Tomas Update: Week 5 in Žilina

Ahojte! It’s been a really good week. We’ve done a lot of stuff and my first Christmas away from home was way better than I could have ever expected!

I’ll start with Christmas first. Earlier this week, the lady we met with about the radio wanted to have us and the senior missionaries, who she is friends with, over for dinner! She’s not a member or anything, just super nice. So we went over and she cooked us this super good dinner, and I had the biggest piece of salmon I’ve ever seen (also my first time having salmon, but I guess fish isn’t too bad – the taste reminded me of the air in one of the coastal towns like Rockport or whatever)! Then we played some music for her and talked for a while. It was wonderful to be a part of her Christmas this year, and we will be in the radio on the 29th so I’ll send out that link probably.

Besides that, we have had dinner with the Ottos, the senior couple here in Žilina for both Christmas eve and Christmas day. That’s been super good, and it’s been nice to be a part of their Christmas as well since we are all somewhere else this year. We love the Ottos and the food is always amazing, and they are way better at card games than they let on…

Christmas day was also really great! We actually went to church twice that day – ours in the morning, and Banská Bystrica, about an hour away by car and technically still our branch but a different group, in the afternoon. We played a lot of music for special Christmas programs that day l and in the morning the Banská missionaries came to help us with ours too. It was crazy – we had like 24 people at church which never happens here. Some Russian refugees we invited showed up, an entire family from English class, and a few other people from around. Granted, 10 of those people were missionaries but it was so cool to see people staying after to talk, the chapel being close to kind of looking full, and the general energy there was so cool. I hope we can get to that point consistently.

Finally, today we had an exchange with the Nitra elders, elder Spangler and elder Konushin. I went out with elder Konushin for a little bit at night to try and find some people (fun fact – his mom knows mine from them both living in Germany for a little bit) and we actually had some super cool experiences. There was a couple that I met a few days ago that refused a Book of Mormon saying they would take it but someone else could use it more, but I found them again today and they took it, although a little skeptical that it was definitely free and not a trick or something like that. It was so cool to be given a second chance with them, and hopefully they call us. Finally, the crazy title to this email – we walked past a cop car parked on the street, got maybe 10 yards past and we both felt like we had to talk to those cops in the car. Normally neither of us would ever but it felt like it needed to be done. We got their attention and the first thing they said was asking for our passports, so I definitely thought I was goibg to be arrested for a hot second. He actually got out of the car and said he’d read the Book of Mormon before and asked why we were here. It was a strange conversation, and he definitely had some hard feelings towards us but said that usually when he sees our church it’s two Americans walking around and was a little surprised to see my Slovak passport and elder Konushin’s Czech passport. I don’t know what effect we had on that man or possibly his colleague, but everything turned out okay so it’s all good.

As always, here’s the photos link:

Okay, that’s about all I have for this week. It’s been such a cool experience being out here and I’m so grateful that I can. Thank you everyone for taking the time to read these! I miss everyone but I’m doing just fine out here.

Love you all, 

Starší Cundick


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