Monday, March 21, 2016
I had another great week here in Plzen. It has been getting a little bit warmer so more people are out in the parks as families! The parks here are amazing. They are huge and full of trees and lakes! This week we have had a lot of people get super mad at us for contacting on trams and buses and that's when it is the hardest to keep going but everytime we got yelled at and just kept talking to people we found someone that is super nice and wants to meet with us. One guy we found is Lukas, he speaks really good English so he asked if we could teach him in English so he can keep practicing but when we met with him he was amazed with our message and with us as missionaries and how much we give up to be here. Then we met two girls from Russia at different times and both of them said that they have been looking for a church to go to here in the Czech Republic and when we contacted them they were so happy and so glad they met us. But before each of these people we found, we got yelled at by super mean people but we just kept going and ended up finding people that really needed us. You have to go through trials before you receive the blessings. We also got a black investigator from Africa so that is pretty cool cause there are basically no black people here in Plzen. On Saturday we had our culture night for this transfer and we got to go to the Blik Blik Light Festival. It was so cool, it starts in one park and you walk through town from park to park and they have different light events in each park. It was way fun, we got to go with some members and investigators which made it even better. Also since it is almost Easter they set up the markets on the town square and have petting zoos and everything! So it's been a great week! President McConkie shared a talk with us from Elder Wirthlin about the Resurrection and I just want to share a part of it with everyone because it's almost Easter! Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross. On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth. Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant. On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross. On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies. On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled. It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest. But the doom of that day did not endure. The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind. And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence. Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
Monday, March 7, 2016
Another great week in Plzen! Elder Carlson and I have been working way hard and finding a ton of people to teach! It's crazy though cause he is only one transfer ahead of me so we are both super new and he is also the district leader so we have to figure all of that stuff out as well cause the last district leader was in a different area so we don't have any of the things we need so it's been interesting! We are having so much fun though! Right now we have a couple really solid investigators on date and they are progressing a lot! One crazy thing that happened was that we have these two investigators Micheal and Morgan and they both have a baptismal date and we have been teaching them for about two weeks and we had a lesson yesterday with them and we are teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about half way through the lesson when we were talking about their baptismal date Micheal says well you guys never asked me this question and it's pretty late now but I am acutally already a member of your church! I was baptized in Russia when I was about 8. We were like what the heck!? Then he goes on to tell us that he has the priesthood and baptized 3 people when he was 19 but then they moved and he became in-active and hasn't really been able to find the church neer him until here in Plzen. So we have been thinking he was an investigator this whole time and turns out he is really a member. But Morgan is still an investigator and working towards baptism so it's good because he is getting that extra support from Micheal as a member when the missionaries aren't around. Other than that we have just been teaching and finding and it's been a ton of fun! Plzen is great and the branch here is amazing! Sorry it is short I gotta go!! Have a great week!! Elder Paxton