Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23, 2015 - In which I arrive in Olomouc

Dear family,

I finally arrived in Olomouc! :) I really like it here so far! Like I said I'm serving here with Elder Prohaska (who's my Swiss companion from the MTC). We're doing well. Olomouc is pretty small, but there's lots of beautiful architecture and it's very nice. This week I'll also be serving with Elder Foster in a "tripanionship"... Elder Foster is also serving here in Olomouc but is waiting for his new missionary with visa problems to come in.

With this new transfer I was called to be a district leader. That means that I'm responsible for leading the missionaries here in Olomouc. I'm definitely feeling the responsibility! I'm spending a lot of time thinking and pondering about what I should do to train the missionaries in my district, what I can to lift and help them, etc. It's really interesting, because it almost feels like I'm carrying a literal weight to be leading the district here! Last Wednesday I had my first district meeting and it went pretty well. We had a good discussion about the people that are on our vision and some creative ideas for going to find them. We also had a good discussion about the sort of people that are prepared for baptism. It was a spiritual meeting, and I think it went well overall. I'm trying to stay on top of all the different responsibilities and planning everything and working with the branch, but I'm also trying to keep the focus on loving my missionaries.

I'm starting to get to know the branch and our investigators pretty well already! I really like the branch here. I've decided that I really like serving in little branches because it's much easier to get to know the whole branch quickly. Yesterday at church I was also able to talk to everyone. I love the spirit in this branch. Everyone was very friendly, and they helped me to feel very welcome without being asked. They did the same for the investigators and the people that hadn't been to church in a while. I was particularly impressed by a tradition that they have here: every Sunday before Fast Sunday after the three-hour block the whole branch meets together to plan who they could fast for the next week. I could feel the love that the members had for the short, focused list that they came up with together (one of the members even suggested fasting for Elder Foster's companion to come quickly!). This branch seems to me to understand their baptismal covenant to lift one another, and I think it will be a joy to serve here in Olomouc!

We met a couple of times last week with our baptismal date, H. He's making great progress in the gospel. H has a baptismal date for the 21st of March. He's working very diligently to try to learn and apply the gospel, and takes a lot of initiative. At one meeting last week we reviewed the baptismal interview questions, and he told us when talking about the Word of Wisdom that he's set up with his roommates to practice rejecting alcohol, cigarettes, and similar things so that when he's in a real situation he won't be tempted to break the commandments. Elder Prohaska and I are both really excited for him!

I haven't been here too long, but I already love serving in Olomouc. Serving with Elder Prohaska is good, and adding Elder Foster to the mix has been exciting, in a word. (Having two companions just makes things chaotic) There's lots of room for us to grow still, but I'm hoping that we do well!

Thanks for the kind birthday wishes! I still haven't quite accepted that I'm not "young and sweet, only seventeen" anymore, but I guess that being twenty will be good.

Elder Boyce

PS Have a photo!

The following pictures were sent to me by one of the senior missionary sisters, Sister Archibald that serves in Brno.

Working on the tram in Brno

Beautiful Brno!

Another view of Brno

At the castle for the "knighting"

Another view at the castle

Just a cute picture of our missionary!

Transfer day

Another transfer day photo

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