Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Warsaw, Poland - Tearful goodbyes! Faith trumps fear! A baptism date! Change!

(Sorry no pictures this week.  :(  The library's computers didn't allow it! - Madre D)

Cześć Family and Friends!!!!
This last week was the last week of this transfer, so that means.... TRANSFER CALLS!!! 

To give an update on everything that happend I was transferred to Warsaw 2, I am finishing the training of Sister Thorton (now my new companion), Siostra Sloan is finishing the training of Siostra Groesbeck in Gdańsk and I am STL (Sister Training Leader)!

Needless to write -  a lot of changes happened! I really was not expecting to leave so this transfer call hit me really hard! I will write a little later more on this!!
This week started off so fun! 

We went to the Jarmark! St. Dominicks Fair! I wrote about it before but it was so much fun to explore!  It is one of the biggest fairs in Europe and dates back to the 1200's!  There are vendors from all over! There is a wide variety of food, antiques, and different trinkets to buy! My favorite thing was smoked sheep cheese! They press sheep's cheese in funky molds, smoke it over a fire and serve it with cranberry jam! It is heaven! We spent the whole day as a district and with the Taggarts!  I could not have asked for a better P-day! 

Tuesday we had our last district meeting! There was definitely a melancholy feeling to it because we knew some of us might transfer.   We talked about what we had learned and how incredible this transfer had been! We had become so close and we felt like the dream team district! 

My district helped me so much this transfer! They were so supportive and when I would freak out they were right there! They helped calm my fears of being a trainer - I knew I was never alone because of them! They are all incredible missionaries!

I want to write though about my companion Sister Groesbeck.  I don't think she will ever know how much affect she had on me! She was the biggest miracle to me! When she walked into the room the first day we both felt we would be companions! She has been such a good example to me and has taught me so much! She helped me to laugh at myself making this transfer was so much fun! We had hard moments where we cried it out!  I was down on my knees a lot asking what to do but we were so incredibly blessed! She has become one of my dear friends and it was so hard to leave her! She is one of those people who has truly changed my life! She put up with all my craziness and always made me feel loved! She taught me so much more than I could ever teach her! She is a fantastic missionary and I feel so blessed to have been able to serve with her!! I love you Siostra Groesbeck! 

(I am now looking forward to training Siostra Thorton - she and Siostra Groesbeck were MTC companions!)

The biggest miracle of the transferred also happened this week! 

Here is the story (I think I wrote some of this in a previous letter, but here is the full story!): 

Sister Groesbeck and I were looking for a post office to send something and a security guy told us the nearest one was by the Dworzec. We were positive there wasn't one there but we decided to go anyways! We are walking through the tunnel and this guy stops Sister Groesbeck and asked "You are Mormons right?" He goes on to explain he is from the Ukraine and was meeting with missionaries there! The missionaries got taken out of his city though because of the war! He also has a friend who is serving a mission right now! He asked us where the chapel was and we gave him a card, as well as info on our English class!! Then I asked him if he wanted to meet and he said of course! He then told us that he was going to go find the chapel right then so he knew where it was! 

Our first meeting with him was amazing! He is still learning Polish and English and spoke Polish with very strong Russian accent! We were communicating in all three languages with a translator on his phone to help! The Spirit was so strong!  We were able to understand him and he was able to understand us!  We taught the restoration and checked to see what he knew! He agreed with all of it and when I told him that this church had the complete and fullness of Christ's gospel he said "Amen!" Haha! We asked him to read and pray and he said he already had a Book of Mormon in Russian! He committed to do it! We then asked him to be baptized! He said as "We continue to meet I will know it is true," and then said "YES!" He is getting baptized on 10 of September! 

The most incredible thing about that entire lesson though is Sister Groesbeck led this lesson with spiritual power!  She did!  It was amazing and I was so proud of her!! We could not believe how strong the Spirt was! We felt like we were on cloud nine!! Moments like this remind me why I am on a mission! It is so incredible to see that light come into someone's eyes as they feel it in their heart!! It really makes it all worth it!!

We also had such a fun English class!! It ended up with only four of us: Sister Groesbeck, myself, a branch member and another person who every missionary knows! We were playing head bands and the other guy had the word "eraser" and asked for a hint! I told him people need it when the make a msitake and in all seriousness he replied, "Jesus Christ!" Sister Groesbeck and I were so happy and died! We were like "YES EXACTLY!"  It was such a fun last english class even though our numbers were small!! 

Saturday was mixed with emotions! I received my call that day for transfers.  I won't lie I bawled! I really didn't think I was leaving! Sister Groesbeck and I just stood there crying and hugging! I then called the Taggarts and of course cried again! 

The Taggarts have become family to me! They are some of the most incredible people I have ever met! They both try and speak Polish to members and to everyone! They are constantly looking for people to talk to and they really love these people! They have helped me so much! Their words of kindness and encouragement have helped me in more ways then I can count! They believe in this mission and in us younger missionaries!! As Sister Taggart would say, "We are eternal friends!" I feel so blessed and honored to have served with them as long as I did!  I love you Taggarts!

I am still trying to process everything with transfers but one thing I know for sure is Heavenly Father knows what He is doing! This is where my faith comes in and I have to trust in Him! I know Warsaw will be what He wants for me.  I know my sad emotions are ok too!  My emotions are evidence of my love for all that Gdańsk was - every person and every part of that city!

We also had fun on Saturday too!! We went to a member's house and we learned how to make pierogi! We made ruskie or pierogi with potatoes and cheese! They were incredible! I have been wanting to learn how to do this my entire mission and it was such a good way to end the transfer!

Sunday was my last day in Gdansk! I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting!  I spoke about what I had learned!! I learned during my time in Gdansk most of all that prayer with sincere faith allows Heavenly Father to grant you answer!  I learned to believe in miracles as we continued to see them over and over again! I learned we are never alone - I've felt my Savior beside me krok po kroku (step by step)!  And finally I learned how to love others and myself more! I love those members so much and saying goodbye to them was so very difficult! They have become part of my family as well and they will forever hold a special place in my heart!!

I loved my time in Gdańsk but I know that Warsaw is where I am suppose to be now! I won't say that I am not scared... because I am!  But I know that faith trumps fear so I am ready for what I have to do! 

I want to share two final miracles! The last one happened Sunday night as we were going to our last finding activity as a district! We were waiting for the tram and this couple stopped Elder Musgrave. It turns out they are in my branch in Warsaw 2! It was such a small yet big miracle to me...letting me know I was going where I should! 

Finally, the last miracle I want to share is about change, or really the change in me! I grew so much this transfer and I feel so much different than I was before! I asked at the beginning of the transfer to become what Heavenly Father wanted me to become and I feel like I am becoming that person!! 

I can't begin to thank my Father in Heaven enough for this mission and what it has taught me!! It is the best thing I have ever done!

So... let the Warsaw Adventure begin!!

Kocham Was!!!!
Siostra DeMordaunt

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