Saturday, December 19, 2015

Letter: 19 December 2015

Vesele vanoce!

I hope you are having a wonderful week preparing for Christmas! We are so excited here in Prague (even if the weather thinks it is still the beginning of October) since the next week will be filled with visiting members and less actives! We get to share our testimonies with them and leave them with the new Christmas video! Did you know that it is even in Czech? You try watching it and see how crazy of a language I speak all day every day! I cannot believe that something which once sounded like gibberish is a language I now try to speak. Miracles really do happen! 



 

I love my mission! Remember that Book of Mormon Challenge I wrote about 2 months ago? Well we finish reading it this week! And I am so excited! It has been incredible reading it as a mission because we are all able to talk about what we have been learning and are helping each other. This week sis D and I had the opportunity to study with our mission president. He is amazing!!!! Truly called of God to be here and he has helped me in so many ways to become a better missionary and to stretch myself as far as possible. I love the truly inspired nature of our calls no matter where we serve or what we do, I know that we are exactly where Heavenly Father wants us to be. He is proud of us as we magnify our calling and serve to the best of our capacity. And this is all possible because of His Son Jesus Christ.

I am grateful for who He is and what that means for me. Because of Him,I know that I can become better each day. I know that I can be with my family forever, sealed to those I love for eternity as I keep my covenants and rely on Christ. I know my Saviour lives and loves me.

I hope you have wonderful Christmas and remember your Saviour. He loves you very very much!

Best wishes,
s laskou,
Sestra Manners

P.S. we went to an amazing concert this week as our culture night and saw the Prague symphony play the Nutcracker! It was amazing! 



Also sister D and I are still in awe that this guy (see photo) is now a member!! He is amazing!!!) 



Monday, December 14, 2015

Letter: 12 December 2015

Hello everybody!! 

Life is grand!  This week has been incredible! Time is truly flying by but I love it!!

I just wanted to share 3 miracles that happened this week!

First of all, we had our Christmas concert. The missionaries were entirely in charge of it and we had little time to practice and did not sound very good as we did so. But somehow, I say it was by the spirit, we had a beautiful concert and the Spirit was so strong! It brought many people to tears and helped remind me of the true meaning of Christmas. I loved it! Music really in incredible and I love singing about my Savior.

Secondly, I met this dear sweet lady on the metro last week after feeling prompted to just open my mouth and speak and we ended up exchanging numbers and set up to meet this week. She came to our lesson and we showed her the building and we felt the holy ghost so so strongly. She is a believer but does not have a concrete faith neither is she baptized. But she wants to be! There and then we committed her to prepare for baptism in about two months and she accepted!!! Sister D and I know for sure that that was a tender mercy of the Lord after a long missionary day!

And then today the most amazing thing happened!!! Our dear friend that we have been teaching for the past two months got baptized!! It was incredible! We have helped him find Christ and I was honored to be there as he made that promise with God to always follow him! He was an atheist when we first met him and it has been miracle after miracle seeing him grow and embrace the gospel.

I am so grateful that we met him and that I am a missionary. I love being able to testify of my Saviour with my whole heart and helping others to be able to do that too! I know the church is true and  love it!

S láskou,

Sestra M

P.S. my last name also translates as obedience in czech and so there is a member that calls me 'Sestra poslušnost'!!! I love it!!

mám vás moc rada! 


 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Letter: 5 December 2015

"Who kneels before God can stand before anyone"

I LOVE MY MISSION!!!!

It seriously is so amazing and with every passing week that flies by in the matter of what feels like seconds, I am seeing more and more why I was called to serve here. The people I meet and teach have become a part of my life that will never be inseparable. I am having the most spiritually uplifting lessons with people who once never believe that God existed and are now preparing for baptism! Miracles are happening each day!

I am feeling the spirit so strongly as a testify to others no matter the language or situation. On the street, in a warm room or on the metro. If the spirit prompts me to testify and I act upon it, it really helps to soften hearts. I am so amazed each day at the experiences I am having with the Spirit and I love them!


One of Prague's many Christmas Markets
I cannot believe that Christmas is soo soon! Three weeks! We are so excited and are eagerly preparing! So is Prague! There are stands everywhere with all sorts of yummy smells and we are thoroughly enjoying all sorts of little treats during our lunch hour. One of my favorites is Trdelnik! It is sort of like a cinnamon roll but it is rolled out dough, wrapped around a pole and baked over an open flame fire and then covered in sugar, almonds, vanilla and cinnamon and then the inside is usually spread with Nutella! Soooooo good! Definitely look up what they are because they are amazing!
Christmas packages under the tree!
I love my mission so much! I am in awe of my calling. I get to represent the Savior each and every day! There is no greater calling! I am literal evidence of the restoration! 

So we finished Family Home Evening and finished a lesson and were heading towards the metro to go home with some Young Single Adults. And we see all these people come up the elevators and hear that the metro's down because someone jumped in front of the train (which was really weird because we had just talked about how we never hear that happening and then it happened). So we head back up the elevator and run into the Morgans (our other senior missionary couple) and we were going to help them get home. And then this man that noticed the Morgans comes up and tells us that he is going to help us get home safely (the city was madness since there was a football game and a bunch of drunk people everywhere... it was like 9 o'clock which feels like midnight for missionaries). This guy walked a little ahead of us all and didn't really talk to us but he got us safely home to where we needed to be, completely leading us away from all sorts of dangerous things. We went a way home that we had never gone before and we would have gotten soo lost without this kind man. And when he got us to a safe place (a few stops from home but we knew where we were) he just disappeared. It was crazy! But such a miracle! After talking with the Morgans and the Holts about it, they are all really convinced that it was an angel. Since people are not that kind here or so well dressed or like that at all. It was pretty amazing now that we look back on it and it really truly was a miracle that we got home!

I love you so much and am grateful for your examples, kindness and prayers. I hope you have a wonderful week and remember why you are grateful that Christ was born (sis D and I tell each other one reason every day... it is an advent calendar of sorts and I love it!).

S laskou,

Sestra M

Sister Daugirda's Grandparents spent a couple of days with us!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Letter: 28 November 2015

Dear all,

Do you know how much I love my mission? Because I really do love it!
It is full of ups and downs but I would not regret it at all. I am learning more than I ever thought I would and although it isn't anything like I thought it would be (we have so many "I never thought that would happen on my mission moments") I love every single moment. I love the moments that make me laugh. I love the moments that are touched with the spirit more than I ever thought they could be. I love the trials I face each day because they help me learn more and more each day. I love the people I meet on the street, on public transport and at church. I love every opportunity I am given each day to testify of Christ. I LOVE MY MISSION!!! 


We help to clean the chapel every week
This week was the perfect opportunity to reflect on why I love my mission because we had Thanksgiving! I never thought I would celebrate big American holidays in Eastern Europe as a missionary but when you are serving close to your mission president, it is a must. It is his favourite holiday! He even changed our P-day (besides emailing) to Thursday so we could enjoy it more! We spent the morning singing as a district to get in our proselyting for the day and then we started the celebrations! We had a turkey bowl as a district with the McConkies (but I was still getting over a cold so I was bundled up and put in the kitchen with our amazing senior couples to finish food preparations) and then afterwards we had an amazing feast! There were various members from all over the world and we even had the privilege of being joined by the newest member of the branch who was baptized just last Saturday! It was his first Thanksgiving ever and he loved it! I was reminded of the many miracles that have happened this year to get me to where I am today and I was amazed at how many little miracles happen each day! Count them and you will be amazed yourself!

The day before Thanksgiving, we had zone conference! And I love Zone Conferences! This one was extra special since we were told all about the many things we will be doing for Christmas!!! I am so excited! We will be doing a lot of visits and teaching and service and I am so excited! Christmas as a missionary is extraordinary and all those who have already experienced it have gotten me so excited! President finished all of our trainings with a Jesus thought. He reads something to us about Christ and tells us about the deeper meaning behind it and I love it! This time he shared with us John 10:1-14 and taught us more about the different tools of a Shepard so we could understand the deeper meaning behind the use of the word Shepard as a description of Christ. It was incredible! I encourage you to read it and study it.

This really is such an opportunity for me to learn more about my Saviour and come closer to Him. I feel like I have already learned so much just from reading about Him in the scriptures and trying to act as He would. Yesterday on the way home that evening I remembered what I had learned of Christ that day and it helped me to focus so much more on others. I just turned around on the tram and started talking to the lady sitting behind me and thought of what Christ would do and say if He were the one in my place. It helped so much! It completely changed what I was thinking and helped me to focus so much more on that woman. We had a great conversation about the Gospel and she even mentioned that she has met missionaries before and notices the light in our eyes each time. I just knew that she recognized the Spirit and we talked more about Christ and His role. It was awesome! I truly love being a missionary!

I really want to make the most out of my mission and I am seeing and recognizing that I will do so best as I strive to focus on the Saviour and His teachings and do my best to represent Him. I know that to be true and I am so excited for the many opportunities I have to share that message with others.

I know that He lives and loves us. I know that He is my Saviour and no matter what, He is always there for me.

I LOVE YOU ALL!

S laskou,

Sestra Manners

P.S. the Christmas markets are up and I am soo excited!! Eek! Here is a sneek peek :) 


 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Letter: 21 November 2015

Ahoj!!

This week was soo great! Super spiritual and I have been able to recognize the whispering of the Spirit more and more each day.

We had the best surprise ever this past Sunday! Our most recent convert who was baptized the end of last month told us he had something to show us. Little did we know that he has holding his temple recommend in his hands! I just about cried with happiness because I was sooo excited for him! I am still in awe and I can not stop smiling whenever I see him! He is a spiritual giant and I am so proud of him!

We had a really spiritual experience helping someone prepare to be baptized by committing to a date this week. It was incredible! It was really led by the Spirit and although I felt like it was the worst Czech I have ever spoken, it was a time when I felt the Spirit the strongest on my mission. There is so much power in teaching by the Spirit! 



We did service this week for a beloved member and we were able to teach them the power of prayer at the same time! Their door locked on us and we were all stuck in the same room. My awesome companion offered to say a prayer and shortly after the door worked again! It was a miracle and really softened his heart.

We had some amazing help from members this week. Their faith helps us so much and they all have the incredible pioneer stories of faith. Most of them come from atheist backgrounds and their hearts were softened by reading the Book of Mormon and listening to the message and the spirit. Amazing!!!




I made a really funny language mistake this week. I was trying to set up with a referral and asked them if we could 'chodit spolu' which is the way that Czechs ask people out on dates... I was really surprised the referral said yes and why sis D was laughing but it all makes sense now! I am learning that the best way to learn is by making silly mistakes like asking investigators out! 



Sister Manners with Evie, daughter of the Mission President
I am loving my mission! Today we went and walked around Prague with Evie, our mission sister (Mission President's daughter) and she showed us some sights that not a lot of tourists know about! It was really cool! 



A Prague canal
I hope you are all having a great week and enjoy thanksgiving! That is actually when my Pday will be next week! So make sure you email me by Wednesday evening at the latest. I love you all!

I know more and more each day that this church is true and that Christ is my Saviour. I know He lives and loves me.

s laskou,

Sestra Manners 


This is what I did today!  We had a baptism (the assistants taught him but he is a really great guy and wanted a pic with us!) 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Letter: 14 November 2015

Hello everybody!

This week was crazy! It flew by so so fast and I loved it! We definitely had a lot of things we were not expecting (like a doctors visit since most of our district were sick with a virus but thank goodness we are all good and healthy!)

This week we got a new senior couple in the Prague district. They are such sweethearts and I love having so many wise people to serve alongside that are like parents to me (I have quite as few sets of parents and moms in Prague now!).

This week I have really seen how important the Spirit is. It has been so strongly present in our lessons this week and sometimes we end up teaching about something completely different to what we had planned as directed by the Spirit. I love it! Sometimes scriptures I read weeks ago come to my mind in answer to a question or a concern and I know that they are by the Spirit.

I am also seeing the blessings that are coming from having a wonderful district this transfer! We often do something called a singing display where half of us sing and the other half contact but we also have an Elder with us that plays the guitar. Music really does help to invite the Spirit so much as it appropriate and we met so many incredible people as we had these singing displays going on. I love music so much!

Well today was probably the funniest P-day ever! We started out by trying to bake brownies for some members in the branch but we still have no idea how the oven works properly and we ended up burning them and it caused quite the cloud of smoke (thank goodness for large windows and senior couples who help to keep us calm via a phone call). And then this afternoon we decided to do a quick walk around Prague and got utterly lost. It was really funny and we saw some gorgeous things during our little adventure! Like this amazing view of Prague!



My favorite part of this week happened clear back on Sunday: we had district conference and many members of the district were being ordained to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. They stood up during the meeting as their names were called. One dear sweet man that we love who has been inactive for the past 5ish years was among those who stood up! We were in awe! It was such a miracle and we are so happy for him! He is amazing!

I am so grateful for all of your help and love and prayers. They are helping miracles to happen here in Prague!

s laskou,

Setra Manners 


I am still burning things when cooking!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Letter: 7 November 2015

Dear all, 

I love my mission! It is seriously the best decision I have ever made! (Besides becoming a member of the church and in the first place deciding to follow Heavenly Father's plan of course!) 

This week has been amazing! It has been so so busy and I have loved it. I seriously have learned so much and I am soo grateful for every experience! Here are just a couple: 

I learned that is really important to have a plan B! We met with a new investigator on Sunday whop said he was going to make us dinner.. little did we know that he planned to take us out for dinner! That was the perfect opportunity to teach him about the Sabbath but also we switched it into an opportunity to give him a building tour and ended up having a treat party with him in the chapel with the Elders :) It was quite the experience but I loved it! Thank you for those who give treats to missionaries! They make be used to save an very awkward lesson :)

Down in the metro (with the 1960s sci-fi walls)

We had a branch baptism this week! A lady and man that have been investigating for over 6 months joined the church this week! It was incredible and they are both glowing with the spirit! The lady took this huge breathe after she came out of the water and it was amazing! It reminded me that baptism really does represent a new beginning for us as disciples of Christ. 

Also on a random side note (this is mainly for Matt) but sis D and I started teaching a Chilean man! He is soo cool and he is here on vacation for a few weeks, met another member from Chile who is here, too and they started meeting with us this past week. Teaching them is soo different since they are soo bubbly and chatty but I have loved it!

I got a package from my family!

Testimony power this week: Sister D and I were calling potential investigators and one phone call was really tough and the woman didn't show any interest. However Sis D reminded me to testify and as soon as I started doing that, her heart was softened and she was touched by the Spirit. 

Heavenly Father has given us so many talents and as a missionary I am just starting to learn what that means in regards to service. Today, I had my first expreicnes translating a church meeting. Sis D and I were translating together but she wasn't feeling very well so she handed me the microphone and I translated most of the meeting. It was definitely led by the Spirit and I could feel my prayers being answered as I felt peace and comfort trying to understand this hard language and then translate it into English for district conference. We are also starting a German class this week! I am soo excited! Please pray that we will find people to teach!

We had a really long tough day this week and were picking up a few random things for dinner and we found some flowers and bought them for us! It was soo funny but we are loving our little pink roses that we get to look at each morning :) when in doubt: buy flowers

Today I am emailing a little later than usual because we did a service project this morning! We went and helped this sweet family with the assistants to prepare their horse ranch for winter. It was soo much fun and I wore more layers than I have in a long time since we thought it would be cold, but it ended up being a really warm day! It was soo much fun!  

Something that I really enjoyed learning this week is that the Spirit truly is the greatest teacher. We had some tough lessons this week that really felt like we were not teaching as well as we could have. But the Spirit taught us so much more. I know that by listening to the Spirit and inviting those we teach to simply read the scriptures, pray and attend church helped me to learn that it really is by the Spirit that we come to know the truth of all things. 

I love my mission so much but I love my Savior even more. He is the perfect example for us and he helps me to become better each day as I use is Atonement. 

I love you and thank you for all you do for missionaries around the world! You are amazing! 

S Laskou,

Sestra Manners

Riding on the tram

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Letter: 31 October 2015

Hello all!

All is well here in the Czech Republic and I cannot believe that I am already in my second transfer in the field! Time really does fly by! We saw so many miracles this week and I have them all written down in my journal but like a true Czech Slovak missionary, I am out of time. 


Our District went to the top of this beautiful tower called Petrin, like a mini Eiffel Tower!

I assure you all that all is well and that I am loving life as a missionary. I am serving in the most beautiful place with an amazing companion!

Hope all is well.

I love you!

Love,

Sestra Manners 



We rode the Metro and it was empty!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Letter: 26 October 2015

Hello everybody!

You probably think I got transferred because I am writing this on a Monday instead of the usual Saturday but no.. I am still here and in love with the fact that I get to spend Christmas in Prague! The city is absolutely gorgeous with all these colors and I love the fact that it is now cold enough to wear cardigans all the time! Kazdy den!




Well this week was a little longer than the usual but some amazing things happened! I love missions! You really have no idea what will happen in the week but you go forward in faith. Just like transfers, Every nine weeks I have no idea where I will be headed next or with whom it will be but I wait for that call from my mission President (this time it was simply one of the assistants telling me where I am going after the baptism we had and I loved it!). This week has been wonderful and it was filled with lots of visits to members and things to help sister DuBois get ready to go home this week.  


For the next nine weeks I am serving with the sweetest sister ever!  Her name is Sister Daugirda and she is from Salt Lake City. She is in her last transfer and just came from a little tiny town that my trainer started in!  We are very similar and she is super sweet! I am really excited for all that we have ahead of us! 

Sister Daugirda and Sister Manners

We had another baptism this last week! Our Muslim investigator got baptized! He out of everyone we are teaching did I least expect to be getting baptized this transfer and we are still in awe that it happened! I think Heavenly Father really taught me to look at others and see their potential rather than where they are now.

Contacting really helps me to focus on others. This week we contacted near a shopping mall and I wasn't having much luck talking to people and this middle aged man in a trench coat noticed and walked towards me and I was praying he wouldn't try to hurt me! He asked me if I spoke Czech (I was contacting about our English classes) and then proceeded to tell me that he had a present for me that would cheer me up (I didn't think I looked upset but I was grateful he noticed me and what I was trying to do). He then pulled out a book that looked like he had just bought and handed it to me. I asked him why he didn't want it and he told me it was too heavy for him to read but he thought I might like it (It is a Czech book about finances). It made my day! It was such a funny little story and it made me grateful that others notice how hard we are working. His name is Peter and he disappeared shortly after but for that little time he was an angel for me!



Well I have so little time and so much to tell! Prague really does keep me busy thought and I love it! So many adventures and stories and experiences! I barely have enough time to write it all down as it is! But this week we had zone conference with half of the mission. It was amazing! It is always such an uplifting experience. President McConkie truly is amazing! He has challenged us all to read the Book of Mormon and finish it by Christmas Eve (that is 8 pages per day!). And I also challenge you to do that, too! I know it will bring great strength to your lives and help the Czech Slovak mission a lot!

Heavenly Father really does hear your prayers and answers them. I am just starting to learn that even little prayers in our hearts are heard and answered! And I can see how every moment of me day. Coming on a mission was the hardest decision I have ever made. But it is also the best decision I have ever made. I am learning so much about myself, my Savior and life in general.

You are all amazing and I thank you for your support and kindness.

I love you!

Sestra Manners
 


 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Letter: 17 October 2015

Dear all,

How is it already halfway through October! I cannot believe that I hit my fourth month mark this week! Time just flies by so fast! I am learning that time is precious and that I should make the most out of it while I am on my mission. You never know what that extra minute of talking to someone new or that little smile can do! Everything we do really can make a difference!

Fall is in full swing here and there are days where we wear two pairs of tights! It might even begin snowing soon! Uvidime! (We will see!) I love all the colors and it is sooo beautiful here!

Well the week started by finishing general conference and I loved it! That ponderizing talk was soo good and we are ponderizing with some of the friends that we teach and I love it! I have found so many more ways in which I can apply scriptures to my life! If you haven't already tried ponderizing, I invite you to start :) Speaking of conference, it really does soften hearts! A man we are teaching had the opportunity to watch it and it really helped him recognise the testimony he has and he is soo much more excited about the Gospel! Miracles truly do happen because of the words of the prophet!

This week Sister D and I got to visit some amazing members of the branch. They all have incredible stories! Like this one single mother joined the church over 20 years ago after the missionaries knocked on her door and invited her and her sons to read the Book of Mormon. They simply all read it together for a few weeks and it helped to soften their hearts and they were able to feel the love that Heavenly Father has for them. Amazing! I am learning so much about them and my love for the is just growing and growing. Even with a language barrier!

This week Sister D and I also had some food adventures! We had Doner kebab boxes, which is meat cooked by an open flame on huge sticks and then shaved. Yep, sounds pretty different but it is soo tasty! There is food from all over the world here in Prague but my favorite by far is Czech food! It really is soo good! They are definitely soup masters, too! 


I am also learning the power of teaching with members. We taught with Sister McConkie this week and the Spirit is so strong when member testify of the truths we are teaching and discussing. I am so grateful for those who take the time to teach with us. If you have never taught with the missionaries before, try it! It is amazing to be there when spiritual experiences are happening for those who are new to the gospel.

We also had our culture night this week! We went to see phantom of the opera in Czech and it was amazing! This language is beautiful!
 

This week I read Alma 26:3 and love how much it applies to missionary work! You should go Czech it out ;) (I hope you see what I did there)

I love you all and thank you for your support. also a shout out to those I have met here that read this blog. You are amazing! Keep up the good work!

Best wishes,

Sestra Manners

P.S. Elder Robertson (a friend from Lichfield Stake) is currently serving in Switzerland and he sent me a copy of a Czech Book of Mormon from 1933! Here is a picture :) 



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Letter: 10 October 2015

What a wonderful week indeed!

It has definitely had its ups and down but it has taught me so much! I had the opportunity to get to know so many more members of the branch in which I served since we had some activities but my highlight has definitely been conference! It is sooo wonderful! It feels like Christmas to me!

I am so rushed on time today so I am afraid I will have to list out a few of the many wonderful things that have happened :)

- we got to visit an adorable family in the branch and have FHE with them. The mom is American and the dad is Czech so the children are bilingual (kind of reminds me of who lived in Germany mom!)
- WE had a lot of people at FHE again this week! The Priesthood in the Czech republci is growing strong!
- I helped a deaf Czech man find directions and it was miraculous since I struggle to speak Czech so sign language is even harder!
- A member made us really good Goulash! He is such a sweetheart!
- We had some awesome lessons this week!
- It was our President's eldest daughter's 18th birthday this week and we had a little party with her! We played a game with the family and it involved running away from my mission president! I seriously thought I would never do that on my mission!
- WE WATCHED CONFERENCE!!!! It was amazing! I hope you all loved it!

I also finally got as picture with our district today! Our couple were missing but they are also so sweet! We all had a little bit of a color coordination going on so I made us all get together to take a picture :) Enjoy!




Love you lots!

Sestra Manners 


(not beer!)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Letter: 3 October 2015

Dear all,

Happy October!! I cannot believe that it is October already! The leaves are changing colors and it is getting cold outside. But I love it! Fall is my favorite season and there is no better place to spend it than in Prague! (Yes, I am very biased but it is beautiful!)  Weeks really are flying by!  It feels like I just wrote home yesterday! 



This week has been wonderful! I love having P-day on Saturdays because it makes Sunday feel like the first day of the week for me. And it is the best day ever!!

I recently realized that we mostly teach men! I was quite surprised by that! I think men are respectful to us and listen when we contact them on the street and then end up meeting with us a lot whereas women just brush us off and are a little mean to us! However we are teaching a sweet young lady who is half french, half Filipino and grew up in Germany! We taught her last Sunday and then we invited her to FHE! She asked if she could bring anything, and we said nothing so she offered to bring " two cute guys from work"'. It was sooo funny!!

I am also seeing hearts being changed here! We fasted last week with an inactive family but also fasted that the prayers of those we tech would be answered and we are seeing that happen! A man we teach from Uganda was not sure if he could be baptized and had been praying about it for a long time. He just told us that he received an answer and is now preparing to be baptized! Miracles happen day after day without fail here!

We had more hospital visits this week! Our same sweet lady is still in the hospital! We have been able to visit her and keep her company. But she is in a different ward now and we got rather lost trying to find it and rode in an elevator that didn't have a door! It felt like something from a movie!

Speaking of transport, I recently found out that the elevator at our metro stop is the longest in Europe! If that isn't reason enough to come visit Prague, I will continue to tell you how amazing it is!

We also did a lot of service this week! My favorite project was painting the YSA room! It was so much fun and now looks so good! and we have officially left our mark on the Prague chapel! 

The Prague Chapel
We run into all sorts of people when we contact and they are wonderful! This week we ran into a young lady that leads a youth group in another christian church. She offered to pray for us there and then on the street and it was a really cool experience. I love hearing about other people's relationships with our Heavenly Father! 



Random moment of the week: on our way home last night we saw a man dressed as a knight with a javelin take the metro with us and then ride the escalator with it! It was so funny! Prague really is so peculiar!

Sister DuBois and I also accidentally matched clothes this week! We both have a similar stripped dress and wore it on the same day but didn't have time to change! We looked like twins all day long! 




This week I have been reading through Alma and really loved chapter 12. I highly recommend reading it with your families or companions or by yourself and seeing what you learn about the Plan of Salvation :)

I hope you have a wonderful conference weekend! I know that if you watch conference having prayed with questions that you will find and hear answers in the talks, hymns and prayers said!

I have saved the best for last!!!! this was my highlight of the week:



So I had my first baptism today! It was incredible! The man met a sister that served here two transfers ago for a split second on the street and gave her his business card and has been meeting with the missionaries ever since. He was set on being baptized after he first attended church and even moved his young family to Prague so that he could attend church! His name is Daniel Grim and he is amazing! He looooves the gospel so much and we will begin teaching his family in his home! We actually got to go over to his house for the first time last week! They are so sweet and President McConkie baptised him! He is not able to come to church tomorrow since work called him in so he recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost today! The Spirit was so strong and I was in tears as he was confirmed. It was the first time I had witnessed a baptism in Czech and it meant so much to me to see him make such a  big step. The church is true and the gospel is growing strong here in the Czech Republic. I will forever remember October conference as the weekend when the sweetest man I have taught on my mission thus far showed God how much he loved him by being baptized in Christ's name. 



I love you all and thank you for your prayers and support. Best wishes from Prague,

Sestra Manners 




Monday, September 28, 2015

Letter: 26 September 2015

Dear all,

It feels like last P-day was yesterday! Time really is flying by! I just hit my 3 month mark this week and cannot believe that I have already served a sixth of my mission!

This week was wonderful! Every day I find another reason why the Lord called me to serve here! I had the opportunity to meet a lot of members of this branch this past Sunday as I do every Sunday and had the chance to sit down with one lady who had a tough week and listen to her and bear my testimony on the Savior's love to her. With tears in her eyes she thanked me and I could feel Heavenly Father's love for her through the Spirit. I am so grateful to be here! These people are amazing and even with the little Czech that I know I have been able to find ways to serve and help uplift others.



Me with some members of the branch and a senior missionary sister at our church building

My first book of Mormon placement met with us this week! He is a middle aged man who is a musician (he invited us to look up his music on YouTube so we promised him we would when we are home again!) and he is incredible! He is keeping his commitments and is even committed to baptism! This week we focused on being bold with baptism invitations (we have a really awesome two part baptismal invitation that we set!) during zone conference and I have already had opportunities (like this one) to put it into practice!

I also had my first full street lesson this week. I have taught lots of street lessons before but we taught this young man the entire restoration lesson on the street and gave him a book of Mormon and it was amazing! The Spirit was so strong and I really felt the power of teaching by the Spirit. And it was 100 percent Czech!! Woohoo!!


Sunrise over Prague

It is so true that missions truly test your faith! I had a contact this week that really tested my faith. She was finding every reason possible to disagree with me and I spent half an hour bearing my testimony about the Gospel. Some people here are rather stern about disagreeing with the Gospel but it really is an amazing testimony builder. I loved being able to share with her the many reason why I am on a mission and told her that I would not give up a year and a half of my life to serve a mission if I didn't wholeheartedly believe it was true.

I have learned to trust in the Spirit more than ever lately!

I wish I had more time to tell you about the amazing experiences I am having but that is all for now. Thank you for your love and support! 


Love, 


Sestra Manners
 
View from Charles Bridge during our early morning run on Saturday

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Letter: 19 September 2015


Hello everyone!

Well well well, this week has been swell! I am falling more and more in love with this country and these amazing people and everything :) I just love it!

We had the most memorable dinner appointment with a sister in our branch this Sunday! Her name is Sister Wolfe and she is from Australia. She works at the international school (she basically has my dream career) and her youngest son just left on a mission. She made some amazing food and used Nigella Lawson's cookbook so I was very happy! But the electricity went out and we ate in the dark with a candle and a flashlight and I could not stop laughing because it was so funny!

I love how much people are surprised when we say hello to them here! They simply do not talk to people unless they know each other and they are always confused when we greet them! It's actually a great conversation starter :) And there is always someone to sit next to on public transport wince nobody sits near each other if at all possible! I love it! It makes missionary work really easy!


Sister DuBois and I on a tiger

I had my first Czech hospital experience this week. Do not worry... it was to visit someone else! But I couldn't even tell where the hospital was because it looked like the average building! People smoking everywhere, too! (I usually think "welcome to Europe" whenever that happens!). The Elders came with us and gave her a blessing and it was both her and my first experience of hearing a blessing in Czech because she only joined the church last month! It was amazing! The Spirit was so strong and she felt so much better afterwards :) Priesthood power!  
Our kitchen and dining area (I told you it was a large apartment!)

German has come in handy this week! We met a sister missionary who was returning home from her mission in London. She joined the church a little over 2 years ago and only served a 14 month mission because of school (sounds like what I would have had to do if I had stayed in England) and said that it was the worst day of her life coming home. Her parents are very against the church but her mom came to the office while Eva got released. She grew up speaking German since her family works for a German company and I was able to get to know her and talk about the blessings of the Gospel. She was more understanding and even took a few church booklets home with her. I got to translate the whole conversation for my mission President's wife, too!

Our very large bedroom.  Looks like we need more furniture!

This week  I GAVE AWAY MY FIRST KNIHA MORMONOVA!!! I was so happy and excited and we are meeting with the recipient on Monday! I talked to him when we were on splits on the street and it was amazing! Prayers really are answered!  

Our spacious living and study room
Large bathroom with washer and dryer

We also had a wonderful lesson with one of our investigators and he said the following: "A year ago God was just a word to me but now he is a part of my life". This country is so prepared for the Gospel and I love seeing the light of Christ flourish in those I meet!

I love being a missionary and I love the Gospel!

Love from a very grateful sister missionary in Prague,

Sestra Manners 




Saturday, September 12, 2015

Letter: 12 September 2015


Dear all,

Missionary work is amazing!! I love it! I could not imagine being anywhere better and I am so blessed to be serving in such an incredible place. We take public transport EVERYWHERE and I get to share the gospel in broken Czech and look out and see the city in its beauty, any time of the day.

And sooo many miracles have happened this week! I know Heavenly Father answers our prayers and loves us!

We had an investigator whom we helped move in to Prague last week come to church for the first time this past Sunday. He loved it and left shortly after. Then here's the miracle: He texts us, wondering when his baptism date is because he knows he wants to get baptized!!! He is so ready for the gospel and has a little adorable family and we will be teaching in their home shortly :)


The front door to our church

We taught a first lesson to a young girl my age and one of the first thing she asked was if we had church services on Sunday and if she could come!!! She is amazing and we are so excited to start teaching her and seeing her feel the Spirit and learn about her eternal potential. 


We teach an English conversation class each Tuesday and it is the most hilarious thing ever! It is full of a bunch of elderly men that aren't members and bicker with each other and like to tell us jokes in thick accents and I love it! We shared a Mormon message with them at the end of class this week and they were astonished :)

We went to go visit a less active member but she wasn't home and it started raining and we were getting on a bus and heard someone yell "Sestryy!!!" and it was her! Miracle after miracle happened this week!


We got some American treats from a visitor at church

We broke our phone (this isn't the miracle part) by getting it covered in water (it kind of fell in a toilet!!!) and lost all of our contacts, however (this is the miracle part) after getting a new phone they have been texting us and we are slowly getting in touch with all of the people we teach!

I also had my first exchange this week and loved it! a lot of lessons fell through that day but it gave me the opportunity to work on contacting (which was a goal I made for the day and God truly does answer our prayers so be careful what you pray for!). We met amazing people and had some wonderful experiences, from teaching a man that just lost his wife about the Plan of salvation to committing someone to baptism just a few minutes after meeting them :) I love missionary work and miracles!

We also got to go to the zoo today!! As a district and it was super fun! Prague has the fourth best zoo in the world so we are pretty lucky! We even went on a little gondola ride (with President's approval).



Something that I love being able to do is helping people recognize the spirit. I can feel God's love for us through the Holy Ghost and I love the feelings of peace and comfort that are brought as we pray for the guidance of the spirit in our lives. Never forget the comforting feeling that the spirit can bring when we need it most.

I love you all and am so grateful for you! Thank you for support :)

With laska (love),

Sestra Manners 


Monday, September 7, 2015

Letter: 5 September 2015

Week 2 in Prague!

Well this week has been full of adventures! And I have loved and learned so much from every experience I have had!  My trainer, Sister DuBois, is from Bountiful Utah and this is her last transfer! I'm her third baby! She's been in this are for two transfers already so most people ignore me and only talk to her since they know her so well (I'm starting to see why people say Eastern European missions are hard but they are not impossible!).



We live on the third floor of our building and have two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and toilet and a living room/ dinging room/ office. The hallway is bigger than my room back home and the overall apartment is very European!


Being a greenie is definitely fun! I have no idea what is going on a lot of the time since I can barely understand anybody but this is the perfect time for me to learned to rely on the Lord and he truly has blessed me! I have learned to love people I have just met and focusing on their needs has helped me to understand them so much more. I have the most incredible calling in the world. I get to share my testimony day in and day out 24/7 and there is nothing I love more to do.

The week has been hard but that's how missionary work should be. If it were easy, I wouldn't learn as much as I have and it wouldn't mean as much to me as it does. I truly love these people and am grateful to help them learn about their true identity. Every day I met people who have never prayed, never read the scriptures, never even thought about their Heavenly Father. And although a lot of them are not prepared to learn more or simply brush us off (it still sounds pretty in Czech so I always smile and wish them a good day) I know that the Lord is preparing them. This work is true and this work is needed. Heavenly Father loves His children here and I have the sacred opportunity to help them recognize and learn about their eternal inheritance.

I have seen so many miracles happen each day! This week we had a lot of appointments fall through which gave me a lot of contacting experience. I usually love talking to people but having a language barrier has definitely made me a quieter person. However when I have the chance to open my mouth, I never regret it. We went contacting as a district and had half of us sing hymns while the other talked to people. I loved it! Teaching others about the gospel whilst there is heavenly music in the background is amazing. I got to bear my testimony to so many people and even got to teach someone how to pray! I love being a missionary!

The language is definitely hard though! I tried contacting and said something wrong to a lady and it made her stop since she was rather confused. However it led to us talking with her for quite some time about the gospel and she showed interest in hearing more! The Lord definitely works through mysterious ways.

This week I also faced a lot of my fears! I used to dislike public transport and now I love it! We even visited a lady in our branch that had a cat and I survived (cats are my worst enemy... I still haven't figured out why).

The food here is great! We are fed each week by an inactive member and he made the exact same meal I had when I first got here :) It is so good!


A quick photo before dessert!

Sharing a message from the Book of Mormon after lunch

Speaking of the branch I attend: it is amazing! There are about 100 members that attend each Sunday and we have lots of visitors from all over the world. This past Sunday the man that plays the organ for the Mormon tabernacle choir was visiting and played for us! It was amazing! We even translate the meeting into English since so many people are native English speakers! I also was asked to speak in sacrament meeting! It was rather terrifying but I know that Heavenly Father helped me!

Today we went on a run around Prague early in the morning and saw beautiful sights with very few people around and we went to the aquarium! It was a ton of fun! 
 



I know that this church is true and I know that our Savior Jesus Christ lives and loves us and is never disappointed in us when we repent. The Atonement is the most incredible gift we have been given and I know that as we use it, we will come closer to our Heavenly Father and more fully understand our divine purpose.

I love you and am deeply grateful for your prayers, love and support. You are always in my prayers!

Love from Prague,

Sestra Manners