Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014 - In which we remember the dedication of Slovakia

  Dear family,

It was great to be able to talk to you on Skype yesterday! It was good to be able to see a fair few of you and talk!

We had a pretty great week last week! V is doing really well. She puts in a ton of effort into investigating the Church and it's so great to see somebody so sincere! We're still working towards the goal of her baptism on the 24th, though it's going to be pretty tight! We still have a bit to teach, and we want to make sure that she feels entirely prepared for baptism.

Last Thursday we had it approved to go on a short vylet (day trip) to an aquarium here in Hradec Králové with one of our investigators! It was a little bit of a shock for me, being used to the Aquarium of the Pacific and Sea World and other aquariums in California, but it was a lot of fun still. There was only one tank in the place, and it probably only held about 150 fish total. It's hard to do it justice, but just know that the photo I attached is about all of it! It's also the largest freshwater aquarium in Europe.

Saturday we had a pretty great service opportunity. We went out to Červený Kostelec and worked for much of the day in one of the member's garden. It was also a great missionary opportunity for us because the member's less-active daughters and non-member son-in-law were there. At the end of service (while we were roasting Czech sausage over a wheelbarrow fire, which is quite the experience in and of itself) we were able to share a short little spiritual thought with them and the member's son-in-law said that he'd be happy to talk more about the gospel with us next time! The member that we were helping was so excited :)

Today is the eighth anniversary of Slovakia being dedicated by President Uchtdorf for the preaching of the gospel there! In the weekly newsletter to missionaries, President McConkie talked a little bit about it. I thought that I'd include a bit:

At the time of the dedication, there were only three branches in Slovakia (Bratislava, Trencin and Zilina). Elder Uchtdorf promised more groups/branches in his blessing and pronounced a special blessing on the youth of the Church. Today we have branches and groups in many other cities (Nitra, Banska Bystrice, Kosice) and we have welcomed many good people into the Church. J.K., for example, was baptised a little over a year ago in Trencin and has now submitted his mission papers. He and B.S., and T.V. and P.V. will all enter the mission field this year.
In all this, we see God's hand in the work. Pres. Uchtdorf prayed that Slovakia would be blessed with "many congregations, many units, many branches" and that "the Church and the restored gospel will be instrumental to raise great leaders over the years." These new new congregations, new missionaries and the other young people (S.S., P.S.) who have already served and returned home represent answers to Pres. Uchtdorf's prayer.
I wanted to share this because it represents just a small portion of the miracles that are going on here in the Czech Republic (and Slovakia). I know that great things are happening here, and while I can't share everything that goes on throughout the mission (or do that well in communicating what goes on in HK!), I truly know that God is in the work that we do here. Miracles still continue, daily if we have the eyes to see it. I'm so grateful that I'm here in the Czech Republic! I'm still developing the eyes to see Him more clearly here, but I see enough to know that the work we do is true. In Doctrine and Covenants the Lord says that the Church is the "only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth." Before my mission I think I took that fact for granted! I truly know that now. Only through the church are we enabled to live as families forever and progress towards exaltation. We are the only church with priesthood authority and have a living prophet.

I'm so grateful for that knowledge! I'm out of time now, but I wanted to at least share that much with you.

Elder Boyce

Aquarium visit.
BBQ Czech style!
About to go into the library (Elder Bushnell is ahead). Our library is made of concrete
Swiss cheese. It looks slightly cool and ridiculous at the same time
Looking one way on the bridge over the river.
Looking the other. We go contacting this way a lot because a lot of students go to university this way and it's normally very busy.
Pretty view of the river; the White Chapel is in the background under construction.

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