Tuesday, 25 October 2016

I like this place, a lot!

This week was transfers - I'm staying in Lublin and that makes me happy. I like this place, a lot! My new companion is the slightly crazy and loving Elder Dooley. He's joined me in the reign of ZL of the Warsaw Zone so it'll be a good time.

On Tuesday President Turek joined us in Lublin for our District Meeting and he also spoke with us all individually. The main reason was to let Elder Lange know of his new assignment. Elder Lange along with Elder Cowley will be serving in a new area in a city that sits on the border of Poland and Germany. Elder Lange is happy as this means he gets to speak his native language, which will only be an asset to the work in this mission. We were all so happy for him when he told us on Tuesday.

On Wednesday we went to Świdnik and did some service again at Beata's house. More of the same stuff, heading down the woods and collecting trees. there was a new adventure this time in that we broke their drain pipe dragging these trees and branches past their house, so we had to fix it. We went to the shop round the corner to buy the parts needed, borrowed some ladders from the neighbour and then went to work. Huffman and I took on the job but had no idea what we were doing, we managed to get it fixed though. We were tightening the bolts and screws to hold the pipe in place and the pliers slipped and lost grip and I nearly lost my finger, just 2 small holes in my finger was the result. I kind of yelped like a little dog. 

On Thursday we said goodbye to Elder Lange. 

Friday we had a day in the wind, rain and cold finding less active members and former investigators. We also spent 1 hour on a bus getting from one side of the city to the other. The traffic here is terrible at the moment. Friday evening we were invited round to our friend Marek's house. He is a priest at a big local church in Lublin. He's one of the nicest guys I've met. He fed us cake and gave us hot water to drink, we chatted and shared some Mormon messages and conference talks with him and we watched some of the videos he showed us. It was a nice evening. 

Sunday we had church and Elder Huffman, Myself and Elder Kapela had to give talks, although we didn't find out till 7pm Saturday night. In the morning at 10am President Belo phoned me and asked me if I could speak on something else instead of what I had prepared for. I said yes and had to talk about the restoration, he asked me to 'teach' a restoration for my talk as I would on a daily basis, we don't teach a full restoration much to people here, so it was the first time for a while I ran through a full restoration. It was in Polish, I had no notes, I just went for it and it worked out just fine.  I didn't struggle with getting my words out or sharing testimony, the words just came out, they made sense. A real moment I was able to see the Gift of Tongues working.

Yesterday, after studies, we contacted for a while and then I arranged  for us to go out for lunch with a friend of ours called Magdalena. She's cool and took us to this fancy restaurant where I bought some over-priced soup. She gave us an invitation to a huge circus show, so we'll be going there this saturday. After that we had another appointment with a girl named Małgorzata, she brought her friend with her and we chilled in KUL (look 'KUL' up on the internet) and had a laugh and chatted about religion. They're interested in coming to our sunday service in exchange for us going with them to theirs. Her friend Michał was a nice guy. So that was the day - then we picked Elder Dooley up.

Saying good-bye to Elder Lange

Day of former investigator finding, terrible weather but we had Dominos for dinner though

I got a bit 'atsy' with some glow up balloons and glow sticks

Thursday evening at the Dworzec. Sending Elder Lange off to his new area 

Michael invited us round for lunch

Bus ride home from Świdnik to Lublin

Monday, 17 October 2016

This City Makes Sense Now.

Tuesday - Zone Training was a win. I loved being there and teaching and speaking and working with Sister D and Thornton. Sister D was her usual self and was stressing about it haha - but she overcame and did a good job! We have a special zone here in the Warsaw District, I've strengthened and made new friendships through this transfer. To finish off the training I asked Elder Schwanke, Connelley, and Kapela to bear testimony as it would be the last time they could in that kind of setting. The spirit felt as these 3 lads shared what they know to be true and what they've learned through 2 years of service was immense.

Wednesday -  Nothing too much happened this day. We've been trying to go and visit and see what the crack is with all the former investigators we have in the area book. It's been quite an adventure traveling to all these different parts of the city. I know my way around this place pretty well now. It's been a time of uncovering all the dark areas on the map and connecting roads and things. This City makes sense now. We had English club that evening. We had a few people come. Elder Huffman and I were forced into singing our 'creed style' cover of Hallelujah. It was so funny but embarrassing. I played and Huffman sang with his best Creed voice. I joined in to save the awkwardness. I've said this a few times, I've made a fool of myself so many times at English club but I don't really care, it's kind of who I am now. Those at English also loved the performance too.

Thursday was the day that Campora has been waiting for, for around 4 months - I finally sent him his Ryłko  shoes.!  If you're reading this pal, love you man! We had a finding activity that afternoon.  The first guy I spoke just summed up the whole activity. He came up to the 'free table' we had set up and so I approached him and started talking to him.  He says to me 'answer me this..who is Jesus Christ?' I started telling this man who Jesus Christ is for me in my life, he then stopped me and said 'Listen to me, I'm going to give you a name, you are Andrzej Z, now explain to me who you are as Andrzej Z' I was so confused as to what was going on so I just didn't answer him.  He then said 'you trying to explain to me who you are as Andrzej Z is just like you trying to explain who Jesus Christ is, it has no meaning'. He left and I just kind of laughed to myself at what I'd just been a part of.

Friday - We got Flu shots! Hopefully, this means that I'm invincible and will stay healthy through winter. The whole Flu shot episode was so funny and bizarre. We all had to strip down in this room from the belt upwards, and then be checked by a doctor, it was awkward. I couldn't stop laughing though, I've not been shirtless in public for a long time.  For the car lovers out there I saw the most beautiful BMW 330i parked by the deptak. We went tracting that evening and for a bit of fun we had a play in the park we found. Swings, slides, see-saw, the lot! Then next to it was an outside gym - all the equipment is created in a way that when you lift it's always your body weight, but not really. You'd have to do so many reps to break a sweat, but it was hilarious doing exercises on these machines. There was a seated row kind of machine, when you pull back it moves the seat as if you're pulling your body weight, but you can do it really fast and you just bounce up and down, we were in stitches watching each other on these machines, especially when Elder Kapela gave it a go. We have a lot of fun when we do things as a district.

Saturday - I woke and my arm was aching really bad from the flu shot, but I persevered and worked out! Saturday afternoon we were invited round to the house of a friend of the other elders and ours. Present were the 4 of us elders, Michael (Branch Mission Leader), Ela (our friend) and then two of her friends. We had some good food and a good chat around the table. Whilst waiting at the bus stop on our way to the chapel for English we saw some people running from the security guard and a worker of the local Biedronka, they had stolen some alcohol and other things and were being chased, it got my adrenaline going as they managed to catch them! English was a win also, Magdalena, a friend of ours who comes to English taught the class how to juggle. I'm determined to learn how to juggle 4 balls.

Sunday - Church as usual. We spent the evening trying to undo the bad that happened to Elder Huffman. First , he left a folder full of potentials on the bus and then he lost his name tag whilst chasing after the bus. We prayed on the street that we would find his name tag and then the hunt began. We searched all over, retracing their tracks, as we were walking around I saw a 55 bus approaching us (the same number that he left the folder on) I signaled to Elder Huffman, we gave each other the nod and then we absolutely bucked it to the next bus stop, which was about 250m away, we've never run so fast in our lives.  As the slight gradient of the hill started to tire us, the bus passed us and we just about missed it. We never got the folder back, and never found the tag, they'll turn up at some point.

It's been a good week. Now on to the last week of this transfer. It's going to be a good one,  I can feel it.


Warsaw Zone Training

Just a random part of town we've never been to before

Monday, 10 October 2016

Culture Day - Poland vs Holland - so fun to be there!

I managed to keep up with my Journal and Planner writing this week, so I have things to talk about. Woo! 
So earlier this week I broke my already broken bed, so I've been sleeping on the couch. It's probably comfier than most of the beds I've had throughout my mission.

On Wednesday I spent another day in Warsaw as we had MLC for the upcoming Zone Trainings. Ours is tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it as we have everything planned out and we're teaching and going over 3 really simple and important aspects of missionary work.

1) Receiving revelation 
2) How we can get our investigators in church
3) The Gift of Tongues

President Turek and myself had another chat about things he may have tried in England on his mission. We then tried to explain to everyone what 'egg and soldiers' are.   When I got home I went straight to English which was such a good activity. We had around 20 there again and played games and things. We played a game where we each had a piece of paper that was passed around and every time we had to write any instruction for someone to do. When they had all been passed around there was probably around 10 instructions on each sheet of paper. We then one by one chose a random sheet from the pile and had to complete what was written down. Some of the things were hilarious and we were all in stitches.

On Thursday we spent the morning cleaning our apartment as we had cleaning checks the next day. This place looked and felt clean but when I got down and properly cleaned it, it was so gross! As if it hadn't been cleaned for a few years. I'm glad it's clean now,  though. Elder and Sister Jones came to inspect, we passed which is a relief and then they treated us to lunch. We hopped on a bus and headed to the old town to this burger place. The food there is good and so cheap.

After lunch,  we said goodbye to Elder and sister Jones and then Elder Kapela and I had to go over to President and Sister Belo's home to help him with some Polish Homework he had. This is on Friday by the way...
He's studying to be a doctor and had to do some role plays of him talking with patients and doing check ups, but in Polish.  He had a script written out and we were there to translate and help with his pronunciation. It took a few hours as they fed us too which we were grateful for. Elder Kapela was the patient and I was the camera man. They turned out pretty good. I don't think President Belo will be getting a certificate in Polish anytime soon haha.
Saturday morning after studies we had lunch at a members home. She lives in a beautiful house just outside of Lublin.  We met her husband and her 18-year-old son who are both cool guys. The food was good too. Classic Polish potatoes with Chicken, salad,  and soup.

Then came the culture day activity. The football game was so good, the quality wasn't great.  Elder Huffman compared it with High School football in America. The occasion was good, it was really cold though. It was Poland vs Holland, so international level.  Poland won, by a long shot!   The Dutch QB got sacked so many times.  It was so fun to be there.  After, we went out for food and Michael came with us, he's with us all the time, it's great! 

Elders Kapela, Ashworth, Huffman and Lange

Do good.

Elder Ashworth

Monday, 3 October 2016

Moments from the week...here we go!

We had another 'Dank' district meeting on Tuesday. Talked about focusing on what we're here to do and to forget about the things that aren't in our control. We stress too much over the things we have absolutely no control over, it's dumb really, even as people, we do that, but we've just got to focus on what we have and where we want to go. 

We were contacting afterwards and there was this really loud and funny Ukranian lady handing out Subway fliers, every time we had a good conversation going with someone she would come over, interrupt and hand the person we were talking to a flier - it was so annoying. We saw the funny side though, we laughed about it for a while afterwards and now we consider her our friend, whenever we're on the deptak she's up there with us but we talk to her. We've taught her all sorts about the gospel.
We've had a few good contacting sessions this week. Some more successful than others, that's a given though. On Thursday we managed to hand a few books out and teach some lessons on the street. The first guy Elder Huffman and I stopped, gave us some time to talk and was really open to our message. We had a solid conversation.  We were able to throw so much truth out and share our testimonies with him, but nothing came of it.  It's moments like this that make me think, how could he have possibly passed on this opportunity to take a book and change his life for the better. To find the true path that leads to salvation. .how!? I take comfort in knowing that it just wasn't that persons time, Heavenly Father is preparing that individual, we just found them too early, they will have another opportunity to listen, maybe years down the line, but they will.

Another time this week we had a bizarre contacting session, this time involving a drunk man..his first words to us were 'jestem po piwie, ale słucham'..we spoke to him for a while..then alone I spoke to him for longer..and a little longer, until finally I managed to end the conversation. He wasn't super drunk, he asked me some good questions and we managed to teach him things he understood. He took a book and I challenged him to read it and pray. We'll see what happens. Next came a guy, very passionate about his faith in Christ, but convinced that he is already perfected in Christ and saved through his grace alone. I told him many times that he's wrong and that there are still things we have to do in order to receive salvation - and to tell me he's already perfect was something I've never heard before. He also tried to heal a man we were talking to that had a throat problem. Like I said it was a bizarre bit of contacting. I also got targeted by a bird - if you know what I mean - left a nice mark on my shoulder. Haha.

On Saturday we picked up a load of supplies from President Belo's house and took them to the chapel.  The supplies included 3 huge packs of toilet roll.  I don't know why, but carrying toilet roll around has always made me feel uncomfortable. We all have our trials right? It was embarrassing 

English class was good this week. Both times we had people come, not as many but enough to have fun. We had some members there too. 

On Sunday 1000's of bikers drove down the main road that the chapel is on.  It was during conference but the noise was incredible and I had to check it out. It was a nice sight.  We spent a total of 12 hours at the chapel watching conference. 

Time well spent! 

Saturday night we had cake at the chapel for Elder Huffman's 20th. We sang happy birthday in 4 languages. Chinese, English, German and Polish. 

We spent 12 hours at the chapel yesterday watching conference. I'm happy to have spent it in Lublin with these people.

6.30am view from our balcony

Michael is back in town. He's our Branch Mission Leader. He's from Taiwan. Love the guy already. We have such a laugh together.

making pancakes at the chapel. 

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