Monday, 24 July 2017

Cool Connections.

So where do I start with this week...

Another week down and not much to talk about, but we've had some good experiences.

We've been having a lot of fun this week with English contacting. We went to a stationery store to buy some clipboards, made this little sign-up sheet and have been going around town having people sign up on the street for our English class. It's worked pretty well and people always are willing to chat. It's a much easier approach too. A lot of people speak English here. A cool little miracle that happened, well not a miracle, but just a quick answer to a prayer we had one day this week. Before we left the house we had our usual companionship prayer and in the prayer Elder McMaster asked that through the day someone would approach us who is prepared. As we came out of the shop a guy came up to us and asked if we were Mormons, to our surprise we answered 'yeah we're actually missionaries', he said cool can I have a Book of Mormon? Luckily Elder McMaster had one spare, so we gave it him, unfortunately, he lives in Gdansk and didn't want to meet straight away with Missionaries, so we settled for giving him our number and are waiting for a call. This happened just 1 hour after we left the apartment. 

On Wednesday we had a trip out to Katowice for Zone Conference. It was a long day, a long conference in the heat. At the start of conference, President told us that we could take off our suit coats if we wanted, I was the only Elder to keep mine on, President looked at me as if to say 'what are you doing?', I looked at him and said 'I'll keep mine on because I look good in it', he started laughing and then got my attention again and said 'it still doesn't help you', so yeah I got wrecked by President haha. Overall the conference was good. It was nice listening to all the leaders who had prepared messages for us. A lot of it was based on Faith and how we can better present ourselves as representatives of the Chuch. 

Saturday we had our standard sports activity down at the park. We're becoming regulars down at the Boisko now, we turn up and everyone says hello to us. It's a good few hours kicking a ball about and chatting with the lads down there. Elder McMaster and Groseclose were laughing at me because I always get proper serious. My hamstring was hurting, and it could have snapped I'm pretty sure if I stretched it too much, I sprinted after the ball and it went out of play, then I kind of leaned over and said out loud 'I can't do this, my leg hurts so bad', after I said that I tackled this guy and smashed the ball as hard as I could at the goal, it made them both laugh anyway haha.

Sunday was a good day. Alex cooked some food for us after church and we spent a few hours round there, talking and playing some games with a few other members too. 

Good company, good food, solid day.


Here we all are with Alex and Spencer Kimball who is visiting for 3 months.

The girls in the photo are from Utah - they're here as part of a study/teach abroad programme.  They teach English here for 3 months - they go home in about a month and then we get another group of 5 girls in Krakow.  The lad at the front is Spencer Kimball - he taught me in the MTC.

Note from mum - cool connections:-

In 2004 we went on a family holiday to New York and spent a week visiting church history sites around Palmyra.  We visited the Whitmer home where the church was organised and where there is a beautiful visitors centre with original artwork and an amazing bronze statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.  We were the only people there apart from a missionary couple - an Elder and Sister Kimball.  When we said we were from England Elder Kimball mentioned that we may have heard of his great grandfather who was one of the first missionaries to England - Heber C. Kimball (of course we had!!)  Elder Kimball proceeded to show us around the visitors centre and shared his testimony with us.  He was particularly interested in talking to Josef (aged 8) and Ben (aged 6) as we stood in front of the bronze of Hyrum and Joseph Smith and he shared his love for them and was grateful to us for taking our family there to visit.  It was a really special moment.  Now fast forward 11 years and who should teach Josef in the MTC but a recently returned missionary from the Poland Warsaw Mission - Elder Spencer Kimball, the grandson of the Elder Kimball we had met all those years earlier!!  We have only just realised the connection but think it's pretty amazing.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Let's be mighty in word, in deed, and in faith!

Mum! Just let everyone know that I'm alive and well and that we've had a solid week! 

We've had a good few days. So on Saturday we had Elder Erickson and Hansen come up from Mielec for a few days, church and pday so we've had them at our place. Saturday we played footy in the park for 3 hours against all sorts of people, Mexicans, Polish, I have the biggest blister and I'm sure I've broken my foot but it's all good. We just had our 4 elders and had a lad come and play on our team so we had 5. I was going 100% so nobody could stop me. Then today Kielce came up, so Alvarez was here for the day. We went to this mirror labyrinth, got some milkshakes, went up to Wawel castle again, its' been a good day.

Scripture from the week Helaman 10:4-5. Let's be mighty in word, in deed, and in faith! 

Monday, 10 July 2017

'You have to enjoy the small things in life, make the most of every opportunity!'

So how has this week been? It's been your classic week, just your ordinary activities and fun, in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe! Sometimes I overlook how lucky I am to be in a place like Kraków, but then I start to focus and get side tracked thinking I'm a tourist and wanting to do all the touristy things. Time is moving, Elder McMaster has moved in and we've had a solid week together, getting used to how we both teach and do things, it's always an interesting part of each new transfer. Being around him in his last transfer is all but reminding me that after him, I'm next. We often talk about the start of our time in Poland, how much energy we had, how much we relied on our trainers, how not knowing Polish made everything hard but yet so enjoyable. It's still kind of the same now, we rely on our companions and instead of worrying about not being able to speak Polish, we're more concerned with how we can use it for the good of others. 

Some things I'll share from the week:

One morning we were walking and we'd just left our apartment, there was a guy in front of us with his headphones on, one of these where you can hear what he's listening to it's that loud. I walked up next to him and just started a conversation with him, saying hello, speaking English, he couldn't hear me so I thought it was hilarious, I kept going but then he took his headphones and I was still chatting away to him..I realised that now he could hear me and the most awkward conversation started ha ha, caught me off guard. 

One of the days this week we were English contacting and ended up inviting some girls from Liverpool to the class, they laughed and told us where they were from, I got chatting with them with McMaster in awe at what was going on, two English people having a conversation. we helped them find a place to drink, they had no idea where they were, can't say I've ever done that before. I hope they remember their trip to Kraków.

I'm happy. This transfer has a totally different feel. We cleaned our apartment properly and then the landlady sent round an actual cleaner who spent 13 hours scrubbing the place, it's so fresh.  The lady that cleaned our apartment has to be one of the nicest ladies I've met. She was friendly. She had us meet her family over skype and as we left she even joined and knelt down in prayer with us. When we got back at the end of the day, after all day cleaning, she welcomed us home with a smile and asked us how our day was, if we managed to do some good for people. As she finished and packed her things up and left we gave her a book of Mormon in Ukrainian and hid inside a bit of money. We wanted to thank her in some way for the service she offered and for being a genuinely nice person. We don't know if she'll read it but we told her as she left that it will bring her joy and happiness.

Saturday was cool. We went to the park to play some footy but of course, as it does every Saturday it started hammering it down with rain, we got soaked but we played on. The surface we play on too get's proper slippy, I could run and slide about 10 metres. Anyway we had a good time and it taught me a small lesson that you have to enjoy the small things in life, make the most of every opportunity.

I taught a joint Priesthood and Relief Society lesson on Sunday. I taught about Baptism and started off by asking everyone present if they remembered their baptism, pretty much the whole hour went by,  us just talking about memories from our baptism. Maybe that's something we could all do more.  I don't know..just food for thought.

Have a good week!

Monday, 3 July 2017


Hello, everyone! It's the start of a new transfer. This morning Elder Groseclose and I helped put Elder Hadfield on his train to Łódź. It's about time President kicked him out of his second home. I'll miss his constant tiredness and how he was always just so hot, I'll also miss how he walked, he has a funny walk and slams his feet down, sounds like an Elephant haha, I wish him all the best in Łódź and hope that he'll find his field. My new Companion is Elder McMaster, he's in the group ahead of me and I've now served with 4 of the 5 elders from that group, I've been blessed with some quality companions.

We had a good last week together. On Wednesday Elder Fuhriman got a call from President telling him that he'll be going to the office, that he had to pack up his stuff and be ready to leave by Thursday. So from Thursday morning, we were in a trio. It was funny because all week we were winding him up saying how he'll be the next Office Elder. 

On Wednesday Elder Hadfield and I was cleaning our apartment because we had inspections at the end of the week. It was like 4 pm and someone rang our doorbell, we let them in the building and had no idea who it could be, I peeked through the eyehole to see a few Jehovah's Witnesses standing at our door waiting to share whatever message they had planned. As it's what we do here, try and talk to people, I gave them time and allowed them to talk to us about the Bible and what it teaches about the resurrection, as we replied and told them that we too are missionaries for our church their whole demeanour changed and they started asking us questions about the Book of Mormon and what it has to offer on the Resurrection, asking us 'what if; questions..we had a good discussion and bore testimony on what we know is true, i ended up giving them my number as they want to set up a meeting with us but with English Speakers from their side, we'll see how it goes. That evening we met up with the Elders and had some solid dinner at that pizza place we went to with Alex, also it was kind of last week of the transfer celebrations and Fuhriman's last night in Kraków.

Thursday was the start of the adventures of the Mighty Trio. Groseclose (aka Big Dumplings), Ashworth (aka The English man that nobody understands) and Hadfield (aka Tired man). Honestly, we had a blast together. We sent Furhiman off on his merry way for his 4-month spell in the office, long live Elder Furhiman!  Alex came to Kraków to spend some time with us, he met us at 3 pm and we went out and did some contacting for a bit before it started to throw it down. We headed over to the chapel and found Rafał, one of our mates, just sat outside the lift waiting for us, he told us he wasn't going to be at English nor would he have time to meet with us but he showed up which was nice, we just sat down and chatted before English class started. We hadn't planned anything so I pulled something out the air and we played just a memory game, hid loads of random items under a blanket and then they had to try and remember as many of the items as possible, it was good for vocab and pronunciation, it worked out decent. A nice touch to end the day was meeting Dallin Jeffs and his parents, Jeffs was my second companion and I have some good memories from serving together in Poznań all that time ago. Weird to think that I'm further on in my mission now than he was when we served together, time has flown by. Anyway, his parents were sweet and were kind enough to buy us some dinner, Jeffs loves his Kebabs so of course we went to the 'go to place' for missionaries and had some good food, certainly filled me up. We talked about all the things we got up to in Poznań and talked of his experience with coming back with his parents. if you're reading this Jeffs family, thank you! 

Friday we had cleaning checks and we did ok, enough that our apartment is safe to live in. We had an appointment set up with this fella in a town called Myśleniec, about 45 mins outside Kraków, this man is a member that got baptised in Austria but recently moved back and wanted a visit from the missionaries. The pictures of us eating lunch with the little fluffy dog are from this trip. It took us absolutely ages to get out there as the traffic in Kraków is terrible, we were sat on the bus for an hour before we even got near the border of the city, I took my shoes off and had a nap. We got there and the man was waiting for us at the bus station with his bike, this is all the info he gave us, we had no idea who or what we were looking for, in a foreign city, looking for someone we've never seen before, we turned the corner and out of the crowd of people we picked him out, we knew it was him, he greeted us, and we started the few km walk back to his place. We were greeted then by his 1 and a half-year-old fluffy puppy named Czarek. The sweetest thing I've ever met, reminded me so much of our Oscar back home, just in the way he acted and how he thought he was the toughest thing about. Myśleniec is a beautiful place, small and quaint, reminded me of Springhead, hills and small houses, few schools knocking about. I think I played with little Czarek the whole time. Piotr made us food and was happy to have us round. We chatted about his life and we told him about ours, all whilst sat in his front garden. He then walked us back to the bus stop and sent us on our way home. Nice guy, hope we can go out and visit him often, help him out with the work he's doing on his house and in his garden.

Saturday was the day of transfer calls, the day all the missionaries are stressed out, wondering when President will call. I was sure I was staying so I was cool and wasn't expecting a call from him, Hadfield, on the other hand, had his phone in hand all day waiting. To take his mind off things we went to Bobby Burger for lunch, the burgers they have there are solid! he called during our few hours in the park playing footy. We found a bunch of lads and made some 5 a-side teams and played for a few hours, getting to know them, talking to them about why we're here and that, it's a good way to talk to people about our church, at least I've found it to be effective. When they see how I play on the pitch, they think to is this guy a missionary, I've gotta figure him out and ask him questions..always works. I love a game of footy! President eventually called and told Hadfield his fate, He's off to the Boat (that's what Łódź means in Polish).  That evening we had another Lucas dinner at his home. Ribs, shepherd's pie, goats cheese and bacon, salad, smoothies, he made the lot! 

It's been so hot this week. I have a video of me pouring water all over myself in the street to deal with the heat, ask my parents about it if you want to see it. It felt so good, but I wouldn't recommend it if you don't fancy being wet all day. 

We had a good week, I'm ready for this new transfer! 

Wish you all a good week, do some good! 

Elder Groseclose

Elder Hadfield

Dallin Jeffs was in town

can you see us?

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