Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BBQ in Kosice

Okay so, it is 2:13 here in wonderful Kosice, and we just got back from getting the other Elders haircuts, it's a little toasty here today but they say it is probably going to rain on Wednesday and after that the weather is going to just get colder and colder, which I'm perfectly happy with. It means that I'll have the oppurtunity to try out all the winter stuff here pretty soon that I have and the 40 pounds of stuff in my bag that I have to wear haha. I guess for you that this email will come around 8 or so, so that's a pretty good time, I dont think that we'll ever really be emailing at the same time every week so sorry about that.  No way that you'll be able to guess what time my emails will come in haha. But it's been pretty awesome out here.  It was quite a long week this weeks and we had a lot of stuff that we had planned to do which a lot of appointments fell through so we took to the streets and contacted some more. The hardest things here is just getting people to come to our meetings when we're out on the street. Every time we contact we always look to get a meeting and then also their number and we usually do that but then they never show up for our meetings so getting official new investigators is kind of a challenging task but we keep on keeping on. The branch out here needs quite a bit of help.   There's probably around 20 or so members that live in the area but only 6 show up at church, as missionaries we almost match the members in the branch. We have a ton of meeting with potentials this week and we're pretty sure about 2 of those potentials that they will show up because of their personalities,  If they will hearken to our words, I don't really know. We had one former who we told him our testimonies and then he kept telling us that the Book of Mormon wasn't true and then told us that we need to read and study the Bible so we can have the same knowledge that he has that it isn't true. It didn't really bother me but Elder Frederickson, it kind of got under his skin a little bit, and so he constantly finds reasons why the guy isn't right and such.   During Personal Study and then tells us all about them haha. He has committed to start reading the Bible all the way through and he plans on doing that for the transfer, or until he finishes. Crazily this is our 4th week in the transfer which doesn't seem completely right, and next wednesday marks half the transfer gone which is nuts haha. These 2 companions are really awesome and they have a ton of knowledge and insight and I'm so happy that we are able to serve together, as well as in Kosice because it is such a beautiful city that definitely needs the help of the missionaries.


I'm really hoping that I'll stay in Kosice for another transfer, which seems pretty possible and maybe likely, but who really knows. Elder Barber will have been here for 6 months at the end of his transfer here and will most likely leave the area, maybe not but most likely. Elder Frederisckson just got here with me and has served in Banska and I think zilina and maybe trencin but I forget. He'll have marked his year mark at the end of this transfer and then only 6 more transfers left for him which is exciting. He said he still feels like he's just a young missionary and not really ready to turn into an older one.
We have one member who just got active and we think may be homeless, he smells really bad and we try to keep him away from investigators and members during Church, just so we don't scare him off. He also has an issue with stealing apparently so we have to sort that one out. There's also this one guy named tomas, I can't do accents on the english keyboard but, he knows that everything is true and he feels obligated to come to Church every week but when they asked him to get baptized he said he wouldn't because he likes and wants chaos in his life and he knows that if he's baptized then he won't have that anymore.  But he loves the feeling he gets when he meets with us and gets all excited when we set up weekly vistis or bi-weekly visits. Other than that, getting people to church has been really hard and then also just getting people to accept Baptism and not fight or argue with us is a difficult task in itself. But we're hoping to change that with some new potentials that we have planned for this week, one of whom is the son of one of the really faithful members who we met at the BBQ which I'll talk about later. But we're going to have a Baptism this week on Saturday for one of the Sister's investigators.   He went throught the interview process and Elder Barber had to clear up some stuff but he went through it and he wants to be baptized. He actually speaks really good English and lived in the US more than Slovakia so, but I guess he's pretty famous and does alot of differnt things. He doesnt actually live in koisce but is here for a conferance for something and is going to go back next Monday.  But he wanted to be baptized and changed his plans to Monday so he could come to church and be confirmed so I guess he's really serious about it. He will be in the Bratislava branch and will be going there, and then he wants to come back out here for another conference in about a month because he likes it out here and the members out here. Unfortunately last week he didn't come to church because the weather was too nice to come to church, so we had to clear that little thing up. But it's still really cool that he wants to get baptized so that's great for him and also the confidence of the sisters who were feeling a little bit down and out!


This week we had the annual Barbecue of Kosice, where we invite a bunch of people and we light a fire and have lunch out at a campsite and play games and just have a lot of fun together, and the best part is that the Mission president approved us to be there all day long so that's what we did. We got there around 9:10 and did about 2 hours of studies in the woods so we could save the campsite and then at 11 the Barbecue started and everyone started coming out. All the members came and then we had about 16 or so non-members who came. It was a great finding opputunity for us and it was also great to get our names out a little bit and just show to the Slovaks that we're nice people and that we aren't going to hurt them haha. The food was absolutely magnificent and we still have some in our fridge for dinner tonight which I'm excited for haha. We were also able to get 2 meetings from it and they're pretty solid investigators, with also 1 service opportunity for one of the young sisters's friend, where she wants us to talk into a voice recorder and then she's going to analyze our words for her linguistics class. Also Eric Dinga, who is from Kenya, and is a member, came and he's getting on the road to get clean and active again in the Church.  He studied here for a medical degree until his scholarship ran out with about a year left, so he's working as an English teacher to make enough money so that he can pay for the rest of his schooling. He speaks Zwahili, English and Slovak and is a super cool guy, and is also a really good friend of Tomas. So I personally think the barbecue was a huge success for us and then also for the members to fellowship some new people.


As far as the food here, I haven't had any problems with it at all, nothing really gone wrong. The food is not really that different from American food and everything is all pretty generalized. We cook for ourselves mostly and about 2-3 times a week we are fed from someone else, usually about twice we eat out with the Sisters before we have our weekly District meeting or our language study hour and then once from President Van Dalan. And we usually just go to the store and get everything that we're going to need for the week, which usually consists of ceral, Milk, cheese, bread, some fruit, and pasta. Most of which is very cheap and we have no problems with buying with our money that we get. We get around 250 Euros per week and most of that is really spent on transit to and from the Zone conferences and then the bus fees and stuff like that. Food winds up only being about 75 Euros or so a month, which is really nice. We spent last week 40 Euros for the 3 of us total at the Mart which is great! Means we're shopping smart. But I may not buy food with my companions next transfer or the most of my mission because I can eat for a lot cheaper than they probably can because I just don't care about eating big giant meals. Except Halusky which is the single greatest Slovak meal of all time, it is really so good, it's Sheep Cheese potoato Dumplings which I will be bringing back with me 10 fold, I'm talking 20 pounds of Halusky materials because it is really so good. I will definitely be making it for you all. So no problems on the stomach front, as for meat, we don't really get chicken that often because it's expensive but ground beef is the typical meat that we have so any cheap and quick recipes for that. I'm looking at some Fetticine Alfredo recipes mmmm, I want that haha, Dad's recipe.


Anyways, my language is going great, I'm understanding a lot more out here and my goal is to be able to understand, all if not most by the end of this transfer which is very possible seeing thr growth that I've had just in a week. My vocabulary is increasing which is really where I need to be and what I need to be doing because I have a pretty good grasp of the grammar principles and I also used Brother Bodily's book, my teacher, for our language study as a District and they were all very impressed and were very jealous of it. I loved reading all of your letters about home that you sent me. It's great to read them and feel like I'm home so thank you Richard and Mom and Dad for those. They really make my day, pictures will be coming soon today! But I have to go, I love you all, Be safe!



Elder Ferrell




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