Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014 - In which the mission travels to Karlštejn

Dear family,

We had a really great week! The most exciting thing was our trip to Karlštejn. On the 24th of July all of the Czech missionaries celebrated the 85th anniversary of the dedication of (what was then) Czechoslovakia for the preaching of the restored gospel. It was dedicated on a Priest Hill next to Karlštejn, which is a castle about 30 km from Prague. It was a bit of an all-day affair, but very spiritual and a definite boost for us.

The main program of the day was held at the site of the dedication (I attached a group photo at the spot). To remember the dedication we had a service a lot like the one that was held 85 years ago. We sang some of the same songs, had a musical number, heard some testimonies, and then one of the assistants to the President offered a (re)dedication prayer for us at the end. It was wonderful. It helped me to remember how much the Czech people need the message that we have. Truly our message is what will bring these people the most joy that it's possible to find. (If only they already knew that!)

This week we also were able to visit the T again. Their phone suddenly stopped working, so we had been out of contact for a couple of weeks. We had to go out to Chlumec nad Cidlinou to visit. On the way from the train station in Chlumec I had a heart-stopping moment. In the Czech Republic it's quite common for obituaries to be posted on windows of businesses, and on the way there I saw an obituary that read the name of one of the T. I jumped about a foot in the air and gasped really loudly and panicked quite a lot until I saw that it wasn't our T. They're actually doing fine. We're visiting again Wednesday :)

I don't have too much more time, but we met again with P. He's doing alright. He's having some difficulties with a couple of commitments but he's not really letting us help, which is frustrating. We're hoping that he does well.

We're already in the eighth week of our transfer! It's unbelievable. We're really hoping that we all stay together during the next one :) We'll see.

Anyway I better get off before I start rambling too much!

Elder Boyce

Karlštejn Castle

The Czech missionaries at Karlštejn. Daniel is on the back row, 4th from the left.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014

For Sacrament meeting today, family members were asked to read letters from their missionaries. Suzie read this letter from Daniel:

Dear Ward Family,

Thank you for the opportunity to be able to share something with you today! I'm very grateful to be able to share a spiritual experience with you.

Over the past seven months of my mission, I've had the privilege of witnessing many miracles and many lives change. I have already been able to witness the true power of conversion and the hope that the gospel brings to the life of every person that will test it, sincerely desiring to know the truth.

I would love to be able to write a long letter to tell you about each person that I've met who has changed their life by applying the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, but you would be stuck listening all of Sacrament meeting! Considering this I'll just have to tell you about how I have changed.

I know that Jesus Christ lives. Many people whom I meet concede that Jesus walked this earth and that He taught good things, but I know that He is everything that he claimed to be. I know that His divinity is not a fairy tale. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I know we can be changed from hopeless people chained to the earth, I know that we can soar.

I have had the great privilege of seeing the bits and pieces of other people's conversions throughout my mission, but even as I leave areas or others move and I start working with new people, I know that I am growing because of the strengthening and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to have full access to this power.

I know that the Lord is preparing the way for the restored gospel in every nation, kindred, tongue, people and even community. I know that missionary work is His work, and that as we seek and pray for a vision of what needs to happen, we will be blessed to know how we can bring others to Christ.

Thank you for your prayers and faith. I know that as you seek ways to share the gospel with others, you will find them.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014 - In which I'm either from Poland, Slovakia, or the Ukraine

Dear family,

I have two minutes! Email got cut short but about half an hour today, unfortunately!

I'm doing well, though. Probably only have time to tell you about one thing! During the last week I was asked three different times if I'm from some Eastern European nation (and someone asked if I was from America maybe once or twice). Apparently my accent is improving and people are starting to think that I'm one of their neighbors instead of an American :)

We're both doing well. I'm happy and for now that might have to suffice since we have to run out of the library to an appointment!!

Elder Boyce

Another picture of where the baptism was held a few weeks ago.

I got a Euro suit today! The suit and tie were $107 total. I fit in now :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 14, 2014 - In which we teach all the less-active members

Dear family,

We had a pretty good week! We had some great progress with some of our less-active members all of a sudden. Last week a less-active member, N, suddenly came back to church for all three meetings! It was a great surprise. We hadn't had much contact with him for about six weeks, but he suddenly decided to come. He set up with us for later that week, also, which was great. He has some personal issues about teachings of the Church, but we're really excited for him.

Another surprise was with J. We were meeting regularly with him last transfer but at the beginning of the transfer he suddenly started to ignore us. The past two weeks, though, we've had several meetings with him that have gone well. He hasn't come back to church yet, but he came to FHE at the Bells last week (N did, also). We're excited for him, too!

We were able to meet with some other less-active members last week, also, that were good surprises. We have hopes for some of them, too.

Last week we found a new investigator! His name is J. We had met with him at the end of June, but he agreed to meet with us again last week. He's already 120 pages into the Book of Mormon. We're excited :) We're hoping that we'll find more and more people in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your prayers and support! It truly means a lot to us.

I wanted to share an experience before I jet off to another first lesson, but I'll just say that I know that Heavenly Father and His Son love us. They are very close to us. We had a great experience watching Finding Faith in Christ with P on Thursday that I wanted to talk about, but I'll just say that :)

Elder Boyce
We had a district picnic along the river last week for dinner :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 6, 2014 - In which we celebrate the Fourth of July in style

Dear family,

Another crazy week last week! A lot went on. Sorry I can't write very much today. Please forgive me. Here are some pictures!

We were in Prague on the Fourth of July for a doctor's appointment. We had Big Macs for lunch.

For dinner we had burritos!
The Bells made us BBQ! (The photo won't fit! Pretend there's a beautiful photo of delicious BBQ, french fries, salad and RANCH DRESSING!)

I love you! Sorry that this was all of food.

The T are still sick, P is doing fine (but getting baptized in August now), and I'm happy :) We have some cool lessons with new people set up for this week.

Thank you for your prayers!

I don't know what I'll do without the combined prayers of 15 million members of the Church around the world.

Elder Boyce