Monday, 26 June 2017

Remember that you are all missionaries and disciples of Christ and should be actively engaged in the hastening of this work.

The week...
We've been lucky this week in that we've had 4 lunch/dinner appointments. One with Alex, our mate from Indonesia, one of the most solid members in Poland and wants to go on a mission. He's a good example of what every young 20-year-old lad should aspire to be doing. He spent some time with us on Friday and we went to this cool little pizza place by the chapel. 18ZŁ for a huge pizza and the guy that served us was impressed that 3 foreigners were speaking Polish. We set up a meeting with a recent convert, she didn't want to meet at the chapel or in the park or at her place so she chose KFC instead, I wasn't complaining. On Saturday we had some goooooood food made by Lucas, another solid member in the Branch, Alex helped prepare a few dishes too making some Indonesian style food. He lives in a nice apartment overlooking the Wisła and it's so nice chilling on the balcony having a good chat with everyone. The other reason I love going over to Lucas' house is for the Massage chair, sometimes you get a bit tense out here. Next, we had a potluck dinner get together thing at the Stroble's house. Brother Stroble served here on his mission a decent while ago and is here with his wife and their two almost 1-year-old boys who happen to be twins. It was good company and a good evening spent with friends of the branch.

On Wednesday we went to print out some more English fliers, 100 pages of them with 10 on each which means another 1000, the lady at the Xero was overworked so we had to cut them out with scissors ourselves at the chapel, absolute nightmare, we had one good pair of scissors and another tiny pair of yellow ones for little kids, I took those ones and by the end of it my fingers were wrecked..but now we have an extra 1000 fliers to hand out, even if they are all terribly cut out.

On Friday we were riding the tram to the chapel for a meeting, we didn't know the weather report and so weren't informed that today a huge storm would hit at the exact moment we stepped off the tram. It started off light and Hadfield had his umbrella so we were at least safe from the water, all though we started lobbing it down, not joking when I say that the roads turned into a river within minutes, it was crazy! The wind was so strong too that the rain was coming sideways and there was nothing the little umbrella could do. We were soaked! I couldn't even save the hair. That night I sang to elder Hadfield whilst playing the guitar we have in our apartment, I sang to him about the day and about how he was tired, he's always tired, it's his catch phrase.

On Saturday we turned up at the park for sports and there was a huge street ball tournament going on. Loud music, loads of guys playing ball, it was good to watch and at one point we were considering filling in for a team that was missing, we would have got destroyed but would have made a good mission story.

We've been meeting with a lad this week who referred himself to meet with us and he is honestly one of the most sincere and honest people I've met, just so open to listening and sharing what he learns. he's been to church twice and each time he's made notes and really involves himself. I hope we are what he's looking for and will be able to help in whatever spiritual guidance he is searching for.

Remember that you are all missionaries and disciples of Christ and should be actively engaged in the hastening of this work.

Have a good week and do some good

we got lunch with Alex at this solid Pizza place. 

Bought this huge bread croissant thing for 2ZŁ, so cheap!

Monday, 19 June 2017

A baptism in Poznan and a baptism in Krakow.

Another week has flown by. Actually, it's been 2 weeks since I last emailed. Our trip down to the mountains last week was quality. The scenery down in that part of Poland is unreal, I mean I don't think I have to tell you that, the pictures explain it pretty well. The weather was perfect and being with good company made it all the better. It's been sweet having the opportunity to meet the families and parents of a few of the sisters from the good old MTC group. Mental to think that all happened over 18 months ago. I'm grateful for the friendship I have with each of them!

So just a few things that happened through the week.

I found out that there was a baptism in Poznań at the weekend. I was so happy because that place needs some solid new members, my happiness was made even greater when I found out that it was a lad called Dominik. Elder Alvarez and I knocked on his door over a year ago after praying for an area to go tract in. His house was the first house we knocked on and he let us in. He came to everything, sports at the park, English class and church on Sunday. When I left Poznań I always wondered what would happen with him and him meeting the missionaries. Well, this past Saturday another one of our brothers entered into a covenant with God through baptism. A wonderful example of how sometimes it takes time for some before they are properly prepared. We too in Krakow had a baptism. The other Elders continued the teaching and friendship of a lady that many missionaries for the past 7 years have been adding to. 7 YEARS! She was finally baptised.

I gave a talk last Sunday in church. We had a huge group of BYU students show up to church so we ended up with about 75 people at church, it was mental.

Ended up drinking fruit tea at this old man's house last night after walking him home. He forgot how to get home or where he lived so we helped him find it. He was a nice guy. I was laughing all night at just how bizarre the whole thing was.

We spent a decent amount of time with the Demordaunts and Nathan Garrison and his fam this week. Wednesday we joined them as they walked around the old town exploring. We took our dinner hour and went up to Wawel Castle with them which was fun.

Hope you have a good week. do some good!

Sister Barney

Barney family

Garrison family


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Friends Reunited

It has been a week of happy reunions and visiting more of beautiful Poland

the Demordaunt family

Stunning Zakopane

Lake 'Morskie Oko'

Sister Barney

the Kamp family

Monday, 5 June 2017

It's Easy to Spread Happiness!

I didn't have much time last week to write an update about everything I got up to. I'll write about this week and then go back a week and talk about our visit from Elder Anderson.

This week has been a bit of a pain! The heat has been intense and it wears you down, but we soldiered on and got things done! We had a few meetings fall through as well which is always fun, an hour that you didn't have to spend outside on the streets just got opened up. It really tests your determination and drive and even testimony..always come out feeling positive when you know you've worked hard!

So back to last week and the events of the few days in Warsaw! As soon as we found out that Elder Anderson would be visiting us we were all hyped! I remember calling all the Missionaries I'm close with and talking about how we were going to be able to see each other, that was probably the initial thought of every missionary when they found out it was a mission-wide conference. We were asked to prepare for the meeting, not given any specific topic to study or anything..just told to prepare spiritually. I guess we were given that council for the reason that whatever message was shared by Elder Anderson, whatever he taught us, Whatever council he gave us was as is in every case to be understood and taken in through the Holy Ghost. Our train was late, we had planned to go get food with some of the missionaries that were waiting at the train station but that didn't end up happening. It was a good job I'd bought some snacks from the shop before getting on the train. We arrived at the Church to see every missionary pouring out from the front doors to come and greet us. We were the last bunch to come in. It was so good to see everyone. I ran around like a crazy man hugging everything and anyone. we got a whole squad photo outside before taking our seats in the chapel. Looking around gave me such a huge feeling of unity and strength. When you're one of 4 elders in a city, a whole city, especially one the size of Kraków, it's easy to feel a sense of inadequacy and weakness, but looking around helped me to see that I'm part of a 60 or so man army sharing the gospel in Poland.

After waiting for Elder Anderson and President Turek to arrive we had a solid musical performance from some of the Missionaries, it invited the Spirit 100%. Elder Anderson was accompanied by His wife Sister Anderson and also Elder Sabin of the 70 and his wife. He walked amongst us, teaching us about the importance of Faith in this work. He talked highly of President Turek, which again affirmed to me of his inspired calling, President Turek is a great man, humble and teachable, looks to us for help just as much as we look to him. We were reminded by Elder Sabin of the amount of help we have, from both sides of the Veil, we don't just have our companions, in fact we have Angels on our right and on our left, the families of those people we are teaching, members of our own families, we have the faith of the missionaries and members of Poland pushing us along. Elder Anderson asked us and encouraged everyone to celebrate the success of every baptism across the mission as though it was you who helped teach and baptise. We were taught that we can answer our own prayers..our prayers are always answered, but if we want to receive the answer we have to show God that we want it, we have to get out and work and pray more and do everything we can to answer our won prayer. 

Having Elder Anderson there was a miracle of its own, his visit wasn't planned, it was by promptings of the Spirit and by confirmation of prayer that they scheduled the visit into their busy lives. It wasn't by chance that it happened which made it ever more special. He said that this day would be a historic day, that good things will come, it all depends on our faith though. The presence of Elder Sabin was appreciated as what he had to say and his addition to the teachings of Elder Anderson were just as inspired. He told a story of the first man to break the 4-minute mile, people thought it was impossible, he tried and tried and tried until he eventually did it, now that it was possible, people saw that it was possible they believed that they too could break it. In the next few months, over 100 people broke the 4-minute mile, something that until that point in time was seemingly impossible, a lot about the work of God and faith can be learnt from this story. Elder Anderson then asked us all, if it were possible, to stay for the meeting he was doing for the members and friends of the church. His reasonings being that today is going to be a historic day. That would mean that 60 missionaries would have to be split between 5 apartments and the Mission Home. It all worked out though, even if it did mean I was out till almost midnight driving missionaries around in the transporter to where they were staying for the night, it's certainly a day I won't forgot. So many more things I could write about this day, but I'll end there.

The next day we had to get ourselves back to Krakow, no money as it was the end of the month, no way of buying tickets as the mission cards weren't working, a bit of a nightmare really.  I was up all night too as you could imagine what it was like having 10 elders in one apartment. We managed to get back though, Elder Groseclose came in and saved the day. When we got off the train and was walking home with Elder Hadfield it honestly felt like a dream, everything we got up to all dragged into one day, there's no way it was a whole 24 hours earlier that we were walking down the same road on our way to Warsaw. 

The funniest thing that happened this week has to be the mirrors we found in the mall. We stood in front of them for a good 10 minutes laughing and taking pictures. I was in stitches, people were laughing because I was laughing haha. I love that about laughter, it reminded me of a video I saw on that thing they call the internet nowadays. It was a video of a lady on either the tube in London, or just some form of Public transport, it was set up, but she started laughing and then within a few minutes everyone around her on the tram or bus or whatever was laughing, some crying with laughter, it's such a good video, shows how easy it is to spread happiness, shows the importance of serving with a smile.

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