Category: Tomas Mission

Tomas Update: Week 17 in Žilina

Ahojte všetci! Back at it again and STILL IN ŽILINA!! I am so excited to serve another transfer here, I love the area and its people. There are some big changes though: first off, I am now with elder Rigby (Noftle has gone off to Bratislava) and second, on Wednesday we are getting 3 sister missionaries here too so there will be two companionships, plus the Ottos! I wasn’t expecting that at all but it’s gonna be really good and I think things will speed up a lot. It will take some figuring out as I’ve never worked with another companionship around so I have no clue how it goes but things will be super different here.

Okay, besides transfers here is what happened:

Tuesday Noftle and I went out to get some surveys done in Bytča, a town close to žilina. There’s a really pretty castle there and the namestie is nice, also we saw a neat old synagogue. They also had ice cream open there so that’s my first Slovak ice cream of the mission! My budget better get ready for more of that as it gets warmer…

Wednesday was pretty tame and we did more surveys, also made a nice halušky batch that night along with a video of it. Not a ton else there to say.

Also a pretty average Thursday, we had a very nice last meeting of the transfer with our consistent Thursday member. We also planned pretty good that day in case both of us left.

Friday was a very nice day, actually pretty much this whole week has been soooooo nice out. We did more surveys, made fliers for the upcoming general conference, helped with the Bible project, and had a check in with Prezident Skousen. We ended up moving district council to make it work better for Trenčín.

Okay, Saturday was one of the craziest days I’ve had. That morning was the big ol transfer call where we found out where everyone was going, including the addition of sister missionaries here. Then right after that basically we drive out to Banská Bystrica for another baptism there, such a wonderful service, and it’s always nice to watch someone take that step toward Christ. Banská has been building some crazy momentum and I’m so happy and excited for them, things are going great there. Then after that we drove back home but stopped because the sunset in the valley was so pretty and took some pictures. You’ll see them in the album, we took quite a few. I’m glad I happened to have the tripod. After that we had our final district council and left each other with our final compliments which was a really sweet moment, and that was Saturday. We did so much I don’t even know how we managed. It was great though.

Okay, then Sunday we actually went to church twice. That morning we got up and I was all upset that the night felt short and then I realized it was daylight savings here and it actually was an hour shorter. Unfortunately almost no one came to church except one of our friends but it was good that we had it anyways. Also one of our ad referrals ended up going to church in Trenčín so that’s a win. After that we went to Banská again for church and they had the opposite problem-almost not enough chairs! It was nice to see that room so full of people. Then we headed back home, had dinner with the Ottos, and Noftle packed up.

That brings us to today – nothing crazy, just basically all of the elders coming through žilina so they could get to their new areas. It was nice to see everyone but I will miss elder Noftle. Anyways, now we’re just getting unpacked and set up, and the sisters will come in Wednesday. Also it was cold today weirdly enough but other than that it’s been like 13c most days!

Okay, that’s about it for me this week. I’m excited to keep pushing here in žilina and hope you’re all well. I guess I’ll keep the same album for another transfer, but it’s got like 800 pictures or something so who knows.

S láskou, 

Starší Cundick 

Tomas Update: Week 16 in Žilina

Ahojte všetci! A more chill week this week, and also this is gonna be the last email I write before transfers. Not sure what next week will bring or how stuff is gonna go down, but I’m excited for the future. Anyways, here’s what happened this week:

Tuesday was pretty rainy but we decided to go out and get those surveys done anyways. We went over to where one of our member families lives and visited them which was pretty nice, and then on the way back found a sick mural and also some spinny stuff. I haven’t been that dizzy in a while but I’m glad we checked out the park in the way back because on the way over the thought definitely crossed my mind. That evening we also cranked more on that Bible project (I’ve been accidentally reading Slovak words in a Czech way now) and had our English class. 

Wednesday was more surveys, we were out doing that for like 3 hours. Normally we don’t do these but it’s an initiative we have running for another week so expect more about em next email. We have hit the expected quota for young people and as such are now going for older people and they are way less willing do even scan the qr code. It’s been kind tough. But the sunset that day was pretty nice and I just can’t get enough of the námestie (like the main square) here, even though I’ve lived here for four months. We finished up the last of our Bible section that evening. 

Thursday we had the ottos, the senior missionaries in Žilina, come by and make sure we weren’t living in like bad conditions in our apartment. Then we went out to lunch with them and visited our weekly member and planned out the week like usual on Thursdays. That evening we had our weekly Bible club over zoom and had a nice discussion about the yoke of Christ in Matthew. 

Friday we had our district council with Trenčín elders, where we basically discuss how to move forward in our areas and what we can do. Then we hit the streets for some more surveys and called a bunch of our people that had responded to the ads the mission runs on facebook in the evening. Also that day I got my film back and it just looks so good. I might be sold on doing more black and white in the future, because some of those pictures are just incredible. Very happy and also my camera is fixed so the fabric paint thing worked and no more Christmas trees. 

Saturday was also a bit of an adventure, we headed out to an Eastern suburb of Žilina to visit a member who had been inactive for a while. He wasn’t home but we saw a lot of the outer part of the city that we hadn’t seen. There was also a neat display in a mall we walked through that had a фєд-4, the same camera that I have. It was soooo nice out that day and great to get out into the sun. 

Sunday was nice, I had a talk over the plan of salvation that I still write pretty last minute. Working on that. It went well though and we had 2 friends show up to church which was great. We also had a zoom meeting with a member in Prague who was gonna help us teach one of our friends here since they like the same philosopher (Kierkegaard). That went really well. Then more calls in the evening. 

Okay that brings us to Monday, we met up with Banská Bystrica and Trenčín (including the senior missionaries) and went out to a castle south of us called Lietava. It was pretty cool and also super nice out. We played chess against the guys that worked up there and took some good pictures, then headed back home. I started learning some card tricks and then we taught one of our friends that evening with the member from Prague. 

Okay, that’s about it. Here’s the link to the album as usual, including the new black and white film photos.

Hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the beginnings of spring! I sure am, it’s more fun to be outside when it isn’t trying to kill you. See you next week! 

S láskou, 

Starší Cundick

Tomas Update: Week 15 in Žilina

Ahojte všetci! The end of the transfer is coming up again which is crazy, next week is the last pday before transfers. Every week just goes by so fast that I really don’t know where the time is going! I figured it would be a lot slower out here but I was totally wrong. Anyways, here’s what happened this week:

Tuesday was my name day which was pretty cool. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever been in Slovakia for it and one of our friends have me a box of chocolates as a present which was legendary. Aside from that not a ton else happened but we did end up making a nameday Google calendar since none of the online ones we found were working.

Wednesday was a weird day. That morning I got up and baked my foccacia I started last night but I totally forgot to put anything on top or to poke some dimples in it and it definitely didn’t sit long enough in the fridge because it barely rose. Also we didn’t have any olive oil like I thought we did so I had to make it with sunflower oil. Despite all that it turned out pretty good and I’m happy with it, I’ll be making another this week with like real olive oil and some fixes. Anyways after that we hopped on to a train to Dubnica nad Váhom, a town just northeast of Trenčín, to help a member move and assemble a couch. The Trenčín elders would have done it but they were actually in Prešov that day so we helped instead. We ended up spending like 3 hours moving the thing upstairs and then assembling it with only hand tools and no manual. Cool couch though and the member was super thankful for our help. Also we got to chuck the old couch off the edge of the building so that was a plus. Anyways that was basically our day since getting there and back took a while and we had lunch there too.

Ok Thursday was pretty good, that day we usually visit a member who can’t make it to church in person every week but this week we actually visited two. It’s always really nice to visit them and great language practice because they’re so patient. Besides that we planned out for the next week like usual, and that was about it.

Friday was WILD. We had the Trenčín elders with us for an exchange and we went out and did our survey (we are kinda behind numbers wise in žilina) and me and elder Wagner actually ended up teaching two guys off the street a lesson in a restaurant which quickly turned into teaching like six guys, all from Košice weirdly enough. I ended up breaking off from the main conversation and having another conversation with one of the guys there and we talked abiut a lot of weird stuff. I’d like say something and then he’d agree and tell me how wrong I was but like respectfully? And then he talked about how the tower of babel is Iraqs fault and how Elon musks son is the antichrist. And a lot more than that but rest assured it was a really weird conversation and we were in that restaurant for literally 3 hours. That’s how life is basically – you plan something but then end up teaching six random guys in a sushi restaurant for 3 hours. RIP language study for Thursday.

Anyways Saturday was comparatively more chill. We were gonna go survey more but it was all nasty out and the streets are pretty empty Saturdays anyways so we called a ton of people and then helped out with the Czech Bible project. So for that the church has a scan of a 1904 Czech bible and a digital pdf of a “text believed to be very similar” and basically we gotta go through it verse by verse and compare what is different in the digital version so that we can make them identical and thus fair use or something. That hurts my head. I almost understand the Czech sometimes but like reading everything twice in a language I don’t even like 60% know is weird. We go through about two pages an hour. It’s fun though! Later that night we had our game night and played Bang! Me and one of our friends won and killed all the outlaws. A lot of the games we have are just in Czech as well so a lot of Czech that night.

Okay that brings us to Sunday, it was pretty good. Solid turnout for church (2 adults, 2 kids) although unfortunately none of our friends came. Me and elder Noftle played a cool arrangement of How Great Thou Art though which was nice. Rest of the day was studies and then we did more Bible stuff (we found two words that should have been italicized but weren’t!!!) and then dinner with the Ottos, who had received a big ol pot of borscht from one of their friends, a nice Russian couple. So pretty authentic there.

Here we are at Monday, basically we had Trenčín and Banská Bystrica come here. We played a round of Skull King (I won for the record) and we got all the stuff to make a massive batch of halušky and made and ate lunch with the Ottos. That was super fun and I am very full and have never seen that many halušky in one spot. Then I got shredded in chess by elder Osborne as usual. Also I got my new pros bag today so I’m excited to have a better bag this week. Anyways after that they all headed home and we went shopping and now I’m writing this email.

Hope you’re all well back home and doing cool stuff. It’s been great out here and I hit six months as a missionary in like 6 days so it’s been a bit for me even if it might not feel like it… 

Photos as usual:

S láskou, 

Starší Cundick

Tomas Update: Week 14 in Žilina

Ahojte všetci! Back at it again with another crazy week in žilina. I feel like I say that every time but life as a missionary really is just so different. Anyways, here’s all the stuff we did this week:

Tuesday we spent a while recording a music video for Elder Noftle, so if you want to see that you can find it on his Facebook. Things went a lot faster when we realized that we could just cut together all the good parts and hide it by changing angles, so in the future we will be a lot faster. Glad my video editing skills helped too.

Wednesday was zone conference (all the missionaries in our “zone” (which is Slovakia) gather in Trenčín and we have trainings and stuff and learn how to do things). This time around we had a special training as we are doing a survey of the people here to get a general view of what people believe and as such we are going out without ties or tags since we can’t be biasing the data. Learned a lot and hopefully will be able to apply it. 

Back to regular Thursday, we visited one of our members who can’t make it to church like we do pretty much every Thursday. Always wonderful to be there, she’s just so thankful that we visit and it’s great Slovak practice because I translate for the senior missionaries here. Overall just always a great hour or so and I always look forward to it.

Friday we met with one of the members on our branch over missionary work, and then went through a list of old contacts to see who we could visit. We lost touch with a lot of members here over covid so the list is a lot bigger than the actual amount of people who come to church. We got lunch at the vegan bistro beneath our apartment (really good food) and then got to work on that survey. Felt soooo weird to be out without a tag or tie but we can’t be having biased information can we. Anyways we didn’t actually get any surveys done that day (turns out it’s kinda scary) but I did find a hidden geocache on the back of a bus ticket dispenser which was pretty cool.

Saturday was pretty legendary, we went back out to Blava (classic 18€ round trip) so that we could go to a baptism. Tham being baptized (coincidentally also named Tomáš) was actually at the last baptism we went to, where we met him, and it was super cool to see his progress and how much he loves the gospel. He was so happy and already has wonderful relationships with the members there. Then I sat down and had a good discussion with one of the missionaries friends from Banská Bystrica, who also made he trip out, and he talked about how his dream job would be to be Jesus and help people all the time. Cool guy. We missed the first car meet of the season (prezident told us to go to some to find people) so that we could make it out, but on our way back on the streets of Blava a Ferrari drove by us so I’m glad God appreciated us being there. I’d make a joke and say we are even but I’m pretty sure I’ll always be in His debt. Cool though.

Okay then a pretty regular Sunday, except it was fast Sunday so we didn’t have breakfast or lunch but that was all good. We combined some of the skipped meal time into a longer dinner and CRANKED out some halušky for dinner which tasted super good after not eating. Bryndza (like a traditional sheep cheese topping on halušky) is growing on me.

Okay, that brings us to today, we headed out this morning to Trenčín and went and visited babka which was pretty cool. First though we had to get the boot taken off the car because the Zls parked it in the wrong spot (again) and the cops think we’re just silly Americans (which we are). Anyways, Babka made us super good food (potato dumplings with sausage inside and red cabbage on the side) and then we helped her move some roof tiles so she could hang her laundry again. Then we dressed up in some medieval clothing and got pictures. It was cool to go back to her house and I was soooo appreciative of the fact that I could like basically 100% understand her and for real respond. That was really cool. And it was just good to see her again, what a crazy opportunity I have here to be in the same country and stop by sometimes. Also I mentioned to mom that I wanted to get a knife sharpener or me thing since all of our knifes are dull in the apartment, and I actually got my grandfather’s old whetstone today which is super cool. We will see how this goes.

Anyways, that’s about it for this week. Hopefully yall are doing good out there, congrats to the Nordic team back home and everyone going to Easterns and/or Junior nationals. I’m just chilling on the train ride back to žilina and then we will go shopping for the week.

As always, here’s the photos link

S láskou, 

Starší Cundick

Tomas Update: Week 13 in Žilina

Ahojte všetci! Another exciting, eventful week out here in žilina. Hopefully I can remember all the stuff that’s happened.

Okay right off the bat, on Tuesday we took our first bus trip here to meet a guy from Facebook who 3d printed us some tie hangers. It was like a super quick transaction and we didn’t end up talking to him but I was super happy to get those and also put myself out there in a way related to what I love. I’ll throw some pictures of the hangers on the photos – my tie collection takes up like half the space it used to and doesn’t fall off the hangers like it used to.

Wednesday was pretty chill aside from like all 10 people we called throughout the day didn’t pick up. That usually doesn’t happen so it was weird. That night we packed up and headed out to Trenčín to spend the next day there with the elders. The train was pretty uneventful, sometimes you get some weird people on trains but lately it’s been quiet. One time though we did have the ticket checker guy come by and tell us we must be confused because Jesus already had a church. Missed opportunity probably but we will likely see him again. 

Okay Thursday we were in Trenčín all day, I was with Elder Osborne (who was trained by the same elder as me so we are technically “brothers” as we treat training like raising a child for some reason??). Anyways, the biggest thing we did that day was go pondelokking. (Update: I have since been informed that the name is “panelák” and not “pondelok”. My bad.) So basically a pondelok is one of those copy and paste socialist apartment buildings that are everywhere, a ton of people live in them. We don’t really knock doors like in the states-except in the pondeloks. There’s a method to getting in: ring literally all the bells and then rub your hand on the speaker and mic, and someone will let you in. Not sure if the hand thing does anything but I’m keeping it just in case. Anyways, in the pondeloks there’s like 0 windows and a few apartments per floor, so you go to the top and then make your way down knocking doors. Also just kinda inside those windowless, usually dark hallways is weird. Usually people turn you away fairly fast, sometimes they say weird stuff. Thankfully everyone we saw was fully clothed but I’ve heard stories of the opposite happening. People for real just open the door regardless of what they are (or aren’t) wearing. One guy told us to go bother other normal people, we weren’t sure if that meant he was like not normal or something else. Another guy told us the whole building is catholic and to go try somewhere else. Also we met a deaf woman and unfortunately I don’t know any sign language so we tried our best to understand, although the message of “go away” is pretty universal. The other building we tried had windows which was cool, also when we got to the top we realized that there were two other guys knocking doors as well – initially we thought they were Jehova’s Witnesses but they turned out to be some sort of dental salesmen?? Anyways we talked to them to find out what works because they literally made a sale after us watching them talk for 10min, and the guy goes “we are trying for different things but it’s all in your mindset. Be positive” and we went about our way. What a crazy day. That night we made halušky too which is a classic dish (peasant food is perfect for a missionary budget).

Okay after that crazy day, Friday consisted of a lot of calling people back who didn’t pick up, same with Saturday. Nothing crazy those days although there was one woman who was super positive first call, then two days later asked us to not call her again – she probably Googled us and decided against us. It happens but it is her call in the end so no big deal. Saturday we also had game night and played Catan with one of our friends, Peter, and it came down to a super close almost 4 way tie at the end. Peter won (and it was his first time playing!)

Sunday was branch conference, none of our actual žilina members could make it except over zoom but that’s fair. We had lunch afterwards with all the people from Banská Bystrica which was fun. Then a chill rest of the day although the sky looked kinda weird in the evening for some reason. 

That brings us to today, we just headed to Trenčín and did a little hike, got vaguely lost, and ended up not making it to the top but we got cool pictures in some random hillside fields, a pretty small town church, and explored an airsoft field. That’s about it.

Okay, pictures link as usual:

I finished my black and white film so expect pictures from that soon!

Hope you’re all well!

Love you all, 

Starší Cundick 

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