Thursday, April 28, 2011

Elder Bezas is in...(drum roll please) Morristown, New Jersey!

Just to let you know, Elder Bezas is alive and well. :0)

He has been assigned to work in Morristown, New Jersey (we didn't even know this was in his mission boundaries!).

So until we hear from him, we've been researching a little bit on this town. Here is a link to the ancestries in Morristown. There are only approximately 19,126 people living there (we love quaint towns), and guess what? There are people of SLOVAK descent there! According to the research done in 2009, there are 97 Czech people and 70 Slovak. I hope Elder Bezas gets to meet them all! :0)  

Here is a statue of George Washington in Morristown.

 














Washington's famous headquarters














The famous "Church on the Green"
The statue of Thomas Paine in Morristown
Washington on the green

Looks like Elder Bezas is serving in amazingly rich country, full of honorable history and amazing people!

When we hear from him his first p-day, we'll post his email! Until then, we invite you to pray for the health of his eyes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Update on Elder Bezas - Stuck in the Airport

Things have happened very fast for us in the Bezas household. On Friday, April 22, 2011, I received a phone call from Elder Bezas. He shared that he had been reassigned to serve in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania mission. I called my husband on the home phone, while Paul was still on my cell, to have him come home quickly so he could talk with him, too. 

(The MTC has been so very good to us and to our son. We have so appreciated the times Paul has been able to call home to keep us in the loop with his eye condition and what it all means.) 

Friday was no different. They allowed him to talk with us as long as was needful to discuss all the parameters. He was thinking he'd be able to stay at the MTC until his original departure date -May 2 - and then fly out. It was so good to speak with him. And he sounded very upbeat. After all, he'd fasted a week earlier asking the Lord for help to remain humble and accepting of whatever the outcome would be for him and his mission. He's lived for this moment all his life; he wants to do so well for the Lord and others.

After getting off the phone, I realized that we didn't know what mailbox he now would be at, at the MTC to mail him any final packages. But that was a small matter. The next morning, our stake president called us on Saturday around 8:15 a.m. The missionary department had tried getting a hold of him about 10 times the prior day, but due to his father passing away and the family funeral being on Friday, they'd not been able to reach him. During this time of our stake president's personal grief, he still was so kind to us during the call.

He shared several things:
  1. Apparently, second only to Slovakia, the US has the next largest concentration of Slovak people. And guess in which area? Pennsylvania and Ohio. Thus, the missionary department person told our stake president that Elder Bezas would have opportunities to use the language he'd learned in the MTC. How amazing is that?
  2. Apparently Philadelphia has some of the finest medical facilities in the world. So should his retina(s) suddenly detach, he'll be able to be given excellent medical care, perhaps saving his sight.
  3. Another amazing thing: our stake president was the AP in his mission that helped open the Philadelphia mission years ago! In fact, he was one of the ones that helped find the building where the mission home is located still today, together with the others.
  4. Our stake president then shared deeply that the Lord keeps His promises and that all impressions he had felt while setting Elder Bezas apart, along with the impressions we had felt regarding a certain family he was to teach, will be fulfilled.
He also had shared that the missionary department said that Paul could be transferred to the Philadelphia district in the MTC so he could begin to get to know those young men.

But then here's how life can get interesting. The beautiful MTC allowed him to decide whether to switch to the new district or to stay with his Czech/Slovak district for his last few days. Any guesses? Of course he chose to remain with these young men who have changed and blessed his life with friendship over the last 7 1/2 weeks. That may, though, have proved to be his undoing (which you'll see in a few moments). 

So Saturday night we go to our stake conference meeting, therefore missing Paul's phone call letting us know his departure date had been moved up to Tuesday at 4 a.m.! Fortunately he also thought to send us a brief "forward" from an article at LDS.org, where he shared the same information. Otherwise we might not have known.

I sent him a quick DearElder.com (LOVE THOSE FOLKS) to give him our love and a final few pieces of advice for the travel. And then we thought all was well.

This morning, I receive a phone call from my dear son. The alarm clock I'd given him (my old alarm clock from my mission and well-worn out and very quiet) didn't wake him at 4 a.m.

And so Elder Bezas was calling me from the airport at about 8:15 a.m. with the news of the "hiccup" of all of this. Again, he got so much help. He was taken to the airport and put on standby for a 9:45 a.m. flight. The travel office was so nice. But that didn't work. So now he's gotten a ticket to fly out this afternoon around 2:30 p.m. or so, through Cincinnati, arriving in Philadelphia tonight about 10:18 p.m. 

Please pray for him that all will be well and this will turn to good for all involved. 

So now he gets to have this adventure all on his own. We figure there must be someone he needs to talk to. And I figure I need to buy a new alarm clock that isn't from the age of the dinosaurs. Mothers, when you're getting an alarm clock for your newly called missionary, make sure you get him a new one. :P

~~~
4/27/11 ADDENDUM: His connecting flight in Cincinnati was delayed. Of ALL things! Ugh. So that meant he wasn't going to arrive at the Philadelphia airport until midnight last night. How awful. We've prayed as a family over and over for the mission president and the APs who had to go get him. I'm so sad. What an awful way to start your time in the field. I hope they know and will see that Elder Bezas's heart is pure gold.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 23, 2011 - Physical Letter from Elder Bezas

(We did not receive this letter until after having a whole slew of other events happen - as per blog post dated April 26, 2011.)

Saturday, 4/23/11

I love you all. Can't say much. Gotta mail this off. Here's language stuff I now don't need in the field. Try to keep it all together for my sake. :) If I meet some Czech/Slovak speakers, I'll just have you mail the scriptures or something. I gotta make weight on the plane - why I'm shipping these now.

I'll send the SD card when I finish taking the MTC pics. Still need some with teachers.

Love you. I leave Tuesday morning. I'll try to email you real quick. I bought a clock that is louder. Thanks though. :)

Love,

Elder Bezas

P.S. I included a pen that is empty. It is symbolic of progress. It is the first pen I've completely emptied. Ever. For me it is significant. It's the see-through pen. "Bic." Please don't throw away. :) Or at least until I get back. :) Oh, and Elder Meredith didn't have a converter kit. So I gave him mine. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011 - Physical Letter from Elder Bezas

Well hello family!

So wassup! Dad, I could feel you with me while in the laser pyrotechnic show chair. :0)  (Elder Bezas had to undergo surgery again on his eyes while in the MTC. It is never pleasant, because the doctors are cauterizing the leaking blood vessels near his retina with laser hot beams . . . without numbing.)

I had a dream that you came and gave me a blessing. Well, in 2 years that can happen again.


It's all good. This is a time we can realized how grateful we truly are for one another. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

I'll send home pictures that I'll print off at the bookstore - that's probably how Elder Kezele printed them off and gave them to his mom. Or maybe he sent the SD card. (As his mother, I was dying by this time to get pictures . . . or even ONE picture from my son!)

To answer your question, I get the DearElder.com letters after dinner on pday, so it's after I've written the emails.

Maybe Dad and I WERE at the temple at the same time - my session started at 8:20 a.m. last week. Thanks for fasting for me. In my blessing I got (Jordan gave it) the Lord said there are not coincidences. Good to know I'm on the same page as the Big Guy upstairs. :0)

Hopefully they'll let me call again once I find out if I'm being reassigned for my mission on Thursday. I'll let you know. I'll insist. :0) But I'm pretty sure they'll let me.

I took a pic of your respective MTC presidents, Mom and Dad. There's a wall with all MTC Prez's pics. :)

Digestive system all right. I tried fasting on Sunday, but I had to modify to begin with (drinking water throughout due to my throat really hurting) and I just had a massive migraine and wasn't feeling good. I feel the Lord understands. I'll try again tomorrow when the Quorum of the Twelve decide what I'm to do for the rest of my mission. (Due to his eye hemorrhaging, the decision needs to be made if Slovakia is too rural medically.)

So I have been sick this week. I know - awesome on top of not knowing where I'm going. Ha. So the works - phlegm, runny nose, voice gone. But today it feels a bit better. It started on Friday.

I talked to President Burtasso after the devotional tonight - he spoke with the stake president back home and everything is a go! The decision now goes before the Twelve tomorrow. President Burtasso will call me down by Thursday at the latest. I'll know then.

Elder Richard G. Scott spoke to us tonight! Oh! The Spirit was amazing when he walked in and we stood for him! Oh! He gave an Apostalic blessing of the Gift of Tongues upon us learning languages. I have no fear. The Lord will help me. I still have to put forth my efforts, but it won't be as hard. :)

I'll tell more in my email next week. Consider this just a taste . . . or a teaser coming to a computer near you. I love you. You are the best. :) D&C 6:36.

Your son and brother,

Elder B

April 19, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

We still have not heard about the decision regarding our son and his eyes. We have fasted three times, petitioning the Lord's guidance. And at this point, we leave it in His hands. Here is this week's email.

Ok, well, I'm in the process of taking those pics you were wanting, Mom, so history in a small way will be documented. :) 

Ok so with Elder Baker, the Slovenian elder, he's a "solo" elder, meaning he's the only one going there currently at the MTC, but he's companions with Elder Genther, in the next classroom over, going to Croatia. So they room together and everything, they are just in separate classrooms. 

Oh, crazy small world- Elder Taylor Baker is second cousin's, or w/e it would be with the Clawsons. So crazy! I found out as he was reading a letter from his cousin with the last name of Clawson. Who woulda thunk it? 

Oh, hey mom, before I leave, could you use that free DE.com package slip. That'd be cool to get before I go. In relation to Elders Hyde and Plant- Yes! I received a letter from Elder Plant the other week, and with Elder Hyde I haven't heard anything from him since I replied to that forward you sent me of his letter. Hopefully I'll hear soon. 

Yeah, IDK why, but there are a fair amount of english speaking elders in our branch. It's kinda frustrating-in-a-humorous-sense, since we stay for 9ish weeks, and they only stay for about 2 1/2. So we've seen several districts come and go into the field. Ha. Oh, well. We get to hear more devotionals and firesides. :)  [As his mom, I'll interject here. He wants to get out in the field, and so it's like candy in front of his face seeing the stateside elders go swiftly to their assigned areas. But he does understand the intensity of his language and so just deals with it all.)

Oh and thanks for taking care of my taxes. You guys are swell! :) Hopefully that went alright. Have you found out how much of a return we'll receive from my end? And that's awesome with dad turning in the application for counseling! Go team! How soon until he gets that certification? 

Oh, so the greatest thing! On sunday, President Brown (the MTC President) announced that the elders no longer wear jackets around campus, except going to the temple and at devotionals! Yay! Oh, so happy. 

So Czech and Slovak republics are still one mission, there's just one zone that includes portions of both. So in that zone, there are czech and slovak elders who are companions with each other. I found out about it from my teachers, who get emails from elders they've taught who are in the field currently. 

It's sad, one of our teachers, Brother Van de Graff is leaving for a new position this friday, so we won't have him for the last couple of weeks. :( He's a great guy. I've learned a lot from him - as from the other teachers as well. 

Oh, so I felt really happy this week, because one of our teachers shared that from their teacher meeting that all three feel that Elder Meredith and I are doing very well teaching with unity, and in teaching in a manner that our investigators are able to understand what we're teaching. That helped a lot to hear - It helps me think that maybe I'm not as inadequate as I sometimes think I am at sharing the gospel. :) 

But yes, it's true. I find out on Thursday* this week about whether I will still serve in Slovakia or somewhere here in the States. If in the states, it'll probably be English speaking. I'm not worried. I know that the Lord is over all. This is His work. I feel at peace, knowing that He is in charge of it all and He's mindful of my effort to try to serve Him. Whatever happens, it's a thing to rejoice over, for I have the chance to serve the Lord on a mission. I will make sure to let you know. It will all work out. :) 

I love you all. I feel your support with me. It was amazing to be able to speak with you guys on the tely. I don't believe in coincidences. There's a reason this has happened. The Lord knows the end from the beginning. He can orchestrate our lives in such a way that we will obtain the most growth as we turn to Him. We have no need to fear, as long as we do things His way. I'm not perfect, but I'm trying to be good. I will go forward in faith with wherever I'm asked to serve. 

I love you guys. I loved your picture you drew Stephen. D&C 6:36. "Can't Wait. LOL. Smiley face." 

Ok, so I'm dying to know - is dad's car fixed yet? Or still walking to work? Oh please please please send the SEWING instructions. That'd be so great! Thanks. :) Even just DE.com it (yeah it's a verb) and then send pics later or something. So did you open up the blog? 

I'm fasting tomorrow since the Quorum of the Twelve are deciding about my call. Maybe you could join the fast? if that's not asking too much. :) 

Thanks for thinking I'm diligent - it was a pleasant insight into why I would consider going stateside as a good option. Yeah, I either have 4 or five letters for Slovakia. So if you want to send more, feel free. Mom and Dad - your letters really help :) Thanks.

Elder Bezas

* We actually as a family found out late Friday afternoon, when Paul was allowed to call us from the MTC to tell us his new assignment: to the PA Philadelphia mission. We were in a bit of shock. The reassignment went all the way to the First Presidency, leaders were talked to in Europe, and scads of notes taken. We're just trying to accept that no medical personnel understand why his eyes are doing this. The concern is sudden retinal detachment.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14, 2011 - Physical letter home from Elder Bezas

This letter has come during a time of limbo for our family, where neither Paul nor we have known where he'd be spending the next 2 years of his life, due to his unexplained eye bleeding.

Family!

Well, I thought I would write another letter home. So I received a blessing from the members of our 2 districts. Tuesday night Elders Kezele and Olsen were able to stand in. Elder Meredith (my comp) anointed and Elder Kezele sealed the annointing. It was a good blessing. I was told the Lord is pleased with my diligence here at the MTC, which was good to hear, because although you have said the Spirit has told you similarly, I still have worried that I can be more diligent. I only get 2 years at this. I don't want to regret for the rest of my life how I served, or the lack thereof.

So we just got done with our service activity cleaning showers in another dormitory. Waiting for gym to start. So I'm fasting today, since hopefully my issue was able to make it to the Quorum of the Twelve by today so that they can pray about it and I can find out soon.

It's just hard focusing during language study, not knowing whether I'll actually use the Slovak I've learned. We teach the RMs who served in Czech Republic (2 girls - Czech speakers, 1 dude - Slovak speaker). The languages are close enough that conversing is pretty similar/it works. There are slight differences. Preco (slovak for "why"), Proc (Czech for "why" [without accents, cuz Blogger doesn't have them]).

I just have to be diligent, and act like I believe I'm still going to Slovakia, until I hear otherwise. It's hard b/c I just recently came to the point of thinking that I could get the language w/ the Lord's help, and being somewhat content, going to Slovakia. And then this cropped up again. So now I don't know.

The Lord has something for me to gain from this. I'll go cheerfully wherever He wants me to go. There are pros and cons to both. Tuesday night was rough: had like 4 dreams. 2 were like I found out I was actually still going to Slovakia, and then I'd wake up and realize it was still night and reality was I still didn't know. The other 2: found out I was going stateside; at least I knew, and then I woke up. Shrug.

But the other cool thing - in the blessing I was told that there are NO coincidences. This was amazing b/c that's always been one of my life philosophies, and I'd been sharing that sentiment recently, but I hadn't shared that thought w/ Jordan Kezele, at least I don't think I did.

The Lord is mindful of me. More than that, He's pleased with what I'm doing. I just need to get up every day. Failure only takes place when we stop trying to improve. I feel the Spirit as I wrote that.

Wherever I go, it's a joyous thing, since I'm staying regardless. I'm still serving the Lord. In this fast, I'm fasting to sacrifice my will--that I have no bias--that it can completely be the Lord's will. That I can be happy either way.

Well, I love you all. Sorry, it's hard with time to write specifically to all of you. But yeah:

Dad, I love you. You are my biggest hero. I don't lie. You are an amazing example to me. Don't ever give up. Keep at it. I'll always love you.

Mom, you are an amazing woman. You are one of the most selfless people I know along with the rest of you, family, including dad with all the work he does.

Sis, you are an amazing example. Don't ever give up. The reward is in sight. Life here is short, compared to eternity. Choose the right here = set for forever. Christ is and will be your friend. Forget what other ppl think; their opinions don't matter. There are Hanna Crowleys out there, ppl who will be good friends who choose the right.

I love you, little bro. You are my favorite little buddy. You stay strong. The Gospel is true. I am you friend. Sorry for the times I was too intense and not very nice. I feel so bad about that. I love you, buddy! I care for you. Choose the right!

I love you all. You make a difference. I'll see you soon! The Gospel's true.

Can't wait. LOL. Smiley Face.

Elder Bezas

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

Elder Bezas had an eye appointment on April 11, 2011, to follow up on an old situation with his eyes. To our surprise, his eyes were hemorrhaging, which started a whole chain of events...especially the possibility of him being reassigned stateside. He handled it all pretty, or at least so it seemed from his letter home. Even the painful surgery the doctor had to do on his eyes. We wish we could have been there!

Hi, y'all! Anywho, answers to questions. Starsi = Stars(there should be a little 'v' on top of the s, but this keyboard won't do that)i - pronounced Star(rolled r)-sh-ee. There you have it!

I've gotten a DearElder from you pretty much everyday besides maybe 2-3 days since I've been here. You all are awesome. So great to be willing to take the time to that.

I loved the General Conference package! Thank you! and also the most recent package! Thanks. :)

So little bro, how are you like the whole room to yourself, eh? Pretty roomy? :)

OK, so cool thing - KSL, a tv channel here, did a half hour special on the MTC, which was shown on TV between sessions of conference. We were able to watchit Sunday night after conference. For a brief moment in the video, the viewer sees the Slovak classroom! How chill is that. I'm totally still not famous! :) Ha. But my visage was on tv fro a brief moment, along with my companion and our teacher.

Random note: The bathroom stalls here are produced by a company called "Hiny Hiders." I love it. :)

Mom, could you possibly find the lyrics for "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan and send those to me via DE.com. Elder Stockdale and I sing that during our service activity each week, along with other wonderful melodies. Thank you! :) We were forgetting some of the lyrics.

Yes, I would love, love, love if you could send me the sewing instructions. I'll need to do that soon. OK, so with Elder Genther and Baker, they're good friends, just so you know how we relate. Oh, and Elder Olsen is actually going to Hungary, not Lithuania. But it's all good. He still liked getting your letter, Dad.

So it was amazing to hear your voice, Dad. I don't know if you could tell [when they let me call home], but I had a hard time not tearing up as I was saying good-bye. I wish I could have talked to all of you, but there's mother's day! :) Coming up soon!

So when I was in the doctor's office in salt lake, it was cool b/c there weren't enough chairs and a few more ppl came to sit down, so I offered to just stand so they could sit. It ended up that someone else left, so there was actually enough chairs for everyone, but it felt so good to put others' wants first.

I am trying to stay positive. Whatever the Lord wants [regarding my mission and life], will happen. by small and simple means are great things brought to pass.

When I got back to class, we taught our teacher in Slovak again. It's getting easier. Although I wasn't sure, as I'm still not, as to what's going down with my [mission] call and where I'm going, I just put that aside and tried to focus on the lesson as though the teacher Brother Van De Graff was truly Juraj, the investigator. We helped him get through some issues, fearing how his family would respond to him getting baptized, since they are all Catholic. I used D&C 3:7-8 and we both feel that was our best lesson yet, in English or Slovak.

The Lord will help us as we forget ourselves and help others. It's amazing. :)

Time is running out. I'm going to get a blessing from my district. I love these guys. Ahem, elders. They are great. No one's perfect. But they're trying for the most part. And I didn't go to SLC w/ my comp. It was an elderly volunteer brother who drove me. Great guy.

I love you all. Thanks for your support. It's hard wondering whether if I was more faithful in thinking I could get the language, that maybe my eyes wouldn't have acted up as much. Trying to see how much of it was my part, and how this all fits with my patriarchal blessing, if I do get reassigned. But it all works for our good.

I love you guys. So the doctor supposedly called the MTC docs today. Hypothetically the Quorum will pray about whether to reassign me around Thursday this week. I'll keep trooping on.

I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord.

D&C 6:36

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

Yes, Mom is thrilled. We just got the latest email from Elder Bezas. And here 'tis, full of his general daily activities and information. We so love this young man, who is seeking to become his best by serving others and teaching of Jesus Christ. He titled this week's email: "We just got a letter, we just got a letter, we just got a letter...I wonder who it's from? bum dum dum ba dum bum bum!" (Blue's Clues).

Ahoj everyone! OK, so this week I got a haricut! Bum bum bum! Yeah, it was strange trusting my hair to someone else besides mom's careful hands. But it seems to have turned out alright. Although it took less than fifteen minutes. So hopefully she didn't just take out a chunk of hair in the back of my head that I can't see and no one has had the courage to tell me about. ;)

So when I've sent snail mail letters previously on Tuesdays, how long does it take to get to the fam? Umm, so Mom, you were saying you like hearing details. So after this week I will have filled up the first planner, so I will send that home to you guys so you can get a little better of a glimpse how life goes here.

It's cool to look out the window of our building we live in and see the Y on the mountain. So close to BYU, yet so far away. Ha.

Mom, could you check on Facebook, contactify Austin Glaus and ask when Zach and Lynzie get back from their missions? I am curious as to whether I'll see Lynzie while I'm out in the field.

So in gym, I either play four-square (yeah, it's intense), play basketball, or think about running. OK, occasionally I will. Very rarely though. Probably should do that more thought.

Oh, and Mom, could you look up that address from Elder Widtsoe about Czechoslovakia. I would love to have that.

Also, how many teachers did each of you have when you were in the MTC? How many students were in your class? And Mom, where was your classroom on campus?

It's pretty cool, I've also seen Elder Cannon Clark around several times. He heads out in a coupl weeks.

It's really nice--I haven't missed not having a phone or not getting on Facebook at all. Well, besides when our teacher got on one time while we were doing personal study.

Also, what did your time at the MTC consist of when you were here...back in the day? hehe.

Well, one reason to look forward to the field is that I will walk off the ten pounds I've gained while here. Ha. It's bound to happen.

I love seeing the senior couples. They're so cute. Yea, I said cute. I think that'd be cool one day. I think I'd personally buy an electric wheelchair to zoom around everywhere in, but that's just me. ;)

And deal, Mom. I'll work on thinking "I Can Do This." It's a good attitude to have.

Sorry my thoughts are kinda all over the place. My head is kinda in a daze today.

It was great to go to the temple today. We helped out with sealings. That was sweet! Oh, I love that families can be "spolu navzdy" (together forever).

I miss all of you, but I'll see you soon enough. Did little bro and sis get my letters I sent to them? hope you like the Slovak. And I'm eager to hear more about the juicy details of life.

One of my favorite talks from General Conference was Elder Holland's. It's so true. There's actually very few talks in Conference, but everyone who listens, willing to learn, are able to find something that the Spirit intends just for them. And Dad, I agree--it was way weird not chillin' with you during Priesthood session and going for our Wendy's frosty run after. But we'll have more in two years. :)

It's interesting. Since the Czech Prague mission is one that is a 25-month mission due to how transfers work there, I just barely started my two years as of a couple of days ago. Pretty cool.  Another month I'll be able to serve with better language skills.

Dad, it was really cool to hear the story of your path to getting baptized. I don't think I recall hearing that before.

Well, this week I've learned that I can make a difference although I'm not in the field. I'm so happy to be out here and to be learning how to help people come to Christ and have happier lives. The gospel's true. I know that without a doubt. It was great to hear President Monson speak. He is a prophet of God. I know this.

Alright, so here's who's spoken [at the MTC] devotionals: Brother Williams, President Robert Daines (Provo Temple President), Elder Kent F. Richards, Richard I Heaton (Administrative Director of the Provo MTC), Elder Richard J. Maynes, Elder Claudio R.M. Costa, Elder James M. Dunn (emeritus Seventy), and Vai Sikahema.

I think it'd be great if you could keep the letters I send home all together. Yeah, I'm sentimental like that. Also, are you and little guy completely better from the deep cough deal you had going on last week? That is interesting about his dreams he's had*. He's a great little guy. I'll keep my siblings in my prayers.

Oh, and Dad, what is your sister's address so I can send her a thank you?

Alright, I love you all. I will write you next week, same as usual.

Love you. Keep the faith. Elder Bezas

* Our little guy had two dreams in which he saw the Savior's return to the earth.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Letters we mailed WAY early so they would be there when Paul arrived in Slovakia!

Because it takes a while for mail to arrive in Slovakia, especially packages, we wrote and mailed a box of goodies that can welcome Elder Bezas when he arrives in the mission home in Slovakia. We had fun finding zany things to put in the box. It was a pretty big box. :) Here are the letters we each wrote and included in the box. They are included her in this order: from his sister, his little brother, his Mom, and his Dad

4/4/11
Welcome to Slovakia! Congrats! I bet you are feeling so many emotions. (That's a good sign that you're normal!) LOL. Tell me what is it like there? Tell me everything! How you thought getting on the plane, what you thought before that? After you got there? What you thought about your surroundings? What you thought about getting our letters? Tell me everything? LOL. Haha. So right now while I have been writing this, Mom was looking at google translater to help Stephen write something in Slovak (if that is how you spell that) and she said, and I quote, "Wow..." Haha. She saw "congratulations" on Google translater; it had like 40 letters for just that word! LOL. Man! So I just got your letters from General Conference. And I love reading letters from you! They made my day while it was been stressful!!!! Anyway, I hope you like it there!!! Love, your sis. P.S. We love you, Elder Bezas. Your sis.


4/4/11

USA. USA. USA. USA. Vitajte to Slovakia and gratulujem and i hope you are loveing it there. i...i don't know what to write really. i guess i should say that i hope that you are enjoying slovakia like you enjoy the u.s. here! Love, your bro...wish you were here...kidding!

4/4/11
We are so excited for you. You have begun a grand adventure. And you are here because of all your hard work. Do you know what that means? THAT YOU CAN DO THIS. Ignore the weariness of travel. Ignore the purple and brown butterflies hitting themselves against the walls of your stomach. :0) Ignore the strain of how heavy your luggage was. (Hopefully your luggage made it with you! If not that would be another grand story to add to your arsenal.) Just think of all the fun you'll have telling all these stories to YOUR children around the dinner table! :0) Seriously, you may be worried about the language. But it comes to me now 2 things: 1) Re-read your '1st night at the MTC' letters. The promises and counsel in them still apply :0) Perhaps even more so now. 2) I felt so strongly to tell you God knows you right now. He knows where you're sitting right now. He knows exactly what you're thinking, feeling, seeing, everything! Can you get that? Isn't that amazing? You know what this means? It means He has everything all ready and in order for you. So here's your assignment: watch carefully everything your trainer does. He was once new in the mission field, that means he knows about everything. And you can trust him. I can say this in confidence because of your stake president's blessing when you were set apart: to trust your trainer. I don't remember all the words, but I got the sense you're going to be given a good trainer. So I think your biggest assignment this 1st month is NOT the language, is NOT the new schedule, is NOT learning how to be a real missionary. No, none of that. I believe your first assignment from the Lord is actually HUMILITY. Can you see why this would be the case, whether halfway through or as a senior? Humility is that which opens the doorway to the spirit. You DON'T need a flawless tongue/language to share the gospel! Remember what was said in Conference? When the one quote was given: Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary use words. So my son, your greatest characteristic is not your language; it's your in-tune-ness to the Spirit. It's the glow on your face. It's your humble efforts to share your testimony, even if in new Slovak. Remember, the language may SEEM the most visual part of serving in Slovakia...but THAT IS AN ILLUSION. Picture with me if you will 2 missionaries: one speaks flawlessly, but carries no spirit; the other speaks no Slovak yet radiates the pure love of Christ. Is it desirable to continue language studies? Of course, but only because progression is God-like. Really, would you rather rely on language ability...or rely on the Spirit? So just give it a go, but do remember Christ as the Son of God leaned on His Father in all things. You be a good boy/son, like Christ was--loving those people there and all will be fine. I'm rather jealous of them because I think most will fall in love with your sweet gentle ways and will give you the support you need. They've been through so much, it would seem! OK, well, homesickness will rear it's ugly head from time to time. It's to be expected. Simply "snaffu" Satan by forgetting yourself and getting to work. Remember to laugh EVERY DAY, pray, and serve in every way and all things will work to your good. We are proud of you, Paul. The 1st Bezas ever to serve in Europe with some of the lost tribes of Israel! Fique Firme! D&C 121:7-9. Trust God in all things. You'll be so glad you did. Love, Mom.

April 4, 2011
Dear Elder Paul Bezas, OK, so you now have your first mission field story to tell about the hours of long flight and then checking in at the customs in the airport and...you will have to write and tell us. Add lots of detail. Wow, this is exciting. I am with you in spirit and I wish I could be with you and go to each farm door with you. We love you and look forward to hearing about how you could not understand a single world! I remember in my first week as my companion was teaching in Portuguese and I felt like I could not understand a word. I took a step farther and fell asleep in the discussion, because my brain was so taxed by the trip and trying to understand. OK, so if you felt like you learned lots in the MTC then the next two months will give you great learning. Enjoy the ride. Throw your hands up high as the roller coaster takes you . Take the questionnaire and apply it to the field. Talk about companions, 1st house, mission president, the trip to your first area, the weather, your first meal and anything else that you can think. Remember that most of these letters will come back to you and be part of your memories. OK? We love you. Can you feel it? Great. Now go to work. :) Love, Dad.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011 - Letter from Elder Bezas to his little bro

Here is a letter Elder Bezas sent to his little brother. It is in Slovak, but as Blogger does not have the ability (that I can find) to type in the huge variety of accents Slovak contains, it will be without the accents (unfortunately). Slovak is such a beautiful language. And I apologize in advance for misspelling any words, due to misunderstanding Elder Bezas's handwriting. :0)

4/1/11


Ahoj, little bro! Ako sa mas? Co si robil od nedavuo. Este stale hras video hry? Mas zabavu v skde? Ako sa ma nasa rodina? I siel si vou s priatel'mi nedavno? Tu v MTC, mam vel'a zabavy. Ja studujem evanjelium Jezisa Krista a ja sa ucim ako ucit lepsi. Niekedy sa citim nervozu o mojich schopnostiach. Ked' som prec, chcel by som vediet' co robis v skauts som stastny. Ze som misionar. Toto je praca Krista. On mi pomoze. Musim robit' moje najlepsi. Budem pracovat' usilovne. Ty si moj najlepsi priatel'. Evanjelium je pravdiva. Ver v Boha. On ti pomoze. Ja t'a milujem. Bud' silne. Uvidime sa dva roky, moj maly brat.

Tvoj priatel' a vel'ky brat,

Starsi Bezas

P.S. Here's the letter you asked for in Slovak :)
Tu je list ty spytal pre po slovensky.

P.P.S. I love you, little bro! I hope you know that--I know you can be very successful! Do your best. Listen to Mom and Dad. They only want to help you. Hope you enjoy conference today and tomorrow!

Pray every day. God wants to hear from you. And little guy, we are hanging out when I get back! Can you say "baseball catch"? :0)

Stay awesome, my friend.

Starsi Bezas