Monday, June 27, 2016

Sweat, Sun Burns and Nude Beaches

Hi Everyone!

Hope you've all had a great week! It's been really hot here in Bratislava. Ses. Van and I had a 3 hour contacting block this week and we thought, "It's so hot, where will all the people be?" And we thought a lake park by our house would be a good idea. Bad idea. We got there and basically had to just keep looking at the ground because the amount of clothing at the lake was very minimal. You could say we won't be contacting there any more. :)

On Sunday, Pepo passed the sacrament! It was kind of cute because he was really excited, but also really nervous. He did a great job though, and he was smiling ear to ear. 

This is going to probably be a short email. A lot happened last week, but it all went so fast that it's kind of a blurr. On Friday we had our concert. It wasn't as well put together like our last concert, but it worked. It was more like a talent show. Ses. Van, Elder Brown, and I did the cup song with missionary lyrics, and that went well. Pepo played guitar and sang, Elder Bednar played his harmonica, Elder Boam played his violin, and we all sang together. Pepo even wrote a small skit for him, Ses. Van, and I to do together, so that was interesting. I'll try to send pictures and videos. 

Other than that it was just really hot. And since we had training on Monday the week went by pretty fast. 

Tomorrow President McConkie and family go home, and on Friday we'll meet the new mission president. He'll do a mini training to get to know him, and then we'll all have interviews with him. Then the next day we'll get our transfer calls, and on Monday everyone will move. I could either stay here in Bratislava, or I could go back to the Czech Republic. Really anything is possible, so we'll see what happens. 

Have a great week everyone! Drink lots of water and wear sunscreen because at least here in Bratislava it's going to be another hot one! And the church is still true, even when it's hot outside. :) 

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer :)
 pictures from Devin castle, fireworks out our apartment window, and Pepo before he passed the sacrament

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Last Training

Hello Everyone!

So first, we did so much last week, that it went by really fast and I don't remember a lot of it. But here's something I did remember, an experience with Pepo:

On Thursday I think it was, we had our lesson with Pepo. Elder Hardwick had been sick for about a week, and that evening he decided to ask the elders for a blessing. So while we were in the hallway talking (Pepo had also been sick) Elder Hardwick suggested to Pepo that he get a priesthood blessing to help him get better. So we explained to Pepo what that exactly meant and he said 'sure!' So Elder Harp gave his first blessing ever in Slovak to Pepo, and he told him that if he has faith to be healed, he will be healed that night. The next day Pepo got up, and noticed something that was different about him. He was not as sick as he had been the day before, but still had a bit of a cold. But he also noticed, that his knees, which have been hurting and aching for years, didn't hurt at all! The pain was completely gone! That night Pepo was so excited to tell us "Stalo sa zazrak!!" (A miracle has happened!)
Sometimes we ask God for little things, and because He loves us, He gives us what we really need. Even if that's not what we think we need. 

Also, Pepo got the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday! He's now a priest! President McConkie was there for branch conference and he got to be in the circle, so that was something special. When we asked him how he felt he said, "I feel like the brother of Moses!" 

Then yesterday was our last training with President McConkie. And it was super sad. As Ses. Van put it, there were enough tears in that room to fill up a baptismal font. The training was amazing and super inspiring. We talked a lot about just working super hard and setting a great base for President Pohořelicky and all of us were just so sad that the McConkies are leaving. They were there for all of us when we started our missions and it's going to be weird, but good to have a new president. At the end of the training, the McConkies (the whole family) stood like a funeral procession at the back of the chappel and said goodbye to each one of us. President was weeping, Sister McConkie was weeping, the kids were weeping, and every missionary was weeping. It was a rough day. At the end of the training, right before we all had to run to catch our train, all the Slovak sisters snuck a selfie with President, and I'll be sure to send it. :)

I know that our new president is called of God to serve at this time in this place, and I know that he'll do a lot of good for the mission and for these two countries. But I also know the McConkies will certainly be missed. I am really excited to work hard though and show the new president what Czech/Slovak missionaries are made of! It's going to be a great couple of weeks!

I know God is real, and he only sends the best to this mission. We're going to work hard and rock it for our new president and for the Lord. The church is true and these people need to hear it!

Have a wonderful week everyone! 

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer
Us with President, with Ses. McConkie, with Pepo after he got the priesthood, and Ses. Van flooded our dishwasher... We had never used it before haha :)


Monday, June 13, 2016

Pepo got Baptised!!

Hello Everyone!

Pepo is now Brat Pepo, that is, Brother Pepo!! He was baptized at 4pm on Saturday and it was the first ever baptism in the portable font in the church building. It was so nice and a lot more people could come because it was just at the church building instead of in a river or a hotel. 

I don't even know what to say, it was just so amazing, and Pepo is awesome! Pepo told us a few weeks ago that he invited 11 people to the baptism, then this last week he told us he had invited 15, and then 8 of them actually came and it was a great day! 

In the morning we went to the church with the elders to start filling up the font. The font was in the primary room, and we had to use a hose from the bathroom sink through the hallway and into the font. We filled it up half way with the cold water, and then we were going to switch it to hot water, but when the hot water came out, it was bright orange! (That happens sometimes, it's relatively normal) But that means that the font water was also tinted orange. So we quickly stopped it and filled it up the rest of the way with cold water in the hopes that the orange would be diluted. It kind of worked haha. No one asked us why the font water was orange so either they didn't notice or they just didn't say anything.
The program went really well. Ses. Van Langeveld and Elder Harp both gave talks, I played a musical number on the piano, "I know that my Redeemer lives" then we moved into the primary room for the baptism. Everyone just kind of stood around and watched while Elder Brown baptized Pepo. And then we moved back to the chapel to finish the meeting. President Batka welcomed Pepo into the branch, and then Pepo gave his testimony. Pepo used to be a poet and an actor, so he shared a couple poems during his testimony and it was great. :) 
Then on Sunday Pepo was confirmed a member of the church by President Batka and now he is Brother Pepo! Then Sunday afternoon we went with Pepo over to the Hardwicks and we made halusky with him and had banana splits. Now he's preparing to get the Aaronic priesthood, hopefully next week! He's so awesome!!

It has been an amazing blessing for me to work with Pepo all the way from the very beginning to baptism. I already thought it was a blessing for me to stay in Slovakia, and then to help and see Pepo get baptized was an amazing opportunity. This church is true and there really are prepared people out there, we just have to go find them!

The rest of our week was pretty good, but Pepo's baptism and confirmation was definitely the highlight. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to see people's lives change for the better. Pepo is a great example to me of unwavering faith. He's so strong in the gospel already. He truly understands it, and is sharing it with his friends. And he's already preparing for the temple and he's so excited! 

Have an amazing week everyone! Share the gospel with someone you know! 

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer

More Pictures! Pepo sharing his testimony at the baptism, draining the font, and us at dinner at the Hardwicks!


Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Already June!!

Hello Everyone!!

Can you believe it's June?? Neither can I!! Time is so crazy!

Well, life is going well here in Bratislava. This past week was a week full of miracles. At the beginning of the week we had an exchange in Trencin with the sisters there. I got to serve with Sestra Easton for a day and we taught some really good lessons and met some cool people. 

Then, because we were gone for almost 2 days, Ses. Van Langeveld and I had to work extra hard when we got back because we still had to get all of our lessons in, and by some miracle we still hit standards this week! I don't know if I've ever explained what standards are for our mission so it is:
1 person on baptismal date
2 investigators at church
4 lessons with a member present
2 new investigators
65 hours of speaking Slovak
I think that's everything. Oh, and you also have to teach a total of 20 lessons during the week. Standards is hard to reach on a normal week, and we were gone for 2 days, but God loves his missionaries and we worked super hard and still got all of our numbers in! We had some great lessons and taught some awesome new people. 

Pepo is doing just great. He's so cool! We had a lesson with him about the Priesthood with the elders this week and he told us that he's excited for his baptism, and to get the priesthood. He said he's already decided that he wants to pass the sacrament. He also told us that he wants to get the priesthood kneeling down, because that's how Joseph Smith got the priesthood. We still haven't asked if that's okay or not, but it was just so funny. Pepo is the greatest human being I've ever met. He's getting baptized this Saturday at 4pm and we're all really excited! He's going to do so much good here in the branch. He has so much energy for missionary work and the gospel in general. He told us that he has plans to help build up all of the branches in Slovakia, not just the Bratislava branch! I think I already said this but he told us that he's going to build a temple in Slovakia! He's the greatest!

Other than that, everything is the same. I was writing my sister an email, and she told me that her week is boring and repetitive, and I said, well, so is mine. I mean we do the exact same things every day, but then we see miracles like Pepo that liven things up a little bit. :) 

God is so good. His hand is truly in this work because there is no way we could be doing all this without Him. There's a lot of good going on in the mission right now as well. Yesterday we watched a regional conference that was broadcast to all of Europe and it was exactly what a lot of the people we're working with needed to hear. Also, right now in our mission, there are 23 people that are planning on getting baptized before the end of June! The work is moving forward!!

Have a great week everyone! Look for little miracles, Elder Hardwick said this week, "You find what you look for" and I know God is giving us little miracles everyday, we just have to practice seeing them.

s laskou,

Sestra Schaerrer

 FHE activity, exchange in Trencin, sushi with the elders, and the day it absolutely poured!!