Friday, July 31, 2015

Letter: 30 July 2015

30 July 2015

Hello Everybody!

I hope all is well! I have hit my halfway mark in the MTC! Crazy! I'm slowly forgetting that I had a life outside of the MTC but it's all worth it! I see so many miracles every day and sometimes I am even a part of them!

Well not much has changed here. Same old classes for 10 hours a day, lots of prayers, the same food (I dream of home-cooked food sometimes) and the same missionaries. I finally found someone that leaves after I do so that was rather exciting! :)  

All Sisters in Reilly's District
This week:

- We sang a really awesome rendition of "A Child's Prayer" with a soloist and a choir of the MTC presidency's children and I was smack dab on the screen and didn't even realize until my branch presidency told me afterwards!  I love singing so much! It really is an incredible way in which we can praise God. In a few weeks I have the opportunity to sing for the Nashville Tribute Band (look them up! It's worth it!) as their choir for a performance they are doing here. There will be about 600 other people in the choir but I'm still excited!

- There are a ton of ASL (American Sign Language) missionaries here and I love it! It is amazing to see the expressions on their face and to feel the Spirit even though they cannot speak. I am really considering going into special education now!

Walk with missionaries and the wives of our Branch Presidency
- I got to host again! But this time we were in charge of traffic control. I got to wear a yellow vest, use a walkie-talkie and smile and wave at people. I'm practically working at Disneyland right now ;) The funny part is waving and telling people to have a nice day as they drive away weeping after dropping their kids off for 2 years.... I guess it's heartbreaking too but it's definitely a sweet goodbye!

- I watched a Russian Mormon Message and understood it!!  Holla!  I've decided Czech is Russian with the Latin alphabet :) 

- Companionship Inventory is important!  Miracles happened this week!  After being so quiet, my comp finally opened up to me and it has changed our relationship for the better! lesson learned: just wait and listen to others and they will eventually trust you and open up to you. 

Sister Boza and Sister Manners
- I love personal study! I am reading scriptures in a way I have never read/ thought of them before and loving it! Take notes, think of scriptures from someone else's perspective. It will change they way you study!

MTC Laundry, biggest I have ever seen!
- I found the laundry lost and found this week. It is a HUGE pile of socks and had me in stitches for a long time! 

Sister Boza finds a lost baby sock in the laundry Lost and Found
- I got to watch a talk called "Missions Are Forever" by Elder Holland and it was awesome!

I had a great week and am looking forward to week 6!!!  I would love any advice :)

Thank you for your support, love and prayers. You are in mine!

Scripture of the week: Alma 26:27

Love you all! Don't forget how much your Father in Heaven loves you!

Mam rada,

Sestra Manners 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Letter: 23 July 2015

23 July 2015

Hello everybody! 

My time is flying by! I've already served a month of my mission! I only have 17.5 left!!!! That is just mind-blowing to me since it feels like I got here yesterday. I'm running out of time to type so I'm listing everything out this time (please know that I still love you the same!) 

- My parents celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary this week! Go Mom and Dad! Woohoo! Blahopreji!

Mom and Dad 20 July 1991, Manti, Utah!  Don't they look soooo young!

- My STL interviews went well. I had to chastise someone so that was hard but I know that as I say things with love and care that it will be received well. I think I actually got more out of learning about the sisters and helping them than they did! And prayers really are answered! I know the more you put your trust in the Lord, the more he will bless you and help you. 

- I have incredible teachers here! Don't be surprised if you find out that I end up teaching here after my mission!

- I hit my month mark today!!! I think I'm going to celebrate by eating ice cream! 

- I got hit in the head and knocked over by a frisbee while doing yoga this week. It was like a movie scene and had me in stitches all day long (that's an English term for laughing... I didn't need real stitches thank goodness!) 

- Read talks by Mary Ellen Edmunds. She is awesome!!! 

- My personal study is my favorite part of the day! I am learning so much and I know that my prayers are being answered through scriptures! Please read from the word of God every day. It will change your life! 

- Also look up a letter about Elder Accairdi... it will change your life too! 

- I took my first Czech assessment test this week and did REALLY WELL!!! I know that as I rely on the Lord, the Lord is helping me turn my weaknesses into strengths. 

- I met one of me heroes! Stephanie Nielsen. She has a Mormon message so look her up! I mentioned to her how much my roommate Camille loves her and Stephanie is hoping to bump into her soon! 

- I had so much fun hosting this week! I took care of five sisters! All headed to serve the Lord around the world :) Missionary work is amazing! 

- I sit in a classroom for 10 hours each day and yet I have never been so happy to work and study and be happy! Amazing miracles happen when you rely on the Lord. Never forget to ask him what his opinion is through prayer. Just like me, he loves getting (knee) mail from you! 

Remember that you are loved and cherished! Read Joshua 1 :) 

I love you all! Thank you for your support and prayers 

Sestra Manners 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Letter: 16 July 2015

16 July 2015


This week has been incredible! I have seen so many miracles happen and I am loving missionary life! It still feels like I got here yesterday but saying that, it has also felt like I haven't lived anywhere else but the MTC. 

SO I have a few things that people have asked about so I think I'll just answer them here since my time is limited (I should have more once I'm in the field but things are a tight ship here :) ). 

First of all the fire hose theory = the first week you are in the MTC feels like drinking from a fire hose because you get a lot of water or information sprayed at you and it doesn't all get soaked in and overall it just really hurts your face. Oh how true that is! We're all usually holla exhausted but it's not a physical exhaustion, it's a mental one. But that means we're working hard! For example, I learn at least 20 new Czech words a day, 7 new phrases and 1-2 grammar subjects and 1 scripture reference for the field and it's slowly paying off. 

This week we started teaching another new investigator and I now teach without using notes or looking up a ton of words. I am truly learning what the gift of tongues is and loving it! And teaching by the Spirit is the most incredible missionary tool. I have been able to testify of my Heavenly Father's love for those I teach and see them accept the light of Christ in their lives. I had the opportunity to tell a Czech lady that she has a Heavenly Father and a way to fix her broken heart through Christ. Missionary work is incredible! I am so blessed to be here and I know this is exactly what Heavenly Father wants me to do right now. He listens to our prayers and we can receive comfort as we rely on Him and the Atonement. I know this to be true as I strive to be a better missionary and a disciple of Christ by serving and turning outward (look up "Character of Christ" by David A. Bednar... that talk will change your life!). I am so blessed to know that my life has a purpose and that I can be with my family forever and I am SO GRATEFUL to have the opportunity to share my testimony and the Gospel with those in the Czech Republic. I don't think that I have ever been as happy as I am right now because I know how important what I am doing is. I am going to change lives and bring others to Christ. This week something that really struck me is that others will be blessed for eternity because of the work I do. Thank you for your prayers and kindness because I know they have helped me a lot and brought so many miracles into my life already. You are amazing! 

Sisters Ross, Sloan, Manners and Boza

Some other highlights of my week have been: 
- Matt entered the MTC!! He arrived safely in Mexico yesterday afternoon and I am so happy to share the mission field with him! He is such an example to me already! Thank you for also including him in your prayers. It means a lot! 
- I have a ton of Twizzlers and share them with my district during study breaks. The Elders most recently decided to turn them into flutes and we had a little orchestra going on which was hilarious :) 
- I have funny language mistakes all the time. For example, my comp told our investigator that baptise by drowning :P due to pronunciation I have been saying "we white" (býlí) instead of "we were" (bylí) which has been hilarious depending ion the context. 
- I sang "This is the Christ" for choir on Tuesday and it is now one of my favorite songs! It is so so so good! It brings me to tears because I am so grateful for all that Christ has done for me and am so privileged to be able to testify of Him
- Elder Newman has had hiccups for the past week and they sound like a baby pterodactyl and make me laugh every time which can be super hard sometimes when we are trying to study
- I saw a mother duck and her nine baby ducklings walk across which was the cutest thing in the entire world!!!!
-I finally got to go to the temple again and loved it! It has been closed for cleaning so it was all super clean when we were there. we walked up early this morning after printing out emails and got to see the sun rise as we read our emails 
- I got to host! That means I welcome all the new Elders and Sisters and helped some sisters move in and get to class and I loved it! It was a perfect way to serve and get to know the new sisters. 624 new missionaries came in!
- I'm now the Sister Training Leader in my zone! here are only 8 sisters in my zone so I really get to know them all super well and I even got to train the newest sisters that arrived yesterday already! I interview everyone tomorrow night for the first time so words of advice would be appreciated! I also have a super cool little flip phone on me at all times in case the front desk or my branch president needs to contact someone so I feel super weird carrying that around since that's pretty unusual. 

I would love the share some scripture references that you should definitely study because they are awesome and so mission related! 

D&C 1:4-5 
D&C 29:4&6
D&C 42:29
D&C 100:1-9
Isaiah 49:15-16 

I love you all and thank you for all you do for me! 

Mam rada, 

Sestra Manners 

Letter: 9 July 2015

9 July 2015

Hello everybody!

This week was amazing! I know that I am growing so much!

The gift of tongues is so real! I am learning so much and can now teach 40 minute lessons with my companion without notes :)

We are no longer a trio since we had a Polish sister join us and now we consider ourselves a quad companionship. Sister Sloan is from St. George and is the most incredible artist!

Outside the Provo Temple
Here's the run down of things that happened this past week:

- We finished teaching our first investigator and he ended up being our teacher! But he gave us really good advice and I did a lot better than I thought I did! I teach completely in Czech and sometimes the translation lags since I flick through my =dictionary a lot but I am learning to rely on the spirit and I love it!

- I have so much time to study and I love it! I am learning more and more about my purpose as a missionary and have a book full of notes and quotes already!

- I have opened up a little beauty boutique of sorts to the sisters in my residence and do eyebrows and hand massages as a way to serve and love it! It gives me the opportunity to get to know others and has answered my prayers in so many different ways

- We celebrated fourth of July with a Devotional. My comp and i GOT TO CARRY OUR MISSION FLAG FOR PART OF IT. (sorry for the caps lock... I'm trying to type fast!)

Cleaning the classrooms
- I loved fast Sunday! And I have not had any headaches at all since my first week here! Such a miracle! Exact obedience really does bring miracles!

- I loved being in choir! We sing every Tuesday Devotional and there are about 700 missionaries in the choir. Our director is brother Egget and he tells us little stories about the hymn every time. This week I learned about John Taylor. I really suggest learning more about him because he is amazing!

When companions match and try to be urban...

- We taught our second investigator yesterday and the lesson went really well. We completely taught by the Spirit and I didn't use any notes at all! It was definitely funny when I had to say things a few times since I got the pronunciation wrong but I loved it! and I already love our investigator :) Praying for him is such a strength!

- A cold broke out in my district and few of us suffered. I overcame it eventually (thanks for sending me out with so many meds and vitamins mom!) but my district Leader and good friend (Matt's old roommate) Elder Newman suffered. I gave him some acetaminophen to help him and it made him a little too happy! It was pretty funny and luckily he is feeling better now.

- So my companions speaks Spanish as her first language, German as her second, English as her third and Czech as her fourth. this makes life pretty funny. I'm constantly trying to help translate little words for her and her English is better than my Czech will ever be! But the other day she saw an Elder laying on a bench to study and said: He looks like he is lying on the .... oh I don't want to swear but he's laying on the beeeeeeeeeaaach." It was pretty funny. I love her so much! I finally have a big sister and her language ability is helping me learn much faster than I thought I would! I am so grateful for her!

Sister Guillan has a collection of mustaches and shared them with me!

I know that our Heavenly Father loves us more than we will ever be able to understand. He has created a beautiful plan for us and we are so blessed as we communicate in prayer to Him.

My favorite quote this week was: " Just as vital as what you do... is who you are.."
Remember who you are and why you are here on earth!

Also czech out Alma 26:12

I love you! (Mame rada)

Sestra Manners

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Letter: 2 July 2015 - The First Week

2nd July, 2015

Dear All,

I love the MTC! It is wonderful! I have been here for little over a week and it only feels like a day at most!

First of all, I arrived here safely! Flying alone was definitely lonely (I never really had the opportunity on my flights to share the Gospel because I either sat next to an empty seat or sat next to a Romanian woman that thought I spoke her language... that was an interesting 11 hour flight!). 

My Great-aunt SusAnn met me at the Salt Lake airport and drove me around before being dropped off and starting missionary work right away! 

Arriving at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, USA

I was classed as an "International" and was put in a temple prep class (I represented the white girls and felt so out of place but it was really fun!). That was followed by meeting my sister training leader, dinner and choir and devotional. I loved it! It felt like EFY (Especially For Youth) overload and I was so ready for bed that night! It's not a physical exhaustion but a mental one! The 'firehouse theory' is definitely true!

Day 2 was full of orientation, getting to know my district (there are 13 going to my mission, ten Czechs and 3 Slovaks. My mission companions are Sister Boza who is 24 from Guatemala and Sister Ross from Virginia, USA. This is our fourth language that we will be learning! Sister B speaks Spanish, English and German and Sister R speaks English, Mandarin and French! I never thought I would have two companions but being a trio is definitely interesting! We're usually late to thing since we have constant bathroom breaks and people to talk to from school!). 

Sister Boza, Sister Ross, Sister Manners

Speaking of school friends: about 7 people from my ward are here right now and I love seeing them every day! My neighbour is Sister Giullian heading to Hungary and I love seeing her every day and talking about life in general as well as our language struggles. We also taught thee lessons as a large group this evening, taking turns to teach and testify. I taught a man about repentance and how Heavenly Father never stops loving us just as he never stops loving his children no matter what they do. Our choir director also mentioned that Heavenly Father is never disappointed in the Person who repents. I love that quote! I am here to teach about repentance and be an example of its blessings!

Day 3 was filled with more learning, getting to know my district (we have a lot of elders straight out of high school so class is interesting but I love them all!). 

Reilly with her district outside the Provo Temple

We learned about our investigator (a volunteer actor) and prepared to teach him. We also learned how to testify and my Patriarchal Blessing rings true saying that I will speak languages on my mission that will be difficult to me! Czech is definitely a different ball game! But I love it. The day was busy with study. I have about 4 hours of free study time each and fill them with personal study, companionship study and language study. Learning vocab and speaking my language as much as possible is helping so much! I can see miracles and the gift of tongues already! We also had to move out our residence today because there is a bat in our building! This was my second MTC move and it made me laugh! We are now staying in building 3M and were originally in the newest MTC housing building. It has character and is a little musty but I love it! I feel like I'm getting the true Helaman Halls (BYU Housing) experience and am slowly getting used to living with girls again! We also had a branch meeting and I got to know my Presidency and had an interview with one of them. I got to share my testimony and reasons why I want to serve a mission and loved it so much!

Reilly (2nd from left) with the others called to serve in the Czech Mission

Day 4 was filled with teaching our investigator, more language study and gym time! Teaching was had since my companion Sister B has already had 5 weeks of language training since she was supposed to come in last transfer so I walked out of our lesson in tears but all in all it was good! The Spirit has taught me so much already and D&C 122:7-9 has helped me so much! She is an incredible companion and I am so blessed to have her! Funny thing of the day: we went to the field outside the MTC for gym time and jogged and at the end of it Sister R said that she could not run any more and I said "Like this" and started running down the hill. However I never stopped and apparently ran straight down and fell face first into the grass like a pretzel. I didn't get hurt but laughed soooo much!

Reilly with her roommates at the MTC

Day 5: More teaching. We actually committed our investigator to baptism but since my Czech skills are so bad I didn't realize this until after the lesson when my companion told me! But we laughed about it and were so happy he understood our message! We ended the day with tunnel singing as a branch and I loved it!

Day 6: Sunday! Church was funny since the fire alarm went off halfway through and we ended up having part of our meeting in the classroom hallway which looked like an airplane! But we prepare talks each week and are asked to give them during sacrament meeting on the spot! So that way we'll be prepared to do so in the field if needed! We have church in English since our branch has Bulgarians, Turkish, Croatians, Slovenians, Polish, Slovaks and Czechs!

Reilly with companions Sister Ross and Sister Boza pointing to their mission

Day 7: Such a good day! Time is running short but it was filled with learning and teaching and gym-time! We go to the gym with ellipticals and I get to watch conference as I work out!

Day 8: It was service day! But I loved it! It made my day shorter and so sweet.

Day 9: The new missionaries came and it was so weird to see how much we have grown in the past week! A new sister thought I had been here for months which really surprised me but I feel like I have grown a lot! And Love it! We had companionship study and bore testimony of what he have learned and I loved it so much! I can feel the Spirit so strongly in all I do and say.

Reilly with her companions Sister Ross and Sister Boza at the Provo Temple

That's it so far! The temple is closed for cleaning this week and next so we have more time to prep. I'm sad that we don't get to help clean the temple but it makes our temple trips that much more special once we get to go! Thank you so much for your support and letters. I love them so much! DearElder letters are such a help too!


Sestra Manners