Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New in Slovakia

June 10, 2013
Hey everyone!

     So my week has been crazy! The first couple days were normal. We contacted bunches and went about doing normal missionary stuff but then on Thursday it started getting crazy! We had to go to Brno for progressional training so on Thursday we caught a bus to the station. At our normal stop, I glanced down the bus to make sure this was our stop and saw my companions starting to stand up and make toward the doors (we were sitting at different parts of the bus). I hopped out and looked around for my comps but they were still in the bus which proceeded to drive away! Sestra Baird had been talking to someone and called Sestra Pysnakova over. So here I was at a stop in Slovakia without a companion...so I did what any good boy scout should and stayed put. Lucky for me, my comps like me so they came back for me. ;)

Now Sunday was really awesome b/c we (the missionaries) sang in church. And unlike last week, we had more members/investigators than missionaries! My investigator, Titusz came (Titusz is really cool. He's a really buff opera singer. He's met with missionaries before but never really committed. He has a bunch of really great questions though.).  In the evening we met with a wonderful couple who are very curious about the church. We are meeting with them again this week and hope they'll attend church too.

... The one thing that makes me sad is that I haven't had a good glass of milk since I left home. :(

S Laskou,   Sestra Whitney Johnson

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Hey everyone! How's it going? I'm here in Košice, not a big deal or anything. ;) I'll just tell you how everything is going...

My flight (which left Monday) from Chicago to London was sooo long! Since it was a night flight we didn't really have any opportunities to contact people. I couldn't sleep at all. I was much too excited and uncomfortable to sleep....And Dad: yes it was raining when we arrived. We must be twins or something! ;)  [It was raining when her Dad arrived in the mission field]. Anyways on our flight to Prague, I was starting to really feel the effects of no sleep...I actually fell asleep (well dozed on and off anyway). But we were finally in PRAGUE! At the airport security we had a bit of a scare. Starsi Talbot couldn't find his passport! Our travel leader (Sestra Baird) gathered everyone together (except Starsi Talbot and Pruden b/c they hadn't passed through security) by the baggage claim to say a prayer. Right as we were ending our prayer, the intercom came on for Starsi Talbot! [His passport was found] The Lord truly loves and blesses His missionaries. Waiting for us outside the airport were President and Sister Irwin. (There were also an assortment of elders to help w/luggage and driving). We all went to the mission home and had a quick group meeting but then they separated the Czech and Slovaks. The Czechs went on a tour of Prague (I'm a little jealous) while we Slovaks met our companions. (There were also some pictures taken during that time. I'm sure I look dead tired and awful). Sestra Baird and I are with Sestra Pýšňáková. (Her parents immagrated from the Czech Republic to America before she was born. She actually grew up speaking some Czech.) . Our trainers are the Czech sisters who trained the other two Slovak sisters. Starsi Calderon is with Starsi Utley and because he's a European Union citizen (Finnish, you know), he went straight to his area in Žilina where the other two Slovak sisters are. The rest of us got put on a bus to Bratislava. 
We arrived in Bratislava at night where 2 nice elders, Clark and Guymon, helped us with our luggage. We went to an apartment and spent the night. The next day we were up at 4 in the morning! We had to go to the Foreign Police to get our visas. That took forever! But by mid afternoon, my companionship was off to the train station to travel to our area. (The other 3 sisters stayed in Bratislava). Košice is the furthest city in our mission. And we are the very first sisters to ever serve here! The train ride was long!! I want to say 4 hours but I was so tired I kept falling asleep so I'm not really sure. Upon our arrival, the branch prezident (President van Dalen) and the 2 elders picked us up and took us to our apartment. Which smelled like elders. 
Our first official day in our area (Thursday) we started as all missionaries should. Up at 6:30 to exercise. We carried on with our normal schedule until 10 and then we went to get bus cards. On the bus and at the stops we tried contacting (key word: tried). It was difficult, mainly b/c I don't speak this language very well and understand even less. Anyways, b/c my companionship was blinded in (meaning none of us have ever served here), it is very difficult. We only have one investigator (who we have yet to meet). Mostly we've just been contacting a lot. 
I don't have much time left but I'll tell you about Sunday. It was fast and testimony meeting. We all bore our testimony and besides us 5 missionaries, there was 3 other attendees (one of which left after sacrament meeting). The other 2 people were President van Dalen and Lenka, a lovely girl who was baptized about a year or so ago. It will be a struggle I think, trying to grow this branch. I have some interesting stories for you all. This week is going to be super crazy though, b/c we have training on Friday in Brno. I have to go so I love you all!
Lots of Love, Your favorite missionary, Sestra Whitney Sarah Johnson <3

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Whitney is in SLOVAKIA!

Whitney left the MTC on Monday, May 27th and arrived in Prague the afternoon of May 28th.  She traveled with 15 other missionaries.  Most of them will stay in Czech Republic.  She  along with 3 sisters and 1 elder will serve in Slovakia.  During a layover in Chicago, she was able to call home for about 20 minutes--the time was too short but it was WONDERFUL to hear her voice!

Now, just a couple of lines from the letter we received from her mission president:

 "Today Sister Johnson has left Prague for Bratislava.  Tomorrow morning, after a good night's rest, Sister Johnson will take care of visa work. After this Sister Johnson and her companions, Sister Pysnak (her trainer) and Sister Baird, will go to their first area which is Košice."  

Sister Irwin, Sister Johnson and President Irwin