I am so looking forward to hearing from you.
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 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.
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.