Tuesday, 31 May 2016

I'm 7 months in?

I'm 7 months in? that's gone pretty quick. At least the last month has. This transfer ends on the 20th June I think. We've had a few lightning storms yes but it's been really hot and sunny. I have a huge tan line on my neck from my shirt and also on my wrist from where my watch has been.

We went tracting and found a little 'grove of trees'.

This face is known as the 'Elder Ashworth has had enough smile'
We're in a place as far as the tram will take you east. The stop is called Miłostowo, check it out on google maps, it's a really nice little area. There’s a street called Bozeny that you can search for (the only one I remember).

Looking at the end of this road is like the end of my mission.....miles away!

On Wednesday, we met a couple from Essex who were visiting Poznań for a few days. We helped them with luggage and told them how to get to the airport. It was funny seeing Elder Alvarez struggling to understand them.

I'll share a little miracle too; in my eyes it was a little miracle. So we've been meeting with a guy named Kuba for a while and he's a bro. such a sweet guy but we've not managed to meet with him for a few weeks or had much contact. We went on a tracting adventure on Friday in this place and didn't have much success even though we felt good about the place. We left thinking how come nothing came of that 2-hour block. It was on the tram ride home that we bumped into Kuba and managed to set up a meeting with him. It was a huge slap in the face ha-ha - Heavenly Father saying be patient and you'll see the blessings. 

Also on Friday when we had sports, someone from English class turned up with her dog and it turned from sports Friday to 'missionaries play with the dog Friday'. It was so nice just to play with a dog, it made me want to be around Oscar again so badly. The dog would slowly run up to you and then just topple over and want you to pet her.  It was a white Labrador; she was an older dog.

Church was good. It was a fast and testimony Sunday as we have some kind of broadcast next Sunday. The new mission president comes in sometime in early July. He may have a big conference or he may just visit cities individually or have zone conferences. I don’t really know. 

We're not getting up to much today just might go back to the flat and have a tidy up.

Playing badminton at the branch BBQ


More of the beauty of Poznan.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Witam was wszystkich.

Witam was wszystkich. Here's what happened through the week...

So the start to the week was naff as the weather was terrible. It was colder and rained a bit, I just wanted the sun to come back. So on Tuesday, we had our district meeting, led by the one and only me. It was good, we just read through Alma 26 and looked at how we can be more like Ammon when it comes to missionary work. It has to be one of my favourite chapters in the Book of Mormon. Another English class went well, although we were translating from Polish to English and they get really stressed out when they don't know a word and it's funny listening and watching them. The weather wasn't too great but we tried to spend as much time as we could outside doing things and talking with people. Elder Jeffs called me too and told me I was talking in sacrament meeting on Humility, I knew what I would be studying for the rest of the week during personal study. We had a really funny tracting experience in which we both broke out in laughter on one doorstep and then for the rest of the night it was so hard to keep a straight face. 

We had service again and we didn't pick weeds!! We helped clean around the hospice and move things around. It's good to get that 2 or so hours to focus on helping out at the hospice and nothing else. Bożena as always made us some good grub before heading back home to change quickly and head back to the chapel for a lesson with a guy...who didn't show...We used the time to better prepare for another meeting we had that evening..and by prepare I mean get ice cream. 

The elders from Gdańsk were down on exchange with the zone leaders so Friday lunch time we contacted in the sun for a few hours before getting Kraszkebab again..I've eaten so many Kebabs since coming to Poznań. I spent 60Zł on English ulotki..we now have 4800 English flyers to hand out..we spent an hour cutting them out at the chapel with the Poznań ulotki cutting song blasting in the background..which is 'Time to say goodbye' by Andrea Bocelli. Then we took to the town and had the 6 of us on the Deptak English contacting..when there's 6 of you in white shirts and ties you feel invincible. Sports Friday was also proper fun..it rained but it was still warm and we had a few people show up which was good. Probably the best one we've had so far.

Sports was fun, it rained and we got soaked but it was good fun!

That's what you get for having red trainers!

Saturday after English class we had a BBQ at the park which was sweet..Elder Alvarez took a bunch of pictures that I'll try and get off him. It was around 24 degrees on Saturday too. The hardest bit was getting everything including tables and food to the park. Elder Campora and I took a table down, it was a good long walk and the table wasn't light. We were dying by the end of it but we pulled through. My forearms are still aching from carrying it.

Sunday we had church in which I gave my talk. I ended up going for 20 mins. We didn't have too many people there which isn't what you want but it was still a good service. Three of the people there weren't members. Elder Campora led a good discussion afterwards in Sunday school about the scriptures. That evening we went tracting out east by the stadium as a district which was a decent end to the evening. 

The city is slowly becoming busier and busier each day which is good to see. Hopefully, we will have a good week. I'm treating myself to some new trousers today to replace the ones I ripped.I don't have the patience to sew them back up.

Till next week...do widzenia.

Monday, 16 May 2016

'Things that happened in the life of Elder Ashworth who is serving in the Poland Warsaw in the city of Poznań with Elder Alvarez'

We're back with another edition of 'Things that happened in the life of Elder Ashworth who is serving in the Poland Warsaw in the city of Poznań with Elder Alvarez'...long title I know.

Introducing Elder Alvarez.

TUESDAY - As Elder Alvarez coming in messed everything up, joking it didn't really, we went food shopping as we literally had nothing in the apartment. We spent a bit of time cleaning up and doing some house chores before settling down for studies. The apartment is clean now which is good.  We've had some boss weather this week, which was the case on Tuesday..so we had a chalk talk down on plac wolności..I have a right good tan and the classic missionary tan lines. I have one on my wrist too from my watch. For FHE we played frisbee in the park and I bought everyone ice cream. So funny story of the day...I split my pants as I went to pick the frisbee up, right up the back..must be putting on a bit of weight.

Elder Garrison and I.

WEDNESDAY - We had zone training which involved role plays and being with the zone which is always a good time. I was able to return to Elder Liechty all of his ties and frisbee that he left when returned to Szczecin, he's a dope. We had a quality English class in which I had them tell me in English of course, how to make a jam sandwich. It was so funny as I pretended as if I knew nothing and was stupid. Jam ended up everywhere and I made such a mess but they loved it. 

THURSDAY - We picked weeds again in the sun for a few hours at the hospice for service. It's all good serving but I may need a change of activity soon. Every time I see a weed I want to pick it now. After we had a meal prepared by the lovely Bożena which as always was nice. Later that evening we had a meeting with a lady named Monika who thanked us for the English class on Wednesday as she had a hard days work and we cheered her up. Who new making sandwiches and trying to be funny could make someones day. 

FRIDAY - Typical Friday..weekly planning..sport in the rain, but it was really hot outside which was cool..then for the evening we spent a few hours on the deptak playing guitars and contacting. 

SATURDAY - We had the baptism of Marcin which was a good occasion, the first I've attended in Poland. Not much happened, we taught English class and spent most of the day at the chapel with the baptism and cleaning and running around after things. 

The legend that is.....Elder Campora!

SUNDAY - Another Sunday has been and gone...not many turned up but that never seems to matter here, the service still goes ahead and the spirit is still with us and we all come away with some sort of spiritual growth. Church here is mint! The rest of the day was spent tracting..we met a few nice people who we spoke to for a while..one guy from Australia and another who was interested in checking out one of our church services..

We have a goal this week as a companionship to prayerfully find one person on the street that we can help bring closer to Christ...I look forward to a week of hard work..

I climbed a tree. Nothing much more to say really.

We've had some crazy weather these past few days including rain, sun and some lightning storms. It's just like being home.

Beautiful night out on the Rynek.

Monday, 9 May 2016

I Love This Place!

Things that happened this week...

Tuesday - I lead my first district meeting on the transfer. I thought about what I wanted to talk about and prayed and all that..the answer was to teach about motivation, diligence, perseverance etc....I started by sharing a couple of scriptures that get me hyped and ready to work and then we just spoke about things and I asked questions and I showed a talk called 'perseverance' by James E. Faust which is a good talk. Then we set goals..one goal for how were going to improve ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. We were also graced with the presence of Tanner and Joseph. Tanner being Elder Jeffs' cousin and his friend Joseph who were visiting Germany as he had served there on his mission. Something else interesting was the opportunity I had to give Marcin his baptismal interview. Just a rare experience to have as a 20 year old lad serving a mission and conducting the interview in a 2nd language. FHE was good also as we had a good turnout, around 10 people showed up.

Wednesday - We went round to Iza's house after studies and sang with her and to her mum for a while before teaching her. I thought about reading the introduction of the book of Mormon with her and talking about it. It was a good little meeting. Before English class we went out English contacting, seeing if we could get new people to come to the class..we were told that something had happened with the trams and so we had to get off the one we were on, we walked down to Fredry to see the no.8 tram had come completely off the tracks..mental..and it caused the biggest pile up of trams, maybe 20 in a row. For English class we taught direction and getting around town as we have a blind lady in the class who asked us kindly if we would go through some vocab. We created a maze out of the chairs and furniture in the chapel and had them direct each other through the maze blindfolded, all in English of course..it was mint! 

Thursday - We went and did service again at the hospice..it's a good opportunity for us to help out around the city and get to know knew people but my fingers are hurting from picking weeds 3 weeks in a row for 3 hours straight, I pulled out the mother of all weeds though, the root was as long as my arm. I may have slightly over exaggerated but it was a huge thing. We had an interesting Bożena meal in which she presented us with a new soup of hers...it was pink..and then in the evening we had a meeting with Monika..the half English half gospel kind of meeting.  I went through the Plan Zbawienia with her. 

Friday - Morning in the Park with Krzysztof and Irena learning Polish and teaching English. I look forward to Friday lunch time every week as I get to chill with them and have a laugh. Sport also happened, Elder Jeffs and Campora came this week which was good..we had our Branch mission leader, Markus, there too and we played football and frisbee until we got tired, which didn't take too long as it was roasting. I picked up a pretty good tan that day, just my face though haha. That evening we had a lesson with a lady named Alicja, it was funny as it was the end of a long day, straight after sport, I was tired and sweaty and we were teaching English and yeah..I laughed a lot. 

Saturday - Saturday we didn't get up to whole lot as Elder Freeman got sick through the night. We taught the advanced class and by taught I mean I gave them a list of long words they had to spell and it was fun to see them try and do it. We have a good bunch of people who come to the advanced class sometimes and I get on with them all and it's fun. We went home as Elder Freeman couldn't work so he slept and I worked out, I  studied and then prepared my Sunday School lesson. It was a beautiful day too so I put a chair out on the balcony and sat out in the sun for a bit. 

Sunday - We started church at 10 this week, an hour earlier than usual, we're experimenting in the branch. We had a good service in which both Elder Jeffs and Campora gave talks. I then taught Sunday School on 'praying to our Heavenly Father' and it went pretty well. I used a lot of scriptures to answer all the why, what, when, who, how questions. We went home so Elder Freeman could rest and I cleaned up and made food and caught up on studies. Then came the skype call home. I loved every minute of it and it was nice to see everyone's faces and hear their voices. 

Something extra that happened through the week. We were waiting for a tram and there was a crazy guy doing kung fu chops and kicks on whatever he saw as a target haha. He would do the splits and then stand up really quickly and poke the eyes out of all the big metal poles around. Flipping hilarious. Many Lampposts and fences felt the wrath of him that day. 

You see all sorts of nonsense in Poznań, I love this place.

Monday, 2 May 2016

We're small in number in Poland but big in heart and testimony.

Culture Day in Toruń
It's been another good week here in Poznań. There seems to be a direct correlation between how warm it is and success of finding.

Things that happened this week...

We took Pday on Tuesday. After emailing I took Elder Couto and Elder Freeman to Tylko Nas, A typical milk bar by the rynek. The food there is so good. The rest of the day was spent shopping as I needed a few things, and I bought myself a new pair of shoes, which are too big, always happens when buying shoes, they fit just right when you try them on but then when you get home they magically grow. We had a fun FHE in which just Iza turned up. So there were the 5 missionaries and Iza, we had a little spiritual thought and then played a few fun games.

So on Wednesday I hit my 6-month mark. That's a quarter of my mission gone already. We had a very successful day and taught 6 lessons, 4 of them being on the chalk talk we did. I had a really good lesson with this one girl, I went and joined her by where she was sitting and introduced myself. I then showed her the scripture we wrote on the ground (Proverbs 3:5-6) and she shared how it completely fit with some circumstances in her life. hopefully we'll be able to set up this week. Elder Freeman also had a good laugh with contacting people. I remember he came up to me and said 'I just stopped this guy and told him that God is our loving Heavenly Father, then I didn't know what to say so the guy just walked away’. It was funny haha. We had another fun English class as always and then Elder Couto led a short religious class afterwards in which we spoke about trials and hardships. Depressing I know but it was good because everything came back to the atonement and how we can find peace and happiness through the Saviour.

So Thursday was a good day. We started by saying goodbye to Elder Couto and then had a McDonalds breakfast. We had service at 10 down at the hospice. On the way I called all the sisters from my group and wished them a happy 6 months. It was cool and they all told me that I made their day haha. What would they do without me aye? in the evening we had an individual lesson with a lady from English class. We went through some English with her and then taught her about the Restoration. I really felt the spirit guiding me through that lesson, it was a good experience.

We kicked the day off on Friday with some standard exercise and studies. After that we met Krzysztof and Irena in the park and had a good hour or so with them going through English things and just general chit chat. They're the nicest people I've met in Poland by far. We had an unsuccessful sports Friday as nobody showed up, but we took our dinner hour and played frisbee for a bit, it was nice to take some time to relax. We had weekly planning with pizza and then went tracting for the evening.

Saturday was fun. At 8 we got a call from the other elders saying they had missed their train to Warsaw. Of course they didn't have enough money to pay for new tickets so I had to step in and save the day. We had 40 mins to get to the other side of the city on a day when the trams aren't as frequent and Poznań is just mental to get around anyway. We made it though, it was incredibly dramatic with a final sprint across the bridge to the dworzec, I was definitely on par with Usain Bolt. We treated our heroics with a McDonald’s breakfast and headed home. Elder Freeman and I taught both English classes combined which was both terrible and really fun at the same time and we had a bunch of new people show up again. That night we had a chill night with the Poznań YSA. We sat in little park in the centre of town by the theatre and huge fountain and had pizza and just chatted and had a laugh.

Sunday was a good day, with a really spiritual testimony meeting. We're small in number in Poland but big in heart and testimony.

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