Monday, 27 March 2017

Happy Mother's Day and Happy Mission Days

You can just about see some of the towers in Centrum.  Photo Credit: Elder Erickson.

Park Pole Mokotowkie

My mate was in town for a conference, we go waaaaayy back


we've turned one of the primary rooms into our chill out/meeting room

Alvarez looked hilarious with these glasses on.

Tuesday night English at the University.  Squading up with the student council.

Mother's Day Surprise 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Miracles can happen and will happen as long as we have faith and do everything we can to do good.

So this week has really been a hit and miss week, bit of a blur too, the weeks all seem to be connected as if it's just a long line of days that don't end. We've just been really busy recently and not busy with things that we should be busy with..just other things come up. 

We had a new fridge delivered this week, the first delivery day we missed as we were teaching our English class which meant we had to call and arrange a new day and time, the thing was I messed things up with the delivery time between 11-16, luckily it came pretty early on..but a 5 hour estimated delivery time is pretty are you supposed to plan the day with things like that? 

We've also had a new senior couple in, so we've had to run around and do things to make sure they had a comfortable first week, we had them down at the legal offices for some meetings on Monday and we've spent a lot of time in the office with them running them through how things go down in the office and what to do and things...the goal is to have them trained and independent by the end of the transfer or as soon as..just so we don't have to spend much time or any time at all in the office, hopefully it will be soon so we can get out and spend most of our time working with members and finding people to teach.

We picked up our new car early last week, we were out with Alvarez and Musgrave doing I'm not sure what..but we got a call saying that it was ready and that we could go and collect it. The place was a decent drive away and so we met the Assistants and a member who takes care of this sort of stuff and we drove over. We have a nice brand new Hyundai i20, it's pretty slow and doesn't have a turbo like the Meriva, it's automatic too which is a bummer. But it's brand new which is nice, i've already put almost 400km on it in the first week. on the way home the others left without me and I had no idea where I was and had no GPS or anything so I was going off my instinct, I missed our turn and so we ended up miles away from where we had to be, heading on the road towards Poznan haha. We turned around and eventually made it home, the road was pretty empty too and it was a motorway so I put the car through its first max speed test on the road. 

One night this week we spent with Alvarez and Musgrave again visiting libraries and leaving copies of the Book of Mormon and some fliers for our open house. Just some chill time in the car driving around the city in search of these libraries, it was so fun. I got to see more of the city that I've not seen before and I'm sure I have this city and the roads figured out now so getting around is not a problem. One of the libraries was located slap bang in the middle of old town, I've only walked around old town and the rynek once, which is a bit of a difference compared to Poznan where we were on it every day and night, we practically lived in Old Town. So yeah we had a chill night walking around old town and the Old Town walls and castle and forts and things. The weather was proper nice too. 

On Saturday we had our classic Saturday sports day. It was a special day as I played in my boots that I asked my dad to send me. It was so nice having a firm footing underneath me, not having to worry about falling over or anything. I managed to sprain my ankle though, which is like the 3rd time on my mission I've done that, kind of a pain but I'll get over it, it'll be good in a few days. I woke up Sunday morning and my ankle was spherical because of the swelling. 

We had a meal out one night this week with all the missionaries and a member and a friend of ours from English class. We went to this place in the centre of town that's more quality than quantity. 25zl for this weird burger and 5 potato wedges. This place also sells this raw meat and egg dish that is considered a delicacy, it was legit a piece of uncooked meat the same shape as a small pork pie, weird if you ask me. The night was good fun though, although we did have some troubles with parking and then finding this place thanks to terrible directions given by the others haha. 

I've not finished all the goodies you sent me yet, the Oreo Mint chocolate is so nice though so I'm making it last, all the Americans go crazy when I show them the oreo peanut butter chocolate. 

I called Elder Huffman on Sunday just because I call him almost every day, and he told me that the tiny branch of Szczecin had 36 people in church. Miracles can happen and will happen as long as we have faith and do everything we can to do good. 

Also it's my birthday in 8 days, the big 21st. Weird to think that I turned 20 almost a year ago with Elder Liechty in Poznan! Time really does fly!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Week 70 something.

It's been a long time since last Monday, a whole 10 days or something like that. Here's what we've been up to.

After emailing and all that last Monday we went out for some Kebab which didn't really live up to the hype, it just didn't taste that good, so we went round to the local Biedronka for some chocolate. We stood at the side of the road for about 20 mins deciding what to do. We had the squad together, Me, Adriano, Alvarez, Musgrave, Beem and Stahl. We decided to go and find a place for bowling, we thought there'd be a bowling place at Galeria Mokotów but when we got there it turned out there wasn't, classic! So we just chilled at the mall. Hit up the usual shops like Zara and H&M, had a look at all the new gadgets and tech at Saturn, then we came across a Hollister which was pretty funny so of course we went inside. You could actually see where you were going for once, which was pretty unusual. I remember as a young teen trying to pick out a new shirt for the next Huddersfield Stake youth dance, but not being able to tell if the shirt was black or white because it was so dark. We decided to bounce from the mall and go and bounce on some outdoor trampolines by our place. There's a really posh shopping mall and then a park and some trampolines. Sister Beem was jumping away, making a video blog, Adriano took off his shoes for some reason and then Sister Stahl ran straight onto her trampoline which was covered in water, it was like jumping into a pond haha, her feet got soaked. 

Tuesday was a pretty boring day. We had our district meeting a bit later on in the day as we had to drive our cars over to be serviced again and valued at the Hyundai garage which was about an hours drive from our apartment. On the way home from the garage we went the long way home which took us through Praga. we stopped at a red light and out of the corner of my eye I could see this huge brown bear just chilling there, I didn't realise we were right by the zoo. For district meeting I decided it would be good for us to learn from President Eyring and Elder Holland, so we watched that new Face to Face thing they did at the Church history site in Palmyra. It was nice to listen to two Apostles just talk in an environment other than General Conference, much more laid back and they were able just to talk and answer questions. A lot was based on what we can learn from the First Vision, When God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in the grove, what we can learn about scripture study and prayer. 

On Thursday we taught the Intermediate class which was cool, we talked about heroes and what a hero is, we asked the question 'what word comes to mind when you hear the word hero?', we got a lot of solid answers until Adriano throws out 'SPANDEX', there's always one. 

On Saturday we had a huge Sports Saturday, about 20 people showed up so we had to split into 3 teams. The last game we just had everyone playing which turned into a free for all. The turf was pretty slippy too, it was kind of like playing on ice, I fell over so many times and got burns and bruises all over my hands and legs, it was all worth it though. We went home and chilled and studied before heading over to Nowy Świat to teach the advanced class which again was mint! We had a quality game of telephone that got pretty weird in some points, the sentences got so messed up which always made it funny for the last person. 

Saturday night at 17 we had a big Warsaw District dinner as this weekend it was our District Conference weekend. It was good to see some of the members from Lublin again. The talks during the evening session were really good too. President gave a really good and simple talk, again on repentance and prayer. Sunday we had a huge turnout, pretty much all the members from Lublin were there, plus all the missionaries from the other branches too, it was a quality environment and I was able to chat and catch up with old friends. I had a mint opportunity and blessing of ordaining two members of the Lublin branch to the Office of Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood, with authority from President Turek.  Something I'll remember for a long time, in those situations you can't but help feel that Heavenly Father is helping you through the Spirit, as you speak words you didn't even think you could and give council and guidance through that Priesthood blessing. 

Sunday night as it got really late after a dinner at our place with Alvarez and Musgrave, we decided to have a sleepover. Nights like that are quality, I just enjoy good company and laughs, nothing beats it really, we made some solid food too. 

Yesterday night we had the long anticipated English Class at a university. A friend of the sisters hooked us up with classrooms and about 100 interested students to teach. So much good is going to happen because of this. We walked in and we even had time to stand and talk to them all in this huge auditorium before splitting off into different classes. We met so many young students. There was a cool guy from Zimbabwe that came which was sweet. It's going to be a weekly thing now and loads of people are interested in both English and who we are as missionaries.  We met so many solid people and they're all our age too. I can't wait for next Tuesday! 

I'm happy and well. Still trying to do my bit of good each day. Our Branch Missionary Leader has a 'ponderizer', something for us to think about through the week. This time round it's D&C 82:10, which is funny as it happens to be my Dad's favourite scripture. If you've ever listened to him give a talk, you've 100% heard him share it.

We went to the Chopin museum on Friday night with a friend of the Elders.  It was a pretty sweet place.

Looking way back to the days when i was 14. Hollister eventually made it to Poland.

We went on the trampolines by our apartment. Beem said 'high school musical it on 3'. Nailed it! 

Had a lads night on Sunday at our place in preparation for zone training 

Some Pimped out Clubmans

With my favourite Asian person in the world, MICHAEL! He was in town for District Conference 

So Sister Beem decided to draw me. She thought she got it pretty accurate. 'feed me carrots' is all you have to say in order to make her laugh. 

Realised that i've not sent a picture home of two of us yet. Here's Elder Adriano

Monday, 6 March 2017

I'm just a lad from England who kind of speaks Polish.

So on Tuesday the new elders came in! it was so funny just watching them and their facial expressions and just seeing how they were taking everything in. I don't really remember much of my first day and so it just reminded me that I was probably just as dazed as the two new lads that came in. 

We had a cool little meeting with a lad called Maciej on Tuesday night. We met at a little Georgian restaurant and had a good chat about the gospel and book of Mormon over some various flavoured lemonade. Would I pay 12zl again for the same drink? probably not, but it was good. We had to eat out again, so we had McDonalds, just the quickest option as we had to get somewhere, can't remember exactly where, I would have chosen somewhere different if we weren't in a rush.P day came on the Wednesday, Adriano paid 70zl for a haircut and got part of his ear cut off too which was funny.

On Thursday the new elders found out who their new comp would be, Elders Kriser and Baldwin were chosen this time round as trainers, two fine missionaries to have as a companion, so they're both in good hands. We had a huge 15 missionary district meeting which was kind of hectic, so hard to stay focused although we did get sorted what we needed to get sorted. It had the feeling of a zone conference or training.  We went for Manekin again that evening and then I had to make it home in record time, I had to take Kriser and his new comp Jabłoński back to the mission home, I got there pretty quick. 

All the legal work and appointments happened on the Friday, it went pretty smooth. Kind of weird how I'm the legal representative for new missionaries that come in now, I'm just a lad from England who kind of speaks Polish, but walking around those buildings with a briefcase in hand looks pretty cool. We chilled in the mall until we sent the trainees and trainers back home. We had a lesson that night over skype with a newly baptized brother and sister who live in Spain. It's pretty cool chatting and teaching them as they are so grateful for anything we do for them, and it's nice for them to speak with us as they don't have any opportunity to speak Polish with anyone in Spain, plus they don't speak Spanish, they're pretty solid and have changed their lives for the better and they see that. We chatted with them about the Europe area plan that was given us a few years ago, it's really helping us create unity here in Poland and working with members is effective when you have them use the area plan.

We had the morning footy match on Saturday, it absolutely wrecked me, I'm still so sore even now. I scored a load of goals to help drive our team to a win. We played against a bunch of cool lads from Belarus who come to our English class. It was the first time this year we've been able to play without snow. The sun came out too which was so nice, when the sun comes out here in Poland, everyone comes out and it's so much easier to talk with people. People ride bikes everywhere and get round on their rollerblades, I don't know how they're so good at it. I know i'd for sure fall over if my mode of transport was some blades. The warmer it gets the more I think about and am reminded of how good last summer was in Poznan. This week I had contact with some people I met and became friends with in Poznań. One lady sent me a picture and update of her house that we helped paint, the work is finally done and now she has a sweet place for her family to live, so that was nice to see and she invited me round for Fruit Tea if I was ever again in Poznan. And that I had a chat on the phone with a man called Krzysztof. He and his wife are some of the nicest people I've met in Poland. If you remember, it's the couple that we would teach English to at the park and also we would talk about the gospel a lot with them. I'm grateful for these little moments I had this week to chat with and catch up with people who have impacted my life just as much as I may have impacted theirs. 

Sunday was just your average sunday in Warsaw. We had a big attendance at church and then me and Bebel translated for the last hour in primary. Some of the things the kids come out with are hilarious, sometimes even make you think, there's a lot you can learn from young kids.

We headed out for a finding activity at the park as the sun was out and the people of Warsaw were out, I guess they sensed that us missionaries were ready to preach to them the good word. So much nicer being in a park outside centrum where the families are and nobody is in a rush. Bring on summer! 

This lad was from the Ukraine also doing his own preaching.  Notice the fire dancers in the background.

Zone conference a few weeks back - so good seeing these brothers!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A week of laughs, rain, snow, freaky devil man, style points and good byes

Hello everyone, sorry it's been a few weeks since I've blessed you with the opportunity to read about my week. It's good to be back. 

We can start with last Monday. As it was the last Pday before transfers we had a shopping list of things to buy. We took the transporter too so we could fit everyone in, we had to clean it too. On the list were Ties from Adam's Ties, Scarfs from the Legia store and Lapel Pins from the Uprising museum. After emailing we went for lunch, we just settled for some Mcdonalds, which is always a good choice until after eating it. We went to pick the rest of the district up from a metro stop, whilst waiting we were blasting music and going over transfers with eachother..we were shown the transfer board that morning whilst from that point we had all the knowledge that everyone else wants, I liked it but then didn't as you know what people want, but then you also know exactly what is happening with them. We took that privilege a bit far by shouting our districts transfer calls at them as they were approaching the car, we had music on and they couldn't hear us but it was funny, we continued to do that all throughout the week. we managed to check off the scarfs and ties from the list, but we didn't make it to the gift shop of the museum in time. Picked up some pretty nice ties, so I was happy. Trips in the car this transfer have always been a blast when we're all together, whether because of Einfeldt and his sketchy driving or because of us making a music video or whatever, they've all been quality. Favourite song of ours at the minute is Hallelujah done by Pentatonix, we listened to it 6 times in a row one time and many more times after that. 

We had a district meeting on Tuesday, the last of the transfer..a lot of 'lasts' happened this week. Haskett asked us all to share testimony after his bit, which was a nice end to the meeting. 

Elder Adriano came in on Wednesday. We went to pick him up from the Dworzec and then had a meeting at the office with President and the Jones' and the Assistants about transfers. More of a coordination meeting, figure out how everything was going to go down. We met the rest of the district at Nowy Świat before heading out to do some finding on the Patelnia...Oto Freaky Devil Man story. It was raining and I had no coat on as it had been warm, so I took Elder Barlow with me into a Rossman where I could buy an umbrella, done this so many times, they're cheap and I must have about 10 of them across Poland that I'd bought just for that day because it started raining. the others had walked on so it was just the two of us. We were on a really busy street in town and we walked past this guy who then from behind us shouted "Oi do you read the Bible", I didn't think he was talking to me but I turned around anyway to see him approaching us..he again asked us "do you read the Bible?", I answered and said 'Yeah I read the Bible do you Sir?', even though he spoke to me in English he didn't understand my English...story of my we started again in Polish, we got to the same point, yeah I read the bible, do you..and all that and then he starts talking about all these problems he's having, that he doesn't know God, that he feels bad, that he feels as though we can never know him, that he's abandoned us, that he's punishing him. Just as I'm about to start talking again he just yells and starts swearing in English, every bad word under the sun, Barlow looked at me as if to say 'is this guy alright', I start talking to him again and then all of a sudden he starts saying the word 'Where', for whatever reason this was his new favourite word. He started off quietly saying this word before gradually getting louder and louder, his eyes were legit yellow and he was spitting everywhere and foaming at the mouth, he was screaming the word 'where' and when you thought he couldn't get any louder he got louder, it sounded like some crazy wolf monster. Everyone around us was looking at us like 'what the heck is going on', I was lost for words until I told him to shut up, that made him made and he came right up to my face, I thought he was going to swing or something. After a few giggles we left the scene..all that over a question about the Bible. 

On Friday we took Culture night. We spent 1 hour walking to the bowling alley in the pouring rain and snow and it was so windy. Sister D almost passed out a few times. Bowling was fun though, after that we went to Toto again for food. 

It's been really good weather for the most part this week. This past Monday  it was 14.5 degrees. I was driving round with the windows down and everything.

Saying goodbye to Sister D

Fat Thursday

@ Adam's Ties - never seen so many ties in one place

Last Sunday photo shoot with Elder Barlow,  I'll miss this guy, hope he is enjoying himself in Bydgoszcz.

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Saying our farewells to Sister D on Monday - side note..I'm not swearing, I'm doing the American one.

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