Prepare to Serve

Monday, September 22, 2014

Co powiedziałeś?

We had zone conference this week. Which means we woke up at 4:30 in the morning on Tuesday and hopped on a train to Katowice. Elder Owens and I spent yet another train ride playing Phase 10. We are locked in an epic battle and we will continue to wage war against each other until one of us is victorious! Zone conference went well. We got to meet some of the new missionaries, they all seem super young, maybe it just seems that way to me because I'm really old, but even compared to my MTC group they all seem really young. Because it was my birthday last month I got cookies from Sister Edgrin. Sister Whiteley and Sister Petherbridge also got cookies even though their birthdays are next month, because this would be the last time they could get some of Sister Edgrin's cookies (they are unbelievably good cookies).
We also heard the testimony of a recent convert from Kraków, Marcin. He told us how he was searching for a long time and had even been approached by missionaries before but he hadn't ever had the time to talk to them. When he finally did start meeting with them it was because they finally approached him when he was waiting for a friend and had the time. He came to English for a while first though. He said that He decided to start meeting with the missionaries when he found out that one of the Elders' names was 'Drake'. That name had been stuck in his mind for a really long time and he had heard it in his dreams a lot. He got baptised maybe two months ago. He's a really cool guy.

After Zone conference my exchange with Sister Bąk started. She's in her first transfer and is having some trouble with the language. So I was pretty nervous about it. I didn't need to be though. We had a really good time, and managed to do just fine. We didn't find anyone, but we went out there and tried to talk to people! Even though neither of us could say much at all! It was loads of fun too. I was actually able to get by, and answer Sister Bąk's questions, pretty well. Though at one point she asked me how to say something, and I wasn't sure if I had it cased correctly, so we just decided to ask a woman at the tram stop. She was super happy to help, and I had everything cased right except for one word.
We had kind of a cool moment too. We were walking across a bridge, heading toward the rynek and we saw a woman approaching us. We both felt strongly that we needed to talk to her. But we had a bit of a communication problem and as she passed, each of us thought the other was going to say something, so neither of us said anything. The woman kept going, and for a second, so did we. Then we both stopped, turned around and watched her walking away. Sister Bąk looked at me and said
Bąk - "I really feel like we should talk to her"
Me - "I think so too"
Bąk - "Is it creepy to chase after her?"
Me - "Yes, definitely... but I think we should anyway."
Just as we decided to turn around and chase her down, the woman stopped, turned around and started walking back towards us. We both quickly agreed and made it clear that I was going to talk to her, so we wouldn't miss our opportunity again. We tried to talk to her, but she ended up not listening, which was kind of a bummer, and left us a little confused, but it was a really cool experience none the less. I think maybe we just needed to be another set of missionaries in that woman's path to the gospel. And possibly the spirit was testing us a little.

Something kind of funny that I noticed during the exchange was that normally, when I'm with Sister Whiteley, like 1 or two people will approach us, in a week, asking for direction. But that one day that Sister Bąk and I were together, like 3 people asked for directions. I was able to understand them just fine, but I didn't know the places they were trying to get to, so I was no help at all... It was just perfect timing though, I'm certain they all came our way because Sister Whiteley wasn't there to help me.
Sister Bąk and I had a funny experience with Polish. We were walking through the rynek, on our way to English class when we saw this girl walking with her boyfriend. As they passed she said, in the sassiest tone imaginable "Co powiedziałeś?" (what did you say?) It might have been one of those, "you had to be there" situations, but we died laughing. It was just the way she said it, with so much sass! She was basically a Polish Valley Girl! We couldn't stop saying it the rest of the day, and even got the Elders saying it.
The only other big thing that happened this week was that I gave a talk on Sunday. The way that Prezydent Cieleński told me was really funny. We were all at the chapel, because we had just had coordination meeting, and were looking at pictures from the Uchtdorf conference. Elder Smith had a phone call, so he left for a while and then came back a few minutes later, offering me the phone and telling me that "the captain wants to talk to you", I had no idea who he meant by "the captain", so I went into the conversation pretty confused.
Me - "Hello?"
Cieleński - "Hi! How you doin'?"
Me - "Hi! (realising now that it's Cieleński) Pretty good, how are you?"
Cieleński - "I'm great... Hi! How you doin'?"
Me - "Great! How are you?"
Cieleński - "I'm good... how are you?"
Me - "Fantastic... did you have a stroke?"
Cieleński - "I think I might have... Hi! How are you?"
Me - "Hi! I'm great, is there something you wanted to ask me?"
Cieleński - "Yeah! Will you give a talk a on Sunday?"
Me - "... you mean in two days?"
Cieleński - "Yeah!"
Friday, when he called me, was pretty late in the evening, so I pretty much just had Saturday to write it, which would not have been a problem at all, except that I first had to write it, then translate it into Polish, then practice it enough that I could actually give it.
It went really well though. I spent most of Saturday writing it, and translating it. It was on the restoration, and how it's important that we recognise the importance of the restoration and what it means to us. It was a lot shorter than I had expected it to be, but only because it took me a lot longer to read through it in practices than it did when I got up there. Once I started actually giving the talk the Polish words/pronunciation, came quite easily. I'm not sure what happened, by the end I just realised that I was saying everything with relative ease. I got a couple of compliments from some of the members too. Though they were very likely just being nice, whatever, it still made me happy.

That was basically it for this week. It went by really quickly, I swear I was just emailing like yesterday, and now I'm doing it again!
Kocham cię, i tak dalej.
I learned the word for "bummer" it's "szkoda" (shkoda), haha! it's my new favorite word!

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