Monday, December 28, 2015

Prekvapani a Sastny Novy Rok

Zdravim Všichni!

I want to start off with how GOOD it was to see my beautiful family on Christmas. That truly was the best gift I received this year, besides being back in Czech of course... ;) But, really though, all of you look SO good, especially Grandma C Dizzle. ha! That hour went too quickly. I am sorry that I didn't get to really answer questions and stuff that much. I really wanted to make it a spiritual experience for all of us and I think that we can all agree that it was. :) I hope you all take to heart that challenge I gave you of buying a clean Book of Mormon and strive to finish it by Easter highlighting all that testifies of Christ. I know that doing it will bless your lives AND the lives of others.

Okay, now that I have missed shoutouts for the last 2 weeks, lets do some of those.

Happy birthday to Brenton on the 16th!
Congrats to Alice for completing a million years of schooling! Relish in the paradise of no school for the rest of us. ;)
Angie! Happy 2nd tri-mester of you pregnancy or somewhere close to that! Eeekkkk I can't wait for that baby GIRL to be born. hehe

Mladá Mysteries:
---> Home of the Škoda car factory
---> opravdu a town of stinky smells
---> We live on the first floor with only 5 steps to climb. A lot better then Liberec. ;)

Unfortunately, I am no longer in Liberec. :( We got transfer calls Saturday night. We all thought for sure that I would stay with Sister Hale or Stokes, but apparently Heavenly Father has something else in mind for the 3 of us. Sestra Hale headed to Ostrava, Sestra Stokes stayed in Liberec and will be TRAINING! Woot woot. She's going to be the best mom. And I am in Mlada Boleslav with Sestra Boza! She is from Guatemala, 24 years of age, has a career in Engineering emphasis in Food Science, fluent in German, Spanish, English and now Czech. Pretty much she's the coolest. I am looking forward to our transfer together! :) Mlada is about an hour away from Liberec, so the travel wasn't so bad. Thankkkk goodness. I hopped on a bus at about 9:30 and got here by 10:35 ish. The apartment in Mlada is a hop skip and a jump away from the bus station, grocery store, mall, etc. Very convenient location! I love it here already!

Christmas Week:
The week of Christmas is the best week to be a missionary. We spend all of our time making visits to less-actives and members and testified of Christ and His birth to all those along the way. We were waiting for the Elders to go visit a member together and they were running a bit behind so we were at this bus stop for forever and a day. We went from one person to the next asking if we could share a gift with them (the 2 minute video A Savior is Born) or sing to them. ha! We went about 1 for.... 25 ish. Solid. It was fun. Even though most of them didn't want to hear our message we were still fulfilling our purpose by inviting them to do so and of course leaving them with a smile as they went on their way. :)

Czech Christmas Traditions:
Czech's do most of the celebrating on Christmas Eve. We got invited to a members home for dinner. We had Carp, Salmon, Pig, Potato Salad, soup and loootttttsss of Cukrovi (little sugar cookie things) MMMMM It was really good! It was my first time having Carp and Pig. I can't say that I liked it that much... but I had to have it so I could experience the Czech Christmas to its' fullest. ha! I don't think that I will ever eat either of those again.
Sidenote! I also ate liver and rabbit this past week! heheh I am just trying all sorts of new things over here. It's awesome.
We finished off Christmas eve by watching a Czech fairytale with the family and watching them exchange and open presents. It was a lot of fun. :)

Christmas Day:
The day of Christmas we didn't do too much. We woke up and opened presents. Sisters Hale and Stokes were too good to me or should I say "Santa" They were sneaky and surprised me with a few gifts. They are the best. They brought me Fronek Dicitionary! YESSSS. It is my new best friend.
After that we went to the church building to paint some of the inside, had biscuits and gravy with the elders, played Uno, the dot game and waited to skype.
A day well spent. :)

Welp that's pretty much it! I want to leave you all with my testimony that I know Jesus is the Christ. He is the Prince of Peace. He is the Unchangeable One. The Only Begotten of the Father. How grateful I am to have the sacred opportunity to represent Him at this time of my life.

I wish you all the happiest New Year! I hope that as we reflect back on 2015 we can see the progress we have made and continue to strive to be a little bit better each day! We can all do hard things! :)

S laskou,
Sestra Fred
My MTC District, Sestra Holland, Sestra Clark
Sestra Boza and Sestra Fredrickson
Paint Fight!
Hahaha, I am going to miss my two companions!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Palmyra, New York

Draha Rodino a Pratele,

Sounds like there is some snow back home. That is so exciting! I hope that you get a white Christmas!! It has YET TO SNOW HERE. It has been in the 50 and 60's the past couple of days. ha ha it feels more like late October than it does December here. Sister Seader and I have been loving it though. It has given us a lot more opportunities to go running. :)


Happy 2 year Anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Holley! I hope that you both have a wonderful day. :)
FOUR MORE DAYS UNTIL MR. AND MRS. MATT SPENCER!!!!!! I will be thinking about you all day. 
Four more days until MR. and MRS. IAN BLAKE as well!! I have both of your wedding announcements up on the fridge. Thanks for sending those my way. :)

---> There is a dog park about a block away from our APT. It is PACKED. Everyday. ha ha having a dog is such a social thing here. It's awesome.
---> "Bubbles 'n Sun" They kill two birds with one stone here by combining laundry mats with tanning salons. 
---> Sister Dodds knows the Sutts! She did Pagent with them and stayed with them right next door to us a couple years back!

The Work: 

Because of the temple trip this past week was such a blur along with the work that happened too. Come Friday night I was was so exhausted. It was 8:30 and we had a lesson with Kaitlyn (The one we ran into the same night as Shannon) We watched the 20 minute Restoration video with her. It was a struuuuuggglllleeee. Her APT was just too warm and her couch too comfy. I was in and out of conciousness the entire 20 minutes. ha ha ha. I regained enough strength to wake up and bear testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. hehe. She said she really liked the video and you could tell she felt the spirit. :) Sister Seader and I went straight home, planned, and went straight to bed that night! Sleep is so precious as a missionary. 

While I was on the temple trip, Sister Seader was on exchange with Sister from Plattsburg. I came back to Saratoga Wednesday morning and we exchanged again. Sister Yancy that was with me on the temple trip stayed in Toga with me and Sister Seader went with Sister Bowie, Sister Yancy's comp to Manchester, Vermont. ( A tiny part of Vermont is in our misson. Cool huh?! ) Sis Yancy and I had an awesome exchange and had some really powerful lessons with John, Shannon and Kaitlyn. When we went to see John, I didn't really have a game plan as to what to teach him, so I told Sister Yancy we were going by the spirit. It was one of most powerful lessons I have been a part of. Sister Yancy bore beautiful testimony of how God and Christ need ALL of us to be on Their side. She told John, "Christ needs you." That really got to him. You could see the spirit working so strongly. We invited him to be baptized again and to pray and ponder about a date. We have only been able to see him for a short moment since then, because it's been so crazy around here, but we will be seeing him tonight or tomorrow to follow up with that. Keep him in your prayers. He's got a lot of family changes going on as well. He needs love from all of us! 

Shannon is doing well!  She's been busy with work and trying to get her life back together, but all is well. We couldn't ask for a better person to teach really. She is amazing. We went over to teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ the other day and she was nodding off on us. hahahahahah. She's so funny. She also nick-named Sister Seader and I "Barbie Doll and Little Bit" baha! The way she says it in her voice is the best. 


It would take me forever and a day to tell you alllllll the amazing things that we got to do on Tuesday and the feelings that I felt. I will try to sum it up as best I can, while trying to help you feel like you were there with me.

Our morning started early at 5:00 a.m. We were out the door at 6 and piled in to the 15 passenger van with a 2 1/2 hour drive ahead of us. I kept prayinggggg that I wouldn't fall alseep during the session at the temple. I took a nap on the car ride there and I felt energized enough the rest of the day. I didn't even nod off once during the session. I was pretty proud of myself because I almost always do. ha. Before the session started we gathered in one of the Sealing rooms and got to have a little Q and A with one of the Temple Presidency members. It was awesome. I learned a lot of stuff.

Following the session, we made our way to the Smith homes and farm, along with the Sacred Grove. We were on a tight schedule so we didn't have a whole lot of time there, but the Sacred Grove was amazing. We had 30 minutes to ourselves to go and walk through, ponder, pray, read, etc. My 30 minutes in that Grove of trees was and will be one of the most sacred and spiritual experiences I have had in my entire life. I wish I could have stayed there forever. The peace and stillness that is felt there is unreal along with the spirit. I am grateful that I was so fortunate to be able to walk those sacred grounds as a missionary. 

After the Sacred Grove, we made our way to Alvin Smith's grave, Joseph's older Brother, and then quickly ate some lunch and went to the Publication site of the Book of Mormon. We had the tour from a senior couple. The Elder did such a great job. I loved seeing what the process was like to put together the book. It took  A LOT of work. There were so many sacrifices made as well to make it happen. I am grateful for all of those who took a leap of faith for that great cause. 

Next stop was the HIll Cummorah. I RAN UP IT!!!!!! hahahahah I about died. It is A LOT steeper than it looks. I thought my legs were going to fall off. It reminded me of how NOT in shape I am. ha oh dear. Super cool though. The view from the top is beautiful as it looks out across the valley. We all gathered around the monument there and President Rogers gave us some neat facts and history along with his testimony.

Our last stop was the Whitmer Farm. It's hard to say which part of the day was my favorite, because all of it was just so good, but the temple, Sacred Grove and the Whitmer Farm prolly come out on top. This is where some if not most of the translation of the Book of Mormon took place. Don't take my word for it. I can't remember exactly! Being in the home and seeing where Joseph once sat and translated The Book of Mormon with the help of Oliver Cowdery was humbling. We forget sometimes that they had families too, just like us. There was chaos with the kids, screaming and fighting I'm sure. It wasn't like they had the most IDEAL place to translate. But they did it, with the help of God. It is truly incredible. 

After stopping for burgers and fries on the way home we got back into to Utica around 8 ish. We had the rest of the evening to write in our journals and ponder about the experiences and feelings we had that day.
Another thing I loved about the trip was the spirit of the Restoration that is felt there. It is somethings special.

What a blessing it has been to serve in the New York, Utica mission. I have been extremely blessed to have met so many amazing people and missionaries. My life has been changed for the better by each one of their examples. My heart is so full as I prepare to head back to the Czech Republic. I want you all to know that I know that this is the true church. I know that it was through a humble 14 year old boy that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored back to the Earth. I know that Jesus is the Christ and our Savior. 

Mom, Dad, Family I'll talk to you soon! :)

S laskou,

Sestra Fred.

Book of Mormon in the Sacred Grove

Whitmer farm house where translating of the Book of Mormon took place

President Rogers and i in the Sacred Grove

Sister Rogers and I at the Palmyra Temple
Sister Kayla Dodds and Jamie Sue

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Hope to be Home for Christmas

Dear Family,

Fog hung low this morning as we went about our P-day errands. It was kind of eeerry. ha. Mr. Sun started to shine through just as we arrived, so all is well:)

H a p p y B i r t h d a y Mason Michael Crowley, TODAY! You're growing up too fast. Stop it. :( I hope that you have an extraordinary day little man. I love you! Also! Happiest Birthday to my dear, sweet, Aussie Angel, Sister Munro! On the 3rd I think it was? Oh, well! Sometime last week. :) I hope you had a fabulous day pretty lady!

Dad -- I am sorry for the loss of Gma Inez. My heart goes out to you and your siblings. I love you! 

Wedding countdown begins for Miss Meggie and K-tuft! I can't believe that the two of you are getting married on the same day. hahah! Betcha never would have predicted that to happen way back when growing up having tea parties together. ;) Alexis and Matthew Holley are also coming up on 2 years! WOW. Time passes tooooo quickly. 

---> Home of the Saratoga Blue Streaks
---> Stewarts has a ice cream that is almost identical to GRAHAM CANYON, it's called Crumbs along the Mohawk. Mom you would LOVE it!!! 
---> Almost all of the members here work at GE (General Electric)
---> I had an allergic reaction my first week here! haha it was the weirdest craziest thing. Good thing I got Doc Rogers as a President on speed dial. ;)
---> and if you are really reading this email.. my visa came... :)
--> Every year they have a Victorian Walk on Broadway Street (mini NYC) 


Miss Shannon Fontes is on date for January 2 and is doing amazing. She came to church again yesterday and she said in response to there being any visitors in Relieft Society, "I don't plan on being a visitor much longer, I plan on staying awhile." She is simply amazing. I wish all of you could meet her. 

BOOK OF MORMON: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

This past week we had a Zone Conference on the Book of Mormon. I wish you could have all been there and felt the spirit that was present as we discussed the Keystone of our religion and how we can better use it in our work to fulfill our purpose of "Inviting others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored Gospel through, Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End." The Book of Mormon is sometimes overlooked in our missionary work. I will plead guilty to not using it as much or even believing in the convincing power that it holds. To some it is just merely a book; paper with words on it like any other. Sad thing is, it will remain that way to many of us unless we take the time to find out for ourselves if the Book of Mormon is true or not and whether or not Joseph Smith translated it by the power of God. Here is one of President's Pearls: "God does not answer us just out of curiosity. Sincere intent is needed in order to receive answers." For any of you out there that may be struggling with your testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith or perhaps you would just like to know again, receive another confirmation of its' truth and power, I invite you to study it, ponder it, and then ask with real intent to know. I promise you that the Holy Ghost will bear witness to you as you do so.

At the concluding of Zone Conference, President Rogers extended an invitation to us to read and study the Questions of the Soul that are found in Preach My Gospel. Interestingly enough, "Is there life after death?" just so happened to be the one I was studying this morning just before President Rogers called to tell me that my Grandma Inez Fredrickson passed away yesterday morning. As he told me, tears filled my eyes for many reasons. 1. The spiritual witness I had almost 2 years ago when we went to California for Thanksgiving that that would be the last time I would see Grandma in person. I am grateful for that time that I had to spend with her and that I was able to really be in the moment that trip. 2. Grandma finally gets to be free of her earthly pain AND she finally gets to be "dancing in Heaven" with Grandpa Vern. 3. the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation. 

The chapter that I studied this morning to answer this question of the soul was Alma 40. During this chapter, Alma the Younger is addressing Coriaton's worry concerning the resurrection of the dead. After I hung up the phone with President, I went back and read the following verses:
11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
 12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into state of happiness,which is called paradisestate of rest, state of peace,where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
 23 The soul shall be restored to the bodyand the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.
Grandma Inez is the first close relative I've been close with that has passed since I have been alive. I've never felt this kind of hurt before. It's almost like losing a part of your heart. But, as I went back and reflected on these verses that I had read just an hour before I received the phone call, I felt an overwhelming sense of love come over me and JOY for Grandma! She is now in a place where she can rest from all her troubles and care and sorrow that we all know she has been facing for quite a long time now. And when the day comes, she will be resurrected and restored to her perfect frame. I know this to be true with all of my heart. I know that the Spirit was guiding me this morning as I studied that Question of the Soul in preparing me for the news that I would get just shortly after. I am ever so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who designed such a perfect and endearing plan for all of us so that we might all be together again and live on into the eternities with all of our loved ones whom have passed on. 
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is so important that we all come to know how important it actually is for ourselves and for others. Reading the Book of Mormon keeps our faith ALIVE.
On a much happier note my visa came!!! :) yay. haha I got news from president just after our Zone Conference ended. I leave the 17th of December. I will fly to NY to Amsterdam to Prague. All I truly wanted for Christmas was to be "home" for the holidays in Czech. I don't think I could count how many tear-filled/heart-felt prayers I have sent up to Heavenly Father concerning the Christmas wish. Ironically enough I had sent a silent prayer up to him that day at Zone Conference after an Elder asked me when it was coming and after telling him prolly soon because my 3 month mark was coming up he responded with, "Well, I wouldn't count on that." Kind of kiddingly, but still. The statement cut deep. Sitting in testimony meeting I pleaded with Heavenly Father just one more time. (I said just one more time I'll complain to you about this a lot the past 3 months haha) I was feeling kind of down about it, but after I said that silent prayer I once again felt calm and positive about it coming. Not 10 minutes or so later was when I got the news. 
I need you all to know that God is REAL. He is literally our H E A V E N L Y F A T H E R. He knows us, He hears us, every last cry, whine, need, thanks, He hears it all and the best part is, He answers. In His own due time, in His own way, but He does. I know He does. I am thrilled for the opportunity to return back to Czech and continue building off ALL that I have learned here in New York. It is a bittersweet thing I tell ya. I have come to love this place and the people here so so much. along with all the missionaries and President and Sister Rogers. 

I love you all so much. I hope that you remember the "Reason for the Season" as Christmas continues to quickly sneak up on us! 
Until next week,
S laskou,
Sestra Fredova
P.s. We saw sooo many miracles this week! 
Our investigator Brian had us over for dinner this past week. His dog Shakes and I became real good friends. :)