Prepare to Serve

Monday, July 7, 2014


This week was pretty crazy and literally flew by. We ended up spending most of the time with Elders Stumpf and Fotu. Stumpf is from Germany, but speaks perfect English, and Fotu was in Siostra Whiteley's MTC group. (we also have Elders Whiting and Owens in our district, but we didn't do as much with them this week) On Friday we four went to Legnica, which is about 45 minutes outside of Wrocław for some meetings we had set up. Siostra Whiteley and I had plans to meet with one of Siostra Zań's friends and the Starszy had a meeting with the Call's landlord. Then we all had plans to go out contacting with the Calls later. Unfortunately our meeting fell through so we went to the Call house early and hung out with Cindy while the Elders had their lesson. It was literally 2 and a half hours long, the guy they meet with could really talk! But it was cool cuz we got to get to know Cindy a little better and talk to her about her plans to serve a mission. She is about 18 right now and really wanted to serve at 19. Before the age change she actually prayed that they would change the age so she could go at 19. When they did she flipped out. Unfortunately because of some stupid stuff going on with her schooling she probably won't get to go until just after she turns 20. She's super cute and excited for it though. Siostra Blake gave her one of her Badges, and Cindy put her name on it, so she has her own badge now.

Anyway, after the Elders were done with their ridiculously long lesson, we went contacting with Cindy Call and her mother. We went on splits for a little while once we reached a park and I went with Siostra Call. That woman is fearless. She served a mission in Ukraine and is gung-ho about helping us missionaries find more people, especially in Legnica, they want another branch there really badly. We stopped to talk to some people who were just chilling on a bench in the park, and at first she just struck up a normal conversation, (I don't know what about because I couldn't understand her, her Polish is particularly hard for me to understand) and then she just switched into the gospel and the people were super interested, we gave them a Book of Mormon, and got their number and even told them about the English class we teach, which they were also interested in. Then later, when we had run into Fotu and Stumpf we brought them over and talked to the people again. This time we gave them a plan of salvation pamphlet and even taught them a little about the word of wisdom, and they were still super interested. It was so cool! At the same time this was happening Cindy and Siostra Whiteley contacted a girl and got her information and set up a meeting for Tuesday! We may have to reschedule because we actually have our coordination meeting at that time, but we'll see.

So that was the cool stuff with investigators. That was also the 4th of July. Siostra Whiteley and Starszy Stumpf have kind of an epic battle of Germany vs. America going on right now because of the world cup. Siostra Whiteley says she isn't normally this patriotic, but when Stumpf goes on about how great Germany is, she likes to talk up America just to bug him. They argue about it a lot, but it's all in good fun, it's obvious that neither one of them really cares that much, they just like to argue. On the 4th Siostra Whitely and I wore red white and blue and we even got Fotu to wear a red white and blue tie. Starszy Stumpf showed up to the train station wearing a German flag bracelet and tie that he stated is "Nazi Brown". By the end of the day though, we had managed to get him to say "Amurika!"

We had a funny moment with the Elders and JW's this week. We went Whiteboarding with Stumpf and Fotu. Whiteboarding is where we write a question on a whiteboard and ask people to answer it (not sure if I've explained that before). We were set up in a tunnel underneath a tramwaj station, about 30 yards away from where some JW's had one of their stands set up. It wasn't an ideal situation, but we didn't have a lot of choice because the weather was not great. Fotu and Stumpf really wanted the question to involve a verse from the bible, but no one had brought their bible, and Stumpf and Fotu couldn't agree on what the verse said. So Fotu looks down the tunnel at the JW's and says "I bet they have a bible... should I go ask them?" And that's what he did. Fotu went and asked the JW's if he could look at their bible. They kept him there for like 20 minutes talking to him and we presume trying to convert him. And it was all for naught, the verse had been changed in their bible and the meaning was totally different.
Along with their epic battle of Germany vs. America, Stumpf and Whiteley have also had an epic battle of planner covers. We realised at the start of the week that this is Stumpf's last planner, he goes home in August. So Siostra Whiteley asked if she could make him one. It started out innocent, she genuinely wanted to make him a nice planner cover. But at some point in changed and it became about making his planner the most embarrassing thing possible. So, we decided to use some truly horrible pictures from the chastity pamphlets. They are these ridiculous pictures of couples playing tennis... playing isn't quite the right word, their just standing there looking creepily at each other while holding tennis racquet's and balls.... it's creepy. We used pictures from both the English pamphlets and the European pamphlets. It's now very entertaining to see his planner. In response though Stumpf made a cover for Siostra Whiteley which is pretty bad too. It has a picture from the chastity pamphlet on it as well, and on the front has a collage of various stages in a relationship, with the words, "to date or not to date?" It's pretty embarrassing and Siostra Whiteley has worked hard to hid it from investigators and members when she is planning meetings. We still both agree that it is better than Stumpf's though.

I'm getting the feeling that it won't be hard to stay under budget with my food here. Last wee I spent about 40 zlots on my food for the week, those of you with calculators out there, who know the exchange rate will know that is a little over 13 dollars... for a week. Today I spent 43 zlots, and I got a good about of food. I came away with Salmon and Kielbasa and Pierogi (one kilogram... that's a freakin' ton of pierogi!) and a massive package of noodles. and that's not even all I bought. The food is all really good too, but I haven't been eating too much, Siostra Whiteley keeps me grounded, I haven't even bought chocolate since Warsaw. She is such a frustratingly good influence on me! I have mostly been living off of pierogi because they are the best thing ever and they take almost no effort! (unless you make them from scratch, then they are a pain apparently) I also have had a lot of pasta and grapefruit.

Oh! I have a fun game that I came up with that you can play while eating grapefruit. Laney! this is good surgeon practice! It's called Grapefruit Cancer Patient. You get some tweezers and try to pull out all the seeds without damaging the grapefruit. Then when you eat it you count up the number of seeds you found. If you find more than 4 seeds you get sued, if you find 4 or less, you get a lawsuit but you are not guilty, and if there are no seeds then the grapefruit's death was not your fault and you win! I have only won once so far, but I have been not guilty twice! It's a really fun game when you have very few forms of entertainment.

The weather here has been insane! Most of the time it's like walking around in an oven. The forecast shows we are going to get lots of storms this week, but it also says it's going to get up to about 34 degrees... Celsius... Celsius sucks, but that's what they use here. Anyway, that's really freaking hot. It's all good though, Siostra Whiteley and I decided to spend our dinner hour a few days ago, going to H&M to get summer tops because I have none, and she wanted more. Now the heat is bearable, I still don't like it, but whatever. At least I'll be sweating and hot in a cute t-shirt.

Contacting has gotten a lot easier lately, I've been working really hard at having a good attitude during it and not worrying about it if people turn us down, and it's been tons better. I've also been doing better with understanding people. I still can't really speak Polish worth beans, and when someone is talking to me face to face in Polish my brain generally just breaks and I can't understand them. But I've been able to follow conversations around me pretty well and I was able to pick up on a lot in church yesterday.

That's basically it for this week. Today we are going to the mall with the Elders, Stumpf needs new shoes for when he goes home so we are going to help him find them!

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