Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015 - In which I get sick, the first snow arrives, and we find an oven-ready turkey

Dear family,

Last week was peculiar! :D It really flew by, partly because I came down with a fever and spent two days of it sleeping. We also had zone conference in Brno, and a few other exciting adventures. I'm not quite certain how to organize my thoughts, but we'll give it a go.

Wednesday we had zone conference in Brno! It was great. It was all about hard work, and during the practice of the Sister Trainer Leader's section we surprised some of the younger missionaries by suddenly handing out envelopes with tram tickets about where to go to contacting for 30 minutes. Some of the older missionaries were in on it (for example President me with the district leaders and the during a reporting meeting before the conference started) but it was a fun training. We raced out, each with someone other than their normal companion, and had a really productive 30 minute session. I talked to some really great people in the tram.

Thursday after we came home I started to not feel too well. I made it through the day and did English at the autism center and had a good lesson with D, but then Friday and Saturday I kind of crashed and we didn't really leave the apartment. I was really touched because when the word got out to the branch Saturday night that I was sick I got a phone call from J and M who were very concerned for me because I don't have a mom in the Czech Republic :) They made sure I had enough medicine, that I was drinking enough tea with honey, and so on. They brought soup the next day at church, also. I was in contact with Sister McConkie a lot (she actually is our mom in the Czech Republic) and the McConkies were in Zlín Saturday night and Sunday for branch conference. When they got to Zlín they dropped by with some NyQuil, more tea, and candy and pizza :)

Sunday we had a huge turnout out church for branch conference! There were a ton of auxiliary leaders from other branches, a few less-active members, and even a former investigator from my English class that seems to be thinking more about faith came. It was a great meeting, all the speakers talked about things that I would want my members and investigators to hear about, the Spirit was there strongly, and I even had fun translating the meeting into English for Sister McConkie (I haven't needed to translate anything for months).

Even though I was sick and time is racing by (I feel like I'm racing against the clock) I've been having a great time and have just been doing my best to work hard. We have a saying in our mission: "Hug it." It means to embrace everything that happens, good or bad, as a part of the experience. It also ties back to cheerfully doing all things that lie in our power and letting God take care of the rest (see D&C 123:17), or to the saying "Come what may, and love it," (which is what Joseph B. Wirthlin's mother would say to him), but that idea has helped me a lot throughout my mission and especially during the last week while I was sick and couldn't go outside to talk to people. Sometimes the decisions that others make are also challenging to accept, but I'm so blessed to still be here in Zlín and that I have a whole month left to serve during Christmas!!!! Basically during the last week I've been hugging it.

There's lots more to say about this week. This week the first snow of the season came (nothing stuck, though), Christmas lights and the traditional Christmas market are going up on the square (they're lighting the city Christmas tree Sunday night!), and a tipsy lady got a little handsy with my companion and I (we ran away). Next p-day we'll have Thanksgiving dinner. I'm in charge of the turkey and the chocolate pie (we were really surprised today and found a proper American freezer turkey!!). I have no time to tell you about it, though :) For now, have a great week! Happy Thanksgiving! Be greatful! Hug it!!!

Elder Boyce

Last Tuesday was a state holiday celebrating the Velvet Revolution (the bloodless revolution which marked the change from socialism/communism to democracy in then-Czechoslovakia) and we while we were contacting about our English classes we found this very communist-looking statue. I, naturally, had to photograph myself mirroring its pose :)))

We walk over this bridge every day and last week we saw these crutches lying in the middle of the river. We pictured some man or woman, frustrated by the day-to-day struggles of life in crutches, throwing them over the bridge and striding away confidently in a new-crutches free life.

I tried to get a good photo of the clouds out my my window in the bus ride to zone conference but things kept on blurring up the photo. It's a pretty good likeness of the colors, though. We took an early bus so the sun wasn't up all the way yet.

This was later, when the sun had come up a little more.

A member surprised me with this

As you can see, we're going to starve this week. Actually definitely not. We cook a lot.

You can kind of see it in this photo, but it starting snowing today at lunchtime. I was shocked.

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