Monday, September 17, 2012

We had our third Young Single Adult Family Home Evening last Friday at our home.  We feel that it was a success as we had four YSA there to participate.  We did a photo scavenger hunt.  We got this idea from when we used to play this game with our children at Halloween.  Earl and I took pictures around our part of the city and printed them off.  We then had two teams, and they had  cameras and had to go and find the same spot and take the same picture.  The first team back with all the pictures won.  They seemed to have fun....they were so competitive.  We had cheap ties from Tesco as prizes.  We then had tacos and a short lesson from the "Strength of Youth" pamphlet.  It was a good evening!!

It was transfers this week which is sad as we lose some of the missionaries we have grown to love.  This was the last Sunday we would have them all for Sunday dinner.  Here you can see Elder Mills, Elder Prymak, and Elder Hansen playing with their cameras in our living room.

Elder Prymak, Elder Story, and Elder Hansen relaxing a bit after Sunday dinner.

Elder Story our District Leader, in the front, and  Tomas in the back.  Tomas is a YSA in our Branch.

The entire District after church.  Elder Knapp (was transferred), Elder Story (was transferred), Elder Carlsen (was transferred), Elder Mills, Sister Mills, Elder Hansen, Elder Boysen, and Elder Prymak.  We were so grateful to have gotten to know these young men.  They have helped us so much as we have tried to transition to life in the Czech Republic.  They were all great examples to us and we love them all.  We would have drowned without them.  Thank you!!

Elder  Prymak, Elder Knapp, Elder Carlsen, Elder Boysen, Elder Story, and front, Elder Hansen.

Elder Mills, Sister Mills and our District Leader, Elder Story.  He is being transferred to Brno to be District Leader there.  They are lucky to have him.  We considered Elder Story to have been our trainer and Senior Companion.  He helped us in every way.  He is a hard worker, obedient, and truly loves the Lord.  We will miss him greatly.

These last three pictures are just some of the beauty of the Czech Republic.  After you get out of the city of Ostrava it is very beautiful.

It has been a good week and we are now ready to meet new Elders and get back to work.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

We attended a conference in Zilina, Slovakia, September 6,7,&8 2012.  This was a conference for all of the Senior Couples in the Czech/Slovak Mission. There are 10 couples that cover Czech Republic and Slovak.  This is quite a few couples to be in one mission.  President and Sister Irwin planned and hosted the conference and they didn't leave much time to rest as we were going every second.  We fell into bed each night totally exhausted.   (We loved it!)  I have a lot of pictures on this post because we went and saw a lot of different places.  This is not even a fourth of the pictures we took, but a few highlights so you can get a feel or taste of where we have been.

This picture is Elder Mills standing on some stairs that go between two main namestis in Zilina, Slovakia.  The church behind him is a Catholic church and on Saturday morning the church bells were ringing and they were singing up a storm inside.  It sounded quite beautiful.

Lower namesti Zilina.

Upper namesti, Zilina with Sister Mills.  As you have seen in other pictures they have built shops all around the namesti.

The first afternoon we drove to the city of Martin where we visited the Museum of the Slovak village.  This was a little bit like "Pioneer Village" or "This is the Place Monument" only much, much bigger.  Above we are walking up the path to get to the village.  Elder and Sister Bohne have the lead.

Sister Nye, Sister Ostergard, Sister Mills at the entrance of the village.

Traditional Slovak school room. It reminded me of "Little House on the Prairie".

Elder and Sister Mills.  They had these haystacks everywhere.

These are all different types of beehives.

Sister Ostergard, Elder Mills, Sister Bohne, Sister Scott, Sister Paige, Elder Paige and Sister Cooper.

This old barn had a cool roof.  Had a lot of moss growing on it.  President and Sister Irwin, Sister Cooper, Sister Scott, and Sister Mills

Elder Mills in the carriage house.

President and Sister Irwin.  They are from London, England, or close by, and they have a delightful accent.  We love to listen to them talk.  We have grown to love them both.  We are truly blessed to be in the care of such a great couple as the Irwins.  They have a great spirit about them and they truly love the Lord.

A church and they had painted the ceiling and walls to look like marble.

Elder and Sister Mills standing by  a wagon with different cloth that had been woven.

The next day we drove to Trencin, Slovakia.  Here is President and Sister Irwin standing approximately where President Dieter F. Uchtdorf stood when he gave the dedicatory prayer proclaiming the country of Slovakia for the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is located in the city of Trencin, Slovakia, in a park on a forested hill behind and above the Trencin Castle, and took place May 12, 2006.  We all stood around in a circle and read the dedicatory prayer.  It was a great experience.

Elder and Sister Mills standing by a monument for soldiers tortured and killed during WW II.  They were all part of the resistance against the German invasion.

After the city of Trencin we drove on to Bojnice.  Here we toured the Bojnice Castle which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful castles in Europe.  And, I must say it was pretty spectacular. Here is a small replica of the castle so you can see all of it at once.

We didn't take this picture, but got it off the internet because I thought it look cool.

 Stained glass windows in one of the rooms of the castle.

I don't remember how old they said this piano was, but it was really, really old and still worked.  Allie, Abbey, and Bailey how would you like to practice on this piano?

Every room had beautiful ceilings in them.

Sister Mills going up the circular staircase that had 147 stairs.

Elder Mills is standing by a piece of luggage.  That's rght!! That huge chest is what the noblemen would pack around with them when they traveled!  How much extra do you think the airlines would charge for this suitcase???

Elder and Sister Mills standing in front of two large flasks they would drink wine from at large parties.

Elder Mills trying to make friends with a resident of the castle.  I don't think he is going to accept the pass-along card though.

Having a little rest on the circular stairs.  I seriously think I will have to have my other knee done when I get home!!

In the basement of the castle was a crypt and one of the nobleman who owned the castle and his parents are here.  Story goes one of the last nobleman to own the castle fell in love with a french woman, and he wanted to remodel the castle for her.  Well the remodel job took 20 years, and the french woman got tired of waiting and married someone else.  The nobleman never married and died of a broken heart.  (That remodel job would almost rival the Webbs when they remodeled.) (hehehe)

Albatross, here is the all time place for a wedding picture, and we are even centered.  Julie eat your heart out.

On Saturday we attended the Toronto service project.  We were in the group that was cleaning up the side of a big damn.  It went for miles, but we had a lot of helping hands.  There were two other spots in the city that were getting a makeover as well.  We picked up enough garbage to fill the back of a huge dump truck.  When we were about done a young man asked us why do you came from your beautiful country to clean up our's when our people don't even care.  I'm sure that isn't true for everyone though.  Then he wanted to thank us with a bottle of alcohol he had in his car.  We tried to explain that we didn't drink, and then he really thought we were crazy Americans.  I wish he would have had a diet coke over ice, and I would have jumped at that.

 Here is Sister Mills working on the damn just before she trips and does a face plant in the rocks.  What are they thinking letting old people do this kind of thing???

It was a great three days.  This was our first time to go anywhere without the young Elders holding our hand, and we found our way there and back just fine.  The train ride was about 2 hours long and we saw some incredible scenery.  This part of Slovakia has beautiful mountains covered with dense forests.  It was a nice change from the city of Ostrava.  Sorry again for this one being so long, but this is my record of our mission when we get home and I hate to leave to much out.  Love to everyone!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

On our P-Day we took a little trip to the city of  Hulkvaldy that was about a 40 minute bus ride from Ostrava.  Ostrava is not a very pretty city, but if you get out of the city the countryside is beautiful, and the little towns you travel through are quaint and very charming to say the least. There is a castle here Hrad (castle) Hulkvaldy.  The castle sits on top of the mountain you see here in the picture with Sister Mills.  I hope I can make it to the top!

The door to the church you see below.  They have the coolest doors on all of their churches and castles.  Natalie maybe you should put a door like this one in your new house.  The neighbors would all be jealous.

Church  on the main street of Hulkvaldy.  The one with the cool door.

To the left of this little house is the path that leads to the castle (hrad) .

View from the trail.  The scenery was just beautiful.  It never ceases to amaze me of the beauty of this world that God created for us.

This tree has mushrooms growing out of it's trunk.  Pretty cool!

We saw this little herd of deer on the way up the trail.  They were pretty tame because they didn't even care that we were around.  I thought their antlers we fun.

Elder Mills sitting among the roots of this old tree.  

 Path leading to the Hrad Hulkvaldy (castle).

After the climb (and yes I made it and here is the proof)  I sat and enjoyed the view while Elder Mills kept hiking around the castle.

Backside of the castle.  The bad thing about our P-days is that most everything is closed on Mondays for some reason so we couldn't go inside.

Coming back down this was the view of the city of Hulkvaldy.

Another beautiful view, and another great day in the Czech Republic.  We are so grateful to be here in this beautiful land with such great people.