Monday, August 29, 2016

Less Active Project

After the creation of the stake, we as a district really strived to improve our efforts in working with less actives, and we have seen so many blessings in ways we did not expect already! Our goal was to visit all the members on record in Plzen. We wanted to confirm their address if they still lived there, and strive to build a relationship with them. We have about 150 to 180 members on record here in Plzen with about 55 active members. Not too bad for most branches or wards here, but we wanted to improve it. Also in this effort, once these people start coming to church, we will work on getting them home teachers to improve that relationship rather than their relationship with the missionaries which causes activity and then inactivity once the missionary leaves The project is incredibly close to being done, and there are only a few new less actives that wanted, or even could make contact with us.  HOWEVER ...we continued patiently and have seen blessings with the less actives that we had already been working with before. In the last two weeks we had 9 less actives, and then 6 less actives come to church! A HUGE miracle for us. The Duchkovi family has made it every week this month, and the mom will soon be receiving a calling to start a nursery for the ward. The husband is beginning to take more interest in the priesthood, plus their 13 year old son made it for the first time in years. Then there is Standa, who yesterday told us that he has seen the change in his life as he has begun to live the commandments again. And another, Honza, who blessed the sacrament last week. Something I have learned this transfer, when you give all your effort, the Lord will always bless you, sometimes even in ways you do not expect!

In other news, David’s baptism date has been pushed back just a little bit, but his questions have been really good and have been mostly answered. We will continue to work with him, and hope for his baptism very soon! The ward is already beginning to love him, and are excited to see him get baptized. The bishop asked him to give a prayer during Priesthood which surprised us, but he did an awesome job! On Sunday, we had the opportunity to teach the Elders Quorum about the talk "When two or three are gathered in my name”.  It is a great talk and would highly recommend it. We talked about the situations in the church where two or three are gathered together, and how we are strengthened when we are unified!

Transfers are next week, I am hoping for not a lot of change, we will see where the Lord needs me, but after 3 mini transfers, it would be good just not to have to pack again....:)

My scripture for this week is Matt 7:24-27.

24 ¶Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

I am very grateful for the foundation of the gospel in my life, and how it has been a blessing to us in our efforts to bring others unto Christ. With the foundation of Christ, built through diligent acts of faith, we cannot fall.

Have a great week!

Elder Belshe :)

Elder Croney and Elder Belshe

Transfer 6.3 – Back and Better than Ever!

This is officially the third mini transfer within the transfer that we have had, so I have named it Transfer 6.3. It has definitely been a wild ride of a transfer for us! Unfortunately, due to health concerns, Elder Breyman had to leave for home. It was a very sad day for us, but with time, he hopes and prays to be back to finish his last 6 months. I spent most of last week riding solo as a Zone Leader as Elder Breyman was in Prague seeing a doctor with the District Leader. Then, I ended up moving to Lochotin. I have been in all three of the Plzen areas this transfer!!! :) My new companion is Elder Croney! I love him! He is a stud! In this area we do not have as many investigators but the investigators from Slovanys area, (the original area with Elder Breyman that is now closed) have continued with me into Lochotin. That includes David, and Lucie for now. David, thankfully has been doing better. His progress has slowed a little bit due to his concerns.  However, due to a spiritual lesson that we have had, it seems as though his concerns have been somewhat resolved! More updates for him to come! :)

The biggest blessing this week was our church attendance!  The downstairs is getting renovated, so we have been spending our time upstairs and it was packed! The Duchkovi as a whole family were able to make it to church, and were talking with a lot of members which is good! They have been able to warm up to them again, and David was there! That was a huge success after the lesson we had this week with him. We feel that at least majority of his concerns are resolved!

My scripture for this week is 1 Corinthians 9:19-20

19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

Something I love that President Pohořelický has been able to provide, is a Czech perspective on missionary work. It has helped our work a lot, and we are excited for what will be coming. Already new ideas and things have been instituted, and we are anxiously awaiting the blessings that come from the new ideas he has provided. But that came from us as servants, knowing those we are serving, their needs and concerns and what will make them happiest. In serving others, the key is always to spiritually identify their needs and then expound the scriptures unto them as Jesus did, as prophets of old have done, and as have all of the world’s greatest missionaries. I am thankful for how I have come to love the Czechs, and see things from their perspective, it has immensely blessed the lives of those we are able to humbly serve. For your neighbors consider how you can come to know them better in order to serve them as Jesus would, and Heavenly Father promises you will blessed with success.

Have a great week!

Elder Belshe :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Poor Elder Breyman

Elders Belshe, Breyman &Carlson
Elder Breyman's Injured Foot

Opposition is a Good Thing!

So, this week we hit some opposition! Elder Breyman was not feeling well and had to go to the hospital, and we got him some medicine.  But, as he started to do better with that, he rolled his ankle! We were running in the morning, and a rock was sitting in the way. Elder Breyman did not see it and tripped on it. We think he popped his Burstasac...that is not spelled right, or probably even right in medical terms sorry, but his foot puffed up to the size of a baseball, so the NEXT DAY we went back for a 3 hour visit to the hospital. Not a fun week for my poor companion. He will be in a cast for 3 weeks, till the end of the transfer. They are not pretty, but if you are interested in what Elder Breyman’s foot looked like I am sending photos. CAREFUL ON THE PHOTOS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! :). It is already healing very fast.

Then, our investigator David, works with a man that was unfortunately excommunicated from the church for reasons of course we cannot discuss. This man has been providing him with false information that has brought up a lot of questions. He is still talking and meeting with us, but we are really praying for the spirit to be there with us in helping him overcome these new concerns. 

As for this week, if we were focused on less actives before, we REALLY focused on it this week! It provided an efficient way for Elder Carlson and I to work while Elder Breyman could rest in the car. There were a few times he came out when we went to talk to people at the door, but for us it was successful!

This week made me think of one specific scripture in 2 Nephi 2:11 

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. 

The Lord sometimes provides us with opposition to test our faith, but also ultimately to bless us! Without the opposition we faced, the Lord would not have been able to bless us with the opportunity to find more less actives. Even though the opposition makes things difficult, we can find the blessings that come with it. ¨

Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Belshe 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Hastening the Work of the Lord

This week has been rather tiring! But before I mention more about that, I forgot to mention last week that the Plzen ward has officially received its first bishopric. President Kyncl was set apart as the bishop with President Storkan, the former Elders quorum president as his first counselor, and President Holub, former branch president, as his second counselor. Something I learned is with the creation of a ward, it opens up the position for an executive secretary. That position was filled by Brother Sedlacek, the former first counselor. Then Brother Dostal, husband of President Holub sister, became the new Elders quorum president. It has been wonderful, and an amazing privilege to see the formation and the growth of the ward at this time. 

Now for this week, we have had the responsibilities of two areas here in Plzen so our teaching pool and work load doubled, plus normal zone leader and district leader responsibilities. Needless to say, the three of us have enjoyed our P-day :) However, I still think it is probably the best problem that you can have as a missionary. David did not get baptized this week, we are still working with him, but his work schedule was too much to help him prepare and feel ready for his baptism. We will continue with him, and it looks like towards the end of august he could be baptized :) In other news, we are continuing with less active finding. Haven’t seen too much success yet, but we are applying a few other ideas of leaving behind a letter and a treat for those that live there but do not answer. As for other progressing investigators, we have a man named Suly, a super cool Bulgarian who really likes to talk. Sometimes we have to cut him off in lessons, but he absolutely loves the church and it has been good working with him. He is working towards a baptism date on September 3rd. Then after many, many, prayers for ways that we could strengthen Alin and help him feel more love from the ward, we received our miracle in a way we weren’t expecting! We contacted another Romanian whose name is Adrian, and he speaks great English and works for Panasonic! He also is working towards baptism on the 3rd of September. The Lords work is progressing, and we are glad to be a part of it! As for the Duchkovi family, their WHOLE family made it for the 2nd week in a row, and they even made it on time for the sacrament!! That is huge progress for them, and something we have been striving towards for about 2 transfers. Our goal is to continue to try to strengthen member relationships with them, bringing them with us for service, and including them for the spiritual thought. We are hoping to get their home teachers there, but we will be satisfied with anyone :) We are also going to try to help Martin understand the importance of callings and leadership in the church. Then, there is a family that we found! Just met them this week, but they seem really interested and are a young family with a 9 month old named Teresa! She is really adorable! The Lord has blessed our work exponentially here, and we are hoping that we can continue to do his will in helping all these people to Christ!

Scripture for the week: DC 9:8-9

8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. 
9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
I have learned the importance of our personal responsibility in receiving revelation from the Lord. If he were to give us all the answers right away we would never learn, but I am so grateful for how I have found my connection with Heavenly Father and by doing my part and trusting, the spirit will be with me. Then the Lord takes care of the rest. I know that if we study with an open heart, are worthy for answer, and take our conclusion to the Lord, we will be directed to the right path in his time and in his way.

Have a great week! Love you all!

Starsi Belshe 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Grilovani (BBQ) and Other Activities

Crazy Week!!!

So I have absolutely no time today which is a bummer because it has been a pretty successful week! I am trying to keep in touch with some of my recent converts and that takes some of my email time. Anyway, here are the weeks highlights:

1. David made it to church and is really looking good for a baptism if not this week, by the end of this transfer. 
2. BBQ and service was AWESOME! Very successful, and the Duchkovi afterwards felt some more love from the ward and made it to church the next day!
3. Unfortunately, a missionary had to go home due to some medical concerns and Elder Lovell, Elder Carlson’s companion, left to go be companions with that Elder. Therefore our area is now combined with Plzen Bory, the district leaders area. We have officially closed Slovany apartment for this last half of the transfer, and we will be a tri-companionship in Bory until the end of the transfer. This change equals DOUBLE THE WORK. We are excited, but also disappointed for a missionary having to go home in our zone. 

Here is an update on my converts:
1. Zdenek, opened up to talking about some doubts he was having, to Jara, his brother in law who is also the Prague ward mission leader.  Progress!
2. Ludmila and Michal, sustaining contact with the missionaries, and SHE HAD ANOTHER BOY!!! His name is Mikulas! I have not seen any pictures yet, but when I do I will let you know. Still no church for them.
3. Amanda, randomly lost contact for a month and a half. I think she is on vacation, but could use some prayers her way just in case. 
4. Olda, solid! Doing great in Brno, and is loving the YSA there and is doing super well. 
5. Toderas, or Alin, doing super well. Gave his first talk that we translated for if I forgot to mention. Passes the sacrament on a regular basis even though he barely even understands the English translations we give him. Stud! His wife is in New York still struggling with cancer, but we are still working to get contact with her. Language barrier is really, really, hard to overcome. Made contact with Romanian elders so we can teach over skype-
6. David...future recent convert :)

In Preach My Gospel there is a quote by President Hinckley that says "Our work is pointless without these converts staying and building their branches" The Lord has blessed me with many incredibly prepared people for baptism, but also knowing that each would have a specific trial after that I could help them with when we maintain contact. I feel such a responsibility for their souls, and I love them all very much.

Have an awesome week! Although I didn’t send a very long email, here are some pictures of the grilovani, BBQ, and service that we did at the Duchkovi, and us saying goodbye to Elder Lovell. Sorry most of them are action shots. Mom, I do not share your same skills to gather a group of people for a picture! :) I also included pictures from a morning run we do here in Plzen with the YSA.
Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Belshe 

Establishment of the church in the Czech Republic

What a great week! Things have been looking up for us here in Plzen, and we have been finding great individuals that are now working towards baptism! David, the one that approached us after English class, FINALLY had time this week after being really tied up at work and is doing very well. His baptism date of August the 6th is still looking really strong! He is doing very well! 

In other news we had our trip to Karlstejn this week, and that was a really spiritual experience. Lots of testimonies from some of the older missionaries (older than me thank goodness :)) were given and it was just an overall powerful meeting. A prayer was read at the end which was based on the creation of the new stake here. A prayer to help us know what we can do to be better ward and branch builders, how to love the people, and how to work better with leaders. Sister Pohořelická gave a really profound talk about our potential and about how we were called here not because of what we have done in our past, good or bad, but because of the potential that we have. I think I enjoyed that part the very most :) 

We are still doing a lot of planning for this grillovani, BBQ, and it seems to be coming together well. Many of the less active members are coming and are able to participate in the cooking for the Czech side. I promise to have pictures next week from that event at the very least :) 

We also have been working to reorganize the division between missionaries of who visits what members here in Plzen and efforts to improve our work with less actives. It is definitely a work in progress but our hope is that we can prepare the ward for the temple open house, as well as help them with the adjustment to becoming a ward... which, yes, still has not happened quite yet. But next Sunday, we will finally have a new established bishopric :) Needless to say, it will be a busy week, but that isn't anything new.
As for my scripture this week, I have been studying in the gospels. I came across a verse that I have read many times, but it stood out to me in a very different way. Matt 5:44-45 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. God loves all of his children equally, and I am grateful for the knowledge I have that I am a loved child of God. We all are, and everyone is equal in his eyes. It matters not who we are, or what we have done, God loves all his children. I know it is true. Have an amazing week!
Elder Belshe