We have a lot to be grateful for this week wherever we are, but for us in Hradec Kralove it was a really good week! :) We have a couple of progressing investigators, not a lot being found right now, but we are working on some goals as a companionship to increase our opportunities to find individuals. The Lakatošoví, the family that we found, is doing well. They have begun reading and praying even though they were not able to make it to church. During church, a man named Martin gave his farewell talk for his mission, the 2nd elder from the Hradec Kralove branch to leave in the last few months. He gave an incredible talk about the power of the Book of Mormon unto conversion, but the poor kid….towards the end of his talk, we have no idea why, he fainted! I was translating for the senior couple, and noticed that he started turning white and then all of a sudden he passed out right on the stand! Thankfully, the Bishop was there to stop his fall, but after that he jumped right back up pretending nothing had happened trying to finish with his testimony and then he fainted again! Definitely a sacrament meeting nobody will forget. He is completely fine now, and ready to enter the MTC in Manchester England this week.
I cannot believe it is Thanksgiving! We will have our official p-day on Thursday, today we are just emailing. There is a senior couple in this area called the Holts. They will be preparing the meal for us which is really nice of them.
Elder Sabin of the Seventy came and visited our mission for a zone conference as well as a mission leadership conference! He gave some very amazing talks about faith and our potential as children of God. It really pumped up the mission, and we have been seeing a new fire in the mission in this new transfer. Hopefully, in these next few weeks, and it will grow with visits to district meetings and exchanges that we will be conducting this week. It will be another crazy, busy week :)
Here’s my scripture about Thanksgiving, it is short and sweet! :)
1 Thessalonians 3:9. For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God.
We have so much to be grateful for in our lives, for our very being and especially for our joy! Joy comes through God, and is a gift for those that show gratitude for all we have been given. Have a great week!
(Here are pictures from this cool cathedral that we visited as part of a service project.)
So, a little information about the zone: Our zone covers the cities of Jicin, Liberec, Hradec Kralove, and Ostrava. It is a pretty big zone compared to the Prague Zone in comparison to land size and also number of districts. All of our district leaders are awesome. I am excited for an awesome transfer with them.
President has asked that each of the zone leaders visit and critique each of the district meetings included with all of our exchanges during the transfer…and it has to be done in the next 2 weeks! ...so basically the entire transfer will be madness but amazing because it will prepare us for a goal of 100 baptisms mission wide next year. A little more than double of what we have had this year.
Our area is doing well, not a lot to say right at this moment other than the fact that we had this awesome guy named Mirek come church this week! We are excited to see his progression. He has a baptism date scheduled for the middle of December.
Lots of great finding experiences this week already. One of them was while contacting right before dinner. It was just icy cold and nobody on the streets. It always in the last moment, right when you want to quit, and if you don’t, then the Lord can bless you! Because of it, we found a family with 6 kids that we get to meet with the end of this week. That was the cool story of the week!
Lots of trainings, exchanges, and MLC this week with Elder Saban of the Seventy who is here on mission tour. I will have lots to talk about next week!
As a mission this transfer we are studying about repentance and the atonement, so my scripture for this week is DC 58:42-43. 42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. 43 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 knowledge of true repentance and how it brings the cleansing feeling of the atonement in our lives. What a great blessing the Lord has given us to know that our sins have been forgiven us if we but turn to him with full hearts truly changing our thought of even the perspective of sin, to good acts of faith.
So, for the first time in my mission I am leaving the Prague Zone! I’m going about an hour away to Hradec Kralove which is in the Hradec Kralove Zone where I will serve as zone leader with Elder Oviatt. He is a super awesome Canadian, no unfortunately does not have an accent :).
Hradec Kralove is a richer city, one of the richest in the Czech Republic, and is home for many students studying in the medicine branch of Charles University. I just arrived today, but it is a beautiful area, and I am very excited for the things we have coming up ahead of us!
This last week we had some meetings with our investigators including running into Olga, one of our investigators, on the street. She is doing really well and at the last minute could not make it to the conference in Prague unfortunately. We also met with Jules. Both of which are doing well and are reading and praying and should be on date and coming to church in the coming weeks!
I don’t know much about my new area here in Hradec, but I have heard the ward is very self-sufficient and doing really well after the creation of the first stake.
The best part of the week was being able to have Stake Conference in Prague with members from all around the country coming to be a part of it! The theme was receiving promised blessings, and it was an amazing conference! Many of the stake leaders from several organizations came and spoke including the stake leaders of the primary, sunday school, and young men’s organizations. Some of the most joyous parts of missions are seeing the progression of those you were able to witness come unto Christ through baptism, continue to progress in the gospel. It was such a great blessing to see Amanda at conference who has been doing well in Prague after I had the privilege to baptize her almost 8 months ago. Also, have heard that Olda is doing well in Brno, and has a serious girlfriend who is a returned missionary, and David in Plzen just received a calling as a teacher for gospel principles. It is great to be a missionary!
In our mission, we are studying the doctrine of Christ together as a mission to strengthen our understanding of teaching these core principles and to continue in our mission theme of “finding always, teaching repentance, and baptize converts”. Elder Oviatt and I are excited for MLC this upcoming week to welcome the arrival of a general authority for our zone conferences, and promote this theme throughout the rest of the zone.
My scripture this week is my favorite, the one that I have on my mission plaque: Isaiah 53 3-5.
3 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. 4 ¶Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 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.
I love this scripture because it emphasizes the truth of the intense suffering that the Savior did for us in Gethsemane, and allows for us to heal our pains, overcome our sins, and remove our scars. I know that he did, and it is available for all those who show faith in him.
This week was pretty slow, a slow week which we haven’t had in a long time. Our investigators could not meet with us this week, but after communicating over the phone with Jules he said he would come to church next week. Praying that he will make it! Olga is doing great and reading and praying, but has not been able to meet with us yet either. But, we had an awesome training in Prague this week on Tuesday where we talked a lot of promising specific blessings to each commitment we give. We also talked about striving to focus on creating a foundation of testimony building abilities through prayer, scripture study, and church before quickly committing them to a baptism date to help them truly repent before they are baptized. Luckily, zone leaders do not have to participate in giving trainings when it is combined zone conference so we got to focus, observe, and learn. I am grateful for that training, and the hope we are having of receiving more long lasting converts.
Other than that, this week was a lot of contacting on the street and not too much success in finding unfortunately. Hoping for a quick turnaround this week as we pound to the finish in the last week of the transfer.
My scripture for this week is Moroni 7:33. 33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
When we have faith in Christ we have the power to produce miracles! I love that idea that miracles through faith can overcome any obstacles or opposition, and faith is a concept of continual action and improvement. Have a great week! Remember to have faith!
This is a picture of me with half of the Duchkovi family, the other half did not want to be in the picture. These others are of the super awesome city of Marianske Lazne that we visited! Sorry, I just realized that I am not in any of these pictures....I will do better next time :)