Monday, 29 February 2016

Four Months Already!

Zone Training with the sisters
courtesy of Siostra Raquel DeMordaunt

courtesy of Siostra Raquel DeMordaunt

courtesy of Siostra Raquel DeMordaunt

courtesy of Siostra Raquel DeMordaunt

 Favourite day of the week - Probably yesterday at church. We had 13 people there which is a decent turnout for Poznań. We also had one of our investigators there, which is another miracle. Another good thing about church was that the service was conducted by Elder Jeffs' councillor, the lessons were taught by members and the missionaries could just sit back and relax. The branch has had some huge progress in the past year, from having few active members, to now where we have a solid group of active members all with callings. Sunday was a good day.

Favourite food of the week - We haven't been very adventurous with our meal selection this week, but we did have the opportunity of being invited round to a home. We are teaching a couple who have been coming to English class and then staying for our religious discussions afterwards. They were more than happy to have us round for dinner/lunch and for us to teach them a short message. We had a 3 course meal, soup for starters, Chicken with Pyzy and mushroom sauce for main and then an amazing apple pie for dessert. SMACZNEGO

Favourite journey - We took a little trip down to our new tracting area, not too far away, maybe like a 25 min tram ride. The public transport here is top notch. We spent the night there tracting for 3 hours and came home. 

Favourite word of the week - I don't have a word for you, but Elder Jeffs has started teaching me during language study which he is more than happy to do. We went through sentence structures and what he thinks are the main points to look for. Było bardzo pomocny. 

favourite scripture - Maybe D&C 50:20-21, off the top of my head I think it's that. It's just about how important it is for both the teacher and the learner to be spiritually prepared, and how in teaching both the teacher and learner are edified. I shared it during a lesson we were teaching to a member. 

Funniest moment - So nothing can quite top last week’s church event, but this week we taught the beginner class for English. We were practising phone calls and the vocab you use whilst having a conversation. We wrote down on the board the scenario and then a description of 'person A' and 'B' and what they had to talk about, but they were just reading it directly from the board and it was hilarious listening to them. 

it's not hard to find graffiti here

study time 

Monday, 22 February 2016

Locked In Church! - First Week in Poznan.

the Rynek

Another Pday is here! . Jak się masz? mam nadzielę wszystko w domu jest dobrym.
This week has been a complete change to life and work in Kielce. I apologise that I’ve not taken more pictures as I said I would but that will change this week, obiecuje! 

We've had around 8 or 9 sit down lessons this week which is more than I had the whole 7 weeks in Kielce which is mental. We had a few meetings to help people with their English and then about half way through we swap topics and talk about the church with them which they're more than happy to do. There is some huge potential in a few of the people we meet. We had maybe 3 meetings which took that format. 

We went tracting one evening in a really nice bit of the city called Strzeszyn, it's kind of a newly built estate. We returned to a few houses that had told us to come back another time but they didn't want any of it. It was pitch black as this place had no proper streets or street lights, so we found a street that hadn't been touched yet and the first house we knocked on we got invited in. A youngish mother, she listened to us as we spoke with her about the restoration and the book of Mormon. I invited her to read it and her face lit up when she found out we were giving her this book for free. 

We taught two English classes this week. Whatever city you're in, English is always so much fun because you can make a fool of yourself and have a laugh. After the class we hold a religious class where people can stay afterwards to talk about the church, at the moment we're talking about 'Meet the Mormons' as they watched it last week. A couple that have been staying afterwards for a couple of weeks are meeting with us this week, and Elder Jeffs and I are buzzing. We're having lunch at their house and they can't wait for the meeting.

What else have we been up to...We've been at the chapel a lot at night as Elder Jeffs has been preparing things for the branch (as he’s the branch president) and sorting things out. Most of it is done now so hopefully we can get out tracting now up till 9.

We had probably the funniest experience I’ve had yet on my mission which happened yesterday during church. Sacrament meeting was over and done with and an older lady in the ward wanted to leave. Elder Vance told her that she can't leave as we won't be able to do Sunday school. So she says '10 minutes, I’ll stay for 10 mins'. Elder Jeffs then locks the door from the inside with the little bolt safety lock thing. We then realise that we can't open it...we both looked at each other and laughed, rushed everyone in to class and then went at the door trying to open it...but it wouldn't budge. I then jump out of the bathroom window, we're one floor up too, so it was a pretty big drop, to see if I could open it from the outside. We don't even have a key for this lock. We have the tools out and we're taking all the parts of the lock off trying to see what’s wrong with it. We couldn't open the door. The class then finishes...out come the two ladies wanting to leave, they start panicking because they can't get out. hahah I’m laughing writing this. Me and Elder Vance go to both police stations across the road to ask for a ladder but they look at us as though we're stupid and couldn't get their heads around the situation. Finally, we decided that the only way to get them out was through the window. We had a tiny step ladder that didn't quite fit the distance. It was hilarious lifting them out and then getting them down the ladder, I wish I had my camera on me.  We had to get a locksmith to come and break the lock and put a new one on.

Plans for the rest of the day, haircut, lunch with the other elders and then we have meetings tonight. So should be good.  We have zone training tomorrow and a few of the sisters from the mtc will be there which will be good.  We have a fun and busy week which I’m looking forward to.

I'm loving every bit of my mission!

the beautiful Rynek

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Polish history, plenty of photos and transfers to Poznan.

We went to the castle on Friday for our culture night/day activity which you get one of each transfer. It took about an hour and 30 mins by bus and then a 30-40 min walk from the bus stop. It was in the middle of the countryside just outside a little village.


The walk to Zamek Krzyżtopór

view of the countryside

'assassins creed'

One of the many long corridors.

Elder Weiler and I.

Creepy corridors, without the flash it was pitch black.

We squeezed ourselves into a tiny room, haha!

We hit the dungeons!  We were about to leave but then found another trail to take, pretty glad we found it because the dungeons were huge and the best bit of the palace.

The tunnel that led to the dungeons and caves.

So Poznań far so good. It's a much bigger city but I like big cities so that’s not a problem. it’s strange not knowing my way around though, I could get around Kielce and know pretty much where everything is. It might take a while to get to know the place.   The apartment is also nice, its much bigger, has a separate room for studying. Decent size kitchen and bedroom. The bathroom and toilet are separate which is handy. Yeah just a really solid flat in a nice part of town. We're pretty central, live about a 5 min walk to the chapel and the rynek and old town isn’t too far away.
My new companion is Elder Jeffs. He has 2 transfers left and so is a veteran in the mission.  We had time to eat and settle yesterday before having institute as there are a few YSA members in the ward. It's taught by a returned missionary and she's pretty cool.   There are 4 elders in Poznań. I met them both at the train station yesterday. Elder Vance and Elder Leichty. We have a good teaching pool. we have FHE tonight and then a meeting afterwards with an investigator and then we have a further 3 meetings tomorrow. The branch is a decent size, nothing huge. They have about 10 active members but they don’t all come each week. Church is held about 5 mins from our apartment in a building opposite the police station. It's a really nice building and its nice inside too. I'm right in the centre. Not far from the old town. 

So back in Kielce Elder Taylor is serving with Elder Larson who was up here in Poznań and then Elder Alvarez is with Elder Weiler.
Some things about last week:-

Favourite day last week was going to Krzyżtopór, so many castles and places to visit in Kielce. We all had a laugh together and it was nice to spend it with Elder Garrison as it was his last ever culture day.
Worst day last week, maybe Saturday, transfer day. It was the strangest feeling knowing my fate for the next ten weeks was in president’s hands. I felt sick all day haha. We were at a sushi bar in the mall with the Daltons and Michał, a less active member, and we were finding out everything about transfers but still waiting for our news. Crazy day.
Favourite food of the week...probably the food at the sushi place. I didn’t have any sushi but they have amazing Chinese food. 
Best word. In a lesson I learnt the difference between 'to destroy' and 'to restore', which is really important when going through the restoration. 
To Restore - przywrócić
To knock over/destroy – Przewrócić
With regards to learning the language I would say I’ve not made much progression, but I’ve come to terms that I’m in Poland and that people will speak Polish to me. I understand more as I look back on the week but not by day. If that makes sense 
Favourite scripture - I’m reading in 3 Nephi at the minute. Chapter 11 where the Saviour comes down is a powerful chapter. 
Something that was funny - Mat, one of the investigators, decided to have a surprise for Elder Garrison. So Friday we had a 'lesson' planned with mat, but he bought him a cake and we had a little party. On the way he slammed his brakes on the car and the cake splatted everywhere so when he opened the box it wasn't really a cake. 
Conversation - Raffael the referral we teach wanted us to go and visit his mum in Starachowice. She made us a 3 course meal and we had a good chat/lesson about the restoration with her. Another one. We had to explain to a man we play football with why we couldn't join for a swim in the hotel he owns, that was a good one. 

I’m sure I’ll have a good week. it's going to be fun getting to know this city and the branch here. We have a tonne of meetings set up and fun activities so I’ll let you know about them next week.  The weather has been pretty nice, not too cold, it’s not been raining. Sunday especially was such a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining.  It made me excited for spring and summer!

Good-bye Kielce!

Last foggy Sunday in Kielce.

Pic with Prez. I'll miss this man.
Kielce in the mid south to Poznan mid west about 220 miles travelling.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Sooooo good to play football!

So we had a good day today. We went to Świętokrzyskie, a place not far outside of Kielce.  It's the name of the whole mountain range but there's a monastery at the top of the hill.  Mat and his wife drove us there, it’s a huge old Catholic Monastery where they claim to have some of the cross from the Saviour's crucifixion.   Inside the Monastery the chapel was pretty big and I think is still in use. Above the picture there's some writing which translates to 'we worship the holy three'.

Elder Taylor

Apparently the pieces of the cross are inside the box

View from the top of the Monastery


Best bit of the week? Playing Futsal! We got invited to go and play with a lad and his team. They saw me and Elder Taylor kicking the ball about whilst contacting and approached us, we spoke for a good 30 mins. He invited us to play on his team that he runs in a tournament but we can’t do that, so we attended a training session on Thursday night. We played for about 2 hours and then spoke to them about the church and missions afterwards in the changing rooms.   It was soooooo good to play football again. We met a bunch of lads too, hopefully we can go tomorrow night and invite them to our open house. I scored around 20 goals and they all thought I was like Messi haha. We had a chat with them all afterwards in the changing room explaining who we are and things, Probably the best experience I’ve had yet.
Worst bit of the week? Fast Sunday crept up on us!
Favourite shop that I’ve been in? Not a shop but we ate out at a few good restaurants this week.   A good place just off the Sienkiewicza where they make Pierogi.
Favourite food of the week? Thursday was Fat’s a tradition for Polish people to eat as many pączki as they can, of course we joined in.
Best word that I’ve learnt? Jaki and Niż, I’m yet to use them in a sentence but they're really useful. They mean 'as'. For example...'as missionaries we,' but there's some rules for when you use them which makes them tricky to use. 
A thing that I’ve learnt? I've learnt that the post office is right by our house. We took a 20-minute bus ride to the post office and it took us about 100 yards away from out flat. I've also learnt that language study in the morning especially from out of the Polish Book of Mormon is incredibly helpful and sets you up for the day.

Another good experience. We let, a friend we teach, use the chapel for a presentation to people about moving to Denmark for studies. A big point he made was that they need English. We sat in on the meeting and then spoke to the class afterwards about our English class. We got 3 new young people coming because of it.

We've also met another guy, he's around 25 and used to study and work in Denmark. We found him whilst English contacting. He's a cool guy, we met with him a couple days ago for lunch and taught him a mint lesson. He's really interested and impressed with us as people. He took a Księga Mormona and we hope to meet with him tomorrow.  

I don’t really know with the language. I would say its improving but not as quickly as I would like. My understanding is still pretty low. But I know it's improving as I was able to order food the other day and understood pretty much everything that was said, which is tough with fast food places because they talk so quickly. I'll just keep working on it. 

Monday, 1 February 2016

You can't draw on the streets with chalk!

The week in a nutshell:-
Best bit - The best bit was probably meeting with Rafael, WE ACTUALLY HAD A SIT DOWN LESSON! Rafael was a referral that lives up in Denmark but he visits Poland regularly. He's a sweet guy, knows so much about the church and missionary work as he lives in the same apartment block as a set of Elders. We met with him and just chatted for about 2 hours. Time well spent i think.
Worst bit - Probably going to visit the pączki man and him having none left. I think I’m addicted to those things.
Funniest Moment - We were English contacting on the Sienkiewicza, we had the football out and this drunk guy wanted to play with us, I passed him the ball but he was that drunk he couldn't get it. He fell over so many times trying to kick it. Made my day that did.
I've tried hard this week to think of ways to play football, there are just no facilities to do it around here...unless you attend a college or school. We've got some good contacts though with people we've met this week. Hopefully we can arrange a game with them all.  Most of them I’m hoping will come to English class this week. 

Hardest bit - Having to deal with the wind, my hair isn't made for it. Also just having to change plans all the time because of people cancelling on you.
Best food - Elder Weiler made some amazing Mexican food Saturday morning. It's nice to have someone that can cook something other than eggs and rice. I don't mind making myself rice for 3 meals a day though. 
Best day - This week feels like one huge day merged together, each day had its ups and downs.

Something I’ve learned - You can't draw on the streets with chalk. We advertised our English class by drawing on the Sienkiewicza and the Stra
miejska found us afterwards and had a word with us. Funny experience as we played dumb that we didn't know Polish. (they’re like the street police).
Biggest challenge - Just not having found a solid investigator to teach yet. We're working on it though!
Best word - Prawdopodobnie is how you say 'probably'

End of a long day which is why my hair is terrible.  We went our for a meal with Mat.  I love that guy so much.
46Zł for a steak, bargain!

Popular Posts