Monday, August 31, 2015

The Beautiful City Square of České Budějovice

A Czech Specialty - Dumplings and Meat Sauce (svečkova)

Conrad's New Digs - A View of the Kitchen

Conrad is assigned to his first area - České Budějovice

České Budějovice

Conrad Has A New Companion - Elder Needham

Week 1 in the Field - "Czech Republic is Awesome"

Prague Walk with Pres. McConkie - St. Vitus Cathedral

Prague Walk with Pres. McConkie - Astronomical Clock

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Conrad Bearing His Testimony in Czech

Conrad with the Elders and Sisters from his MTC District as well as President and Sister McConkie

Conrad with President and Sister McConkie

Letter From President McConkie on Conrad's Arrival

Charles & Teri Belshe
1276 N. Renee Ave.
Gilbert, AZ 85231

25 August 2015

Dear Brother & Sister Belshe,                   

Elder Conrad Hamblin Belshe has safely arrived in the Czech/Slovak Mission. Sister McConkie and I are impressed with your son and want to thank you for all that you have done in preparing this wonderful young man for his mission.  In our estimation he is prepared and ready to ". preach the gospel to every creature that cometh under the sound of .(his) voice." D&C 80:1.

Attached is a photograph of Elder Belshe which was taken today just after he arrived in Prague.  Tomorrow, after a good night's rest, he will be assigned a companion and an area in which to work. You should receive an e-mail from your missionary on P-day (Saturday in Prague and Monday everywhere else). We are confident that the Lord will stand with and bless him as he serves.

Your son has accepted a call that will change his life and the lives of those with whom he is serving.  These first few months will be full of new and challenging experiences, and your support in the form of encouraging and uplifting letters will help him greatly.  Our greatest hope is that each missionary with whom we serve has the kind of mission experience that will establish the foundation for a lifetime of service and discipleship. 

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Sister Holt, the mission secretary at If you have any concerns of a private nature, you may contact President McConkie directly at or +420 777 877 767.  Should you have any medical concerns then please contact sister McConkie: or +420 777 977 717.
With warmest regards,

James W. McConkie Sister Laurel S. McConkie

Prezident Česká/Slovenská misie

Monday, August 24, 2015

Conrad Having Breakfast in the SLC Airport Before his Trip to Chicago

MTC Last Week

So, this week has been a little bit different than most other weeks, and we
also made some history at the MTC. This week we had the Nashville Tribute
Band, a group of RMs that sing, dance, and do music based on some of the
gospel principles. I would highly recommend checking them out. It was the
first time ever for some sort of concert like that to happen at the MTC. It
was quite a show, they did songs based on the Joseph Smith Story, Christ in
his early ministry, and mission work ( my favorite one). Defininetly
intersting for it to happen at the MTC! They are quite talented players! I
got to meet them all and shake their hands (cause Im just super awesome and
happened to run into them ;)) Got to talk about mission life and they are
really nice guys! LSA's came back last friday and I improved so that's a
plus! But because I felt like I was behind in some aspects of the language
mainly with cases I kind of killed myself studying this week, taking break
time to memorize case endings, and managed to get myself that
wasnt very smart. Lesson learned: They give you breaks for a reason :)
However, other than a little cold I am doing great! Thanks for all who have
written me this week giving me encouragement before I head into the field!
I really appreciate it! :) Also, we had our last GA devoitional given by
Elder Echo Hawk who talked about the blessings of exact obedience (if there
is anything I have really learned here is that exact obedience is REALLY
important). Cool story about him his last name comes from his grandfather
who was given that name because "Echo Hawk" means continual acts of service
or something very similar to that :) He gave a great talk! :) Then this
Wednesday Elder Stacey and I were chosen from our zone to participate in
the training for the elders that came in on Wednesday on "How to Begin
Teaching" where I saw Elder Hendrix! That was fun to see him! :) Now I dont
have any funny language mistakes this week, but both my companion and I
during this training managed to forget the investigators name BOTH times
were asked to do it. That was embarassing, but the training went well. We
were meant to show an example of how to Begin Teaching and other than
mistake mentioned above, it went well..:) Oh, and FLIGHT PLANS ARRIVED!!!
:D I will attach a picture of the flight information! Seven hour layover in
Chicago is kind of rough, but all of us received our visas and are heading
out Monday morning at 2:30 am. In adnvance, sorry my picture is of a guys
flight plans in my district I took a picture of his right away so I
wouldn't forget to, but all of the information is the same except for the
name at the top. Sorry for the lack of pictures, there's only so many
exciting things that I can attach from the MTC..:) This is the last week
here at the MTC and I am very very very (did I mention very) excited to go
out and do the Lord's work! :) My quote comes from Elder Echo Hawk's talk
this week: "We need only make one decision, and that's to be a disciple of
Christ, When we choose that we cannot falter" My missionary invitation for
the week is to make that decision! Love all of you! Thanks for the great
letters! Next time you will hear from me I will be in the Czech
Republic(not this monday but the following if I serve outside of Prague,
and not this Saturday but the following If i serve in Prague)! Lots of
pictures to come!

Elder Belshe

Conrad's Flight Itinerary to Czech Republic

What to Expect Document from Mission President McConkie

Where I'm From and Where I am Going?

The Last Stretch - Week 7

This last week has been moving pretty slow because all of us are ready to
get into the field. Our flight plans are supposed to come in tonight, so I
am going to leave about 5 minutes tonight to email about what happens. We
had two really good devotionals, one was given an adminstrative assistant
at the MTC named Richard L. Heaton who gave a great talk about the keys to
conversion for investigators including Book of Mormon, Church attendance,
and prayer in which he focused on church attendance. It went really well
and we learned the right way to extend commitments and the importance of
church in our conversion process. Tuesday we had a devotional given by a
member of the Seventy C. Scott Grow which was probably one of my favorite
devotionals given at the MTC and it was about giving your whole heart,
might, mind, and strength to the mission and which each aspect includes.
Really helpful and inspiring! This week we had a bunch of lessons with 2
investigators which are our teachers and we have been helping them become
prepared for baptism, and they play really good investigators and it has
been really helpful in practicing teaching skills. As far as the language
goes we were able to take our last LSA which was an hour long, and really
stressful and tiring, but we will see if i improved from the last one. A
couple of funny stories from the week, one was during TRC which is
discussions with members in the Czech Republic through skype. Which, side
note, is an awesome way for us to practice interpreting what the actual
language is like although it is probably much more difficult over skype
than actually in person which connection cutting and things like that. Back
to the story, so in the dictionary I was given the word for fun is legrace,
but apprently thats an old intrepretation of the word, and it now means a
really really big joke. So, during my lesson at the end I managed to say
"Well I just feel that my mission is a really big joke" and the members
laughed at me for a solid two minutes and I was embarrassed. I have now
picked up the nickname legrace with the other elders. Secondly there is a
really awesome word that we learned which means the most round marble like
figure and it is nejkulikaťoulinkatější. It's been a great week here! Love
to learn and feel the spirit. One P-day left before I make it into the
field. Really excited! Quote of the Day: "We are all pioneers in our own
sphere and circumstance" this was given a couple weeks ago by President
Burgess and I love how applicable it is to us today. Though we dont face
the same trials our ancestors did, we face some of the hardest days and
most sinful era ever in this generation. Satan works on us harder now than
ever before, be patient in the affliction and live like our ancestor
pioneers did in their trials we can survive through the difficulty! Thanks
for the love and support!

Elder Belshe

Go Get 'Em - Week 6

So, this week was probably my favorite since being in the MTC. A little bit of struggles early in the week with teaching simply, but we were able to pull through and both of our investigators have baptismal dates coming up by the time we leave the MTC. This Sunday was fast Sunday which means that the MTC presidency speaks to us and the topic for this week was Exact Obedience. Lots of great words were said , but the ones that stood out to me the most were having "faith in every footstep" and we show that faith through our obedience. Then we had a devotional given by a famous church speaker Sheri Drew who gave an absoltely incredib;le talk about receving revelation for ourselves and our investigators and that we are obligated to receive it in their behalf. Then that night we had another little movie devotional about a talk Elder Bednar gave in 2004 just after being called as an apostle! Another absolutely incredible talk about the 3 ways to become a missionary which applies to the rest of your life which were 1. Becoming a missionary, dont go on a mission which basically means being here and working here are two different things 2. Success is a gift from the Lord so we must be patient when we feel that others are not accepting our message. 3. Missionaries must earn the trust and repect of the members if they want referrals (members give missionaries investigators). Then highlight of the week, President Nelson came and spoke to us on Tuesday night which talked about the goal we want for our investigators which isn't just baptism, but it's the lasting conversion that comes from temple attendace. One quote that I loved "We want all to experience the joy of an eternal homecoming with our Father in Heaven", so that's the goal. Our mission is really really close to a stake which would be the first stake in the country and we will be the ones, hopefully, to open it up. If anything all these devotionals have me fired up to go out and serve. One thing I was nervous for TRC skyping with a member in the Czech Republic which happened just yesterday. And it actually turned out really fun we talked to a girl named Gabby who was a Boston Red Sox fan who lives in Pilsen (they love americans) and I actually understand a majority of what she said even over skype, which can definitely be weird at times. As for the language it's coming along faster than it has in my entire stay we are going to get flight plans next week, and it's coming faster and faster by the minute. Gotta love the mission life. My quote for the week is from Sunday morning devotional given by President Burgess "The specific challenge you may think is impossible may be the very refinement in the furnance you need" Remember that the Lord will not give us a challenge that we can't handle! Love you all! Thanks for the support!

Elder Belshe

Conrad's District Directing Traffic

The Building Where Conrad Lives; Named After His 4th Great Grandfather

Conrad's Friends from His MTC Zone

Week 5

So, this week was another awesome week! I have a couple funny stories to
begin with. One of them needs a little background. We are teaching an
investigator about Joseph Smith and the word for grove of trees on the
online learning center is haj, however, in modern terms this is a very
nasty derogatory word for hell. So when you are telling the story of Joseph
Smith, word of advice, don't use that word because your investigator
becomes really concerned and wonders why someone would go to hell to pray
about which church is true. Just for future reference the correct word,
forest, is les. So I won't make that mistake again :). The second was one
by my companion oba means both where as obed means lunch. We were
discussing to the same investigator about the importance of both the bible
and the book of mormon and rather than say how both are really important to
our salvation we said that lunch is really important to our salvation. I'm
pretty sure this investigator just invites us over for entertainment
purposes. However, in compairson to last week I haven't lost anything and I
didn't even stain a tie so I would call it a success. Also, on Sunday we
were able to watch a film about the life of Thomas S. Monson that really
stood out to me and was really interesting (this was last week, but i think
i forgot to mention it). As far as the gospel learning for this week I
accomplished my goal of rereading PMG before I leave the MTC and it's such
a great tool for missionary work, I love being able to use it to learn how
to effectviely teach and testify as a missionary. The phrase "becoming a
preach my gospel missionary" has a really important meaning to me now.
Also, this week we had both the worst and best lessons I have had so far at
the MTC. I've learned a lot for both of them, and we are about to commit
our first "investigator" to baptism :). The language learning has been a
lot of grammar and one on one coaching for specific topics that we don't
quite understand. After the next two weeks we will be done with new lessons
and the last two weeks I'm here will be all coaching and practice. I have
three goals before I leave the MTC 1. Understand what it means to be a
preach my gospel missionary 2. Reach a "functional" level of the language
which is measured based on the assessment scores 3. Learn how to best plan
and set goals. Which when it is done right I have learned that it is really
hard to accomplish, but my companion and I are learning how to do it
correctly. My companion and I are also learning how important it is to
always listen to our investigators! So important to know that you love and
care about them! As for the devotionals this week we had another Emeritus
General Authority speak to us about the importance of prayer in coming
understand how the Holy Ghost speaks to us which was amazing. And then we
had the same guy, head of department over Missionary Work, from our first
week give a devotional as well Elder Allen. He's really funny, but his
messages were exactly the same and what I would call a "pump up, you can do
this" type devotional. Both were great. Additonally, we learned a Czech
Nursery Rhyme which I think is rather hilarious! This is the rhyme!

Mama mi dala korunu
Aby koupil rybu
Ja Namísto ryby ryby
Koupil jsem vyrubu
So děla ryba
O castem hyba
Proč? Proč?
Protoze ja ryba ryba

Mom gave me money
So that I could by a fish
When I went to buy the fish
instead i bought a whale
Why? Why?
Because it is a fish fish

It's total nonsense but I love it!! As for my scripture for the day I want
to give my testimony in Czech! Translate it! No promises that my grammar is
exactly correct!

Já vím že el církev Ježíše Krista je pravida. Já vím že Joseph Smith byl
prorok a skrze jeho můzeme získat zjevení skrze Knihu Mormonovu. Já vím že
Ježíš Kristus je náš Spasitel a vykupitel. Buh miluje náš a Já vím že on je
náš Milujici Otec.

Love all of you! Thanks for the love and support!

Elder Belshe

Elder Belshe and His Companion Elder Stacey

Conrad's MTC District

A Humbling Week - Week 4

By the end of your fourth week at the MTC you think that you know it all! You find the shower that doesn't give you third degree burns when someone flushes the toilet and has decent water pressure, you know which sink actually works, and you know your way around campus enough to host some missionaries on their first day. But then you just realize that you're not as smart as you think you are because you get two ties stained in soup (not one, but two), you lose your awesome MTC water bottle that you bought, find it, and then lose it again for good, you break part of the bed in your residence, and finally you still always hit your knee on the pole that sticks out under the computer in the lab that just helps you to remind you that you're alive. However, other than all that happened in one week it's been a good week! We had what's called TRC, I don;t know if i have explaiined what that is before, but you give a lesson to a member and we talked about the role of the holy ghost in conversion which went really well! Also, in 2 weeks we will be skyping with actual members from the area. We had a Sunday night devotional that talked about the importance of compaion study and we practiced it on the topic of repentance which was awesome. As far as the langauge goes we had our first LSA which is a Language Speaking Assessment which gave us an idea of where we should be at in order to be at a "functional level" by the time we leave the MTC! I am right at the average point according to my score which is awesome, but my companion is ahead of me! Which kind of just drives me to want to beat him more! Our district is doing well, and I have had some leadership training classes which have taught about the difference between ministering and administering as a leader and which one was more important. Learning to love and serve those you lead rather than rule with an iron fist by following the example of Christ! Which was great! Finally we had a devotional last night given by a Emeritus General Authority, can't rememeber his name sorry :/, who talked about the 10 keys to a happy succesful missionary life based around forgetting yourself, working hard, and applying the principles of commitments you give to investigators in your life during and after your mission! It was a really good week! Thanks for all the love and concern and letters! I'm loving the mission life. My quote for this week is from the scriptures Alma 27:18  Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness. I hope that we all, like Alma, can find the truth and joy and happiness in serving others!

Elder Belshe

Week 3 MTC Letter

This week went really well! We had President Packer's funeral, and there
were some touching remarks given about his life and all he did in his life
of service. All the speakers talked about him being a master teacher and a
man that followed the true example of Christ. Such an inspiring meeting
even though it was in a funeral. So glad to have the knowledge and
testimony of the plan of salvation. Lessons had been pretty difficult with
the language to this point, but it's finally starting to become easier and
directed by the Spirit. This was our first week of TRC, which is basically
a home teaching lesson given to a member family. SO volutneers, mostly RMs,
that attended our mission come and we teach them a lesson that was
specified to us beforehand. We shared a lesson about enduring to the end
and it was a really amazing lesson, lots of spirit and heartfelt
testimonies given during it. Sunday evening we had a devotional given by an
administrative assitant here at the MTC and he talked about each chapter of
Preach my Gospel, which is definitely an inspired book. Loving it as I've
made the goal to read through it all again before I head into the field.
The weeks seem to fly by here at this point, I can't believe it's already
P-Day again. As far as the language goes we are still learning about what
are called cases, which change the ending of a noun depending on the action
it's performing. It's pretty difficult, but our district seems to be doing
really well. We are starting to get into a groove and working well
together. I was made the District Leader this week and I willl serve in the
calling for the next 3 weeks which will be a really great experience to
learn some leadership. Tuesday night's devotional by Elder Banks, a former
GA just barely released, talked about the importance of using the spirit in
our teaching. Not settlingly for medicority and pushing yourself to be the
best missionary that you can be. So I have attached some pictures here, but
they need some explanation. One is of this really cool mission shirt that
they sell here at the MTC (I will admit I was completely and utterly wrong
mom, everyone wears their mission shirts here), so I bought one to match
the rest of my district, but I haven't had a chance to wear it yet because
I needed to wash it since it was kind of like wearing a dress...probably
not MTC appropriate :)...I took a picture by the 2M building which is named
after my Great Great Great Grandfather who helped settle some parts of
Arizona in the Saints trek west, yea, he's pretty awesome! And I'm named
after him :D. Our district also finally was able to attend the Temple this
morning which was quite an amazing experience. I love being able to attend
the temple and have missed it since we haven't been able to go everyday
like I was before I came. Thanks for all the emails, love, and support! I
appreciate all that have written me! There is a quote in 2nd Nephi that I
would like to share which says that "He (Satan) will lull them into a false
sense of carnal security), don't allow the adversary to lull us into a
sense of mediocity! I am going to try to end all my emails with a short
thought, I hope that everyone is ok with that! Loving the missionary life!

Elder Belshe

Week 2 in the MTC

Well it was another fun filled week at the MTC! Lots of fun stuff happened!
Lots and lots of classes that have been drowning us in Czech, but we have
finally been able to give the first discussion without any notes or
anything to our investigators! Also ends up our first investigator Ales is
actually our teacher Brother Knapp and he is really great! He is really
blessed with the language. He was an office elder and the AP for a while in
the field! He has been helping us a lot with the pronunciation and wording
and grammar! Also both of our female teachers Sister Roubicek and Sister
Donaldson, both with family ties in the Czech Republic where they both
served got married this week! Crazy stuff, so the sisters convinced them to
have us watch their engagement videos (I think that's what it called, but
don't judge me for my lack of knowledge in this field of study). We had a
lot of extra devotional this week with fast sunday and the 4th of July
which was pretty fun. We had an awesome devotional given by a branch
president who talked about leaning about the faith of our ancestors and
gave a cool story about the people that signed the Declaration appearing to
Wilford Woodroof! A lot of them had their work done which was a cool story!
ALso we had a mission presidency devo where all the presidency and their
wives talked about losing yourselves in the work, doing all you can, and
then relying on the Savior's atonement for the rest! Then Sunday night we
had a devotional given by Elder Oaks daughter, Jenny Oaks Baker. SHe is a
world renowned violin player and it was incredible! Sorry, I'm going to be
a little bit of a music nerd here for a second! She did double stops to
play both th 1st and 2nd violoin parts of amazing grace. I dont even know
how it was possible, but it was incredible and I was blown away! Also, here
9 year old daughter plays the cello and she could put me to shame! Im
thinking the HIghland Orchestras should recruit her! Anyway, it was
awesome! But the final devo of the week given by the GA Elder Condie was
definitely the capper of the week! He gave an incredible talk about the
converting power of the 1st vision and how we cannot let that even become
an even that we do not hold sacred. Awesome, Awesome devos! Language is
coming, slowly but surely! Loving it here! Thanks again for all of those
that have sent me letters! Love all of you!

Elder Belshe

Conrad's First Letter From the MTC

Ahoj Family and Friends,

First of all thank you to everyone that has written me and sent me emails
and letters and such. It has been really fun to hear from all of you and
hear all the encouragement. It's been a really interesting week because we
got here at the end of the mission president seminar which gave us a weird
schedule. We had extra class time and our first P-Day went away because of
weird scheduling on your first three days. There have definitely been some
ups and downs as I have learned to adjust to the mission life, but
ulitmately I love it here! It's fantastic! I am so excited to continue to
grow and learn here! Learning Czech was as difficult as everyone said it
was going to be, but I'm pushing through. It's been really fun to talk to
my companion in Czech. So far we have taught four lessons, somehow by a
miracle in Czech. It's been a very different experience. A little bit
frustrating, but overall has been very spiritual and amazing! I have
learned how to pray, bear testimony, and give a shot at the first
discussion. My companion and I are ready to commit our first investigator
to read the Book of Mormon tomorrow! Hope that all goes well! Here are some
awesome highlights from my week so far. When you first get here you are
literally running from place to place to get all your supplies and such.
You barely have time to even think which is kind of a normal around here.
It's pretty amazing how much you are able to accomplish each day in this
place. Right after we got the supplies you go straight to class where you
learn how to formally introduce yourself. Basically everyday we have 3 four
hour sessions of class, two of them are for classroom study and the evening
session is a personal, companion, and language study cycle. Other than that
Tuesday nights are General Authrotiy devotional nights and our first one
was with Elder Zitate who talked about the importance of using the
missionary tools of your companion, mission president, and the Holy Ghost
to be successful. It was really incredibly spiritual and really amazing to
be in. Oh and i forgot Tuesday mornings are service days and they don't
mess around when they give you service to do. You and your companion have
to work hard and well or they make you do the job again which worked pretty
well for us because my companion is awesome. His name is Elder Stacey and
he is from Idaho Falls. He was the national wrestling champion this last
year and gave up the chance to serve on the national team in order to serve
a mission, awesome example to me!! He is really stinking funny and is
really good at easing the stress because I can easily get stressed out and
overthink things which most of you already know ;). My district is
comprised up of all the Czech missionaries going to the Czech slovak
mission. There is another very small district that is comprised up of all
the slovak missionaries (two elders, and a solo sister). However, my
district is amazing!! All of them are really spitirual, have strong
testimonies, and are willing to serve. Most of them already know a second
language or even a third fluently so I am definitely behind the pack, but
I'll catch up soon enough. There is one international sister from Guatemala
who speaks Spanish, English, German, a little French and now is learning
Czech she also had gotten here a transfer before us so she has a lot of
background in the language so we have been heavily relying on her to learn
all of the material. My building is comprised up of the Eurasia
missionaries who are serving in that area, so almost all of them are
incredibly spiritually gifted, smart, and really fun to be around. Each
language is its own district in the eurasia building and the Czech one is
the biggest right now (except the Bulgarians who are getting 4 new people
next week to beat our numbers by one but we really dont care about them).
Our branch president is amazing and gave a really great talk in sacrament
meeting about being fully dedicated to the Lord and making the 2% of your
mission affect the rest of the 98% of your life. Oh and most importantly I
have come to get really good at Volleyball and this awesome game called
Spike Ball, it's a little trampoline with a tiny volleyball type ball. I
don't know how to describe it other than its like a combination of
volleyball and four square on a tiny trampline. I'm investing in it when I
get home, guaranteed. Thank you all again for all the letters of
encouragement and emails, I'm loving it here! I'm ready for some more
learning and spiritual growth. It is definietely the closest you can be to
your Heavenly Father other than the temple, especially since it's the only
other place you can't get in without a temple recommend!


Starsi Belshe