December 27, 2014

Czech Slovak Mission

Here are free resources about the Czech/Slovak Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: Czech Prague Mission.

Czech/Slovak Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Czech/Slovak Mission. We try to keep this info up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

Czech/Slovak Mission
Badeniho 1
160 00 Praha 6
Czech Republic

Phone Number: 420-224-322-215
Mission President: President Pohořelický

Czech/Slovak Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the Czech/Slovak Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the mission:

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here.

Videos with Czech/Slovak RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Czech/Slovak Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.

mission interview  mission interview  mission interview  mission interview

Videos about the Czech Republic

Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about the Czech Republic. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about the Czech Republic, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.

LDS Church  food  nature  language  time lapses

Czech/Slovak Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Czech/Slovak Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

Mission Alumni mission.net/czech/prague 2017
Elder Brandon Paxton elderbrandonpaxton.blogspot.com 2017
Sister Hannah Cyrier sestrahannahcyrier.wordpress.com 2016
Sister McKenna Heap sestramckennaheap.wordpress.com 2016
Elder Blake Anderson elderblakeanderson.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Gavin LaMonte Page eldergavinlamontepage.wordpress.com 2016
Elder Brad Pickett elderbradpickett.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Joshua Shirley elderjoshshirley.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Madison Ratcliffe sestramadisonratcliffe.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Reilly Manners mannersonamission.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Conrad Belshe elderbelshemission.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Kalli Abbott sisterkallipaige.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Jennifer Fredrickson jenninczech.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Mercedes Schaerrer mercedesonamission.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Melanie Hale czechherout.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Joshua Asay elderasayslovakadventure.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Daniel Boyce elderdanielboyce.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Christopher Brousseau chrisbrousseau.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Spencer Petersen elderspencerpetersen.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Preston Ferrell slovakmissionferrell.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Whitney Johnson ldssisterinslovakia.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Laurel McConkie saltlaketoprague.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Jones liahonaguidemehome.wordpress.com 2014
Elder Cole Davis eldercoledavis.tumblr.com 2014
Sister Kari Kane sisterkarikane.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Francesca Bruno sisterfrancescabruno.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Brandon Neumann missionsite.net/elderbrandonneumann 2014
Sister Christa Huggard missionsite.net/sisterchristahuggard 2014
Elder Jeremy Eliason missionsite.net/elderjeremyeliason 2013
Mission Alumni czechslovakmission.org 2013
Elder & Sister Mills earlandlouisemillsmission.blogspot.com 2013
Sister Melissa Pysnak pysnakmission.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Adam Williams adaminslovakia.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Bryce Johnson missionsite.net/elderbrycejohnson 2012

Czech/Slovak Mission Groups

Here are Czech/Slovak Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni who served in the Czech/Slovak Mission. Coming soon..

Czech/Slovak Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Czech/Slovak Mission!

Shirt designs include Czech/Slovak Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Czech/Slovak missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Czech/Slovak Mission gifts

czech-slovak-lds-mission-shirt-1 czech-republic-lds-mission-shirt-1 czech-slovakia-lds-mission-shirt-2

Czech/Slovak Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Czech/Slovak LDS Mission.

  1. 2016-2019, Pohořelický
  2. 2013-2016,  James W. McConkie III
  3. 2010-2013, David R. Irwin
  4. 2007-2010, Marvin J. Slovacek (Listen to an interview with the Slovaceks)
  5. 2004-2007, G. Fred Yost
  6. 2001-2004, C. Richard Chidester
  7. 1998-2001, W. Mack Watkins
  8. 1996-1998, Edwin B. Morrell
  9. 1993-1996, Phillip J. Bryson
  10. 1990-1993, Richard Winder
  11. 1936-1968, Wallace Toronto
  12. 1931-1936, Aurther Gaeth

Czech/Slovak LDS Statistics (2015)

  • Church Membership: 2,503 (Czech Republic), 245 (Slovakia)
  • Missions: 1 (Czech Republic)
  • Temples: 0
  • Congregations: 13 (Czech Republic), 4 (Slovakia)
  • Family History Centers: 2 (Czech Republic)

RM Articles about the Czech Republic

Coming soon..

Czech/Slovak Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from Czech/Slovak RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

*Click here to take a survey to help pre-missionaries going to your mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2013-2015 (Chris)
  • 2012-2014 (Brandon)
  • 2012-2014 (Rob)
  • 2013-2015 (Joshua)
  • 2012-2014 (Megan)
  • 2010 – 2012 (James)

What cities/areas did you serve in?

  • Prague-6 months, Ostrava-2 months, Olomouc-4 months, Brno-4 months, Jihlava-6 months. (Brandon)
  • Liberec, Ostrava, Praha, Kosice, and Jicin. (Rob)
  • Jihlava, Olomouc, Praha, Ostrava, Liberec, Brno. (Joshua)
  • Ceske Budejovice, Prague, Brno, Uherske Hradiste. (James)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Halušky, sviečkova, šúlance, Kofola. (Chris)
  • Svíčková, Kuřecí Řízek (chicken fried steak) s bramborovým salátem (with potato salad), kofola (a drink), all of the soups, boršč (a russian soup), smažený sýr (fried cheese block) s hranolkami a tatarskou omáčkou (with fries and tartar sauce). (Brandon)
  • Svičková na Smetanê Smaženy syr. (Rob)
  • Svičková na Smetanê Smaženy syr. (Joshua)
  • I loved Kachna s červeným zelím, which is roasted duck with red cabbage and served with potato. Knedliky Svickova is wonderful. It is this amazing carrot/vegetable sauce with beef and yeast. Knedliky Bryndzove Halusky is up there as well. It is a gnocchi-type dish with this special Slovak cheese. (Megan)
  • Svickova, Smazeny Syr, Any pastry with lot’s of poppyseed filling, Krokety. (James)

What was a funny experience?

  • One time, my companion and I tracted accidentally into the minister of a convert we had *just* baptized, and we were really ready to just have him HATE us, which he did very enthusiastically. We decided that instead of talking to him about the gospel, it might be a better idea to just try and serve him, so we asked if there was anything we could do around his house and he didn’t believe that we actually wanted to help him, so he told us to lose the suits and be back the next day…basically he was really surprised that we came back the next day, and didn’t really have anything prepared for us so he just said that he’d always wanted a garage…So we built him a garage, it was sweet. (Chris)
  • My first transfer, it was a sunny day, so I didn’t think I needed an umbrella, but my trainer was bringing one and I didn’t think I needed one even though he suggested it. So as we were contacting the bright sunny day suddenly changed to pouring rain! So he kept his umbrella to himself and we just kept contacting so that he could teach me a lesson! Haha (he wasn’t a jerk). (Brandon)
  • I was called to the mission Czech speaking, but about a year into my mission, I was asked to go to the Far East of Slovakia and learn Slovak, so of course I did gladly. After a few weeks of Slovak, it was going pretty well, because Czech and Slovak are pretty similar with minor differences, but I found out pretty quick that those differences are sometimes pretty important, haha. I called a member that we were going to be late to our meeting at the chapel, but that we’d arrive there in a minute, but the while word “dojit” in Czech means to arrive, that same word in Slovak means “to breastfeed” so I accidentally said, “hold on Lenka, sorry, we’re running a little late, I’ll be breastfeeding in the chapel in 5 minutes.” She died laughing. Haha (Rob)
  • An elderly man approached us while we were singing in Brno and expressed his love for our beautiful voices and music. He then left, and returned a couple minutes later with flyers and mints from the nearest bank. Then repeated his message, left, and repeated at least 2 other times with goodies from a different venue. (Joshua)
  • I was in my first transfer and a brand new missionary and my trainer and I were at the tram stop. The tram driver stopped and a bunch of people got off of the tram, but he left like no time for the new passengers to get on. I hurried and jumped on, but the doors closed right behind me. There was a little old lady sitting next to the door and she asked me in Czech, “Oh was that your companion?” When I answered in the affirmative, she bowed her head and said in this sad, forlorn voice, “so sad”. It was so funny that she understood that we weren’t supposed to be apart! (Megan)
  • One funny experience happened when I was first in the mission. I was walking with my companion and a new member (who liked to joke with new missionaries a lot). They were talking in rapid Czech and I was having a hard time following the conversation. I tried to say that I was confused (Ja mam zmatek) but instead I said that I was fried (Ja jsem smazeny). Then the new member laughed and turned to me and said, in perfect English, “If you’re fried, you’ve got to lay off of the weed, Elder.” (James)

What was a crazy experience?

  • One time my companion and I (we were on an exchange) had to try to break into an investigator’s house and climbed up on his roof because the gate/walls were covered in broken glass and were too high for us to climb. basically we almost got owned by some guys and we *did* get chased by a dog and had to get up on the broken glass anyway; it was nuts. (Chris)
  • We had a drunk guy stop us and ask what we were doing and wouldn’t leave us alone, he started slapping me around and pushing me, and following us, and then we ran away and he started to chase us, but we got away! (Brandon)
  • I was once proposed to by a drunk man on a bus my first transfer. I was flattered, but confused because I’m a man. (Rob)
  • Being in a house when a drug deal went down at the front door. We never returned after that lesson. The Russian approached my companion and I offering us a huge wad of cash if we would work for him. One of his questions for us was whether or not our Jesus let us kill people because apparently his massive golden cross necklace let him kill people. (Joshua)
  • Probably the most crazy thing was when a Slovak man saw us from across the street at the bus station and then followed us throughout our little town. Thank heavens we knew so many people closely. (Megan)
  • We had a dangerous experience when I was serving in my first area. We had been teaching this Czech man who spoke fluent English. We knew he was an engineer with some pretty high-tech stuff, but he never spoke more about this job. Anyways, he would read the Book of Mormon but he’d never pray! One day we confronted him on why he would read the scriptures so much but would never pray. He said that he wasn’t allowed to believe in God, because of work, even if he wanted to. It was part of the job description. Every week they would take lie detector tests to make sure their employees hadn’t given away trade secrets. He then continued to say that he was a very high up employee in his company, one that worked with nuclear energy. Because of his status, he had his phone calls monitored, text messages read, and emails looked over by some pretty intense organizations, for example the CIA, MI-6, Russian Intelligence, etc. He suspected that they were listening in on our communications too! Turns out, he thought we were in danger because we were two Americans telling him that we should meet up and discuss more of what we talked about last time. To anyone just looking into his messages, it sounded like he was selling nuclear secrets. He told us that for our safety, we couldn’t meet anymore. (James)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • When I was in Zvolen, there was this cool experience where we went to a member’s house to teach and we figured it would be us, him, and one investigator. The investigator ended up bringing her child and her friend, and then another investigator’s family showed up. We had planned to teach the weed wacker lesson (Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, Tithing and fast offerings+temples all in the same lesson), so we were scared to say the least of teaching it to so many people, especially when so many of them didn’t even know that Joseph Smith was a person. One of those people, her name was Janka, asked us at the end of the lesson why more people didn’t follow these rules, because they’re super great. We asked if she wanted to be baptized, and she said yes. She was baptized 3 weeks later, and it was SO cool, that was the last baptism of my mission. (Chris)
  • I will share one of many spiritual experiences that I had, most of which happened in the same city. This particular experience was my last day in that area, my trainer had served in my district on his last transfer, so it was his last day in the mission! We had just baptized the day before a man that my trainer and his companion taught who waited 20 years to be baptized! He never had the resources to find any members or missionaries until only a few weeks before his baptism! And me and my companion baptized a guy that I was blessed to find the previous transfer and teach the whole time (except for about 2 weeks) I was in that city, who was amazing! They both received the Holy Ghost that Sunday, and there was not a single dry eye in the congregation that sacrament meeting. The Spirit was so strong, with me and my trainer leaving the area (him the mission) that we loved so much and the people we loved so much, and this man who waited 20 years, it was hard to leave, but it was also a manifestation of how great God is and all of His many blessings and miracles that He showed us those 2 transfers! (Brandon)
  • My last thanksgiving on my mission my companion and I woke up and had the craziest hankering for svičkova, which is like the greatest food EVER so we made plans to go out for lunch, but when we went to the ATM to grab out some cash something was wrong so we couldn’t get any money out. So of course, we were bummed, but I looked in my wallet and found $20 American which had somehow survived the previous 18 months, but thought that it was useless anyways because the town we were serving in was so small that they didn’t have an exchange place, but as soon as I said that to my companion he pointed to a shop that had opened THE DAY BEFORE where we a sign said we could exchange money, so we obviously went over to try, and when we walked in, we were greeted by a nice, 20-something guy who smiled and about 30 seconds into swapping our money he asked us “are you guys Mormons, by chance??” when we replied yes, he said, “oh rad! I lived with a Mormon for a while in England and I was always interested but didn’t know how to ask more about it.” So we were SO excited and started teaching him and 4 months later he got baptized in a FREEZING reservoir outside the city. Sometimes following the Spirit means following your stomach, I guess! 🙂 (Rob)
  • Saying a prayer with my greenie to find a family of four who would invite us over in the fifteen minutes of open time that we had before our next appointment. His face was priceless when I said that in the prayer, and to be honest I was a little dubious too after already spending weeks looking. But, right before we got on the bus to head to our neighborhood, we started talking to a family of four (mom, dad, and two young children), and by the end of the ride they lived two apartment complexes away from us. Prayer answered super fast. (Joshua)
  • My favorite part spiritually about my mission was when people who considered themselves atheists their entire lives offered their very first sincere prayer to our Heavenly Father. There is a sweetness in that moment that is unique from any other moment. That is when their spiritual journey really starts and you can feel the love of Heavenly Father so strongly. (Megan)
  • My companion and I were in Prague and teaching the roommate of a member. This roommate was atheist and had never really contemplated the existence of a God before. At the end of the lesson we challenged him to pray and so he started to, right on the spot. He prayed the most humble pray, like King Lamoni’s father from the Book of Mormon, even using similar phrases. “God, if you exist, if you can hear me, if you know that I am alive and here and desperately trying to talk with you, please listen to me. Please help me.” At the very end of the prayer, he was silent. He turned to us and said, “Did you feel that?” Automatically my companion said, “That’s the Spirit.” He later described that he felt this warmth come over his trembling body, that he felt a blanket of comfort fall upon his shoulders, like some unseen heavenly being was wrapping their arms around him. (James)

What are some interesting facts about the Czech/Slovak Mission?

  • The people are all pineapples (hard and ugly on the outside, nothing but sweet gushy mush on the inside). It’s SUPER Catholic on the Slovak side and SUPER atheist on the Czech side, but pretty much both sides are atheist in reality. There are a junk load of castles all over the place. (Chris)
  • It is a land of many miracles! (Well, both lands-the Czech and Slovak republics) it’s the most atheistic country in the world behind Japan and China, Czech Republic has 10 million people (about 2000 of which are members), Slovakia has about 5.5 million or so (about 200 of which are members), the capital city Prague wasn’t bombed in WWII because hitler admired its beauty, Budweiser comes from the Czech Republic, famous composer Dvořák is from the Czech Republic, and we have 9 week transfers. (Brandon)
  • Well, the church has actually been in the Czech Republic and Slovakia since before 1929, but because of the world wars and communism, during only about 30 of those years were missionaries allowed to proselyte. (Rob)
  • It is one of the smallest missions with less than 100 missionaries. Granted, the number fluctuates but when I was there it stayed around 75-90 degrees. (Joshua)
  • It is the best! There is so much rich church history from communism days. The members went through so much and used yoga to share the Gospel during that time. It is so cool to hear stories from the members who joined the church during that time. A lot of them are strong members and local leaders today. (Megan)
  • A majority of people say that they’re atheist, but I actually don’t believe it. Most of them were baptized Catholic when they were young and many of them don’t practice anymore. Of those who claim atheism, I’d saying about 5% believe in absolutely nothing (true atheists), but the other 95% are actually more agnostic. They believe in something, but most can’t quite put their finger on what it is, whether a person, a supreme being, a power, a mist, an energy, etc. (James)

What was the weather like?

  • Cold and humid in the winter, hot and humid in the summer, rainy all year round. (Chris)
  • It’s actually quite humid and hot in the summer, (compared to Utah) and the winters are similar to Utah’s except January and February are much more bitterly cold. Spring and fall are very pleasant. (Brandon)
  • Exactly like Central Utah weather. (Rob)
  • Hot and humid in the summer, beautiful in the spring and fall, and quite mild in the winters. I was expecting much colder temperatures but it hovered around freezing for the most part. (Joshua)
  • The weather is actually pretty similar to the Salt Lake area. It can get pretty warm in the summer, but some winters can be pretty cold as well. (Megan)
  • Similar to the Midwest. Hot, muggy summers. Freezing cold winters. Some snow, but I wouldn’t say I saw any blizzards of any sort. It rained a lot. (James)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • I loved that if you made sure that people knew you cared about them, they became your friends for life. They really do care more about that than anything else. I also loved just walking everywhere and feeling the European culture all around me, everything is so OLD. I also loved finding people who actually practiced their religion. I’ve developed such a deep and special love for the people who are Catholic, not just because their parents were, but because they actually are dedicated to the cause, and they try their best to live it. (Chris)
  • I LOVE the Czech people! They are stubborn, paranoid, angry, skeptical, and prideful on the outside, but once you soften them up, they are very fun, kind, genuine, and hilarious people! They have a great sense of humor! But they are very kind and willing to serve and give even when they don’t have a lot, when they have been softened, so the members are AMAZING! And they are very determined and strong and stick to what they believe in, so the members are very strong! (Brandon)
  • EVERYTHING! (Rob)
  • I liked that many people were outside running errands and relaxing. It made it super easy to approach people and start conversations. Contacting on the streets was my favorite finding method. (Joshua)
  • I love how proud Czechs are of their language and their culture. If a foreigner attempts to speak their language, they are generally really kind and patient. They are so happy that you are putting in the effort to learn their language. (Megan)
  • I love the Czech people. Even now I grasp for anything that is Czech related. I live in Texas and there’s a kolaci (like Czech pastries) place 2 minutes from my home. I’m a frequent visitor. Anytime I hear someone speaking anything Eastern European, I listen in close to hear if it’s Czech. The Czech people are truly a giving and humble people. Once they trust you, you become a part of their family. I miss them a lot. (James)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Pack money rather than huge coats, the coats there are WAAAAY better than anything you’re going to get in America. Same with the hats. Don’t pack too many things going out, it will be way more worth it for you to just buy things there, they’ll also mean more that way. (Chris)
  • I brought winter stuff with me, but ended up buying everything new in the country. I didn’t think that I was going to get anything European and was very against the style but I gradually grew to accept it. So I would say that you will most likely end up buying a lot of European clothes while you are there, especially the winter stuff, so maybe wait to buy it until you get into the country. I would take about 5-6 shirts short and long sleeve. Clothing is quite cheap in the Czech Republic! Make sure you have room to bring home a lot of souvenirs, if anything a lot of kofola in your bag on the way home! 😉 (Brandon)
  • Wait to buy a coat there, it saves on money and weight when you fly over. (Rob)
  • Wear sweats under your dress pants when it gets cold 😉 Mittens are better than gloves for warmth. Keep your water bottle close to your body so it does not freeze. If the sweat stains aren’t coming out of your collars, use a better detergent. I used the cheapest option too until I tried Tide, and all my stains came right out. And to think I was about to buy new shirts. You can buy clothing in the Czech Republic much cheaper than in the states. (Joshua)
  • If you are a sister, bring skirts with pockets. I didn’t have them in most of mine and I always wished I had. (Megan)
  • Don’t buy a winter jacket in the USA. Just wait until you get to Europe and purchase one there. They’ll be (A) better quality (B) cheaper and (C) you’ll look more like a local and won’t stand out as an American. (James)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • I learned how to truly listen to people, and care about them and be happy for their achievements sincerely. My family was blessed immeasurably by my service, they went through a very tough time while I was gone, and I firmly believe that they were blessed because of my dedication to the mission. (Chris)
  • Every blessing you can think of! Some of the main things I would say is being able to recognize how the Spirit works with me specifically, learning to walk with God, and learning to love the Czech people, but all people despite their weaknesses–learning to see the good in everybody, and finally I got to know Jesus Christ. (Brandon)
  • I learned how to be humble, accept my shortcomings, not make excuses for myself, and more importantly, how to improve. I grew a much closer relationship with my Heavenly Father. I overcame many of the things that held me back before my mission. A greater power to resist temptation. My relationships with my family and friends have never been better. (Joshua)
  • I can’t even list all of the ways I have been blessed. As a missionary, you see the Lord’s hand in lives so differently than any other time of your life. I was blessed to have a love for people that was so different from anything I had ever felt before. It was like having a small taste of the love that Heavenly Father has for his children. You see people differently than ever before. (Megan)
  • I attribute anything good that’s happened to me since returning home a blessing from my mission: – Married in the temple to my wife – Each calling I’ve served in – Getting accepted into Medical School – My younger brother serving a mission – My dad’s life being saved by the hands of a very skilled and God-led neurosurgeon. (James)

What are some skills you gained?

  • I now speak 5 languages fluently because I paid close attention and made a real effort to speak to people in whatever language they were speaking. That has influenced my life forever, including career choices and major at college, I found talents I never expected myself to have just by trusting God to help me. (Chris)
  • Cooking, ironing, planning, setting goals, working with people, organization, time management, setting up appointments and being on time, language, sleeping and exercise routines. (Brandon)
  • Language study skills. Meeting new people skills. Nun-chuck skills (just kidding). (Joshua)
  • I gained a skill to love in a way different than ever before. I learned to work with people, even if you don’t necessarily see everything in the same way that they do. (Megan)
  • Well obviously Czech is a special skill in itself. Most people don’t expect you to say that you speak Czech when you live in the USA. I learned a lot about business because I spent almost a year of my mission in an office setting. I learned leadership skills, how to hold meetings, how to manage people, etc. I’m currently in medical school and I’m realizing that my patient interviewing skills and discussing their health problems are basically like teaching a lesson to someone, but you switch the topics from a spiritual topic to health related. I learned how to teach very well and have been told that I should go into academics. Above all, I learned the gospel to an extent that I never would have learned had I not served there. It has helped me time and time again to have had the experiences that I did in the mission. (James)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • I wish I knew how to speak Slovak, haha. But in all seriousness, I wish that I understood the power of asking for referrals. As a missionary, you’re looking for needles in a haystack, but you’re lucky enough to be able to talk to the hay and ask them where the needles are because they totally know. We taught SO much the transfers where we literally asked everyone for referrals, and it’s more than just saying, “do you know anyone who would be interested in our message?” it’s getting to know them and saying, “do you know any spiritual people?” or “do you have any family who needs to stop smoking?” the difference between bold and overbearing is the love you put into it. (Chris)
  • I wish I had gained more of a testimony, studied my scriptures/knew the gospel and scripture stories better, studied Preach my Gospel more, been more humble, teachable and less rebellious.
  • I wish I talked to people in the trams and buses right from the start. (Joshua)
  • I wish had more diligently looked for inactive members early on in my mission. A lot of them have so much to add to the branches, but have fallen through the cracks. (Megan)
  • I wish I had had a testimony of the Book of Mormon when I started. I realized that I didn’t have one while in the MTC and that bugged the heck out of me. I worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my life to obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon over those next two months, that way I could absolutely say that I knew it was true. (James)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to the Czech Republic/Slovakia?

  • If you’re coming to the Czech/Slovak mission, you better be prepared to give it your ALL. If you go into it with anything less, a shred of laziness, the people deserve better than that. They deserve the best missionaries on the Earth because they are the best people on it. (Chris)
  • Don’t worry about where you are at spiritually before the mission however, you will always have something throughout your whole mission and after that you’ll look back on and wish you could have done better or differently. But it doesn’t matter where you’re at spiritually, as long as you do your very best, be patient with the process, and you will learn all the things necessary for you to be the most effective instrument in God’s hands for His work, it doesn’t matter when you learn them, or if other people are ahead of you spiritually, all of that stuff will come to you, it might not even be until after the mission, but you just need to do your absolute best and make your best better. I know that God is in the Heavens and Him and His perfect Son walk with you when you ask Them to. Just plead with Them to help you, even when you feel you don’t need it, but quite frankly, you ALWAYS do! I know the atonement works, and Christ changes your very nature when YOU choose to humble yourself. (Brandon)
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! 🙂 (Rob)
  • Don’t set low expectations from the advice of others who have not served in our mission. Especially when they explain that it’s a European mission and that you should expect maybe 1 baptism. (Because it’s simply not true). It’s a lie!!!! What you reap is directly related to what you expect to reap so expect great things, expect people to listen, expect people to keep commitments, God to answers prayers, etc, and it will happen! This is the faith end of the deal. Working for two years without faith/hope is dead labor. So have faith! Expect miracles. (Joshua)
  • Just embrace it all. Don’t feel embarrassed or silly by the experiences that you have. Everything is wonderful and you will miss everything. Even the hard times are going to be missed. The Czechs need everything you can give them; they deserve everything that the Lord has to offer. The fullness of the Gospel has so much light that brightens lives. (Megan)
  • This will be the best experience of your life. Truly devote yourself to it. Don’t waste time thinking about home because you’ll eventually get back there someday. Be there in the Czech Republic when you’re there. Love the people. (James)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • There’s a really bad word in Slovak and Czech that sounds pretty similar (I’m not going to teach you how to say it correctly, that’s swearing) to the word peach in English, and I, in a crowded store started going nuts to my trainer about the peaches that I had found in the middle of winter. We got a huge amount of angry/offended stares by the old women all over the place. (Chris)
  • My companion once said that Jesus “killed” for us instead of “was killed.” (Brandon)
  • I accidentally said that I was going steady (as in dating) with someone instead of saying that we were regularly meeting with someone. (Joshua)
  • My companion was talking to a member who’s sister was pregnant. She said she was “darkness” instead of the word for pregnant. This member was confused/concerned about why she would say that. (Megan)
  • Once one of the missionaries in my district tried to compliment a woman on her beautiful little ring (krasny maly prsten). Instead he accidentally complimented her on her beautiful little breasts (krasne male prsa). She then blushed bright red, covered her chest and left the train cart. (James)