Prepare to Serve

Monday, October 27, 2014

Och, jest pisany w języku Elfów!

This week was pretty busy, and lots of fun.

We had zone training on Tuesday, so we went to Kraków. We didn't get to see a lot of the city though, mostly just the rynek, which was amazing and gorgeous!

We've had a lot of calls to make recently, to investigators, potentials, members, etc. I've been making a call here and there too, trying to prepare for when I will be senior comp. So the other night Sister King had me call one of our investigators, Beata, to try and set up with her. I had a little script planned out for what I could say to her. So I called, and when she answered everything started according to plan, I said hello, she said hello back, I asked "how are you?", and then she went totally off book. She started talking a lot, and all I could catch was the word for sick. Sister King started indicating that I should react like this news made me sad so I went "Awww" and then... the horror! I started laughing. I don't know why, the situation was just really entertaining to me. But I was laughing too hard to talk so I handed the phone to Sister King and she took over. After a few seconds it became clear that the situation was that Beata and her Baby were both sick... So, to sum up this story, the other day I called our investigator and laughed at her sick baby... lol, it's all good though, I don't think she heard me laughing.

We had a funny thing happen on Wednesday morning when we got a call from a sales company. Sister King was on the phone with them for a while trying to tell them that we weren't interested, but they were being annoyingly persistent. So I said "Sell her the Gospel!" So Sister King says (in Polish, of course) "Well, I'm not interested in that, but maybe you would be interested in our message about Jesus Christ!" The woman wasn't as keen to try and sell us something after that, it was really funny.

We had an interesting contact on a whiteboard on Thursday. Normally on whiteboards we split up, but it was freezing. Almost snowing, so we decided to contact together so we could huddle up for warmth. We stopped this guy who we think now, might have been studying theology, or planning to become a priest. He already had a Book of Mormon, and had gone to our church, and he knew his stuff, or at least he thought he did. At times it went really well, but at others he was pretty rude, and I actually ended up having to kind of throw down on him a few times, in my broken Polish (with some English thrown in, because he knew a little bit of English). It was oddly fun though, and talking to that one guy lasted about an hour. The best part of it was when we were talking about how after Christ's death many of his teachings were lost or changed, and that's why verses are different in different versions of the bible. He got confused by this and didn't know what we meant by different versions of the bible. So we were trying to explain that there's the King James version, and Gideon's Bible and various others, but he was still confused and kept insisting that his bible was written by god and not anyone named James. So finally I just got really annoyed because he was being kind of a tool and I said "Skorzystaj z internetu i search "king James bible i Gideon bible"!" it was really funny, and surprisingly, no matter how boldly I preached the word to him he still stuck around, and we still managed to have a really good conversation without it just turning into bible bashing, it was really cool.

That night we hung out with Adrian, our branch Prezydent, and Rafał one of the Katowice members. I was helping them with some problems on the computer because neither of them knows anything about computers. At one point Adrian and Rafał noticed my ring "the one ring" and asked to see it. Adrian asked what the writing was and Rafał, who was holding the ring said "Och, jest pisany w jęyzku Elfów!" (Oh, it's written in the language of the Elves!) We all just busted out laughing, except Adrian who took a second longer to catch on to what Rafał had said. Which only made things funnier because of the look of confusion on his face.

On Saturday we had a YSA activity with the Kielce YSAs... or YSA. We had a lot of people scheduled to come, but most cancelled the day before, so we only had one person from Kielce Marta, then Adrian, and Kaja from Katowice. And then 8 missionaries. It was a lot of fun though. We played soccer and frisbee and spoons and ate some really great food... and some not so great food. Elder Boyce made noodles for us, but because Adrian is cheap he was only given a very small amount of money to work with. So when Elder Boyce was buying sauce he went straight for the cheapest sauce he could find, and instead got tomato concentrate. It was an interesting result.

Well, that's the chodź of the week. At least what I can remember, like I said, it was pretty busy, and parts of it are just a blur now.

Kocham was, i tak dalej...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Back In Kato

This week was crazy, and long, but really good. I think the first week of every transfer will probably feel super long, because of all the change and whatnot.

At the start of the week I was with Sister Bąk and Slagowska in Katowice. Slagowska left for Wrocław on Tuesday, she is serving there with Sister Holden. And Bąk left for Kraków on Wednesday after Sister King got in, she is serving there with Sister Petersen.

On Tuesday, after Slagowska left Sister Bąk and i had a meeting with Barbara, a recent convert, and Krystyna, a long time member. We went to Barbara's house and had Pierogi, and shared Uchtdorf's talk "Grateful in any Circumstance" because that talk is awesome in any circumstances! :)

Bąk and I were both pretty nervous about it, because we set up the meeting when we thought Slagowska was still going to be in the area and she knows Barbara and Krystyna better than we do. Also, neither Barbara or Krystyna speak any English , and Bąk and I both struggle with Polish, so we weren't sure how dinner and the talk and everything was going to go. But it ended up going great! We had such a fun night. Sister Bąk has a lot of trouble understanding Polish, and has some trouble speaking, but she tries so hard that she actually manages to communicate to a decent extent and Polish people find her really endearing and entertaining. And I understand really well but struggle with formulating sentences quickly enough for conversation to flow naturally. So we actually managed to balance each other really well. Bąk talked a bunch and even made some jokes, and when Krystyna or Barbara said something she couldn't understand I translated for her. We laughed like the whole time, it was really good.

We had a really funny thing happen the next day when we took Sister Bąk to the train station to buy her ticket back to Kraków at 19:00. she walked up to the ticket counter and said "Po prosę o dziewiętnaście bilety". The woman stared back at her with a look a shock, and Sister King and I, both realising her mistake, waited to see if she would catch it and correct herself... She didn't so we had to do some quick damage control and let her know that she had just tried to buy 19 tickets... It was hilarious, the we all got a good laugh out of it, including the ticket lady.

Now I'm with Sister King, she's from Draper, and she's super fun. We've been having a great time this week. And Katowice is a cool city. It's got a lot of construction right now because they are building a proper Rynek.

When we were on a bus on Friday I noticed the girl near me was reading Harry Potter 7. So I positioned myself so that I could do a little language study and try to figure out where she was in the book by what I could understand. It was pretty difficult because a lot of the words were way over my head, but eventually I came to a line when Harry said "Gdzie jest Luna?" and from there I was able to figure out that they were at Xenofilius Lovegood's house, right after he reads the story of the three brothers. Also, in Polish, Xenofilius is Ksenofilius. It was really cool though, and I was able to follow a little more of it and pick up a few new words.

Saturday was totally crazy. Sister Ott's family came to Poland to pick her up, so even though she technically finished her mission, she was still running around Poland, and still technically a missionary. So, while she was visiting Katowice, where she finished her mission, she wanted to visit an investigator named Beata, and introduce her to her parents. She also had us come along so we could get to know Beata, and Krystyna was there too because she referred Beata to the missionaries. We had a really good time. Beata is awesome, we had a good lesson with her. After that we had to go get supplies to make lots of pancakes. The branch was having a fireside/party for a senior couple who used to serve here in Katowice and were visiting after finishing their third mission in the Ukraine. They had Pizza for dinner and then, because this is Poland, they wanted Pancakes for dessert. So we had to make up a huge bunch of pancakes it was absolute chaos in the kitchen. 4 of us crammed in there, people coming in every few minutes to ask where the pancakes were. It was super fun though, even so.
Yesterday was District conference so all the members from Wrocław, Kraków and Kielce came to Katowice. It was really cool. I got to see all the members from Wrocław that I just said goodbye to the week before, and I got to meet a bunch of new people. However, now I'm not so sure who are the members I will be seeing every week here in Katowice and who I wont be seeing all the time.
They announced a really cool thing yesterday, Poland is getting a Patriarch! Sometime next year. Wow! We are super excited about it, the church is growing here!
Well, that's basically all for the week. At least, that's all I can remember, a lot happened, so much so that I can't remember it all, it was pretty crazy.
Kocham Was!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Hey, this email is going to be super short, sorry, but I don't have a ton of time.
This week was Sister Whiteley's last week. It was super sad to see her go. We made the most of it though and had a pretty good week anyway. We went to see the fountain show that we caught the last 5 minutes ago on culture night last transfer. This time we got there before it started, so we were able to sit down right at the edge of the fountain, and watch the whole thing, it was really awesome. They played lots of really cool songs, some that we recognised and were able to identify, like one of the songs from Shrek, and some songs I didn't know but I think they were from movies. It was a really cool show.

On Friday I got a surprise transfer call from Prezydent Edgren. I was expecting the call to come on Saturday. I found out that I will be serving in Katowice with Sister King. I'll admit I panicked a little when I found out I would be going to a new city and needed to pack up all of my stuff. I barely managed to fit all of it, and that was after getting rid of all the clothing that no longer fits me... which was a lot.

Yesterday was my last Sunday in Wrocław. Sister Whiteley and Elder Smith had their farewells and they gave their talks, which, from what I could understand, were great. But after they spoke Cieleński told me and Owens (who is going to Warsaw) to get up and say something too. I was a little nervous because I didn't really know what I was going to say, but I compiled my thoughts a little and went up there. As soon as I reached the podium I suddenly didn't feel nervous anymore. I was able to say what I wanted to say, just fine, and I cased almost everything correctly.

After church we took Elder Smith and Sister Whiteley to the train station and sent them off to Warsaw. It was so sad, I really didn't want to say goodbye to Sister Whiteley, she was such a great trainer and companion, and she was so much fun! After that I left for Katowice.

Today we went to Auschwits with the Kraków missionaries. It was really cool, and heartbreaking. I'm really glad we went though, it was a cool experience.

Well, that's all, sorry this is so short, but I didn't have a ton of time.

Kocham Cię, i tak dalej

Monday, October 6, 2014

So Much Conference!

This week was pretty chill.
We had cleaning checks so we spent a good deal of time hanging out with Elders Smith and Coutu as they checked that we weren't living in squaller, then changed out our filters. Then we hung out with them some more when they came over to fix our filters because they put them together wrong. It was very entertaining though, Smith and Coutu are both kind of crazy. In a fun way, not in a "oh my gosh, the fate of Wrocław is in their hands?" kind of way, so it's all good.
Most of what I remember from the week was the preparation for conference. We didn't have a whole ton to do, but looking back, that's what sticks out for this week. We had a whole system set up at the chapel so we, the missionaries, and the branch members could gather and watch conference in English or in Polish... or in Korean in case the Korean family in the branch came. And we had lunch prepared at the chapel for us missionaries and any members who showed. Not a lot of people came, but it was still a good time.
We got to watch the morning sessions live, starting at 18:00 on Saturday. Then we watched the Saturday afternoon session on Sunday morning, followed by Priesthood, and they the live Sunday morning session at 18:00 on Sunday. We haven't seen the last session yet though, we are planning to get together as a district and watch it sometime during the week.

During the Saturday morning session we were all really excited to hear from Uchtdorf, because he is our favorite, of course. Just before he got up to speak we were joking and making predictions about his talk. Elder Smith said "I bet you anything, the first thing out of his mouth will be something about being a pilot" Owens countered, no, first he has to greet us, the second thing he says will be about being a pilot." And what happened? The first thing Uchtdorf said was the joke about giving his talk in German, and the second... "When I was an airline pilot..." We all just died, it was hilarious!
Just a quick note, did any of you guys catch when Uchtdorf said "vil" instead of "will"? that was awesome :)

Conference was really good, we all appreciated the boldness of all the talks. We watched it in English, but had Polish going in the next room over, so we caught bits of Polish here and there. Prezydent Cieleński was in Warsaw doing translations for the broadcast. He actually did the translations for quite a few of the talks, and every once in a while we could hear his very distinct voice coming from the next room.
There wasn't really a whole lot else that happened this week. The coming week is Sister Whiteley's last week in Wrocław. She goes to Warsaw on Sunday and then she flies home on Tuesday morning. It's crazy to think that she'll be in Utah in just over a week. The time just flies by.
Kocham cię i tak dalej...