Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 8 - Bratislava, Slovakia CHRISTMAS!

Well it has been quite the week!  Like i said last week we were in Kosice and we made it to Siba and found Hanis's. There was some snow and we walked through the cemetery and saw lots of familiar names! We then spent an hour with Andrea a Martin Hanis. IT was pretty cool! Tuesday we were in Kosice on an exchange for the morning. I was with Elder Arens who had been in the MTC with me, had to go home for a little bit and just got back a few months ago! That Was pretty cool! We had a good exchange and got to help one lady in her yard. That afternoon we set out to Brno (a six hour car ride). On the way i had a call in MLC. We got some more things figured out and we had a good night. Wednesday we had our Christmas training. In the morning we all went to the town square and sang a few songs. There were about 40 missionaries and we got some good crowds! 

Training was great! we, the sister training leaders, the other zone leaders, and the assistants and president all gave a training. IT was more of a spiritual thought though. IT was a really great meeting. My companion and i talked about Jesus Christ and his titles. WE talked about him being foreordained to what he would do. And we related that to us as missionaries being foreordained and we will accomplish that which has been promised. We just have to hold on! It was a fun day. 

Thursday, a lot of missionaries had stayed in Bratislava so we did a big service project cleaning up a park and had our Christmas concert. Someone we are kind of teaching came and sang. He and his wife are opera singers. I may have missed a little ;) Finally came Christmas eve which is the big day here but starts the three day Holiday. Our guidelines on the 24 were that we could visit people until about 2 in the afternoon but on the 24,25 and 26 no tracting or things like that. We had some great visits and brought banana bread with us. At 2 we made lunch for a member and went over and spent about two hours with him because he was alone and then we went to another members after that and had a classic Slovak Christmas without carp. It was a great day! ON Sunday we had an hour church, visited a less active and skyped! Yesterday everything was still closed so we did some service and a member invited us over for lunch and we had a lesson with the girl from Thailand. She came and said so I've been thinking about the purpose of life. What do you think? It was a great lesson!

This week is also full of some traveling and new things. We are excited to see how it goes. I love you all and wish you a happy new year.

S Laskou,
Starsi Hanis

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 7 - Bratislava, Slovakia

Well there are always a few surprises in the week. This week was no different! I'll begin by saying that we are emailing from Kosice and I will come back to that! As I said last week we got new beds and shelves and got that all finished. Wednesday we had a good English class and we had mutual after decorating sugar cookies. We started an exchange after and I was with Elder Whitney. They are the other elders here in Bratislava. We had a good exchange, a lot of contacting but found some really cool people and then that night we started an exchange with Missionaries from Nitra. This time i was with Elder Dixon. We had a good night and in the morning we had to leave our apartment because the day before I got a call from my companion that plumbers and our landlord had been at our apartment and starting Friday morning we weren't going to be able to be there. So Friday morning we packed up all of the things we will need until Wednesday and we had a good exchange. We drew the hashtag for the Christmas video again all around the city and then had a good night. we taught the Book of Mormon class that night about 3 Nephi 1 and the Saviors birth. We stayed the night with the other elders.

Saturday was a great day. We studied a little and headed to the building for a lesson and we were ahead of schedule so we got off the tram early and started talking to people on the way. Then we got behind schedule and were hurrying when we saw a Dad with three young sons. We stopped him and talked to him about Christmas  and about family prayer. He said thanks and when we asked if we could come over and share a message he said yes! Fast forward to Sunday he returned our call and said we could come at 1. They actually live about 200 meters from the building. They let us come in and they sat there three kids down, they fed us and we met his wife and we taught them the restoration. So Cool! it was a miracle. It works to talk to every father with a kid! Sometimes it just takes a year! It was awesome!

Saturday we finished planning for our week and had game night and then Sunday we had church. It was the primary program with the missionaries singing all the songs ;) And then we went to that family and then to a family in the branch for lunch which was so great! They played lots of Christmas music! And then we set out on the road for a big week! When we found out we couldn't be in our apartment we had to change some plans around. We had planned for the elders form Kosice to come to bratislva before training to have an exchange but we called president and decided to come to kosice Sunday, spend the night and have pday here so we can go to Siba! Were gonna go visit where our ancestors came from! I am way excited!

Tomorrow we will be here until about 2 and we will drive all the way to Brno and be there Wednesday, we will come home and have two days until the Christmas day here and it will be a weird couple of days! We are excited for Christmas! Lots of things happening! We can Light the world. I know that Christ is the light and we can follow his example. Merry Christmas!

Love Elder Hanis

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 6 - Bratislava, Slovakia

Well this has definitely been one of the more interesting weeks of my mission! But it has been good! Last Monday we had a lesson with a girl from Thailand. We had an interesting lesson and we had been talking about the book of Mormon because we had found one in Thai and then we had the prompting to ask if she knew who Jesus Christ was. She opened up so much because she actually didn't know! So we got to teach all about him and we read Mosiah 3, She was really touched and even tried to give us hugs after.. Awkward handshakes..

This week has been Christmas early apparently for me. Three different times people on the street gave me something to eat. Once was on a tram and i introduced my self to this couple and the girl turns around and gives me a candy, then on Wednesday a guy we taught on the street after giving him the book of Mormon turns and gives me a bag of dried apples, and then yesterday we were talking to a father on a tram and at the end he gave us two Mandarinky. Those are the little oranges but i cant remember what the exact word is in English.

Tuesday and Wednesday i was on exchanges with Elder McClain. WE had a good exchange and talked to some great people. One guy we started talking to and he interrupted us and asked if we knew some random person and we didn't and then he said "Do you know an Elder Patrik Kearon?" He had been at a church sponsored thing the week before and we had been really impressed with him! So cool! Wednesday night we had been invited by an English student to come and see her daughters Christmas concert. They are from Vietnam and it is an all English school. It felt like America. IT was really strange. We got there and couldn't find him so our plan was to find them after.. But then in the concert we never saw his daughter. Turns out she was sick. Oops! On Thursday we had a meeting with a guy from California, He speaks Slovak because his dad is from here and he is here visit family. At the end of our meeting he said yeah i almost moved to Hungary but i didn't. I asked why and he says well i played water polo. I had a full ride scholarship to UC Irvine and an offer to play in Hungary! He was so cool! 

Thursday night we headed back to Brno. We spent the night there because Friday we had MLC in the middle of nowhere in the Czech republic. It was at a hotel that a member from Prague owns. We stayed the night there. We had a long day. From 10 until 8 we sat and discussed things such as training, Watched practices that we had filmed, practiced things, discussed standards and a whole lot of things. At 8 we had a fireside with a member of the stake presidency, the high councilor who owns that place and the ward mission leaders. At 9;30 we played soccer with them for thirty minutes and headed to bed. IN the morning we got up and played floorball with them all and president. And then we had a training about member missionary work. It was really good, They had three tips to help. One is to make religious words part of you daily vocabulary, The second was when someone asks us if we went to church to say yes its awesome, why do you ask? And the third was when we feel like someone could use the gospel to say Hey i would like to ask you something just promise however you answer won't change our relationship. And then to talk about god and the happiness we had. We learned a lot and hope we can help more members invite friends so we do less street contacting and more teaching! It was quite the couple of days. We had a nice Sunday and taught Sunday school for people to prepare for patriarchal blessings and we taught young mens again. IN the afternoon, we started talking to a guy and got on a bus with him, Got off at a random stop and then walked one way and felt we should turn around and started talking to a younger guy who was searching for truth. We gave him a book of Mormon and a great discussion. It has been a full week! Lots of things happening. I hope you all are ready for Christmas.
Vesele Vanoce
S LAskou
Starsi Hanis