Thursday, August 13, 2015

final post

Elder Preston Ferrell finished his mission and arrived home with his parents about a month ago.  For those who might be contemplating traveling to Prague and picking up their missionary, I thought that we would express the positives for doing so. 

Before leaving the U.S. to pick up our son, we were given the time of 9:30 that we would be expected to arrive at the mission office.  We flew into Frankfurt, Germany, rented a car, and drove to Prague after spending our first night in Nuremberg.  We arrived in Prague about noon and settled into our hotel about a half mile away from the mission office.  We spent the rest of the day sightseeing.  We saw a couple of Elders who were out talking to people but didn't want to distract them or bother them from what they were doing.  We hoped we might run into our son on the streets but that was not to be the case. 

The next morning we overslept a little bit trying to acclimate to our new time.  We walked to what we thought was the mission office but turned out to be the Presidents flat and the church in Prague.  We got the President's son to let us in and he told us to walk across the street to the mission offices.  So we arrived about 5 or 10 minutes after our anticipated time.  We pressed the buzzer and the mission secretary asked who we were and were buzzed in.  We walked up a flight of stairs and at the end of a hall was Sister McConkey awaiting us.  Elder Ferrell's sister and mother got to him first and gave him a short hug.  Then Elder Ferrell's father, being the last one up the stairs, shook Sister McConkie's hand.  She held out her hand and motioned him to Elder Ferrell.  He walked down the hall and into the office and hugged his son for the first time in 25 months and wouldn't let go.  After a couple of emotional minutes, he let go.  Upon looking around, he noticed that there were no dry eyes in the mission offices.  The president said, "now, that's a reunion."  We were ushered into the private office of the president and sat down.  Sister McConkie told us that when Elder Ferrell first arrived in Prague she knew he was going to be special because there was no one to meet him at the airport terminal.  He simple sat down and waited for about an hour.  Then, deciding that he couldn't spend his entire mission in the airport, set out looking for them.  When they finally united, he wasn't flustered but found it amusing.  President McConkie told us that the two things that he will remember Elder Ferrell for was his Slovak language ability and the love he has for the people in Slovakia and the love they have for him.  It was a touching and emotional few minutes that we spent with them.  After about 30 minutes we left and went back to our hotel to pack up the car.

We left Prague later that afternoon and drove to Salzburg, Austria where we spent about a day. We went to a marionette performance of the Sound of Music that night and went to Werfen Castle.  This castle was used in the filming of the Sound of Music as well as Where Eagle's dare. 

We then drove through Slovenia on our way to Croatia.  The next day was Sunday and we attended  church in the Osijek branch, less that an hour from where Elder Ferrell's great grandparents had lived before immigrating to America. This was a wonderful experience.  We spent an hour or two talking to the 6 missionaries in this branch after church.  Then we went to the small town where Elder Ferrell's relatives had once lived.  It was extremely small and we found no remnants of their family.

The next day we drove to Budapest Hungary.  We spent the day sightseeing.  The next day we took a train to Bratislava, Slovakia, a city where Elder Ferrell had served for 6 months.  He wanted to look up a struggling member so we took some trams and went to where the member worked.  We had a very nice time meeting her and Elder Ferrell spoke to her in Slovak.  We then met the missionaries serving in that city at the church building, a beautiful building that had only been moved into a few months earlier.  We met with all the missionaries and had a nice time talking to the senior couple working in that city.  The Elders and sisters were extraordinary and seemed genuinely happy and eager to serve.  We took the train back to Budapest, Hungary and prepared to leave the next day.

We then drove to Kosice, Slovakia.  This was about a 7 hour drive and we arrived there in the late afternoon.  President Van Dalen met us at the church and gave us an informative and fascinating tour of the city.  This might be the most beautiful city I have ever visited.  The city center has a wonderful town square with lights and water shows continually.  I could have just stayed there all day.

Upon leaving Kosice, we drove to Oswiecim, Poland.  This is where Auschwitz and Birkenau are located.  While this tour was fascinating, it was difficult to go to knowing that at least a million and a half people were murdered there by the Nazis. We left the next day and drove back to Slovakia through the Orave district.  This was a beautiful drive and we looked for cemetaries to go through that might have some names of other relatives of Elder Ferrell.  We found several that were probably related.  We took pictures of the headstones in order to do geneology.  We then drove to Zilina, Elder Ferrell's last area.  He served there for almost a year and as Branch President' for almost the last 9 months. 

It was hard to watch the farewell between Elder Ferrell and the members.  There were several who came for the first time just to say goodbye to Elder Ferrell.  Emotions ran deep as a middle aged man approached us, pointed at Elder Ferrell and said in broken English, "like an angel"  President McConkie warned us that we were going to be overwhelmed by the love that the members in Zilina had for Elder Ferrell.  And we were. 

Elder Ferrell stood to bear testimony at the end of the meeting.  He said (in Slovak) that whatever he said, his parents would not understand one word.  At that moment, Sis Seidlova stood and said, "oh yes they will"  She then came and sat in between us, where Elder Ferrell had been sitting and translated his testimony.  This was a wonderful gesture and we enjoyed it immensely.  That night we went over to the Seidle's for dinner which was wonderful and I think we were adopted into their family.  I know that they were adopted into ours. 

The next morning we left early for Frankfurt.  We drove through Prague, stopping just long enough to eat lunch, a traditional Czech meal, and pick up two suitcases we had left of Elder Ferrell's, due to lack of room in the car.  We arrived in Frankfurt just in time to check in to the temple patron house, eat lunch with our niece who had driven up from an air force base that her family was stationed at, and go to bed.  The next morning we attended the temple with members of Slovakia who had traveled over to have one last temple excursion at the temple before it is closed for renovation for the next two years.  It was so touching to see our son go through the temple with several members he had served with for the last two years.  When saying goodbye to President Van Dalen, they gave each other a big hug.  and Elder Ferrell said, "President, thanks for everything,  I have learned so much from you."  President Van Dalen then said,  President Ferrell, I have learned from you as well.  I hope we see each other again."  Saying goodbye to the Seidles was also extremely hard.  We left for the airport and flew to Toronto, then the next day, to Phoenix. 

Elder Ferrell was released later that day and the following Sunday reported to the high council early in the morning, at one ward in our stake at 9:00, and at his home ward at 1:00.  His talks were about charity, something he learned a tremendous amount about on his mission.  We are still hearing praises over his talk.  Just a week after arriving home, Preston left for Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming to see family friends and missionary acquaintances.  I think the reason for going up there most of all was about seeing the missionary acquaintances.  He stayed with the Wrightsons, a senior couple who served as branch president in Zilina and who are from Idaho Falls.  He spent time with many old missionary companions, and  with Sister Johnson, a sister he began his mission with in Kosice. He then met up with his brother, Richard and his family, and is presently traveling to Alaska.

For anyone getting this far in this post, might I say that this trip was perhaps the best we have ever taken.  We have traveled to many places in the world, Asia, South America, Europe, and Africa.  This trip, while tiring, was spectacular in the things we saw, places, we visited, and wonderful people we met.  It was so extraordinary that we are trying to prepare ourselves, to serve a mission, hopefully in central Europe, as we continue our endeavors of finding more relatives, doing geneology and strengthening the wards and branches where needed.  Sis Ferrell, Elder Ferrell, family and friends are looking forward to return to that part of the world in about 6 months.  They can hardly wait.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Amen and amen

Well the time has come, it is officially the last time I will be emailing all of you as a missionary, that's weird to say but meh. It still doesn't feel like I'm going home but I have everything already prepared to leave. My bags are mostly packed I'm just waiting for the time to roll on so I can pack all the things that I need currently, I've been saying my goodbyes to the people that I won't constantly be seeing anymore and I've been working hard for the final days. Today is transfer day and as such, it is a little crazy so I'm emailing in the morning but no one else will so I'm the lucky one right now. Everything went smoothly this past week and we had some success so it was worth it  like every week is worth it but it was a good hard-working last week and I really quite enjoyed it. So we'll get this email on it's way.

The main thing we did was work this week. We called up every person that I had found since I've been in Zilina and told them I was leaving and that I wanted to meet with them. A lot of them agreed and actually turned into new investigators. So that will be a nice boost for Elder Lyman this next transfer. We were finally able to teach our current investigators, and the family that we're teaching came to church yesterday! And they enjoyed it a lot! It was awesome, I had a talk and Elder Lyman said some stuff and then Samuel talked so it was a great week for them to come. The last time we were at their house though only the father was home. He had been sick and we just talked with him and then talked about blessings and he asked for one. So we gave him a blessing and that was very spiritual and nice. We also were able to make Halusky for our friend from Norway and he liked it and thought it was very filling then we sat down and talked and I basically just bore my testimony to him about how we just need to endure and I asked him to just continue looking. He said that sounds pretty easy and said he would continue looking for God. We also met with a lot of people named Michal that all have tons of potential and we're meeting with one more tomorrow who is 17 right now. They're all really cool and I love them all a lot. Yesterday we went to a man's house on the outskirts of Zilina and he made us a Halusky and it was really good actually. So all those calls were very helpful as we got 4 new investigators this week so it was really awesome.

On Sunday, was the change, Elder Lyman got his transfer call the night before at 10:30, and for the next 2 months he will be the Branch President, Elder Kuhlmann is coming from Banska Bystrica to be with him and maybe learn the job of doing that. Elder Christensen will be with Elder Roosendaal for the next 2 months here in Zilina and will probably finish his mission in Zilina so it will be really cool for him. I also get to see him before I go so, lucky me! I also gave the main talk yesterday in church. I think it was OK, the family was there so it was awesome to have them hear my last talk. Then Elder Lyman bore his testimony and then Samuel spoke for awhile and he always does a good job. Then I taught Sunday School and that went pretty well. Sister Seidlova said that I don't know what happened but your talk and lesson was really good today, maybe you should have left more often haha. We're going over there tonight to say goodbye and Samuel is going to give me a blessing. I'm excited.

There's not really much else, it's time to go, I have loved it tremendously and I love the members here so much, I mean I was with them for nearly a year. I hope to keep in touch with all of them as much as I can and I just love it with them. I wish all of them success and happiness in the future with all of their trials that are coming up. They're wonderful and I'm so excited that my parents and sister can meet them and that my brother could meet them too haha. They all mean a  lot to me and I want to show them all off haha. Well thanks everyone for the support you've given me over these past 25 months, I've needed every bit of it, you're all great and I'll see most of you soon. Anyways have a great week!

Elder Ferrell

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A land holy and pure (with photos)

Tatra Mountains

Elders from Zilina

It is the final week for me, and the 2nd to last email that I'll be sending as a missionary, and it's just finally starting to hit me that I'll be going home soon, but not yet, not really I don't think, I get little pangs every now and again but not often enough to have any real sense of leaving, I simply feel the same like I always have for the last 2 years, that I'm never going home-that I will just keep on being a missionary. All other missionaries can testify of that for me. Anyways though, this past week was filled with tons of stuff.  It was quite a way to spend a second to last week and I'm glad I was able to be here and be a part of it. We just went on a lot of vylets or trips with the Seidlovci, so it was good haha but I'll get into it.

This one may be a shorter one but we basically just went to the Tatry this week and then we were also able to help Brat Seidl with his work. We helped him cut down and destroy a big willow tree in a park near his house. He works for the city in that park so it's a lot of constant work for him. He said he hates the willow because it's just a really annoying tree because it has a lot of branches and a lot of leaves and is just thicker than normal so it's the hardest tree for him to cut down. However, we managed well enough I think so it was pretty good. I got all scratched up and got a few nice bruises but nothing too bad. Then after that as fun=wise we went of a branch party to a place called Lietavsky Hrad which is only about 15 minutes from Zilina. You can actually see the whole city from the top of the castle so it's pretty close. We had about 15 people there so it was pretty good considering only 3 were members. It was really cool and because Brat Seidl climbs trees for a living there was a climbing thing is one of the trees. It was a competition for all of us to climb up the tree and see who can get to the top the fastest. We had a harness but it was really cool. I accidentally went without gloves and roughed up my hands but meh, not too big of a deal. I went in 34 seconds, and Elder Lyman did 33 and everyone else did slower, except Brat Seidl he went in 23 seconds. It was way cool and then we also went to the castle again and took pictures and all that. I had already been there so it wasn't anything new. 

As far as investigators go, this week was difficult for our investigators that we actually have because we didn't meet with them at all. We taught lessons and we did a fine job but all of the people that we usually meet with were sick or just couldn't meet with us then so it was pretty hard in that respect. WE did however find decently well, and we found some really cool people for the future. We had a husband and wife come to the barbeque that we had and they're really cool and I hope that they'll make the step to meeting with us sometime soon. She is from Brazil and he is from here and they have known Mormons for a long time and she comes to English every week. It's pretty hard to teach her because she doesn’t know English or Slovak so it's pretty interesting haha. It's okay though we’re working hard and we're trying to finish until the end even if we have opposition from everything including the blazing hot weather. It'll be fine though I'm sure we've had a good transfer and it's not stopping now.

Well, this one is a little short but I don't really have much to say, it's been really hot this week and really everything is going fine. It will be a good last week, I still don't know who will be replacing me as the Branch President, but I will find out on Sunday or probably earlier than that, we'll see. I know that no missionaries will be coming in to replace my group and that there are 8 of us leaving so 4 areas have to close this transfer. President has already sent out a notice to everyone, so it will be harder for everyone after me but I think they'll be just fine. Transfer calls will be this week also and I'll be going to Prague next Wednesday with Elder Scherf and Elder Ringger.  We're buying a cake but  thanks for everything and for all the support my entire mission.  Have a good week and we'll talk to you all next week for the final email, alright, see ya.


Elder Ferrell

Monday, June 8, 2015

It's time, I am ready. ( with Zilina, tatra mountains, and vylet photos)

Well the highlight of the week was going to the tatry mountains, mainly because we just got back, that's why We went to a place called strbske pleso, they have a waterfall there and we climbed up there and all that and it was really fun. We spent quite a bit of time up there but everything worked out all right because now we have the rest of the day open. It was a really cool experience and I'm so glad that I was able to be in Zilina for it. We went as the 4 of us and with Brat Seidl, he is really nice about it and likes going on Vylets and on the way back everyone fell asleep haha. The weather there was beautiful, even though we're all a little sun-burned, except Elder Roosendaal because he's brown but that doesn't matter. It's pretty painful but whatever, it's the first time that I've gotten sun-burned on my mission, and oddly enough I was actually just thinking about that this past week. We're tired but I have some wonderful pictures to show all of you so there will be a lot of things sent after this email, so be prepared. I'll explain more about the Tatry later in the letter.
This week, I think I'll start with our investigators and how they're doing. At the beginning of the week we met with our Norwegian friend and the Bulgarian for the last time. We still meet with the Norwegian but the Bulgarian graduated and never wants to see Slovakia again unless it's for Kofola haha. We had a good conversation with them and we got some photos with them so when I get home I'll get them off Facebook from him. The great part about the meeting though was that he accepted to meet with missionaries in Norway, and he also told his mom he was meeting with us. So that was really cool for us. We wound up not meeting with the family this week because they didn't have time, they were gone the times we could have come but we're still working with them but we'll see how that goes in the future. One of the great things of the week was a meeting that we had with a woman in Rajec, She was a potential that me and Elder Mason found a long time ago who said we could come visit her in Rajec. So we went out there on Sunday and met with her and she is awesome. She has 3 kids and I feel that she thinks the Book of Mormon is true and she agreed to be baptized if she learned it was true. We have another meeting with her next week and she is trying to come to the branch party that we're having on lietavsky castle this Saturday with all her kids. We found well this week and we're just looking to continue the pace all the way through the transfer. It’s been good and that's basically how I can describe it.
The rest of the week was very normal, we went places we contacted people and just did the normal missionary life. I'm preparing to come home and I'm getting excited to see everyone. It will be hard to leave but I have to at least for a while haha. I want to visit as much as I can and I think one of the most important things for me is to just not forget about the people here because they're so wonderful. I mean of course I met some awesome people and I'm going to be friends with some of the missionaries the rest of my life but I get the feeling that I just really want to keep in contact with the people that I've come to know and love over here. So thank goodness for skype and Facebook haha. I don't know I have 2 weeks left and there are things I'm looking forward to, namely food and having some freedom and calming down from all of the responsibility that is put on our shoulders as missionaries. These 2 weeks will fly but it's time, I am ready.
Well that's pretty much everything, I'm tired, a lot, it's hard to sleep because it is so dang hot here right now, even though it's raining today. The entire week we were dying from the heat, it just wipes me out, but I got a good tan on my arm and head haha. I'll need to go tan when I get home to even everything out haha. Any who thanks a lot everyone for the support and all that from the whole mission, I'm very grateful to everyone, and have a great week!
Elder Ferrell

poor broken bag

Monday, June 1, 2015

The time, at longest, is not long

This week was good but busy, we just had a lot of things to do which unfortunately didn't really impact us number-wise but it was still a decent week and I had fun I can say. We had to travel to Bratislava and then also to Ruzomberok but unfortunately the guy in Ruzomberok didn't come so that was a waste but whatever, things happen and we have to just get over it. I am very tired, according to the missionaries that I've talked to before there is just a wall that when you get close to the end of your mission you're just exhausted, you're exhausted when you go to sleep and you're exhausted when you wake up. I have hit that wall, yesterday and the day before I was fighting sleep every time I sat down, which is unusual because that usually doesn't happen but it was going on yesterday. So, all I can say is that I am extremely tired and ready for a nap but of course I have a few more weeks until I get that chance haha. Anyways let's get into the rest of the week.
At the beginning we wound up not being able to go the Tatry and today we won't be able to go with her  because Samuel still has the big car so it is postponed until next week. We're planning on going very early in the morning so we can get back and still have time to do things. We're also planning on trying to get some investigators coming with us so we're very thankful to Brat Seidl for his willingness to come and take us. We also set up a dinner at the family that we teach and we're all 4 going over there in 2 weeks, so we're excited, they're great. We also established everything that we're doing for our barbeque so we’re excited for that and we're hoping to get as many people there as we possibly can. Brat Seidl is willing to drive people over there from the train station so we're happy with that. Then we finally on Tuesday left for Bratislava. We left so early because President wanted us in our seats early because a Seventy was coming and he wanted us all prepared with shined shoes and dry-cleaned suits and phones off and all that sort of stuff. The Seventy that came was Patrick Kearon, he's the new Area President for Europe, and he’s from England. The training itself was really good, he was a very good teacher and speaker and he made things very comfortable with us, never trying to test us or catch us in a trap so it was really nice and extremely long, the whole thing went from 10 to 4. Within that we also had lunch for a bit and after lunch I had to give my departing testimony. That was hard, admittedly I cried.  I wasn't planning on it really but I did as I bore testimony of loving my mission and of all the members that I've come to love and care so much about. It was short but it was ok, and sort of sucked haha. Then after we took pictures with tons of people and shook the Seventy's hand and all that. Then we came home and got on with our missionary work. The rest of the week was simple.  We actually met a return missionary who came back with his wife, an Elder Haberman, he bought us some food so I'm a fan of his. There was a celebration fair in Zilina so there were a lot of markets so I bought some stuff to bring home, still have to look for presents for members of the family but I'm thinking hard about it. Other than that the rest of the week was a solidly good week.  We played basketball, then it rained but it was good anyway.
Our investigators this week didn't make the hugest of progress I would say but they're doing fine. The guy in Norway is doing really well and I think he has some serious intent, and he's just the coolest guy because he's so willing to try anything. He says it would be nice to know if God exists so he knows that he's there. He is willing to pray and read and all that he's just atheist but he's just so willing its awesome haha. The family is doing better, I think them when they talked about the baptismal date they were a little scared by it and about what it means to us, I don't know how much longer we will be teaching them but I am always praying for them. There will probably come a time in the near future where we will have to have the talk with them but we're praying with how to handle that situation tactfully and carefully. The kid who came with us to Trecin is doing well as well we have been working with him about baptism quite a bit and he's very close to accepting a date. He likes to be around us and whenever we have an activity he is always there and ready to have some fun. We're hoping the transition for him is natural and he just flows into accepting the message and sees the effect it will have on his life. These are a lot of hopes but I think it will all work out. Our woman who is on date isn't going to well, and we're thinking of dropping her she just isn't understanding at all and things are just getting blocked by something we're going to work with her a little longer but I don't know how long we will be teaching her, but we're praying for her and we're hoping with the warmer weather we'll be able to find some new investigators and get them into the teaching pool and on their way to baptism!
That's pretty much everything that I have for the week but thanks everyone for your help and support and I hope you all have a really great week and all that.
Elder Ferrell

Sunday, May 24, 2015

up's and down's of missionary life

Hello everyone, today marks the halfway point of this transfer so it's a pretty cool day I guess you could say. This past week was pretty cool, we didn't really do much out of the ordinary but we had a lot of fun and we worked hard so I guess that counts for something. Next week we will be doing a lot more fun things and the week after that will be a fun week as well because we're planning on going to the tatry with one of the members here so we're excited for that. We've also planned on going to a castle today so I'll have to take pictures of that and then also of the other activities that are going on this week we'll have to take some pictures as well. Everything is going fine I think, it will be a smooth ending of the transfer I think and hope but that is still a few weeks away. I think I'll be able to work until the end, it kind of feels like I got a fire under me because I realize that I'm leaving soon so I have to get in every minute and make it count. I hope it all works out and everything happens how it is supposed to and then we'll see about the future. It's been a rewarding week and the time just keeps on rolling.
I'll start with the investigators this time because there is some progress but there is also some sad news but not so sad. The sad news first is that our family is no longer on date. They said they talked about it and they don't feel the need to change their church yet. So we're back to square one but they did commit this week to come to church and try it out. So one day before I leave they will definitely be coming to church, they have to haha. I know they have felt the spirit and I think they're really close they just need an extra push. I think they will make it eventually, they just need some good teaching and they will get it. They're more spiritual now and I think that they're coming along well, they're just a normal Slovak catholic haha. Some of the other things though is that one of our dates seems set on getting baptized so we're hoping that she gets going unfortunately she didn't come to church but that's okay we'll keep on trying to get there there, people's agency can be annoying haha but we have to live with it. We're also headed to the catacombs this week that are under the main square and we're excited for that because some of our investigators are coming and they are excited for that too haha/\. The Norwegian and the Bulgarian that we're now teaching are planning on coming so we'll have a full group. Then one of them might also come with us to Trencin so it’s pretty cool. We found pretty well this week and we tried our best and we'll continue to try hard all the way until the end. 
Like I talked about in the last paragraph, we're planning on going to the catacombs this week on Friday, it's something that I have always wanted to do while I'm here in Zilina ever since I heard it was possible. I don't think missionaries have ever done it because most people don't know that it's possible to go to and all that. I don't think any of the members knew about it until we asked them about it so it will be cool. Then on Saturday we're going to Trencin for the celebration of the dedication of Slovakia. That will be there on the hill and there will be games and food so I'm excited about that. Then of course next Monday, Brother Seidl said we can go to the Tatry with him, those are the mountains in the middle of Slovakia where missionaries haven't been in a long time. We're allowed to go because we're doing our culture night and we're going to be with Brother Seidl so it will be a pretty awesome time. We're also going to help him this week cut down some trees again, we did that with him twice last week. He owns a tree cutting business and he invites us to come when he's in Zilina which isn't very often. He has a lot of work. Around the country but now he has a ton of work here in Zilina. 
Well that's pretty much everything I have this week, sorry if it's a little short, my life is boring haha. Well at least I do the same things over and over just like the rest of the last 2 years but whatever thanks for all the support and emails have a great week!
Elder Ferrell

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I'll share my Savior's love, by serving other's freely

Well, in case no one knew that this week was mother's day, it is (Most Slovaks didn't know it was, we reminded multiple people about it being Mother's day). This week was short, and there wasn't a lot of crazy stuff except we had a really crazy Friday night that was really cool then got bad and then got weird.  I'll tell you about it later but this week was fun like the rest, I actually felt really really satisfied because of all the work that took place this week. We tried really hard like we always do and we were blessed to be able to hit standards. This is a goal that I've wanted to hit while here in Zilina but I always thought that it probably wouldn't happen because hitting standards is hard. I only ever hit standards with Elder Ringer and Elder Lyman never has so we are so grateful for the wonderful people were teaching and for the great time that we're having with our investigators. I hope all of these people make their dates and feel the love that we have for them and the love of God.  It is really cool to see the changes in people and the desires to follow God in their lives. We talked with a member yesterday and he said, many people here are satisfied with their lives, they don't have many problems and they don't need God they think, so it's great to see people who don't have problems get interested in God and try to learn about Him and follow Him. We're doing our best and that's good enough.
Well, I guess I'll start with our very crazy night on Friday which we had no control over and was very funny but sad but weird but great but crazy. We started the day kind of on a  downer because we tried to meet with some of our people and all of them basically cancelled but we had on plan to go to Martin to visit the guy from Norway, so we texted him and he confirmed that it was okay that we're coming so we went to him. As we get up to his door a taxi comes out and this guy gets out who is one of his friends and say hey guys how are you doing. This guy was a guy that we met as we got home Monday from the family in Vrutky, and they got off the same train and were headed to the movies to see the new Avengers movie. He is from Bulgaria but lives in Norway. He heard that we were coming over to meet with Alexander and said he'd  come too because he has some questions for us. So for the whole night we answered his questions and talked with them and it was really cool they both had a great time. We even invited Alexander to the barbeque we're trying to have and then also the party for the celebration of dedicating Slovakia, which is in Trencin on the 23rd and he said he would have interest in coming to that. It was really cool through and the Bulgarian guy asked for a Book of Mormon in English and said he would be over the next week and we could bring it to him. So we walked back to the train station with the Bulgarian guy because he lives over there.  We have to run to catch our train, and then made it and wound up waiting for another 20 minutes for a different train to come up. In Slovakia you have fast trains that don't stop at every stop and trains that stop at every stop and are slower. We were planning on the fast train because the only time we could get a train was at 8:40 at night, we would then get home around 9:15. Well it ran late and we got on the first train to Zilina which happened to be a slow train and we get on and there are about 25 people on it. Well we go and in between Martin and Vrutky, someone jumped in front of the train and the train stopped. It doesn't happen often that people commit suicide that way but it happened tonight. It was pretty awful the whole thing, but basically we were stuck there. When this happens the train conductor can't work the train, and a new one has to come and the new one happened to have to come from Zvolen, 2 hours away by taxi. So we were stuck in this train for around 3 hours before we were finally able to get going. The entire time we were stuck on this train there are two 16 year old girls across the aisle from us. When  we roll into Zilina these two girls then proceeded to hit on us and try to get us to hang out with them at this restaurant, they were headed to Kosice later that night and had time to kill. We kind of said no we can't and then walked away and finally  got home around midnight. It was a very long night and we got very little sleep but it was pretty interesting.
As far as our investigators go it was a very rewarding week. We had the privilege of putting our family on date and that was really cool.  They were gone this weekend so we haven't had a chance to meet with them again and so we're excited about today when we get to talk with them. We're hoping to really strengthen them today and were thinking of tactful ways to tell them that they have to get married in order to be baptized. We have yet to come up with a way besides explain it and just telling them haha, so we might wind up doing that. 2 of our dates came to church so that was very good and we're hoping that they do well and hope they had a fantastic time at church.   It is always nice to see people here and the members love it when people come because it doesn't happen all the time. I think a lot of them are pleased with the current work that is going on and they're on the fringe of excitement. I think that many of them have seen how many people get on date and then never make it and it can be discouraging at times but you know, that's missionary work. We were able to find pretty well this week as well since we did hit standards and we have been working really hard. I feel like the end is coming and so I want to work harder.   I guess I'm that kind of missionary who just needs fire under his butt to get moving and this is my fire. It's good and I'm glad it's happened and I'm so very glad that I have had the chance to know such awesome people.  I will try very hard to stay in touch with everyone and I hope it will help each of us.
Well, that's pretty much everything that I have, it was great talking to my parents even though we will see each other in 6 weeks and then we can talk for more than an hour. I haven't really gotten hit with homesickness from the skyping simply because it doesn't really mean much saying this is the last time I will call home because the end is so close. It was great seeing Connor and I hope he has fun without me for 6 weeks and I hope he doesn't find a girlfriend before I get home and then ignore me when I get home, but somehow I doubt that ;p. Well thanks for all the support and everything, I love you all.  Have a great week!
Elder Ferrell