Monday, August 22, 2016

TIME! STOP!

OKAY I don't know if time just flies because we are having fun or what, but its definitely not fun to have "last" things. gross. 

This week was filled with the saddest things and the happiest things. 

to start the week out, we met up with natal-pal and ján and headed over to this factory to play some laser tag! it was so fun. we played two games, the first one was individual and Elder Kuhlmann won, BUT the second game we played teams and Sister Easton, ján and I were on a team and then the other team was natalia and the Elders

and I SMASHED. jk
I mean our team won, but I took first place. 

I am slightly proud about it. 
but working on humility. hahah 

Then we had to say goodbye to natalia because she is headed off to bigger and better things. 

BUT LIFE CONTINUES.. 

So after the sad goodbye we met with the guy that wanted to go "convince people of their wrong ways" 

remember him?  

So we met with him and he is sooo cool. 
We met him and he walks into the building and immediately heads over to the Elders to introduce himself, without hesitation. We show him the building and he says "where can we sit?" okay we are just going to hop straight into this huh? so we sit down and he sat in the BIGGEST POWER POSE I HAVE SEEN since an interview with Prez. McConkie. it was like he was laying down in a chair. hahaha so then this lesson happens and it was such a powerful experience. He told us that a couple days before we had met that he had prayed to ask God to show him the path and then we met him. WOW. I can't get over this guy. also he is really good at listening and kind of stares at you with his golden eyes very intensely while we talk. When we were leaving sister Easton said "I am pretty sure he is a vampire." 

But seriously is this guy REAL? 

then the next day we went to a village to meet with our friend who just happens to live in the same village as our golden eyes friend and while we were there our golden eyes friend calls and says that he has time to meet and we met with him and taught him the plan of salvation. which means we basically taught him the first two lessons in less that 24 hours. 

Then it was thursday somehow, and it was my  ( i mean sister easton's) year and a half mark.
I AM NEVER LEAVING! I still have time! hahaha 
just kidding. I am absorbing the time sister Easton has left! 
but we were there and we heard some noise outside, and I just knew what it had to be. so I open the door to see sister Eggers with her parents 
and we jumped and laughed and it was like a movie moment.

and later that night we were able to spend some more time with them and to talk! 
it was a very strange mix of both worlds, and also this strange idea, where she was like "hey see ya in three weeks." and I was like "yeah three weeks!" and then I was like THREE WEEKS?? small crisis. all is well.  

Then Friday we celebrated Sister Easton Birthday with some good west fest corn, in memory of west valley. and the elders thought we were crazy, but I think at least one of the elders liked it! 

Then we had another meeting with Golden eyes and celebrated his birthday with marlenka and volleyball. but the volley ball was literally so hard that we all have bruises from playing. 

Oh I think that over this transfer I have really looked like an old lady or something, because this guy on the street asked me how old he look and I guess 65 and he said "you are good. you should gamble with that" then I asked him how old I looked and he said 34

THIRTY FOUR. 
are you kidding me? 
I cannot pass for a 34 year old. 
NO WAY! 

oh my word. I told sister easton it has to be spiritual maturity or something, because I cannot looked that old. OH BOY. hahahah 

but to a spiritual note, 

"We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I love this thought. We so easily can get caught in the things that are not significant, but if life up our eyes we can truly see the beauty of the small moments of our lives. 

Have a wonderful, blessed, miracle filled week. 

S Laskou, 

sestra ratcliffe
Happy Birthday Sestra Easton!
West Fest Corn








LASER TAG!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Rozlučenie part 1

Ok this week was just completely scattered. After we emailed we went to a village and met with our friend there. He is just great, we taught him the plan of salvation and we told him about the three kindoms and he said, "well if the telestial kingdom is better than this world I think I will be okay there." 
*face palm*
where did we go wrong? 
hahah but we explained that he wants to live in the celestial kindom! 

Then that night we came home and our neighbor asked us to help her in her cellar and we said YES so we went to change our clothes to help her out and she said that she would ring us when she was ready. so we waited and waited and about 8:45PM comes around and nothing. so we went down all ready to help her out and she said "oh, I said tomorrow..."  

... yep totally didn't catch that one. 
SLOVAK STRUGGLES. 

but life goes on. and we got some free cake! Yay fat. 

I know that I have said this a lot but Trencin is really the place to run into people again and again. So we were walking down the street and we hear someone yelling "DOBRY DEN" so we look around to see that it was a lady that I have not seen or heard from since Sister Van was here. and she told us that she wanted to take us mushroom hunting on Saturday and then never called. 

its all good though. they probably just forgot, or got busy. Yeah lets go with that one. 

Then that same day we followed the spirit, AKA we went to the grocery store to get a snack and found our vegan friend, who that day got hit by a car when she was riding her bike, but she came out of it with only a few scratches thankfully. 

but then that night we ran into our neighbor as he was walking his dog and we chatted with him and watched his dog while we went to the gas station. 

3 PEOPLE IN 1 DAY? 
nič nie je náhoda 

Then we went to BLAVA and had an exchange with the Sister Training leaders and I got to serve with Sister Ross. its fun because Sister Ross and I have served around eachother longer that any other sister missionary, but we have never served together, but we had a good time together and time just flew. 

I was telling my companion this the other day the if time goes any faster at this point I might start to panic because we wake up and before you know it I am eating dinner and getting ready for bed! TIME JUST REALLY NEEDS TO STOP. 

Oh but when we came home from the exchange we were pleasantly surprised when our elder were on the train platform with some scones and cake for us to eat for dinner because we would not get back to our apartment until 9PM. what gems. 

BUT THIS IS WHERE IT GETS GOOD. 
(I hope you are not bored yet) 

So we had some oppostion this week, lots of people telling us to leave them alone.. 
"but God loves you" we responded. hah
and then I was on the streets Kind of getting upset that no one would talk to us and I see this man from afar, and I turned to Sister Easton and said "this man is going to be elect" and we stop him and WOW was he ELECT! We talked with him and told him about the message and he stops and says do you have time we could grab tea and talk about it. 
and my brain is like: "So.. yeah.. we are uhh.. missionaries ..we have a completely free schedule tea today and tomorrow and the next day if you want!"
so he says "moment" then he calls someone and asks if he can move his meeting to 30 minutes later. and by his reaction his friend said no and so he said okay well if you are not here I will just take a bus and meet you there. 

WOW HE IS JUST SOOOO COOL

so then we talked about joseph smith and he said "I feel like I should argue against this but I just can't" 

BAHHHHHH 
then he told us that he would like to help us with our slovak by going with us to convince people of their wrong ways. 
I JUST CAN'T GET OVER THIS! 

man miracles. they totally happen. 

Then on Sunday we had a farewell for Natalia because she is leaving us to England! So we made some Vegan food and man it was a party! 
heres a pic:    

Inline image 1

Saying goodbye to natal-pal. sorry it is so blurry, I don't know how to fix this feature on my camera. 

Well that was basically my week in a nutshell

The blessings that come to us from enduring to the end in this life are real and very significant. -Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I like this. 
Enduring to the end is the hardest part, but the blessings of enduring are REAL!

have a great week! 

S Laskou, 

Sestra Madison Jane Ratcliffe

Exchanges with the sestry
me and sestra ROSS
tons of vegan food!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Dcera?

HI HI HI
well this week was just full of laughs on the street. I ma obviously really good at making mistakes! but a dear companion (Sister Abbott) read me a talk that teaches you should just learn to laugh at things like that! 
its called: Come what may and love it by Joseph B. Wirthlin
Well this week started out pretty cool, when we met this guy who seemed 100% uninterested in talking to us at all, but he stuck around and we made arangements with him to teach him the gospel( which he didn't want) but we would also help him with english, and the time came around to meet with him and when we texted him to confirm our appointment he acted like he didn't even know who we were, and then said he didn't have interest.
AGENCY. gets ya sometimes.
Then on tuesday we had district contacting and I went contacting with Elder Harp and I turned to him and asked him what his favorite method of contacting was and he responded "I usually do the things that are the hardest" and after that we did not stop talking to people! he would stop in the middle of walking a certain direction around mine and his companion and say "lets get this guy!" thats the missionary spirit! I learned a lot from that hour! and it was so fun!
then Sister Easton and I were contacting and we stopped this guy who was talking to us about life after death and I was testifying and he said "my wife is on the other side." so at this point I am convinced that our testimony made this guy realize that there is REALLY another side so I respond "YES she is! and she is waiting for you!" to that he responded "how do you know? you didn't even look." a little confused I said "well sir, I can't see into the spirit world." and then my companion turned around to see that his wife was LITERALLY on the other side...
OF THE STREET!
I was so embarrassed, but we finished the contact and laughed all the way home!
We met these really cool people from England the other day who told us that their daughter just moved here with her fiance and that because of that they will also be living here! 
Of all places? TRENCIN SLOVAKIA? God has a plan for all people! I just know it!
We had a really awkward moment on the street yesterday where we were talking to this man and he looks at me points to my companion and says "dcera?" which mean "daughter?" completely in shock I said no she is 19 and I am 20. then he left.
HOW OLD DO I LOOK? goodness gracious.
Thats basically all I have today.
I really like this thought about pressing forward:
Press forward implies something more than simply going forward. Press implies something is preventing your advancement, and you must push through it. To go forward in this life, you must press temptations aside,press through obstacles, press the doubt and the fear under your feet, and embrace the divine qualities of faith, hope, and love.
How do you press forward? Nephi answers, “Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men”

Pressing forward means pushing away the “temptations and cares” of the world and keeping the commandments with exactness. “If ye love me,” Jesus said, “keep my commandments”
We must press forward if we are going to get anywhere! we have to push away the temptations and push further that we ever have before, because this world is never going to get us anywhere without the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Christ and this is his church.
S Laskou,
Sestra Ratcliffe

a lambo and also Slovaks putting their deflectors on the outside of the car. CLASSIC!


THE KIDDOS at game night. 
right before elder Kuhlmann hopped off the teeter totter and I came crashing to the ground




and tacks in my shoe
rain photos 

Monday, August 1, 2016

The week

I look at the week and I am like WOW we did so much this week! and then I look through the week and I'm like, did we really do anything this week? 

Well we started out the week with talking to this guy on the street and we told him we are missionaries and he responded that he would love to hear about our message. CAN YOU SAY GOLDEN? so we talked to him and later in the week he called us to set up a time we could meet again. HUH? but then when we met with him it was probably the most peaceful meeting that I have ever had. We walked with him down the river path, because he is a gardener and likes nature and trees so we walked and we were able to talk to him about the restoration of the gospel. 
Man, the gospel is good.
Then this week our elders had exchanges with the zone leaders, I forgot for a second what its like to have 6 missionaries in trencin with only about 3-5 places to contact you see eachother everywhere. but we drew on the ground with chalk and talked to people about the plan of salvation altogether and that was really fun!
Later this week our mission president and his wife stopped in to have district meeting with us and boy are they just the cutest things on the face of the planet! JAJ. I JUST LOVE THEM! then they came over to replace our fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms and I was telling sister Easton how grateful I was that i actually made my bed that day and i cleaned up the kitchen and she responds, "yeah, this morning I had the thought to put away my laundry but I ignored that.." so we sprinted home and I distracted them while sister Easton took care of the pile. hahah
Then at 4:45 saturday morning we arose to get on a train to bratislava for training! The sister trained us on teaching people not lessons and then they sent us out with a different companion to talk to people on the streets. I went out with Sister Mcpheeters and we talked to some people from austria and italy. the girls from italy were really cool, the discussion started out that we didn't think that they would stick around because they were going to the gay pride parade, but they stayed and had some really cool questions about the gospel. I just am so impressed that our father in heaven puts words into our mouths to know what do say when you don't have words. 

Then we were walking home after training down the river path and we walk past this guy who says "you speak english" and we told him we were missionaries for our church and he said he is from chicago and that he hasn't heard about our church, but said if we ever go knocking on doors to go a certain way, so sister Easton and I are determined to find our friend again! 

Yesterday we wanted to visit a member we haven't seen in a while and we made some zuchhini bread to leave with her, but she didn't answer her door, so we rang some of the neighbors, and nothing. so we determined to get into this apartment to give her this bread whether we liked it or not. and I noticed that there was a door on the other side of the apartment that was open, so we walked around the entire block to figure out how to get into it and found a gate about 2 feet away from where we started. but we got in and delivered the bread! OH HAPPY DAY! 

Last night was a huge lightning storm I am trying to send a video as an attachment. we will see how it goes. 

BUT WAIT there was literally the LARGEST SPIDER IN OUR APARTMENT LAST NIGHT. 
and so sister Easton and I thought well lets teach him the plan of salvation before we kill him because at least he deserves that for coming into a missionaries apartment. 
and so we caught him and i set up a box of sqaure of book of mormons so we could teach him without being in danger. and so we start to slide him it but he stuck to the cup with his web and started to fly out and Sister Easton threw the cup towards me and I about died so I ran into the bedroom and started jumping on my bed and then sister easton went to the couch and was giving me a play-by-play of the spiders movements and I came out and she said the spider was in the crack of the door and then the door slam shut and then we opened the door took some pictures and then found out that he was still slightly awake and started moving so I grabbed a shoe to just make sure. 

Oh wait but after church we were walking home and we saw this guy laying on the ground and a man standing over him so I thought, "hey I took medical assisting maybe I could be of assistance" turns out I wasn't much use but we talked with the guy until the ambulance came. I think he crashed on his bike and got a concussion so we tried to keep talking with him to keep him up. 

Man eventful things be happening! 

I LIKE THIS THOUGHT:
Being broken is a gift, because when we are broken, we recognize the need for a Savior to make us whole.
There’s a reason that the sacrifice Jesus asks of us is a “broken heart and a contrite spirit.” A broken heart is one that is open to Him, that lets in His grace. He felt our pains and sorrows first, and by going through a little of what He went through, we feel His power in our lives.

its okay to be imperfect for us that means that we can use the atonement in our lives. LOVE IT!

Have a great week.
S Laskou,

Sestra Ratcliffe

video
storm

about to eat a hamburger for the first time in trencin
This is how slovaks say my name so I got a name tag with it. :)
the devil came into the house. That thing was MASSIVE.