Wednesday, 31 August 2016

22nd August 2016

Hello,  so a week has been and gone already out here in Lublin! It's crazy how fast the time goes by.  We've been up to some good stuff here. I think I've settled in pretty well and am just about getting my bearings with the place. That's the thing I least look forward to with moving cities, having to figure out how to get around. Being Zone Leader means that I'll have the opportunity to have exchanges with each of the district leaders and his comp in the zone..so that's Łódź, Warszawa 1, Warszawa 2 and Lublin. Looking forward to having them come here and work with some different Elders. I'm lucky to have a Polish companion. We try to speak Polish at least half the time. He has me doing all the calling too which is good practice. 

Tuesday night we had a finding activity on the deptak here in town. It has a different feel to the deptak in Poznań, although there are more students and young people out.  I had a good experience  with a lad from Belarus. He spoke really good Polish, I almost didn't believe him when he told me he was from Belarus. We had a chat for a while, I got his number and told him we'd be in contact. 

Every day at the start of comp study we have a call session, just so we can confirm meetings and also try and set other meeting up. It's early so most of the phone calls are interesting, sometimes the words just don't come out. Wednesday we had English class, like probably most of the cities here, we don't have a huge turnout but that's something I want to change here. We're going to hit English contacting hard, that's how you meet people and make friends. I also had my own stamp made, with my name and number, it's a pretty cool thing to carry around with you.

Thursday I had an early trip to Warsaw. My train left Lublin at 6:50.  I got up at 5am which gave me plenty of time.  The train was terrible, just so hot and there were 6 people in the carriage I was in. I finally got to Warsaw and was met by Elders Cowley and Quackenbush, we got KFC for breakfast. Also there's a shop in the mall there that sells foreign foods..THEY HAD IRN BRU! 5zł well spent, I also had Elder Quackenbush buy a can, that first sip was heaven. MLC was good, all the leaders from the mission in a room discussing what the mission needs. It was cool as through discussion we determined ourselves what we would be teaching at zone training. President and Sister Turek are wonderful teachers and examples.  They were there with their children too which shows they're just a normal family who live and love the gospel. We realised after MLC that we were all late for our trains as the clock in the room was an hour behind.  I had a while for my train but those going back to Szczecin and to Katowice had 20 mins. Sister Barney and Gheen admitted defeat and so had to get new tickets.  Elders Garrison and Fetzer were determined not to miss their train so we hopped in presidents car and he drove us to the dworzec where we had a final sprint to the platform before it set off - classic missionary style. I had to go with them as I had nobody to stay with at the chapel. So when they got on the train I had an hour by myself at the station before my train left. It felt weird not to have someone by me but I didn't mind it.  It's so strange for any normal person to think..'how can it be strange being alone', honestly for a missionary you feel lost haha!  Eventually, Sister Barney and Gheen arrived at the station so i just chilled with them for a bit until my train left. I had a good laugh with Barney as usual.

Nothing much went down on Friday.  We had a few lessons and went to the mother of a members house, she's a sweet little old lady that loves the missionaries. We had a chat with her and she showed us all her photo albums from years ago and family trips and things. 

Saturday we had a pretty slow day.  Most of it was spent in the chapel as Elder Kapela had to do his branch stuff. I studied and played the piano whilst he did that. It's nice just to have some time outside of studies to sit and read the scriptures, even better in Polish. We had a lesson planned with someone who turned up late, which was unfortunate as that meant we couldn't teach, we had English which he stayed for and then had sports afterwards. For English we had some story making fun, we each had to add 4 words on to keep the story going, some strange things came out. I have a picture of the story that I'll send. Sports was alright.  It went from 6.30 to the end of the night. There were a few young lads playing football there and we had those from English come with us. We don't have a real football here which is a nightmare.  I'll have to buy one soon. We threw the American football around for a bit which is actually pretty fun.  I got the hang of it too, maybe I'll change sports. 

Sunday was solid, we had a good turnout. I had the chance to introduce myself and share testimony. I also was in charge of the music which was a flop. The piano has hymns loaded into it but it's a pain trying to get them to play. Also, I had to conduct to which I don't know how to do, so i just did 4/4 and made it fit the hymn haha. The branch here is bigger which is nice, we have members to work with and members to do things on sunday which always helps. 

Today we're going to Majdanek, a concentration camp from the war.  It's one of the biggest in Poland and is mostly still in tact. Should be a good cultural day.  I'm looking forward to it as we did nothing but the mall and chill in Poznań.

Introducing Elder Huffman

Everybody say hello to Starszy Kapela

Huge pomnik at the entrance to Majdanek concentration camp

Long straight barbed wire fences at Majdanek

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