The story of Olga Kovářová of the former Czechoslovakia is an example of member missionary work from our Relief Society history. In the 1970s, Olga was a doctoral student and hungry for a deeper spiritual life. She noticed 75-year-old Otakar Vojkůvka, a Latter-day Saint. “He appeared to me seventy-five in his age but in his heart nearer to eighteen and full of joy,” she said. “This was so unusual in Czechoslovakia at that time of cynicism.”
Olga asked Otakar and his family how they found joy. They introduced her to other Church members and gave her a Book of Mormon. She read it eagerly and was soon baptized and confirmed. Since that time Olga has been an influence for good in a world of political oppression and religious persecution. She served as Relief Society president in her little branch and helped save the souls of others by bringing them to Christ.3
What Can I Do?
I loved reading the history of Olga Kovarova and her 75-year-old friend, Otakar Vojkuvka. This story is a reminder that joyful, happy attitudes don’t occur by chance but by choice. It is easier to choose happiness when one has an understanding of the larger picture… Who am I? Where am I from? What is my purpose? Where am I going? I know that God is my Father and that I lived with Him once. I came to earth to gain a body and am learning how to control my appetites and desires (chocolate is such a struggle!:). I know that through good works and the grace of God, I can return home to live with Him again. How can I be pessimistic, fearful, or discouraged when I know these things?
So what can I do? I can share positive messages of peace and joy with the sisters I visit, and be an influence of good. Even during this time of cynicism, political unrest, and economic frustrations, there is much to be thankful for.
Sharing a loaf of Amish Friendship Bread couldn’t hurt, either. (Recipe forthcoming!)
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