Monday, July 11, 2016

Gdansk, Poland - Pray and look for miracles - they're out there!

Marlbork Castle
Built in Prussia by Catholic crusaders names after the Virgin Mary!
World's largest brick castle!
Myself, Siostra Groesbeck, Starszy Larsen! 
This is an interesting symbol of Christ: the Pelican is tearing part of itself 
to feed the chicks just like Christ gave his life for us!
Look at that ceiling and those chandeliers!
Queen Magistrates!
Gdansk District (sans Starszy Taggart) with visiting Starszy Spencer Kimball
Siostra Groesbeck, myself, Starszy Larsen, Starszy Musgrave,
Starszy Kimball, Siostra Taggart, Starszy Fuhriman
Laying cobblestone by hand!
One day we randomly all coordinated!
Cześć Family and Friends!!!!

Ok.... so I know I say this every week but... IT WAS A MIRACLE WEEK!!  A week full of so much gratitude and so many smiles! There was even a day where my face hurt from smiling so much!!

The week started off amazing! There is a castle called Malbork that is compltely made out of brick! It is the largest castle in the world made out of brick in the world!  Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in what was once Marienburg, Prussia by Catholic Teutonic crusaders who named it Marienburg or Mary after the Virgin Mary. (Poland history is crazy good!)  It was absolutely beautiful ! 

I have been wanting to go since I first came to Gdansk and we finally went! There was so much beauty and history in literally every stone! Every chance I get to look into Poland's history I love! It gives me such a better appreciation, understanding, and love for this country! Something really interesting I learned was they had a fear of white space! The color sadly has come off the walls from age but before there were no white spaces in the castle! The colors used to paint were the primary colors.  Colors were not mixed beause everything had to be as pure as possible!! I could have stayed there for hours!! It was amazing and sister Groesbeck and I even got to be queens as we sat in the thrones of the old magistrates! 

Now time for the miracles:

A little background first of why this week had so much meaning to me! One of the transfer goals we set as a companionship was to have sincere prayers! This was because 1. to be honest I knew I couldn't train alone and we both wanted to be on the same page with the expectations we set every day before we left, and 2. we wanted to show God our faith and show we were willing to do our part so we aimed every morning to have a prayer of faith! Each day during comp study we write what we specifically want to pray for then right as we leave the house we pray together for all those things! This week literally every single prayer was answered in one way or another!! 

The first miracle we saw happened as we were contacting in a park! We didn't have a lot of success but right as we are leaving this man came up to us after seeing the Book of Mormon in my hand and said "Ksiega Mormona?"  I said "YES! Have you ever heard of it before?" Which he replied "Yes!" He then asks if we have a copy we can give him and of course we said yes! We then asked if he would like to meet with us and he immediately said yes!! (WE LOVE HEARING "YES!") We could not believe it! This has never happened on my mission before!! We are so excited to be able to meet with him next week!

The next miracle happened as a companionship! Something we have been really working on has been asking inspired questions and replying with inspired answers! Lately I have been prompted to close my mouth and let Sister Groesbeck talk! She is amazing and I honestly feel that she is training me! We had the most incredible time doing a finding activty with the Elders! We talked to so many people and all about different topics! There were things I have never even said before in Polish or thought I knew how to say that I said! We were asking different questions and saying different things than we ever had before! After each contact Sister Groesbeck and I just looked at each other startled!  We were blown away by what just happened! This was not us at all!  It was the Spirit working through us! There were a couple of times where I didn't know what to say and I just kept feeling prompted to close my mouth and let sister Groesbeck taught! I would turn to her and ask her a question about what it meant to her or what she thought or according to her why was it important and EVERY SINGLE TIME Siostra Groesbeck stepped up and bore her testimony about what we were discussing! It was incredible! I want to stress again this was not because of us! I can't tell you the feeling of guidance I had with each conversation we had! 

We were able to meet a woman where we could set up on the street (something we prayed for), we found those that truly needed the Book of Mormon (also something we prayed for), we used the Book of Momron more in our contacting (again something we prayed for) and the miracles didn't stop there! We went tracting and met this guy who talked about how one of his roommates, who is living in their flat, is really studying religion because she is having a hard time right now! He asked if he could have something to give her, we tried giving him the Book of Mormon but he said it is too much right now so we gave him a card! He said this may be what she needs and could she get the book later if she wants!! Of course...we said...YES!

It was miracle after miracle that day!!

We also were contacted by a referral whom hasn't been able to meet with missionaries but has now moved to Gdansk and wants to talk to the missionaries!  She was willing to meet any day! We are looking forward to meeting with her!

And finally we saw more miracles yesterday! We were doing another finding activty and we met the most incredible girl ever! We started talking to her about if there really is a God! We both testified about who God was and how we know He loves us! I shared with her a personal story that I rarely share with people, especially on the streets, it was like an instant connection! She told us how she had actually been thinking a lot about this lately and had been talking to her friend about it! We told her we also came to know God through the Book of Mormon! She read Moroni's promise from it and then when I told her it was now her book she looked at me like I had just given her the best gift she has ever recieved! She said thank you over and over again! We'll be meeting with her as well!!

I have never been so happy in my entire life! Our prayers were answered every single day!! I am incredibly grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who listens and answers all of my prayers! I know so many times they are answered and I fail to recognize them.  I also know that they are answered even when I think they aren't.  The Lord knows best!

I am so grateful for the incredible companion I have!  I love you Siostra Groesbeck!  She has brought a light and this incredible faith to the work here in Gdańsk! 

I want to tell you all there have been low points! confusing points!  frustrating points! and questioning points!  I don't want to "sugar coat mission life" - I know I write many of the positive things but they are what make my time here worth it!  There have been times where it has been hard and I have had to cry it out and get down on my knees to let it out and sort it out!   

Something a wise sister missionary told me was "The bad times will far out number the good times but the good times will far out weigh the bad!"  I'll take the joy of "the weight" over "the number" any day!  Isn't this true in all stages of life!?

This gospel is true no matter what and I am grateful to be a missionary! 

Last night Sister Groesbeck and I were talking about everything as we were eating dinner.  We talked about how we came to know the truthfulness of Christ's word.  So there I am sitting in my pajamas, eating a bowl of cereal (best missionary dinner ever!) and could not help but get emotional because of how real and true this Gospel is!! 

I feel so blessed and I love this gospel and the opportunity I have to share it!

Pray and look for miracles ... they are out there!

Kocham Was!!!!
Siostra DeMordaunt

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