Saturday, April 4, 2015
Cau, ja som priliz lenivy momentalne, aby som si vytvoril nejaky nazov... (Hi, I'm much too lazy right now, so I created a title...)
Hey everyone, I'm really sorry I wasn't able to email last week, and I'm double sorry for not being able to send pictures this week either. We recently moved into a bigger, much nicer, space for church, and it's still not completely finished, but we've already started using it, and have vacated the old space, which means that there's no computer there, nor wi-fi to try and send things like that. Sorry, I'll get it to you as soon as I can, there's quite a lot of stuff that is really really great. So, the last 2 weeks have been very eventful, but my memory and concept of time have both really sunk to embarrassing degrees of effectiveness while I've been in Slovakia, so I apologize in advance as well for not being able to inform you about everything as much as I would like to. But I'll do my best.
Well, in the past 2 weeks, I've been able to go see both Bratislava and Devin's castle here, but I'm starting to get really annoyed at the decision to have P~Days on Monday. Everything is closed on Monday...We'll walk up to a castle, and just see this sign that says, "Otvorene kazdodenne od 09:00-20:00 okrem pondelky" (Open from 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., except Monday) and then just take pictures outside and walk back home. We usually have to pull the card of, "We're American and we're not going to be here for very long, is there any way you can open it up just for us just this once?" but that only works when two important conditions are present. 1.) There must be people there, who have the ability to open the castle up, and 2.) They must not be able to recognize that you're not Catholic (Or not care, that's usually better, and more common when you go visit castles in small towns). I don't feel like I've ever really experienced racism, but this has got to feel pretty similar. But I'm still bugged, like, not even museums or anything are open then. Oh well, I guess this will give me some reasons to come back.
On a MUCH more positive note, we have been finding SO many people lately, and it's been really nice, because the majority of them are really really cool. I have been constantly impressed with a growing appreciation for what the Lord seems to just sort of "give us" as missionaries. Honestly, it didn't even feel like we needed to try all that hard in order to find people to teach, they just kind of started coming to us. For example, the Sisters tracting the other week, found an ex-member that some people here had been wondering about. Or we, looking for a member for a couple of weeks, discovered that he was actually in our English class, and we just hadn't known what he was looking like.
Another plus of serving in a big city (my respect for those who serve in New York, and Chicago, and Los Angeles, and other big cities has really grown), is that I have gained a very good knowledge of church history. There are people who have taken it upon themselves to research in detail every single thing prophets and apostles have done, and are determined to make them look bad. Something else I've discovered is the importance of Preach My Gospel and the Standard Works in these instances. Preach My Gospel has been worded to carefully so as to make it extremely difficult to prove any of the points of our doctrine false. It's really nice, and the Topical Guide is a blessing straight from God.
I'll give an example:
People will ask, "Why haven't Mormons ever had a Prophetess?" Look up Prophetess in the TG, and follow some footnotes, and you get straight to Exodus 15:20, which describes the Sister of Moses as being a prophetess. Follow some more, and you get to Numbers 12, the whole chapter, where the prophetess, and the head of the Aaronic priesthood say to the prophet that, "hasn't god spoken to us as well?" It's a fair question, but Jehovah, to prove his point (That the head of the church is the Prophet), comes down in a cloud and curses the prophetess with leprosy. Then, despite the pleas for forgiveness from the prophet himself, The Lord in his anger (which btw helps us see him as a being of parts and passions) makes her deal with being that way for a week, and to add embarrassment to the punishment, doesn't allow Israel to move during that time period. So the answer to the question is: We have had prophetesses, however, even these do not have the authority and keys granted unto the Lord's Prophets, Seers, and Revelators, which is why we don't follow them first and foremost. Isn't that cool?
I gave a talk in church, that I was told my mother would be very proud of, so I'll tell you a little bit about it. I was given the topic of, "Mission" so I decided to speak a little bit about my decision to come on a mission, which included the car-ride where my Mom burst out crying in October 2012. I was told after the meeting, by the sweetest little angel-sister Sestra H. that, "It's obvious your mother knows everything. She would be very grateful to hear you speak today." The main point of it all though was how I have never regretted, nor think that I ever will regret the decision to come. It has been the best year and a half I've ever had, not because It's been fun and happy and I've been in a new place and learned a new language. I have learned to laugh and be happy when there's nothing to be happy about, and to love people when they're sassy and rude to me, and to be ready to do absolutely anything to help out a priesthood leader, because I know how much they sacrifice. These are things that I know will and have shaped my life for the better.
I've noticed that Google Translate has been having a little bit of a hard time translating for you guys when I say things in Slovak. I'm not sure why, but I'll explain a couple of things real quick. first, Blava=Bratislava. I don't know where they're getting blue, that's Modrá. Nebo means Heaven/The Sky, and I totally understand the problem, but at the same time it's hard. You see, nebo in Czech means or/because. So I get it, but I wonder why it thinks it's Czech and not Slovak. I've been giving a lot of thought to what I might be able to do for GoogleTranslate and Slovak when I get back...
Well, I feel like I've talked a lot and still not said a whole bunch, I'm really quite glad with how busy we are, and I like being a missionary a lot. It's considerably satisfactory. Haha, well, I think it's about time for me to stop writing, Thanks to GoogleTranslate for helping my English vocabulary out a little bit.
Mimoriadné kopci požehnaní vám všetkým prajem,
(I wish you all special blessings,)