Monday, July 17, 2017

The Miracle of a Mission

It is a very surreal feeling that is the last email that I will send as a missionary. I have learned so very much, and have gained so many experiences. We had the opportunity this week to go to Karlstejn, a castle outside of Prague, and close to Karlstejn is a place called Priests Hill where over 80 years ago the Czech/Slovak Mission was dedicated. We began by singing my favorite hymn: The Spirit of God. The words of the 2nd verse have stuck out to me:

2. The Lord is extending the Saints’ understanding,
Restoring their judges and all as at first.
The knowledge and power of God are expanding;
The veil o’er the earth is beginning to burst.

There are miracles of a mission when we see others come unto Christ through baptism which is incredible and can never be forgotten, but the greatest miracle of a mission is the one of your own personal conversion. As that verse states, I have felt my understanding extend, the knowledge and power of God come forth as his servant, and ultimately my connection and relationship with God become closer than ever before. Almost as if the "veil beings to burst".

Over the last two years I have felt so much joy, accompanied by times of sorrow. I have seen testimonies strengthened, and others lose their testimony. I can leave saying that I have no regrets. I can leave saying I strived for 100% obedience from day 1 to the final day. I worked hard, and gave it my all. I am very grateful for that.  I have witnessed the creation of a stake of Zion and its growth, but ultimately I have seen the solidification of my testimony of these eternal truths:

I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father that knows us, cares for us, and loves more than we can even imagine. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and through his redeeming grace we are saved after all that we can do. I know that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's restored church here on earth. Restored by a prophet of God, Joseph Smith, and is led today by a living day Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I know that ultimately our relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is the only way to help us to find joy wherever we may be in our lives.

S Láskou,

Starší Belshe


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bring on the Heat

Bring on the Heat

It has been quite a hot week. It has been so hot some days you come home and take another shower because you get really sweaty. I am ok with it though, at least I know that I am working hard :)

As for news this week we had a fun p-day of bowling in Mlada Boleslav with the Sisters, our recent convert, Otakar, and the sisters investigator Michal. The bowling alley was pretty old, kind of sketchy, each of the bowling pins was held to the top with a string and then there was a crane and pulley on the inside that would pull it back into place. Elder Murley destroyed us all, but it was fun to be able to be with all of them.

Tuesday, we did some more home teaching with Brother Tmej and had the rest of the day out on the street finding! We had one conversation with a guy who had met with missionaries many years ago which was good, and he said he might come to church in 2 weeks. We also have been helping a less active named Honza who has been building his home from the ground up, and we put insulation on the house. He is doing really well, and has been to church for 5 weeks straight. We had our last district meeting this week, and we did it as a Jesus Seminar where we talked about Christ and his example and teachings in the areas of the atonement, discipleship, prayer, and miracles. It was very spiritual, and a great way to prepare us for conference in Karlštejn this upcoming week.

Sorry that I have been slacking on the spiritual thoughts in my emails, I would like to share one of my favorite verses about Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 53:3-5
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. ¨Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Even after 2 years of study in the scriptures, these verses still remain my favorite scriptures. It emphasizes the reality of the atonement. From the word choice we can understand how much Isaiah was grateful for the Saviors atonement,<script id="gpt-impl-0.7418685625512463" src=""></script> and that it was revealed to him the reality of the peace that we can feel thanks to this ultimate gift our Heavenly Father has provided for us. How grateful I am for a knowledge of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and that it is the way of which I have been healed. He is our Savior and Redeemer! He lives!

Have a great week!


Elder Belshe

Pictures: My failed selfie at Sister Jirkus house, our service project with Honza, and the biker crew that came to Jičin.

Monday, July 3, 2017

More Miracles, More Opposition

It has been a rollercoaster of a week for us, we started out with visa work for Elder Murley on Tuesday in Prague. The only reason I brought that up is because I ate a Subway sandwich" :D It has been a while since I have had an Italian BMT. But to the more important, and spiritual aspects of the week. 

Best Home Teaching Visit of all time. We went with Brother Tmej, he needed a companion, to go visit a less active who he is home teaching. We taught about the power of Christ and shared "Because of Him" video, but we then started talking to one of the people that his sister takes care of about his smoking in the house. We encouraged him to not smoke in the house, and he said "Alright, on one condition, you beat me in an arm wrestle"…now this guy is pretty big guy, but we figured if we did win, that he really would stop smoking inside of the house. So Brother Tmej starts to arm wrestle him, and it may have been the most intense arm wrestle I have ever seen. It ended in a draw, but because of how well Brother Tmej fared against him he agreed to try it for a week. 

We also had a meeting with a less active woman and her family. They are incredible, and have three kids that really are dedicated to the gospel. They have been coming weekly to the U-nites that we have been holding at the Martincovi, and have chosen a baptismal date for the 15th of July. They came a little late to church, but it was the second week in a row that they have made it. They are facing a little of bit of a trial with one son, that had recently been in an accident and had a surgery. The surgery went well, but the cut that he had, opened up again and he had to go back to the hospital. We are praying fervently for them that he will heal quickly. We are so excited for them, and are hoping that their baptism will be a catalyst for their family in coming regularly to church for now on. 

It has been overall a good week, even though we had one very solid investigating family drop this week due to some family opposition. I don’t want to go into detail about the situation, but it was very hard, and an even harder choice for this family to decide not to continue because of this opposition that they faced. 

The gospel is true, and it blesses lives! Have a great week!

Elder Belshe 

So these are pictures of me playing the cello on the town square! :D, Elder Murley and I and our evening chess games, and one of the greatest Czech delicacies...smažený sýr.(fried cheese)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Opposition in All Things

This week all of the good stuff happened at the end of the week! So I will skip to that. Wednesday night to Thursday I had an exchange with Elder Pickett! :D I love Elder Pickett! He is a great example of love and diligence in missionary work, and I am very grateful for the friendship that we have been able to develop as we served around each other (he has followed me around his entire mission ;)). We taught a less active member that lives in the nearby city of Nova Paka, and she LOVES music so we have started a really good relationship with her which I am excited for. We have a new investigator named Kamil, a guy that finds it very difficult to believe in God since he is an engineer. It was very interesting teaching him, and we are excited for the other meetings that we will have. Friday, President came to District meeting and helped us in strengthening our contacting skills. Both of the scenarios we practiced were used the following day! Practicing as a missionary is important! It was also nice to have a short interview with him before I have my final interview with him in a few weeks.

Church this week was VERY interesting, unfortunately, a investigators father came and decided that he did not like that his son had decided to get baptized in our church. So, he came and in every moment he could, tried to counter any of the doctrine taught at church. He was almost asked to leave, but thankfully, he left on good terms. It reminded me of the scripture in the Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2:11 "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility." With any opposition that comes, a great blessing follows. Our district is very excited for the upcoming blessing :)

Have a great week!

Elder Belshe

Pictures at Prachovske Skaly (The Prachov Rocks are a rock formation in the Czech Republic approximately 5 kilometres west of Jičín, and are a protected natural reserve since 1933)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Last Zone Conference

This week was terrific! It started out on Tuesday with my last (official) zone conference before we have the mission dedication conference in July. President Pohorelicky spoke and inspired us as he talked about faith. It was quite incredible! I learned a lot, and it helped me realize the true power that comes from faith. The mission has had some real booming weeks in the last few weeks. The push during the conference was that of having faith for our goal of 100 baptisms in the year. We are currently at 20. It was really quite nice to just sit and listen to the training, and not have anything to prepare this time. I really enjoyed what the spirit taught me.

The rest of the week we spent helping Otakar, finding new investigators, and trying to help out the new bishopric. Mostly, we are helping Brother Tmej, the ward mission leader at his house to finish building a patio before he has his family reunion next week and the preparations for their departure to England in August. We are currently working with another woman whose name is Vlaďka. She is great! She has taken the first few discussions. She has a hard time with coming to church, but we feel that she is prepared and open and has a great understanding of the spirit. We are excited also for her progress!

Overall good week, and we are excited for this upcoming week. Interviews with President, and an exchange with the zone leaders (Elder Pickett and Elder Beazer, both are studs, love them both! :) )

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Belshe 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Baptism, New Bishopric, and Smoke Alarms

We had a miraculous week this week! Here are the stories I want to share:

1. The smoke alarm. Wednesday we had District Meeting in Jicin, and the Sisters called that morning telling us that their smoke alarm had been going off for no apparent reason. No fire, just maybe someone smoking in the floor below them, but once they turned it off the first time, it came back and sounded again. Every 9 minutes it would go off. So they brought it to Jicin and we tried to turn it off...but we also could not figure it out. So our solution?...wrap it in toilet paper, under a blanket, in a box, under the bed in our apartment Then the next day, the Scotts, (the office couple), came and brought them a new one.

2. Otakars baptism. Otakar is awesome! He was baptized this weekend, in a river just a little bit outside of Mlada Boleslav, and there was lots of member support and it was a great experience! In bearing his testimony in the end he said the joy and peace he felt as he was baptized was incredible. I played the cello for the special musical number. A member recorded it, I will get it and send it to you next week. Such an awesome day! The following day, a new bishopric was called, and a new member of the bishopric was able to confirm Otakar a member of the church.

Otakar was baptized in the river where he had a very spiritual experience even before he met the missionaries. He had a very strong spiritual impression to jump into the river, an impression that he had never felt so strongly before. So he jumped and then noticed a small kid drowning in the river, but he could not see very well because the water was dirty. He said a quick prayer, and was able to grab the boy and bring him out of the water saving his life. It was then that he knew there was a higher power. Soon after that, he met the sister missionaries in Mlada Boleslav. After a year on and off with the missionaries, he really changed his life and was baptized. A wonderful weekend!

Other than that it has been a pretty normal week! We are excited for an inactive family that we will be teaching. They have several kids that have not been baptized, and after a tragic experience they realized they need the gospel back in their lives. It has been wonderful to meet with them and remind them of the joy of the plan of salvation.

Have a great week!

Elder Belshe

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Inspirational Nights

So, I hope I gave a good description of this before, but if not I will do it again. In the book, Power of Everyday Missionaries, there is a section that talks about "U-nites". When I was an assistant, we worked closely with President Pohorelicky, and a family in the Prague ward to start having “inspirational nights”. We had two baptisms just months after it started, and now my main focus has been to help start these evenings here and get them rolling and productive like we were had in Prague. After our second week, a member family has invited two Ukrainian men to come to church this week, an inactive part member family came that we are meeting with next week, and some of our investigators through our personal finding have really started to find some friendships. One of the Ukrainians, is a very solid evangelic believer, and he gave his testimony of Christ at the stand. Probably the best testimony of the meeting. He needs to be taught some more things, but they both have great potential.

Otakar is a boss. He is doing great. We are really excited for his baptism this week. He passed his baptismal interview, and had a really good discussion with the Czech Sealer (who lives in our ward) about enduring to the end. We are really excited for him!

Things are going well. This week, I’m giving a talk about member missionary work, and the plan is for two new families to be at church along with Otakars confirmation. We have been praying and have fasted for a miraculous turning point for the branch.

Have a great week!

Elder Belshe

1. Me standing next to Sister Jirku, she is pretty hilarious.
2. Pictures from our hike that we went on today, way pretty.
3. Fancy socks playing squash
4. Romantic dinner with our ward mission leader, Brother Tmej at the sunset...haha he is awesome!