Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Inspectors are in town!

Every nine weeks transfers happen in the Czech Prague Mission. As part of our responsibility we become the "inspectors" to make sure the missionary apartments reach the "standard of excellence" for cleanliness. Hotels are rated with stars but our rating system uses licorice!
Elders Grimshaw and Kartchner are anxiously awaiting their rating!!
Elders Robert and McGowen received a "4-licorice" apartment.

Looks like a robber would have a hard time breaking in there!!

Sisters Tate and Magidson are happy with their 4 licorice. These are all such wonderful missionaries and this month 20% of our missionaries are going home. That means we lose alot of leaders!!

We were invited to the Balakovi for a delicious czech svickova dinner. Nina and Jiri are real stalwarts of the Prague branch and they were married just two years ago. Lula on the end is from Ethiopia and she joined the church in December.

When you enter a Czech home you remove your shoes and are given "house shoes" to wear. . .

I had to get a photo of all of our colorful "house shoes."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

So little time and so much to do!!!!

Last Sunday was the Prague District Conference. Elder Kaerron, from England is the area authority who came to our conference. He and his wife were so delightful. He joined the church at the age of 26. He is the only member of the church in his family. When he told his mother, her response was, "I hope you can find a wife who shares your same values." He met his wife who was on a study-abroad program in England and the rest is history.
(Reality check: Sister Kaerron is 1 year older than Michelle! I guess we really are a senior couple!)
Dinner at the Cantina. Who knew there would be such good mexican food in Prague?
So many castles and so little time. . . The Slovaceks invited to go on a vylet with them to see two beautiful sites in southern Bohemia.
The men are ready!

Our first stop was Hluboka Palace. It was first built in the 1300's, but renovated throughout the centuries and became the fall habitation of the Schwarezenberg family, mostly during the hunting season.
The raven pecking the forehead is the symbol of this castle.
Elder Waldo made sure his forehead was not available for pecking.

The castle was beautiful inside and out.

We think it would make a gorgeous Czech Temple. Can't you just see an angel Moroni on top?

Stone wall surrounding the palace.

Of course no outing is complete without lunch. We had delicious goulash at "The Mill."

Mike is determined to find a great czech auto. . .

found one he fancies.

On to Cesky Krumlov, "Czech or Bohemian Crooked Meadow". It get its name from the tight S-curve the Vltava River makes as it flows through the area. History says the area's oldest settlement was during the STONE AGE! But mass settlements happened during the Bronze age. There really is something amazing about walking in an area that has been inhabited since 70,000 B.C.

This river, Vltava flows north and is the same river that flows through Prague.

Looking down from the castle grounds.

Unfortunately the castle and tower were both closed so we could only see them from the outside. But it was beautiful. All the different colors on the tower are painted on.

The outside walls are painted to look like stone work!
This week we also went with the Office Staff to lunch at the "oldest pub" in Prague, open for business since the 1300's!

It truly was a delicious medievel meal, eaten only with fingers.

The staff!

I wanted a photo of our waiter, and he said I had to be in it with him. (OK!)

Our dear friend Eva, invited us to the opera. "The Devil and Kate." the music was by Antonine Dvorak and was held at the elegant National Theatre. The Czechs are so proud of this theatre, because it was the first true Czech theatre and the entire population donated to build it.

It also has many beautiful paintings throughout the building.

We were invited for dinner to the home of Mariana. This is her beautiful daughter, Magda who we have come to love. She is one of the talented young adults in the Prague Branch. Mariana told us about her conversion to the church six years ago. After listening to her story and how her family and all her friends just dropped her. Mike said, " I really admire you. I don't know if I could do what you have done, if I hadn't been born in the church." Her reply: " I too was born in the church. Before that I didn't know God, I didn't know anything about his church. Joining this church was my birth." Oh how we will miss these faithful Saints.