Well i have some interesting news for you. My new companion is from Hungary!! Can you believe that!! His name is Starsi Horvath. He speaks decent english, fluent hungarian, and pretty fluent German. He has been a member of the church for a total of 3 years now!! He is the only active member in his family his parents are both non-members and claim atheism. He is a very spiritual individual. Czech for him is about as difficult for americans. Although he does catch onto the grammar a bit faster. I will keep things brief. I am really nervous for this transfer because i dont want to become lazy and lose sight of my goals and desires to finish strong. Satan has an interesting way of using such ideas as, "you have done so much now that your mission is already a success" or "Just hit the standards and that is enough." It scares me when those thoughts jump into my head, but it is a part of the "increasing of our faith" that we all must experience. So i am in 1Nephi 16 right now and i just read about when Nephi broke his bow. The whole family was being obedient and had kept all the commandments of the Lord. They were all doing what they should and had what they needed in life. In this great state of obedience and faith is when Nephi's bow broke. I find it interesting that even when we are doing everything and keeping all the commandments of the Lord that he still gives us trials so that we can truly show the power of our faith and bring our faith up to a new level. I look forward to talking to you all this week.
I love you family soo much!!! cant wait!!!
-- With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland
28 December 2009
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 8:48 AM
Je to neuveritelny ze vanoce jsou jenom za rohem! zda se mi jakoby byly jenom vcera. Je mi to lito ze nemuzu byt s vami ale se mnou budete v duchu. A pres mobil.
It is unbelievable that christmas is only around the corner! It seems like it was just yesterday. Its sad that that i cant be with you but you will be with me in spirit. And through the phone!!
Your prayers for the Roberts worked because both of them came to church again this sunday. I was able to sit down with them and with brother Harf to talk to them about the importance and neccessity of baptism, before entering th temple, because here we only have primary and sunday school, and the topic of the sunday school lesson was temple work and ordinances for the living and the dead. Needless to say i was doing all that i could to fill them in so that they could understand. Afterwards i simply explained that the most important thing for them to do right now is to find out that Joseph Smith really is a prophet. Brother Harf was a Lutheran at first and converted when he was 18 years old. He bore his testimony about the need to be baptized twice because the roberts had been baptized as babies as are most people in this country. It really is very sad to me that nearly every person in this country was baptized as a baby, yet only 1 out of about every 50 people we talk to really believes in God, and only 1 out of about every 200 of those follows the catholic beliefs. These people are very confused about religion and God. It turned out to be a very good lesson. Brother Harf invited them to be taught at their home next sunday after church at 16:00. We now currently have three baptismal dates sitting in our area for january next year.
Well just for your information we just recieved our transfer fax today, and transfers will be on wednesday. And so the results are.....I am staying in Ceske Budejovice, and........hold on to your hats....! Im staying as district leader but i am going to be training a new missionary. I am really excited for this opportunity to raise up a missionary that will stand in my stead.
For christmas as of right now we have nowhere to go for dinner so we might just be doing our own thing. I would really like to give the new missionary an opportunity to see what czech christmas is like...Well see what we can work out.
I will be going into prague on wednesday to get trained and then to find who will be my companion.
The work is so much more fun when you are really giving your heart to it and forgetting yourself. I set a personal goal for myself for this last transfer. I want to truly become a Preach My Gospel Missionary before i leave. So i am going to be reading the book of mormon again from cover to cover and studying Preach my gospel from cover to cover. I am excited for what this transfer can be for me. I am excited for what this transfer can be for my companion, and also what it can be for this city.
Now time for questions:
What have you opened in your package so far? (as best you can remember) Laser pointer, socks, floss, toothbrush and tops, Step counter, pen, thats all i can remember.
What do you like best about your new city? It has a very pretty namesti area.
Have you taken pictures of your apartment yet? Not yet but i do have a few.
Have you given out the children's gifts yet? not yet im waiting until the branch christmas activity. We are going to have a white elephant gift giving party. In czech it is called the Bily Sloun.
It will be so fun to be together. Whitney and i will have a lot to discuss and a lot of stories to share. Im looking forward to seeing you whitts.
With love, Your son, and brother
Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 8:39 AM
11 December 2009
Family, this week was a fun one i have a few cool experiences to share.
Elder Pearson set a goal to get up every morning at 5:30 to study Czech. I decided to do it with him. I would have to say that even though that is a very cosmetic sacrifice it was a great help for us in seeing a raised amount of success. The Zone Leaders also came down for an exchange, it was a decent exchange. I felt a good amount of energy from them. They came in and went to work with us to find on the streets. I am very thankful that they came. While I was finding with Elder Mittanck, we contacted two men that we sat down with at our building and ended up inviting them to church. The basis of the lesson was to show the Lord that you want his help by coming to church. Well, here is the cool part. A day or two later these two men met another man, that was down on his luck, in a housing panelak. This man asked the two guys that we had contacted, named Robert and Robert, if they knew the address for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they replied that they had just met missionaries from the church a few days before and that they were going to be going there for church on Sunday and that this man could go with them. All three of these men came to church and really felt of the spirit as missionaries and members bore their testimonies. One of the Roberts actually got up himself and bore a very appropriate testimony about the trials of life and looking to God for relief. Cool Experience number one.
Cool experience number two: I have been giving a lot of thought to how i can better allow the Holy Ghost to do all of the teaching in our companionship. I have felt lately that i have not been allowing him to speak but that instead i have been trying to do all the teaching myself. So after church on sunday our newest investigator came and sat down next to me while he was waiting for president to have time to meet with him. We just started talking to each other i asked him how he was feeling. He told me that he was lost in his thoughts about the difficulties he is having in his life. This is where the cool stuff happened. I felt impressed to begin talking to him about Matthew 6 where Christ talks about the Lilies of the field. After we read the passage, words began flowing from my mouth. I know that sounds a bit cliche but it is true. The thoughts entered into my head so smoothly, and clearly. Receiving the thoughts is one thing but moving them out into words is another. The thing was though that the thoughts entered into my head in czech. Therefore, they came out very fluently in czech as well. I felt very relaxed and comfortable. I was speaking fluently. It was amazing and he was taking in every word and i could see the words really making an impression on his mind. I cited scriptures and asked questions so easily. It was an amazing experience. The Holy Ghost really taught through me. It was a very spiritual experience.
We went to Prague to go to the turkey bowl( our Zone lost by one) and to go to Zone Conference (very spirituallly uplifting about giving three gifts to christ for the next three weeks, one gift every week. It relates to the frankincense, gold, and myrrh).
Did you get your Christmas Package? yes
Have you started opening the gifts? yes
If so, are you having fun with it? you know it! thanks a bunch
Is it snowing? nope
What are some things you are going to buy for yourself from CR before coming home? Shoes, pictures, postcards
Do the Czech people do anything special for the Christmas season? We just had a big event on the town square where a massive three story angel came and blessed the city. Then, another normal sized angel zip-lined from the tall clock tower across the square to the town hall, dropping magic dust as it went.
Are there like Christmas concerts and do the village squares put up tons of Christmas lights, like Temple Square? There is an iceskating rink that covers a fourth of the square, and there are little decorations on the lamp posts. Also, a big chrstmas tree!!!
Well i must go now, im glad that i was able to write.
The mission is way more fun when you are having success and the only way to have success is to work hard, and work with the Lord.
Your son, Starsi' Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 1:01 PM