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! 


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