Monday, May 16, 2016

Gdańsk, Poland - Grave finding, Using "I" instead of "we", PB&J English Class, Polish kompot, Translating

Baltic Sea - Gdansk, Poland!  - Sometimes I can't believe I'm here!

Love this Canadian companion of mine!  Siostra Young!
I was so happy to be at the beach!  BLISS! 
Starszy Larsen and Starszy Musgrave!
Starszy Musgrave, Starszy Larsen, Siostra Taggart, Starszy Taggart
Here's a little homage to my 6 feet tall volleyballin' sisters! 
Searching for graves with our favorite young woman!
This young woman was rockin' family history this week!
Everywhere you look there are amazing views!
On the train to zone conference in Bydgoszcz!
Gdańsk District youngsters!
Who knows?! 
View from the train of the rapeseed fields - they go on and on!
Seriously so beautiful!
Bydgoszcz Zone (we may be missing a few!?)
(Madre D: Raquel didn't list names but I'll try:
Back row: Starszy Larsen, Starszy Jeffs (hands in air), Starszy Musgraves
Second to back: 
Starszy Rowley, Starszy Garrison, Starszy Ashworth
Second to front: Starzy Alvarez, Starzy Campora, Starszy Coutu, StarszyLiechty
Front: Siostra Kemp, Siostra DeMordaunt, Siostra Craig, Siostra Young, 
Siostra Stahl, Siostra Sloan)
So fun to see everyone!
Love these two...three!
Starszy Liechty (he's back in Szczecin!) and Starszy Ashworth
(photo bomber: Starszy Garrison)

Siostra Stahl is a new missionary - Siostra Sloan is training her!  She's doing great!
Notice Siostra Young and Siostra Craig's happy reunion in the right corner!
"Slodaunt" reunited again!  I miss her!
Of course another happy hug with my MTC comp Siostra Kamp!
He said we took his agency away to make him pose like this
...but really no one can take your agency!
Myself, Starszy Ashworth, Siostra Kamp (good old MTC district members!)
Sorry this is blurry but I love these two!  It feels like home when I am with them!
Another new missionary Starszy Rowley!
I have no idea what Starszy Lietchy is doing!
New missionaries in our zone!  They are doing great!
(Madre D: Raquel sent these with one sentence
 - "Find their moms and tell them they are doing great!"
I've tried and can't find them...hope this somehow finds them! )
Met up with the Boise Boy - Starszy Garrison!
Starszy Garrison and Starszy Ashworth!
A rare moment on seriousness!
Starszy Coutu, our favorite lady and mission mom Siostra Edgren, Starszy Jeffs! 
Starszy Alvarez and Starszy Larsen
Starszy Ashworth and the pizza about to be consumed within seconds by our zone!
Not a very well lit picture - but he said send it to his mom!
More rapeseed fields on the train ride home!  Isn't this country amazing?!
Polish Kompot - stewed fruit!  Shared year round! It is tasty!
English class! - One of the best parts of our week!
PB & J instruction intro!
The result of one groups instructions!
Demonstrating "the proper method" of creating the PB&J!
This marathon in Gdańsk doesn't lack for scenery!

Cześć Family and Friends!!!!

SPRING IS HERE!!!! I have finally started to see some sunshine consistently now! I am so happy!!  Poland is starting to thaw and so are the people!! 

This week was absolutely amazing!!

On Monday we had one of the best P-days so far! We went and had a picnic on the beach! It was so warm and just so much fun to sit and relax and talk!  Something I love about Gdansk is we are so close to the beach!! 

Tuesday was amazing! We are working with a young woman in the branch to complete her family history work and be able to send some names to the temple! There is so much excitement in the air about the Freiburg temple opening back up! That is the nearest temple for most people in the North Zone! We started last week and just kind of introduced her to it. Little did we know she would grab hold of it so quickly! She came back the next week and began telling us all about the Family History she had been doing! She talked about how she had found names upon names! She even found out a couple of new incredible stories!! She was so excited! We decided to go to a grave yard and look for her ancestors grave! The grave yard was huge! We searched forever and we couldn't find it but she was determined! Her mom finally called us after she had been able to find online the coordinates of the grave! We searched a little while longer and found it! She was so happy! This was a huge testimony builder for me about Family History work! She and her mom have done so much research and are continuing to do so! They are so excited and they love finding new things! This has increased my desire to do more Family History work when I go home! 

The next day was Zone Training! I always love these meetings! I feel like I learn so much and it sets up the transfer for what I need to improve on! We talked a lot about stuff we already should be doing but how we can do them better! The main points were: be bold- listen to the spirit then have courage to act, slow down- be simple and teach to their level, be sincere- prove your love in a sense that you truly come to know and love that person, personalize- testify your own testimony, promise blessings- be specific as possible and answer the why, bear testimony- testify as you teach, and mention baptism- it should be natural in the progression of teaching!! 

We talked a lot about sometimes how we get into the habit of saying we, "we believe, we know, etc." This isn't making a connection with that person! We are called to be missionaries but we are also called to love the people we serve with all our hearts! If we are up front about our purpose, who we are, and what we believe and then truly form a relationship with that person then the gospel will always come up!! 

Something I loved that President Edgren said was, "Sometimes we make connections with our investigators, but we fail to make connections with ourselves." This goes along with getting away from the "we statement" and really sharing your own testimony and your own conversion story! We did a lot of role plays practicing it! I definitely have fallen into the "we" trap! I feel like once an "I" statement is out there you become very vulnerable in front of that person but that is also when you are able to share your own experiences! This was a huge eye opener to me! I had definitely forgotten this since the MTC!! It was also so good to see so many of the missionaries I have served with before as well as meet some new ones!! 

Thursdays always go by so fast! We sing every Thursday in the old folks home and then we have English!! Sister Young and I were in charge of English this week and it was so much fun! We decided to make PB&Js! W first asked them what that meant to see what they knew.  Then we explained what it was and the basics of how to make them! It was now their turn.  We asked them to write specific instructions on how to make a PB&J and I made them exactly as they wrote them! We told them to be as specific as possible! It was so much fun!! 

Some of them understood and told us to unscrew the lids, take the knife and spread the peanut butter and jam and fold the bread with the peanut butter and jelly on the inside.  Others were more general and simplified.  A couple of times I just stacked the jars on top of each other with bread per the instructions written!  One group was really specific and I even had to yodel while making them and strike a cheesy pose at the end! They all laughed and laughed and we served them PB&J at the end! They loved it!! It was such a good class!! 

Friday we went over to a member's house! She is the sweetest thing ever! She made us kompot, which is fruit that is boiled in water and then they add sugar! It is so good!! She is the sweetest lady ever! She loved telling us stories and showing us pictures!! We also went to this really cool presentation of a former investigator called Meet Gdansk! She works at a library and they had a whole segment on traditional food! Most of the food was amazing, the only sketchy thing was spreadable meat but we ate it without any complaints! We were asked to do a presentation on Canada (Sister Young is from there) for a group of English school kids next Friday! I'm so excited to go to Polish School for a day - especially to speak with the kids and hear their Polish!

Saturday was also fun! We had sport Saturday at the beach! We played volleyball and the son of the family we are working with came!! He was awesome and fun!  He wished it would have lasted longer! There is just a light about him and we are excited to continue working with his family!! 

Sunday was awesome! Church was so good and inspiring! We recently had the oldest member in Poland move back to Gdansk!  (I think I wrote about this earlier!) All the members just love her! She shared her conversion story and the entire congregation had tears in their eyes.  It was so touching to listen to someone that had held to the faith for so long and continues to serve!  That is what we are here for - to help people gain this type of solid testimony! 

We also had a former investigator come to church! She is a young girl who is super! She loved sacrament meeting so she stayed for Relief Society! 

Sunday was also huge for me because it was my first time translating!!!!! I translated in Relief Society! I had been praying all week and all of Sunday that Heavenly Father would help me to communicate! My prayers were answered through the investigator! I messed up several times but she knew English so I would turn to her and she helped me!! The members were so patient and cheered me on!! I was so grateful for her! She is now wanting to meet again and learn more! I know serving one another brings the Spirit on stronger!  Sister Young and I are elated!! 

Sunday continues to be great - Siostra Young and I met with a less active who is absolutely adorable! She wanted me to bring my guitar.  We ended up walking with her and singing to her brother and the neighbors! We had such a good lesson with her! She struggles with depression but she is in such a good place right now! She even asked if she could pray and where she would like us to have her read in the Book of Mormon!! We couldn't believe it, this was huge for her!!!  Depression is real and the Gospel can assist to relieve it.

I am loving Gdansk!!!  Miracles are happening every day! 

I am so grateful to be a missionary and to meet such incredible people! I am so grateful for such incredible members!!!  I also know how greatly blessed I am to serve here in Poland!!

Kocham Was!!!!

Siostra DeMordaunt

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