Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 14 Liberec -- movie sets

This week was a long week! It was busy and full. This week at district meeting we talked about being a consecrated missionary. There is a talk that president has given us and it is one of my favorites here. We talked about lots of different parts of it. How we are consecrated and hoe we can improve! It was lots of fun! We also did my first chalk display here in Liberec. I had to go get a permit for it and it worked out to be Easter week so we got to draw about Jesus and it turned out to be really nice! that night we also went back to a neighborhood we had tracted to someone that told us to come back a week later. They let us in and fed us. We had a great conversation they just couldn't see god in the same way we see him. It was really cool lesson but they didn't have any more interest. This week i have thought a lot about Joseph and Jesus! these two men are so connected in my testimony. Either they are both true or both wrong. I know that Jesus is the Christ and our savior and that Joseph really did see him and restore his church. Tomorrow we will be in Prague for training and I ordered Teachings of the Prophet Joseph smith so i am excited to get that!

We did a pretty cool tabling display this week as well! We took a TV down on the street, ran an extension cord to it and then played the Alleluia video again and again. It was great! But it was kind of like the staff of Moses! People would sometimes jerk there head away when they realized what it was. It was kind of funny. This week scripture stories were coming a live all around us!

Wednesday night we had English and my companion taught them surfer slang. He has quite the vocabulary! Then we jumped on a bus headed to Hradec Kralove for exchanges. They were pretty fun! I was with Elder Peterson. We had prayed and received revelation to look for a YSA man with a red shirt. At about 11 in the morning we are on a bridge walking. there is a path below us and a guy out for a jog, in a red shirt... We hesitated and then took off! It was a good 3 or 4 minute sprint until we could catch up to him and he thought it was awesome. WE had a good conversation but it seemed like that was going to be it all until one of us said something and he changed in a snap. "No maybe we can meet, I think i am different, maybe it could help me" It was so cool to see! Pretty nuts! He set up with them! We also this week have felt that we need to be in a different part of Liberec. Actually a different city. There is a city right next to us that is connected by trams called Jablonec. We are going to be spending more time there over the next few weeks. There is someone there to baptize. We went on Friday and it was awesome!

I have been in the Czech Republic for 7 months! Some of the highlights of this week also include all of the Easter markets on the namesti. We had some great food! I also bought Czech pants! They are awesome and everyone here wears them!

Easter Sunday was one of the best days of my mission! We had a good sacrament meeting and we actually had a visitor from Switzerland. It was our branch presidents companion from his mission. He gave a talk.. In German and president Translated it into Czech. It was crazy to realize that i understood everything. German sounded crazy and then there was the nice familiar sound that i understood. It turns out that his companion is married to Elder Prohazka (my trainer) sister! So I got to meet here too which was cool! Then we went and visited all of the members in Liberec. We had 11 total and saw every single one! It was an awesome day and we learned a ton from the members! We also got stuff to make our own whips! that is the tradition here. First Easter is on Monday and all the men make whips and hit the woman so they can be young and the women give them candy! This morning people were everywhere with Pomlasky (whips) it was pretty funny! All of the toddlers have them too and the dads take them around. the sisters had to be careful! they only got hit a few times!

Also on the main town square they are shooting a film! they have huge sets going up and fake facades and big trucks! It is pretty cool! ill attach some pictures! Other than that not much going on tomorrow back to Prague and then working hard! I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Someone's pants have been worn out!

braiding his whip of pussywillow stems -- a bizarre Easter tradition

the finished product

Scenes from the movie set that has taken over the town center

it is so weird to see all the signs replaced with English signs

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 13 - Liberec

This week has been a great week! I forgot to mention but a few weeks ago I finished the Book of Mormon in Czech! That was pretty cool. It is true. Some of the coolest things this week were getting new hymnbooks! We have had some interesting things and this week, real church approved and professional translated songs are here! There are so cool! One other funny story from last week reminded me of dad. We talked to a lady on the street who said we already had enough people but I responded there's room for more! Reminded me of the haunted mansion!

Anyways this week started good on Tuesday with District meeting. I trained about being diligent and we talked about things that may distract us and how to overcome them. It went pretty well! This week we had a lesson with that family. We invited them to the building and they accepted. WE were able to teach with a member and it was really good. They may not have too much interest anymore but we are able to weed things out. On Wednesday we also picked up our custom stamp that we use to stamp all our cards! It is pretty awesome!

On Wednesday president called... Last week was a rougher week in the mission as far as numbers went so I got to talk with him for about 15 minutes about things to do and we counseled together which was really good. We put a big focus the rest of the week on church. Sadly no one came but we are doing our part and have a lot of ideas to try over the coming weeks! One of the things he said was to make sure your working hard because we want to, need to, and should not just because that's what we do. Which was a cool principle to think about. It can be easy to sometimes go out and just get to work and do it hard and diligently but lose that focus. It has to be smart work. We did this week however have a less active at church. He lives about an hour away and we went to visit him . We had the best visit with him I have ever had. Most of the time he is pretty depressed and he is not too happy. But he was different this time and we had a great visit and followed it up with him coming to church! This week also we went to a certain neighborhood 3 times. Every time on the way home we met someone who became a new investigator. It is a magical bus! Sadly none of them showed up to their lessons. This week has really shown that people are beginning to know us on buses! Some for good and some for bad. 2 this week on the way home we got on to the bus and people greeted us like old friends and we had great conversations with them. It is cool to feel that people are on our side. The greatest was one man was not happy with us let us now. He started to raise his voice a little. All we had said was Dobry den, which is a greeting. Then this lady behind him stuck her tongue out and rolled her eyes as he was yelling at us. Another lady shook her head at him. It was awesome to feel that people were on our side! IT was pretty funny!

Also this week had one of the funniest tracting stories! We went tracting Sunday night. On the second house this old guy who looked like Santa clause comes out and gives us this key to a little hut about 10 meters back in his yard and tells us to go wait for him. We go in and it's a total man cave! IT was awesome! When he comes out he turns on this heater and is wearing an army outfit and brings three nonalcoholic beers. It was pretty funny to say the least. we taught him parts of the restoration and had a prayer with him and he liked to talk. It was pretty hilarious! It will be a better story in person! Other than that I hope things are going well! Love you all and miss you! Have a great week!

S laskou

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 12 in Liberec

This week was busy for lots of reasons and lots of good things happened! And some interesting things! On Monday we met a guy we had just put on baptismal date on Saturday. His Brother had a really hurt hand as we shook it pretty hard and almost put him in tears. When we asked what happened he reaches in his back pants and pulls out a gun. Just to show us! It was interesting but we have decided to just let that one go for now! Pretty crazy and we were on the busiest street in the city. We also got to play some squash on Monday- always good!

Tuesday we started the travels for the week. I had my final visa work in Prague and I am legal. I have my residence card and am good to stay until August 2, 2017. Right after that we went on exchanges with the AP's. Elder Needham and I were together and just went contacting for 5 hours. It was a blast, We also did some tracting and it was cool to see some different approaches. My favorite thing that I learned was him introducing us as teachers. It sometimes seemed to change people's reactions. Wednesday morning we were up early and headed to Brno. 9 of us traveled together in the mission van. It was for follow up training with our greenies. It was pretty fun. Lots of traffic and we ended up going down a one lane road that became a dead end. It was a 300 meter backing up job. President however was 2 hours late to training. They gave their training pretty quickly because others had trains to catch. While the assistants drove some people to the train station we had a Q and A with president. It was pretty fun. WE talked about a stake, studies and then I asked him about transfers! IT was pretty cool. HE has an app that he uses and has lots of information about all of us and then he moves people and prays and moves people and prays and then usually about 3 times until he feels it's right. He decided to show how it worked to move people and he grabbed my little Picture and drug it all the way over to Kosice the furthest place away in Slovakia! I also found out this week that our ancestors are from a little place just above Kocice! Pretty crazy! We'll see what happens!

District meeting this week i talked about the purpose of companions and how we can use our companionships better. IT was really good and we had a good discussion about testifying and switching off more since 2 of them are greenies. We had an interesting lesson with a Muslim man again this week. They had there general conference when we were there and he showed it to us.

Some other good things from the week! We got kicked off the bus once. The bus driver didn't like us talking to people. We had already talked to everyone though! On Saturday and Sunday we had district conference in Prague so we were gone a lot again. on Saturday president shared a scripture from D&C 107 about quorums. A few weeks ago he told us how when he was dating sister mcConkie he shared that verse with her and said we could be a quorum. I think that's the greatest pick up line yet.

Before traveling to Prague on Saturday we met two of the coolest kids. They were about 19 and had just gotten news that there little sister or something a small baby would probably die. WE shared the plan of salvation and it was super cool!

Anyway, in Prague for the priesthood session and adult session on Saturday. Someone thought it would be a good idea if I translated. I translated half of the adult session. President McConkies talk and two others. They didn't ask me to do it again on Sunday... But it went alright. I had a lot of fun and it was quite the challenge. President told the story again about our new mission president and it was so cool to feel the spirit testify again that he is the right one. The conference was visited by Elder Mendoza of the area seventy and he gave a very interesting talk about stakes. There is an application in with the first presidency for a stake to be here. We will see what happens. IT was a fun week but lots of travel. We were not allowed to stay in Prague on Saturday night so we traveled to and from both days. On the way back to Prague Sunday morning I was sitting next to a little kid in our branch and i started to do something with my watch. A guy next to me saw me and proceeded to teach me about my watch. He was actually the coolest guy and we ended up talking for the entire bus ride. He taught me a lot of things and made some pretty funny jokes as well. IT was a really great week. This week we have at it and will be here the whole week. We are ready to work hard and get moving. I hope things are going well! Have a great week!


Elder Hanis

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 11 in Liberec -- new companion

Man this was a full week! As I mentioned last week i was in Prague from Monday until Wednesday and it didn't disappoint! It was quite the leap day. We had FHE there in Prague and they have a huge YSA it was such a fun night to meet all of those members there! After that I was with the office elders to teach a lesson when the Assistants ran in telling them their apartment was flooding. It had started to snow and had turned into a blizzard. The five of us took off to their apartment. As we waited on the steps (the office elders were already in their apartment) One of the AP's who got to Prague in the morning got  a call from president. Turns out it was the assistants apartment flooding... So we raced back to the church building and hopped in their car with a 15 minute drive there. We arrived about 8:45 and the neighbors down stairs were livid! So we raced up and to make a long story short the water boiler had broken. This neighbor was not too happy but we got it all cleaned up and it was still leaking by about 10:30. We had a bucket under it and we needed to change it. So every thirty minutes through the night we had an alarm go off to change it. All 5 of us slept there and it was quite the night.

Then came Tuesday. I was in the office in the morning and had a question about free masons so I went and talked to president for about 30 minutes. He is the coolest. WE had a great conversation and I learned a ton. Nothing better than getting to talk to president. Then we contacted and at 5 we had a meeting at the McConkies house for all of the trainers. It was a really fun meeting and after wards had diner. 3 of the other trainers were from my MTC group as well so it was a really fun meal and just got to talk with president and sister mconckie and all the missionaries. After diner we had permission to be out until 9:30 and go walk around Prague. Elder Stacy from My MTC group took off and saw all of Prague like we did on our first day in the country. It was a pretty fun night!

Wednesday morning we had the meeting to pick up our greenies . It was pretty fun! My new companion is Elder Collins from California. He is a pretty cool guy and went to byu for a year already. He is a really good missionary. As we traveled to the bus station we talked with a woman who gave us her number but got off without giving us her name so he stuck his head out yelling after her at the top of his lungs. Our first day in Liberec we set up 6 lessons for the next day and he did 2 of them on his own. It was pretty crazy!
As for other stories this week, we met a really interesting guy who told us that Jesus was a guy sent back in time to fulfill the role that people created for someone named Jesus.... You can't tell me Joseph isn't a prophet! We also had a really cool meeting with a Muslim man. It was really interesting and he believes almost identical to us. He believes another prophet was called in the 1800's it was really interesting.

We also had a really cool meeting with a guy we met a few weeks ago. He accepted everything but didn't want to make a change in his life. During the lesson though I learned so much from the spirit. It was pretty cool. 

One of the other good ones was from my companion at church. The branch president asked him a question in English and he just could not understand. He responded in Czech that he didn't understand and it happened three times! IT was awesome!

Another good one was when he didn't understand and he asked the investigator a question He said, "So you're not going to pray because you don't want to receive an answer from god?"  It was awesome. We are having a lot of fun

Sunday was a good day but we had a lot of opposition! We got assigned seats on a bus once. Two other people yelled at us and stared us down. We had some interesting contacts. That means this week is going to be a good week!

Speaking of this week! Tomorrow we are going to Prague for my visa work(last one) and then have exchanges with the APs. On Wednesday we are going to Brno for new missionary training and on Saturday and Sunday we will be in Prague again for district conference! Lots of things going on! Have a great week! Love you all!