Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21,2015 - In which it gets brisk

Dear family,

This week also went pretty well. We've been working really hard and have been putting in a lot of effort!

The Lord has been sending us lots of little things to help us know that we're on the right path. For example, yesterday a member took us on a visit to a very ill less-active member in Hulín to give him a blessing. On the way home we transferred in Otrokovice (the city that shares borders with Zlín and shares the trolleybus system) and we were about to get on a trolleybus back to the center of Zlín but we remembered a less-active member that our branch president had wanted us to try to find that we had never been able to look for because we're almost never in Otrokovice. We tried to go looking for him but we got dreadfully lost on the way. We finally found the (extremely long) street that we wanted but we had no luck finding the correct address. We met this nice, old Seventh-day Adventist lady that was out riding her bike. She stopped and asked us if we were Mormons and got to talking for a little bit. After she found out what we were doing she decided to help and rode ahead to see if she couldn't find the house number that we were looking for on her bike. She left and we soon saw her again. She hadn't found the number but she talked with us for awhile again as we headed back the way we had come. She invited us to come to her church (and we of course invited her to ours). She gave us some candies and we headed back the way we came.

We eventually miraculously found the right address (we had missed it the first time), and the name of our less-active member was on the bell. We tried ringing him a couple of times, and then with time everyone else in that apartment building. No answer. We were starting to write a note for him before we left but then the son of the landlord came and told us that our less-active member didn't live there nor had he for a few years. He didn't know where he had gone and we started to leave. We went around the corner of the house and saw an older, bearded man with long, gray hair and no shirt leaning out the window. We asked him if he knew our member and he seemed to know where he had moved to! He gave us directions to a new address near the bus stop where we could catch a bus back to the center of Zlín (by now it was about 4pm and we still hadn't eaten any lunch). He didn't live there or in any of the surrounding buildings, and we had a whale of time trying to get around, but we were grateful for all of the people that had been placed by the Lord in our path.

We weren't able to teach J again this week. He didn't come to church, either, yesterday. We're concerned for him but we're not certain what to do to help him. M was at church and said that he wasn't able to come because he needed to help K before she left for school in Prague later that day, but we hope to be able to see him again soon. He's so close to being baptized, but we just want to be able to talk to him again properly about what's going on.

There were some exciting developments in our branch last week. A member, E, came home from her mission last week. She spoke on Sunday and our branch was SO EXCITED to see her. There was a buzz in the air all of Sunday from her presence. After church we had our first correlation meeting with Brother Š in his new calling as branch mission leader. E asked if she could sit in and she was a huge help. During the last week in 12-Week Elder Dean and I have been watching training videos from the District about working with the branch specifically and during correlation we tried to bring up some ideas about how we could work together (for example that we could send him miracles once every couple of days through text) and when Br. Š didn't seem to quite get what we were going for. E leaped right in and talked about how much working with the members helped her during in her mission. We had talked about a promise that President Hinckley said that if we would work more closely with members our mission work could double in rate, and E talked about how in her last area that promise was literally fulfilled during the course of two or three months. E being there in correlation and otherwise made a big difference to the members, because instead of these ideas coming from just the missionaries or President V it came from one of their own. We've been struggling to work with some of our members lately but I think that E will make a difference in our branch through her example.

Sister D is still doing pretty well. She was at church yesterday and E told us that during Relief Society she mentioned that we had given her the idea to get visiting teaching going again in Zlín and she was apparently really excited to work to get that going again. I think that as we continue to visit her we'll be able to help her move toward activity, but I think her new calling is perfect for her to move along.

Love you!
Elder Boyce

PS Dad mentioned that you're trying to get a family mission plan going... Good work! :) Don't forget the most basic thing in missionary work is loving the person that you're talking to. Don't stress about what you're going to say to someone, just try to love your neighbors and friends and you'll know what to say.

PSS I realize I haven't sent any good photos in a while... I'll try and send some good ones during the next week :) I got some cool new sweaters today (it suddenly became fall!) and maybe I'll send some photos of me modelling them (because I know that's what you all really want to see ).

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