Monday, July 25, 2016

Running

OK so this week was just so intense. 
you know what else is in tents? camping and cirkus'. hahah ok lets be real though.
this week for district lunch our district leader suggested sushi and we all were so pumped until about the time that we saw the price for a california roll was about 9 euros, but we still bought them anyway. Sometimes you just have to splurg. It was yummy, but definitely a once in a long time thing.
that same day we had a strange lesson set up with a random person and Sister Easton and I were studying and we were joking about the meeting because the person just called us randomly and wanted to meet and we said "well at least we are meeting in a public place" and I commented "yeah but if we die, we die for truth" unfortunately the person didn't show up.
Oh but that same day we were at the building and the Elders looked a little freaked out and we asked what was going on and Elder Harp told us that some girl walked passed him and told him he had a "pekny zadok" (nice butt) and he was mortified. then later we were telling our member about it at english and she responded "well I don't know I would have to look!" and we about died of laughter and Elder harp ran away with the chair attached to his bottom.
Oh monumental experience. at the beginning of my time with Sister Easton she told me that she had never in her life burped ( sorry I am really insensative to bodily functions)  and this week we were studying and I heard this noise come from the other side of the room and I said "did you just burp?" and she responded "yeah I think that is the first time that has ever happened" I decided to write it in my miracles for the day because MONUMENTAL THINGS YOU KNOW?
This week was a celebration for the history of trencin so the namestie was covered in people and food. We SPLURGED!
We had book klub this week and the Elders were telling us that they found this really cool guy on the street named peter, and that he might come to book klub. and So of course we got excited for them, but something was fishy because Elder Harp was laughing and I asked why he was laughing and they said he was just really funny. then about ten minutes later in walks my MTC teacher Brat zabriskie with his wife and I about dropped to the floor. 
then I had to say the opening prayer and I felt like I was in a test and he was going to pick out all of my mistakes. It was quite frightening. but hey I heard him speak english which was rarely heard in the MTC so that was weird!
We had the big miracle yesterday we were on the streets and Sister Easton and I had determined that the people we were going to talk to we were going to try to set a specific time to meet with them, and we stop this man who we taught and he told us he wasn't from trencin, but we both felt impressed to ask him how often he came to trencin and he said "oh about 3-4 times a week" so we said can we meet with you this tuesday at 1 and he said YES! 
miracles happen when you ask!
Happy days ahead for all!
S láskou,
Sestra Ratcliffe
fotky

SUSHI
Sister ratcliffe "sushi in slovakia" part 2
Tracted into a guy who had some squirrels. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

wonderful week

Well this week started out real fun when english came around. We were waiting for everyone to show up and our vegan friend came walking in with LIZZY and we about died. She was so cute (still, obviously its only been a week) and then we usually only have 2 classes because not too many people come to english, but we had to split into three classes because we had people that spoke english that were on completely different levels! it was so fun!
Then wednesday was just strange. 
We were supposed to go on a vylet(trip) with this guy at 9 in the morning with the elders. So we met at the meeting place and the only problem was that our guy wasn't there. So we waited and we waited a little bit longer and the lady who is friends with him comes out and says that he went fishing and probably won't be coming. She then got ahold of him by phone and said that we have a "free day" because its "wet" outside. So we ventured back home. 
Then we were walking to the city and we are about to stop this man and we make eye contact with him and his eyes get really big (like really big!)  and we stop to talk to him and he tells us that he remembers Sister Easton, but not me which is really weird and he was all kinds of happy and Sister Easton has no recollection of this man at all. Then he asked if we were married and a little red flag went up, but we finished and Sister Easton and I couldn't determine if he was just a really nice guy or just slightly crossing the line, but hey, good thing the Holy Ghost warns of danger am I right?
Then on thursday we went over to Sister K's house and spent some time with her. 
Sister Easton was more than happy to try on a medieval dress and swing a sword around for a little bit. and I got to take some nice pictures.  :)
Then on Saturday the Hardwicks came over to check our apartments to make sure they were clean so we made sure to deep clean this week! but it was funny Sister Hardwick said "sister ratcliffe her is the talk" and I was like "uh-huh" turns out I was being asked to translate her talk for church on sunday. hahah I LOVE HER! and they took us to lunch the sweet souls. Then they gave us a challenge. To invite as many people as we could to come to a fireside that was going to happen within 3 hours. So we pulled out the phone and started to call people up! and it was a pretty nice turn out for the time we had to inform people. They were able to talk about the experience they had visiting the holy land and they wrote out the life of Christ as they went through the pictures. It was a beautiful experience.
Then on Sunday, the Hardwick's gave talks we translated, it turned out well. and we just had such a great group of people there. 
but later that day we were walking home and we had someone text if we could meet with him tomorrow morning, but that his wife would not be home. and Sister Easton and I wanted to ask the Hardwicks but also did not want to overwhelm them and by some divine power the Hardwicks just happened to be walking down the river path towards us, and they were willing to help us out.
GOD IS AWARE OF OUR NEEDS. 

"I testify to you that God has known you individually, for a long, long time (see D&C 93:23). He has loved you for a long, long time. He not only knows the names of all the stars (see Ps. 147:4Isa. 40:26); He knows your names and all your heartaches and your joys! By the way, you have never seen an immortal star; they finally expire. But seated by you tonight are immortal individuals—imperfect but who are, nevertheless, “trying to be like Jesus”!"
-Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Have a wonderful week all.
S Laskou,
Sestra Ratcliffe

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Dressing up in some medieval clothing at Sister K's 
THE BRANCH the hardwick visited
We took the Hardwicks to the castle today. They are LOVELY(in a brit accent) 

Monday, July 11, 2016

What the week?

So I am really praying that time starts to slow down sometime soon because if time flies like this the entire transfer I am going to be really sad really fast!
But Sister Easton and I are really busy. We have been trying to fill every little bit of our time this week with things that keep us busy, but effective!
except for P-days. we like to relax on those days! :)
Wednesday we took a trip to Blava and got to spend a couple hours with the senior couple there. They are just the sweetest we arrived and they had sandwiches ready for us and drove us around and BONUS we got to see the sestry while we were there and then on the way to the tram we ran into a recently baptized member and saw the Zone leaders. Bratislava is HUGE, so nič nie je nahoda (nothing is a coincidence!) 
Oh but I totally forgot that we got super shammed by this lady on the train. We were buying our tickets and this lady told Sister Easton that she didn't need to buy a ticket, because she could go with her for free as an escort (of sorts) and so we thought "sweet!" and as we are pulling into the Bratislava train station she says, now that will be three euros. 
Which obviously was the same price, but it was just 3 euros to her pocket and not to the train. the feeling was just a little different. 
LESSON LEARNED. just buy your own train ticket. haha 
but a wonderful perk to this trip (besides the fact that the lady who shammed us gave us fruit from her garden) is, we were on the train and the lady sitting next to the lady that shammed us started asking us how we knew slovak so well. (oh PLEASE (on the outside but on the inside we are like...KEEP THE COMPLIMENTS COMING)). hahah and it turns out that she is a Slovak teacher and that she knows one of the members in Bratislava! and I showed her my word book and she corrected every single mistake and helped me on pronunciation.
#freeslovaklessons #lovelysoul

But wait when we came home that night the elders texted us and told us that the man we serve invited us over for some guláš. How can you reject guláš?
Turns out the guláš was made with one of the goats that lived with all the sheep and donkeys on the mountain. 
I felt a little weird to be eating one of my friends, but hey who knew goats taste like any normal form of meat.
hahah sorry to all the vegans reading this. you just don't experience things like this NOT on a mission, so it must be documented. 
OH boy, now this story is just the best of them all. 
We were coming home from a lesson in a village when we see this small little ball of fur on the street, and Sister Easton makes a sad noise, so I looked and it looked like a dead kitten, and for those of you who know me (I am a weak one for little kittens in the summer, Just ask Sister Russell) So we stopped to see if it was dead and it wasn't but it was super lethargic and one of its eyes were shut (probably from crying) hahah. so we tried to feed it aloe water and it wouldn't drink. Super frustrating. Then we called a ton of people to see if we could find an animal shelter and people told us to just get on a bus and take it to a village. So sister Easton and I determined that we had two options
1. give it away to some random person on the street
2. take it to a place close to our house that is currently filled with little kittens and pray that a momma cat will adopt it
or

3. leave it (that was not an option)
So we start walking with it. and we are on the bridge when our vegan friend comes to my companions mind. Maybe she will know what to do with our kitty. So we call and she asks us where we were and says "Stay there, I am coming"
So we waited..
and she came with some real water and with a little patient persistence she drank. At the time we thought she was a boy... (its like the opposite of louis' story.. haha ) but she drank and our friend called her mom and before you knew it we were nightly planning and getting a phone call that our friend is keeping the kitty and naming her lizzy.
WE SAVED A KITTY.
and there are so many other things that we did this week, but I cannot really remember them all, so I am going to leave it at that.
Something I learned this week :
What is bold today,
will not be bold tomorrow.

Whether that be standing for beliefs, calling someone that you have been thinking of lately or whatever else the spirit is prompting you to do. Do it now, because tomorrow will be too late! 
Don't waste a day of this precious time we are given here on earth.

 32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

 33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

Alma 34:32-33

Have a miraculous week.

S Laskou,
sestra ratcliffe

Trying to take a pic a day and failing
I bought a cool light up buddha doll at tiger in Blava. Tiger is literally just filled with cheap knick knacks so this was the prize this time. 
On a boiling hot train to a willage (as the slovaks say)

LIZZY
Simba ...
after we determined that she really does have an eye but it was just sealed tight with boogies
The Rescuer!
Before his eye was uncovered. Sadness. haha

before...
AFTER...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

President McConkie's Homecoming

What a wonderful experience to meet those who have served with Maddy
We can see why she loved them so much!



Czech/Slovak Missionaries singing "We Are Called Of God"
We were able to meet all of Madison's companions that are home
Sister Abbott, Sister Parsons, Sister Eggers and Sister Russell

Monday, July 4, 2016

WVC KREW PART 2

So I am sure you are all anticipating the transfer news... 

Here it is: 

as you can see by the title Sister Easton and I are staying together, 
and we will be serving in... 


TRENCIN! 

We are staying together in Trencin and she is killing me here. 

How morbid. 

When we got the phone call Elder Needham asked me if I wanted to know my area or my companion first I said area. he said you are staying. I wasn't surprised. then he asked "on a scale of 1-10 how well do you and your companion get along?" I said well I don't know probably a 9.. and he responds GREAT well you have two more months with her to make it a TEN! 

hahaha we were in shock. 
but it turns out that most people said the same. There are only six missionaries travelling throughout Slovakia today. 
WHAT AN UNEXPECTED CURVEBALL. 

You just can never know what our heavenly father has up his sleeve. 

As far as what happened this week, wow all I can say is this week felt like an eternity. 
honestly one transfer into one week is how I am feeling about this week. 

So on Tuesday we had a meeting with a lady who lived in a village outside of Trencin. 
So we got the bus times and started heading over there. it was about a 2 hour bus ride so we made sure to bring snacks and its a good thing we did because about and hour and a half into the journey our bus got stuck in traffic for an entire hour. So we sat there stranded. people we getting of the bus and walking to the next village to wait until the bus came to the village. I fell asleep and I woke up with the largest indent on my face, because in the buses there is a handle you can hold onto on the seat in front of you and I fell asleep on that handle. It was pretty. 
but we finally made it and the lady was so sweet and her husband has bees so he gave us a GIANT jar of honey. We literally have so much honey in our apartment! hahaha 

Then on Wednesday we had service and the guy we were serving took us to get some kofola afterwards and I don't know if it is just a coming to the end of the mission thing, but all I want to eat lately is Halusky. All day everyday. So sister Easton and I made halusky after service and then later in the week the Elders wanted to try our halusky so we had a halusky cook off, and met in the building and ate a TON of halusky. there is definitely a difference in theirs and ours, but its halusky, it never tastes the same. 

Then on Friday we took a train to Bratislava to meet with our new mission president. 
and oh he is SO CUTE. he spoke to us only in Czech and it was so cool. 
I actually had a really neat experience before we went to Blava where I was concerned that I wouldn't understand when he spoke in Czech because I don't understand Slovak very well, and we were walking home from service when I had a thought come to my mind "don't you think I would give you the gift of tongues to understand your mission president?" Immediately I knew that was from God. My heart was filled with joy. I knew that God would give me the gift of tongues to understand my mission president, just as he gives me the gift of tongues to understand the people on the street. He never leaves us alone. He hasn't forgotten about our needs. He knows perfectly well what we need and how we can get it. 
and the gift of tongues works, because even though I might not have understood every single word that he said, I understood the spirit of what he was trying to say and that was enough for me. :)

Then the weekend cam and it was fast and testimony meeting and I got up to bear my testimony and I don't know why, (probably the lack of food in my stomach) but my knees were weak when I got up to bear my testimony. I also don't know why but I have been crying a lot this week so that is nice, but its not because I am sad. So much has happened this week and that is how my body has responded to it all. Its great! hahah 
But I just was thinking at church about change. I thought that for my last transfer I would have this HUGE change where I would have a new companion and a new area and I was ready, but the Lord had other plans, and while I was bearing my testimony I realized that when things around you are stagnant, when your circumstances are unchanged, you have a choice. 
You can change your circumstances for the better or for the worse. 

we can choose to react as lehi and say "I have chosen the good part" or we can continue to do what we have always done and always get what we have always got. 

So with Lehi, Let us choose the good part. 

choose to be changed in the way God has planned, because:

".. my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

I hope you all have a wonderful spiritual week full of miracles!

S Laskou, 

Sestra Ratcliffe

video

RED WHITE AND BLUE
and for our song before personal study we sang my country tis of thee, america the beautiful, and the National anthem


Sister Easton and I are staying together! 
*see group email for more detail*
Being stuck on a bus for 3 hours. 
IT WAS SO HOT and then I fell asleep on the handle infront of my seat and woke up with a giant indent on my face. Luckily by the time the bus started moving again the indent faded
Cutting up some fat for our halusky competition with the ELDERS
DUCK FACE. LOL
Celebrating Elder Hawkers birthday and his farewell to another city at one time
#timemanagement