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

Monday, 7 November 2016

Wszystkich Świętych - Lipowa Cmentarz

Are you all ready for this weeks adventures - 

On Monday after emailing we walked around for a bit before meeting Michael in the Old Town, we booked to go and do an escape room. It was called Jail #3, so we were locked in a big jail cell and we had to get out. It stressed me out big time as we couldn't figure out one of the clues. We made it out in time though. We met a bunch of youth from Philadelphia on the Old Town, we just followed the noise as we figured it couldn't have been coming from Polish people. There was about 60 of them. Turns out they were all Jewish and were here in Poland visiting all the Jewish history and things, reminds me of when I was in Kraków 5 years ago on my history school trip. They encircled us and were asking us all sorts of questions.  I had one guy who was a Chelsea fan asking me to report on what I thought of the united defeat to Chelsea..the cheeky beggar haha.

Tuesday (Wszystkich Świętych) was a good day. Started off with a classic district meeting, followed by a long lesson/bible study we had been invited to by the other elders. The purpose being to help this individual gain an understanding of scriptures in the Bible that she struggled to understand properly, also we helped her understand how the church teaches these parts of doctrine. Then came the night time, we headed over to Lipowa Cmentarz with Michael, of course, and just enjoyed the beauty of the flowers and lights. We were there for a while as this Cemetery is huge, and the lights were endless.  

Wednesday was a hit. We had a meeting with a guy called Bartek. Just an 18-year-old lad who wants to learn English. We read through the Przedmowa of the Book of Mormon with him and then he translated it into English. English class was sweet, it was CLASS if I may say so. We had a poetry night. We went and bought a load of candles after studies from Tesco to use. We turned all the lights off, it was dark outside, only the candle-light lit the room and we just let words flow freely onto paper. I was given the topic and had to write a poem about a tree I fell in love with. It was a masterpiece. 

Zone Training happened on Thursday. It was a good time. Although we got there only by a miracle. We got up and prepared ourselves on time, left the house on time, but traffic got in the way and there was no way we were going to make it. We pulled up at the station at 7:53, with just under a minute to go before the train left. My job again was to sprint as fast as I could from the bus and try and hold up the train. I got to the platform but there was no train. The train hadn't arrived yet, it had been delayed a couple of minutes,  i guess our prayers were answered.

Some of the new Elders in my zone - Dickson, Hansen and Barlow

Warsaw Zone

Infamous MTC group

Friday not much happened, we had a meeting get cancelled and just weekly planned and did a bit of contacting. Marlena had us round at her place again for dinner. We were there most of the night and then she drove us home. The food was soooo good! We had Russian style Pierogi to start with and then boiled fish for main. The fish came out whole - head, skin, bones, everything.  It was interesting to look at, but tasted so good! 

On Saturday instead of English we had a late branch halloween party. There was a load of food there, loads of people, it was a good time. We had a few friends come from English. We also had a few investigators there and friends of the church which was good to see. I was the DJ for a bit, I'm sure my choice of music got the party going. 

Sunday was a long day, as most fast sundays are. We planned a missionary coordination meeting at 9am, so we were there but Michael was an hour late, of course we forgave him haha. Decent testimony meeting. The translation went well for Elders Quorom. Then came the long wait for 5pm..the time we'd arranged as a branch to have a 'break the fast' at the Belo's home. We filled our faces with the leftover food from the previous nights party. Spaghetti and red sauce has never tasted so good! 

So that's me for this week. 

Do some good. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

I'm the new designated translator - English to Polish, Polish to English...

Here's the week for you. Some things that happened.
Wednesday was my first proper day with Elder Dooley and we had a full but fun day. It started off with a tense trip to the dworzec, we barely gave ourselves enough time to get to the station and Huffman was stressing out haha. He has a train to catch to Warsaw to collect his new companion. We got to the train in time but it wasn't without a final sprint from the bus to the station...classic. 

We went to visit a less active member, it was a struggle finding his apartment but we got there eventually. The guy wasn't in, but we found a good Autumn setting and had a photo shoot instead. We had to return home quickly as a guy was coming to 'fix' the heating at our place. I say 'fix' because all he did was change the batteries in the Thermostat thing, if I knew how it worked I could have done that..he spoke to us as if we were stupid too. But we have heating now,I don't have to sleep in that bear onesie anymore. For English we had 3 people come, the numbers have dropped but he we still had a great time. We did a scavenger hunt, we hid around 50 letters all over the chapel and had them search for them, we even forgot where we hid some of the letters.

We had a mint lesson with a young lad named Bartek on Thursday. We taught him English by teaching a first lesson in Polish and then having him translate it into English. It worked so good, also it helped him understand the doctrine and what we were teaching as he had to translate and make sure he understood.

Friday I was in Warsaw all day with Dooley for MLC. We have Zone Trainings this week and so we met to talk about what we will be teaching.  President and Sister Turek introduced us to EDPER.  Explain, Demonstrate, Practice, Evaluate and Repractice.   I guess it's a new way of teaching that can be applied to any situation. For the train ride home I bought some Irn Bru! 

Saturday we took an early culture night and headed over to the cultural centre in town for a show/circus event that we were invited to by one of our friends. It was so cool and had a load of cool acts and performances. Probably the best thing I've done for culture night so far on my mission.

Sunday we had church. I think I'm the new designated translator now that Kapela had gone. From English to Polish or from Polish to English, I did the lot. It's a lot of speaking and listening but it's good practice.  I had to translate Sacrament meeting.  Now that Elder Kapela isn't there someone has to do it.  President Belo only speaks Portuguese and English, so when he conducts he does it in English, so I had to stand at the front and translate for the Polish members.  Then Elder Dooley and Elder Hanson gave talks so I translated that into English for the English speakers and then President Belo filled the time with a talk which I had to translate into Polish.  It all worked out.  

We have All Saints Day coming up this week and they have 'dzień zmarłych'  too.   It's a time for the Polish people to remember their loved ones who have passed. It's a beautiful holiday to have and a beautiful time of year. The Cemeteries here are being decorated, flowers and lights and candles of all colours are being placed on graves by family members. At night time it's a wonderful sight. It's a sign that there's hope of life after death, and we as members of the church are blessed to have this truth and knowledge restored. That we can be sealed together as families and live with them forever. Tuesday night is the night to go as it's the day of the holiday - I'll take pictures.

Have a great week!

last week you asked what Autumn is like here

Elder Dooley

we burnt things for my year mark, not a shirt though because I like all my shirts.  We burnt a few socks and a dictionary that we found.  I'm surpised that somebody in our complex didn't phone the fire service, there was so much smoke.  We had it under control though, Elder Dooley is an Eagle scout (whatever that means).

at the cemetery which has been decorated with flowers and candles by the families - it looks so nice

quality time at the show/circus

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