Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 - Bratislava

Ahoj, ahoj!!
   This week was great! We watched General Conference and I loved it so much!! I'm excited to reread the talks again. I'm so grateful to live in this day and age. We have living prophets who have just given us a message straight from God. It's so amazing! It was a great spiritual boost and I love the direction I recieved from Conference. Revelation is a grand thing. That was the highlight of my week.

     So this is my last missionary letter and as many of you know this is a bittersweet moment. I've been thinking a lot about my mission this week, the times that were easy and the times that were hard, the adventures I've had, what I've seen change in myself, in other missionaries and in our investigators. I can't help but think that everything was perfect. Not perfect in the sense that it was without hardships or trials but perfect in the way that I feel my mission is complete, whole. Today was transfer day and it was interesting to say goodbye to missionaries I've served with and think that they'll still be here in Bratislava, Zilina, Kosice and many more cities while I head to America this week. It seems unreal that I won't transfer, that really my mission is at the end. I don't particularly like endings but I do love beginnings so as Prezident McConkie tells us, I open my arms wide and embrace this experience. It truly has been the best time of my life. I believe that's because I now understand a little more of the eternal picture. My testimony hasn't really changed but it has deepened. Quite simply, I know that Heavenly Father loves us. We are His sons and daughters. We have great worth and amazing potential. Heavenly Father listens to our every little need and request and He wants to give us every good thing in life. I know Christ is my Savior and though I still do not fully understand His atonement for me, everyday I'm learning more and more how to apply His sacrifice. I am in awe of the everyday beauty and simplicity of life. I love the stability and structure I have in my life because of my foundation of faith. Even though my next week will be totally different, without the structure of a missionary schedule, I'm excited to move into the next part of my life as a stronger, more faith filled disciple of Christ. One thing that continues to amazing me is that Heavenly Father always arranges everything just right. So short and simply-trust in the Lord. 

     I love you all and will probably see most of you this coming week!
S Laskou,
Sestra WhitneySarah Johnson <3

October 6, 2014 - Bratislava


This past week we had some adventures...We had Family Home Evening at the Cottles apartment with some of the YSA and an investigator. It is sooo great to have the Cottles here to support the branch and the YSA already love them! :)

The Koncert was excellent!! We had a more random collection of songs (mostly the ones we sounded really, really good on) so we tied them together using the Articles of Faith and testimonies from members and missionaries.  Lots of folks attended and really enjoyed it! :D It was an excellent last concert for me and I so enjoyed hearing the testimonies of the members.

We also had some cool service opportunities this week as well. The Zone Leaders and us went to a member's garden. We weeded and pruned and destroyed some wood with a hammer (I liked that part a lot. :D). We also helped a lady move her business once again but it was really fun to help again.

We're still meeting with V but since he's more interested in the church history we decided to give him an Our Heritage book and we'll meet once a week to discuss what he read. He's made good progression but he's not really keeping any commitments other than reading.
We met with this really cool girl named D this past week. She's super duper nice and we had a great lesson. She is pretty busy though...we first contacted her in the beginning of the transfer and just now met with her. It's her last year of university. She really wanted a Book of Mormon which we gladly gave and we hope to meet with her here in the next week.

Sorry this is short-ish but I'll see you in a little while! :) Have a great week and remember: Stay happy!
S Laskou,
Sestra WhitneySarah Johnson<3

Friday, October 10, 2014

September 29, 2014 - Bratislava

Ahoj Everyone!

     This was probably the craziest week I've every had on my mission...
     so first off Kosice Konference was amazing! I loved returning to my birthplace, the city of miracles. Actually the conference was the anniversary of the end of the signature project   and because Kosice played a large role in it, Prezident held conference there. And I was so happy to be back! I got to see the van D, and the Millers again and Le too! :D It felt like home. I just love Kosice soooo much and I'm glad I saw it again before I go home soon. We had an uplifting conference as usual followed by EIGHT departing testimonies. Yep, eight of us are's a huge chunk of our zone. Of course it's my sisters and I (Sestry Baird, Kane, a Krauel) and two elders (Elders Utley and Frederickson) and the Wrightsons are leaving as well. They were wonderful and it was strange to be giving mine! Afterward we had some time to walk around Kosice and I do think that it's the prettiest city in the world! I have so many good memories of that place and I'm so lucky to have served there for 6 months. Our train back to Bratislava took a really long time though...and of course the trains were running late! But I didn't really mind...I love long train rides.

     This week we were really busy (partially because we did lots of calls the week before and partially because we lost a day for training). We met a few new folks and met with a few old ones. We met a gentleman named J who is not Slovak but has lived here for the past 11 years.  We also met a really cool Irish man. He teaches English here. He also is atheist and doesn't want to change. He's really funny and has an amazing personality but is very logical and can't see or rather accept that God and Jesus could exist and that miracles are possible. We also met with Ma this week. It was a pretty good lesson, a little long though. He really is searching for truth and happiness but I think he's lost hope a little that he's ever going to find out what's true. It's a little frustrating...we have all the answers to his questions and he has little to no time to meet with us! But we'll have another lesson this week and hopefully it will clear a few things up for him.

      Sister Wilson and I hosted book club this week. It was fun! We read in Mosiah where the people of Alma are pursecuted but God lightens their burdens.

      Saturday was the most eventful day...right after book klub, I got a very interesting phone call from Sister Baird. She was informing me that J, a man we taught together in Zilina was getting baptized!! So Sister Wilson and I rearranged our plans for Saturday and headed to Trencin to go to a baptism! It was really cool to see how much he'd changed in the last 4 months and that he was now ready for baptism. I remember how tough some of our lessons were and how far off out of reach baptism seemed. And now he's a member of the church! I'm really glad that I could have been there.

     We had a miracle at church this week as well. First off, we had three members from America who were visiting and then a man who contacted Sister Wilson and asked about church showed up! We have a lesson with that man in a few hours so I'll let you know how it goes!

Well I think that's everything for this week...I hope y'all have a great and beautiful day. I love you!!
S Laskou,
Sestra WhitneySarah Johnson <3

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 22, 2014 - Bratislava

Getting an apartment ready for the Cottles.
Editor's note: we received many photos (with comments) this week - which might explain the very short letter.
Hello, hello!

    This week was fun because we got a senior couple here in Bratislava!! The Cottles arrived on Wednesday. They're really sweet and excited to be here. They are going to be so good for the branch and the area.  Senior couples are the best because they always give love and support! 
I'm making calls while waiting for a bus - can't beat the view!
Something boring but rewarding we did this week was calls. We have so many numbers and potentials so I just started calling through the numbers and we set up a bunch of appointments for the next coming week. 
I only got through A, B and C but we've a long train ride tomorrow so hopefully we'll set up more. :)

We had district conference on Sunday. It was really awesome because we set up a feed to Brno so we were able to stay in Bratislava. Another cool thing happened at this conference...the entire thing was in Czech or Slovak!! Of course we have many native leaders and Prezident McConkie speaks Czech because he served his mission here, but Sister McConkie spoke as well in Czech. She did such a good job! It was amazing and I'm very impressed, Czech is hard!

So sorry that this is short this week so here's a picture of the cake Sister Wilson and I made for Conference in Kosice! 

I hope you enjoy the pics I sent and I love you!!
S Laskou,
Sestra WhitneySarah Johnson <3

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 15, 2014 - Bratislava

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 8, 2014 - Bratislava

Ahoj Everyone!!
 Well this week was fun and a little crazy. We started our week out with big plans for a district vylet to a castle which we had to cancel due to all the rain. :( So instead we played Bang! Yeah!)
 The next day was district meeting which was excellent as usual! Elder Christensen is an awesome district leader. He gives very spiritually uplifting district meetings. We talked about motivation and how to be of assistance to the branch....As a mission, we're working towards a stake. It's really cool to see that the work is hastening here and that the church is making progress.

 On Wednesday, Sister Wilson was a little sick...not much just a little head cold and a cough. We didn't have a very hard day (we had service at someone's shop...we're helping them move). Then that evening the sister training leaders arrived. They were in Prague for a meeting and came to stay the night and then the next day, we had exchanges.

Thursday (early in the morning) Sister Krauel and Sister Wilson went to Trencin while Sister Barid and I stayed in Bratislava. It was really fun to be with Sister Baird again. We had an awesome day-found a bunch of people, found some service opportunities, taught a few lessons. It was really funny too because the Zone Leaders were also on exchange so we had one of the elders from Trencin in Bratislava as well-Elder Asay. He's been out about a year. He's a really nice elder and so sincere. He gives the best complements because he always means them and he's so happy all the time! Elder Asay is just a really great example for everyone! Sister Baird and I had a great time serving together one last time...we had a few interesting experiences like running into a girl we met together in Zilina or finding lots of service opportunities (something which Prezident told us to focus on).

On Friday we switched back and we went on with our missionary work. We had a singing display on plan but forgot to bring the form with us and didn't want to risk getting a fine so instead we just contacted. I met this really nice lady named An during it. I just smiled at her right as she was leaving a shop and she stopped because she thought we knew each other. She was so sweet and gave me like 3 hugs during our conversation and kept patting my arm. She told me she loves people and especially friendly people. She didn't want to meet with us but said she'd love to come to our concert in October.
 Saturday was long...we had weekly planning which sometimes makes me restless because we're inside for a longer amount of time then usual. We also had sports day and I slightly injured myself (I bruised my knee pretty badly and it's really tender right now). It was actually right before sports day while we were waiting for everyone to arrive and a few of us were playing volleyball with the soccer ball. I completely forgot that we were on grass and sort of dropped to my knees in order to save the ball. Well turns out a grassy field is a lot harder than a sand pit. :)  Sunday was the same as it normally and contacting.

 Thank you for all your notes! I love hearing your news!
I love you all so much!
S Laskou,
Sestra WhitneySarah Johnson

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 1, 2014-Bratislava