Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Szczecin, Poland - Mighty mini mission, sad but grateful goodbyes and happy hellos!

Culture night:  Starszy Cutting & Starszy Liechty at our restaurant:  Oberża Chłopska
- it was out in the woods and there were goats outside! 
First try at pierogi!
The pierogi met my approval!  These were supersized!
Name tag for our mini-missionary!  
I love these two women!
Future leader!
The more selfies the better...right?!
A mini-missionary getting his missiomary swag on!
Starszy Liechty - what?!
Siostra Pokora & Starszy Platter
Headed out to work!
Many bittersweet thoughts and moments since we thought one of us might be leaving Szczecin!

She'll be a legend in my mission history!
Such an amazing trainer!
Siostra Pokora was amazing - never complained once!
Before the serious picture!
The serious picture.  
Apartment shenanigans! Look at those two!
Inside joke cookies for the elders...
(Madre D:  Raquel wrote nothing about the joke. ???  Such missionary humor!
 The writing on the cookies say:
"Sister what are you doing? & Please get off the tram!)
Elder Platter left for the mission home to for his last night as a missionary
 so during the wait for Elder Liechty's train for Poznan we made pancakes.
Starszy Liechty's pancake struggles!
Goodbye to Siostra Pierson
from a branch member and friend that adore her!

One last hug!  Oh how I love her
and aspire to be a missionary like her!

Cześć Family and Friends!!!!

To start this weekly letter off... TRANSFER CALLS!!! 

President Edgren called us this past Saturday and I am staying in Szczecin and Sister Pierson left to Wroclaw! The rest of my district, Elder Liechty and Elder Platter, left as well! Elder Platter finished his mission so he left to go home and Elder Liechty is now in Poznan!! We all thought that we were staying together! We all were sad and everything has kind of been bittersweet this week! 

Sister Pierson and I were so sad to leave each other! We have grown so close and she has taught me so much! I look up to her and she is a missionary I aspire to be like! 

My new companion in Siostra Sloan and she is amazing and super cute! The new Elders are Elder Garrison and Elder Einfeldt! I am so excited to see how this transfer goes and I can already tell it is going to be amazing!!

This week was crazy!! The twins were able to serve a mini mission with us this week!! For those who don't know what a mini mission is (I didn't know until I came here) it is an opportunity to serve with missionaries for a couple of days and do their normal missionary work/routine with them! It was suppose to happen at the beginning of the week but the twins were sick so we pushed it back! Instead we just rearranged our schedule and had a normal missionary schedule! 

Except on Thurdsay we had culture night!! We are able to spend one night of each transfer doing something cultural! Our entire distric went and ate at the coziest, cutest, rustic restaurant out in the woods named Oberza Chłopska.  It was like a cabin!  I finally tried Piergoi! They are so so good!! We then went and saw the Georgian Ballet! It was crazy and so much fun!! Think Russian dancing on steroids with accordians, pipes and drums.  Made me miss dancing a little bit. 

The mini mission started on Friday with our district meeting.  This week's district meeting was bittersweet! The meeting was before transfers but we all knew it could be our last one! We finished talking about Christ-like attributes!  There is a great exercise/worksheet in Preach My Gospel about this!

The meeting started off so good because we had made missionary tags for the twins and they were so excited to put them on! They were ready to go work so we started right away with a stanowisko! 

The twins were so awesome!  They weren't afraid at all and just started talking with people right away! The first bit of the stanowisko Ola and I contacted together! I know I have said that the twins have fire testimonies but seriously they are incredible! They know exactly what to say and speak with such confidence about the gospel! We then had seminary and institute! 

I love institute! The members here are so incredibly kind and patient, especially with my Polish! They always ask for my opinions and patiently wait for me to respond in Polish! 

Saturday was amazing! We woke up, had studies, and we were out the door! We went contacting for a while and then we tracted for a while! It was super cold but the twins never complained once! They were so willing to serve and just jump in with both feet! Ola took charge and lead so many tracting discussions! 

We were also able to teach an investigator with her! She was so confident and answered a lot of questions the investigator had! She even bore her testimony about her baptism! There was an incredible spirit in the room!! 

We ended the day with an English blitz! We are really trying to build up our English class here and so we are now calling it "English Club" and focusing it towards a younger audience! We were hanging out ulotki (flyers) like crazy!! 

We then came home and Ola made dinner for Sister Pierson and I because she really wanted to serve us! She is so, so, so cute!! 

Sunday came.  Since we had heard on Saturday that everyone but myself and the Cuttings werer being transfered we all knew it was our last as a district! I had the opportunity to sing with Elder Platter one last time during sacrament meeting! We sang a Child's Prayer in English! We each sang our own parts and then during the last verse when the two parts come together I just felt the Spirit so strongly that I literally had chills all over!

 As I was singing and looking at all the members I realized how much Heavenly Father loves each one of them and how each of them are truly a child of God! I sat down at the end and was filled with love and overcome with emotion! 

We ended the mini mission in Sunday School! It was the last time Sister Pierson and I would teach together! We talked about why it is important to teach the gospel and why it is a part of God's plan! I loved hearing about what they learned from the mini mission and why they think it is important to be missionaries every day! They both want to serve full time missions  - they will be the best missionaries ever!! 

That night we had a Valentine's Day celebration! We made this amazing dinner and then baked and decorated cookies for the members! We went and doorbell ditched all of them and it was seriously so much fun! 

When we came back I helped Sister Pierson finish packing super quickly.  Afterwards we just sat and talked about the transfer and all the funny/awkward moments that happened and everything we learned! We were laughing so hard my abs hurt! I could not have been blessed with a better trainer than Sister Pierson! 

The next day we woke up and had to go and hang with  Elder Liechty because Elder Platter left! We made pancakes all together and then sad goodbye to Elder Liechty.  

Shortly after that I had to say goodbye to Sister Pierson!  It was sad but I was so incredibly grateful our paths crossed and now I have a new friend that I cherish!  

I spent the whole day with the twins and their family which was so much fun and an awesome way to end the transfer!! 

I am so excited for this next transfer!! 

I just want to leave with a quick thought that has been running through my head all week...

Every person to ever exist on this earth is a child of God and has incredible worth because of this! He knows each of us individually.  He wants nothing more than for us to return to Him! 

I have felt the love from my Heavenly Father for me and for others over and over again on my mission! I know He loves us each individually and has a plan for us!! 

Until next week...

Kocham Was!!

Siostra DeMordaunt

(Note from Madre D:  The following are pictures I found online for the restaurant and Georgian Ballet!  I'm so glad they encourage a "cultural night"  - the arts are so good for the soul!)

Oberza Chłopska   http://oberzachlopska.pl
(Raquel's pierogi cost 21,50 zloty = approx. $5.50 in USD! I think we should all meet for dinner in Poland!) 

The Georgian National Ballet:  (from the web)
Georgian Folk Dances hold a niche of a huge treasure among the world’s cultural diversity. They go far beyond merely bringing delight and entertaining audiences. National spirit, personal traits of a Georgian - temper, giftedness, braveness, physical and inner gorgeousness are clearly perceived in it, as in one of the phenomena of Georgian culture. These exquisite and exciting dances depict Georgian history, traditions and culture, deeply impressing audiences.

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