Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 24, 2014 - Zilina

Ahoj everyone!! 

So there were some ups, and some downs, and some miracles this week...

This week to shake up our kontakting/trakting, Sister Baird and I went to another city, Kysucke Nove Mesto. It was an adventure! It's only 15 or so minutes away from Zilina by train and we had a really great day of trakting. 

The Zone Leaders came to do exchanges with the elders which means we did a singing display! I love it when we have big group singing displays (okay there were 6 of us...but real quality). One of the ZLs (Starsi Utley) has a beautiful voice. He's an amazing tenor so we always sound good when Starsi Utley sings with us! After the singing display, Sister Baird and I caught a train to Brno--conference was the next day and we had interviews with Prezident that night. We arrived before Prezident so we did some kontakting (in Czech, of course!). Unfortunately, Prezident was a little late plus we didn't have keys to the church building so we couldn't get interviewed that night. 

The next day was conference. I loved it! Conference was focused a lot on finding. It was really helpful because our area is struggling with that (though it is doing much better than before). 

So time for a miracle story: After conference, I really needed an interview but the time was approaching for us to catch a tram to the train station. Prezident thought we could squeeze a short interview in. Afterward we were gathering our things and realized we had no crowns for a tram ticket so Starsi Burton, one of the APs gave us all his change but didn't know if it was enough. We ran to the tram stop and on the tram realized we were 1 crown short! Luckily for us the tram driver didn't mind-he just laughed and let us on. I was watching the time and I called Starsi Clark (who was already at the train station) to ask about the train time. The train would leave in 7 minutes! I told him that there was no way that we'd make it, we weren't at the station yet and still had to buy tickets and the lines are always long, and he replied, "Sister Johnson, we will see you on the train. You can make it. I have faith." Now, if we didn't make this train, we'd have to stay the night in Brativslava and the sisters from Kosice (who were staying the night with least that was the plan) would be slightly stranded. The rest of the tram ride I was praying sooooo hard that we'd make it. Right as the tram was pulling up to the stop, I turned to Sister Baird and asked, "Maš vieru?" (Do you have faith?). She said yes and as soon as the doors opened we ran to the train station and to the ticket counter and amazingly there was NO ONE THERE!! We bought tickets, ran to the platform that Starsi Clark told us (yelling hellos and goodbyes to the Bratislava missionaries we past), and jumped on a train. Then we slightly panicked cause we weren't sure if it was the right train! We quickly got off to talk to a train person (not really sure what their title is...) and as we approached one, a voice called out, "Sestry, get on!" It was our wonderful district leader, Starsi Clark! Right as we got on, the train started moving! We made it just in time!! It was one of those moments when you realize a few things: 1. Heavenly Fathers listens and answers prayers, 2. Heavenly Father loves His missionaries, 3. Heavenly Father does AMAZING things for His children. More or less that was one of the most exciting and stressful moments of my mission!

So the rest of the week was busy, we found our investigator was in the hospital (see below), we did lots of kontaking and traking, and of course celebrated my birthday! Sister Baird did the best thing ever! She asked each of the missionaries in Slovakia to send a strength or good attribute I have and then she wrote it all down in a card for me! It was an amazing present! A few other wonderful moments from my birthday: at church, I complimented a member's scarf and she immediately took it off and wrapped it around my neck with a "Happy Birthday!" I just love the sweet, giving members of my branch! They're so kind! Also Sister and Elder Wrightson fed us dinner and they made me a birthday cake! (Chocolate too! I was a happy girl ;)!)

So to answer a few questions: 
Q:  What do the branches do for music for Sunday meetings?  Do they have any of the hymns from the songbook?
A. We have a small Slovak hymnbook. Maybe 30-40 songs.

Q:  How is Mi progressing? 
A. Well, pretty good--the only problem is that he was hospitalized this past week! ....we can always go and visit him and he has plenty of time to read the Book of Mormon and the General Conference we left with him. 

Q:   Have you done anything out of the ordinary on P-days? 
A. Not really. We've made halusky with a member and today we're making burritos (the district is on a mexcian food kick...a rarity here.) We don't have too much time and often have to plan very carefully if we want to do a vylet. 

I think my testimony of potential has really grown. If only people would understand who they are and more importantly than that, ACT upon that knowledge. We ARE sons and daughters of God and we qualify for many blessings as we follow His commandments. Another thing I think about often is the real power God has in our lives. We live in a time of miracles, we should expect miracles. Our Heavenly Father wants to grant all the righteous desires of our hearts but is limited by our lack of faith. The first step in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is so important. Faith is action and with faith we can do all things. 

Well I've rapidly ran out of time! So until next week, I love you all so very much!

S Laskou,
Sestra WhitneySarah Johnson<3

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