Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Wrocław, Poland - Basics, Being bold, Final Zone Conference, He lives!

Cathedral Island with my cute yet might companion - Siostra Gheen!
She has been everything I needed this last transfer!
Cathedral Island!
Token companionship selfie! 
The bridge is lined with locks!
The cathedral!
I found this beauty in the Katowice chapel!
Siostra Barney finding a chocolate Easter bunny hidden by the Turek kids...
it is a tradition from Germany they shared with us at zone conference!
The Turek kids!
Elder Baldwin - a buddy from Warsaw!
I took so many pictures - this was my last zone conference.
Many goodbyes! 
Why be serious?  It is Startszy Liechty after all!
He is one of the first elders I met when I arrived in my first city - Szczecin!
He had only been 2 months in the land but had incredible Polish!
We had so much fun in Szczecin!
Elder Fuhriman from my months in Gdańsk!
These two trailblazer!  Starszy Toone and Starszy Wood! (Wood is from the Boise area!)
Siostra Barney saying good bye with tears to her Siostra Anderson!
Siostra Barney, Siostra Gheen and myself! 
Siostra Andersen  & Siostra Van Woerkom!
The Daltons - they headed home after this zone conference!
They are the best!  I love the couple missionaries!
This lady - Siostra Turek - is one of the most amazing women ever!
I love her sooooo much!  I've learned so much from her!
Train ride to conference!
Left: Starszy Jablonski, myself, Siostra Gheen
Right:  Starszy Dooley, Starszy Reed, Starszy White 

Cześć Family and Friends!!!!

This week was simply amazing! Again I saw miracle after miracle! The week was also a mix of emotions for me but I will get into that later! 

I want to begin with my thoughts on General Conference! There were two major things that I learned from it!  First, it is about the basics! This is also what I have learned on my mission! If we want the gospel to be a part of our lives then we have to INVITE AND MAKE it part of our lives! This includes daily prayers, scripture study, temple attendance, and going to church! This is how we center our lives on Christ and how we are constantly growing and learning to become like Him! These aren't hard things but they require effort on our part! There is so much joy that awaits if we will just take time and do the basics! Second, “Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understandings and he will direct thy paths for good!” This was repeated over and over again! I needed to hear this! I realize that I need to trust in the Lord's understanding over my own! There are a lot of uncertainties with everything that lies ahead of me but I know that if I can trust I will be lead and guided the entire way! Faith over fear right?  RIGHT!

This week was amazing! I will give an update on the people we worked with! Our non- smoking investigator has continued to not smoke and it has been a little over three weeks now! We had such a good lesson with her this past week! My favorite was on the temple! We looked at pictures and explained happens inside! She loved it and continued to talk about it with us and how special it looks there! She will be getting baptized this weekend, Easter weekend! What a beautiful way to start a new beginning on the same weekend that Christ gave all of us a new beginning! We are so excited for her!

We also met with our young college aged girl twice this week! The first lesson we had with her was about missionary work and service! We talked about why we serve and how we are able to all spread Christs' light! She is already such a service oriented person that she really liked that we focus on service a lot on our church! We then decided to ask her about her questions! She again brought up some concerns and some of the things she had read! We listened to her and the entire time I was praying to know what to say! We talked with her about how we understand that the stuff she read is important and we don't want there to be surprises but she also needs to gain a testimony of things that are true! Sister Gheen encouraged her to read the Book of Mormon and to really come to know that it is true! She told her that was the only way she would really know! She struggles a lot with Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and so that was perfect for her to hear! She continued to express her doubts and then I just went for it and decided to be bold! My heart was pounding and I was terrified on how she would take it! I finally told her that there are so many paths before her and she could continue to read and read and study everything, both from the church and against the church but she wasn't ever going to figure it all out until she decided which path to take and what to believe! She got quiet and I honestly felt like I had spoken out of term! I apologized if I had offended her and we ended the lesson with her saying she would try and read the Book of Mormon more! I prayed so hard that I hadn't said the wrong thing! 

The next time we met we talked about tithing and fasting! She again accepted both concepts! She likescthe idea that we can fast with a purpose! We have kind of been hesitant in bringing up her baptismal date because of her questions and we didn't want her to shoot it down because of them! We finally just went for it and asked her how she felt about it! She said that she had been thinking about it a lot as it grows closer and closer! We were nervous she was going to tell us we need to take a break and push it back! Instead she said she had been thinking a lot about what I said about different paths and she said she needed to choose one! I was so relieved! She told me it had helped her to really think about it all! She said that she didn't think it was a coincidence that God had lead her here and everything that had happened! She still had questions but she didn't say no about her baptism! We asked if we could fast with her about it this Sunday and she didn't want to force us but we told her we had already decided! :) She then said “chcę” or “I want” (to fast)! We fasted with her Saturday night to Sunday lunch! This is when the miracles happened! 

We had district conference in Katowice this weekend and it was so incredibly special! People from all the branches in the South came! The spirit was so strong and just amazing! She came to the conference with us! Sadly we got our tickets mixed up and she got there before us, but that is exactly what needed to happen! We missed the first meeting but we heard later that she was asked to say the prayer and it touched her a lot! We then had the big meeting and it was incredible! A member of the area of the seventy was here!  He talked all about Christ and the days leading up to His resurrection! It was a beautiful talk!

Afterwards I had a chance to ask her how it all went and what she thought! It was one of the dearest conversations of my mission! She told me that when she first came to church they sang the hymn Count your Blessings! She told me how much she loved it because she was in a hard time in her life! She was reading in that book we gave her on the train ride up and again that song was mentioned! She thought that if we sang that song today it would be amazing! We go into the room to sit down and Sister Gheen had been asked to lead the music so she flipped her hymn book open to the first song and guess what we sang?! COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!!!! I was counting mine over and over again! I told her that, that was the hand of God and HE IS AWARE OF EVERYTHING ABOUT HER!  She said, "I know!" She then said some dear things about what she had learned since I had come to Wroclaw! She told me that she realized she didn't need to know or understanding everything, she said it was enough that the path was there and even though it wasn't all the way lit, with each step she took it became lighter! I stood there and wanted to cry! She was glowing and so happy! She loved fasting and it was such a special experience to be a part of! She is amazing! 

The conference itself was incredible! I met so many amazing people and it was one of those days where I feel like I got a little glimpse of heaven!!  Full of love!!  Full of basic good people!!

We also met with our young investigator! We talk to her about prayer and scripture study and how we can receive answers from them! She is still praying about baptism but she told us that ever since she started meeting with us she has been happier! She really has changed! She is more confident and smiles more! There is just so much more peace about her! I love our lessons with her because we will read something and she will explain what she thought and check to see if she is understanding it all correctly! She is making incredible progress! The gospel is a gospel of change!

The week ended with my very last zone conference! The first half of it Sister Turek lead and talked about peace! This is something I have been praying for this entire last transfer! I didn't even realize what we were talking about until the end and then I got that feeling where I feel like Heavenly Father laughs and kind bolts me with the humility stick while saying “See I am listening and I know what I am doing!” I received such a calming answer that the peace will come about going home and that I need to just keep doing what I am doing! We discuss about how best to work with members and how effective it is! Seriously the members here are amazing and they have a different strength than I have ever seen!

The cute Turek kids also let us participate in a German tradition! They hid chocolate bunnies all over the chapel and we had to go and search for them! It was so much fun and they were laughing and laughing! Finally it was time for me to give my final testimony in Polish! I won't lie I was emotional and there so many mixed feelings! I know that there is incredible work ahead still left ot be done here by of each of my mission friends and I’m jealous I won’t be part of it. I am so grateful to have served with such incredible missionaries like them! The goodbyes were hard but I am so grateful that they were hard! They are my family here and some of my best friends! They are incredible missionaries and I know God is so proud of them! I will forever be grateful to have been able to serve, work, and learn with every single one of them! As hard as it was a peace came in the trickling thread of knowing that if I trust in God's plan it will all work out. So that is what I am going to do, keep trusting!

There is so much more I could write but I don't have time! This next weekend is Easter and I invite each of you to think of the Savior! I know He atoned for us, died for us, and rose and lives, so that we may live again too! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!!  Christ lives!

Kocham Was!!!!
Siostra DeMordaunt


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