Tuesday, 27 December 2016

A memorable Wigilia in Tomaszów Lubelski with family.

There was no official email this week due to Christmas and transfers so I thought I, (Elder Ashworth's mum) would share a little bit about what he has been up to the last couple of days - mainly through photographs.  Just so you know, Elder Ashworth was transferred on Monday 26th December to Warsaw where he is going to serve with Elder Einfeldt as an office Elder.  He loved serving in Lublin but he is looking forward to a new adventure.

On Christmas Eve, he and Elder Dooley travelled to a village in the south-east of Poland called Tomaszów Lubelski.  This is where my grandad (Elder Ashworth's great-grandad) Wladislaw Josef Wisniewski was born in 1926.   Grandad escaped from Auschwitz during the Second World War and was also forced to work on a farm in Germany from where he also escaped.  At the end of the war he joined the Polish Free Army and his division were sent to Oswestry, Shropshire in the UK.  He met my grandma and then settled in the UK.  He died in 2009 and is buried in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Grandad's sister and her family still live in Tomaszow and this is who Elder Ashworth and Elder Dooley went to meet and celebrate Wigilia with.

Elder Ashworth with his great-grandad's sister

family grave in Tomaszow with memorial to grandad
Grandad Josef (1926-2009)

outside a wooden church


all together

Christmas Day skype

Monday, 19 December 2016

Wesołych Świąt. Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

So this week has come around so fast. We've been up to no good as usual and transfers are soon approaching. I'm not too nervous, I'm just happy to be spending Christmas here in Lublin with the Brothers. 

We had our exchange with Elders Haskett and Barlow this week. It was a good time. I've never been around Elder Haskett until this transfer so it was good being around him for a few days. The exchange started Wednesday night after English. For English we decided to practice writing letter to Santa. So we went through a bunch of ways to start letters, the most commonly picked being 'Yo Santa waddup'. It was a good laugh as usual, especially when Elder Dooley wrote that he wanted a pet dragon for Christmas as he doesn't like paying for his bus ticket, he's one of a kind haha. 

So on Thursday, our day started with us being fed breakfast by Elder Dooley, although the pancakes he made were terrible. He got up way earlier to prepare them and woke me up with the question..'do you have any eggs? I only have week old rotten eggs', well I didn't have any eggs so he continued to make the pancakes with rotten eggs..to the surprise of Elder Dooley they didn't taste too good. So we frisbeed them off our balcony, which amused us for a few minutes. We left the house around 9am and tried to catch everyone going to work and school, we have these '#ŚwiećŚwiatu' cards that we need to hand out before Christmas, we have a few boxes of them, so it seemed a good time to go and hand them out early. We went for some hot chocolate again at a place called 'U Szewca' on the rynek, looks just like an English pub, the hot chocolate is so good too, another bonus being that the United V Palace game was being shown on the TV so I got to watch about 30 mins of the game. Get In! 

That evening we were invited round to Ela's house as we arranged to cook for her to repay her for all the meals she's made for us. All 6 of us were there and we just made some proper missionary food, chicken and rice with some potatoes and salad, not too similar to a Classic Polish meal either. It was a solid evening, good people, Christmas music and all that. 

Friday we had our Friday night movie playing at the chapel, we finished the rest of Meet the Mormons and we had a few people show which was good. A guy called Marek came who we meet with from time to time, one of the nicest guys I've met. 

Saturday came around and we took a trip out to Świdnik for some service. Always a blast when we go out there. this time round, we shovelled coal, it confirmed Elder Hansen's thoughts of Eastern Europe..he said 'this is what I imagined when I thought of things I could get up to on my mission'. We shovelled a ton of it...about 1000kg of coal..and then threw it down a shoot into her basement. It was epic! Lunch came, prepared by Beata's mum, which is always quality food. 

The bus ride home was long, by accident we took the longer route home, which is why it was longer. But it worked to our advantage as both Elder Huffman and I were able to chat to the people that sat next to us. Of course the two girls that get on the bus would take the empty seats next to me and Elder Huffman over the many other empty seats.

We arrived home to a very misty and foggy Lublin. We had a bizarre idea for English planned which involved a backwards theme. So for the night we referred to each other as our names but backwards, and we wore our clothes backwards and we walked backwards, faced the wrong way, and just made a fool of ourselves as usual but it was funny. 

Sunday we had our special Christmas sacrament service which involved our branch choir and reading of the birth of christ from the bible, it was nice. I did the narration of the story in Polish and Elder Huffman read it in English. The 4 of us Elders and Michael sang a rendition of 'oh come, oh come, Emmanuel', it went alright I suppose. 

Then came the injury from the week. I shaved this morning before church, got to keep control of the beard you know, I threw my razor on my bed (as you do), then when I got home after church I jumped on my bed and somehow managed to slice my hand a few times on my razor. Who knew that a 4 titanium blade Wilkinson Sword razor from Rossman could have been so deadly!  It legit didn't stop bleeding for about 2 hours. So stupid haha. 

Sunday night we had a dessert and games night with the branch and friends at the Belo's home. It was good to be together before people go back home for Christmas.

So by next week I'll have my transfer call. We'll see what happens. So we have a cool day planned today. We're eating after this and then going shopping for a bit. at 15.30 we're going ice skating with some friends and then at 18.30 we have a bowling family home evening activity planned. So today is kind of a chill out day.

It's not snowing at the minute but it's been snowing, it's been down to -5 most nights, so it's cold. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Take it easy!

Starszy Ashworth 🎄. 

District Christmas photo. We went for the 'ghetto' look on purpose.

The snowy streets of Lublin

We shovelled a ton coal for some service

Out with the squad for some food 

DoolMaster 300

Monday, 12 December 2016

I've never been so cold and wet in my life!

Things we got up to this week. 

We had zone training on Tuesday. The last of this transfer, it was a big one this time round and I'm happy to get it out the way, although it was fun preparing for it and teaching. It was a fairly peaceful day too, we got to the dworzec on time, no running was needed, zone training went smoothly, we had bags of time to get back to the station in centrum, so again...no running was needed. Then we got back to Lublin a bit later than usual, after a nap on the train we went home and had food and went to sleep. 

Thursday we had a bomb Polish lesson with our good friend Magdalena, she's great!

Friday I washed all my clothes, all of them! here in Poland there's no such thing as a drier, so everything is air dried on a rack of sorts. I had to wait all morning for my clothes to dry which meant I was in a towel for the first half of the day haha. 

On Saturday we had a cool day! We had a branch party in the evening, so after studies we went over to the other elders place to prepare 'BOSS MEAL', a meal that was created when we had our exchange with Elders White and McPherson last transfer. If you want the recipe..let me know, it will change your life! Then we were invited to attend another 'Variete' at the Cultural centre, it was another epic show with some solid performances and humour. After that we went to the chapel for the branch party.

Sunday was a cold and wet day! Church was good, a nice service with talks based upon the sabbath day. From 16:30 to 19:00 we went to the end of line #4 and knocked on doors. It was dark and cold, and we were in an area with no street lights, and we had no way of getting home, even if we wanted to as the buses rarely came out here. We made the most of it, trying to keep ourselves motivated. I've never been so cold and wet in my life. I had a race with elder Dooley to keep myself warm and gave him a 30 yard head start, I caught him in no time! So that was my Sunday, not the Sunday I would have had back home. but it was fun I guess.

Take is easy, have a good week. 

My brother Elder Quackenbush

Dworzec Lublin

Dworzec Lublin

Bathroom selfie with DoolMaster 3000

Monday, 5 December 2016

Enos 1:26 - Those who are converted share the Gospel of Christ.

Where to begin, it's been the shortest week of my life for some reason, it's just flown by.

On Monday I treated myself to a new pair of jeans and a black woolly hat. We went to the old town and had a district picture that we'll be printing off and sending home as a Christmas card. So look out for that in the post. 

Tuesday we had a District Meeting which President joined us for. We had no clue he was coming, but it was nice to have him there. It's always good when President Turek is in on your meeting because I always learn something new..this time round I learnt the word 'to float' is ryfować. We weren't expecting anyone, so when the someone called the door it freaked Elder Huffman out, haha. We had a rather frustrating lesson with Bartek, it was good to be there with him and teach and all but the understanding of what we teach isn't quite there. 

Wednesday morning I got a phone call from an unknown number, it was Paweł calling to see if he could meet with us during the day. We met up after studies by Old town, with the snow pouring, and went to a place by the Rynek called 'Szewc' which is the word for 'Cobbler'. They had solid hot chocolate, which was needed as it's pretty cold out now. English class was hilarious, we had a bit of an English language segment and we had a chat, and then came the game..inspired by the video I received from my family of what happened at a family get together. We had to spin around 22 times, focusing on the ceiling, and then try and draw a specific thing on the whiteboard, it was so funny. We were all in stitches, it hurt to laugh and breathe for a short while after. 

Thursday was the day that Elder Sommerfeldt and White came to Lublin for exchanges. It was a bit of an adventure as their train didn't arrive till after 10pm. I guess not very unusual for others, but for missionaries it's so late! We had fun though and a moment where I thought I would have to put my 2 weeks of boxing training from when I was 14 to use, as a man ran up from behind us demanding money. I just talked to him and he soon left as he knew he wasn't going to get his 2zł for beer. 

Friday night we had a movie night at the chapel, a time for people to come and find out more about us as missionaries and as a church. Through the week we handed out over 1000 fliers, and we had 4 people show up. Those 4 people were people we personally invited..sounds about right for Poland. It was a decent night though. 

On Sunday we had a good testimony meeting, we had a lot at church too, there wasn't an empty seat. Myself and Ela took turns with the translating. After Church we went to visit someone in the hospital with Paweł. On the way, something happened that I'm always afraid will happen. A bird took a poop on my head, it was the only bird in the tree and it decided at that moment as I walked under to drop it on me. I was so mad, it embedded itself deep into my hair too. We were far from home, and I had nothing but snow and some tissues to get it out, so I had bird poo in my hair for a good 2 hours. 

That's my week. Here's a scripture for you. 

Enos 1:26 - Those who are converted share the Gospel of Christ.  We have zone training tomorrow.  This is the big one about family history and the area plan that we had the Seventy come down and speak to us about.  The zone is doing really well.  We have so many baptismal dates as a mission though, more than I've ever seen.  

Keep praying for me and I'll keep praying for you.

This is Boris, the Siberian Huskey - he belongs to Pawel.

the boys! Elder Summerfeldt and Elder White - they make me look like a kid

making pizza with Pawel and Elder Dooley

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