Monday, October 17, 2016

Warsaw, Poland - gift of tongues, pierogi making, don't be your own enemy!

Mission Leadership Conference:
Starsi in back row:  Cowley, Quackenbush, White, McPherson
Siostry middle row:  Anderson, Thornton, Kamp, Van Woerkom
Front row:  Dekker, myself
Myself and Starszy Quackenbusch - he's headed home this next transfer.
He had an injury, went home to heal and then returned!
Gucci for my sisters at home!
I loves these girls!
Van Woerkom, Kamp, Thornton, Dekker, Anderson, myself
I love seeing this sign!
It gives me the feeling of permanency of the Church in Poland!
Shout out to this bakery!
Our cute beginners English class!  A highlight of our week!
Warsaw mermaid!
It is getting dark earlier now!
Winter is coming!
Pierogi in the making!
He told us he wore this shirt for us! Haha!
Finished project!
"Golden Autumn" is here!
It is so beautiful!

Cześć Family and Friends!!!!

I can't believe that this transfer is coming to a close!  I keep saying this about each transfer but this has been the fastest yet!  It has also been one of the hardest transfers for me but also one of the best, I will talk a little bit more about that later! Thank goodness I have a great companion that laughs and wants to work!

We started the week with going to the Jewish Museum in Warsaw! If you are ever in Poland you need to visit that museum! It shows the history of the Jewish people from the 11th century today! It was the most amazing museum I have ever visited! Each exhibit had something new to it! You could easily spend five hours there! I learned so much more about the Jewish culture and history here in Poland! It was honestly one of my favorite P-days! 

The next day was Zone training! I always love this but I am also always nervous because I have to conduct and teach with the Zone Leader (Starszy Ashworth!)!  It went well though! We talked about receiving personal revelation for ourselves and how to help our investigators receive personal revelation, church attendance, and the gift of tongues! The last one hit me the hardest! I 100% believe in the gift of tongues and I have seen it countless times on the mission, really everyday! I am at a point in my mission that I want to push my language skills! I won't lie, sometimes I am so frustrated with it all and I feel like I am hitting a wall! Something I really thought about this week though was how incredible it is that none of us missionaries knew how to say "cześć" when we walked into the MTC and now we are able to carry on full conversations with people! You have to put in the work, there is no doubt about that but as you do, you start to realize how God blesses you! The quote kept coming up in my mind, " The Lord doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called!" I know this is true and I have felt the Spirit work and speak through me every day.  In fact I could not do it without it! I want to share an experience with the gift of tongues.

I had to give a talk this week in sacrament meeting! My topic was on the ten virgins! I often write my talks in English and then translate them to Polish! As I went to translate it I realized how difficult it was and I had hoped it all made sense! I grew frustrated several times but I finished it! I was so nervous to speak not because of public speaking but because I really wanted the members to get something out of this talk!  I wanted the Lord to work through me to reach them!  During the sacrament I began to pray for help and I immediately felt this instant peace and confidence and almost as if someone was saying to me, " I have helped you every day before this, don't you think I will help you now?" I began giving my talk and although nervous I began to read my talk and suddenly it made sense to me! I didn't say everything perfectly and I know I missed pronounced words but it felt good! At the end when I bore my testimony I looked up to see our old investigator there and he had this huge grin on his face! That made it all worth it! What was even more incredible was that Sister Thornton translated my talk to another person in the congregation! It was huge for her and I was so proud of her! The Gift of tongues is real!  So is the help of the Lord in all aspects of our lives! 

The rest of the week was busy with finding people! We also had our culture night! We went to the Copernicus Museum! Copernicus is a native Pole and we experienced another incredible museum! We had so much fun matter of fact it is always a good time with our district! We met some amazing people this week too that we are set up to meet with this week! I feel so blessed to be here at this time!

We also had an opportunity to make pierogi with our old investigator! He is still meeting with the Elders and he is getting there! He told me he believes that Joseph Smith is prophet! We went to his place and we did the whole process from beginning to end in this tiny kitchen! It was his first time making them by himself because he usually does it with his Grandma. They turned out amazing! It was seriously such a fun time! He also came with us to our finding activity on Sunday! He was amazing! He would stop people and he would always bring a missionary over and he would explain what the Book of Mormon was to them! He told us after that he was so happy! We told him that is what the Gospel is A MESSAGE OF HAPPINESS!  Sister Thornton and I were so proud! He has come so far and is feeling the true happiness that the gospel brings!

We also had a giant branch council meeting that was inspiring! We have around 200 less active members in our branch and our Branch President wants us to contact all of them! We will be working with members and going out and finding these people! It was so motivating!  He showed us on Google maps what our branch should be.  We discussed how many people are out there and maybe just waiting for someone to reach out! He shared with us the following excerpt from Bambi (the book):

The leaves were falling from the great oak at the meadow’s edge. They were falling from the trees. 

One branch of the oak reached high above the others and stretched far out over the meadow. Two leaves clung to its very tip. 

“It isn’t the way it used to be,” said one leaf to the other. 

No,” the other leaf answered. “So many of us have fallen off to-night we’re almost the only ones left on our branch.” 

You never know who’s going to go next,” said the first leaf. “Even when it was warm and the sun shone, a storm or a cloudburst would come sometimes, and many leaves were torn off, though they were still young. You never know who’s going to go next.” 

“The sun seldom shines now,” sighed the second leaf, “and when it does it gives no warmth. We must have warmth again.” 

"Can it be true,” said the first leaf, “can it really be true, that others come to take our places when we’re gone and after them still others, and more and more?”

“It is really true,” whispered the second leaf. “We can’t even begin to imagine it, it’s beyond our powers.” 

“It makes me very sad,” added the first leaf.

They were silent for a while. Then the first leaf said quietly to herself, “Why must we fall?…” 

The second leaf asked, “What happens to us when we have fallen?” 

“We sink down….” 

“What is under us?” 

The first leaf answered, “I don’t know, some say one thing, some another, but nobody knows.” 

The second leaf asked, “Do we feel anything, do we know anything about ourselves when we’re down there?” 

The first leaf answered, “Who knows? Not one of all those down there has ever come back to tell us about it.” 

They were silent again. Then the first leaf said tenderly to the other, “Don’t worry so much about it, you’re trembling.” 

“That’s nothing,” the second leaf answered, “I tremble at the least thing now. I don’t feel so sure of my hold as I used to.” 

“Let’s not talk any more about such things,” said the first leaf.

The other replied, “No, we’ll let be. But– what else shall we talk about?”

She was silent, but went on after a little while, “Which of us will go first?”

“There’s still plenty of time to worry about that,” the other leaf assured her. “Let’s remember how beautiful it was, how wonderful, when the sun came out and shone so warmly that we thought we’d burst with life. Do you remember? And the morning dew, and the mild and splendid nights….”

“Now the nights are dreadful,” the second leaf complained, “and there is no end to them.” 

“We shouldn’t complain,” said the first leaf gently. “We’ve outlived many, many others.” 

“Have I changed much?” asked the second leaf shyly but determinedly. 

“Not in the least,” the first leaf assured her. “You only think so because I’ve got to be so yellow and ugly. But it’s different in your case.” 

You’re fooling me,” the second leaf said. 

“No, really,” the first leaf exclaimed eagerly. “Believe me, you’re as lovely as the day you were born. Here and there may be a little yellow spot but it’s hardly noticeable and only makes you handsomer, believe me.” 

"Thanks,” whispered the second leaf, quite touched. “I don’t believe you, not altogether, but I thank you because you’re so kind, you’ve always been so kind to me. I’m just beginning to understand how kind you are.”

“Hush,” said the other leaf, and kept silent herself for she was too troubled to talk anymore.

Then they were both silent. Hours passed.

A moist wind blew, cold and hostile, through the tree tops.

“Ah, now,” said the second leaf, “I…..” Then her voice broke off. She was torn from her place and spun down.

Winter had come.

He described that we are finding those people that maybe don't feel their hold is as strong anymore! This was really touching to me!  I believe everyone deserves a chance and sometimes it might take a second chance or third or fourth!  I could not be more excited to go out and love them! The members here are truly incredible! They want to build up this branch and they are so kind to us missionaries! I have loved getting to know the families here! Little did I know Warsaw would turn into such a big blessing!

Now I want to end my email by talking about this transfer! I was definitely sad and disappointed to leave Gdansk for Warsaw.  In the beginning I really was longing for Gdansk but I was also trying to be excited because I knew adventure awaited us here! I learned so much about myself this transfer! I knew I had to face some things to become a better missionary and like myself more.  I think after my first area in Szczecin and then training in Gdansk I had finally crashed in a good way!  I had to let go!  I sometimes try too hard! It was difficult and I definitely broke down several times but I have never felt so supported or understood the Atonement of Jesus Christ better! I have learned to be ok with my many imperfections and to just continue striving and trying to be better everyday! 

In MLC, President said "When you receive your interview to come on a mission they don't ask if are you perfect, they ask are you worthy!" Worthy means trying to do your best everyday and when you fall short, rely on the atonement, repent, and try again the next day!

I have experienced miracle after miracle - small and big! I have never felt so close to the Savior! I have had to reevaluate some things and really learn to love myself as well, imperfections and all! I had to fake it till I made it a few times because I knew practicing good would bring truth!  And somewhere along the way I also began to figure it out through a lot of prayer! Sometimes I've been my worst own enemy! We are here to have joy! 100%!  I believe in choosing joy!  And this last week I was happy and I mean really happy!  I felt so at peace and just good! I understand now why we are to be grateful even when we are struggling! 

I am grateful for this transfer and how much I learned from it! Am I perfect at everything I wrote? No!  Far from it!  But I am working at it!  And that is what counts!  This journey is good!  

I am excited to see what this next transfer brings!  Whatever happens I know it is a part of Heavenly Father's plan! I love Warsaw! It feels so good to say that because I feel like I earned it! 

Kocham Was!!!!

Siostra DeMordaunt


No comments:

Post a Comment