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