Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014 - In which the Lord's work continues

Dear family,

It's nice to be writing again! I'm glad that I have a bit more time this week to write than last.

We're doing pretty well here in Hradec Králové! Last Tuesday as I mentioned we went to a baptism for someone whom Elder Scherf taught while he served in Liberec. It was held at a pond just outside a smaller town called Železný Brod, where the convert lives. For lack of a better word, the spot was beautiful (I'd send a photo, but the computer isn't accepting my SD card today). The Spirit was present very strongly. It was a very simple service (the speakers had an emergency and couldn't make it to the baptism) but we missionaries sang "I Feel My Savior's Love" in Czech and while Elder Scherf and the convert were changing we had a little testimony meeting. It was wonderful! :)

Unfortunately last week we had a couple of rejections from people that we had a lot of hopes for. One of them was someone we were only able to meet with once, but we thought had a lot of potential. The second we had been meeting with regularly most of last transfer. He told us that he was getting a lot from coming to church and it seemed that the Spirit was really working with him, but he made the decision yesterday to stop coming and meeting with us. He told us that he wants to see how he can go it alone without the Church. That was quite disappointing, but I really hope that he makes the choice to come back.

Yesterday we were able to see the T again! They've been very sick all of this transfer so far, but we stopped by yesterday to leave a small painting of Jesus Christ and zucchini bread and they let us come in for a bit longer :) That was the first time that we had seen them since before Elder Bushnell was transferred to Prague. They're doing alright. It's a little sad, because they seem to be living in fear of what bad influences can do to them and they seem to have forgotten some of the hope that our message brings. We're excited to be able to start helping them again, though.

Last week we also met with P again. (Last week I wrote home about him and Mom pointed out that I had never mentioned him before... oops! When everything was happening with V I probably didn't have time to say anything about him.) We've met with him five or six times now, and he's agreed to be baptized on the 12th of July. We're really hoping that he can make his date, but we're not too sure about how much is really sinking in with him. We're hoping to figure more of that out this week!

Unfortunately I'm just about out of time now, but I love you! Have a fabulous week.

Elder Boyce

Elder Yantez, Elder Scherf, Elder Sylvester, & Elder Boyce singing at Baptism (picture e-mailed by Sister Bell, a senior humanitarian aid missionary)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24, 2014 - In which we have training with President and Sister Teixeira

Dear family,

I've only got about five minutes to write this! I couldn't even read email today. I just snapped some pictures of it. We've only had about half an hour of emailing today because we have to leave to go to a small town to baptize someone that Elder Scherf taught. Maybe we'll get our other hour when we get home, but I doubt it...

Training with the Teixeiras last week was great! Normally we also hear from the zone leaders, sister training leaders, and assistants to the President at training, but last week it was only President and Sister McConkie and the Teixeiras. It was a really great training. We learned a lot about almost everything, and I felt like I had to spend last week relearning how to do missionary work with everything that the Teixeiras left us (and I'm still working!)

Quick updates: The T's are sick so we weren't able to visit last week. P is doing alright and is still on his date for the 12th of next month, but we'll need to start meeting with him more often for him to be prepared. Unfortunately we still haven't found anyone new this transfer, but we're still hoping so!

Unfortunately that's about all the time I have for now. Hopefully I can write more later, but if not know that I'm alive and well and also Czech weather is extremely weird.

Elder Boyce

Monday, June 16, 2014

Juen 16, 2014 - In which I hurry with people

Dear family,

Quite the busy week last week! Last Monday, as I mentioned I got a new companion, Elder Scherf. He's pretty great. He's starting his sixth transfer, and has served in Brno and Liberec before now. He's from Las Vegas, but all of his family is from Austria. He's the first that was born in America! He's a good missionary.

We put a really big focus on finding last week. Due to a lot of people not being able to meet with us we spent a lot of time walking around Hradec, trying to talk to people. Finding for such long periods of time I think made me a bit more persistent; one of the most common responses we get when trying to stop someone on the street is "Spěchám," which means "I'm hurrying" or "I'm in a rush." Last week I started asking people, "Můžeme spěchat s vámi?" which means "Can we hurry with you?" It wasn't always successful, but we were able to have a lot more meaningful conversations with people!

We had a couple of first lessons last week, but so far no new investigators this transfer. We're hoping that will change again this week, though!

Last Tuesday we were able to meet with V for the last time this summer. She had to be back in Hradec for a workshop at the university, so we were able to meet after English class. It was a pretty good lesson. We were able to go over the qualifications for baptism with her pretty in depth, which I think helped her a lot. Elder Bushnell is working with her in Prague now, but I hear that she's doing well.

Yesterday was Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to everyone. We were able to have dinner with the Bells, which was really nice. They even provided us with root beer floats!

This week we have a mission tour by President Teixeira of the Area Presidency and his wife. We're quite excited for it. We have a special training this week for the missionaries, and President has said that they're planning on how the Czech Republic can become a stake this year. We've been preparing spiritually for quite a while, and we're pretty excited.

I'm afraid that's about the time I have for today! Thank you so much for your prayers and support. Excited to tell you about the training we're going to have!

Elder Boyce

PS I told Mom that I know how to make homemade bread now, and she was very surprised.... It's true, I'm afraid. It's Elder Bushnell's recipe :)

The observation tower we climbed last week.
The view at the top!

 View of Hradec Králové

We did service in a town called Červený Kostelec. That means "Red Little Cathedral."

My homemade bread!  It makes a yummy grilled cheese sandwich!

Father's Day dinner with the Bell's.  Left to right; Elder Pruden, Elder Scherf (Daniel's companion) , Elder Bell, Elder Foster, me.
Root beer floats at the Bell's!

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014 - In which we go everywhere between Prague and Poland

Dear family,

SO MUCH HAPPENED LAST WEEK! I have to type really fast or I will never get through all of it.

Last week we tried to maintain a focus on preparing V for baptism. We weren't able to keep our daily meeting schedule like from the week before, but we were able to help her make good progress. Towards the beginning of the week she started to present an interesting concern about how she was sure she wanted to be baptized, but she wasn't sure if she wanted to be baptized into our church (whereas before she had been speaking as though if she found out baptism was right it would almost certainly be into the Church).

This was really interesting to us. At first we tried to resolve this by trying to focus on getting an answer, but when we reached our last lesson of the week we actually helped her to see how much of an answer she had already received about the Book of Mormon. We helped her to see how much it had brought her nearer to God and also how it really could ONLY be inspired. It had looked like she was under a lot of pressure before then, but I think that realization helped her a lot.

Unfortunately she still wasn't able to make her date for last Friday for a couple of reasons. We had known for a little bit that she was going to be moving back home very soon after schooling ended, probably sometime this upcoming week, but on Wednesday or Thursday of last week she told us that her grandmother was having an operation and so she had to move back to Prague on Friday. She still has a little bit to go before baptism. I think she has a much stronger foundation of belief of the truthfulness of our message, but she still has a couple of issues to work out. Unfortunately we in HK can't help her as much anymore until she moves back for the new semester, but that acutally leads me to my next topic: transfers!

This is a bit of a story, though. The speculation had been running pretty rampant from Elder Jaynes and Elder Pruden that Elder Bushnell would be called away from HK to be an assistant in Prague (Elder Bushnell's MTC group is now the oldest in the mission, even though he has six months left still). Elder Bushnell actually found out on the 29th of last month that that would be the case, and he kept it a complete secret untilThursday when he was allowed to tell me (everyone else in the district found out Saturday). This means, though, that Elder Bushnell will be able to continue teaching V! We're very pleased about this.

Otherwise, I'm still here in HK. My new companion will be Elder Scherf, who is coming today from Liberec. He's still not here, though. We'll have a great time this transfer.

The other exciting thing that happened last week was all of the traveling last week. I was rarely in HK, it felt like.

Wednesday we went to Chlumec nad Cidlinou to visit the T again (who are also doing so well!). This was a humorous adventure though, because the member that was driving with us ran out of gas so we went on a walk through the Czech countryside. We made it to Chlumec n.C., then rushed back to HK, taught V, then went on a vylet with one of our investigators to this cool observation tower in the forest. (Pictures will have to come later from that). That was really fun, and also a great missionary opportunity! After the vylet we rushed home again to get out to a member's home in a tiny village 30 or so minutes outside of HK by bus. That was fun because we temporarily lost our phone :)

Thursday was exciting because we had to go to Pardubice for district finding (and we cleaned a Catholic kostel!)

Friday I had visa work in Prague. This took most of the day, and was exciting because we tried to take one of Elder Bushnell's suitcases with us so transfers would be easier for him, but it was still supposed to be a secret that he'd be an Assistant so we had to be secretive about his giant suitcase and heavy coat. It was ridiculous because we got seen by a group of missionaries AND a group of members. Also V came with us on the train in the morning, because that's when she moved home.

Saturday we practically went to Poland to help one of our senior sisters in the garden, and Sunday I spent with the Pardubice elders because Elder Bushnell had to go to Prague early.

That's about the week! I'm out of time. Sorry if this doesn't make sense :)

Elder Boyce

PS Can't explain, but I say "In which..." because of vlogbrothers, a YouTube channel. Every video is titled in the same pattern. John Green, one of the vlogbrothers, is one of my favourite YA authors. Google it :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014 - In which we meet with V every day

Dear family,

We have been super busy this week with teaching V. We really wanted to be able to have as much new doctrine taught last week so that there would be no surprises at all this week before her baptism, so we met with her every day last week (except Sunday) to teach as much as possible. We definitely saw some miracles from that. We had to teach every commandment other than the law of chastity for the first time this past week, and she accepted each one! She still has some challenges, though. She still doesn't feel like she's received an answer to her prayers about whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. We're really hoping and praying that she'll resolve that concern, because we can't just hand that to her. Tomorrow there's a fireside in Prague with a Seventy, Sister Wixom of the RS Gen Presidency and the General President of the Primary that she'll be able to go to with the Bells. We're really hoping that will help.

We had a ton of things happen this past week. This transfer is wrapping up very quickly (this is the last week) and we're trying to get as much in order as possible and trying to make sure that we are as successful as possible. I finally realized this past week how much I'm able to say and do during contancts and lessons. In the past I've been more content to let Elder Bushnell (and Elder Gilmore) say more things but I've become a lot more confident in leaping into teaching and trying to add more. I feel like I'm contributing significantly more.

I feel so at home here in Hradec Králové! Being here is so great and I hope I never get transferred away (though speaking like that this is probably my last week here!).

Anyway, love you! Have a great week.

Starší Boyce