Monday, December 28, 2015

I'm opening an orphanage

HI HI. okay. What is happening? Why is time literally going so fast? 
Well this week just just jam packed of literally the most amazing things in the whole world.
Also I missed a week so I am feeling a little scatter-brained. 
last week we had our Branch Christmas party and ate kapustnica(sauer-kraut soup) and Klobasa (sausage) and we sang and watched just basked in the Christmas spirit.
but

Last week before the christmas concert we did a singing display outside and one of our english students stopped in to listen. and while he stopped in a good friend of ours from the streets named john (not john the baptist) *dont get it confused* came over and started yelling at us, so our english student was a wonderful body gaurd and escorted him away from the premises. 

ALSO I LEARNED THAT I AM IN LOVE WITH ROASTED CHESTNUTS. seriously so good. They are everywhere in the Christmas markets and everytime we passed by I was like "hey Sister Eggers you want some Gastany?" MMMMM
THEN CHRISTMAS WEEK HAPPENED:
First, We travelled ALL the way across the country to get to the czech republic for training. and what a wonderful time because I was able to reunite with one of my MTC companions Sister bailey. It was so fun, we were in the Christmas markets in Brno and we saw eachother from across the road and literally sprinted
SPRINTED
across the road to each other.
Then we had training which was absolutely amazing I really love being a missionary around christmas! I LOVE JESUS. There is literally no other way I can describe my feelings, but that I love Jesus and feel so incredibly blessed with the personal relationship that I can have with him. I am literally at a loss for words. But just so you all know, I love Jesus.
anyway so then we came home
AND HAD A SERIOUSLY MIRACULOUS Christmas eve. 
We started at like 9 in the morning and went to visit one of our members and on the way we called a lady that lived near this member and she told us she would love to have us over so we could show her our christmas video.
So we headed up showed her the video and she cried. 
then we went to our members house showed her the video and she cried. 
then we travelled all over Kosice showing people this video and seeing tons of miracles and at the end of the day we went to our last visit to show the video to this family and they ended up giving sister Eggers and I a sound system for our apartment. haha
and then our district went caroling to this family who is literally so cool and ELECT. they brought us in and fed us everything. COOKIES GALORE. 
and to finish off the day we went to our members house and she made us fish for dinner. 
really happy i like fish.
then on Christmas we started the day off with the book of mormon, as a mission we all read the book of mormon in one transfer by Christmas and WE DID IT. 
and then we opened presents and got ready and headed out.
We did service the morning of Christmas so we went to this homeless shelter. 
and we were able to sing for the little kids and play with them, but you know the BIGGEST MIRACLE OF ALL?
was seeing the christ-like love pour out of these kids. One girl told us she was brought to the facilitly on the day before christmas, and then she hops up goes to her room and comes back with two bottles of nail polish and gives them to Sister Eggers and I.
another girl shows us her my little pony and told us that Mikulas brought it for them, Which is literally amazing because Mikulas came at the beginning of December and she was still grateful for her present.
My heart ripped. I never wanted to leave. Walking out of the doors I wanted to cry. Sometimes I wonder if thats how God feels about us. Know that we were going to leave him, but he had faith that all would be well. fun to think about I guess. 

but after we left being irrational me I determined that I was going to open an orphanage for children. 

Gratitude and giving.

thats what I learned this week. I experience children who still had nothing and gave and kids who had very little and were still grateful weeks later. 
Its so easy for us to get a new phone and 30 minutes later it dies and we are like, UGH I HATE MY PHONE, but wow. thats not whats important in the end.
CHRIST is important. 
Christ like love is important
and the spirit of Christmas is exactly that. 
the spirit of LOVE and even better Christ like love.
I hope you know how truly wonderful the gospel is. 
It truly brings joy to ALL who embrace it.
Have a happy new year and have fun with all those resolutions.
s Laskou, 
Sestra Ratcliffe
PS I am in Trencin with Sister Abbott now!
also I forgot my camera so pictures will come next week.

Monday, December 21, 2015

So no letter today, She was headed out for training.  She wishes all a Merry Christmas - Vesele Vianoce -


sister eggers and I seemed to have taken the wrong road onto a very busy street. we had a solid foot of walking room. 
we were a little scareds... hahaha

sent out an invitation to our christmas party and this man replied, I can't come because I have a liking for you and I REALLY like you. thats the reason. sorry. 

HAHAHA
that was good. 

also whilst rumaging through the closets from the senior couples previous, I found this gem of a robe and had to share the experience with all of you.



Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas


The perfect ornaments I found this year for our kids . . . . I have faith they are in the hollow of his hand and in his tender care as they serve God and Country! Dear Lord, who hears and answers prayers

Please keep thy servants always in thy care
As they prepares to teach their fellow men
Oh keep them safe and bring them home again

Monday, December 14, 2015

SANTA CLAUSE is coming to town

okay I seriously feel like I was just on email like 2 minutes ago. 

I don't even know what happened this week.
we visited with one of our moms this week. We went to the park with her little one I was a little shocked to see her walk. She was definitely a stroller baby until this week. Who knew babies could walk. All I knew is that they sat in strollers while we walked around the city with thier moms.
anyways (tangents)
So we were in this park and all of a sudden a little school class gets released for recess and a little boy comes running over to the gate and says "mám darček!" (I have a gift) so our mom yells, "we are coming over"
So we headed over and little nataška held our hands all the way over
C U T E
and then there was a stampede of 4 year olds running to the fence to say hi to little nataška and get the opportunity to touch her face.
M O R E C U T E

oh it was just so cute and they were all in the Christmas spirit giving leaves of all shapes and sizes.
then the little boy who invited us over to the gate in the first place turns to our cute mom and asks "can you open this gate? I want to go." "please open the gate" "Do you have the key to this gate" 
She told him he would have to wait for mommy and daddy and he was a little disappointed we couldn't help him escape from preschool. 

ALSO slovaks here are wild about Christmas. Our moms can't even meet this week because they are basically out of town all week except for Christmas. Joj how are we going to talk about Jesus on christmas if you are not here?
continuing (rants)
Then we met with one of our really cool friends who is studying IT. 
We taught him about the plan of salvation and he said he would read the pamphlet on his train home. ALSO he told us this week that he has been reading in the Book of Mormon and its really AWESOME because 
a. he doesn't like reading and 
b. He is getting into finals week.
but he told us that he has been reading the book of mormon whenever he gets a free minute and that he keeps it on his bedside table. 
UGH. HOW GREAT.
Then the week becomes a blur. 
at one point we were on a train to Trencin to do our exchanges with the sisters, and oh boy are they cute. 
They made us spaghetti and waited until 9:30 to eat with us. SOOO NICE. 
THEN I went on exchanges with
SESTRA ABBOTT
and boy oh boy is she fun and full of energy. 
and since that was my first time serving in trencin, (just for a day) I got to really see how cute that little city is. ITS MAGICAL. but then aren't all the cities magical? 

Then we all joined together and did some caroling. 
We had a man do a full panorama video of us a little girl dancing next to us and people hopping off their bikes to listen.
CHRISTMAS!!! *insert buddy the elf here*
EEEK i just love it.
its perfect.
Okay well I hope you all have a wonderful miraculous week full of christmas spirit and happiness and joy.
S Laskou,
Sestra Ratcliffe



Okay okay get ready for a cute fest. 
1 to 3 One of our cute moms with little nataška and all the little school kids fan girl-ing over her and touching her face and giving her little leaves as darčeky



4 WE LOVE MCDONALDS
5 this picture does not do it justice, but oh boy this little hot chocolate was SOOO cute.


Monday, December 7, 2015

SEEING signs and scientology

haha.

So this week one of our friends invited us to her art gallery because she teaches at the local college. She told us that it was on this one street at 6pm and the door would be open. 
So we walk.. we have no idea where this street is, so we asked this lady, and she pointed us on our way. We turn down this street and see a house with the door opened. We didn't feel too good about it so we said a prayer and went in. A guy asks us who we are looking for and we tell him (just so you all know her name is SUPER common, its like as if we walked into a bar and said JOHN sent us) So we chit chat with him, and he tells us that she just left. So we are confused, So I asked, "well tell me about this place, whats it all about?" and he says, "SCIENTOLOGY?, Do you know what scientology is?" the word echoed through our minds.. Crap our investagator just sent us to the scientology building and then left us there ALONE to fend for ourselves. WHAT DO WE DO???
NO WORRIES FRIENDS
Turned out to be a different lady with the same name. 
So WE BOOKED IT OUT OF THERE AS FAST AS WE COULD!
eventually we found it. 
THANK YOU HEAVENLY FATHER.
Later in the week, We were over by the University and we stop these 2 guys to talk to them. The one was a little impatient and was like "we are in a hurry bro" (Ya know like all the cool kids say) but this other kid responds with " OKAY THEN GO. I want to talk to these girls" and no it is not because he wanted to date us because he has had a girlfriend for 4 YEARS.
anyway, 
So he tells us that he doesn't have time but would like to meet with us tomorrow.
and he came.
and he told us that during the summer he met with missionaries and didnt really have time to talk with them, and he took us stopping him again as a sign from god. 
Then we taught him about the Book of Mormon and I am just flipping through it and he sees Alma and stops me and says, "Wait, in spanish Alma means Soul and my dogs name is Alma, I am going to take that as another sign."
im sorry, What?
OH BOY FRIENDS HE IS COOL. 
LIKE REALLY COOL.
Oh, So I don't know how it works with other missionaries on other parts of the world, but this week we were nightly planning and we plan to find specific people, So im talking and I am like, Okay, I want to find someone who is like a hipster, I don't know if it is a boy or a girl or a couple or separate, but they are going to be hipster-y. 
So we get to the park and the first people we see are two SUPER HIPSTERY looking people. and by that I mean, the guy had a man bun. 
Oh my it was so awesome and we talked to them for like 30 minutes!

Yippee.

God is SOO good.
Well That is preatty much all that happened this week.
JUST MIRACLES. 
Seriously I love miracles. 
SO MUCH.

and I love God. and Jesus.

https://www.mormon.org/christmas?cid=HP_SU_11-29-2015_dMIS_fSPC_xLIDyL1-A_
#asaviorisborn
have a wonderful week preparing for the beautiful Christmas season.
S Laskou, 
Sestra Ratcliffe

GRANNY BAGS







On the first day of Christmas...


THE CHRISTMAS TREE


                Making potato pancake with KS




The cutest little cheerio



Before we found watercolors


 Our house all ready for Christmas. 


after we found water colors


us being proud of our accomplishments


my failed handstand. luckily I landed on the chair.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Vďakyvzdanie (THANKSGIVING)

hahaha funny first:

Kissing people on the cheeks is a thing here. Normally I just grin and bear it, but Sister Eggers just makes it fun. A man starts coming in to kiss us on the cheek and Sister Eggers is like, "oh NO.. no no. hah no" But unfortunately sometimes we are trapped. This week we were trapped. More men have kissed me as a missionary than I could ever imagine at home. IS IT BECAUSE OF THE NAMETAG???  hahahahah 

We have seen some crazy miracles this week. 
We met this lady on the street and she told us that her husband died. We testified to her that families could be together forever. We were worried because it was a really quick contact and didnt think she would re-set up with us. 

BUT SHE DID
and she is REALLY cool
Sister Eggers also met this man last week english finding who ended up coming to church and now he wants to be BAPTIZED!! WHAT?
also we met this guy in the park who had a labrador and I was like we need to talk to him because of his dog, SO WE DID. and he re-set up with us also.
I have been amazed at the miracles that we are seeing, especially getting into the Christmas season, you don't expect to meet with people like this. BUT KOSICE IS BOOMING.
LIKE THE BIG BANG>
WE HAVE MET REALLY COOOOOOLL people. I cant even deal. 
wow. so cool.
We celebrated THANKSGIVING THIS WEEK! jej. 
and it was DELISH!
This week as you see from the picture we were travelling. 
We had district conference in Bratislava and oh it was such a joy to see all of the members united together with one purpose. 
President mcConkie said something I really loved "THE CHURCH DOESNT GROW SLOW. IT GROWS ACCORDING TO GODS WILL" That hit me. I know that is true. SOOOO TRUE.
Sister McConkie also spoke and told a story of a struggling return missionary, Prez. wrote this missionary simply saying " GO FIND JESUS"
wow. I know that we may have trials and burdens and struggles and problems, and those things may be 100% out of our hands, BUT THEY ARE 100% in the hands of him who created us. We may feel forever alone, but there is someone who suffered completely alone. THERE IS NO NEED TO FEEL ALONE. because of him.
GO FIND JESUS.
he is the great physician. HE CAN HEAL YOU.
The gospel is amazing. Slovakia is amazing. I am so truly blessed to have such amazing friendships with these people. 
SLOVAKS are incredible. 
I AM FOREVER CHANGED BECAUSE OF THEM
This week, this scripture has really blessed me in the work.

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." ALMA 26:27
Friends, The Lord truly does comfort. 
HE KNOWS US BETTER. 
Let the gospel bless your life.

S laskou,
Sestra Ratcliffe

Well we have some real GEMS this week. 

I WAS SO NOT COMFORTABLE on the train last night. 

WHEN boredom strikes. (WOW PEKNA)

TRAVELLING ON THE TRAIN TO CONFERENCE
CUTIES jej
SISTER EGGREš

THANKSGIVING

Sister Eggers and I bought Comp outfits. The pants dont photgraph well. we look naked. PROMISE WE ARE NOT. 
A REALLY GOOD QUOTE I FOUND THIS WEEK. 
Me drinking KOFOLA at 10:24 at night. Right before bed. GOOOOD.  


Monday, November 23, 2015

because im heppy

HI HI
My favorite thing that slovaks say in English is happy. "I WAS NOT VERY HEPPY" oh boy they are cute. 

Last Sunday we celebrated elder Sharp's birthday. We planned to use the cake mix my mommy sent me for his cake but we got too excited and made them before his birthday and used some of the frosting, so, by the time his birthday came around we had half a container of frosting and some stuff to make the cake from scratch. the cake turned out to be more like a GIANT cookie (Sister Eggers and I have some REAL(fake) cooking abilitlies) *please refer to a few weeks ago when we made salt syrup instead of sugar syrup* but I made some homemade frosting and mixed in the american kind and no one could tell the difference!

We were too excited to celebrate that we forgot to take a picture of the cake until after we ate it, 
so, with our left-over frosting we had a finger decorating party:

I only knew how to write happy. Short and sweet. 


This week, hmm.. 

OH THE ADVENDTURES. 
this week we are contacting on the street and we stopped this guy. 
He spoke to us in english, told us the he was raised in Slovakia, that his dad is from the Netherlands and his mom is from Vietnam. strange combo, and then he is like, "sorry I cant really focus, DO YOU SMOKE WEED?" "No" We responded "we believe in the word of wisdom..." He promised us he would come to church on Sunday, but he didn't. The weed must have made him forget. OH WELL. good times.
Also that same day we contacted this lady who told us we were "ANGELS" Awww I just love people. SOO KIIINNNDDD.
AND IN THE SAME DAY, we were out to dinner with the elders and one of our members, when we texted one of the guys we are teaching and told him that we could meet him in the park and he replied "so much romantic" IN ENGLISH Not really sure what that was supposed to mean, but our lesson wasn't romantic AT ALL. GOOOOD.
OH my, the funniest contact I have ever had in my life occured this week. 
We stopped this guy and we were talking to him about God (of course!) and about 5 minutes into our conversation this girl walks up and the two of them just layed a BIG FAT KISS on each other. Sister Eggers and I just looked at eachother awkwardly and then started talking to the girl about God. in the end, she gave us her number, so if I learned anything from that contact its ENDURING TO THE END. hahaha
we went over to our members house this week, we asked her if she would prepare a lesson to teach us. I was the investagator, katka and I was an atheist. She was supposed to teach me the law of chastity because I told her that I had a boyfriend.  
She shared a scripture with me in the bible and I told her I didnt believe in the bible. Then she was telling me about all the evidences that the Bible is the word of god. I wouldnt budge. She then told me that I need to stop living with my boyfriend. I wasn't budging. It was a really fun/funny experience for all of us, and we had a good laugh, But I learned that all people are different and you can't teach a lesson you have to teach THE person. Teaching the gospel is a personal relationship and our goal is to help someone to come closer to God. and you can't help someone come closer to God if you dont do the same. 
I had a talk on teaching in the church on Sunday and I have really learned that when we teach it is for our benefit. 
David M. McConkie said: "What matters most in learning is attitude. The attitude of the teacher." 
or in other words the spirit. If we go in with the wrong attitude the spirit will have no chance to testify of the truth. The spirit is so essential in the work of the lord. I am grateful for it because I know without it I cannot teach.
Yesterday we had a major miracle with a lady that let us into her house while we were tracting. 
MAJOR MIRACLE and she is REAALLLLY COOOL.
Well this is really long so: 

this is a picture of us at training sporting these fancy "collect glitter" shirts for sister Eggers friend fighting the battle with cancer.  

Have a miraculous week friends.

S Laskou,
Sestra "Retcliffe"

PS. Sister Eggers and I have learned how to know if your heart is truly locked. 
When you drag around old granny shopping carts and all the young kids stare at you like you are freaks and somehow you JUST DONT CARE! 
*pictures to come next week.*

Monday, November 16, 2015

Too tired to type

Wow. 
what even happened this week?
TRAINS to training. 
hahaha I love trains. especially 7 hour trains. but really. 
I absolutely love them. 
I was talking to this guy on the train, trying to explain to him what otter pops were, and telling him that if you send them in packages that they EXPLODE! he thought I was crazy but we had a good chat/laugh.
And lets not even mention training. 
I LOVE TRAINING.
The sister training leaders trained us on hard work. Gave us all contacting cards and new companions and sent ALL the missionary out on the streets of Bratislava. I felt like we were flooding the earth with the GOSPEL.

it was AWESOME
This week, I have literally been so tired, I think I was a little sick and my body was fighting so if this email is the worst email you have ever received from me, blame it on that.
Well Miracle this week, 
we were contacting on the street and we stopped this girl and oh she was really cute. and we were talking to her and we told her that we meet and she was like "can I ask where you are from" and we told her we were from america and she said "Milujem angličtinu" which means
I LOVE ENGLISH 
So we talked some more and she took our phone number. 
The problem with them taking OUR phone number is that usually those people use their agency to not call us and just delete our number when we walk away. So we were slightly disappointed and walked to the building and withing 2 MINUTES she texted us telling us that we made her entire day!!!. OH BOY that was good.
Another miracle we saw this week, We were on the namestie and we stopped these two girls. The one was pretty skeptical, but the other one was SOOO cool. 
We were talking to them and invited them to meet with us and the skeptical one immediately said no, and you know teenage girls if one says no so does the other. (cant embarass yourself in front of your buddies) BUT she didnt. She was like "I WOULD LOVE THAT" so she gave us our number and we were on our way.
ALSO the scariest thing happened this week. 
this drunk man was getting off of the tram and he pushed the doors open to stay open while he exited and the tram kept going and he fell out. So keep him in your prayers.
Okay have a wonderful week.
SEE THE MIRACLES
S laskou,
Sestra Ratcliffe

Slovakia lighting some candles for Paris. 
see they are in the shape of the Eiffel tower.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Salty Syrup

OKAY OKAY.
WE gave in. Sister eggers and I could not resist seeing the cupcake mix and american frosting sitting in my package any longer.

It was daunting. 

So we made christmas cupcakes a little prematurely. 
I think that it was a very good decision! It is very interesting, because food here is very plain and then you eat a thing from america the is literally just sugar and you tastebuds go for a little joy ride.
ALSO KRAFT MAC N CHEESE AM I RIGHT?? wow.
that also came in the package. 
We ate it.

Good now onto spiritual things. 
So this week we had a singing display and our new elder was out contacting and we were singing when we saw a guy that we contacted from that morning. Sister Eggers and I jumped out of singing and started yelling for him to come over. HE DID. Then we sang with them and chit-chatted for a little bit, but wow that was a miracle that he just happened to walk by us right at that moment.
ANOTHER wild miracle, was when we were contacting this neighborhood, and we stopped this boy and asked him who jesus was for him. and he was like "well its a little different for me, because I believe that Jesus was in the American continent. not just Jerusalem"
HUH?
ME TOO I BELIEVE THAT TOO!!!!
so we taught him about the book of mormon and told him all about jesus in America and he didnt freak out. Sister Eggers and I were like "he came to america and blah blah blah." and nothing. LIKE WHAT? We literally just told him about Jesus in America and that millions of people believe what he believes all over the world and he didnt even care.
BUT THATS OKAY. BECAUSE A SEED WAS PLANTED and he will be prepared for it one day. 
I have learned how certain people are truly prepared and certain people need the seed to be planted and then to come to the realization of the truth.
I got a new sweater this week. KOSICE REPRESENT
its a funny story because sister Eggers is deathly afraid of vomit (WE WERE TALKING ABOUT IT THE OTHER DAY AND SISTER EGGERS WAS LIKE "YEAH I AM LUCKY BECAUSE NONE OF MY COMPS HAVE THROWN UP BEFORE WHEN I WAS WITH THEM) and then we were walking out of the store and felt like I was going to puke. (sorry to break the streak sister E) I turned to sis Eggy and my face lost all color. I told her to walk in front of me incase I was to vomit and then all of a sudden my name tag on my sweater went missing and so she was panicking that I was going to vomit and that my name tag is lost and I am sitting on the side of the road counting to 100 and praying that I dont puke. 
Its was sure a site to see. 
It was just really Ironic because we had just talked about it and then I got sick. 

This week sister eggers and I have recognized our talent in the kitchen. 
we made pancakes for breakfast and Sis E was in charge of syrup. unfortunately she put a cup of salt in the water instead of sugar. Luckily the salt didnt dissolve so we made a different batch. 
MIRACLES hahahaha
Okay sorry I dont have a ton of time today. Sorry its a little scatterbrained. 
But I love slovakia. I LOVE SLOVAKIA SOOOOOO MUCh.
I am in debt to these people more and more everyday and I dont know how to repay them. 
Oh I love them. 
Okay 
Have a miraculous week.
s laskou
Sestra Ratcliffe


Sister Eggers tried to make syrup.... with salt instead of sugar. "Hey why inst the sugar dissolving?"

snuck into the christmas package and made cupcakes. AMERICAN FLAVORS wow. 
                            


our attempt at a district pic

 at the castle today

 elder cantrell crying about his butt muscles burning and elder sharp laughing

 sitting on a castle wall


 district picture

 E Sharp in one of the windows of the castle
 E cantrell acting real scared to be standing on the wall

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hypothermia, Magic and Halloween

Ha. I literally love thinking back on the week. 
Missionary life is a dream, I know I say that a lot, but wow, its good. 
Okay so this week we went and visited one of our members. She is so cute she put this strange meat spread on bread and gave it to us. We thought it was fish, so I took one for the team and ate the whole plate. TURNS OUT not fish. it was pork so I didn't have to take one for the team, but you know. :) also when we left her house it was freezing and we were in a room with a ton of heaters so the second we were outside I felt like we were going to have hypothermia. 
GOOD NEWS we didn't. But the walk home was not the most pleasant thing I have ever experienced.
Oh this week we met with one of our friends and there is this game that people play, its called magic? Have you heard of it? well its a card game. So he plays this game and he said he was walking home the other day after buying some more cards and a scripture popped into his head
"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all isvanity."
So he went home and sold all of his Magic cards. 
NOW THAT IS ACTING ON A PROMPTING!
We have a new baby in Kosice. 
His name is Elder Cantrell and he is straight from the MTC. 
He's a hoot. He tells a lot of jokes, and then pees his pants cause he thinks he is HILARIOUS. 
its a good time.
The other day was the last day we were able to table on the namestie. 
AND WOW. Sister Eggers and I taught 13 LESSONS! 
I am going to really miss tabling. 
But we are going to do singing displays. Where we go on the namestie and just sing hymns and then we contact around the singing. 
My district is really musically talented, then theres me.. LOL 
So I will probably be the one contacting.
Sister Eggers and I met some real nice people contacting this week. 
We were getting smashed on our slovak and then this lady was like. "Aww you two are cute."
What an angel, then we stopped this man and after creepily looking at us up and down told us we were cute. So that was somewhat strange, but a good time. 

WOW I FEEL LIKE I AM LITERALLY WRITING THE MOST RANDOM THINGS.
also when we were tabling I stopped this guy, who looked a little hesitant to stop and chat, but he did. I asked him for his number, and he gave it to me and his number was already in the phone from 7 days ago, So I was like did you meet with sister Parsons the last time we were here? and he was acting all aloof and then I called his phone and you wouldn't believe that the contact name is "PARSONS" Hello buddy. nič nie je nahoda. (nothing is a coincidence)
Well we don't celebrate Halloween, but we celebrate ALL SAINTS DAY. 
I can't even describe it. 
its like memorial day but like 1000000000 times better!
heres a pic:

me being a giant. (I met this lady on the street and she invited us to tell us all about the history behind this holiday. I don't know if I am SUPER tall or if she is super short.) Ha!


and this is for Jesus. its was magical



Oh its just beautiful.
one funny. 
I sent a message to a girl this week and I trying to say "let us know if you have time sometime this week" and instead I said "let us know if you have God sometime this week"
So good first impressions.
Okay have a beautiful week. 
See those miracles
S Laskou
Sestra Ratcliffe


Thursday, October 29, 2015

ba da ba ba ba, im loving it.

The life of a missionary.

ITS A DREAM.

Well I wrote an email like four dayz ago... So, from Wednesday-today:
HMMMMM... Well I definitely cant do anything in chronological order because my brain is just on overload of happy spiritual high goodness.
BUT HERE IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT.
a. I was able to see the most wonderful 18 year old get baptized. 
Thats RIGHT. Our cute little Martinbean after MONTHS of waiting, was baptized. 
TEARS WERE SHED. Problems of being a sympathetic cryer. I JUST CRY. 
But, the spirit was SO strong and We helped her into the changing room, closed the door and stood there for a second. (mostly in awe) Then she says, " I AM BAPTIZED " then we are all hugging and crying and wet and it was just so good.

b. I was also able to see another amazing lady be baptized also. 
I have learned so much about how the spirit works on people. and how quickly lives can change. This lady had been coming to English classes for years. Last transfer the Elders started teaching her and she was on date. things happened and then she need to go to Hong Kong for her sons wedding and wouldnt be able to be baptized by the time the transfer ended. The Elders spoke to us and told us to go over to her house and talk to her. 3 hours of pure listening she said that she would get baptized the day after she got back from Hong Kong. AND SHE WAS. THE LAST DAY OF THE TRANSFER. isnt that cool?

c. We have some really cool friends right now. 
I feel like when I write my email I am writing everything Sister Parsons wrote and then I realize that most of you dont read Sister Parsons email. So... continuing past that minor tangent. 
We have this girl who is 16 and she speaks english and we just love her. So we met with her the Sunday before Sis. P is leaving and we wanted to teach her the restoration of the church. so we did. and we told her the story of Joseph Smith and we looked at her and she was crying. 
we asked what she was feeling and she said that she felt like a weight had been lifted off of her chest. That people have questions just like she does and for the first time she heard someone pray for her. she said " you have no idea how good it feels to have someone pray for you."
I have so much more I could say, but I dont have a ton of time. 
But I truly feel blessed to be able to have associated with these people and that I have at least 2 more months to be with them. 
By the way it was transfers so SISTER EGGERS came to Košice and Sister Parsons went to trenčin to be Sister Training Leader with Sister Abbott and Sister Ross and Russell are together in Blava.
Well I just love being a missionary. it is the best life.
have a miracle filled week y'all

S Laskou,
Sestra Ratcliffe

PS the title of my email is because Sister Eggers wrote that she had Mcdonalds in her email. LOL but, i didnt, but thats okay.

 Training

 HALLOWEEN SURPRISE

MARTINBEAN

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

SCOREBOARD!

WINNING TEAM - LOSING TEAM - WINNING TEAM - LOSING TEAM

This week at Family Home Evening we played pictionary for our activity.
GIRLS AGAINST BOYS
you all know who won. (WHO RUNS THE WORLD? girls.)
it was so funny because our branch president's wife is sitting there and turns to the boys and says, "how many points do you have? How many points do you have?" 
Then I felt like I was in high school again, screaming in the stands 
"SCOREBOARD SCOREBOARD!" 
needless to say we had fun.
Then my comp is still sick. So I went out on splits with one of our adorable members and the branch presidents wife. and taught some amazing people!
I love our members. 
We called our cute friend that taught a lesson with me and she told me that she skipped her last class of the day to teach with me. SERIOUSLY? 
wow I am so grateful. that is TRUE CONSECRATION. dropping everything for GOD. (and a couple missionaries in need.)

Then I went out and taught with my branch presidents wife and she bore her testimony so powerfully and by the spirit. and then the guy we are teaching is like "yeah, I have been thinking I want to get baptized in a river." and I was like GREAT
and then that night I realized that that would be a really long time because it is already FREEZING outside. and its going to be a really long time. and then at the end of the week Sis. Parsons and I met with him and he was like "yeah, I want to get baptized soon. like before winter ends, so we are going to have to find someone who will baptized me in ice water"

excuse me?
SERIOUSLY. THE LORD IS IN EVERYTHING! absolutely everything.
Oh, and you already know that if you are in Kosice you are travelling. 
back and forth. 
meškating(delay)
missing trains sprinting for buses missing buses sprinting for different trains. 
while we were running for a bus we hear "hey" english, turn around. 
a girl is running to us and says "are you serving here?"
1.english 
2.no one ever uses the language "serving"
SHE MUST BE A MEMBER!
turns out her brother served in the czech rep. 6 months ago and they wanted to see slovakia, and just happened to run into us at the bus station. 
miracles.
but all is well and we made it to Brno. had an exchage with the sisters before it was too dark and before my tummy was hungry, and then went home and made all the czechs Halusky.
SPOILED
speaking of spoiled.. if you are sick this is the place to be. 
LITERALLY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP DELIVERY DAILY
We still have like 8 more servings in our fridge.
We what have I learned? 
PERFECTIONISM cannot be a thing. 
we are not in a race. it does not matter how fast we run or how fast the persons in front of us runs, or even if they cross the finish line.
WHAT MATTERS is that we cross the finish line.
We cannot look and people and see the FACEBOOK view, because we will always be disappointed with ourselves. 
Don't quit. This gospel is good and there is so much to learn from it. 
it is an amazing blessing. I hope you all know that too.
I also hope you have an amazing week FILLED WITH MIRACLES.
S laskou,

Sestra Ratcliffe

Monday, October 12, 2015

fat fingers and panic attacks

well to cut to the chase,

so I don't leave you all hanging..

CANADIAN THANKSGIVING WAS A BLAST.
AND WAS REALLY YUMMY TOO.
best part is that none of us are sick so that means, mama taught me well.

also learned that I have NO idea where to put the meat thermometer into a chicken or any other piece of meat to tell if it was cooked.
fortunately it was.
and it was our cute friends FIRST THANKSGIVING.
hope we didn't scar her too much 
(we forgot the sweet potatoes and the cranberry sauce. and not to mention we had to heat everything up in the microwave.. lol the missionary struggle)
We have this really cute mom that we are teaching and oh, her baby is so cute. 
and we went over to her house the other day to visit and her baby was on her bed and we were all chatting and then all of a sudden mommy walks out of the room with out baby.
and you all know that as missionaries we can't hold babies.
so Sis parsons and I start freaking out. 
and then the baby starts to crawl across the bed. 
so we freak out a little more...
so I try to push him so he slides closer to the middle of the bed. 
He didn't like that.
so he starts crying.
the from the other room mommy yells "oh bring him here!"
"CRAP WHAT DO WE DO?" I exclaimed to my companion
uhhhhhhhh
Oh, I have an idea lets try to make him walk. we got him down, grabbed his hands and try to make him walk. 
attempt failed. 
*MORE CRYING*
so gently we pick him up and take him to mommy. 
quick hand off, and phew. safe.
next thing you know mommy throws baby into our arms again and seconds later we hear running water coming from the bathroom. 
IS SHE TAKING A SHOWER?
we finally got out of the house with mommy and baby, (NOT IN OUR ARMS but in a stroller.) 
then we are walking and mommy calls the hair place to get a haircut. 
luckily they didn't have any time to take her.
We were just so concerned about being exactly obedient, that we were praying the the hairdresser was busy. 
my dear friends prayer works.
We had someother times during the walk that mommy passed baby over, we would say a quick prayer and put him into the stroller praying he wouldn't cry. 
AGAIN PRAYER WORKS.
beyond all that drama, we are seeing some real progress in this mommy. 
the gospel blesses lives, I know it because I see it. 
I see a literal change in peoples attitude when they can sing the song of redeeming love. 
and Alma says "I would ask, can ye feel so now?" Alma 5:26
this quote was ALL over conference which by the way ROCKED my world. 
and made me do some major reflecting. 
Can I feel so NOW?  Do I acknowledge that everything good is from God?
We have seen some mad crazy miracles this week. 
We do this thing call tabling where, we set up a table with a ton of brochures and a white board and we have a question, and just contact around the table. and in two days sister Parsons and I taught 19 lessons just tabling! Oh boy oh boy it was fun.
We had a lesson scheduled with a guy that I met tabling at 9:30 we wanted to meet at 10:30 but accidentally sent the wrong time in the text.
FAT FINGERS.
that time rolls around and hes not there. 
its like getting stood up for a date. 
but, less painful because, two people and we are not dressed up for it. 
so we text him, and as we are waiting one of our friends comes running up to us to give us a hug. 
she was in a hurry to get to her train but we were able to talk with her because we hadn't seen her in a LONG time. then we get a text and he said I am so sorry I thought our meeting was at 10:30. WHAT???? 
well that was quite a miracle. we were definitely there to run into our friend.
we were walking out of game night this week, when all of a sudden our bus starts pulling up to the bus stop. WE SPRINTED. pushed the button and the bus started to drive away. "NOOOO" we screamed standing on the side of the road. when out of the blue the bus stops driving and the doors open. MIRACLE!
Few things I have learned this week 
1. My english sucks. I don't know how to form sentences anymore. #slovakbrain
so sorry if you don't understand my broken english. it wasn't that great before the mish and has quickly diminished since then.
2. the lord is in all things. he doesn't just make up the difference, HE IS ALL THE DIFFERENCE. 
I am so grateful for the gospel in my life. 
IT IS THE GREATEST BLESSING THAT I COULD EVER WISH FOR.
have a blessed, miraculous week
S laskou,
Sestra Ratcliffe

 conference sockies

and the batter to make more than 70 banana cupcakes! YUM


 the fog outside our house
Helping a friend clean out his house.

 THANKSGIVING DIN DIN
 our group for DINNER.

Our friend doing the splits