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.

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
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
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
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. 

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
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.

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. 
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
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

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


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???
Turned out to be a different lady with the same name. 
eventually we found it. 
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.
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, 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!


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

and I love God. and Jesus.
have a wonderful week preparing for the beautiful Christmas season.
S Laskou, 
Sestra Ratcliffe


On the first day of Christmas...


                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.