Monday, September 26, 2016

Warsaw, Poland - Fish in the net! Happiness is a choice!

We bought a new spatula and it made our entire day!
Warsaw II - that's us!
It was free transportation day!
Inside of the station! Isn't it clean!  Doesn't always smell clean!
It was the end of a really long day and Starszy Baldwin sudden made this face and we all cried laughing!
It broke the silence!  Probably not funny to you but it was so great just to laugh!
This is a transfer joke - we do "Barbie gang signs" (think Barbie hands!)
I look super scary!  Sorry!

Cześć Family and Friends!!!!

This week we caught a fish!! I will explain what this means later but this week was the week I needed! It fed my soul in so many ways!! 

First ... the most amazing news.... our investigator is getting baptized!! I will explain how this all happened! We were able to meet with him twice this week! I wrote in my last letter about the super bold lesson we had with him the time before so we were honestly nervous for our next lesson but it was totally different! He was a lot more open and he listened to everything we said! We decided to start from the beginning again so we taught him the Restoration! We explained why the Book of Mormon is so important! He joked and said that we always refer back to it.  He said something like "if you are The Book of Mormon!?"  We testified both personally about why it was important to us! We then explained to him that we need to read and pray to receive answers. And when we get an answer we know whether or not it is God's word and true!! We then extended the baptismal invitation!  (Bold right?!)  He of course was a little shocked, but we knew expected this! We explained to him what baptism was and why he needed to be baptized! He said that he had felt nervous before our meeting that day! We asked him what he meant and he said, "In my heart I feel nervous but good!" We told him that was the Holy Ghost and it was because he was doing what was right! We told him it had to be his decision and he said OK! We let him choose when and he said November 12!!! We are so excited! After this he told us we were his "znaki" or "road signs" that he had wanted! He explained that he felt like we were leading him on the right path! He talked about how he had felt when he came to Warsaw that when the leaves fell he knew a change would happen in is life... IT IS FALL!!! We were dying!! 

Our next meeting we were a little nervous to see if he was still on track! We talked about the first half of the Plan of Salvation and ended with the Atonement! We focused our entire lesson on agency and how we use it! We said that we make mistakes and sometimes we feel guilt but through the Atonement we are made clean! As I wrote in my last email I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement lately and I have really been studying it to understand it better! He didn't quite understand that Christ literally atoned personally for each of our sins! I felt I should share my personal story with him and so I did! I explained to him how I had seen the atonement work in my life! I told him I had felt forgiven when I repented! I was holding back tears the entire time and I looked over at Sister Thornton and so was she! When I finished it was quiet.  He sat there still and sure. I knew he was feeling the Spirit! I We felt it too!  We then explained that when we are baptized our slate is wiped clean! He told us how he had made a lot of rash decisions in his life and he didn't want to do it with baptism but he felt that this is something he was feeling he really wanted! It was such a powerful lesson! I have never been so vulnerable in a lesson before but it was what he needed! He then sent us a text the next day and said he had been thinking a lot about his baptism and he wrote "In my heart I want this 100%!" We were so happy! He came to church again on Sunday and stayed through all 3 hours!  

Now for the fish story! After Sacrament Meeting this member walked up to Sister Thornton and our investigator and asked "How is the fishing going?  Have you caught any fish lately?" Our investigator asked "What do you mean fish?" and the member replied "Investigators!" Our investigator turned to Sister Thornton and said with a huge smile "Oh I'm the fish!" We talked with him after church and asked him how he was feeling and he said "Good!" We asked him if he was still on the path to baptism and if we could answer any questions.  He had no question and confidently said, "Yes I really do!" He then told us the "the fish is in the net" and smiled! He even went up to our mission president and said "I am getting baptized  would you like to come!!" Ahhh!!!! We feel so blessed! I feel incredibly grateful!!  Grateful for the change I see in him!  Grateful for his questions!  Grateful for his willingness!  Grateful for the opportunity to teach but know the Spirit is really the one doing the work!   

The final thing I want to share is a conversation I had with a girl on the street! She walked towards me and she seemed familiar! We started talking! She had so many questions! She was religious already but she wanted to know why every church said it was true and how we can know for sure! I told her about Joseph Smith and how he had this exact question! We talked all about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon! I felt so connected with her! We talked and talked! When I told her that I knew God lived and that Christ is my Savior she got teary eyed! She told me she wanted faith like mine! I told her she could if she would read and pray! She was nervous to take a book so she took our number instead! She asked if she could hug me at the end!  We just stood there hugging! We then took a picture on her phone together where she asked me to hold the Book of Mormon up! We parted ways and I almost became emotional! It was one of those conversations I will remember for the rest of my life!!  The Spirit connects us in ways indescribable!  I pray some how and some where there may be another encounter for her with Christ's Gospel!

There are so many incredible moments that happen on a mission! I have experienced both the up and the down!  What I have learned lately is that happiness is a choice! I laughed more this week, smiled more, and sang hymns often! I just felt better! I made a choice to get out of my head and get going!  Christ makes up for all our shortcomings!  All we have to do is try!

When it all comes down to it and I am about to leave this mission I know I will be able to say it was all worth it!!  The people I meet are worth it!  The good always outweighs the bad!

 Kocham Was!!!!
Siostra DeMordaunt

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