Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 25, 2013 - Košice

Hello my lovelies!!

      So today is bitter cold and I'm freezing. The Siberian winds are crazy cold and strong here! But you know that's okay because it's NOVEMBER 25!! How did that happen!?! HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY ALLISON!!! AND of course one month til Christmas!

On the train again with Sister Jones.
     Anywho this week went by way too fast. We had specialized training in Brno this last week. Every month we have some sort of training or conference. Typically we'd have specialized in Slovakia (normally in Zilina) and I'm not sure why we went to Brno but it was awesome! I love trainings, they're a spiritual boost and so helpful! A cool things happened during training...first off Sister Schon (a Czech sister serving in Brno, she's a transfer younger than me) cut my hair!! Not very much, just like 4 inches or so. I'm really glad it turned out well. Also because this training was toward the end of a transfer, the departing missionaries bore their testimonies. 4 Slovak elders are leaving. They all gave beautiful powerful testimonies. All the time I'm just in awe of the spirituality and strength of the missionaries here. They are all so amazing!! Training was awesome too! President gave us a commitment to prepare our areas now so we can thrive at Christmastime. Sister Jones and I are going to work crazy hard this week to build our finding and teaching pools so the area will be in good shape for Christmas and transfers!

      Well I think my language is improving and this week our district is trying for 100 SOL hours. The last one didn't go so well (we totally bombed it) but we're going to do it! Elder Ferrell is super helpful and it's really nice to have some direction with the language. Plus my reading in the Kniha Mormonova is coming along nicely (I'm part way through Jacob). I want to finish the KM by my birthday at the very latest. My original plan was to finish it by New Years but I got really far behind and if I want to do that I'd have to read around 12 pages a day. (This is the reason I'm currently working on diligence...what's the point of setting goals if you don't accomplish them!)

      Mom, you asked why I'm allowed an instrument. President is all for music in the mission. We just need permission in order to purchase one. The Elders have slightly renamed my instrument (which didn't please me;).) but we've now compromised...His name is Tibor Lester Johnson. And because President likes creative finding methods (like concerts), instruments are super helpful!

    So I realized I've done a poor job of explaining a few things. Like this coming transfer. So right now there are 6 Slovak sisters and miracle of all miracles we'll be getting a new Slovak sister in December! President McConkie doesn't really like threesomes (or so I've been told) so he's bringing a Czech sister into Slovakia and opening a new area to sisters!! We don't know where yet (but most likely in Trencin or Nitra). Honestly I'm super stoked! Transfers are next Monday!! I really love Kosice but I also really want to serve in other places!

      Okay at service (at R's home) I definitely don't do as much as the elders (Elder Ferrell always mixes the concrete and Elder Guymon wheels it everywhere). When making concrete mostly we sisters refill water buckets for the mix, gather rocks and such, and help level the concrete as it's poured. This last week we had to move a giant dirt pile so I was actually able to really help...I grew up shoveling dirt! R's grandma was a little surprised...she told me I was "working like one of the boys" and asked if I did that sort of work at home. (I must admit, it was fun to say this work was normal...though I'm getting a little soft! I got blisters from the shovel!) She's a really nice lady and is always asking about our homes in America.

     This past week I made wassail and orange cranberry bread (w/out cranberries. I couldn't find any so I replaced it with raspberries!) Mom, I miss your cooking! I've been craving chicken pot pie like crazy this week!!

      I'm so happy (and a little sad) that Rayna is walking!! She's just getting so big! I'm really excited to hear about Colin's baptism (just so you all know...I might be bragging to everyone about my awesome family and their missionary experiences). I love you all!!

 S Laskou,
 Sestra Whitney Sarah Johnson <3

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