Friday, January 29, 2016

Back to Normal

This week I would say qualifies for the craziest week I have had so far in my mission! :) This week we had the opportunity to be with an elder in the mission who was struggling to do the work, and he decided that he wanted to go home, but President wanted him to have one last shot here in Prague in the office, so he came and Elder Smith took his spot in Slovakia.  Being with this elder this week has taught me quite a bit about myself and also how I handle stressful situations. It was wonderful getting to know him, and see the love he has for the mission, and really, really, difficult to see him not wanting to leave, but feeling that it was the right decision for him personally to make. I am grateful that we could give him one last shot to see if he could handle it, and at the very least allow him to leave the mission on a high note. We gave it our all this week to help him, trying to get his mind off things we did our best to work him, a lot. We would run between appointments trams and metros to be able to talk to as many people as we can. It helped for a while, but towards the end the episodes came back to him to the point that he just could not handle it anymore. I will be fervently praying for him, and his return to the mission. I also have his email and I told him I would check up on him :) He is a great elder!

In other news, Amanda is progressing amazingly. She is purely elect like I have seen only rarely in the investigators I have taught. She is excited for her baptism, is planning to regularly attend church, and is really coming to love the Book of Mormon. I am excited to see her continuous progression in the next few weeks. Mia and Oldrich are also doing wonderfully, Mia missed church, but Olda came and loved it! He is really good friends with Andreas, our new Gospel Principles teacher! All of our investigators are really integrating well into the YSA group here in Prague, it is fun to see! Our next goal is to really strive to find a family with that, we are going to tract twice a week for the rest of the transfer while also doing tracting letters, which simply introduce who we are and what we do as missionaries which we leave in people's mailboxes a few days before and then come back once they had a chance to read it. I am excited to see these goals come to pass as we work hard to support our fervent prayers!

This week we also went to a Museum for Culture Night, a night once a transfer that you can spend seeing and embracing the culture of the Czech Republic and we got to spend some time learning about Jan Hus, a man that challenged the church authorities of the day here in the Czech Republic which lead to the Hussite armies and fights among the people here in the Czech Republic which spread through Europe. Quite an amazing story he had, he was eventually burned at the stake like many in those times that opposed religious authorities of the day. Really interesting experience!

My scripture for this week is DC 58:42-43- Behold he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins-behold he will confess them and forsake them. I am so grateful for the reassurance that my sins have been forgiven me even in the times the guilt of past sins comes back to hurt me. I can find peace in the fact that God no longer sees these sins as a part of me, and I have the opportunity to start again completely clean! Thanks for all the emails and love and concern! Talk to you next week! :)

Elder Belshe

Prague Castle

Elder Belshe, His Companions, Sister Missionaries and an investigator

Elder Belshe and His Companions, Elder Smith and Elder Terry

Trio Life

So, this transfer has been a little bit different with a trio. I have to say that for me, it has been tough. All of us are completely different individuals! Elder Smith, a laidback chilled former skater and motor crosser. Also loves to snowboard and play the guitar. Has the typical white low riding truck that has stickers covering the back window and likes to go "riding" in his truck. Total hipster. Stud missionary, has absolutely no fear of anyone in talking to them coming from the background of being a salesman. I get along with him really well. He also loves to beatbox and is good at rapping. He has this really cool rap for "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam", for real though, he is awesome. Then there is Elder Terry, super quiet and humble guy,  hard for him to talk to people on the street, and is very quiet and reserved so sometimes people don't hear him when he says dobry den to them on the street :) He is a bit of chief of the group, so I have had to learn how to back down a little bit which on my mission, has been a lot better. I learned that lesson early, and it has applied well here. He also plays tennis, and wants to be a chemical engineer.

Things I have learned this week:
1) Whenever you are filling out important documents that need to be completely correct, photocopy it and fill out. Do all of your mistakes, double check it, have your companion check, have someone else check it. THEN fill out the important document. That way you don't have to waste time and make three trips to the foriegn police department (thankfully I did not procrastinate) :)
2) The power of ALWAYS finding: So in the office, it is especially important to ALWAYS be finding because if you don't you won't be teaching. That means when you go to the post office you talk to the lady behind the desk and strike up a conversation, or when you go out for Indian food (SOO good) you invite the waiter to come to FHE and this week our miracle was the waiter accepted an invitation to come to FHE! His name is Sanjay, super cool young YSA guy, and we are going to be meeting with him later this week :) 

Other miracles:
1) Oldrich- such a stud, is reading in the Book of Mormon and came to church on Sunday!! That was a huge step for him and he liked it a lot, had to leave a little early, but he came and sat with all the YSA's has lots of friends.
2) Mia- fallen in love with the Book of Mormon and has already read until 2 Nep 27 in a matter of 2 weeks! It has been awesome to see how she has come to love the Book of Mormon.
3) Amanda: her story is incredible. The girl that we met at a singing display in the center of PRague who is working here as a dental technican. SO nice, and just incredible how we found her. For some reason, I had lost her phone number in my phone, but thankfully, my companions reassured me that she would come, she was a super solid contact. We were praying that even though we couldn't call her to confirm the appointment and set a place to meet she would remember where the church building is, and 30 seconds later I got a call from her and she had said that she had been waiting in a different location for an HOUR! we felt SOO bad, but thankfully she was patient and we got a chance to go talk to meet her across town we had to run, and we were sweaty and out of breath but she accepted a baptism date that day for the 20th of Feburary! We are so excited for her, and she also like Oldrich has been coming to YSA activites and has made some friends and also loves the BOM after 3 days she is already in Jacob! 

After a first couple of slow weeks things picked up for us, and we have seen the miracles of hard work! Thanks for all the emails, love and concern, I appreciate it! Have an awesome week! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Conrad's District at the Prague Zoo

The Life of Prague

Life of a missionary is so much different here in Prague than it is in České Budějovice. A lot of the depth of your teaching pool depends on your ability to contact on Public Transportation which has been difficult for me, but since I have been forced to learn if I want to teach people I have gotten better at it! It is an interesting experience for sure. I am a very loud person (if you didn;t know ;)), and so when I walk up to random people and say hello in a culture where most people don't talk to strangers they sometimes are frightened...:) But it is ok, I get their attention at least! :) 

As for the missionary work we have been teaching a girl named Mia. She is a young woman age which would be awesome for the branch here which literally has only one young woman. Mia said that she will come to church though, so we are hoping they will become quick friends :) Also, our other investigator named Oldrich is a YSA male studying at Charles University.  He is a borec (stud). He meets with us, but he won't accept a baptismal date for now. He is willing to works towards it, but not a date. However, Elder Smith and Elder Terry had an awesome lesson while I was in the office and he wants to come to church on Sunday! I am excited for him! :) We met one cool girl named Amanda who wants to meet next week. She is from Madrid, Spain and is studying here in Prague as well. 

We do these cool singing displays where half of the district sings and the other half contacts to attract attention and it is cool. Sometimes people stop and we talk to them, but for most it opens the spirit into the contact. It has been a fun couple of weeks in Prague! With a big district and a huge city, you have to work really hard to talk to everyone. It has been quite a process adjusting, but I love it! 

This week was MLC, Mission Leadership Council, and I got to see a lot of the missionaries I have been serving around which was really fun. I was the errand boy and brought them all lunch, but it has been a fun experience to be on the inside and hear all the new info about the mission! ;) This week we went to the Prague Zoo, and it was SOO much fun! One of the best zoo's in the world! I have some pictures! :D 

This week instead of a scripture I have a quote: "There was for many years a sign on the wall of a shoe repair shop I patronized. It read, "I complained because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet. The most effective medicine for the sickness of self-pity is to lose oneself in the service of others." I love how losing myself in others has helped me to grow spiritually especially when something difficult that I don't want to do comes my way. Serving others blesses our lives more than those of whom we serve, and I am grateful for that promise! Have an awesome week! Thanks for all the emails, love, prayers, and concern! :) 

Elder Belshe 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

To Prague I Go!

Well life has been VERY interesting, busy, and full of changes in the last couple of weeks for me. So, we had an amazing Christmas in Budejovice where I got to email my family, visit lots of our members and our investigators, Zdenek was so surprised by our visit and absolutely loved it! Then after skyping with the family, I got a call from President McConkie, told me I was going to be an office elder. I was kind of shocked, but what really took me by surprise was that I needed to be there as soon as possible on Monday, December 28. When I got there, I got thrown right in and put to work, but thankfully I had a least a little training beforehand to get me settled in.

I am the Visa Officer, in charge of all the visa work for all the missionaries in the mission. Plus, we manage the same area of a normal missionary companionship. It has been a really crazy change for me, but it has its' benefits as well. I am so grateful that I can be around the McConkies as well as some of the senior couples and to be in Prague. It is truly, absolutely beautiful here! I love it! Most of the work this week has been in the office, since because of the transfer I had to help all the new missionaries get registered with the foreign police department. I remembered my first day in the country four months before that, it was really interesting being in the older missionary's shoes!  

As for the normal missionary work here in Prague, it has been a crazy adjustment for me. Prague is HUGE compared to Ceske Budejovice, but it is equally as wonderful! This week, we had our second lesson with a Young Single Adult named Mia, who is studying here in Prague and was contacted through a Christmas Video. This week we taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she accepted baptism upcoming in Feburary! We are excited for her, she would be a great addition to a branch that needs some YSAs! Prague is the closest thing to a ward here in the Czech Republic. It is almost self sufficient, but the missionaries are still needed, so a lot of the goals for the branch have to do with the last, biggest responsibilites needed to help the branch. Things are great here! I am excited for my first Sunday tomorrow in this ward. 

Thanks for all those that have emailed me the last two weeks! Sorry If I haven't responded, I promise to get caught up in the next two weeks or so :) I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year! I am very greatful for the new year and the opportunity that I have to start the new year fresh. I have set some new year's resolutions and I am excited for what is coming for me here in the next year!

My scripture comes from 1 Nep.1:20: And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they alsosought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.  I love the faith of Nephi that allows him to believe in the tender mercies of God, and I am greatful for the tender mercies I have received in my life from my Heavenly Father. As we seek through prayer and actions and find the tender mercies of God in our lives, we will see how truly we have been blessed. Have an awesome week!

Elder Belshe 

Elder Belshe Transferred to Prague

Called as the Visa Officer for the Mission Office