Saturday, August 29, 2015

Letter: 29 August 2015 - First Week in the Czech Mission

29th August 2015

Hello everybody!

My flights were long but good and I sat with the same set of Elders for most of my flights (Elder Newman and I were flight buddies so I taught him how to speak with a British accent and it was very entertaining!).  

I've arrived here safe and sound.

Guess where I am serving?

PRAHA!!!! (aka Prague)  I am sooo excited! I just about cried when my President told me that I would be serving here. I have been hoping I would serve in Prague and Matt guessed it right from the start :) I love it here! I don't think I can say that enough. 

My first Czech Meal!

I barely understand anything and struggle to speak super well but people are so patient and kind (they sound kind... I have no idea what they are saying half of the time). I adore it! Being a greenie in Prague is a dream come true! 

Me, my companion (Sister DuBois in the middle) and a recent convert of hers (Sister Donaldson taught her!!) today, Saturday, as we discovered Prague and used the Metro)

My trainer is Sister DuBois (who was actually trained by one of my teachers.. shout out to Sister Donaldson!) and she is amazing! I love her already and she has taught me so much!  

My first apartment (Note name "Residence Babylon"!).  It is huge!
I am also getting used to the city life, using public transport and eating city food all the time is my life now :)


Praha is a dream come true and I feel right at home, as if I were back in Germany besides a few new foods and a completely different language. It is such a beautiful city and I am constantly amazed by all that I see. We went on a walk around the city when we first got there and, although I was partially out of it after traveling for over 24 hours, it was beautiful (be prepared for a bombardment of photos... I apologize in advance). I know this is the mission I am supposed to be in and I love the people I serve already! 


The most common question I get during contacting is why I ever decided to come to Prague and it is awesome! I basically teach the first lesson during street contacting and it's wonderful! Thank you for all those have supported me and taught me so much! It really has helped :)

I actually teach people from all around the world in Czech, English and German! (German has been a definite help and I loved surprising my trainer when we contacted and ran into a German family that didn't speak Czech or English). I have also met a few people that my MTC teachers taught and love it! Missionary work is amazing!

Jet lag has definitely been a killer, I am constantly on the verge of falling asleep in lessons and whilst studying but it's getting better :)

Shortly after our arrival in Prague

I know that Heavenly Father lives and loves us and is so proud of us when we make righteous choices and follow His Son's example. I know that my testimony is growing each day as I work hard and strive to be an example of the name I wear close to my heart. I love you all and am so grateful for your support. Never forget who you are!

Scripture of the week: John 7:17 

Mam rada!

Sestra Manners

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Letter: 20 August 2015 - Last Week in MTC

20th August 2015

Is my time in the MTC really nearly up already? It feels like I got here a week ago!

But it's true! I fly to Prague on Monday and start my travels at 1.30 am! (that makes waking up at 6.30 feel like a vacation!). I am so excited to be in the field and to teach real people and bear my testimony to people who have never even prayed before. I know that I am going to where I am needed the most. Heavenly Father has people in the Czech Republic that need me. Heavenly Father really has a plan for every single one of us and I have the opportunity to see how mine unravels and intertwines with the people I will be serving.

This week has been incredible! Days fly by so fast I feel like I wake up and I'm ready to go back to sleep and start the next day only a few hours later!  I have had so many highlights this week and it's so hard to remember what week they are from since time just all folds into one :)

Sunday we got to perform with the Nashville tribute band! I loved it! They are an amazing group of fathers and friends who have written beautiful songs about the gospel that all happen to be country music! I can feel the Spirit so strongly through music and I love being able to bear my testimony to a tune! I so strongly felt the truth of the sweet message I get share as I sang and listened and I am so grateful for all that Heavenly Father has blessed me with. One of my favorite songs was called "the hardest thing I ever had to leave" (I think) and is a simple song about one of the band member's missions. Every missionary has made sacrifices to come on a mission and yet it is because of those sacrifices and the experiences that I have had and will continue to have that make my testimony stronger. I know that my hard work and effort will change lives because it has already changed mine.

I had the best Friday ever last week! My companion and I got to go to Salt Lake City and attend the temple. It is so beautiful! And I loved being able to see every single temple I have visited this last year on our way up there as we took the train. I am so grateful for the sacrifices so many members have made in order to be able to attend the temple and build beautiful houses of the Lord. Never ever take that blessing for granted! I just attended the Provo temple for the last time for the next 17 months and loved it. It has been such a blessing to attend each week and be reminded of the covenants and promises I have made. I know that this church is true! Temples are such a source of comfort and peace and we can truly feel at home as we attend them!

I know that this Gospel is true and that because of Jesus Christ we can live with our Heavenly Father again. We are so blessed to know who we are and that our lives have a purpose. I know that it is through obedience and keeping the commandments that we can be truly happy.

Thank you for your love and support! If you would like to know what my flight plans are, please feel free to ask my family!

Uvidime se (which will be in a week and half in the Czech Republic!!),

Sestra Manners

P.S. begin today to read the scriptures by starting with a prayer and a question. It will change your life!

P.P.S. God loves you!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Letter: 13 August 2015

13th August 2015


I LEAVE THE MTC IN 11 DAYS!!!!!! I hope you can sense my excitement! Because I am sooo excited!! We get our flight plans tomorrow and then the next few days will fly by! As will my mission. I cannot believe that I only have 16.5 months left! Time truly does fly by! 

Well I know I promised notes from Elder Nelson but yet again I have next to no time so I'll just give you some highlights: 
- We should make the most out of the blessings we have been given
- Being on a mission = being on a journey to become more like the Lord
- As he left the building he put his fist in the air, winked and told the nearby crowd to 'go get 'em!' 

Sheri Dew also spoke to us recently and mentioned that alcohol in the Czech republic is cheaper than water! 

We sing as a branch/ zone each Saturday and this Saturday I started off the songs! Which is a biggie for me! Except I sang the wrong tune to 'Ye Elders of Israel' but everyone else trusted me and sang along.. it was really funny! 

We got to go off campus to the north of MTC chapel and it was gorgeous! I didn't realize then but I do now that that was probably the last chapel I will have been in for the next 17 months since most chapel buildings in my mission are simple rooms (my mission home and branch center are the same building). We were there to practice for singing with the Nashville Tribute Band this upcoming Sunday and I am soooo excited! We are their back up for 'John's Song' and 'I Was Born' and I am sooooo excited! They are the first band so play at the MTC and it's probably the only time there will be a concert of sorts with drums and guitars in the MTC! 

With Elder Belnap, Matt's cousin!
I have realized the cause of my constant knots in my back... they are from praying and studying the scriptures all the time! But it's a noble sacrifice and I don't mind it :) 

I love my new study method! I now dissect scriptures and it looks like those articles in the New Era and I love it! (I took a picture of one but we will see if you can read it!) 

I had to take a language assessment test again this week! I was sooo worried about it and praying beforehand really helped! I could feel a sudden calmness and peace as I took it and although my Czech wasn't and never will be perfect, I know that teaching by the Spirit is incredible! 

I also get to go on another temple trip to Salt Lake City tomorrow! All internationals get to go (thanks for the UK citizenship dad!) and my comp and I get to go together and are excited!! Look out for a bunch of foreign missionaries on temple square tomorrow morning! 
That's all for now folks! 

Read Philippians 1 & 2 and notice how it is all about missionary work! I loved it! 

Mam rada! 

Sestra Manners 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Letter: 6 August 2015

6th Aug 2015

Dear all,

Thank you for your support, encouragement and kind words! This week was incredible. Yes, it was tough but I grew a lot and am so grateful for every single experience that I had. Now please don't be worried about me. I am fine. I say tough because of a quote our MTC president's wife told me: 'there is little growth in a comfort zone and little comfort in a growth zone' which is so so true!  And I am so glad that my mission isn't supposed to be comfortable so that I can grow! 

All the Sisters in my Zone

So here's a run down of this week since there is sooo much goodness that happened:

- We translated the song "Called to Serve" from Czech into English as a class successfully and now singing it means that much more!

Elders doing dental surgery

- The Elders learned how to use their name tags as musical instruments... now we have a choir of kazoos. I thought I left my four brothers at home but now I have 8 brothers and 1 sister!

 - We had a little cold epidemic in our district but now we are on the road to recovery and I am proud to say that I haven't coughed yet today! Woohoo! I once sounded like my lung was falling out so that has been a big improvement.. thanks for the prayers!

- I should explain how teaching at the MTC works: we teach our teachers and fellow missionaries that act as someone they know or knew that is investigating the church. The conversion is still real and we still teach by the Spirit and I love it!

The beautiful Provo Temple

- I had my last testimony meeting in English!

- MTC cabin fever is real... sometimes I feel like I am never going to leave this place and other days it feels like I got here yesterday... I will never truly understand time

- My comp and I have become super close and it's a miracle and I love it! Prayers really are answered! 

- Elder Russel M Nelson and Sheri Dew spoke to us this past week! I will make sure to type up my notes some time soon! It was amazing! Elder Nelson's devotional was broadcast to all other MTC's so I got to sing in the choir and was apparently on the screen! So that means Matt got to see me as a missionary! It was such a sweet day!

-  We taught a family in the Czech Republic via Skype yesterday and I loved it! The spirit was so strong and they understood my broken Czech! The gift of tongues is real! And hearing a nine year old boy pray in Czech was incredible!

- I only have two more weeks here! Flight plans come next week Friday!  Ahhh!!

- There are barely any girls in our residential building since everyone is living in the new building again (where we started) so we live in a ghost town and love i! No shower lines = miracle!

I love you all and am so grateful for you! Keep doing what you are doing :) and read Alma 26:16 because that is how I feel sometimes! And I love it!

Love ya!

Sestra Manners