Thursday, March 23, 2017

Apply Your Faith

This week has equally been the hardest and the happiest weeks of my entire mission. After hearing about Marissa's passing I was very much in shock, and that shock continued for a few days. I remember after hanging up the phone just sitting there and just trying to wrap my mind around it with the other 1000 things of the day also going through my head, so at that point the spirit whispered to me "Apply your faith". So I went to my knees in prayer, and felt that I should ask a blessing. It is interesting how well Heavenly Father truly knows us, and also on the flip side, Satan knows us. Satan never attacked my testimony of the plan of salvation. That is too rock solid. He merely tried to make me feel throughout these last few days that I would never be worthy enough to be with her again. However, In the blessing, of course it said that Marissa was fine and would be watching out for and supporting us. I can sincerely say that at that moment in the blessing I felt a very warm hug from her. I don’t think there is anyone else that it could be. After talking to President a little bit, Elder Hanis and I went back home. Then that thought came back to me about "applying my faith". Somehow this time it clicked, I knew what I needed to do to access the atonement. I prayed, studied 2 Nephi 9 a couple of times, had the blessing, reached out in service to others trying to help members of my district, and in some ways it has been one of the happiest weeks of my mission as well. I had the opportunity to testify with conviction to everyone that Jesus is the Christ, that he has lifted my burdens, and freed my sister from the bonds of death. At that point, the feeling of the spirit washed over me like it has on countless times on my mission, and I knew everything would be ok. That everything would work out for the best. Plus of course, if there is something else that I have learned on my mission it is this: In the greatest times of opposition, come the greatest blessings. Three huge blessings for this week: 1. Michal passed his baptismal interview and cried at sacrament meeting. He had a spiritual confirmation that the church was true which was enough for him to want to live the law of chastity and prepare for his baptism on the 25th. 2. New members' meeeting: David Zapletal from Plzen came in attendance gave me a big hug and told me that he is so grateful that I opened my mouth and showed the gospel to him and gave him such a happier life. Baptisms are great on a mission, but the most true joy I have felt has been seeing the converts endure to the end. 3. I received an email from Olda in Brno that things are going well for him and his returned missionary girlfriend, and he has plans of proposing leading to a temple marriage.
So, in conclusion, the atonement is real. It doesn’t matter how deep in trials we may be, Jesus Christ and his atonement reach down and in the words of President Utchdorf "lift you up on his shoulders and carry you home". I love my sister very much, and I will miss her for the short time that we will not be able to see each other, but in the same breath I know that I have been lifted by Christ and that our burdens can and will be lightened through him. If we merely apply our faith! Have a great week! Choose the atonement!

Transfers

Well, this week has been a little bit slower, but a lot of preparation for the upcoming transfer!  During this next transfer, the office couple will be taking over half the responsibilities of the office elders. and the assistants will be taking over the other half. It will be a blast to the past, of the transfers in the office that I had with Elder Terry. I will be in charge of visas again, in addition to assistant responsibilities.

After two weeks of hard work we were finally able to configure a way to add Czech subtitles to the videos that we have been working. They have been a huge success. It was just in time for a big event of ‘Meet the Mormons’ in Hradec Kralove which hopefully will be used as a finding activity for other missionaries throughout the rest of the mission.

On Friday, we had an activity where we introduced ourselves and the state we were from. It was really good, lots of investigators, members, and friends of the members came. We had about 50-55 people in attendance for our presentations. I introduced my state, and then had the pictures of me growing up printed out for a tri fold thing about me personally. I picked my favorites, and then the office elders made boards for us and got everything ready for it. It was really nice! Ha ha! funny story, a member, less active, brought her friend and I got to talking to her for a while, and she was really friendly. It was good all the way up until the point that she told me that she had a "crazy" side and likes to pole dance......and she invited me to her next show. Nice! So that will DEFINITELY be an investigator for the sister missionaries to follow up on. I can say that was a first. So that is my funny story for the week :)..but overall it was good. Another less active family we invited came and loved it, and Michal was there as well. So I consider it a success. People got to learn that Arizona is a lot more than just desert ;)…so it was a good experience!

Also, miracle of the week, we were really stressing because 9 of the 11 new missionaries that were supposed to be coming from the MTC, did NOT receive their travel itineraries in the time that they should have. So we were really stressing and helping President try to rearrange the transfers almost at the last minute, but we had a mission wide prayer that they would receive their travel itineraries and visas, and they came through :)...at the last minute in a speed faster than anything man could ever do, each of the missionaries received their visas and travel information to Provo even though it hadn’t even been in Salt Lake the day before. Miracles do happen, and because of that, I have decided to send a verse today about miracles.

Mormon 9:15-19

"And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles. Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God? Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought? And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles. And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."

I have a testimony that God lives, and that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That miracles still exist today and in our everyday lives.

Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Belshe

Pictures:
1. Office Crew in new suits...just the office elders not Elder Page and I
2. Elder Page and I at VyŇ°ehrad
3. Day 1 of 3 of our zone training cross country road trip
4. An attempt of a zone selfie at the Hradec Kralove zone conference...I’m not in it, but everyone else is.






Sunday, March 5, 2017

Final Trainings of this Transfer

Because of the changes given by the Area Presidency, we will have two zone trainings and then a zone conference, and this transfer was both zone trainings. So, because there are four zones and we were asked by the zone leaders to train at their zone trainings we attended eight zone trainings during this transfer. Four at the beginning, and four at the end. We were very grateful for all the training that has happened, and how the quality of the trainings has improved as well! 

It has been such a great journey during this transfer! This week we had the last two trainings, one in Hradec Kralove, and one in Prague. However, for the one in Hradec Kralove we had heard the night before that President had just become a grandpa :)..His daughter living near Trebic had a daughter named Emma. She is adorable. So we were left to change things around at the last minute, and it was a little unorganized but great trainings were given.

For the training in Prague, Elder Adler of the Seventy came and joined us to give a training. His talk was superb about the fruits of missionary work, and his wife did a wonderful job talking about the atonement. I took a pretty superb zone selfie, but then I left the camera in HK....:) So it is safe, but you will get that picture next week. 

Other than that, we have had office work and things to get ready for a final exchange and preparation for the next transfer. My assignment for next week from President....is to learn to drive a stick shift...prayers for safety are appreciated ;) 

My scripture for this week comes from some of my favorite verses from the Doctrine and Covenants when Joseph Smith is in Liberty Jail. I might have shared them before, but I will do it again anyway :) 

Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-9

7. And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

The Lord has never left us comfortless, and he never will. Every time I read these verses something new sticks out to me, and this time was the power of verse 9. That if we "hold on our way" the Lord knows our days, which passes as if the smallest degree of seconds in his time, and will not allow the priesthood to leave from us. The blessings of the priesthood are readily acceptable if we will but hold true to our faith in God and fear not man, or the frailties of our general mortality. The Lord loves us, and wants us to be happy, but also to grow and rely upon him. Have a great week! Love you all!
Elder Belshe 
(The Mission President shared some pictures of the trainings this week)