Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Letter: 27 December 2016

Dear All,

This week went by faster than the snow came and left! Christmas was so special and we tried to be as Czech as possible. Cutting apples, throwing slippers, having walnut boats and eating carp. I really love Jihlava and I know that the Lord needed me to be here for this special Christmas season. 

The typical Christmas eve dinner here is carp and potato salad and occasionally, if there are smaller children, they have schnitzel.  We had all of the above. I am not the biggest fan of carp but many members on Sunday told me that that was okay.  They don't like it much either! 

We cut apples to see if the seeds make a star or cross shape, the star brings luck, which is what we had, and the cross signifies death. 

The walnut shell boats are placed on water with a candle inside, one per family member, you wait until the candles go out and then look to see where the boats are on the water, sister Taylor and I both stayed together which means we will be together next year, even is just for a few days!

Young single girls will throw a slipper over their head on Christmas through a doorway, if the tip of the shoe points out the door, it means they will be getting married the following year. Mine pointed out the door!

A Christmas miracle happened. After our phone call I just prayed harder than I have ever prayed before to know what I can do and how I can help my dear sweet companion. And then yesterday I woke up not feeling very well at all. I could not keep my head straight and I realized it would be best for me to spend most of the day lying down. Which gave sestra Taylor so many opportunities to serve and help me and she loved it. I think it really helped her come out of her shell and we have been getting along so much better! So in the strangest way, that was a miracle for me to get sick! I am already feeling better and I am excited for conference tomorrow. It will be so much fun! 

This week we also helped Marie to set up her Christmas tree and she got us matching hats for Christmas. she is a sweetheart!! We also had our Christmas zone conference and I got to see Sestra Boza who was there for a baptism and Setra Ross so we took a picture together. I love those two so much!!


When we visited Marie on Christmas eve, we asked her to read Luke 2 with us. There is a verse which in Czech translates as, "Then was born unto us" and then she flipped the page but she went a page too far and she read "the devil who tempted us".  She is a little slow so she just kept reading and I was trying so hard not to laugh. it was sooo funny!!!!!!  I am still laughing about it now!!  I am sorry if it doesn't seem very funny.

All that we are working with are doing great. Things have been rather slow with the Christmas season but we have been able to visit them and bring the spirit of Christmas into their home. A special moment happened when we visited the Novakovi, a less active family that we are trying to work with. They love the gospel and seem to simply not come because they are always getting ill and have different trials and problems coming up. But when we visited them with the Elders on Christmas eve, they seemed to light up and it was so special that we were able to bring the spirit of Christmas into their home. It was a tender mercy for me to be able to bear testimony of the Saviour as we sang and shared gratitude for Christ. 

I read 2 Nephi this week and loved it. I truly know that we are here to find hope and joy through Christ, we are not here to droop in sin. I hope that you will find joy this week. I love you! 

S laskou,

sestra Manners 


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