Monday, September 5, 2016

Just Some Pics!

Here are some pictures of our last few days!

s laskou,
Sestra Schaerrer


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The End is Near...

Hello Friends and Family,

So, there is a chance that this is going to be my last email as a missionary. I still have 10 days left on my mission, but it's going to be pretty crazy, allow me to elaborate:
Today-Friday: We'll be in Kosice, working like crazy to leave the area in a decent state.
Saturday: Travel to Brno, it will take approx. 9 hours.
Sunday: Broadcast of the temple dedication, and then travel to Prague.
Monday: Interviews in Prague, and dinner with the mission pres and his wife.
Tuesday & Wednesday: We're not really sure, because the Pohorelicti are going to Kosice. Probably just work and contact?
Thursday: Fly home.
So Friday is our last day in our area, and then it's a lot of traveling. I'm a little bit scared and nervous, but I'm sure it will all work out. There are four of us going home from Slovakia, so all of us and our companions are probably travelling to Prague together.
Moral of the story is that I don't know if I'm going to be able to email next week or not before I go home. But if you still want to email me, you can, because my missionary email account will stay open I think 30 days after I get released. So whether in Prague or in Utah, I'll still see emails next week. :)

So since this is the last "real" email, I better make it good.

This past weekend was amazing. On Saturday we went to Bratislava for a district conference, and President Kearon came! It was really cool because I was here last year when he came too! Well, in Prague. We heard some great talks about faith, charity, and enduring to the end.
Before the Saturday night session started, President Kearon was walking around talking to everyone, and he came over to say hello to me. We started talking and I told him that I saw him last year, and that now I only have two weeks left on my mission. He got kind of quite, a little teary eyed, and looked at me and said, "Just think where we would be, without the last two weeks of Christ's mission." It was probably the most spiritual 10 seconds I've ever had. That man is so inspired. Since he told me that, I've been studying the last couple weeks of Christ's life in all of the gospels and Jesus the Christ, and it's been pretty powerful.
Then, during the Sunday session, there was kind of an awkward situation, and it was 100% my fault haha. The missionaries were asked to sing a musical number during the conference (I was in charge of putting it together), but about half way through the meeting, it didn't look like they were planning on us singing. So during the rest hymn, we all stood up to sing, and I went up to the front to tell the man who was conducting that we had prepared something, and if it could fit in the schedule, we'd like to sing it. So after a few other talks, the conductor gets up and says, "Now we'll hear from Ses. Schaerrer, and the missionaries." So I walk up to apologize (because we actually had sung the hymn that was the musical number already as a congregation) and the conductor comes up behind me and says, "No, first, share your testimony, and then the missionaries can come up and sing." So I ask, "Wait, what? I'm supposed to share my testimony??" And he just looks at me and looks like I'm crazy for not knowing that, haha. So I apologize to everyone for the awkward series of events that just took place, share my testimony as best as I could (I was a little caught off guard, understandably, this is a district conferene, all of Slovakia is here!), and then the missionaries came up and sang and I played the piano and it was fine. So, I got to share my testimony during district conference in front of President Kearon (in Slovak).

Then yesterday, Monday, we had our training also in Bratislava. The Brno zone missionaries came and it was really great. We talked about how to explain foreign gospel terms simply, and to really teach to the individual. Ses. Pohorelicka trained us on how to know if we were successful missionaries. She told us we already were, but that we can be even more successful. :)
Then, because it was the last training of the transfer, all the "dying" missionaries shared their testimonies. A lot of tears were shed, and a lot of pictures taken. It's all really weird. I still feel like it hasn't really hit me yet, and I don't know if it will until I'm actually stepping off the plane in Salt Lake. The missionaries I'm going home with are all really amazing, and I'm grateful that I've been able to serve with them throughout my mission.

Well, to end my last email, I'd like to share with you a poem and a testimony. The poem is one I got in a Christmas card from some members in Ostrava. It was in Czech, but I'll type it in English for you. I like this poem a lot and I feel like it's pretty fitting to my mission experience.

I wanted strength, so I received adversity to strengthen me.
I wanted wisdom, so I received problems so I could solve them.
I wanted wealth, so I received a brain and strength so I could work.
I wanted courage, so I received trials so I could overcome them.
I wanted love, so I received people in need so I could help them.
I wanted success, so I received opportunities.
I didn't receive anything that I wanted, but I received everything that I needed.

I feel like I wanted a lot of different things when I came on my mission. Some I received, and some I didn't, but looking back, I really did receive all the things that I needed. I especially feel this when I think about how unique my mission really is. I never thought I would be the one to serve in Slovakia, and that I would serve here 6 months, but I can't think of any better way my mission could have turned out. I've learned so much from serving in both countries, with lots of amazing people and I wouldn't change it for the world. Maybe I didn't become fluent in either language, and I didn't help baptize thousands of people, but I have learned lessons, and created relationships that will last eternities.

This gospel is true. There is no power in heaven or hell that can beat the power men and women have when they worthily live the gospel. God is our Father and our Creator. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, and yet He takes the time to care about you and me individually. Jesus is the Christ, He is our Savior, our Redeemer, and our older Brother. He came to pay a price He didn't owe because we had a debt that we couldn't pay by ourselves. Joseph Smith restored the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness again to the earth, and because of that we have the authority to perfom saving ordinances that last into eternity. God has a plan for each of us, and all we have to do is trust Him. He gave us the Book of Mormon, so that we could learn and grow and to become more like Him. My testimony and my relationship with God have both grown trumendously on my mission and I am incredibly grateful for the experiences I have had.

Thank you everyone, for your love and support throughout my entire mission. I'm grateful for all of you, and your examples to me. 

I love you all, have a wonderful week!

s laskou,
Sestra Schaerrer

PS My homecoming will be in the Lindon 2nd Ward on September 18th at 9am. I would love to see you all there. :)  100 South 500 West, Lindon (approximately)

 I forgot, we also went to a castle last week! The biggest castle in central Europe, Spišsky Hrad!
 All the slovak sisters, all the sisters from both the Slovakia and Brno zones, the 4 slovak missionaries that are going home, and Ses. McPheeters and I as we traveled back from Trencin to Kosice at 6am this morning (with the castle in the background)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Čas letí! Time is flying!

Hello Everyone!
Time really is flying here in Kosice. It feels like our week goes like this: Monday, Friday, Monday Friday, Monday, Friday. And before you know it the transfer is over! I can't believe that I only have two and a half weeks on my mission.
Yesterday, in church, I gave my "farewell" talk, because it was my last Sunday in Kosice. Next week we have a District Conference (President Kearon is coming again!) in Bratislava, and the week after that we have the Freiburg Temple Dedication, which we'll be watching from Brno. So we've got a lot going on for the next few weeks, and a lot of traveling. The weirdest part is probably that when we go to Brno for the Dedication, I won't come back to Kosice. From Brno we're going to Prague, and then from Prague I fly home! It's all really weird.
Anyway yesterday for my talk, I listed lessons that I've learned while I've been on my mission. I definitely didn't have enough time to talk about all of them, and I hope I remember all the ones I wrote down. Some where:
- God loves everyone, absolutely everyone
- The gift of tongues is real
- Other gifts of the Spirit are real, and accessible
- God gives us weakness and trials so we can grow
- Living the gospel isn't easy
- God calls the weak and simple to perform His work
- God knows what we need better than we do
- The gospel blesses those around us
I'm sure there are many many more. My talk went well, it was a little scattered because I probably could have talked for a year and half! We also took pictures and we visited some members after church, that I might now be able to see again before I go home. It was a bitter sweet day.
Other than that, we did a lot of service last week. On Monday we did another mandala stastia, the circle of happiness thing that we did somewhere else. This time we did it at the technical university. Then we were supposed to do some other service with Eva (mandala stastia woman) but we got rained out.
On Saturday we went to go do service with Mat'o, the man with the small farm with the green house and sheep and stuff. But when he came to pick us and the elders up, he turns to us and asks, "Do you HAVE to work today?" We must have looked a little confused, so he proceeded to explain that we could either go work, or we could go on a vylet (a little day trip). Eventually we decided we could go on a little vylet, and then come back and work a bit. So we went and hiked up a mountain and hunted for mushrooms (mushroom hunting is 100% a real thing), and then he took us to do SUMMER BOBSLEDS! It's like the Alpine slide. I'm still not sure if that was okay, but he was so spontaneous and insistant, that it kind of just happen. But it was really fun, and afterwards we get in the car and he turns to us and says, "Oops, looks like we don't have time to go work, you'll have to just come another time and we can work in my garden." He's a really funny guy, and he told us he was really happy that he could pay us back for helping him so much. He's so awesome. On the way back he actually really opened up to us about his personal life, and even asked us to pray for him (he claims to not really believe in God, but is open to the idea). It was an awesome experience. Friendship gets you a long way. :)
We also met with Alexandra, the mom with two sons. She's still on date to get baptized, but she works every Sunday, so we're praying she can find another job.
We also found a less active that we had lost contact with. He works really long hours, so we went at 8:30pm to take him banana bread, and he was home! He made sure we had the right phone number for him, and told us to just call him to see if he has time. He just works a ton, so hopefully we can find time to meet with him soon.
It's been a great week full of work and miracles. I love Kosice, and I love being a missionary. There is really nothing like it. The gospel is true and the Spirit touches people, and we never know how God is preparing someone to receive the gospel.
Have a wonderful week everyone! Talk to you later!
s laskou,
Sestra Schaerrer
PS I'll try to send some pictures :)

 Our district on a city tour today from Prezident Van Dalen, us in Mat'o's car, Sestra Burdigova, and us mushroom hunting with Mat'o.

 Sestra McPheeter's birthday cake (about 2 weeks late), a few more from the mushroom hunting, and a picture we took when I hit my 18 MONTH MARK!! AHH!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Miracles miracles miracles!

Hello Everyone!!
Soooooo much has happened this week! I don't know if I have time to write about all of it. Sorry these won't be very detailed explanations, but I'll try!
#1: On Tuesday we tried sheep's milk. There it was, at the store, so we bought it and tried it. As missionaries we kind of have a favorite cheese here in Slovakia. It's called bryndza, and it's a sheep cheese. It's really good and we don't have it in America. So anyway we thought, we love bryndza, so maybe we'll like sheep milk. It was interesting. It was kind of grainy, you could chew it a little bit. I had more than Ses. McPheeters, but the elders beat us by far. They tried it the next day and actually had multiple glasses! We thought they were crazy.
#2: Tuesday night someone lit the dumpster outside our apartment on fire, and it was a huge fire because there were things like vacuums and dryers and insullation in the dumpster. The firemen came to put it out but it took them like 20-30 minutes because when they would stop putting the hose on it the flames would just pop right back up. That was our evening's entertainment.
#3: Also Tuesday I think, we met with one of our investigators, Alexandra. She has two sons, 5 and 3, and she is so cute. She just really wants to strengthen her faith in God because she knows that He gives us everything. And on Tuesday in our lesson she accepted a baptismal date! 24 September! The only problem she has is she just got a job and works sundays right now, so we're praying that her schedule will change or something.
#4: We made lots and lots of banana bread this week. We're going to deliver it to less actives. Nothing says "let us in and save your soul" quite like American banana bread. Slovaks love it, but they definitely don't have it here.
#5: PATRIK GOT BAPTIZED!! Okay, this is probably the biggest event of the week, let me backtrack a little bit. Ses. Van Langeveld and I found Patrik together when I was in Bratislava, and when we asked him to get baptized, he said he didn't want to plan anything until he knew more. We always told each other that he WILL get baptized someday, we just don't know when.
So then when we had exchanges with the sisters in Bratislava a few weeks ago, I was able to be in the lesson where Patrik accepted a baptismal date, and I thought that was a miracle!
Then on Thursday we were on the phone with the sisters and they told us that Patrik was getting baptized on Saturday! We thought we weren't going to be able to go, because we're in Kosice, and Bratislava is a 6 hour train ride away. But I just kept having this feeling saying, "Just ask President if you can go, you won't know if you can or not if you don't ask him." So Friday morning I texted President asking if it was at all possible for us to go to Bratislava and he said yes!! We just had to go there and back in one day, and pay for it from our personal money.
So Saturday morning we were on a train from 5-10:30am, the baptism was from 12-2pm, and we caught a train back from 4-10pm, and we were in bed on time at 10:30pm. :) I got to give a talk at the baptism and we took lots of pictures. Patrik was baptized in a rive by Elder Mueller, and it was a beautiful outside little meeting. I'll be sure to send pictures. :)

It was a really great week, so much happened. And I really feel so completely blessed to have been able to go to Bratislava and back for the baptism. The church is true and God loves us, a lot!

Have a wonderful week everyone! 

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer


Monday, August 8, 2016

Short email again!

Hi everyone!
Everything is so crazy right now, we're always pretty busy and I never have enough time to write a good weekly email. I'm debating on whether or not I should just do little ones until I go home, and then write one big long one about my last month. But then again, who wants to read one really long email? Haha
This past week we basically just did a lot of service and some work for less actives. The work is moving forward here in Kosice, slowly but surely. We can all feel that a lot of good things will be happening soon. We just have to figure out how to make them come faster!
I fly home exactly one month from today, which is really weird. I'm both excited and not excited to go home. I'm excited to see friends and family and everyone, but there is also a lot of work I've still got to do here. And I'm excited to work really hard in the next month. :) Like I said, I think a lot of good things are coming.
Miracles from the past few weeks are: 1. (I don't know if I already said this) Patrik in Bratislava is going to get baptized soon! Sestra Van Langeveld and I found him last transfer, and he finally accepted a baptismal date! 2. I just found out a few days ago that Peter, an awesome guy I taught for 6 weeks in Brno who then got baptized, is engaged to Zuzka a member from Liberec who is probably the reason I made it through my first transfer! They're getting married next summer! 3. Yesterday we went to visit a member, and her son has depression and was going to get baptized, but lost interest in the church. We went over there and just played some card games and shared a spiritual thought, and I think it probably made her son's day. It was so great to see him laughing and smiling. :)
This church is true, and I have a strong testimony of God giving us random opportunities to do good. We don't always see them coming, but if we are ready and willing to use them, we can make a huge difference in people's lives.
The church is true! Have a great week everyone!
s laskou,
Sestra Schaerrer

 Ses. McPheeters turned 20 on Monday! She's so old! On Tuesday we went to the Ukranian restaurant again, but with the elders this time.

 The Indian restaurant we went to on Monday for Ses. McPheeters birthday, and the secret room in our church building, we call it the primary room... there's a dead bird on the floor. (There's no doors into this room, only windows, or else we'd do something about it.)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Road Trip!!

Hi Everyone!

This is going to be really short because we're out of time.

This last week we had exchanges and training in Bratislava so from Thursday until late Saturday night we were in Bratislava. The exchange went well, and training was awesome. Then on Sunday President Pohorelicky and his wife visited us in Kosice. The Bowens (CES senior couple) also visited so we had a lot of people at church. For sunday school Ses. McPheeters and I taught a really powerful lessong about missionary work and I think the branch got really pumped to do it. 

On Wednesday last week we also went with the Van Dalens to a disability center for a little party they had in honor of the Van Dalens because they have helped and worked with them for a while now. We sang there and it was a lot of fun. 

I wish I had more time to talk about it because it was a great week, but I gotta go! I'll send some pictures though. 

God has been with us this week. We learned a ton at training, and I was able to see one of the investigators that I taught when I was in Bratislava (Patrik) accept a baptismal date! We've also seen many other amazing miracles!

Have an amazing week this week everyone! 

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer

Travelling, Me and Patrik in Bratislava, and our branch and all the visitors on Sunday (two also came from Spain)!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Happy Pioneer Day!

Happy Pioneer Day everyone! Hope you had a great time celebrating the amazing people that helped get our church off the ground!

This past week was pretty normal overall. We had a few raining days, a few really, really hot days. And a few days in between. 

On Tuesday, Ses. McPheeters and I went tracting in a new area just outside of Kosice where there are some really nice houses. First of all disclaimer: tracting isn't the most effect form of missionary work in the mission. But I give it a chance every now and again because with God and faith, anything is possible. Anyway, we were tracting and we ran the zvonek (like a doorbell, but from outside the fence) to a really nice looking house. A woman answered the window on the second floor, and said she didn't really want to talk, but that her husband is a pastor at the apostolic church and if we want she'll send him down to talk to us. So we said sure and he came down, and we had the most pleasant conversation I have ever had with a leader of another church. He didn't bash with us, he didn't tell us we didn't know what we're doing because we're just young girls. None of the normal stuff. He was very nice AND! AND he let us give him a Book of Mormon and our card! Never in my mission would I have ever thought that a pastor of the apostolic church would #1: talk to us without arguing, #2: Take our card, or #3: Take a Book of Mormon. I was a little bit in shock. Miracles really do happen. We just need him to get baptised and then convert his whole congregation and we'll start the Kosice Stake! :)

Then on Thursday we saw another miracle. We had been finishing our studies in our apartment, when we had to hurry to the church building for a lesson, and we get to the building and realize that we left our phone in our apartment. So our lesson doesn't come on time, and since we can't call them we decided to wait extra long, in case they are running late or something. While we're waiting (almost 25 minutes after our lesson was supposed to come, just to be sure) a woman (not our lesson) walks into the building and tells us, "I met with missionaries about a year ago, and I thought today would be a good day to come back." MIRACLE! If we hadn't have forgotten our phone and waited extra long, no one would have been in the building and we wouldn't have met this woman. AND while we were talking to her, our original lesson walked in, and since they were both women, I was able to teach this lady while Ses. McPheeters taught our planned lesson in the other room. God definitely has a divine plan!

Then on Saturday we were able to help a really cool guy and his girlfriend clean up the yard around their house. They had a lot of wood palets that they were cutting down, and they also have sheep. So Ses. McPheeters and I helped the girlfriend clean out the sheep pen, and the elders help move around wood palets. They also had a green house that we helped with after we finished with the sheep, and in the greenhouse we found the BIGGEST WASP I HAVE EVER SEEN!! I think it's even too big to be called a wasp! I'll send a picture. Other than that it was really fun to work on a little farm and they were so happy we could help them. They also gave us a life time supply of tomatoes (the tomato plants grew taller than me!!). 

Then, as part of our Sunday, we went on a wild goose chase. A man had called us during church, but we didn't have his number in our phone already. So we called him afterwards and he told us he wanted to meet and talk to us. So we set up to meet with him on the namesti (town square). We get to the namestie and can't find him anywhere. We're calling him, and searching for him, and in the end we figured out that we are in Kosice and he's in a city called Banska Bystrica. We have no idea how he got our number. We were about to offer to send him the number for the missionaries in Baska, but then we found out he was homeless and only wanted money, and he had already asked the missionaries in Banska for money. Anyway, we literally ran all over the namestie for like 30 minutes and it was so hot!!

So pretty much that's what's happened this last week. This week we'll only be in our area for a few days because we have an exchange and a training in Bratislava, so we'll be gone Thursday, Friday, and get back late Saturday night. So we have to work really hard these few days to make up for being gone. 

The gospel is true, and I know that the Lord is watching over his little branch in Kosice (on Sunday in church it was 6 missionaries, 2 visitors, and 1 member). There is a lot of potential for growth here, we just have to be creative and find out how to do it. 

Have a wonderful week everyone! Be safe if you are traveling, and don't get sunburned!

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer
 Us tracting (Ses. McPheeters' first time!), the wasp! that's my ring next to it!, and us at service :)

More service pictures :) The sheep pen is all clean (the white stuff is like a sanitizer)