Monday, February 25, 2013

Life for us in the Czech Republic continues.  The winter here isn't nearly as bad as what we are seeing, and hearing about back in Logan, UT.  The big difference here is that we don't have a car so we are actually out in the weather all of the time.  We have learned to dress like a Czech, and we are able to stay fairly warm.  We are very grateful for a nice warm apartment where we are quite comfortable and cozy.  

 In February our Branch had a dance. Chairs in the chapel were moved aside, music came on, and the members of the Ostrava Branch put on their dancing shoes.  It was fun to see them having such a good time.  We have some pretty good dancers here in Ostrava.  Anyone of them could be "Dancing With the Stars" contestants!!     

Here is Zuzu Kolek and her partner (I don't know his name.  Maybe later I can add it).  Zuzu was the person who planned and organized the dance.  She just turned 18 and she is wonderful.  Her English is excellent and translates a lot for us.

Brother and Sister Kubala. 

Daniel Kolek (Zuzu's brother) (girl not from our branch so I don;t know her name).

President and Sister Řea (Our Branch President)

Brother and Sister Kolek.  Sister Kolkovi helps the missionaries with their Czech Language.  She too is wonderful and we are so glad she is around.  Brother Kolek was just sustained as 2nd counselor in the District Presidency.  A GREAT FAMILY!!!

More dancing

On Valentine's Day we were part of a very happy occasion.  Two of our very good friends here in the Czech Republic got engaged.  We are so happy for them.  Congratulations Illona and Zdenek!!

Somtimes I think we as missionaries don't use very good judgement.  Here is an example.....Singing in the Namesti....blizzard....freezing cold......not even the Czech people are out.  What more can I get the picture!!

Those smiles are actually frozen on our faces.

 We had a great event happen in February 2013.  President Irwin called a special mission conference.  All missionaries from the entire mission met in Brno for this conference.  At the conference he announced that the Book of Mormon had been translated for the people of Slovakia.  This has been a long time coming and finally it is here.  The spirit was very strong in that was a fabulous day and so grateful to have been a part of it.   This picture is of all the Slovak missionaries and their first copies of the Slovak B of M.

 Here are pictures of another training conference we had in February.  This was not mission wide, but included, Brno, Olomouc and Slovakia.  This is lunch time where everyone gets to visit and catch up on what is happening around the different parts of the mission.

Our special guest that day was Elder Faustino Lopez, Area Seventy, from Madrid Spain.  Here is Elder and Sister Mills with Elder Lopez.  He gave a very inspiring talk on his conversion and how missionaries need to step up and be equal to the message they are giving to people.  Very good day.

 We were able to have two Family Home Evenings this month.  One for older people in the branch and this one for the youth.  (Accidentally erased pictures from the first FHE...bummer...)  Here is 1/3 of the youth in our branch (two are missing). Veronica Řea, Michelle Kubala, Jakub Řea and Lukaš Kubala. (Missing ZuZu and Daniel)

Investigators, missionaries, and members having a good time playing games.

 Sister Kubala and daughter Michelle

 Brother Goliček, Adam Hotový, and Sister Mills

February F.H.E. Group.

This is a wintry night in the Czech Republic.  This is looking out of our front room window.  We really do live on a lovely street.  We are happy to be here and living where we do.  February was a great month

Many of the Senior Couples we have become such good friends with are starting to go home.  We want to say good-bye to Elder and Sister Bohne from Las Vegas, NV, and Elder and Sister Ostergaard from Colorado.  They taught us so much while we were serving together.  We will really miss them.  Thank you for everything and enjoy being home again with your families.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Last week, January 26-27, 2013, we took a fast trip to Bratislava, Slovakia for a meeting with the YSA Committee and to participate in a YSA Activity being held in that city.  We almost didn't make it as the trains we had to take were delayed 3 hours.  We were ready to turn around and go back home, but decided to persevere, and we were so glad that we did.  We had a fantastic time, and met some fabulous new young people.  Everywhere we go we are met by friendly, happy people who are so happy to have found the gospel, and we are blessed just by being able to share a little time with each of them.

Elder and Sister Mills.  Over looking the Danube River which runs through Bratislava.  AND, Yes it is as cold as it looks!!!!  

Again, Danube River in Bratislava.  Bratislava is a wonderful city in Central Europe. Bratislava  is the capital of Slovakia and is very close to Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary.  There are about 500,000 people living there.  We only got a very short glimpse of this beautiful city, but enough to make us want to go back for more.

When we arrived each Senior couple was assigned to a group of young people and were sent out into the city, on foot, to film different stories from the scriptures.  We had "The tree of life".  We had so much fun filming this event.  We had so much fun, that after we discovered there were seven different languages being spoken in our group that we filmed the "Tower of Babel" also.  (Pretty funny)

Elder Mills in front of Bratislava Castle.

We took this picture of the castle from a website  because we didn't have one of our own.  Bratislava Castle is the main castle in Bratislava and sits, like most castles, on top of  a hill.

Castle gates.

These next few pictures are just some sites that we thought were beautiful and interesting.

Elder Mills makes friends, of course, wherever he goes.  Here he is using the "Iron Rod" for a bat as Alexandar from Greece, throws a huge snowball.  If you look close at the top of the picture you will see the snowball.  Amazingly Elder Mills hit it and of course he broke the "Iron Rod".  I am sure Lehi never thought that would happen!!!

Alexandar (from Greece) and Bara (from Brno, CR)

Lenka (from Košice, Slovakia) just stopping for a little chat about the gospel with these two interesting folks.
Like most contacts they didn't have much to say.

Upon returning we found Pavel celebrating his birthday.  Pavel is from Brno, CR and has received a mission call to the MTC in Provo, UT.  He will be leaving shortly after sorting out visa issues.  He will make a fabulous missionary.  Good Luck Pavel.

Elder and Sister Martin, a senior couple from Brno, presenting there workshop on "Love".  Love of God, Love of Self, and Love of  Neighbor, and "Who I Am Makes a Difference."  Everyone enjoyed their wonderful workshop.

A few in attendance at one of the workshops.

Late Saturday night we boarded a train for our 4 1/2 hour train ride back to Ostrava.  We got home very late and it was bitter cold standing waiting for a tram to take us the rest of the way home.  We were two tired old people that night!  The next day Sunday was Branch Conference and we had District Visitors.  President and Sister Irwin were in attendance and spoke in Sacrament Meeting.  After church they came to our home for lunch.  It was very nice to have time to visit with them, as they are such busy people and are always on the run.  They are both such amazing people and have taught us so much in the short time we have been in the CR.  We love them and will hate to see them go home, back to England, in July 2013.