Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ward Party in Martinov

It's Cold and I Don't Know What Time It Is...

Its been an interesting week, and I am sorry, only a select few of you will understand the title..I promise it's funny :) This week we had a lot of work that we did with members. We have been striving, as written in our vision for the transfer, to baptize someone that has been a referral from a member. So we met with several members this week trying to think of how to share a unique message about referrals. The small branches have just a few members and they have each been asked for referrals at least 100 times. With the church being very young here in the Czech Republic, they are still learning how to share the gospel. We ended up sharing the video "Hope of Gods Light", a true story of a missionary's dad in our mission. We shared that with them from the perspective of the members who helped him, and found tremendous success. We have 3 new referrals to contact which is really awesome. We are very excited for this upcoming week. 
We also had an exchange with the elders in CBud, I love that city so much! Both of them came here into Plzen and helped us build our area because they have been having tremendous success there in their finding. They should be having a baptism there soon which will be a really good thing for the branch! It was good for me to learn from one of the younger missionaries because his Czech is insanely good. People think he is basically a Czech in his fifth transfer, and normally with a difficult language like Czech that does not happen. I am excited to apply his language learning principles in my work as well. 
Other than that, we went the whole week without a phone which was more of a need than I ever made things about 10 times slower, but thankfully we got a new phone on Saturday and were able to call all of these potential investigators that we had meet the week before. But after the baptism, the phone randomly stopped reading our sim card, or any sim card for that matter, and the closest new phone was in Prague. Thankfully, the District leader and his companion had an exchange with the assistants and could bring us a new phone. Then the weather after the baptism dropped 20 degrees celsius in a matter of 3 days..thus the strange title of my email :) But now its time for the completely Word of Wisdom appropriate fruit tea that I get to have each night....thats good stuff :) 
My scripture for the week comes from Jacob 4:4,6
For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.
Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
I know that when we listen to the words of the prophets we will have unshaken faith in the Lord, and in his power to give us hope. I would encourage all of you to prayerfully with fasting prepare for general conference where we can find answers to the questions we are searching for whatever they may be. Have a great week! Happy conference! 
Elder Belshe 
Pictures: So there are pictures there at a ward party in a little village called Martinov, that was really fun, and we did some service, unexpectedly in our nice clothes...our white shirts stayed white :), then there is one of the inside of a tram aka the life of a czech slovak missionary, then a few others, one is of a hamburger with brynzda, a special sheep cheese, WAYY GOOD.

Exchange with Elder Pickett

Elder Pickett and Elder Belshe 
Elder Croney's Friend Came to Visit

David's Baptism

Stressful, Miraculous Week

First of all you have to forgive me, I read your personal emails and I love them, but there is literally so much going on we did not get a chance to get our full email time so I only have time to write this email!  I have two exchange reports to fill out and a baptismal form in Czech...yay paperwork!!! :) 

Ok, so this! What a week! I blinked and it was over. We had two exchanges, for both of which I was out of the area followed by MLC, a baptism, and a reactivation for this week. My testimony that the Lord sustains you when he needs you, and then floods you with blessings has certainly grown! I will start with the baptism and reactivation. 

David’s baptism was amazing! He was super prepared, but then we wake up that morning and realized the programs were printed wrong, and it was pouring rain, so we had to bunch of things to finish last minute which was of course...just fun :). BUT the program was incredible! We sang a musical number called Zazrak Vody Krtu. “After I am baptized” Which fit perfectly for the absolutely pouring rain. Then I had the awesome opportunity to baptize him, and greatest part of the whole program was the talk given by our ward mission leader. He is stud, and talked about the blessings of baptism helping sustain us for a lifetime of growth. The other best part was exiting the water with David. Even though it was FREEZING cold, after baptizing him, we left completely warm. The Lord approved of this humble man’s baptism. In addition to that, I love that our mission president came all the way down from Prague to make it to the baptism. He gave a great testimony of the importance of having a vision of enduring to the end. It was such a great thing for David to hear at that moment! 

As for our reactivation, after some work with a member that came from Liberec that did not really find his place in the Plzen ward, he became reactivated. He is such a great guy. An incredible, incredible, story of how his life was dramatically changed because of the gospel.

In MLC (mission leadership council), we discussed the importance of teaching for understanding rather than forgetting the step of repentance before baptism, so that those that are baptized will remain active. It was a very good training, and I am excited for the training that we will get to prepare for that topic this week. It is only a little bit unfortunate because we only have a week to prepare it, but it should be ok, I am excited for it :) 

Then on top of planning a baptism and preparing for MLC, we had two exchanges with new district leaders in Prague and in Plzen! Both of which were excellent! We talked a lot about the importance of district meeting to gain the trust of your missionaries, and to give good training to help people progress to baptism. Both missionaries are awesome examples for their districts, and incredibly humble learners! Elder Pickett was in my same position in Prague about the same time I was. I wonder where he is coming next??? :). .Haha just kidding. But after this week, Elder Croney and I were exhausted and a little bit overwhelmed, but we saw tremendous blessings! 

Love you all! Have a great week!!

Elder Belshe :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Plzen Round 3

So I am staying here in Plzen with Elder Croney if I didn’t say that already, and this first week together has been a lot of planning, organizing, and preparing for the transfer. This week has a LOT coming, including a baptism, 2 exchanges with 2 brand new district leaders, and MLC (missionary leadership conference), a lot to prepare and plan for. It has been going well for the most part, and we are very excited. We were out on the streets this week doing a lot of finding which just reminds me why it is good to be a missionary, how we can be the start of a great change in someone’s life. There has definitely been some serious opposition, I have been unfairly kicked off of trams and buses more this week than I think the rest of my mission, but I guess it’s only fair because of how richly we have been blessed! A lot of times, people have stories we just never know about. We come to realize that more often than not, they have had a very bad and unfair experience with religion or faith and because of that have misinterpretations on who we are.

Standa is officially reactivated as a new ward missionary! Talk about someone that has changed his life. Such a great guy, and we are VERY excited and anxious to teach with him. Currently, we are just working with David right now who is progressing, but we have found 3 other investigators who seem to be solid and ready for this upcoming week. David came and participated in church again this week. He came early by accident hahaha! He forgot it started at 9:30 rather than at 9:00, but it gave him a chance to read in the Book of Mormon. He had a great interview with Bishop Kyncl, and we are very excited for his baptism. He has asked me to baptize him in the Kamenny Rybnik, which is in a beautiful area on the outskirts of Plzen. Yes, I PROMISE to get pictures :) The bishop will confirm him on Sunday, and other members will be giving talks and prayers. It will be a great event, and even President Pohorelicky might be able to come :)

In other news, Elder Chadwick is district leader with Elder Terry, and the sisters arrived this week who are blinding in and training. (blinding in means both missionaries are new to the area) Sister Andersen is training Sister Miller, both of which are awesome, and Sister Miller already speaks perfect Czech! 

Sorry, we have had a pretty busy P-day so I am sorry, no scripture today but I will find an extra good one for next week! Have a good one!
>Elder Belshe 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Transfer Week

So transfers, I’m staying here in Plzen with Elder Croney. And I am honestly super stoked! We get along really well, and he has a lot of strengths in areas that I need to improve in so I am excited to see how this transfer works out for us. 

David has chosen his baptismal date for September the 17th, and will be having his interview, this Friday! We are very excited for him, and he is excited as well. He still has questions that need answering, but most of them are minor and we are expecting to have them resolved before Friday. He was training a new employee this week, so we did not have a lot of lessons with him. But, he is reading, praying, and attending church at a regular pace and is certainly ready for his baptism! :) The ward is really excited for him, and asked him to move his date a little bit further back because a lot more people would be able to be in attendance. He has asked me to baptize him, which is an experience I am very excited for, but even better is that he would like Bishop Kyncl to confirm him a member of the church which will be good for him to begin integrating into the branch. 

This last week we had training, which was Elder Needham’s last training. I was very sad to say goodbye to him, and yes I did cry in case you were all wondering :). But his testimony was stellar and I am very grateful for the influence he has had on me as a missionary since the time I have entered my mission.

Another cool thing, we got to attend the Frieburg Temple Rededication and watch the Cultural Celebration for it because it is the closest temple for our mission! It was such an amazing experience, and I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to be there. It was all in German including the stuff at the end, but was translated into Czech which I then translated into English for Alin who was able to make the trip with us. It was such a happy experience to see someone like him, truly enduring to the end, and I am grateful that I have been able to be a part of it from the beginning. I really felt the spirit strongly, and came to understand the blessing of the temple for these people and how it can be a blessing and place of protection for us. I was mostly super proud of the awesome youth that represented the Czech Republic in the cultural celebration during the song "Press Forward", their special folk song and dance, very cultural for this country. They love their folk songs. Then they also did an act about family home evening. President Pohorelickys son, and his new wife, led it and it was awesome! The rededication of the temple is such a great blessing for these people, and a great experience for us to be a part of.

In other news, we had a great training on how to see that we are successful missionaries. It is interesting to me how much the Lord has blessed us with success here in Plzen with less active work. With a whole family, and two priesthood holders being reactivated in the coming weeks it makes me wonder why the Lord chooses to bless me when there are so many hard working and obedient missionaries, that have not seen the success that I have been blessed to witness. It is good to hear the stories of when we can be rescuers within miles of our own home.  In our mission, it has been a difficult patch in general with not a lot of baptisms. We are hoping, praying, and fasting for a change in the coming weeks. We also talked a lot about the importance of teaching repentance, and baptizing converts. President Pohořelický has emphasized the importance of members and missionaries working together before AND after baptism to keep the people on the path to eternal life. I really have admired and loved his vision of people progressing to eternal life. In most lessons, after a convert’s baptism we like to share these verses with them. 

18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye 
shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

I am grateful for the faith, and knowledge I have that we all have the chance to live with our Heavenly Father again. I know that as we continue to fellowship these individuals, sustain them with the good word of the Lord, and provide them opportunities to serve others they will have the ability to endure and achieve eternal life. 

Have a great week! Love you all! Remember to lift where you stand! 

Elder Belshe