So this week has been superb. We were in Slovakia at the beginning at this week for zone conference. So left Sunday evening to Zilina, the trip was about 4 hours from Prague. We spent the night in Zilina, and had zone conference Monday morning. It was really funny, because our training had to do with a balloon game. Our training was on communicating clearly. And so we developed a fake game that had no rules, or instructions. We simply gave each missionary a balloon, had two tally takers, and two parakeets (the Parakeets and tally takers had no real purpose). We then gave one player from each team a balloon with the jolly roger (mom's note: I think he means a jolly rancher) on it. Then all at once, we gave them 10 seconds and said "Go!" It was really funny to watch how the missionaries reacted. Most of them started blowing up their balloons, some were highly confused and just sat and stared. We then got into our training which ended up pretty good. The next few days were pretty hectic as we traveled to Banska Bystrice, Trencin, Brno, and finally back to Prague. While we were in Banska Bystrice, I had a really cool experience contacting with Elder Haberman. On their town square in Banska Bystrice there is a really ornate, beautiful, luxurious fountain. Sitting on the fountain was a young couple, Elder Haberman and I contacted them about what they think of when they hear the word "church." To make a long story short, we had a really great conversation, and took them back to the church building, where we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was unique to see how even though each one of them had different ideas about religion, that they helped each other to overcome certain concerns.
I found this cool analogy in the office for how to teach the third lesson, using a story with pictures about a man who is traveling to his father's house. Even though there was a lot of driving across the two republics, Elder Guzy and I got to know each other better by telling stories all along the way. He really is a great missionary, and has a really funny past.I have come to the knowledge that, when we really rely on the promptings of the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit can make us sound a lot more impressive than we really are. As we went into the second conference in Brno, I felt like this came true with myself, because I was required to contact Elder Guzy as a part of our training. I didn't quite feel ready for the contact but as i got into it i really began to testify and feel the spirit testifying through me. The spirit entered the room with such a great strength, that it really made the whole training so much more powerful. I am so thankful that God our Father in heaven doesn't leave us here on this earth without any contact from Him, but rather he sends us his spirit that a part of Him might be in each one of us that we can feel such great promptings from our Heavenly Father who knows us so well.
You have a lot of questions this week so I'm going to get right to it:
Has our package arrived yet? yes and thank you soooo much! the grits were a nice surprise
Was the chocolate melted? it was a little bit
Did you eat it anyway? Of course!!!
Anything in particular you want sent...more pop tarts, etc? i don't really see anything that i would like at this moment. Maybe wait on the next package for a few weeks.
Are your shoes holding out? yeah they are doing pretty well. I think they might last me to the end
Are you getting letters from any of your friends? Not a whole lot. the last one i got was from Lindsay Owens and one from Kailey
Are you still having fun being an AP? yes, it is a lot of fun but i look forward to the day when i can get back out and just work in the field again
What neat things have you done with the missionaries lately? Just the training about communicating clearly, and how they didn't have a clue what to do with the balloons because we did not express what we really wanted even though we were very enthusiastic.
How often do you get to drive? Pretty much everyday we are in the car
What kind of car do you drive? It is an Opel Astra (I put a picture of a similar one above)
(Moms note: I have to paste in my letter to Morgan so his response below makes sense, but it is funny, so I hope it is worth it. I was asking him questions...
Did you get your package?
Was the chocolate melted?
Did you eat it anyway?
(golly that started sounding like the little song "I found a peanut, I found a peanut..."
Do you know that song?
OK, I really am not as insane as this letter is sounding, I am just your same goofy mom as always. Here is his response in which he pasted part of my letter:)
(golly that started sounding like the little song "I found a peanut, I found a peanut..."
Do you know that song? i do know that song! I think Andy was the first person to introduce me to it.Well that is all that i have for this week. The transfer is winding down, which is scary, but things always continue on and we must always move forward.
Elder Chambers is going to be going home here in 3 weeks when the transfer ends, which is very sad for me, but he has to move on too.
Take care family!--
With love, Your son,
Starsi Morgan Nowland
28 July 2009
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 9:56 AM
18 July 2009
at the office.
President Slovacek, we promise not to paint our faces ever again, but Sister Slovacek told us we could - I promise. Please let me out, please!
(he always used that smile on
us here at home too - it worked on us as well)
Enjoying the day with the office staff,
this is Elder Nowland with the Robbins
and Elder Kartchner
This is the picture with the group.
President Slovacek looks like he is taking the opportunity for a teaching moment. He is just an awesome Mission President. Elder Nowland says he is so blessed to be able to work so closely with he and Sister Slovacek.
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 9:32 AM
I'll start this email with a quick funny story so every monday and thursday we have a meeting with all the people in the office so that we can all coordinate what will be going on for the next few days. Well seeing as how the office can sometimes become difficult to handle mentally on a day to day basis, we sometimes have to do things to keep our minds sane, which usually involves doing things that are insane...or just dorky. So the theme for the monday meeting was mustache mondays.
In the missionary work though, we had a meeting set-up with a guy we had met on a bench last week on tuesday of this week. When we were standing with him at the bank of the river across from Charles Bridge, a young man and a tour guide come walking up to us. It turns out that the young man was from Canada and was a return missionary. He was very jealous that missionaries get to serve in prague. We ended up getting a contact for his tour guide who was a czech, and inviting her to english class. Later on in the week we went over to teach a recent convert name Jana. While we were with her and her 14 year old son (who we are teaching the gospel to) she took us up to her neighbors flat and we taught the daughter and her boyfriend about God and prayer. It was really neat because Jana helped us teach by bearing her testimony, and it was a very strong testimony about the power of Christ and his atonement.
Then on Friday we traveled to Brno for a Zone Leaders council meeting. It was such a good council, because it was a complete council in the sense that we sat in a circle and simply addresssed many different concerns with regards to the mission and how we can improve. The spirit was very strong and we all left with a completely different outlook on the mission and how the work can progress forth. I have begun to really enjoy counselling with the president and the other missionaries. I am beginning to realize that in life and in marriage Counselling will be very important. If we just try to ignore things and hope that they work out, or hope that the other individual will just make the change, then the possibilities for a misunderstanding or a difficult situation will be much more likely to present themselves. We must always be willing to share our thoughts and be open with one another in love and humility. When we accomplish that we will see a greater bond formed and higher rate of successfulness in our lives.
So how was the vylet with the Slovaceks? It was a blast!
Did you take pictures?
I did the will be uploaded so that you can take a look at them.
Did you get your package? no I have not gotten the package yet but I assume that it will be here within the week, most likely on monday
Are you feeling more comfortable with being AP? Yes, I am getting to be a bit more comfortable now that I have had time to get know President more, and now that I am beginning to understand what is expected of me.
The mission is a blast! it is unbelievable to me how much i am learning here. You really do learn the skills for life while on a mission! I highly recommend it.
I love you all.
This week can be the best week ever if only we choose to make it that way!
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 7:18 AM
11 July 2009
I think we are officially teaching the most hippie family that I have ever met. I might have told you about them already. They live about 45 minutes outside of Prague in a little mountain cottage, and when I say little I mean little. It has two rooms that are still altogether smaller than our kitchen in Callaway. They play guitars and hand drums, the kids are home schooled, they have goats that they often paint red with the wild strawberries that they pick, and we just found out yesterday that they are going to travel all the way over to the coast of France so that the father can build a legitimate year round live in it “Tree House”! They are the sweetest people; they have three little children which is big for a Czech family.
Love you hodne krat,
Your missionary son,
Elder Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 9:39 AM
06 July 2009
Well this week I'm doing very well but i will honestly admit that I am beginning to get very tired. I have been on a pretty solid sleep schedule for over a year now, and now that schedule has been changed. I was very glad to be back in Prague this week but it didn't last very long because we were soon back on the road and on our way back to Ostrava to Have a full exchange because when we were there previously last week we didn't have a whole lot of time with Elders so we felt the need to go back and spend some more time with them. I am glad to hear that there are some people preparing for baptism and that the missionaries are getting back to the basics and refilling their teaching pool by finding more. At this time in our mission most missionaries are doing the same.
We are actually celebrating the fourth of July today here in Prague and most likely around the mission. The missionaries don't have the entire day off but they are all gathering in for a lunch barbeque.
It sounds like things are looking up back at home with new jobs and extensions to jobs. The staging service sounds perfect for the two of you seeing how you love design so much. New ideas and experiences keep life rich...in more ways than one, so keep the new ideas and different perspectives flowing.
This week has been hectic, but nonetheless enjoyable! I look back at days that were hard and am so grateful that i experienced them. This mission is the most perfect preparation for life. I heard one missionary explain it like this," Often there come days that are like storms, and we can choose to run back inside or we can learn to dance in the rain!" That touched me so much and i really look forward to that storm now so I can show forth my faith,...and dancing skills!...haha.
Speaking of storms, it has rained every evening for the past week and a half, and there are many places that have flooded. In Prague the Vltava River has gotten so high!! It is a bit scary but we will be ok.
That is all i have for now. If you ever feel like sending a package...Im not suggesting that you should...But if you do i would love Reeses and Cinnamon Poptarts.
I love you family keep being Super!!!
Love your son,
Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 11:18 AM