Monday, April 11, 2016

Exchanges & General Conference

My Dear Family and Friends,

Mom and Dad I am so sorry for not giving you a warning about not emailing on Saturday. 
I hope that you can forgive me! Due to conference we changed out P-day to today. 
All is well and I am fine. :)

Happy birthday B U B B Y !!!! The big number FOUR. I can't even believe it. You are getting so big!
I hope you had a good day eating all those blue cupcakes. hehe I love you little guy! 
Also, birthday shout outs go to Beverly Ward and Judy Swanson! :)

---> They had a marathon here and they used the metro as part of it. People. Everywhere.
---> We ride tramvaj number 18 to get from our house to the building.
---> It is a 45 minute drive from Prague to Mlada.
---> Palačinky are the czech's version of a pancake, but really it's sweedish hotcake/crepe.

I have started over in the Book of Mormon and this time I am using a color coding system to mark things such as, 
prophets speaking, important doctrine being taught, the story line/what is happening, words of members of Godhead, etc.
So, from here on out my insights will be kind of random. :)

I was reading in 1 Nephi 8, where Lehi is describing the vision he had of the tree of life. 
I absolutely love this chapter. I want to share verses 10-13 with you. 

10  And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
 11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. 
Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
 12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
 13 And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit. 
1. He sees.
2. He moves closer.
3. He tries it.
4. He desires for his family to have it and looks for them.
Its a beautiful process. We see something that looks desirable, so we move in closer, or we take that step of faith to figure out what it's all about
and then we take another step by trying it and by doing so we are filled with joy and our faith is strengthened as we come to find how great it 
actually is and then we want that for our most dear and precious ones around us. 
I love the example of Lehi in this story. I know that the fruit of the Gospel is truly the most desirable of all. I pray that we may all experience 
it for ourselves and then have the courage and strength to look for those around us and beckon them to experience it as well so that they might
be filled with the same everlasting joy. 

Almost every time WITHOUT fail, we see and experience miracles while on exchanges.
This week we had an exchange with the Frydek Mystek Sisters. Frydek Mystek is on the far east border
of the Czech Republic, near a town called Ostrava. Sister Hale and I went to Mlada Boleslav to work and Sister Witzle stayed in Prague with Sister Andreason. 
Fun fact: Sister Hale started her mission in Mlada Boleslav just like Sister Andreason! We had a lesson with Enka, a recent convert who Sister Hale taught back in the day. It was so fun to see them interact after a years time. After our lesson with Enka, we had a few pending lessons on plan, but they didn't show. We made some calls, sent some texts out to every one in our phone inviting them to General Conference and then we went out to go Chalk the town! The Zone leaders in Hradec Kralove chalked #aleluja all over the town during the Easter
initiative and saw so much success from it. So we thought, why don't we do that with conference! We didn't have a czech hashtag to use to send them to our website, so we chalked our website and LDSconf. ha ha 

Little bit of back ground: It was 7:00 pm when we were deciding if we should chalk then or at 8 cause we needed to eat some dinner. As we were deciding it kind of started to rain and I thought of course. This is going to be pointless because it is all going to be washed away. My blessed Sister Hale said, you know what, lets just do it! 

We went down the busy road Vaclamenta and started to chalk  the town. We had some people stop and ask about what we were doing and what it meant. So cool! I had just finished chalking and stood up to seen a younger man walking by. He seemed in a bit of a rush, but I felt prompted to stop him anyway. As I started talking with him and inviting him to come listen to the prophet and apostles this weekend he says to us no no, yes I know. I have met you people before in New Zealand. He went on to tell us that while in New Zealand, he was approached by Sister missionaries there and was given a Book of Mormon. This is the funniest part. He said, "Yes, we met once in town A. They left to go to town B and somehow produced a copy of this book in the Czech language." bahahahah when he said that I was dyingggg. So funny. We asked him if he
had had the chance to read it and he said yes, but it was very confusing and he didn't understand it. We testified using the HTBT points of our calling as missionaries to be his guides so that he can understand what is available to him in the Book of Mormon. He expressed sincere interest of wanting to learn more about the book of Mormon. He told us that He believes that there is somethings there and that there is more purpose for him in is life, but he just hasn't found it yet.  As he said this my eyes filled with tears. As a missionary especially, those words coming from someone's mouth sound so incredibly sweet. We told him that all day everyday we look for people who have these questions, have open and sincere hearts and have a real desire to find truth and meaning in their lives. We told him that we feel that he is one of the elect who is prepared and ready to receive the Gospel. He responded with yes, yes I do believe that I have
an open heart! ha ha ahhhh man. Filip is soooo prepared!!! 

After he left, Sister Hale and I just stood there in awe and amazement, bucket of chalk in hand. 

What was interesting was the next person we talked with, used these words when denying our invitation
to come and learn more, "I don't have an open heart or mind to these things."
I will never forget that moment on the sidewalk of Vaclamenta. Not only was it a testimony to me that there
ARE elect out there, it was also a testimony to me that we are ALL in this together. I am so grateful to those
sisters in New Zealand who were urgent to get Filip the fullness of the Gospel by getting him a Czech Book of Mormon. 
It is simply amazing. 

We got to watch conference this past weekend! It was amazing, as always.
We watched it with Elder Smith and Chadwick in Jicin on Saturday and then we were 
in Prague on Sunday to watch it with the branch and missionaries here. 
We had investigators who came in both areas, which was super awesome and a blessing! 

I had a few questions going into conference for me as well as for others we are working with right now
and I received answers and inspiration to them all. It is such an amazing gift that we have to receive personal
revelations for ourselves and inspiration for the behalf of others that we love and care about. 
I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. He is the only one who can receive revelation from God on behalf of the world. I know that God speaks to us through his Prophet and Apostles. I felt Him speak to me this past weekend and I hope that you all felt him speak to you a couple weeks ago. 

It is also my wish that we can all "embrace the tomorrow while remembering what we felt today." 
Review your notes and hold on to those spiritual experiences you had while watching conference!

I love you all so much. Thank you for you love, your support, your prayers, etc.
Mejte se krasne!!!

S pozdravim,
Sestra Fred 🌻

Me, Enka, Sestra Hale. :)

​I'm pretty sure these are the Japanese flowering cherry trees! Spring is here!

Met these fine folk yesterday in Prague! 
Brianne and Tom... can't remember their last name, but! Brianne is a cousin to Carly and Heather 
Macdonald! hahah such a small world. Her oldest is the same age as Allie 15 years old. Crazy.
Maybe Angela knows Brianne!

General Conf set up in Jicin

Love my Sister Hale! 

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