Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 12, 2014 - In which there are three baptisms in our branch and České Budějovice goes Christmas

Dear family,

I haven't written in a while! We haven't had a P-day in eleven days. We moved this week's P-day to today because we were hoping to go to Brno so Elder Cowley could baptize one of the investigators that he taught there, but it was suddenly cancelled.

We have had a whirlwind of a month so far! We've had a lot of changes so far: three baptisms into the branch! Last Saturday we were in Prague for V's baptism. He's the Sisters' investigator that walked into the building at the end of last transfer the day before general conference. This Wednesday we baptized J and L, the mother and niece of one of the Sisters' recent converts. Elder Cowley baptized J and I baptized L. Both of the baptismal services, the one on Saturday, and the one on Wednesday, were very nice. I especially liked the one Wednesday, and not just because I baptized someone. It was a very spiritual meeting, and J has made a lot of changes to get baptized. Both baptisms were great because we were baptizing more members of part-member families. I loved it because the end goal of the gospel is us being together in our families forever!

Unfortunately E and J won't be getting baptized tomorrow. E is doing reasonably well. We essentially ran into a speed bump with the law of chastity. She has a boyfriend, with whom she doesn't live, but we found out last week that living according to the law of chastity would change their relationship. We were a little worried about it, but on Sunday we had a good discussion with her. She is at peace with living according to the law of chastity and believes that it's from God, but she wants to have some time still before her baptism to try to explain her situation to her boyfriend. We agree with her, and will still help her prepare. She should be baptized during the month of January.

We haven't been able to meet with J this month. He has been really sick with a strong strain of tonsillitis (the first round of drugs that he was prescribed did absolutely absolutely nothing for him). We haven't been able to keep the greatest contact with him just because he has been so out of it, but he is starting to feel better again. We hope that he'll make to church Sunday. Unfortunately for now his baptismal date is kind of in limbo because we don't know for sure when he'll be well again, but it should be in the next week or two (depending on his health).

České Budějovice has been making some big changes this month for Christmas! There are decorations everywhere done by the city and there's a great big market built up on the town square with an enormous Christmas tree in front of town hall. They've had a big Christmas tree lighting, "angel visits" (a tradition unique to České Budějovice), little Christmas plays, and on and on. It's really beautiful, but I'll have to send some photos of the square on Monday, my next P-day.

Last Thursday we also went and saw the Jihočeská filharmonie (Southern Bohemian Philharmonic orchestra) here in České Budějovice. Once every transfer President McConkie wants us to see some sort of similar concert because it's a big part of Czech culture. It was a great performace. My favourite piece was the "The Lark Ascending" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

I've had a number of great growing of experiences during this month. As you recall I was pretty sick towards the end of November, but I'm doing much better and am much happier again than when I was sick. I've been enjoying doing missionary work a lot more again. I've had a stronger sense of commitment to doing the work and trying to talk to more and more people.

I've been seeing the hand of the Lord in the work over the past couple of weeks. I feel like I've made big strides in learning how to receive revelation for my investigators. In general I think the Lord has been blessing me to recognize the needs of my investigators much clearly than I have in the past. I'm very grateful for the gift, and we've been trying to use the Spirit to plan for spiritual changes in our investigators. It has been wonderful.

I'm just about out of time,  my next P-day will be Monday. I will write more then. That will also be transfer day. We have no idea what's going to happen!!!


Elder Boyce

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