Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 5 in Ostrava - First Zone Training

This week was a great week! We had out first zone training in Prague Thursday! We got up at 2 in the morning in order to catch our train there! All 6 missionaries from Ostrava rode together there. We did have a little cabin to our selves and got to sleep some. We were able to get pretty comfortable which was nice. 

Training was awesome! President talked about turning our contacts into progressing investigators. They also just made a Mormon message all in Czech that he showed us and gave us! it is so cool! All about being a Mormon and something we have really been lacking. The next step will be I-Pads and we could use them so effectively here but it still seems like a long way off, but training was great. 

President and his wife are so fun to be around. It was also fun to be in Prague again. Sister McConkie stood up and started talking about how historic this conference will be since three members of the quorum of the 12 will be replaced. We had no idea Elder Scott had passed away. Talk about throwing a brick at us. But it was a great meeting. Thoughts of things we can try and apply but we also know that we are doing everything we can. WE can just refine it and know the Lord is testing us. 

President McConkie played water polo!! That was some of the best knowledge from training. HE still wears his speedos and swims once a week! He's a great guy! HE played goalie! We had four bags full of stuff to bring home from training. I got Dad's letter and a package from Shad which were both really fun. My companion also got a couple packages full of Swiss chocolate. And we had materials for the first time again. IT was like Christmas! It was cool to see how fast things got here. I will try and send a letter or two today and see how long it takes the other way.

We had two lessons this week that we set up . Teaching is really fun too but I also do enjoy contacting. This week felt a little slow though and didn't have too much time for finding. Thursday was all day at training. And then Friday we had language study with a member and we were running for our train home after. One of our sisters dropped her water bottle and rolled her ankle really really bad. The rest of the day we had to take her to the hospital and then on some more. We got permission from president to carry here because she couldn't really walk.. IT was pretty fun and really weird but everything turned out to be fine. 

We also had culture night friday night and went to a ballet. Popelka or Cinderella! It was pretty good, a little thing but still good! Saturday we had a ward grill and sports day which took most of that day as well. It was really fun and really great! My companion and i made banana bread which stole the show. t was amazing. We had lots of fun with the members singing and talking. Sundaywe also had a potluck after church where our banana bread again stole the show along with Swiss chocolate. It was really cool to see the branch come together. We have come a long ways! IT has been super great! We also got to do some great service for one member. HE was super cool! we dug out a tree stump so he could cut it up with a chain saw. It was real hard work but lots of fun too! We got to teach a couple lessons with people this week which was fun. WE also have exchanges this week!  Its been a pretty good week but hasn't felt too successful we are excited to get to work tomorrow. However my companion has been sick today and pretty miserable so hopefully he is ready to go tomorrow. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things, but you get the idea! Have a great week

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 4 - Ostrava

This week we had a good week. We kind of have one investigator in Jana and had a super cool lesson about the Book of Mormon. She kind of has some crazy ideas but we started talking about the book of Mormon and she was just silent. That was super cool. Last Sunday we contacted in the park with a chalk display and I talked to this one guy. He was super interested and asked which library might have the Book of Mormon. I went and got one and introduced it and talked about it. Then he said OK now i am wiser. When god Shows me that its time and shows me the sign Ill get more involved. I told him i was the sign! But he just said He wasn't ready and God would only show him when he was ready. So sad how people look for such big things that are right in front of them.

Last week as well we were going home and contacting on trams. We were getting close to home and one stop but it wasn't the right one. The doors close and there's my companion standing out side... I forgot we had to transfer to a bus. It was a long walk balk! My companion is great and such a great example. A quick story from the first day here. We arrived in ostrava and my companion is rejoicing because he began his mission here. He was so excited and loved everything he saw. ME on the other hand only saw industrial, gross, nasty tall apartments buildings. I could not figure out what this crazy guy saw. Ostrava may not be the prettiest city but it is now really cool and I love it here as well!

A couple things! For English class could you send me some good tongue twisters in English? I need some new ones and some fun ones! Also my priesthood order, like ordination thing. (who gave it to who) would be really useful! and any quick recipes! My cooking skills are expanding and i perfected my apple sauce this week. It is quite the good stuff. Everyone has apple trees here and we get them often. Today we taught a lesson in the morning and the sweet old lady gave us everything from her garden.(During communism everyone had a second house outside the city with a garden in order to have something to do. This gardens are huge with everything you can imagine) WE came away with a ton of apples, garlic, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers! Weekly shopping!
I gave my first blessing in Czech this week. Or i anointed with oil. Just read straight off the card but still really cool! 

I got a letter from Baba this week! The other elders went to Prague on friday and brought it back. She sent it on September 1. We can pick up mails and packages at training or when we have to go to Prague which is about once a month. WE have training this week. But again every month. So don't hesitate on letters and things. They will be fun to get. Any small things would be fun that you think i could use! If any one comes across scripture lanyards to mark places in scripture i could use a new one for me Czech scriptures. But no worries! Training should be really fun this week. We have to get up about1:30 in the morning but it'll be great! We are out of pretty much all materials so it will be nice to get them all. We have a ton to bring back this week. Since my companion is from Switzerland it s also easy for his family to send him stuff. Apparently we have a few things waiting which will be fun!

Yesterday we had about 8 lesson planned and weren't going to be able to make it so we went on splits and all of my lessons fell threw. But last night we called the other elders and the elder i was with was asleep at 9:30! Apparently i worked him hard! At least i know we are working hard. I am getting used to it! And i don't go to bed early any more just keep getting things done.

We had a fun sports day this week and the YSA here are so cool! We also played tennis today with our district which was pretty fun. Today we also picked up pocitadlo! They are counters like at amusement parks for the number of people there. My companion and i had someone in the branch order them for us! so we can see how many people we try and talk to in one day! We are pretty excited. Other than that i think I'll have to run! Have a great week!

 Love, Tyler
The red Kostel. We do a lot of things around there in a town square around the corner. It is a really pretty part of ostrava!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 3 - Ostrava - First discussions

We taught two return lessons this week with people we met on the street! That was fun! Finding is also good but i really like teaching. One was a lady who looked about 35 but actually was about 55 and has a son about 30 named Jana. The other was with two 14 year old girls who we met outside our house and then taught about prayer and they seem interested. I also got to go on splits a little on Sunday and teach the other Elder's investigator whose baptism should be in a few weeks which was really great too. Besides that we spend the majority of our time finding. 

We taught almost 24 lessons on the street this week and didn't get a single investigator from it which can be slightly discouraging. Two others were also supposed to come to church but didn't show. We did get to go tracting twice this week. both times people said we could come back this week. So we will see. One time was Saturday morning and we went in service clothes and offered service but everyone denied it. Disappointing but we keep trying. A week ago a 23 year old member who has been pretty inactive called us up and asked if we could meet. We were able to last Sunday and he told us his life story and how he doesn't have much going for him. But his plan is to now go on a mission! That spark has already changed him and it is awesome! He starts his mission papers next week and we hopefully be going to the temple sometime in the next two or three months. He is such a cool guy. Always wears berets and has a sweet goatee. We call him Zdenek the kangaroo and he's awesome.
It's getting crunch time for Melchizedek priesthood holders. We are supposed to be teaching potentials every week starting this week the preparatory lessons so they will be hopefully prepared in October when we have district conference and then hopefully a stake soon after that. It is so important. They had a seventy here a few months ago who said we are ready and just need the little things so its a big push.

This week we had some other interesting experiences! We did a few chalk displays and one time i was on one side of the street with a missionary from the other companionship and my companion was across the street. All of a sudden we here a yell and they took off to jump on a tram together. We had an appointment in 5 minutes the opposite direction of the tram they got on and now me and the elder i was with neither of us had the phone... Turns out my companion ran out of insulin in his pump and they had to get on that tram to get to our house 45 minutes away. Slightly crazy. and we had no idea what was going on. The sisters also left their phone on the train in the morning so we couldn't really contact them either. But it was all well! We played a little ping pong this week and church was really fun now that i start to know the members better. They are all amazing people who really go through a lot. It is really hard to be a member in the Czech republic. I made apple sauce this week which was pretty fun! we had a lot of apples from service last week and we figured it out. It is delicious! Really fun. The language is still hard but i am getting more confident. I understand more and open my mouth more on trams. It is great fun! but really hard. Things are going well

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 2 in Ostrava

This week flew by for me. It is crazy. The weather has started to change and it is getting cold. I have a jacket that we bought last week, and we also bought two sweaters this morning that will get me through. It has been raining the last couple of days and is pretty chilly at times.

On Tuesday we had progression training in Brno. A completely different city to ostrava. Ostrava was/is a coal mining town. There are lots and lots of panalocks (big apartment buildings) and quite a few cities. It is growing more fond on me all the time. It takes forever to get places in the city because of the trains and trams. From our house to the church is about 30 minutes, but if we drove it would be about 10 to give you an idea of size.

We visited one former investigator my companion knew when he was hear before. They took us about 20 minutes out of Ostrava to the house they are building. It is all rolling heals and lush green land and was beautiful. Brno was more new and had lots of churches and hills. We were a little late because our bus was delayed, but we were with three other companionships. Progression training was great and I had a quick interview with the mission president. I can use my Ipod and smugmug to share photos so I will do that later.

We ate with a few members this week which was fun. So much food and so filling but it is great. We were at one older sister's home, and it is really hard for me to understand her. She showed us these pictures and one was of a baby. So I said "Oh KrasnÄ›" Which just means beautiful or great. It turns out she had just said that the baby died in an accident or something... My companion lost it laughing at me. I don't think the lady heard me. Not my proudest moment-- but something fun to laugh about now. We went back to the family we served and helped again. This time we picked apples and came home with a bag of apples. We tried to share a spiritual thought or lesson and we started and then ran out of time because we had to catch a train. But we will hopefully go back in a few weeks.

We spent a lot of time contacting on the street this week. Most people are not interested but we taught about 20 lessons on the street. We still have no investigators and yesterday all our appointments fell through. However because we had planned them to be at the church we were there when at about 4 in the afternoon  a member wanted to talk to us. He opened up about his whole life and what's been going on just asking for our help. He told us his goal is to go on a mission. He's about 23 and just a phenomenal guy trying to live his best. It was just cool to see how the Lord knew all of those appointments would fall through but that we needed to be there at that time to talk with him. It was really eye opening.

I loved all the reports on BYU football. It may have crossed my mind a few times this week... We had sports night on Thursday and played some American football which made me miss it even more but it was great fun. We did a few chalk displays this week which are some of my favorites and are really cool.

Tonight we are having a barbecue with the ward for FHE which could be really good. We have a really Strong YSA here which is cool but it is hard for the YSA and the rest of the ward to work together at times. We are working on it. We are teaching a few less actives that my companion taught and baptized when he was here before. Yesterday we spoke only Czech to each other which was a long day but really good. Czech is hard but i understand more and more. It is still scary to talk to people especially if you don't really know what they just said. We just keep going. I've heard that Ostrava is where you learn to talk to people on trams and that can definitely be true. We spend lots of time on them. It can be hard because if someone rejects you the whole bus hears and they don't walk away. My companion is fearless though.

We eat a lot of pasta and for lunch most days we go to a little grocery store and buy some bread and dip things and an apple which costs about a dollar for all of that. This morning I tried to make crepes. They came out a little ugly but tasted pretty good. Transfers are every 9 weeks so I am guaranteed 9 weeks here probably more though.

Money is still a little confusing but I am getting good at converting the numbers to dollars. You move the decimal place one to the left and divide by two to go from crowns to dollars. We get a pretty good monthly budget but getting established here really took a hit on my wallet so it is a little more carefully watched now and we will have to travel some in the next few weeks but it will be great! I am excited to hear about granger and dan!  I hope all is well at home. I love and miss you all!

Elder Hanis