Monday, December 26, 2016

Warsaw, Poland - Amazing Christmas - Christ is the reason!

The day after Christmas is a holiday and I'm using a computer in the National Library
where we can't upload many photos due to time restraints - so I'll upload more next week!

Sugar Cookies for others! #lighttheworld
Siostra Beem, Starszy Haskett, Starszy Einfeldt, Starszy Barlow, Starszy McMaster
This transfer's culture night: Warsaw's holiday lights!
They are beautiful!
Haskett, Barlow, Beem, McMaster, Einfeldt, Bart (new member!)
Haskett, Barlow, myself, McMaster, Einfeldt, Bart!
It is tradition in Poland for Wigilia (Christmas Eve) to serve no red meat but eat fish - usually carp!
It is usually placed in the bath tub a few days earlier until Christmas Eve dinner.
The scales are suppose to bring good luck/fortune.
Usually no food is eaten until the first star shines.
The elders bought a carp and kept it alive in their tub!
The showered with the carp for good luck!
(Only the elders would do this!  They are so fun - we have the best district! Work hard, play hard!)
Matching sweaters for Secret Santa!

Cześć Family and Friends!!!!

This week was filled with Holiday festivities!

And also.... TRANSFERS!!!

I am so excited to say that I will be staying here in Warsaw with Sister Beem…aka…Dream Beem! The dream team isn't getting broken up yet! Wahoo!!  We will keep striving for our mission dreams!

We met with our young college student again! We discussed more about the word of wisdom as well as feeling God's presence! She wants to see a sign that proves that God is there! We had a very bold lesson with her explaining that there are so many things that show God exists! We discussed how if we want an answer we must be willing to act! She brought up her love for coffee again.  We said if she would just try it for three days we would give up chocolate for three days too!!  SACRIFICE!! At first she was hesitant but then she agreed! So, Sister Beem and I went without chocolate for three WHOLE days!! It was worth it! She also had questions about where we go after this life! A friend of hers passed away and she didn't believe she would see him again! We testified how we would still see our friends and family after this life! (Such a beautiful blessing!) She was so sincere and was listening so intently! It was such an amazing lesson and she coming closer and closer to understanding His complete plan for her! 

One of the most amazing parts of this week was seeing the Elder's investigator get baptized on Christmas Eve! He has been incredible! He was contacted by missionaries this spring but out of the blue decided to randomly come to church this transfer! He is incredible! He is someone that has truly accepted the gospel in his life! He was so at peace and happy! I spoke at his baptism.  He was so dear, he started to cry as I bore my testimony at the end! President Turek baptized him and when he come out of the water he let out this huge sigh and you could just tell but most of all in your heart feel he felt so good! He had the biggest smile on his face and he gave President Turek the biggest hug! He then bore his testimony afterwards and it was so heartfelt! He thanked all the members for accepting him into this church! He talked about how he had been going through a hard period in his life and how happy he was to have found the path that leads him to Christ! He was so emotional and you could tell how much this day meant to him! THIS IS WHY I CAME ON A MISSION! TO LEAD PEOPLE TO CHRIST! These moments make everything worth it! When someone allows the light of Christ into their life it changes them.  It just shows me how incredibly the gospel of Jesus Christ is!

The rest of the week was filled with all things Christmas! We went caroling a bunch and saw the lights at Wilanów Palace for this transfer’s culture night activity!

Christmas eve was amazing! It started with the baptism and then we had a district pot luck! Sister Beem and I cooked pork in a crock pot for the first time - it went surprisingly well! We also did secret Santa in the district! We have a district joke that whenever someone says a sassy comment they get the diva hat put on them!  It kinda keeps us all in check with our attitudes! And for a gift I received a true diva hat!  You’ll see this in the pics from this week! But in my defense everyone has worn it!  It was so much fun to just sit and talk as a district! I love these people!  I needed my district and companions this transfer to Warsaw! I just needed to laugh and smile more They have definitely provided that! We are a happy in Warsaw II! 

Sister Beem has been a huge blessing for me as well! Like all my other companions she was exactly what I needed this transfer! She is incredible and so in tune with the spirit! She makes things fun and happy and I am so grateful we get to be together again!  I am looking forward to another two months with her.  We’re determined to get much done!

We then had Christmas Eve dinner at an American family's home! It was so good and it was so fun to spend Christmas Eve in a decorated home! We were spoiled by being given so much American food that you can’t find here in Poland!

Christmas day started off with the Elders making us breakfast! This was followed by an amazing sacrament meeting! We read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible and then sang Christmas songs with them! We sang so many traditional Polish Christmas carols together! There was such a beautiful feeling and it was all centered on Christ!

Later that day we went and had food at another American Family's home! And then my favorite part... I SKYPED MY FAMILY!!! I miss them so much and it was so good to see them all! They all have suddenly grown older!  I could not be more proud of them! I am being honest when I say that I could not have done this without the support of my family! They have made all the difference! I loved being able to hear their voices again! I am so grateful for them!

I am also so grateful for all your support! My mom told mentioned those who wanted her to tell me “Hi!” I just want to say how grateful I am for all of you! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! I feel it! Nothing compares to knowing you are loved!  I hope your Christmas was amazing!! 

I just want to end with sharing what Christmas means to me! This Christmas will forever be in my heart! I have never felt so close to my Savior! I chose to read about his birth during personal study this week and it hit me in a different way than it ever has! He is why we celebrate! He is why we can be happy!  He is what makes everything good in life!

This Christmas in Poland will be one I never forget!  My relationship with the Savior made it that way!

I love you all so much!! 

 Kocham Was!!!!

Siostra DeMordaunt


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