Monday, November 14, 2016

Warsaw, Poland - An INCREDIBLE week! A BAPTISM!

Warsaw II District:  Starszy Barlow (Michigan), Starszy Logan Hassett,
myself, Siostra Talia Beem (Lake Oswego, Oregon), our beloved investigator!,
Starszy McMaster, Starszy Court Einfeldt (Cedar City, Utah)
Our "fish" and myself!
Starszy Einfeldt - I served in Szczecin with him.
I love the look on their faces!
This pretty much sums it up!
In front of the PGE Narodowy or National Stadium
- home to Poland's National Football (Soccer) Team
It is huge!  Seats over 70,000 for concerts and 56,000 for sports!
The roof retracts
She is FUN!
This gives you an idea of how big it is.
November 11 is Poland's National Independence Day - there were Polish flags hung everywhere.
In 1918 on this is the day WW I ended and after 128 Poland was granted its independence back!
These people are INCREDIBLY tough and patriotic!  Their history is fascinating!
Nordic walking - a real sport here in Poland!  They use hiking Poles!  (Poles for the Poles! Ha!)
It uses more of your upper body then regular walking - I heard it started from X-country skiing.
Pierogi round II - but this time with fruit!  We had a meeting so we came
just when the eldersr were finishing up!
Happiness is a new companion that fits right in!
Yes we are putting our winter gear to good use!

Cześć Family and Friends!!!!

I can't express how incredible this last week was because so many incredible things happened!! 

First of all... CHRISTMAS IS HERE!!!!!  It snowed, yes it snowed for the first time on November 9! (Goes to show you it is never too early!) We were dying! Sister Beem is just as crazy for Christmas as I am! We just watched the snow fall and then of course we had to buy a tree so we went and bought a little plastic one that said it came with a stand and legs! However, when we opened the box there weren't any legs so we stuck it in a mug and tied a dish rag around it and called it good! We are making Christmas happen here already! 

We saw so many miracles this week! INCREDIBLE! We met with that young mom we are teaching! We taught her about the last part of the plan about where we will be after this life! She loved it! We then talked more about baptism with her! Sister Beem and I planned everything out and we felt that she could be ready by December 24 to be baptized! We extended the date to her and she said YES! She was so sweet and she asked if it was OK she didn't know everything right now, to which we replied of course that is why we are here, she then said it again with such a big smile that she wanted to be baptized! We were so excited! She is INCREDIBLE and we cannot wait to help her continue to progress towards baptism! This will be the best Christmas gift ever!

We than had another meeting this week with a girl from the Ukraine! We brought a member with us on the lesson! She is learning Polish and speaks a little bit of English but luckily we have a few Ukrainian members here! We taught her all about the restoration and she told us her biggest questions was "Who is God!?"  We talked a lot about that with her and how she can come to know who he is! It was a lesson lead 100% by the Spirit! It was a little bit crazy because we were speaking Polish to her, the member and she were speaking Ukrainian, the member translated it back to us in English, and we were reading from Russian Book of Mormon, needless to say we needed to rely on the Spirit! It was INCREDIBLE!  She agreed to read, pray, and meet with us again!

We also had the most INCREDIBLE opportunity to teach a family! We met with the mom and she is so cute! She was so open and willing to learn! She brought her daughter with her and to the picture in the pamphlet where it shows someone praying the little girl said, "Co to jest?" or "What is this!?" It was so cute! They are INCREDIBLE (yes that word again!) and the mom says they are trying to figure out where to go! She asked questions and was really engaged in the lesson! When it came to Joseph Smith we asked if it was possible that God could appear to him and she said "Yes I think it is!" She agreed to read, pray, and meet again! 

We are truly being so blessed right now!!

One of the last things I want to write about is what happened on Saturday! Sister Thornton and I's investigator that we had to turn over to the elders a month ago was baptized! It was so INCREDIBLE! He was different than I had ever seen him before! I could tell he was feeling something different! When I had asked why he wanted to be baptized he told me he couldn't describe it, it was something he just felt like he needed to do! He was so attentive the entire time! The missionaries sang Lead Kindly Light (at his request) for his baptism! The baptism itself was beautiful! I couldn't help but get emotional as I watched him! He has come so far and it was INCREDIBLE to see someone so willing to change their life and take such a big leap of faith! He was himself the entire time and as he was leaving the font he said "That was cool!" 

He gave such a beautiful testimony after wards, about the first time he met God and how he had then met the missionaries and he finished it with saying now I am now your member and that he felt good about it! The next day he received the priesthood! It was so beautiful and he just seems so much happier and different! I am so proud of him and I feel so blessed and humbled to have been able to be apart of it all! That moment of him standing there giving his testimony made it all worth it! 

My first few weeks in Warsaw were a struggle and yet I tried my best to push through and follow God's plan for me.  It was during these weeks we stopped this investigator while street contacting!  He was seeking!  He had promised to follow God because of a sincere prayer while struggling in an Ultra Marathon.  Our Heavenly Father answered his prayer and helped him.  He then went searching for how to follow God and in perfect timing we met him!  The Lord knows what He is doing!  Teaching him was a bright light in my worrisome heart.  He committed to baptism.  Siostra Thornton and I wanted to finish teaching him but we knew that turning him over to the elders was also a test of our faith.  Looking back I think what if I hadn't pushed through all my self-doubt and struggles?  The storm comes before the calm.  But if we continue to proceed the sunshine will always shine.  Our wants aren't always what we need.  The Lord's timeline is precise.  I now understand so many things why I was transferred.  I learned and had to rely even more on my Heavenly Father.  My testimony grew.  I'm humbled knowing that my Lord trusted me/us.  I love Warsaw.  I loved witnessing Saturday's baptism.  I hope I never forget to push through when the path seems unclear.

The final thing I want to share is something that hit me really hard this week! We have been so blessed during this transfer!  And I've been thinking about all the people we meet as a missionary!  Then a  member shared this spiritual message with us from Acts 8: 26-39.

26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
We read this and then talked about how Philip made the journey without knowing why! Elder Haskett then said something that hit me really hard he said, "I think we can see here that everyone is worth the journey!"  This is so true! I have met so many amazing people on my mission, both those who have listened and those who haven't!  The one thing I have come to know is true is each one of these people have definitely been worth my journey to Poland!  Everyone has great worth!  Saturday's baptism confirmed that again for me!! 
I love this gospel and I am so grateful for all the blessings we have been blessed with during this transfer! We are being lead krok po kroku (step by step)! Christ's gospel is....INCREDIBLE!
Kocham Was!!!!
Siostra DeMordaunt

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