I'll start by sharing two experiences we had this week. The first taking place on Wednesday as we were in an area of Krakow called Chełm. We had a few hours to knock on doors and so we got a bus not really knowing exactly where were we going but knew the general direction. I felt as though we should keep going and so we went almost to the end of the of the line. We got off in the middle of nowhere and walked up the hill, I tried talking to a man walking towards us but he said he had no time, that's the classic response here, I don't know what he didn't have time for as we weren't close to anything haha. We kept going and found this sweet little road with a few houses on it and at the bottom of the road was a load of farmers fields, quite the scene it was. It was about the 6th or 7th house we knocked on and this lady opened the door, so I introduced myself and told her that my companion is learning Polish and would like to share a message with her and her family. To my surprise, there was no hesitation at all and she invited us right in. We met her 3 children and proceeded to share a message about family, what made it even better is that the father of his family was from Wales so his wife and all his kids spoke wonderful English which made it nice for Elder Asendrych as he could share a message with them in English. We were asked to stay a little longer as she was making some food and so we stayed and ate with them before leaving a copy of the Book of Mormon, saying thank you and heading back out on to the streets. I was happy that Elder Asendrych was able to have such an experience.
Another cool thing that happened this week took place in Costa Coffee not far from the rynek. We planned to do weekly planning there whilst enjoying some hot chocolate, it's getting colder now! Anyway, we sat down at the table and I walked over to hang my coat up when this lad asked me what the name tag was all about, so I told him we were Mormon missionaries, we were speaking English because he was from England. He looked at our hot chocolates and said 'Mormons drinking coffee?' we laughed and told him it was hot chocolate which he thought was funny. we ended up having a good chat and got talking about how he used to live in Manchester and was given a tour of the new YSA building there when it was first opened. The missionary gave him the tour was only Sam Bytheway who I know very well from his time in Oldham. It's a small world, I bet whilst Sam was on his mission he never thought he'd give a guy a tour of a building who would then meet me on my mission in Kraków.
We had our district conference in Katowice this weekend and it was a time of learning, listening and reflecting. We were able to listen to two talks given by our mission president and a number of other talks from leaders. members and recent converts. It was also a time of goodbyes, this trip to Katowice was the last time I saw a lot of my friends and people that I've grown close to over the past two years. I was able to see President Najberg, the first Polish man I met in Poland, and my first Branch President. I approached him after the meeting asking him if he remembered me, his response was one that put a huge smile on my face, he said 'of course I remember you, I remember like it was yesterday! are you still kicking a football around these days?' It was nice to be able to speak with him and understand him, as I couldn't do either in my first transfer.
Now for some concluding words. I've learnt a lot during my time of service, a lot of things about myself and a lot of things about other people. Happiness is one of the greatest feelings in life and we experience it when we serve others and live close to our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. This church is the true church of Jesus Christ, restored through a living day prophet. My favourite scripture as of recently is found in D&C 19:23. Peace is a word I've given much thought to because peace can come in many forms. The true peace that we find in Christ is through having a sure knowledge and clear conscience that our sins have been forgiven and forgotten. Conversion is a lifelong process that continues even after this life, let's not forget that only through daily repentance can we reach our true potential.
I love this work, this church, my family and friends, and I love this country!
Elder Ashworth has just 2 weeks left in the Poland Warsaw Mission. He reaches his 2-year
mark on the 27th October. He has had another great week from the looks of things and he says he's healthy and happy! We asked him on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest) how much he was looking forward to coming home and this was his reply -
10! for the right reasons though. I want to be at home with everyone, I'm looking forward to leaving the mission field and serving elsewhere and getting on with whatever the future has to hold.
We were getting the bus home one night, we got off one bus and onto the other just for one stop and I was stood up. I looked down at this guys phone and HE WAS READING MY BLOG! So random, what are the chances of that happening?! I thought about tapping him on the shoulder and seeing his reaction - we had to get off though. So if you're reading this now and that was you - Hello there! It's been a decent week and I really enjoyed the broadcast with Elder Ballard. Note from mum:- Although Elder Ashworth has been serving in just one country - Poland - it is amazing to see how many people we have reached through his blog. To date it has been viewed in 70 countries and has had 74,207 views. Here is a list of the countries where his blog has been viewed - maybe you are in one of those countries and hopefully have enjoyed reading his insights into his mission and the beautiful land of Poland.
Zambia, Cote D’Ivoire, United Kingdom, USA, France, Poland, Germany, Russia, Phillipines,
Spain, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Peru, Sweden, Ireland, Chile, Mexico, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates. Syria, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Israel, Netherlands, Argentina, Guatemala, Namibia,
India, Nicaragua, China, South Korea, Norway, Ecuador, Iraq, Switzerland, Armenia, Kuwait,
Sorry that I haven't written something for the blog in a while, it must seem as though I've not had much to talk about. I'll start by sharing a few things from 2 weeks ago.
A funny story is that I hid from Elder Asendrych haha. He went out back to take out the rubbish after we got in from the days work. I took the opportunity to scare him a little, it was really dark outside too which made it better. I hid in my wardrobe, very obvious hiding spot I thought and I even left the door open a bit as a clue. I watched him through the crack of the door as he crept around saying 'Elder, Elder are you here?' he was so confused. I couldn't really fit all the way in the wardrobe so i had to hold this awkward squat, I counted it as leg day. He knew I was hiding and I kept letting out laughs which brought him into the main room. He threw something over the door because he was convinced I was hiding there. Eventually, he slowly approached my hiding spot, I didn't even feel like jumping out at him anymore because I had so much entertainment watching him, so when he opened the door I just stared at him and he started laughing.
We had zone conference in Katowice. I thought it was the last time I was going to see a lot of people so I said all my goodbyes, but then realised we have district conference (stake conference) in a few weeks so I'll see all my pals again. Zone training was a good deal. We spoke a lot about finding and how we should teach when we find and find when we teach. Our attention was turned to the parable of the talents, how we can learn a lesson from that in relation to commandments and the missionary handbook. Sometimes we don't always understand why we must keep commandments and do specific things, especially as missionaries sometimes the smallest rules can seem silly, but we have to be of the mindset that in the end we will be blessed, in other words 'be made ruler over many things'.
This week as all the students are back the city has been bumping with young people. We've been out and about talking with them all about English, we also bought an American football to throw around as we talk with people, they're always drawn to it as not many people play the sport here. Hopefully, as we put the effort in to make people aware of the class they'll start coming.
We had Elders Reid and Huffman over in Krakow for the past few days on exchanges. As I've said many times before in the past it's always good to have Elder Huffman around. We spent some time together talking with people in the city, we met a nice young man who we hope to share the gospel with.
During the week for 2 or so days I wasn't feeling too great, I caught a bit of a cold in the night and so woke up not really wanting to get out of bed. I think being in this state led me to have some mental dreams. I had one dream this week in which I had a baby but it wasn't really a baby because it was a phone, and this baby phone had a scorpion tail that kept scratching my thumbnail. In my attempt to get rid of it I put the scorpion phone baby into a chocolate wrapper and put it in my bag. I woke up and even I was confused as to what I had just seen. I'm feeling 100% now though which I'm grateful for.
Church on Sunday was time well spent, we had a few visitors which is always nice and they were all so friendly and added to the numbers. I translated into English for all the visitors and the English speakers which was a nice change. usually, Elder Litster does it but I thought I'd give him a break from doing it. I had a completely different experience at church because I had to listen, really listen to the testimonies and teachers in order to translate. After the priesthood session, i felt significantly uplifted from the message shared about 'overcoming the world'. Elder Anderson gave a talk this year in April at conference entitled 'overcoming the world', it's a good read!
A brother visiting with his family got up to bear his testimony during the meeting and mentioned how in order to have the true church on earth and for it to function we need to have Priesthood leaders and believing members who are willing to follow those leaders. Let's be those members who follow the Prophet!