missionary melanizzle

missionary melanizzle

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Week 1 Dobry Den (hello)

Its been a wild time!! 2 days after I found out I was reassigned to Texas we got word that 3 of us had our travel visas! Mine, Starsi Smith and Starsi Cahoon. Everyone else was assigned state side. and yes. You better believe I bawled knowing we would all be split up around the world. Oh well, in enough time our MTC district will reunite in a zone conference or something. 

Traveling: first we flew to Texas and had a 5 hour layover. We just sat and talked and kind of lowkey freaked out in the airport that this was real life to be going to our missions. We also ate some Texas meat which was great. We also had a ton of time to call our families so that was nice :) I love you family! 
Then we flew to London. We knew it would be long and exhausting with the whole time difference thing BUT Starsi Smith and I sat together! It was kind of a tender mercy because otherwise I know I would have freaked out a little bit. All in all, we had a weird dinner, fell asleep mid conversation then woke up and said some other sentences then crashed again and so on. The climax of that flight was the high turbulence that woke us both up because those shoulder things head rest things you put down that are on your seat..you know what I am talking about? we were both using those and I woke up to a good minute long face smashing on those things. It was funny. ALSO when all the lights were off so everyone could sleep was when I was wide awake. I didn't want to turn on the overhead light because I didn't want to bother anyone around me with that bright glare. So I turned the brightness up on the screen in front of me (on the chair in front of me) and studied what I could. It kind of sucked but eventually I fell asleep. hahaha also there was a time when I was wide awake that I perused on that monitor for our flight travel, books on tape, and music. Surely this fancy plane had to have classical music. I browsed and found 'background African sounds' not even music. Then I found
--This is important and will make you laugh--.
Then I found 'Nigerian sounds' THE FIRST SONG I LISTEN TO went something like this "Hi! I am a What? I am a Who? I am a...Nigerian!" I laughed so hard and took those headphones off quick because no missionary should be hearing such eminem wannabes. It was hilarious. 

Also from that plane ride I decided I want my children to grow up in Britain. I was called 'love' twice. It was brilliant. 

Okay then the last flight to the CR was short and all of us felt nauseous and tired so we crashed and don't remember much. We all decided if we had to go on another plane we would have hurled. That was way too much plane. 21 hours total of travel time. Woof. So we got there and met the AP's Starsi C (who told me about him from back home? I remember writing his name down) Starsi K and the one and only President McConkie and his wife and one of their kids E and Sister McConkie's sister who was visiting. They were so glad we made it there in one piece. 

These are too many details. 
We got to Prague, the mission home/church/Mission President's home then went on a Prague Walk. We walked 2 blocks to the most beautiful views of the City where President told us the story of how the Church came to be here in the CR and how the people fought for 40 years for us to be here. They we went with the APs around, contacted, and ate svíčkova. Look it up it was absolutely scrumptious. I stayed the night at the mission home and they let us to go sleep at 7 pm! I hit the pillow and was out COLD until 6:30. In the morning everyone wondered if they woke me up cause there was a bunch of people outside my room and making a ton of noise and playing badminton but nope. I slept like a hibernating bear. 

yaddah yaddah yaddah we met our comps the next day and found out where we were going. I am in a trio with Sestra Clark and Sestra Senkane. Sestra Clark was in the MTC 2 groups before me and she is super funny. Sestra Senkane is in her last transfer and is from Latvia. We are serving in Mlada Boleslav. It's cute and seems small. We are teaching a Slovak and have met and spoke with a few people from Poland. Its crazy how close our languages are. Its tough but my jet lag is all done and we contact like wild beasts. When we walk down the street we are a wall and none shall pass without a chance of hearing our word. Its awesome. Starsi Smith is in the town next to us so we are in the same district! Its relieving to see a familiar face twice a week. It's cold here and I bought a furryish coat which we must always wear. Even if it is nice outside it is the custom to wear it. All the way zipped up too. Otherwise people will get after you. 

I know what is going on 40% of the time but whatever, I will get the hang of it. Sometimes it is hard trying to constantly understand people but it is also conforting to know I am not a SOLO missionary anymore and can rely on all 3 of my companions now. Sestra Clark, Seatra Senkane and the Spirit. We have a wonderful branch and when we were asked to share our testimonies I wasn't sure if I used the right words but a few people were nodding their heads. Its surprising how many people speak English here. Don't worry-I always speak Czech to them. I need to practice. 

I love you all! Take care of yourselves and always count your blessings!
And remember-when in doubt, bare it out. 
-Sestra Hale

P.S. I gave away my first Book of Mormon to a Polish man. After I said (in broken Czech) each word, he followed in Polish each word. We both said that "This book will bless your life" and "I know it is true" I hope that did something for him. I have no idea what he said back to me but maybe one day that book sitting in his house will do something! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

these changes are hysterical

hahahahahahaha These changes are hysterical. Just kidding all. 15 minutes ago we got word on our travel plans.

Elder S, Elder C and I have our visas. We are going to the Czech Republic on Monday

Elder B, Elder C, Elder G who never had any news, STILL don't have any news so they will probably stay at the MTC for another week until they receive their visas or get reassigned. 

Elder N is still going to Virginia. 

The power of prayer is real-we are all emotionally exhausted!! 
I am excited and will go where the Lord wants me to go. 

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. They really do help. 

-Sestra Hale

MTC Week 8 I don't know where to start

Literally THE craziest week has gone by. 
I dont have a lot of time so it will be brief. Sorry to keep you wondering:
FRIDAY we received our flight plans. YEAH BABY! We leave on Feb 16th to Texas, London, then Prague! The Bulgarians(my companions) got theirs too!
SATURDAY we are still excited to leave!
SUNDAY Sister T is supposed to sing in the Sunday night devotional with violin from Sister O (my 2 comps). Sunday afternooon all of the sudden Sister T says shes been tasting blood and after a trip to instacare she knows something weird is up with her soft pallets. She sings anyway that night in some pain but she brought the spirit like never before. ---side note a missionary that has been at the MTC for a week who is foreign said in his broken broken english "I havent been able to understand anybody since I got here. When you sang I heard the song in my language" 
MONDAY Sister T is at the doctors a ton and all these doctors have no idea what is going on!
TUESDAY she gets a biopsy and is in a lot of pain ---this is when you are thinking that her companions were probably in a lot of emotional pain with her. You're right----
WEDNESDAY Sister T feels better and there is a meeting with the MTC doc who tells her something that made it seem like she cant serve-CRUSHED-ALL OF US- But immediately we talked to her parents on the phone and a branch coordinator with flight plans and illnesses and he gave us hope and comfort. ALSO WE GOT REASSIGNED. Well, half of MY mission got reassigned. 2 to Virginia, 1 to Washington and me to Texas Houston East Mission

Just in case anyone is skimming this email I just said I HAVE BEEN REASSIGNED WHILE I WAIT FOR A VISA---Texas Houston East Mission. I still leave Monday at the same time. That's all I know so don't bother asking me any questions haha.

THURSDAY: the darn tootn-est P Day I have ever had. Seriously we were half packing, eating at the temple, eating Cafe Rio that Sister T brought back-she was out in the real world doing doctor things.

I dont have time to explain this. There have been some crazy ups and downs CONTSANTLY in the last week. If you can pray for us missionaries specifically because it has been so so nuts and so much change and emotion. 

Thats all I can say for now. I love you all, hold strong because we all know crazy things in life are part of the plan. 

-Sestra Hale

awkward valentines

Happy Valentines Day to all!  Think about love and awkward valentines for me! 
-Sestra Hale

I cant break page 33 of the Misisonary Handbook. aka basically "watch yo self around the opposite sex" 
hahaha but seriously-have a good Valentines Day!

-Sestra Hale

p.s. my favorite line to yell at people while they are getting close to me is "DONT TOUCH ME I AM A SISTER!!"

Sunday, February 22, 2015


(This was an extra e-mail Melanie sent home to Dave and I. I happened to be on the computer and was able to answer back since it was coming at an odd time)

Hello world. I've been reassigned.
Anyone want to guess? 

Just kidding. My travel Visa didn't come through. I've been reassigned to the Texas Houston East Mission. 
The missionaries in my district go as follows: 
Starsi S and Starsi N are going to Virginia
Starsi B, G and C are I think going to the Czech Republic because they haven't heard otherwise. 
Starsi C is going to Washington 

Clearly I won the jackpot. 
How do I feel? I am currently crying thinking about all of us being split up but I don't care where the Lord wants me to wait for a visa. I only ask one thing---no making fun of me is I turn into a hick! 

I love you all!
p.s. I still leave on the 16th and I love life. 

What an adventure. You and your district Starsi's will have good stories to swap when you all finally arrive in Europe.
Questions: Will you have a trainer in Texas? Or be plopped into their schedule mid transfers? When your visa comes, do you go right away? Or wait til the group gets theirs too? Or wait til transfer time in Texas? Were you heartbroken at first? Are you ok with it now? 
You may not know the answers to any of these questions. Once you get to Houston, you won't have p-day for a week so we won't know where you are. :(
You have a couple boxes and at least one letter waiting for you in Prague. Sorry.
I'm sorry this happened, but I'm sure you will make it in to a memorable adventure. Can't wait for your email tomorrow. Let me know if you need anything from me. After that, I'll wait to hear from you in TX.
Love you,

I wasnt heartbroken at all I was seriously excited. I almost choked on my rice I was eating!
and Mom I wish I could answer all your questions but we will just have to wait and see. Whenever the Lord wants me in Czech I'll go. That is all I know. I still leave Monday and I will still call from the airport :) But now that my flight is short it will probably be a short phone call so I can call you again when I do go to Europe? I don't know. ADVENTURE!!
Its super rare for missionaries going to our mission to be visa waiters so we all feel pretty confident that it won't be for long. But if it is-so be it!

MTC Week 7 Namaste and Stickers


I am curious to find out who loves me. I am running low on stickers. I love robots and sparkles and random things. Lets say I leave the MTC in 11 days...so in the next 8 mailing days would anyone want to send me a few new sheets of stickers? I use them all the time! 

So here is the update on the newbs....they are ALL fantastic. I had the chance to interview all the new sisters on Saturday night (as STL) and they are all exciting to get going. A few of them are challenging themselves ALREADY to Speak Their Language 24/7 and learn up to 60 words a day...I wish I did that in the beginning! We are all examples to each other. One of them is Sister R-I love her laugh. One is from Pocatello! Sister H -I love her humor. One is Sister R: NO JOKE she looks like a tan Rory from Gilmore girls. One is Sister D-she loves to make double chin faces with me (as you can see from the attached photos) One is Sister V: She is intelligent and is super driven and also really fun to talk to. One is Sister T: she is wise and is nutritious and strong. Sister S is loud and random and funny! Sometimes she reminds me of a puppy. Then Lastly Sister H who's tear ducts are expanded. She is open about crying all the time. I just love her we always laugh about silly things. THEN the 2 new Elders. Elder R-who lived in Serbia and is serving in Slovenia and tried proving he could do the Cinnamon challenge the other day but failed...horribly...it was seriously a mushroom cloud coming out of his mouth. Then Elder P from Oklahoma with a southern accent and really pretty friends from back home. They are all awesome! How do I feel with them? Like a babička. A grandmother. They are so fresh and already complaining about sitting all day. In my mind I always say "don't even start!" but no worries. They will become immune in no time. 

Fun Fact: I gave the closing prayer in devotional Tuesday night. Sometimes when I pray in a large group my eyes do this nervous twitch thing. Don't bother asking me why cause I don't know and its super weird. BUT as I prayed I didn't feel the tickle from my eyelids twitching a bunch! It was exciting. 

The other day Sestra R said she was going to be my companion for a lesson! I LOVED planning with her, I LOVED teaching with her, and lets face it, I LOVE her! It was weird but so awesome teaching with someone else! I'm exciting to always have a companion by my side to fill in gaps and to testify even more of the truth. 

Yesterday I taught over skype. I think I mentioned that in my voice recording so be sure to listen for that. I love skyping-those volunteers are super cool! The Elders skypes J who is the Family History Consultant over there and the missionaries serving in that area were in the background eating. It was fun to watch from the sidelines! 

Since we have ELEVEN DAYS LEFT in America, we are reviewing a lot of the Czech grammar concepts but also learning random things such as how to tell time. So story: My least favorite word for a while was the number four. Here is what it looks like čtyři. Not fun right? when you tell time it gets more interesting. Such as 3:45 would be tři-čtyři na čtyři. I now dare you all to look that up. hahah its crazy learning new concepts like this. I'd rather review a ton! Although knowing time might be vital in missionary work. No one wants to meet with sloppy late missionaries. 

There is such great leadership in our zone. The Zone leaders and new sister Training Leaders are as follows: Starší C, Starší C and Sestra L who I am now training. We met the other day to discuss our goals as leaders in benefit for our zone. I love us all. Its going to be a crazy and awesome next 11 days!!!  

This morning most of the Sisters went to Yoga. It was great. I enjoyed listening to a soundtrack of grasshoppers and wind. It reminded me on that one part in the movie Interstellar when he is listening to a rainstorm. 

One last thing: There are cases in the Czech language. This means when you want to say OF God there is no word for 'of' in Czech but you simply case the word God from Buh: God --> Boha: of God. Its a crazy concept but I guess makes sense. It just hurts to try and form complete phrases. Although thanks to the thugness of the Elders in my district aka Starsi S: we all are working on memorizing them to a beat. It works! Now we just have to apply them when we speak our language!

Miluji vám!  
I love you all!

-Sestra Hale 

Monday, February 2, 2015

MTC Week 6 Tears with Gummy Bears and Skype

In a handwritten note home: That is so cool you saw a picture of me hosting! That sister is going to Cabodia -- Thank you Heavenly Father for not sending me there, Have you SEEN that language?!  
(referring to an upcoming trip of her parents to Japan) Soooo Tokyo is STUFFED with people! Holy Cow! You should bring an air horn so people will move out of your way while walking down the street haha. Just kidding. They would judge America. And we don't want that

Helloooooooooooooo world!

Lets start with Sunday night. It was the last night with the Croatian Elders. They were lowkey nervous and everyone else was excited for them. Then came our last moments together. On Sunday night before it was time to go back to our residences the whole zone sang together (its a thing we have been doing every special occasion or Saturday night) so of course we sang 'God Be With You Till We Meet Again' as a closing song. As we sang it-all emotions broke loose. One of the elders was crying, most of the sisters were in tears and some were quiet. Its just crazy to know these elders for 40 days, become a real family unit, then have to say goodbye. It's not a sad goodbye because the people in Croatia need them more than we do but it is still sad. PLUS we were all attending the waterworks festival because reality is setting in that SOON we will be the ones to say goodbye!   Once my companions and I were back in the residence Sunday night we just sunk to the floor and were crying but making fun of ourselves so we were just 3 hot messes on the floor laughing in tears. We went over to the Polish sister's rooms and we all cried together because we are either scared, nervous, sad, or happy for the Elders leaving and for ourselves. So we all just sat on a bed and ate gummy bears until we were all comforted once again. 

Sister Lee (our old roommate going to Brazil) left the MTC! YAY! She unfortunately did not go to Brazil. She is a visa waiter in Oregon! She will do grrrrreat! I love and miss her. Im not too sad because I am currently on her weekly email list. No tears here!

If I am remembering right I told you how now in class we are teaching each other, acting as someone we know back home? Well when I taught "Preston" I felt the spirit soooo strong. My favorite moments are when investigators realize everything is a part of Heavenly Father's plan or when what the Spirit directed me to say is what they needed to hear. I love being an instrument in the hands of the Lord! Mosiah 27:36 baby!

I SKYPED PEOPLE FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC YESTERDAY! How was it? ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL! I skyped B and J. Their 10 year old twin boys were also there some of the time and doing funny things in the background of the camera haha. They were so sweet and it was SO COOL to be understood by someone AND to understand what they were saying. I'll be honest though, there were a few times Jan was saying something really nice and on point (I think) but I just kept nodding my head and smiling. What else can a sista do? They were so kind and they were FB messaging the teacher who sets up these skype appointments and B said she loved me and wants me to teach her each time we do skype!     ---I used an analogy of the temple in my lesson with them so for a little we got off topic onto temples. They told me when the Frieburg Temple was dedicated they went and Gordon B Hinckley was there to dedicate it! J said he got close but was too afraid to shake his hand! So I then whipped out a commitment to him. I can do that because I am a missionary. I said "J! you just got close? Okay...when there is a temple in the Czech Republic, will you shake the president's hand? (president of the church at the time of this)" and he said he would! It was sooo fun skyping. My whole district was high on the spirit afterwards.

Which brings me to my next point. Yesterday it was brought to our attention that we will be getting our travel plans in 8 DAYS. Next Friday people. We all buckled down and created a language study plan with our teachers and effective ways to make sure that specific studying gets done. Please pray for my zone so we can feel alright leaving the MTC soon! 

We got 10 newbs yesterday. 8 Sisters and 2 Elders. They seem like a fun bunch and I am really excited to get to know them in interviews and such. Oh yeah, I am the new sister training leader! I didn't know the MTC presidency sends you a letter saying good job on becoming a STL and other encouraging words, so I opened my email and saw an email titled "New Mission Assignment" I flipped because I thought my call was reassigned. Nope! Just a nice thoughtful letter. 

Last thing--after a wonderful devotional Tuesday night Starší C said something that I can't get out of my mind. He said, "It's okay to love ourselves before we are perfect." Remember that folks. It is true, we should always be striving to be better. If we don't feel like we have done enough, just love yourself because if you have a positive mindset you pretty much become bulletproof. 

Pictures: The Croatian Starší on our last temple walk together.
Choir - Can you spot me?

5 weeks down, 4 more to go

I want to clear some things up from the last email. Remember how it was a joke last week for the elders to say "2 year mark"? well it is true. It is their 2 year mark since our mission is one month longer than the usual. So they basically have 2 years to go! And I have... well, I don't know. This MTC is like a time warp. The idea of time is insane. The days go by slow, the weeks go by fast. You go into teaching an investigator thinking it is a 20 minute lesson then once you leave, you realize you just taught a 45 minute lesson! 

WELL This last week was phenomenal.  

The Funnies:
I don't know if I have mentioned this but in the Czech room we have these 2 rubber balls with words written on them. One with verbs and one with nouns. Their purpose is to practice conjugating and casing the words when tossed gently into the hands of a learning missionary. What our class has come to discover is they are a form of stress relief and painful laughter. During our prestavka's (breaks) we either kick the ball, hit it, rebound it off the wall, use our heads, or try to throw both as fast as possible in an organized manor. IT NEVER GETS OLD! I swear, there have been times where we have a good break of mic (ball) time, and I feel light headed from laughing so hard for at least an hour after the break is over and throughout my studies. hahahah I love the starsi in my district. 
We have one teacher Bratr Knapp who is really fun to tease. We learned a little about his love life and for the last 2 weeks have not stopped giving him beef. (we as in all the elders. I am there for moral support and to calm them all down) ...(that's why they called a sister to the mission at this time. Those elders would be chaotic without a sister in the room) hahah. SO it's always fun when he teaches because we give him beef about his love life AND his handwriting. Seriously sometimes we are all lost on what kind of arabic font he writes in. Turns out it's Czech or english!

The Good Stuff:
I memorized the 1st vision in Czech as one of my language studies. Once I learned it, I was teaching the Restoration to one of my investigators. It was awesome that I could recite that and the spirit I felt. I don't know if he felt it but I was like 'AHHHHHHH YEAHHHH' in my head cause the spirit was for sure in the room if it wasn't before. 

On Saturday, my exact half way mark, something happened. I think one of the kick starts to that beautiful day was a quick lesson. -sometimes your lessons as a missionary aren't full-on sit down lessons. some are only 10 minutes or even 5-but this one was 10-SO I knew Wendula was ready for baptism. I taught her about baptism a little and explained we believe it is baptism by immersion representing a new life and how we are promised the companionship of the Holy Ghost-then BAM I invited her to be baptized and she knew it was right and I knew it and I felt the spirit and I could tell she did too! It was awesome. Not that I got a baptism but because she felt converted by the Spirit. THEN on Saturday night, I was in an interview with my Sister Training Leader (also one of my companions). Interviews happen all the time just to make sure you are well. She asked me a few questions then once she asked me about my family I just started bawling because I know you-my immediate family for sure- is supporting me and your prayers and influences have gone further than I thought possible. I just felt so loved it was crazy. Then I came out of the interview and my whole zone was in a room singing hymns. The lst one I caught with them was "I Need Thee Every Hour". I couldn't even sing half the time cause I was thinking "THIS CHURCH IS SO TRUE, THE SPIRIT HAS TESTIFIED IT TO ME, I LOVE MY FAMILY BAHHHHH" (I wish there were emoji's on this email. I'd put the crying one right here. It was so awesome. I love the spirit!

Wow, are my emails too long? I just feel like speedy gonzales on this keyboard. I promise who ever is reading this that reading to the end is worth it!

ON TUESDAY-M. Russell Ballard spoke to us. I almost feel like royalty with all these church celebrities coming to share their wisdom with us. He gave a wonderful talk. After devotionals we get together with our district and another district to share what stuck out to us most in the devotional. His talk was definitely directed by the Spirit because it was what a lot of people needed to hear at that time. The choir also sang the song "Lead Kindly Light" Do you know what that song is about? And what the circumstances were when the original poem was written? I wont tell you. You will have to look it up but I'll give you some hints to entice you to search it for yourself: ship, vomit, humble.

Lastly one new cool thing we are doing in class is being investigators. We thought of someone back home that we know well to act as so other missionaries in class could teach them. For example I am teaching Starsi Smith, and he is acting as his friend Preston. It's fun to teach this way. I hear next week we start to skype people in the Czech Republic and teaching them....HELLO NERVES! 
Totila ("that is all" in Polish)
You know, I can understand Polish if it is spoken to me. Not fluently of course but the other day when I memorized the 1st vision I ran to my companions to officially quiz me and a Elder Cowley of the Polish district was in there and randomly fidgeted in joy because he could understand what I was saying. I did the same when he recited the 1st vision in Polish to me! Its so cool to understand these languages. Same goes for Bulgarian. I bet Katie and Holden from the ward could pick up on some things I say. 

-Sestra Hale

miluji se učit o tento evangelia. vím že bez Duch Svatý a darem jazyků nemůžu mluvit českzy. Cirkev Ježíše Krista je pravdivá. miluji být misionařka! 

 In my new Czech Republic Shirt. Wearing it with obvious pride. LONG LOVE THE CZECH REPUBLIC!

THIS IS THE SHELF OF NO RETURN IN OUR RESIDENCE. I swear if Sister Olsen gets one more package full of sweets and happy birthday cards, I will gain more weight than a woman when pregnant! #sweetsforDAYYYYYYYS