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. 

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.
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.
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. 
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. 
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)



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

Monday, November 23, 2015

because im heppy

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.. 

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. 
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

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. 
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
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.
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

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.
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"
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. 
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. 
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. 

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