Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Week 4, 1 month down.

So this week has been a good week, plenty good experiences. Both my packages have arrived so thank you for that! 

I hosted for the new senior missionary couples, one of the wives that I met was the sister of the wife of the Poland mission president, so I had a picture with them and she sent it to her sister. Another couple were called the Larsson's, now I don’t know if you remember them but they said they served a mission in Manchester about 10-15 years ago and served in Oldham, Elder Larsson said he served on the bishopric, I don’t remember but he said that knows the Ashworths and Mayalls. We just greet them as they arrive, take their bags and show them to their rooms, little tour and then move on to the next couple. 

Inside you're not allowed to play football or American football. Only outside but it’s too cold at the moment. I play volleyball most of the time.  Gym time is usually after the second block of class at 3.20, so right before tea. on a Tuesday it’s right after service at 9.20am. On Pday you can choose when you want to use gym time and you’re not limited to the 1 hour. breakfast in 7.15 till 7.45, we then have personal, companionship and language study till 11.35. Lunch is 11;35 till 12.20, we have classroom instruction from 12.30 to 3.20, we have a teacher for that block. Gym for an hour and then we go back get changed ready for tea at 4;50, that goes till 5.35, we then have classroom instruction to half 8 and then a final hour of personal study until we have to back to res for 9.30.

I don’t mind the food, it's really nice most of the time. I see Jonah from time to time, he has a different schedule so we're in class and eating at different times in the day. My favourite meal has to be when they do jacket potatoes at the salads bar, they also do good fried chicken salads. Most of the time I stock up on the leftovers, they have a leftovers bit where usually it’s just white rice so I enjoy that. they don’t’ do weetabix, so maybe you could send me a big 72 box of them.

Sister Yochim is really ill at the moment and so she's been rushed to the hospital a few times. She has stomach ulcers and a kidney problem. On Saturday night I had the opportunity to give her a blessing, my first one at that, it's an experience I'll never forget. All the sisters in my district were present, I had the zone leaders accompany me, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I didn't feel as though I was doing anything out of the norm, but the sisters were all so grateful for us elders being worthy of the priesthood. I had a chat with Brother Redding of the branch presidency the following day and he said that as he was doing his 2 weekly interviews with the missionaries, all the sisters had mentioned how that my blessing and the spirit felt that night had really helped. The Branch Presidency also thanked me. That was the highlight of the week for me. 

So tomorrow we have a big devotional with an Apostle, then it's the service project, we're making 320,000 meals for the needy across Utah. Thanksgiving activity thing is an all day thing, we have a different schedule which will be good, it's nice to have a change of the schedule. 

Photo bomb

Studying hard

The new Provo City Centre Temple

Temple walk

Zone Name Tags

The Polish is coming good, learning more and more grammar each day, being taught how to case sentences at the moment. There are 6 cases, and they change how the word looks depending on what they are in the sentence. I can't really explain it to you properly, you'll have to look it up.

There's a bunch of new elders on our floor back at the res, 2 of them are from Uganda and you'll never guess who they know...yep Elder Briwe (I don’t know how you spell his name), but it shows how small the world is when it comes to the church, they were good friends with the king of Uganda.

So after the Tuesday night devotional, we have a review and a little testimony meeting on what we got out of the talk. We had another Seventy come and visit last night. After that we were going to have some training from President Wiseman on teaching and how to teach properly, we're being visited over the next few weeks by the man that’s over all the branch Presidencies. Now president Wiseman had to go to the hospital to see sister Yochim, so he asked me to give this leadership teaching training lesson to the district leaders and teachers. I was teaching people how to teach basically, another good experience. 

I'm being taken out of my comfort zone a lot, but I enjoy when that happens because I know that I can grow because of it. I love teaching people.   Just being here and being around other missionaries is probably the best bit. 4 weeks has flown by. 

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Gift of Tongues is real.

So this week has been a good week.  A lot of Zone volleyball, a lot of teaching and a whole lot of learning! I had a really good experience this week with teaching, I prayed a lot before teaching that the spirit would be present and I have to say that it’s the first time experiencing the gift of tongues. I put aside all my notes and vocab books and just taught this lesson on my purpose as a missionary, it was amazing! Also the TRC was good, the volunteers are so nice and I realised there's nothing to worry about.  TRC means Teaching Resource Centre, you just teach a home teaching lesson to returned missionaries that speak the language you're learning. 

We have a branch that we have sacrament with and Sunday lessons, it’s just our zone but we have a branch presidency, I chat a lot to the Branch President through email and in person about my situation being a solo elder and district leader, I told him about the experience that I had with teaching and he replied with 'Elder Ashworth you are one of the best missionaries I've ever worked with' so that kind of made my week also!  The branch president is President Wiseman, he's super cool and so fun! you just get to email him weekly as you would email the mission president in your mission, just with more freedom as you can email whenever you like.

President Wiseman

Also this Sunday, I taught the priesthood lesson on recognizing the spirit, and in sacrament meeting me and 5 other elders sang a musical item haha!   Honestly I love singing here with the elders, we sing all the time, back at the res in the showers, walking between classes, we sing everywhere! I knew we were singing in front of the zone, they loved it, we were harmonising and it sounded so good!  We had another member of the Seventy come on Sunday, Kim. B. Clarke, he gave a really good talk. So next Thursday for Thanksgiving we definitely have a devotional with an apostle which will be good.

I can pray and say a basic testimony (in Polish), we're learning more grammar at the minute so all the conjugations of verbs and all the cases that effect the sentences and things, it’s quite confusing.

The weather is dropping really cold, its snowed too, so the mountains look beautiful! 

Elder Nebesniy's scarf has done some travelling!

It gets more and more beautiful each day!

Elder Buchoff and Naegli

Sweater Saturday

Burgundy Day

P-Day chills -  Elder Justesen and Mcclain

I try to get to the gym at least once a week, other than that for gym we play zone volleyball which is so fun.

(When asked how he would rate his MTC experience he answered) I would honestly say an easy 8, I love it here but I don’t feel as though my mission has started, I think it will hit me once I land in Poland. It’s become my comfort zone now, even only 3.5 weeks in. I still really enjoy it here though.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

"I can't believe how quickly this week has gone! It's been a good week, the language is going ok,  I'm struggling a bit with the teaching side, my confidence and testimony have grown so much it's so annoying not being able to show that when I'm teaching in Polish, the things I want to say I just can't. 

Funny Story: I bought some mints from the store and then walking back to the class I wasn't concentrating and walked straight into a huge metal pole, planted my face straight into it HAHA, it hurt so bad but my companions wouldn't stop laughing, it was pretty funny.   Also this week Elder Mcclain had to get his shoes fixed so we got to leave campus, we got on a bus and went to a shoe store in Provo, so that was pretty cool.  I haven't managed to find Jonah yet but I'm on the look out for him.  

We've got two new teachers which is good and they're both good teachers.  They both served their missions in Poland.  Our teacher left because he'd been there 2 years teaching.  They take turns teaching, one usually does the 4 hour afternoon block, and the other does the 4 hour block before bed.  They act as our investigators too, they take on the character of someone they met and taught in Poland on their missions.  

The MTC is everything and more than I've expected.  Every Tuesday we have a devotional with a guest speaker, no apostles yet, but we've had 2 members of the Seventy - Richard J. Maynes and Hugo Montoya and they've both been amazing talks. As district leader I have to go to all the leadership council meetings, leadership training meetings, I should interview the district weekly, but seeing as they're all sisters the sister training leaders do that, I have to get the mail and plan and run two district meetings a week one on Sunday and then the other after the Tuesday night devotional."

This is Elder Justesen,  He's from Idaho.  He is in the Slovak District but we share a room.  He's my gym partner.

The colours are amazing here.

From our trip to the shoe shop in Provo.  

This is Elder Marcucci.  He's my bro from Florida, he's going to the Czech Republic and we're pretty good pals.

Friday, 6 November 2015

First Week in MTC

"The language is coming ok, its quite difficult but I know that if I'm obedient that I'll be blessed. On a few pictures I'm sending you'll see it says solo on my badge because I'm the only elder in my district. With being a solo elder you have to teach your 'investigators' on your own which is really hard but its character building and is helping me a lot. I'm in a trio with two of the Slovak speaking elders, Elder Buchoff and Elder Mcclain, one of them is going to Leeds speaking Slovak which is pretty cool, I share a room with them and two other elders. I get on with the sisters really well, they call me 'their starszy' which is funny, its just like being home with all the girls. There's sister Kamp, Demourdant, Lerch, Dekker, Barney and Yochim. I was ill for my first week but I'm 100 per cent now!"

Elder Buchoff on the left, Elder Mcclain on the right
Sister Yochim, Dekker and Lerch, Me Sister Barney, Kamp and Demourdant

 In our zone we have Czech speaking, Bulgarians, Polish, Slovakian, Slovenian, all the eastern Europe countries.
I've learnt some Polish, its really slow progress which can be quite discouraging at times. But i have whilst doing it!  I do personal study in the classroom on my own. companionship study I just join in with the sisters. I got a bag with a bunch of books in it so I have most books in Polish, we try to read from the polish book of mormon every day. I'm up at 6.15 just to give myself enough time to  get ready, lights out at 10.30 but we generally don't sleep till 11. 

Sweater Saturday

We get to go (to the temple) Every Thursday but its your choice. We learn, have class time with a teacher which is all in Polish. Then we have study time on our own, we can do whatever, but most days we teach a lesson in Polish so we have to plan for that, so most of our studying is gospel related. 

Provo Temple

Me and Elder Halverson - Zone Leader

There's a few from England that I've bumped into, Elder Cox from up north, he knows Paige and Abi and Aaron I think. A few lads from the Manchester mission area. so its good. I tried playing football for gym time 2 days ago, it was terrible haha.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

First Email

"Hello, Im alive and well. its not Pday yet but this is just some training and so we are allowed to send an email home. Ive settled in really well and i love my companions already. im in a trio with two other elders. Im the only elder in my district which is what we said. tonight i was made distict leader. The polish is going okay, im teaching a lesson tomorrow in polish which is kind of scary. "

Packing, setting apart and departing.

Monday 26th October 

All packed!

Officially a missionary.

Good-byes are just too hard!

Proud grandparents.

Mum's last hug.

Best friends

Family means everything.

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