missionary melanizzle

missionary melanizzle

Monday, March 30, 2015

100+ days as a Missionary

FIRST OFF: Time to think about home for a second. Happy Birthday to Kyle Helton on April 3rd! I hope your birthday is as phenomenal as you are and my wish for you is for your schooling to challenge you and for your truck to transform into an autobot instead of a septicon... I love you!     Lindsey Williams and Jordan Hays! Happy Birthday you two! I hope for Jordan your 18th year is as exciting as all your years before were-put together in one! Lindsey I hope for your 23rd year, that you will learn to beat box while you sing so beautifully and also have great success in your endeavors for the year.
Also-thank you for your "open when . . ." cards Natasha&Spencer, Jonny, and Aunt Lauri. All were perfectly what I needed to hear when I opened them :)

Okay so as for Mlada Boleslav stories:
We contacted an old man who smelled like my Grandpa Watkins. He was kind and funny. He asked where we were from then before he left he managed to growl at Sestra Senkane and then also tell ME "If I was 50 years younger I would come to America and find you" YIKES!
Also-please listen to my voice recording about Sestra Clark getting Czech armed and face rubbed. I'm laughing right now just thinking about it.
We keep meeting Polish people who are so crazy to talk to! We met a Polish man who kept waving his arms to and fro as he was talking to us that he almost smacked my face! Then when we walked away he called us to come back and talk to his friend. Who actually enjoyed when we taught him prayer and prayed with them. (That's something we do a lot on street contacts. Teach prayer and pray with people. It's so great. Weird at first, but now I don't care cause I love talking to God no matter who is looking!)
At the beginning of our comp inventory this week I wrote down a goal to cry once this week because I think I have been holding in my stresses too long. BOOM! 3 minutes after writing the goal I cried for the next 30 minutes. I have never been homesick before in my life until the mission! Don't worry-my companions are so inspired and full of love, I started then to cry because of the spirit in our room. It's so cool to be here but holy crap it is difficult! There are so many responsibilities to keep up with. I have a vision that I'll be an unstoppable mother when I have kids all over the place and cooking food and everything. I am being prepared now!

Tomorrow we have a 24 hour exchange with the Prague sisters. I am going there while my companions stay here. I'm excited! 

I love you all!
-Sestra Hale

p.s. can you all promise me something? HELP THE MISSIONARIES IN YOUR AREA. This is hard work! Be active in your help in missionary work. Invite your friends to church, be friends with investigators, and never be afraid to bare your testimony!

Also-enjoy General Conference! I'll watch it a week after you due to time difference. And also enjoy Easter! Wear cute bright colors and eat lots of jelly beans. Not the Harry Potter ones but the actually good tasting ones. Love you all ! Remember also what Easter is celebrated for. If you can't remember, read 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. I love you all and I know this church is true. His plan is perfect for us! Lets all accept it so we can live happier!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 5 Swan Lake, Prague and a Pocket Knife

So this last week was full of various events.
Sister Clark had to do some VISA work in Prague so while she was doing that with her MTC district, all the leftover companions went to a place in Prague to do a singing display. It was fun getting to know other missionaries. When it was my turn to contact, I talked to a Vietnamese couple and got their number to be contacted later on, I also was yelled at by a man who said the following in mostly Czech and partly English. *there was no order in when he switched languages*
"I speak English, I speak Russian, I am fluent in Russian!.......Freedom! All we want is freedom! My work, my work is organized, what is organization?!.........communism!..........Am I a believer?!........" The whole 6 minute we was yelling at me he was very close to me and waving his hands a bunch. He wasn't mad mad but I don't know what to take from it, so from what I heard I said "I know the truth because I have prayed to God" and "So you like organized things? Awesome! Our church is organized!"    When he walked away I could not stop smiling. I just love talking to crazies. Also-it is so funny to see all the different things people try to do in order to not make contact with an approaching missionary. I just can't wipe the smile from off my face.

Another thing that happened was training. MAN! President McConkie is inspiried and wants us to teach teach teach! He stomped his foot a few times to get the point across and even his wife was wide eyed and smiling. I love how passionate he is about this work. He and Sister McConkie just love this Gospel and you can feel it in every testimony they share of the truths of it.

We had a lesson with a woman, E, who has a son. I had a cool Valentines pencil from the MTC with gangster Dinosaurs on it. I gave it to him at the beginning of the lesson then later he came back with a knife and wanted me to shave or sharpen the pencil. So the lesson paused as everyone saw me whip out my own Cutco pocket knife and start to sharpen this pencil. It was awesome! Then after a minute and much progress his mother said "wait!" then got a real pencil sharpener. That was fun.

We have one Culture Night here in this mission. It's one night or thing to do besides on a P Day to understand the culture better. We bought tickets for a Russian Ballet a while back. So we saw Swan Lake! It was phenomenal. I don't know how ballerinas do it. Their calves are STEEL I bet! Also-I never thought I would be fancy enough to go to a professional ballet before. I guess I AM becoming European!

Okay 2 quick last things.
J is one of our investigators who is strongly Catholic and has been meeting with us for 2 months and has been making and keeping all commitments EXCEPT coming to church because he thought it was denying his faith to go to another church. Also- he hasn't been realizing he knows the truth of the Book of Mormon. So we planned a lesson about service with him but it turned out to be 1 complete hour of realizing the truth. Once we read the classic Ezekiel scripture, he looked up and smiled as he was smiling through defeat. He just kept smiling and covering his face! SO HE SAID YES TO COMING TO CHURCH! He came to church and when we met him at the bus stop we didn't even recognize him! He was wearing a suit and cut his long hair! When he came to church he was actively involved in the lessons and said he felt the spirit! Honestly- he fit right in.
Lastly Lastly. I have wanted a QUAD scripture pack for a long time. It finally came thank you to my wonderful family and their efforts and I AM SO HAPPY! I have been using a sweet tool called Holy Tabbs and marking up all my favorite scriptures. It's like a candy addiction. I don't want to stop coloring and reading them. Each page is so fragile. I just love love love it! Thank you again for the scriptures.
Mám vás rada!
-Sestra Hale
(Melanie took an old set of scriptures with her- all marked up from Sunday School classes and Seminary as a youth, but then realized she needed a better set. We tried sending her a set while she was still up in Utah, but wrong size, finally had to ship her a set across the ocean. Long ordeal of shipping scriptures back and forth, but she finally has a "grown up" set of scriptures.)
 From our hike last week.

 I never thought I would see a Russian Ballet!

I wore my swan cardigan, clever huh?

 SLOVO BOŽí  (the Word of God) I am soooo happy!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 4 Red hands, Sladky (sweets), and Mongolians

These weeks are flyyyyyying by.
SO we taught English at the homeless place this last week. Its called Nadeji (Hope). So MID LESSON a man sits down at our table and starts rolling a cigarette. Sister Clark and I made great eye contact because it was the first time we have seen that done.

And, I guess this happens a lot here, but people just go to the bathroom outside. Mostly kids. But there was a kid running over to the dirt next to the sidewalk with his mother following and she helped him drop his trousers to pee! What in the world! Why is that a thing here?

As for the other side of the world. Its pretty cold and windy. Last night we were putting tracting letters in a neighborhood and I wasn’t wearing gloves. It was overcast and windy and soooo cold. All of the sudden my hands felt super warm. I didn’t realize until later that they had gone numb and were cherry red. woops! 

In one day while contacting we met 4 Polish men, one man from Germany, a few Slovaks, and a Mongolian woman stopped us! She didn't speak Czech very well but she asked about church because I think she said she was a member? Anyway we exchanged numbers to get her to church.

With one of our investigators J--the HG is working on him SO strong! We all know it. He just can't make that next step to come to church. We have tried everything. But, to help him recognize the spirit I told my comps about what someone said at the MTC-give the investigator a 3X5 note card and write down the chapters they are to read and then a place for Thoughts and Feelings while reading. He said it helped! I was really glad I took so many notes while at the MTC. We are praying fervently for J to commit. He is so close!

One day we walked to the neighboring little town and walked by a Lidl store. Its explained in my voice recording but oooooh they have great candy here. The best $7 American dollars I have spent. Also! I'm so happy about the Pistachios being so cheap here.

LASTLY-----Guess who arrived in the CR this last Friday? we got word that all four of our Starsi's from the states made it together! Their Visas went through and all I know now is 2 of the 4 of them are in my zone! Yay!!! We will see them at training on Thursday.

I love you all!
-Sestra Hale

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 3 Synchronized Camels and Skate Boarding Bears

Ready for random?
Here we go.
We went to the circus with one of our investigators J. I tell you what, him and I were acting like children the whole time. Especially when the elephants were out. The circus was SO COOL! It was the Czech/Slovak Hunberto Circus. There was random talent like juggling on your back with your feet and hands at the same time, there was hoola-hooping 20 hoops at a time, there were synchronized camels....did you know you can train camels?? There was also a skate boarding bear! It was the coolest thing I have ever seen. Oh. And this circus was in a tent! Straight up like the movies. That was also a part that made me feel all giddish. I think part of my Melanie side came out. But no worries, I rememebered that I am Sestra Hale now so I stayed calm.
J also committed to stop smoking! He is a champion and has a baptismal date!.
We met a man named R and  holy crap he is prepared!!!!    The first lesson he told us he just wants to help people and is looking into Chinese medicine. After our lesson we invited him to be baptized and he is on date! Tonight he even asked about serving a mission. But too bad is is 2 years too old. Anyways- God really does prepare people.
We went on a vylet (trip) with S and her kids. It was fun we walked into some woods, played on a cute playground, then walked to the other side of the woods and down the mountain to across the stream to then a castle. S has been meeting the missionaries for 5 months now. Patience is key with her I think. We really enjoy our time with her and the same goes for her. Sometimes its hard to teach someone like that because we know how much the Gospel can bless her life if she would just allow it. Ya know?
Today for P Day we went with the Jicin Elders to a castle. We walked along a pretty road and fields for forever long, like 1.5 miles both ways and ate lunch at the castle, went into some tiny old caves, then returned. My district is so great. And we just got word that our district  now has Liberec in it because of the change of missionaries and their visa things. Yay! I'm excited for our growing district.
Fun Fact: Sestra Senkane's parents were the first church members in Latvia AND her dad was an area 70 AND  he translated the Book of Mormon in Latvian. I'm serving with Royalty here!
I love you all.
Take care!
-Sestra Hale

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Week 2 in Mlada Boleslav Q and A

Hello Miss Mel,
I am so looking forward to hearing from you tomorrow
I have some questions:
1. What is it like going from a solo missionary in the mtc to TWO companions? I'm sure it's easier in some ways, harder in others, but tell me about it.  Its GREAT! Especially with the language barrier. The first few days as I was adjusting to the time difference and zoning like crazy I was grateful to have 2 companions that could teach a lesson with minimum assistance from me. hahah but really its great. There is a Croatian teacher in the MTC who thought of the "scorpion move" -- two missionaries are teaching then BAM! The third one jumps through the two and testifies! We haven't tried it yet but in due time it shall come to pass.
2.  Did all your fans come through for you and send you stickers before you left the MTC?  Yes. I want to thank Sam and Wendy Rencher for that amazing variety of stickers. My favorite one is "wheres the bathroom?" ALSO Aunt Julie was basically my parent that last week of the MTC. She sent me a Valentines Day poster, delicious cute cookies, and stickers. I cried reading her letter because I was sad that I wasn't close to my family but she was there and...anyway it was so great. Also-Elder Redd for those panda stickers! Phenomenal. And also Dad- I have no idea what is on those stickers you sent from Japan but I put one on my daily planner so I hope its not "cheese"in Japanese or people might be confused of my purpose here. A Cheese Salesman or a Servant of the Lord??  
3. What do you see out your apartment window?  Out of my apartment window on the 2nd floor I see Bondy (the mall here), dumpsters, the earth decaying down because there is a tram track underground but not covered. Make sense? and I see other apartment buildings. I'll take a picture sometime but its really not anything spectacular.
4. Who cooks the best of the 3 of you?  Who cooks the best? we are all the same in cooking skills. Who DOES cook the best is Martin (one of our RC's fathers) last night he fried cheese and cooked potatoes. We were so full and happy. and then they fed us more and more including zmrzlina. Ice cream. aka my weakness. Especially Czech ice cream.
5. Are you staying warm? and are you seeing any signs of springtime yet?   I am staying warm! My coat is sufficient for the amount of time we are outside. Scarves are great and we ALWAYS wear tights. I also wear a beanie. This week I'll take a picture of myself all bundled up for the cold days. It's the culture here to zip everything up and always wear a coat until...well I don't know, I'm still playing everything by ear.
6. How big is your ward or branch?  Our branch is in Jičín-the next town over where our district leader and Starší Smith is. So combined with people from Mlada and Jicin and if everyone showed up - 40 people. Everyone likes missionary work because one of our focuses is to be branch builders! Our mission vision is to build a stake. So its important for all members and missionaries to become branch builders first.
7.  How much do you walk every day? Walking distance depends. One time all of our lessons fell through so we contacted for 4 hours straight. Other days we are in lessons in our office. We don't walk distances a ton because the 2 main streets here are full of people. We just go up and down the streets mainly. Unless we are walking with a skip in our step to catch a bus somewhere. 
8..  You said Sister Senkane is from Latvia. Where is Sister Clark from?  Sister Clark is from Twin Falls Idaho. She is the best. Sister Senkane is from Latvia. She is the best as well. And she is very good at English but since she doesn't speak Latvian a ton she said she has forgotten words and thinks in all languages. We decided she is an orphan in tongue.
9. Do you ever get fed? or do you mostly cook for yourselves?  We only so far get fed on Sunday nights when we teach Honza's family. Dinner here is usually lighter because lunch is so big. But when they feed us WE GET FED! We go into one room to have the main course then the next room there are many bowls and plates of nuts, fruits, or brownie type things, then she always makes a big bowl of Czech ice cream with fruit on it. We speed walk home from their house in order to burn off any calories we can haha.
10. How long did it take for you guys to go through the Thin Mints?  The Thin Mints (Thank you Lindsey Williams!) were devoured in a total of 3 days. Impressive right? Now it's these Milka bars. I don't know if they are in the US but ohhh honey on toast, they are amazing. They are gaga about wafers here. So there's this one wafer bar with milka chocolate on the top layer. I plan on coming home with a bag full of them. Be excited for July 2016!
11. Now that you're not in "class" every day, how is your language coming along? Learning new words every day?   the language. Good question. I love contacting best because I know more of the language. When we have our language study in the morning, I usually learn a phrase in a scripture or a quote or look up the words I write down whenever I can write words down, usually in church or on the bus or sometimes during lessons. I definitely understand better everyday but can't reply as well. So I know it will come with time. My comps told me the first day to be patient with myself. My daily personal motto is "be bold like a lion Sister Hale!". Today we have a lesson and I am in charge of inviting him to baptism. Bring it. I also have the phone duties in a rotation of every 3 days. That's scary but I might as well learn how to talk on the phone now!

I love you all! And remember to be bold like a lion in everything you do! Unless it is not a righteous doing. In that case please stay home and watch a Disney movie by yourself.
--Sestra Hale

 One of the streets near the center of town.

This thing is probably my favorite. We hang up our towels on these rods. Notice how these rods are plugged in? They are always hot. It's like coming out of the shower and drying yourself with toast. They are crisp and warm. I love it.

When we walk down the street we are a wall and none shall pass without a chance of hearing our word.