Monday, May 30, 2016

hot Hot HOT!!

Ahoj Everybody!

Well this week, summer finally came, because over the weekend it was SO HOT!! Over the weekend it was around 29 C, and it's only going to get hotter as week get further into summer. 

The past week was pretty great. Last P day Ses. Van Langeveld and I took a 2 and a half hour nap because we were so exhausted from running around the week before for visa work and trencin, and everything. Then the rest of the week was pretty normal. We met some awesome people that will hopefully become new progressing investigators. 

On Saturday we had a branch picnic and it was so fun! And we got to wear pants! We went to a park called Partizanska Luka were we had hotdogs and gulaš, and we played games in the sun for hours! It was super fun, and everyone showed up to church sunburned and sore the next day!
At the picnic, Ses. Van and I were in charge of the spiritual thought. We had the elders all stand at the front, while we went around offering everyone there little chocolate wafer things. If someone took a wafer, the elders had to do 5 push-ups, but if someone didn't take a wafer, the elders still had to do 5 push-ups. I think in the end they ended up doing over 100 push-ups. Then we shared Alma 7:11-13 and talked about how Christ has already suffered, died, and been resurrected for us. He already did it, it's already done. And it doesn't matter if people accept that He did it or not, He did it anyway. And we shared our testimonies of the reality of the atonement, and how important it is that we accept it, and share it. :)

Other than that everything was pretty normal this week. A good, normal, hot week here in Bratislava. As far as an update on Pepo, he's super awesome. He asked us about garments this week because he had read about them on the church website, so that was interesting. He also told us that he wants to pass the sacrament after he gets baptized. :) He's so awesome, his baptism is June 11th, it's coming up!

The gospel is definitely true. We were talking recently with a less active member about how all of the opposition the church faces, is only evidence that it's true. Joseph Smith was killed because it's true. People yell at two young girls on the streets because it's true. People produce anti material because it's true. But the church is growing because it's true, and people's lives are changing because it's true. 

Have a wonderful week everyone! And an incredible summer!

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

You could say I'm blessed ;)

Greetings Friends!

So, I've been really blessed and I might even say pampered recently haha. As you know I was in Prague last week for the conference when the new stake was organized. Which was an amazing opportunity and a miracle that I even got to go. THEN, this past week on Saturday, I was able to participate in the 10 year anniversary of the dedication of Slovakia for missionary work!

On Saturday, members and missionaries from all over Slovakia went to Trenčín to celebrate the dedication. 10 years ago President Uchtdorf came to Trencin and all the members witnessed as he dedicated and blessed Slovakia, right after the church had finally been officially recognized as an organized religion by the government. 
We all met at the church building in Trencin, President Seidl, the district president, welcomed everyone and did an introduction, and then we all headed up to the castle and went behind it to the place where President Uchtdorf performed the dedication. There were different activities, and President McConkie spoke, and it was an amazing experience to be there with all the members and missionaries that have been working here for so long. I am so blessed to have been able to experience that with them, and to have been able to work among them for the past 3 months. 
Pepo even came to Trencin with us and he had an opportunity to speak with President McConkie. He really enjoyed it. :)

The rest of our week was so busy that we weren't getting everything done that we needed to. We hadn't taught as many lessons as we had hoped for because Ses. Van Langeveld had visa work on Friday, and there was a youth activity. We were in Trencin all day Saturday, and basically we only had Sunday to work super hard to hit our goals, and we did it!
Sunday we had church, and right afterwards we had a lesson with our recent convert Zuzana, then we ran home and only had about 30 minutes for lunch and while we ate lunch we did calls to set up with people for next week. Then we ran to a park by our house for a lesson with an investigator we hadn't seen in a long time. Had a great lesson, and then we ran back home to finish our calls and grab Pepo's birthday present (he turned 61 on Sunday). Then we ran to a different park to meet Pepo and give him his present and teach him a lesson. While we were in the park we ran into a potential investigator that we had lost contact with, so we taught him a lesson there and then set up with him for next week. And then we contacted all the way back home. It was so crazy and we were so tired, but it felt so good to get so much done! And by some miracle we reached all of our goals for the week!!

The Lord's hand has definitely been in our work this past week. It was so crazy, and we didn't think we were going to be able to get everything done, but we reached all of our goals and taught all of our lessons, and it truly was a miracle. The church is true!
Yesterday we had a zone conference in Brno, and President McConkie talked about how the Holy Ghost's job is to help us, he wants to help us, and we just have to let him! I definitely saw that this past week. We worked so hard and it felt so good! Of course, we're super exhausted, but so is the life of a missionary. :)

I hope you all are doing well, thank you for your love and support. Have a great week!

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer
Us and Pepo, Donut contest-look familiar?, heading up to the dedication site, the Trencin castle.


Monday, May 16, 2016

So I saw President Uchtdorf yesterday...

Hello Everyone!

Yes, I saw President Uchtdorf yesterday, but not in Slovakia, but in Prague! Why was I in Prague you might ask? Because we had a conference for all the members in the Czech Republic, and you know why? Because... WE GOT A STAKE IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC!! Yesterday we had a giant conference and everyone came from all over to be there for the stake and wards to be organized!

It was such an incredible experience. At the beginning of the conference President McConkie announced the stake president, and his counsilors, and the stake patriarch (which was awesome because sometimes it takes them a year to find a patriarch when they organize a stake, but we got on immediately!), and the high priests. Then they had all the members of each of the branches which would turn into wards stand and sustain becoming a ward, which was really awesome to see. There are going to be 6 wards and 7 branches in the Prague, Czech Republic Stake. Isn't that so awesome???
President Uchtdorf and his wife spoke and Pres. Uchtdorf talked about how in years to come we will be sitting in a meeting just like that one, as a temple will be announced in the Czech Republic, and the members will think back about how "My grandparents joined the church when there was only one stake in the Czech Republic and we were in a branch! Now there are many stakes and we're getting a temple!" It was such an amazing experience to hear that eternal perspective from a member of the first presidency. 
It was actually really special that President Uchtdorf could be there, normally a first presidency member wouldn't go to a stake organization, but he told us that a few weeks ago, in the top room of the temple, the first presidency and twelve apostles were talking about the stake being formed in the Czech Republic, and President Monson turned to President Uchtdorf and told him "You're going to go to that!" Which is super special because President Uchtdorf was born in Ostrava, Czech Republic and even spoke Czech when he was little! 
Gah it was just such an amazing experience, and it was in a beautiful conference center in Prague which was actually on an island in the middle of the river! It was so cool!
It was also super awesome for me to be able to go. I texted President McConkie last week asking him if I would be able to go, since it was just for the Czech Republic and I was still in Slovakia, and he said to me "That's the downside of staying in Bratislava, huh?" But he told me that he would find a way to get me there and I'm so so so grateful that I was able to go. I also got to see members from Liberec, Brno, and Ostrava and they all remembered me! I was so happy to be able to see them all!

This weekend was really a miracle, I feel so blessed. It is a great time to be a missionary!!

Other than that, Pepo is still doing amazingly. I guess yesterday at church he told the elders that Joseph Smith ran for president of the United States, and they didn't know that. Haha he's learning so much, he knows more than the missionaries!

This truly is the Lord's work, and His hand is definitely in it. Our hard work paid off a little bit yesterday as the stake was formed. Isn't that amazing? 

Have a miracle-filled week everyone! Love you!

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer :)
The beautiful room where the conference was, some members I love so dearly, and Ses. Van Langeveld cut my hair with paper scissors :)


Monday, May 9, 2016

Pepo the rock solid investigator :)

Hello Everyone, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the moms out there!

Well, this past week has been pretty great and pretty busy. It was the first week of the transfer but it feels like we've been going already for a while now. 

This week I'd like to tell you about our investigator named Pepo. He's Czech and his name is actually Josef, but the nickname version of Josef is Pepo. He's been living in Slovakia for a really long time now, and we just meet him about two weeks ago. 

Sestra Ross found Pepo while we were doing a singing display the Sunday night after district conference a few weeks ago. She talked to him and set up with him, and then they met that Tuesday. Ses. McPheeters and I couldn't go, so we didn't have a hand-off lesson, but they told Pepo that they would have to leave and that the Bratislava sisters would continue to teach him if he was interested. So we met with him on Saturday at the building, and then he came to church the next day! He only stayed for sacrament meeting but he loved it. Pepo studies religions for fun, it's like a hobby for him. He's talked to Jehovah's Witnesses for years, but never officially met with them, and then he met Ses. Ross on Sunday, had a lesson with them on Tuesday in a park, met with us in the building on Saturday, and came to church on Sunday! He told us it's because he felt something he didn't feel with JWs before.
Then on the next Thursday (this is last Thursday), we had a lesson with him with the branch president's wife, and we taught him the restoration. We weren't planning on asking him to be baptized, but I kind of just felt like it was right. So I asked him if he would be baptized when he knew that these things are true. He turned to me and said, "Sestro, I knew this was coming, I even prayed about it this morning." Crazy right!? So we asked him to pray at the end of the lesson if he could get baptized on June 11th. Then the next day, we asked him how he felt about it, and he said, "Good! You know what? I learned a new word the other day. "Our church" I'm only going to say "our church", I'm learning more about "our church."" Isn't he just awesome! 
Then he came to church yesterday and stayed all three hours, still saying "our church," and during Priesthood the men were talking about home teaching and who was going to visit who so they could get the home teaching done, and Pepo was standing up in the back asking, "Can I help? Can I come?" He is so elect! He's even been doing research on his own. We haven't taught him past the Restoration yet, but the other day he was talking to us about temple ordinances, and how cool he thought it was that we do eternal marriages in the temple! 
Anyway, he is so elect and prepared. We just give him information and he eats it all up. We're so excited for him!

Pepo is pretty much the main event going on right now. He's so awesome. Other than that though we're doing lots of contacting and working really hard to keep the work moving forward. The weather is getting better and I think that everyone is in a better mood when the sun is shining. 

Have a wonderful week everyone, the gospel is true and the elect really are out there!!

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer
 Ses. Van Langeveld and I, and our Young Women's New Beginnings this past week. Ses. Hardwick did a great job!


Monday, May 2, 2016

Transfer Day!

Hello Everyone!

Well, today is transfer day and I'm.... Staying here in Bratislava, Slovakia! Crazy right? I know! It's super weird for a Czech sister to be in Slovakia for two transfers, but here I am! I'm super excited for this transfer, it's going to be a good one. I'm serving here with Sestra Van Langeveld. And she just happens to be from Provo and she knows my cousins. Small world, right?

Anyway, this past week was pretty crazy. We were running around everywhere trying to get everything done before the end of the transfer. We had training on Monday, which I think I already wrote about, Tuesday was our P day, Wednesday all the greenies had visa work here in Bratislava, so we had 6 sisters living at our apartment for a little while. It was pretty crazy but they are all legal, yay! Thursday was relatively normal, we practiced for our concert which was Friday. The concert went really well. Elder Williams got his hands on a saxophone, Elder Bednar played the harmonica with his nose, Elder Boam played his violin, and we all sang an Australian song with the Hardwicks. Saturday we got our transfer calls, and found out that I'm staying, and that Ses. McPheeters is going to Košice! Sunday was our last day together, church was really awesome, and then afterwards we went and visited the Družkovci, the Russian family in the branch, and then we had some food at the Hardwicks with the whole district. 

This morning I sent off Ses. McPheeters to Košice, Elder Williams is off to Nitra, and Elder Naegle is going to Brno (to work in the archives, they've never had younger missionaries work there before, so that's pretty cool). Then here we'll have Elder Boam and Elder Harp, and Elder Bednar and Elder Brown, and then Ses. Van Langeveld and I. It's going to be a great transfer, we're all so excited!

Well, this email is pretty short and sweet, but it's really all I've got for you. I'll send some pictures of our last week together :) 

The gospel is true, and if transfers have ever taught me anything, it's that they are totally inspired. God definitely directs them so we go where we are supposed to be, even if we don't agree with Him at first. :)

I love you all, have an enjoyable spring and a great week!

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer
 Australian song at our concert, Ses. M and I at the top of the UFO tower, and my feet in Austria and Slovakia!

 I forgot to mention that we went to the bridge that straddles the boarder of Austria and Slovakia for our culture activity. I've now been to every boardering country of the Czech Republic (but not in each country, that's against the rules haha). Also we had a baptism Friday morning, the elders' investigator Karolina! Also, an investigator named Gabriel played his accordian in our concert, and then taught me how to play it! ;)