Tuesday, 27 December 2016

A memorable Wigilia in Tomaszów Lubelski with family.

There was no official email this week due to Christmas and transfers so I thought I, (Elder Ashworth's mum) would share a little bit about what he has been up to the last couple of days - mainly through photographs.  Just so you know, Elder Ashworth was transferred on Monday 26th December to Warsaw where he is going to serve with Elder Einfeldt as an office Elder.  He loved serving in Lublin but he is looking forward to a new adventure.

On Christmas Eve, he and Elder Dooley travelled to a village in the south-east of Poland called Tomaszów Lubelski.  This is where my grandad (Elder Ashworth's great-grandad) Wladislaw Josef Wisniewski was born in 1926.   Grandad escaped from Auschwitz during the Second World War and was also forced to work on a farm in Germany from where he also escaped.  At the end of the war he joined the Polish Free Army and his division were sent to Oswestry, Shropshire in the UK.  He met my grandma and then settled in the UK.  He died in 2009 and is buried in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Grandad's sister and her family still live in Tomaszow and this is who Elder Ashworth and Elder Dooley went to meet and celebrate Wigilia with.

Elder Ashworth with his great-grandad's sister

family grave in Tomaszow with memorial to grandad
Grandad Josef (1926-2009)

outside a wooden church


all together

Christmas Day skype

Monday, 19 December 2016

Wesołych Świąt. Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

So this week has come around so fast. We've been up to no good as usual and transfers are soon approaching. I'm not too nervous, I'm just happy to be spending Christmas here in Lublin with the Brothers. 

We had our exchange with Elders Haskett and Barlow this week. It was a good time. I've never been around Elder Haskett until this transfer so it was good being around him for a few days. The exchange started Wednesday night after English. For English we decided to practice writing letter to Santa. So we went through a bunch of ways to start letters, the most commonly picked being 'Yo Santa waddup'. It was a good laugh as usual, especially when Elder Dooley wrote that he wanted a pet dragon for Christmas as he doesn't like paying for his bus ticket, he's one of a kind haha. 

So on Thursday, our day started with us being fed breakfast by Elder Dooley, although the pancakes he made were terrible. He got up way earlier to prepare them and woke me up with the question..'do you have any eggs? I only have week old rotten eggs', well I didn't have any eggs so he continued to make the pancakes with rotten eggs..to the surprise of Elder Dooley they didn't taste too good. So we frisbeed them off our balcony, which amused us for a few minutes. We left the house around 9am and tried to catch everyone going to work and school, we have these '#ŚwiećŚwiatu' cards that we need to hand out before Christmas, we have a few boxes of them, so it seemed a good time to go and hand them out early. We went for some hot chocolate again at a place called 'U Szewca' on the rynek, looks just like an English pub, the hot chocolate is so good too, another bonus being that the United V Palace game was being shown on the TV so I got to watch about 30 mins of the game. Get In! 

That evening we were invited round to Ela's house as we arranged to cook for her to repay her for all the meals she's made for us. All 6 of us were there and we just made some proper missionary food, chicken and rice with some potatoes and salad, not too similar to a Classic Polish meal either. It was a solid evening, good people, Christmas music and all that. 

Friday we had our Friday night movie playing at the chapel, we finished the rest of Meet the Mormons and we had a few people show which was good. A guy called Marek came who we meet with from time to time, one of the nicest guys I've met. 

Saturday came around and we took a trip out to Świdnik for some service. Always a blast when we go out there. this time round, we shovelled coal, it confirmed Elder Hansen's thoughts of Eastern Europe..he said 'this is what I imagined when I thought of things I could get up to on my mission'. We shovelled a ton of it...about 1000kg of coal..and then threw it down a shoot into her basement. It was epic! Lunch came, prepared by Beata's mum, which is always quality food. 

The bus ride home was long, by accident we took the longer route home, which is why it was longer. But it worked to our advantage as both Elder Huffman and I were able to chat to the people that sat next to us. Of course the two girls that get on the bus would take the empty seats next to me and Elder Huffman over the many other empty seats.

We arrived home to a very misty and foggy Lublin. We had a bizarre idea for English planned which involved a backwards theme. So for the night we referred to each other as our names but backwards, and we wore our clothes backwards and we walked backwards, faced the wrong way, and just made a fool of ourselves as usual but it was funny. 

Sunday we had our special Christmas sacrament service which involved our branch choir and reading of the birth of christ from the bible, it was nice. I did the narration of the story in Polish and Elder Huffman read it in English. The 4 of us Elders and Michael sang a rendition of 'oh come, oh come, Emmanuel', it went alright I suppose. 

Then came the injury from the week. I shaved this morning before church, got to keep control of the beard you know, I threw my razor on my bed (as you do), then when I got home after church I jumped on my bed and somehow managed to slice my hand a few times on my razor. Who knew that a 4 titanium blade Wilkinson Sword razor from Rossman could have been so deadly!  It legit didn't stop bleeding for about 2 hours. So stupid haha. 

Sunday night we had a dessert and games night with the branch and friends at the Belo's home. It was good to be together before people go back home for Christmas.

So by next week I'll have my transfer call. We'll see what happens. So we have a cool day planned today. We're eating after this and then going shopping for a bit. at 15.30 we're going ice skating with some friends and then at 18.30 we have a bowling family home evening activity planned. So today is kind of a chill out day.

It's not snowing at the minute but it's been snowing, it's been down to -5 most nights, so it's cold. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Take it easy!

Starszy Ashworth 🎄. 

District Christmas photo. We went for the 'ghetto' look on purpose.

The snowy streets of Lublin

We shovelled a ton coal for some service

Out with the squad for some food 

DoolMaster 300

Monday, 12 December 2016

I've never been so cold and wet in my life!

Things we got up to this week. 

We had zone training on Tuesday. The last of this transfer, it was a big one this time round and I'm happy to get it out the way, although it was fun preparing for it and teaching. It was a fairly peaceful day too, we got to the dworzec on time, no running was needed, zone training went smoothly, we had bags of time to get back to the station in centrum, so again...no running was needed. Then we got back to Lublin a bit later than usual, after a nap on the train we went home and had food and went to sleep. 

Thursday we had a bomb Polish lesson with our good friend Magdalena, she's great!

Friday I washed all my clothes, all of them! here in Poland there's no such thing as a drier, so everything is air dried on a rack of sorts. I had to wait all morning for my clothes to dry which meant I was in a towel for the first half of the day haha. 

On Saturday we had a cool day! We had a branch party in the evening, so after studies we went over to the other elders place to prepare 'BOSS MEAL', a meal that was created when we had our exchange with Elders White and McPherson last transfer. If you want the recipe..let me know, it will change your life! Then we were invited to attend another 'Variete' at the Cultural centre, it was another epic show with some solid performances and humour. After that we went to the chapel for the branch party.

Sunday was a cold and wet day! Church was good, a nice service with talks based upon the sabbath day. From 16:30 to 19:00 we went to the end of line #4 and knocked on doors. It was dark and cold, and we were in an area with no street lights, and we had no way of getting home, even if we wanted to as the buses rarely came out here. We made the most of it, trying to keep ourselves motivated. I've never been so cold and wet in my life. I had a race with elder Dooley to keep myself warm and gave him a 30 yard head start, I caught him in no time! So that was my Sunday, not the Sunday I would have had back home. but it was fun I guess.

Take is easy, have a good week. 

My brother Elder Quackenbush

Dworzec Lublin

Dworzec Lublin

Bathroom selfie with DoolMaster 3000

Monday, 5 December 2016

Enos 1:26 - Those who are converted share the Gospel of Christ.

Where to begin, it's been the shortest week of my life for some reason, it's just flown by.

On Monday I treated myself to a new pair of jeans and a black woolly hat. We went to the old town and had a district picture that we'll be printing off and sending home as a Christmas card. So look out for that in the post. 

Tuesday we had a District Meeting which President joined us for. We had no clue he was coming, but it was nice to have him there. It's always good when President Turek is in on your meeting because I always learn something new..this time round I learnt the word 'to float' is ryfować. We weren't expecting anyone, so when the someone called the door it freaked Elder Huffman out, haha. We had a rather frustrating lesson with Bartek, it was good to be there with him and teach and all but the understanding of what we teach isn't quite there. 

Wednesday morning I got a phone call from an unknown number, it was Paweł calling to see if he could meet with us during the day. We met up after studies by Old town, with the snow pouring, and went to a place by the Rynek called 'Szewc' which is the word for 'Cobbler'. They had solid hot chocolate, which was needed as it's pretty cold out now. English class was hilarious, we had a bit of an English language segment and we had a chat, and then came the game..inspired by the video I received from my family of what happened at a family get together. We had to spin around 22 times, focusing on the ceiling, and then try and draw a specific thing on the whiteboard, it was so funny. We were all in stitches, it hurt to laugh and breathe for a short while after. 

Thursday was the day that Elder Sommerfeldt and White came to Lublin for exchanges. It was a bit of an adventure as their train didn't arrive till after 10pm. I guess not very unusual for others, but for missionaries it's so late! We had fun though and a moment where I thought I would have to put my 2 weeks of boxing training from when I was 14 to use, as a man ran up from behind us demanding money. I just talked to him and he soon left as he knew he wasn't going to get his 2zł for beer. 

Friday night we had a movie night at the chapel, a time for people to come and find out more about us as missionaries and as a church. Through the week we handed out over 1000 fliers, and we had 4 people show up. Those 4 people were people we personally invited..sounds about right for Poland. It was a decent night though. 

On Sunday we had a good testimony meeting, we had a lot at church too, there wasn't an empty seat. Myself and Ela took turns with the translating. After Church we went to visit someone in the hospital with Paweł. On the way, something happened that I'm always afraid will happen. A bird took a poop on my head, it was the only bird in the tree and it decided at that moment as I walked under to drop it on me. I was so mad, it embedded itself deep into my hair too. We were far from home, and I had nothing but snow and some tissues to get it out, so I had bird poo in my hair for a good 2 hours. 

That's my week. Here's a scripture for you. 

Enos 1:26 - Those who are converted share the Gospel of Christ.  We have zone training tomorrow.  This is the big one about family history and the area plan that we had the Seventy come down and speak to us about.  The zone is doing really well.  We have so many baptismal dates as a mission though, more than I've ever seen.  

Keep praying for me and I'll keep praying for you.

This is Boris, the Siberian Huskey - he belongs to Pawel.

the boys! Elder Summerfeldt and Elder White - they make me look like a kid

making pizza with Pawel and Elder Dooley

Monday, 28 November 2016

There are struggles....just got to get up and go for it!

So, what have we been up to this week?

Tuesday morning, Elder Dooley decided to make chili, for what reason I'm not too sure, that's Elder Dooley for you. I was on my bed reading some talks when I heard a huge crash and the cry of 'FLIP' from Elder Dooley. I instantly feared the worst and I was right to. He had leant on the extractor fan above the stove top and it fell down, flipping the pan over.  It was an explosion of chili!!   The kitchen floor was covered in this stuff. It took a good 30 mins to clean up, ahh Dooley and his love for making things.

We picked Elder Alvarez and Byrd up from the train station that evening around 8pm. The start of a few days of fun had arrived.

Wednesday I woke up and felt pretty terrible. We had service organised that day in Swidnik which I had no desire to go to, but I went and it cheered me up and made me feel a little better. We had good food as usual and had some rap battles at the table. As we were walking to get the bus, I had an apple in my hand and I said 'what are the chances of me throwing into that bin from here?'..the bin was a good 20ft away, and the target I had to aim for was tiny. I went for it and in DudePerfect style threw the apple straight in. I won't lie, I felt pretty good about myself. 

Thursday we didn't  get up to much. I wanted to get better, I  was tired of being ill so we had a chill day so I could recover. After studies we went out for a bit, but from 16:00 to 21:00 I slept - and I can tell you it healed me. The next day I was feeling better than ever, back to 100%. We also went and bought a fridge for the chapel - life changing! 

Friday we had our thanksgiving meal, cooked by us, eaten by us, it was a good time. We had tons of food. We had a session of contacting, I handed this guy a church pass along card, he was with his friend collecting money for his other mate who was playing the guitar. I told him 'I don't have any money but I have this'. He took the card and looked at it and started laughing, showing his mates and all that. I walked a few yards and heard him laughing so I turned and just stood there staring at him, when he saw he soon shut up and sat down. I didn't think I was that intimidating...must be the 4kg weights I do at home. 

Sunday was funny. We had our branch conference and so the district president was there.  We have new translating equipment for Lublin, so I don't have to stand up at the front anymore.   I can just sit and speak through the mic and people wearing the headphones can hear me.  President Dressler was doing the beginning part where as a branch we sustain all the general authorities and leaders in the church and then all the branch callings and things.  I lost track of where we were as he was speaking super fast so with a loss of concentration, we ended up sustaining a new member of the 12, I said the wrong name. Just as I always say though, when it comes to mistakes made because of a language barrier, Heavenly Father understands what we're trying to get at haha!!

I only have 11 months left.  It's gone quickly,   I feel as though I've had a good go of it up to now.  I've done loads of things I never thought I would.  I've met so many people.  I wouldn't say it's been all as straight forwards as I make it out to be.  I mean it is easy for me.  I enjoy it you know, that makes it easy, but still there are struggles.  Just got to get up and go for it.  
That's all I have for this week.
I'm off for lunch at 'Stoł i Wół'. 


Thanksgiving meal Elder Hansen, Elder Huffman, Elder Ashworth, Elder Dooley we had it on Friday as we were too busy on Thurrsday

Playing UNO

Had fun posing on the wall

'Painting' the bathroom in Świdnik 

We had Elders Byrd and Alvarez in Lublin this week for a few days. 


Monday, 21 November 2016

Three Nights in Warsaw

This week has been a strange week as we've not been in Lublin for most of it. From Tuesday night to Friday afternoon we were in Warsaw, getting up to all sorts of things with Elders Quakenbush and Mulder, zone conference, MLC and a wild 5:30AM footy match.

Wednesday morning we were up early, as I mentioned before for the football. We had 8 lads there, we just had a kick about in the darkness. It woke us all up for sure. Walking back I was doing some kick-ups and kicked the ball into a big ditch, some work was being done by the side of the road, so I jumped in before anyone noticed and grabbed it. Definitely a 'laugh at myself' moment. Shout out to Elder Mulder for a solid breakfast. At 9:30 we headed back out for an English Blitz by the University.  I've never seen so many students!  Something we'll start doing here in Lublin for sure. We went back home for studies, can never go a day without studies.   The morning of football wrecked us though, as we all at some point had one of those 30 minute long 'prayers' haha. We had a finding activity with Elders White and Sommerfeldt, Quakenbush and Mulder on Nowy Świat, it's all nicely decorated with Christmas lights and it was full of people.

Thursday, Day 2 in Warsaw and the day of zone conference. We left the apartment around 9:30, Elder Quakenbush and I took the car, as we had to give Sisters Dekker and Andersen a lift to the chapel, they both have broken feet, or something like that. It felt so strange being in a car. I miss driving and having that freedom you know. We had a few assignments to make sure it ran smoothly, but that was it for us. Elder Dooley conducted the meeting. Elder Paul V. Johnson presided at the meeting, and of course, we had President and Sister Turek there with us. The theme of the conference was missionary work. We studied 3 Nephi 11, and a few chapters in Alma, no surprises there. It was a solid conference, followed by a huge Thanksgiving, KFC style lunch. 40 chicken breasts, 80 wings, a whole load of mashed potato, gravy, stuffing, and cakes. After Zone training we headed out as a force of missionaries to the centre of the city where we had a finding activity. 

That night we had 6 lads at the APs place. Bebel and Garrison joined us for the evening as we had MLC the next day at 9am. We got up to all sorts of responsible and safe things. 

Friday was MLC. Present were all the Leaders in the mission, President and Sister Turek, Elder and Sister Johnson. We were also joined by some representatives from 'Family Search', members of the church, from Germany, who spoke to us and taught us about family history. The reason being is that there's going to be a huge push with family history work being part of the missionary work here. There are also going to be new courses introduced to the mission and changes to the way we do English. It's certainly inspired and is going to change the mission.

Sunday was a good day. I had to conduct the meeting at church, which took me back a few transfers to Poznań when I had Sundays on my mind 100% of the time. That experience shows me how much work and effort and love all the Bishops and Branch Presidents put into their service. 

Tracting nights. Human interaction is rare, we speak to a phone most of the time 

Zone Conference

Elder White - 6'8"

I'm there at the back somewhere

Mieliśmy wymianę z asystentami - we took the car out for a spin

Amazing view of Warsaw from Ewa's apartment

Monday, 14 November 2016

Life is GOOD!

So I guess the big news from the week is that we have an investigator with a baptismal date for the 7th January 😊😊

He's an 18-year-old lad called Bartek.  He used to meet the missionaries about 6 months ago when Elder Dooley was being trained here.  He contacted us and asked us if we could meet again.  He wants to meet so he can work on his English but he has an interest in the church and its teachings.  He wants to find God and 'meet him' as he says.  We've taught him some things and then last lesson we just asked him straight up if he wants to be baptised.  We promised him that he may not understand now why it's important but that we'll teach him and help him understand.  So yeah that's Bartek. We're meeting him again tomorrow.

I had to give another talk at church yesterday and do the translation too.  I was told on Friday that I was speaking but Saturday was busy so I prepared during studies before church.  It was just about personal prayer.  I talked about 3 principles of prayer, making them meaningful, praying for others and I can't remember the last one.  I'm far from fully conversant but I can speak and understand good now - but not in any topic.  We had dinner at the Gladuns house on Friday night, it was good and we spoke about the economy of England and about Trump and all that, I could understand it all you know but it's hard to keep up in words with the conversation.

We went shopping this morning at 6a.m.  There's a huge Tesco not too far from here.  We have exchanges In Warsaw with the AP's tomorrow evening to Thursday.  I've already organised an early morning game of footy on wednesday.  There's going to be 10 of us elders there.  On Thursday we have a big zone conference with Elder Johnson of the area presidency coming to visit.  Then on Friday we have the leadership meeting so I'm not even going to be in Lublin barely this week.

I'm going to get a haircut and maybe buy some new things today.  We're also going to go out for lunch.  Love you all.  I'm doing well.  I'm healthy and I'm enjoying myself.  I'm confident with my Polish now which takes so much pressure off.  Life is GOOD!

Have a good week.

The Cultural Centre in Lublin with the Polish flag.

-2 degrees!

We woke up to snow on Wednesday this week.

Polish Independence Day 11.11.16

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