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