Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 23, 2014 - In which we get ready for Christmas!!

Dear family,

So many things have happened! We had a packed week last week. I think I'll have to save some of the less exciting stuff for Thursday when we Skype, but I'll tell you a bit more about the branch here in Brno and the WONDERFUL Christmas conference we had yesterday.

The Brno Branch is much different than in ČB. There are at least 30 active member families here in Brno, so there are a lot of people every week. Though Prague is a little bigger, the Brno branch is probably the best organized. Missionaries have no callings other than missionaries (other than official translators). The Branch President, President S, is a great man. He's very focused on missionary work and even manages the Branch Choir director (and the Branch Choir here means business; they probably have even more members than we have in the Camarillo Third Ward). The branch is great.

On Sunday I had the assignment to translate Sacrament Meeting live! There are enough foreign members of one sort or another that we have headsets. It was quite the experience. I'll be translating every other week while I'm here in Brno.

We had a lot of success last using Christmas approaches to find people. We've been contacting, tracting, and even caroling to find. Caroling was really effective last week! The first evening that we caroled we set up a return appointment, and someone turned into a new investigator from that. Last night we went caroling for the second time and found another really solid potential investigator. I would say that we should be meeting again later this week or the beginning of next week.

Training, like I said, was wonderful. I have only 50 seconds left of time before I get locked out, so I'll tell you about it Thursday!!!!!!


Elder Boyce

A Czech Christmas tradition that we did at training! After a traditional Christmas Eve dinner, Czech and Slovaks all cut an apple in half to see what their upcoming year will be like. If it's a star (like mine was), you'll have a blessed year. If it's something else, a bad year is coming your way :)

Another one! Everyone in the family sticks a tiny candle into half of a walnut shell, and then lets it float in a pond (or bowl). The patterns they make say what your year is going to be like.

Me and a tiny boat (loďiček!)
A traditional. You take a wafer (I think it's like a Eucharist wafer but even thinner), and put chopped garlic and honey on it.
Delicious!!!! (And I wanted to say "A traditional food.")

We had a very nice lunch catered by a restaurant. Normally we order pizzas at trainings, but we had a catered lunch. Here our lovely senior missionaries serve it.

This is traditional Christmas food of the traditional food of the Czech Republic. CARP! They fry it and serve it with potato salad. Beware of tiny bones.
The week before Christmas, these tubs show up everywhere.

You can order it live... or they'll kill it for you for 10 crowns! (50 cents)
The Brno Christmas market, set up on the square.
I didn't get the greatest photos of the market in ČB, unfortunately, but this is it.

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