Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014 - In which we walk all over Prague and we have training

Dear family,

We had a great week last week!

Last Monday, as I mentioned, we were in Prague for my visa work, but I didn't mention much of what we were going to do. Immediately after emailing we tried to go to another Alfons Mucha exhibit at the National Gallery that President McConkie recommended to us, but unfortunately it's closed on Mondays so we basically just wandered around Prague the rest of the day! From the National Gallery we got on a random tram and asked one of the locals how far it would be to "something nice". She told us to get of at the second stop, and we get off there right at the old part of Prague. We walked around from there across Charles's Bridge and just everywhere we could. Then we went to the Prague Single Adult Family Home Evening and went home with the Elders that we stayed with.

Tuesday's training was great! President McConkie invited one of the members that helped keep the Church alive (and growing) during communism to come and speak to us, Sister Olga Kampora. She told us about her baptism, which they had to perform secretly in the dead of night. She said that this was probably one of the first miracles that she saw in her life, because when she and the small group of Czech members arrived at the pond where she was to be baptized, there were a ton of fishermen late-night fishing there. They waited and waited, but none of the fishermen even moved. Eventually she and the members prayed so that the baptism could happen, and within about ten minutes all of the fishermen were gone and she was able to get baptized.

After her baptism, Sister Kampora felt strongly that she needed to share the gospel, even though she could be taken away if she made it known to that she was a member. During most of the time of communism, the gospel was mainly spread through, believe it or not, yoga classes. Some of the key members of the Church became yoga teachers during communism, because they were able to teach gospel and spiritual principles to large groups of people without talking about God or Jesus Christ or getting caught by the secret police (an agent of which was in every class, apparently). Immediately after her baptism, Sister Kampora became a yoga teacher and starting to discreetly teach people gospel principles.

Sister Kampora told us also about the yoga camps that they held each summer. All of these member-yoga teachers gathered their students each summer and each day for a week they taught these people a spiritual "vitamin". (For example, admiration for life, respect, interest, love, enthusiasm, etc.) This was one of the biggest opportunities for them to teach, because they would also take some people aside and tell them about Christ.

She had such an inspiring story! Training was great just overall.

Other things that happened last week: T has decided to no longer meet with us or prepare for baptism. E, P P, and H were unable to meet with us.

On Sunday we had a great Sacrament Meeting! President McConkie, the Bells, and the church public relations specialist came and spoke. It was really spiritual and a great meeting about seeing others for their strengths and how the Savior would see them. The missionaries also sang (I had a solo).

I'm learning a lot! The work is doing well! I'm out of time :)

Elder Boyce

The National Gallery with the Alfons Mucha exhibit --- closed on Mondays...we were so disappointed!
So we went on a walking tour of old town Prague.  I don't know what most of these places are called, Prague is just full of cool buildings and churches.

Prague Castle in the distance.

One of the towers at the end of  Charles Bridge.
A statue in the middle of Charles Bridge.

A cool island park in the middle of the Vltava River which flows through Prague.  Picture taken from the middle of Charles Bridge.
Panoramic view of the Vltava River.
I haven't told you too much about Czech food, but this is smažený sýr (fried cheese) with boiled potatoes and tartar sauce. Disgusting and tasty at the same time! Extremely Czech. I had this for lunch today.
There was a double rainbow on the train ride home from Prague. :)

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