So when I got off the Plane I came out of the terminal and I came out of Terminal 2, but when I came out there was no one there so I just waited for about an hour before I figured there was something wrong. So I began walking to Terminal 1 when a guy says, "hey man where you going , will you be serving in the Czech?", I told him no that I would be going to Slovakia, so he is like "oh well I am a member. You look lost. Here i'll call the mission president for you to find out where he is." So he calls and then took me over to Terminal 1 where indeed the president and the APs were waiting for me, and they felt really really bad haha. So they take me back to the church and they were having zone leader conference that day. So he sent me off with the Office Elders to go see a castle and get some food and then get everything all situated for me to head down to Bratislava. So I went through all that and then we drove with the Zone leaders that stay in Brno to Brno. Then got the Zone leaders cars from Slovakia who then dropped me off in Bratislava at a Members home so the Elders there could take me back to their apartment and that would be where I stayed the night. One of the Elders there is Elder Alger who was one of my companions in the MTC. Then that night Elder Ringger, my other companion, came so that we could get our visas worked out because they have to be done in Bratislava. So that day we went all around town, got some xrays done and some blood taken and stuff so that the Lawyer could get all of our Visa work done and after we just did some contacting while we were out until we went back to the Apartment. That night, my companions came in from Košice for the new missionary training conference and we slept in Bratislava and then got on a train to head to Brno. We got to Brno, carrying all of my luggage with me and then we trained with the president and the APs for about 6 hours and then we got back on another train headed to Bratislava, hoping to get to Zilina that night. However, the train didn't want to cooperate and thus we were stuck going super slow and deciding to just get off on one of the stops and then just head to trenčin that night and stayed there. Then we finally got on the train to Košice and made it back on Friday. Since then we have just gotten in the rut of missionary work, just doing the normal stuff. Košice is a pretty big area, i think second biggest in the country. The Branch here has about 6 or so active members and then our companionship has about 5 investigators. Unfortunately only 1 investigator came to church this week. But that's okay, we'll just have to work harder than we usually do so that the work can be furthered here. I met the Branch president out here and he is the absolute greatest guy ever. He is from Holland and his wife is from Slovakia. They both speak english and he speaks French, Dutch, English, and Slovak, and maybe one more like German or something like that. They used to live in California. I guess but then they didn't like it so they moved back to Slovakia and this is where they reside right now. We're also going to get a new missionary Senior couple probably in September or sometime around there.
It was really really hot in Bratislava and Brno and for the first day in Kosice it was pretty hot but it has since cooled down and right now and for the past 2 days its been really really pleasent. We're hoping that it stays like this and that this is the start of winter and that is just gets colder and not back to hotter, Elder Barber said that it might, he doesn't really know. So I have 2 companions right now, Elder Barber and Elder Fredrickson. They have been out for a year and 2 months and Elder Fredrickson is at a Year but he doesn't count MTC so he thinks he's not at his year mark yet so he'll be by the end of this transfer. Elder Barber is the district leader because the only other missionaries are the Sisters, Sister Jones and Sister Johnson. Sister Johnson is From England, at least I think that she's the one, I haven't really gotten used to names yet and don't remember everybody yet but it will come with time I'm sure. Anyways, Elder Barber is from St. George and Elder Fredrickson is from Frisco, Texas and they are super fun guys. We have a lot of fun times together, mostly its just quoting stuff that the Branch President says or does. It's rather funny how he speaks because he and his wife usually talk a mix of Slovak and English so half of a sentence will be Slovaka and half will be in English.
Elder Ringger that I was talking about earlier is in Banska and he's loving it there because they can't buy bus passes there so they have to walk mostly everywhere and the Building is about 2 miles away so they walk there every morning and then they walk back for lunch and then back again, or go tracting, or go contacting or whatever. Anyways he complains alot because he has like 4 or 5 giant blisters on his feet and its really really funny haha. I have yet to get the start of a blister, I don't know why but I just don't get blisters ever, it's really nice. Anyways my area is absolutely a gorgeous area, i'll be sending you some photos but I haven't taken very many of them so there won't be a lot of them. I can defintely see why it is the favorite city of many Elders and why some people are jealous haha.
This first Sunday I gave an introductory speech and just told them who I was and where I was from and how excited that I was able to serve there with them and I hope that I can do the work that they expect of me and that I know with the spirit that we can have a lot of success. Then we heard some talks, one of them being Elder Fredrickson , which was great and then one of the sisters did the Sunday school lesson and then Elder Barber taught priesthood, so probably I will be doing one of those one of these times before I get transferred maybe. They seem to have a lot of trust in me to speak the language. It tells us that we should be doing our Companion Study in English and be practicing in English and then going over to Slovak but Elder Barber says we can just do it in Slovak because he says I already speak Slovak. It's rather funny becuase I got a lot of compliments on my language after I talked for maybe 3 minutes. One from a guy from kenya who is studying here for medical school and then also from Sistser Bordigova who is an old lady who is really funny. I can speak the language and I can respond when people talk slower and when I get the jist of what they are talking about, but other than that I probably only understand half or maybe a bit less of exactly what they are saying. I'm not sure if its lack of vocabulary that I don't know or if it's just that they talk too fast for me. I'm not 100% sure but either way that's the goal for this transfer!, to actually understand people when they are talking.
So the food here is great, and it's not really that different from the states back home, there's a few different flavors here and there but for the most part, it's pretty american and not that much different, especially since we make most of the food ourselve, which has so far been Grilled Cheese, Cereal and Beef Stroganoff. So it's not that hard to create something that you like and it's mostly just small meals that aren't long or hard to make, except for halusky, the s makes a shh sound. We made that for our Sunday lunch, which is the typical Slovak food and it was really really good. It's Sheep Cheese dumplings with bacon and onions, which I ate, thank you very much. They were really good and its a weekly tradition for most missionaries to make it and then eat that and have kofola for lunch time, it's actually rather good, I liked it quite a bit and most likely will be bringing some home with me when I come back. I told my companions that once my parents sent me a cookbook that I would be making some food for them because you can get most things that are in the US here and they don't taste any different, just a few things here and there that aren't exactly European.
The Mailing address for me here is going to be just the mission Home in Prague so, I don't have that on me right now but you can look it up online I'm sure and then theyll get me stuff whenever we meet, so like once a month will I get actual mail so... Email is probably the best. Anyways we're going to go out and do some grocery shopping today and buy everything that we'll need for the next month and a half because this is my supposed 3rd week of the transfer which is interesting because the first 2 weeks in the MTC didn't go by nearly as fast as this one, probably just because I wasn't actually in the country but anyways. Thank you Richard for telling me all the cool stories about Asha and PU Darren, they really make me laugh a lot, and hopefully you'll keep your quad (scriptures), I got 4 wheeler the first time but okay... Anyways I hope that you have a wonderful week, I know that I will, and we'll see one another sooner than we know! BYE!