Monday, September 23, 2013

crossing the country

All Slovak Missionaries at a district conference in Brno, Czech Republic- Preston is the only one without his suit jacket. (Maybe that's it on the chair in the lower right hand corner)

Well hey everyone! this one will probably be a little shorter because I have a ridiculous amount of emails that I received this week (19) and I have yet to even read them all, plus I spent some time answering those questions which I don't mind answering. It just means I have less time to write a giant letter for this week, which is good because we didn't do very much, simply because we have had a ton of normal stuff going on for most of the week like the Brno conference which was really cool but it wasn't like a new and exciting aha moment for me. We mostly just traveled for 3 of the days and then were in Brno for 8 hours haha so... But however I will try to make this letter as interesting and exciting as I possibly can, so it's not super boring. Welllllll.....
We just barely got home from Brno about 2 hours ago, so I'm  tired because we had to wake up 2 hours early today and then also yesterday to be able to make our trains and buses. We just have had a crazy last couple of days. The conference itself was really cool because we saw the bulk of the members from Slovakia and then about a third of the ones from the Czech because there were 3 zones there, 5 in total I believe. About 20 or so missionaries are in each zone and they are having another district conference or they've already had it, I don't remember. The funniest thing is just to see all the the little children because out here in Kosice and also in Slovakia in general the amount of children you see at church is pretty limited so we saw a lot of families there which was really fun. I personally didn't know anyone there except president Van Dalen so I was basically just walking around saying hi to the Elders and then also to the people that Elder Barber knew, but that was fun regardless. We listened to all the people talk for 2 hours and we were in a conference center that we had rented out and the whole thing was basically in Czaech and Czech, while similar is difficult to understand and it just takes so much effort to disect what everyone is saying. So for the most part, I kind of just zoned out after awhile because it took much work to do it.
We then had training in the church building there and those are always really fun because President McConkie is a very good speaker since he is a Lawyer and is very powerful so it's always fun to go to those and hear what he has to say as well as we get the oppurtunity to get our mail and packages. I got a letter from Taylor and Samantha but I never received your package that you sent last week so I'll have to wait another month before I get that. It'll just be sitting in an office for a little while before I can open it haha. I guess it's a good thing that I bought these sweaters because they definitely are going to come in handy since I didn't get the package since I've already been using them because it's so dang cold, I love it! It is getting cold and it is going there quickly, The big jackets will probably be taken out in October and then the boots go on in November for the next 6 months and then when I  take them off, I'll have been out for a year haha so I guess that's something to look forward to.
Thank you to Jackie and Richard and Mom and Dad for the letter, I tell you every time but they do make my day, as to answer some questions and stuff, I did hear about the massive flooding in Colorado today in fact I believe, the days really the blend together. I guess you got your 100 years out of the way so there's no need to worry anymore. That's still a junkload of buildings that were destroyed. As well as to Jackie, he is lucky, we get a nokia crappy phone out here and it doesn't hardly work either. As for stuff that would be nice to have, theres only really a few, one thing would be mac and cheese that's nice to have and then theres something that's called mapleine or something like that and it's maple syrup concentrate and we use that for german pancakes and that would be awesome because syrup here is around 10 euros for an ounce soo.. That's be wonderful! I'm sorry that I can't answer more questions, if there are any pressing matters that you really want to know about make sure to tell me that you really want to know and then I'll probably write you a letter about them as I have time.
I hope your lives are going great and you're all having exciting times everythwere, I'm jealous Richard and Joie are going to Puerto Rico and to the beach that sounds soo fun! But anyway, I love you all and be safe!
Elder Ferrell

Were you able to take all the candy with you to Slovakia? Did you distribute it?
I took everything except for the peanut butter jar, and then I haven't really distributed it to everyone in the country just some here and there to the district, everything else our companionship has eaten but we still have some peanut buter sticks left, and then skittles and popcorn, so we probably need to eat them before transfers, in case I leave for somewhere else.
How was the first month overall?
The first month was fine and I really only experienced being lost in the language for about 3 days and then I got comfortable and now understanding is pretty standard, I just don't get some words that are exotic which is normal really for everyone, I usually get the jist of the conversation. It really set up expectations for the rest of my mission so, I don't really know, it was good, and it was fun, but difficult, at the same time to be missing everyone, but I'll be fine.
Why is Kosice so popular with all the missionaries?
Kosice is really popular because, for one, you're out on the other side of the country basically in your own sphere the entire time, and it's also very beautiul with the mountains and everything. And then there's the branch president who is the best one in the mission, he is really really awesome and is by far the most awesome because he is really fun and cares so much about it here, and just does everything that he is capable of to help the missionaries as well as help people out, and then he also speaks English really well and that's a big bonus, There's just a lot of cool people here.
How is your language doing?
Like I said before my language is great. Everyone keeps asking about it because they keep hearing that I speak well for my first transfer, including President McConkie and the ap's, so I guess that can be atttributed to my teachers in the MTC making sure that I was solid in the language before I came out.
How are your spirits? Have you been able to maintain your optimism?
Whenever I get down about stuff, I just tell myself to be happy, which is how I've always done it so that's not really something that I'm too worried about haha.
How come some places the missionaries can’t use busses? Or at least bus cards?
The bus passes in other cites work differently than Bratislava and kosice because here you can a month at a time and then you have unrestricted bus usage but in other places they don't get that they can only buy a pass and then they get a discount, but also in other places they don't necessarily need bus passes but neither do we, but ours are cheap so it's not a really big deal and other places they would just be so expensive.
How are the people of Slovakia? Are they friendly? Do they mostly believe in God?
Everyone is basically Catholic here and they mostly all believe in God of some sort and they are mostly friendly, they like to drink here like everywhere in Europe which can make then turn idiotic like it does everywhere, but for the most part they are very very respectful.
Have you told people that you are part Slovak? Does that make a difference?
I often tell people when we talk about family history and they usually like that. Then they ask where from and then I tell them I have no idea and then they get less interested haha.
When I said that the president looked taller than you I was talking about pres. Mckonkie, He looked really tall, true?
Yeah he's really tall and so is his wife, I think they're both taller than me but it's close.
What things do you have to do in order to be ready to be a senior companion, or to train?
Really it doesn't matter, and no one really knows what President McConkie is going to do so... and as far as Senior's we don't really have them, and theres nothing that really distinguishes a senior from a junior except age in the mission, and no one considers themselves the junior or the senior and the senior doesn't do anything extra, or special so they only thing that distinguishes is if the older one is a District leader or not so...

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