Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 9 in Ostrava - and staying there!!!

I am still in Ostrava for the next Transfer. Christmas in Ostrava which makes it feel like Christmas is getting close. We Had a great week and lots of fun. The last week as a district was really cool. For the first time in Four years i will not be swimming on Halloween as well...

Our one baptismal date is really progressing well and it has been lots of fun. Zdenek who went to the temple last week started his mission papers. Training this week was amazing! We left again at 2 in the morning to get to Prague, worked out first and then set out. We had training until about 3 in the afternoon. President started with announcements and we talked about what to do when police come up to us. "I would rather you go home and bake cookies than end up in jail" was his quote from that. Pretty funny guy.

The focus of presidents training was being a successful missionary. It was really inspiring and later he talked about the Book of Mormon. Our success never depends on others. A couple of my favorite quotes were "We have a chance to be honestly engaged in becoming the person the Lord wants you to be", "Due the work see the miracles". Both have important lessons. President McConkie is a big guy, about 6'5 and just a big guy. He told a story about him running a marathon and how he trained for ten months and then his buddy started two weeks before and smoked them. HE related that to definitions of success. These next two months we have a lot going on here. We have district conferences where men will be advanced in the priesthood. We will be at full strength in the mission. The Czech people need blessings now. So he invited us and all other missionaries that have every served to begin reading the Book of Mormon again and finish on Christmas. It is 8 pages a day but it has powerful promises from him behind it. It was a really cool meeting with a special spirit that was almost overwhelming. It came right after the departing testimonies of missionaries leaving this week as we had the spirit in abundance. I was in Alma but i will have to start over. But that invitation extends to you all as well. We are excited to see what lies in store! After training the others in our district were supposed to have interviews before heading back(I had had mine already at the beginning of the transfer) But my companion randomly didn't have it... Friday morning about 10 minutes into companion study he couldn't hold it in any longer. He became AP his last transfer! The two missionaries from Europe are serving together. He was pretty excited and he had known the whole transfer. I am in Ostrava and will be with elder Breyman the other Texan in the mission. HE should arrive tonightsome time. My companion had to leave yesterday so i have been with the other elder here. His companion ended up also going to Prague and training and blinding in. Pretty cool for him. It will be fun to be with a new companion and learn more. Elder Prohazka really taught me lots and i have come to love contacting and being bold. So i am excited to learn more from him before he leaves and apply what he taught. It will be interesting as we have a really young district again. But really cool! Other than that we have an exciting week this week. We hope to really get going with a new companionship and transfer. We should have 18 new missionaries coming as well. The largest group ever. I hope this finds you all well. Have a great week.


Roste is a great guy in the ward who teaches with us alot


My companion and I

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 8 in Ostrava - Samuel the Lamanite???

Another week has passed! It has been good! And our area has began to change some. We are teaching more and more which is fun. Last week after exchanges when we traveled home we met a really cool girl. Since then we have now taught the first three lessons, committed her to baptism and she came to church. Really cool to see how she is prepared and it has been lots of fun. Our other investigator on baptismal date is a really sweet older lady. She didn't have a bible so a few days a go we went and dropped one off. It brought tears to her eyes. It has been really cool.  

We also have one or two other investigators now too. My second week here one of the members in our branch had kind of been less active and then met with my companion and I. He told us all his problems and really opened up. This last week he got endowed in the temple in Switzerland and is working on going on a mission. This has been really cool to see! and lots of fun. Other than that we have been finding a lot still and had our last exchanges. This next week we have training in Prague again which is exciting and then Saturday find out about transfers. It will be interesting to see what happens in Ostrava.

This morning we took a little vylet to Stramberk which was kinda cool but really foggy so not the greatest. But then we came back and did a mirror maze which was pretty funny as we slammed into a few walls. 

To answer your questions We listen to music quite a bit around the apartment in the morning or at night. We have 30 minutes of exercise every morning and often do p90x or go running. but it is getting pretty chilly. Sometimes members come run with us which is always fun too! We are getting closer to district conference! It is on the 14 of November and we are working with one of the potentials. He is getting closer we hope and we teach one lesson a week and have one more lesson left. I haven't missed a day in my journal yet and get to write in it every night. I try and smile all the time and stay enthusiastic! We can get sour cream here and most things from the grocery store. But the recipes are great! I am always grateful for the letters.

There is not much else going on this week and we are excited to go to work this next week. I love and pray for you all. Have a good week!

Elder Hanis

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Week 7 in Ostrava - ***SNOW***

It is getting cold here! We have had some light snow today and yesterday was really cold. I am learning how to layer. This week was a great week. The days have been really long. I don't think we got home before 9 or 9:15 once this week and no break for dinner. 

We had a really cool visit with a member this week. She loves to feed the missionaries but often if she is not in the room missionaries begin to speak English which is really hard for her to come back in. Apparently she has talked to president McConkie about it before. We spoke Czech the whole time and have a really big focus on that around members. At one point she left the room for about 10 minutes and we continued to speak Czech. She came back in and said she just wanted to listen to see what we would do and gave us wonderful compliments. It was cool to hear how much she appreciated that little bit.

This week we also had exchanges with the zone leaders. I have become pretty bold on the street but i had a goal to learn to be more bold. We had a great day on exchanges and got someone in our area on Baptismal date! Which was really cool! we also had quite a bit of contacting. The elder i was with was really bold with the three expectations we lay out for people. Meeting regularly, studying on their own, and coming to church. Just saying we expect you to do this with people on the street. IT was cool to find a new way. Everyone you try and stop on the street says they have no time. But! they always do. I have become bold in that regard and told the elder i was with to not let them get away so easily! We both learned quite a bit. 

However we met back with our companions in olomouc and our train their had a 45 minute delay. We didn't get back to Ostrava until about 10:20 plus a 30 minute bus ride. So we contacted! Both me and my companion taught a lesson and got a new investigator who is now progressing! Super cool!

When we got home i went in the bathroom and there was water everywhere... I asked my companion to come look and something was dripping. However as we inspected under the sink the pipe proceeded to explode!!! Everywhere. We had quite the experience! It was a pretty funny night! But had we gotten home with our first train we would have been asleep when this happened and could have really had a problem. It was a tender mercy to be able to stop it. However we didn't have water that night and called our land lord the next day. We got to go to the store with him and fix it. 

Saturday and Sunday we got to watch conference. in English! IT was great and great to hear the words of the leaders of the church. I was impressed by the focus on the sabbath day and something i felt we really needed. As well as how answers for everyone can be found. It was pretty uplifting. Other than that not much is new. I understand more and more of the language and can speak better and better. We only have two weeks left in the transfer which is pretty crazy! Hopefully we can kill it this week. WE have lots of great things on plan. Hope things are going well at home! Have a great week\

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 6 in Ostrava - Sickness and Castles

My companion was sick last Monday though Wednesday and hasn't really gotten better. It was a slow couple of days. Tuesday he was supposed to rest, but we had district meeting at our house and then we had language study together. I got to do lots and lots and lots of calls while he slept later. That night however we had a lot of people coming to English class, at least we thought and decided to sprint for a bus. Needless to say he had a strict order from Sister McConkie to stay home Wednesday. Another day full of calls and organizing around the apartment. But around 4 the other elders came and let me get out with one of them. We went to the center and contacted for 4 hours and had a blast. We taught about 5 lessons on the street and had new investigators. We talked to everyone we saw and had so much fun. At one point we were on a running path and we stopped a runner and then started running with him and taught him a lesson. It was a pretty cool experience and so much fun. Right after that we started running with another guy but only for about 3 minutes. The first guy we ran with for about 10 or 15 minutes. We had a little confidence and decided to stop the next guy on a bike and he stopped! and set up again after we taught him. Really fun day!

I gave my companion a blessing this week and during it for the life of me i could not say the word missionary. I tried and tried but it just didn't work. SO instead i used a little Czech. The language is coming. I understand more and more but still miss a lot. I cant really use the cases correctly yet but i am working on it. It is so much to think about. Other than that we didn't have too much this week just a lot of contacting and not too many lessons. We have lots of potential investigators but no one really progressing or meeting with us. We ended up not having exchanges with the zone leaders because my companion was sick and instead Friday and Saturday had exchanges with the other missionaries. We had a really successful Saturday. All we had was contacting and taught 10 lessons on the street which was pretty incredible. But everyone either didn't want to meet again or bailed on us... 

It is really hard but we have another week ahead. Yesterday a family in the branch made chili for us and wanted me from Texas to be the Judge. It was pretty pretty good! It did have beans in it but still was great Chili. My favorite food though is Svickova. It is meat and sauce that you eat with a special type of bread. Dads second meal that he gave me was today and was svickova. We went on a vylet to a castle today which was really fun. We had a great time as a district and walked around the castle. Took some really cool pictures. Everything here is closed on Mondays so we could only walk around the outside but it was really pretty in the country side. It was called Hukvaldy and we had a great time there.
Other than that we had a really successful weekly shopping today. We got so much food and spent under 1000 crowns which is pretty good. They have the best cereal here.. Breakfast is great and delicious.
If Carrie is sending in packages from Europe or anything like that my BYU sweatshirt and my grey Khaki shorts. Neither are too important but would be nice. Mostly the sweatshirt. We met with one of our friends in the branch last night and he showed us all the different types of skittle wrappers from America that they don't sell here. It was pretty awesome! The favorites were riddles, blenders and crazy corns. I had never heard of them but apparently only in America. Besides that we had a good week. This week we should have exchanges with the Zone leaders as long as my comp finally gets better. It was a pretty rough week but we keep going. Hope all is well.

Elder Hanis