to help Sestra W begin her service in the field. I know nothing about her except that she is the only Slovak missionary arriving this transfer. I have a firm testimony that the Lord hand-picks His trainers, so I’m already convinced that we’ll get along swimmingly and that there’s something sacred and important Heavenly Father wants Sestra W and me to learn from each other. I’m spending the day and night here in Žilina (Elder Chri’n is transferring here from Košice today: this calls for a singing display!) before heading to Prague solo tomorrow morning. We’ll be trained on how to train, spend the night, maybe catch a glimpse of the departing missionaries (Sestra Bar!), then off we go back to our areas on Wednesday afternoon. The only thing Prezident said is “I want you to FILL your Schedule: back-to-back lessons on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday so Sestra W won’t even be able to keep her eyes open at church on Sunday. Help her learn quickly that we are a hard-working, exactly obedient mission.” Aye aye, Captain!
As for the rest of our District, Elder Fe’l is three times the legend now! He is staying in Bratislava to be the new Zone Leader! (Mwahaha, he can’t escape me! By the end of this transfer we will have served in the same District for a whopping 10 months). This is really kind of unusual, because Slovak Zone Leaders within living memory have always been in Zvolen – or at the most split between Zvolen and Banská Bystrica.
And to further thicken the plot, who should be joining Elder Fe’l as Zone Leader but Elder Boy from England (who is a Czech-speaking missionary, and former Assistant to the President)! Who saw that one coming? Good old Elder Bar is also entering the Czech/Slovak Mission history books: he is spending his final transfer in Prague as an Assistant to Prezident McConkie! Only 3 other legendary Slovak missionaries have served in that capacity before him. 🙂 It’s a fun mix and I can’t wait to get back to work with setting Bratislava afire with the Gospel flame! Plus, the Trenčín Sestry are now the Sister Trainer Leaders of Slovakia! At last, the momentous day has come! 😀
So much in the mission is changing, but it’s exciting. Sestra Seni is taking Sestra Bar’s place in Košice. She’s excited and will take the city by storm, but cried herself to sleep after the transfer call. I feel that I’m richly blessed to have served with Sestra Seni; she has developed true charity and is good at showing people that she loves them. We became good friends, and I’ll miss her a lot.
Our last week was good, and we saw many little miracles. By Sunday night we felt that we’d literally taught the best lessons of the transfer and possibly of our missions: working in unity with each other and the Spirit, helping our investigators build their resolve to keep commitments and follow Christ. Pani S (the lady we tracted into) is so prepared! She read up to Mosiah in a week and a half and took so many notes, had questions. It will take her some time to comprehend the breadth and depth of our message, but we are honoured to be teaching her (she told us what a difference we’ve making in her life). What we’re in sore need of currently is New Investigators! It seems the Lord wants Sestra W to gain confidence in contacting her first week, because we’re going to have to do a lot of that. 🙂 I want to improve my ability to request referrals in lessons – I always forget!
The Easter concert was fantastic – my highlight of the week! I wrote and translated the entire script (scripture reading and commentary between musical items to teach the “why” behind the Easter story) and sweated my way through some light piano accompaniment too, so definitely underwent some stress in order for it to come together. Not as well-attended by members of the public as we’d hoped, but the Branch member participation was
priceless and it was a very spiritual experience for all. Plus one of the Potential investigators we’d texted randomly showed up and wants to meet this week, so it was a definite success. I’m grateful the Lord can use the talents He’s given me to bless the lives of others. 😀
We went to see a children’s opera last week: “A Doctor’s Fairytale”. It was great fun (not at all what we expected: it was a quirky story with weird costumes, but nothing inappropriate and some fun audience participation). The Elders wanted to take a hike in the woods, which we topped off by eating 194 meters off the ground, at a restaurant on top of a television tower.
We had some very special member-moments this week. We had a meeting with Prezident B at his home, and I suddenly missed the daily family dinners and prayers of my own home very much. :). Most importantly S, a less- active member we’ve been working with a lot, came to church!!! Oh happy day, he really did it. He felt so good, you could just see it in his face.
I haven’t watched any of Conference yet: we’ll view it as a branch this weekend in Slovak (although I’ll probably opt for the English broadcast if available; it’s hard to keep up with heavy, formal language like that).
I’m praying the Lord will qualify me for the work. I know that as long as I am spiritual and consecrated in carrying out His vision for our area, miracles will happen. Our success is only limited by our enthusiasm! “God has not ceased to be a God of miracles” (Mormon 9:15)
All my love,