Hello Friends and Family,
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!
I forgot, we also went to a castle last week! The biggest castle in central Europe, Spišsky Hrad!
6am this morning (with the castle in the background)