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.