Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015 - In which we eat cake, get beat up, and accidentally end up in a different area.

Dear family,

We had an INSANE week! Last Friday was Elder Prohaska's birthday, and he somehow planned it so that he managed to have cake just about every day of the week. His family also has sent mountains of Swiss candy (they have it easy from inside Europe) and so we were drowning in (really delicious) cakes and candy last week. Elder Foster's greenie still hasn't come yet, but a couple of them finally arrived into the mission, so there's been another shuffle. Elder Petersen (who's in his second transfer) came from Ostrava and will be serving with Elder Foster here in Olomouc as long as it takes for the new missionary to come (they won't be switching back and forth between Olomouc and Ostrava, though).

H is doing well! He had his baptismal interview on Saturday and did well. He's going to need a lot of support after his baptism, but he has really honest desires and with time he'll be a solid member. The branch president also seems really excited for him. They talked for a while before church yesterday, and Honza also seems to respect him a lot. We're getting the baptism ready for this Saturday, and it sounds like a good number of members will be able to come (it helps that there will be a family history event at the building right before the baptism!) He seems to be fitting in more step by step so we're excited for a good transition into the branch.

We had exchanges last week, and while Elder Prohaska was in Brno with Elder Sylvester, someone attacked them! They tried to stop a man, who seemed very normal, but then they asked if he believed that families could be forever. He started to freak out and gave Elder Sylvester a black eye and kicked Elder Prohaska. He chased them around and screamed at them for about 10-15 minutes. The bystanders did nothing. Elder Sylvester kept repeating, "Sorry, sir, have a nice day," which infuriated the man even more! They finally got away, though, but Elder Sylvester was bleeding everywhere and they went to the hospital (Elder Prohaska was fine). He didn't need stitches, but has a wicked three-inch-cut (and is a great example of not reviling against those who revile against us).

Yesterday we tried to visit a member family near the Slovakian border. We had a few incidents on the way, and missed our stop (the train only stopped for about 30 seconds, and left while we were still trying to make it to the door). We had quite the adventure, and accidentally ended up in a completely different city. Three train tickets later we finally ended up at the member's home (who is a solid single mom that has the strongest youth in our branch) and had a nice visit (they also gave us cake for Elder Prohaska's birthday!!!)

Last week I feel like my testimony of the Savior has really grown. We've been showing some investigators and members that speak English well a youth video about the sacrament that's really powerful and talks about the Sacrament and the Atonement. This past week I've been struck with what it means that Christ has suffered the pains of all men and how He's taken upon himself our pains, sicknesses, afflictions. As I try to write about what I've learned it sounds a lot like the things I've known and believed all of my life, but I've really felt the Savior lifting me during the past week. I believe more know that He suffered everything that we will ever suffer, and I'm grateful that He helps US to change so that WE can change our circumstances. It's been great to see that, I'm excited to help others have similar experiences with the Savior.

I'm afraid I've gone pretty overtime, but I love you all! Have a great week!


Elder Boyce

Last P-day we went on a walk through the forest... we found this bird-stalker over a field of rotten corn!

We also found this "beaver castle" near a hunter's cabin in the middle of the forest.

You had to crawl through this tunnel...
To get to into this beaver's home. There were some family photos on the walls.
We went with Elder Foster, Elder Gashler, and one of their investigators, D. She stole my nametag and wore it the whole time :( :(


Yesterday we tried to go visit a member after church. It was going to be a very complicated trip with all the transfers that we had to make, but on the first train it only stopped where we needed to get off for about thirty seconds. We were still making it to the door. So we accidentally went to Ostrava yesterday! (There's a strong branch there and that's also where Elder Prohaska started his mission.)
Today we went to the very top of this cathedral!
There was a very large bell.

This was about halfway up. There were several sets of stairs, and this was the tallest and most dangerous-looking that we had seen so far. We thought it was the last one, until...
...we had to go up this one! Here it was DARK.

It was a beautiful day. There might be a storm blowing in, so it was extremely windy but we had a great view of the city and the clouds.
Olomouc + gargoyle.
More views of Olomouc and gargoyles.

The other two elders came a little late :)

We were as high as it's possible to go.
The other two towers.
If you look carefully, you can see the ring of a balcony where we were.

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