Prepare to Serve

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mini Mission Magic!

This week was full of all kinds of awesome! First off, We had Cindy Call, I mean, Sister Call, with us, serving a mini mission, and that was awesome! She is the best! We were able to speak a lot of Polish with her, and she taught us a lot of cool stuff about pronunciation, and she was just a rockstar missionary in general.

We went tracting Tuesday night, following up with the tracting letter again. We got through most of the building with no success. we met a few people who said we could come back, and there was one very kind lady who was really sick and is going to be getting surgery soon who said we could come back in a few weeks. We've been praying for her.

And then, just before we finished the building, we got a guy who hadn't received the letter, but was super nice and interested.  He let us come in, and we talked to him about the restoration, and gave him a Book of Mormon, invited him to come to church and he said he'd like to learn more, though he's very busy with work, so we're not sure when we will be able to set up with him again. It was really cool though, and we were very lucky to have Cindy with us, because he had a lot of questions, and we didn't know what he was asking most of the time.

As we were leaving the building too we ran into a woman who we had talked to earlier, she had gotten the letter and read it, but still didn't really understand who we were, she thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses. She had been super nice to us when we knocked on her door though. We explained who we are and she seemed a lot more interested once she understood that we weren't JW's, and we were able to give her a book.

The next day the Edgrens arrived in Kato, bringing tons of food for the Zone Conference on Friday. We helped them get all the food put away, and prepped the chapel a little for it. We also had English class, and had a very entertaining moment right at the beginning. There's one guy in our class who is quite a character, I'm not sure if I have mentioned him before or not. But his name is Wacek and his kind of old, and sometimes makes odd comments at odd moments. Just before class started, he walked up to Sister Smith and said to her "Last week, you weren't beautiful, but this week, you is very beautiful." Lol, it was really funny especially since last week he walked into our English class, stayed for about 30 seconds, then turned around and went to the elders' class instead haha!

Friday was Zone Conference, it was a "mission tour" where Elder Charles (one of the seventy) and his wife traveled around to a couple of different missions and basically just talked to us about goals and recognising the spirit, and our purpose as missionaries and all that. It was really cool. Elder and Sister Charles are super cool and really nice.

That night Sister Smith went with the APs to Warsaw because they would be having another Leadership training thing on Saturday, and Sister Call and I stayed in Kato together. We went tracting again Saturday night to pick up the last couple of doors we had used the tracting letter on. We finished tracting those doors really fast, within the first hour, and our bus wasn't coming for another hour, so we decided to just tract another nearby building without the letter. I chose a building that I felt we should go to, which had lots of lights on. That made me both excited and apprehensive because it meant one of two things, either we'd get let in right away, have an awesome lesson and finish just in time for our bus, or we'd get a ton of rejection.

I felt like we should go there though, so we did. And we got a lot of "no"s Sister Call and I made the most of it though, we were laughing and talking about Kung Fu and The Last Airbender, and just having a great time. At one point we found a bird doorbell, that made chirping sounds when you pressed it. That person wasn't home too so we pressed it a lot, lol. We had a few crazy things happen, a few people opened the door having clearly just come from the shower. One woman yelled through the door that she had been taking a shower, but said we could come back later. And one woman said no, shut the door, then opened it again two seconds later and yelled at us how we're young girls and we should be working, and shame on our church for making us do this, and crap like that. When she shut the door, Sister Call and I couldn't help but bust out laughing, it was just so bizarre, lol.

We almost got through the whole building though and we're going to need to leave because our bus was coming in about 10 minutes. But I really felt like we should just finish the building, so we kept going. The fourth door from the end was a big beautiful fancy door, and Sister Call was commenting on it saying "This looks like the door of a business man, I bet he's nice." just before the door opened. I introduced us, but had trouble getting the whole introduction out, because I was distracted by the cutest little puppy who ran out and started jumping all over me, trying to get me to pet him. Sister Call and I both broke down and started petting the puppy, while talking to the owner. He was a super nice guy, and was really interested in everything we had to say. He let us come in and we decided we'd just catch the later bus. We had a really great lesson with him and again, I was super happy Sister Call was there because he had a ton of complicated questions. We ended up teaching him right up until the next bus arrived, and hour later, and he said we could come back, and asked if he could come to church (he wasn't able to come yesterday though because he already had conflicting plans). So yeah, it was a really great experience and we're really hopeful about him, unfortunately, we realised on the bus ride back that we forgot to ask him his name... cause we're the worst, lol.

That's basically it for the week, it was a lot of fun. I'm a little apprehensive about this week though because it was starting to warm up at the beginning of last week but on Saturday it took a dreadful turn for the worse and now we have snow everywhere outside. It's really good snow for snowball fights though. Sister Smith and I were joking about pelting little kids with snowballs on the way to come email today. We saw this adorable little boy with his grandma (he was probably about 2 or 3) and Sister Smith was all "Oh my gosh, he's so adorable!" And I was like "I know, he's so cute I want to throw a snowball at him!" Anyway, so yeah, the weather is bad, but I'm still hopeful. Pray that spring arrives in Poland, cuz I'm sick of Winter.
Kocham was!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mormoni, W Bytomiu

This week was super fun, we had Łukaś, a recent convert from Karków, here on a mini mission with Elders Weggersen and Budick. Łukaś is an awesome missionary, and he's really funny.

This week was the week of innovative finding activities! We planned out a bunch of cool ideas for out of the box finding activities, and put a few into action. This biggest one was shoe shining! We decided to have a big district finding activity and shine shoes for free. We went to Bytom, a city about a half an hour from Katowice, by bus, (because we are also trying to spread out away from the chapel) to do it. And it went really well, we got some good contacts from it and people really liked it.

There was one really cute moment, when two little boys came up to Elder Taylor and the older one asked if he could shine the younger boy's shoes. His shoes were not the kind of shoes that needed shining, but Elder Taylor told him he'd clean his shoes for him. So the little boy, all excited, sat down on the chair and Elder Taylor cleaned all the dirt off the boy's shoes. He was really happy, and it was adorable :)

Sister Smith also talked to a woman who was unfortunately at work, so she didn't have time to talk much, but she was really interested, and told us to go into the art gallery where she worked and get her email from the people there so we could contact her. So while getting her email we got to visit an art gallery for a minute, it was pretty cool, but it was very much a modern art gallery, and had a lot to do with hair. Looking at some of the pieces made me think of "the ring", and kind of creeped me out, I assume that was the point of it though.

While we were doing the shoe shining stand two teenage boys came by and started talking to us. They had heard about Mormons and were interested to hear a little about us. After a few minutes though, three girls (friends of theirs) came by and the boys called them over saying "Mormoni, w Bytomiu!" (Mormons, in Bytom!). They all gathered around while Sister Smith, Elder Connelly, and I talked to them. It was pretty cool, teaching 5 people at once.

We also started up sport Saturday again. It used to be a big thing here in kato, we have pictures all over the place from sport Saturday and various other YSA activities, we also used to have a lot more YSA. So we decided to start it back up and we got a great response from it. We had quite a lot of people come and we had a great time. Łukaś and I played frisbee for most of the time and got pretty good with it by the end.

We had a bit of a chaotic morning though, trying to get to where we were going to have it. Prezydent Urban planned it all, and didn't tell us a whole lot about it until the morning of, so we didn't really know where we were going when we set off for it. Daniel had brought his car too, and couldn't find a parking place in Katowice so he was going to have to drive there. So Sister Smith and I, and Elders Connelly and Taylor rode with him, and we got super lost. it was really funny. We ended up having a great day though, and when we rode back with Daniel after sports day was over, we stopped at the drive through at McDonalds which I haven't done in months :)

It was also pretty funny because the place Prezydent Urban had picked out for us to have Sports Day at was a school with a huge fence around it. We got there and Prezydent was like, "OK, now, we climb" and he just hopped over the fence" We weren't really sure how OK it was for us to be there, but it all worked out. When were were leaving though I climbed over the fence and as I did Prezydent said to me "Sister Lillywhite, now, you are a real Hoolie Girl!" lol.

Also, last night we tried out the tracting letter for the first time! We only got through half of the building and there were quite a few people who weren't home. We didn't get to teach anyone, unfortunately, but, there was a really cool guy who said we could come back later (he had his family visiting and couldn't talk) Most of the people we talked to had read our letter though and were prepared for our arrival, so even when they turned us down we had a much more positive response and a lot fewer angry people. woot! We're going back this Tuesday to try again and pick up the doors that didn't answer, so we'll see how that goes.

That's all the really important stuff that happened this week, it went by pretty fast, and now I can't remember a lot of what happened.

Exciting stuff for this week though! Cindy Call from Wrocław is coming here on a mini mission. She'll be here later today, and she'll be staying until Sunday! It's going to be really cool, I can't wait!

Kocham was!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rubik's Dodecahedron

This week was pretty chill and not a lot really happened. There were random holidays on Monday and Tuesday, that I didn'tt really understand the purpose of and which were kind of inconvenient for us because all the stores were closed, but such is life in Poland :)

We spent a lot of the week preparing these tracting letters we're going to start using in the mission. It's basically a letter explaining who we are and what we want to talk to people about and they have a time on them when we will be by the building to tract. So we drop them in peoples' mailboxes and come back later at that time, and then, if they want to hear our message they know we're coming, and if they don't want to, they can't get mad, because we warned them. The problem with tracting the classical way was that often people would just slam the door before they even knew who we were, and usually they'd assume we are Jehova's Witnesses, but now they will know! It's gonna be cool, Kraków has been using them for like a month and a half and they've seen a lot of success from it.

We also had to Zameldować this week, which basically means we had to declare to the courts that we are living in Katowice, or something like that, I'm still not totally sure what it is, but I was supposed to do it last transfer, and when we tried they freaked out and said I needed to wymeldować first (whatever that means). We finally got it sorted out though and both Sister Smith and I got it done. It was pretty crazy though, a lot of paperwork, and we had to have our landlady there, and we got help from Elder Taylor, cuz he was an office Elder for a while and knows how all this legal stuff works. My favorite thing to do when we're doing legal work is to wish the person who helps us a good workday when we leave, it always just brightens their day. When I said it to the first woman who helped it she was kind of shocked but very appreciative, it was cool :)

I've also seen a ton of improvement in the language this week. I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but I've been reading the Book of Mormon side by side in Polish and English, The Other Side of Heaven style, except that I try to translate from the English into Polish before I read it in Polish. Anyway, it's been super helpful, and I had many moments this week when I was talking and noticed that I was able to say things quicker and easier and case words correctly more instinctively.

Friday was the ninth, Which means I've been on a mission for nine months! so as a district we had dinner and celebrated my halfway mark! The time is going by just way too fast! That day I also solved a Rubik's Dodecahedron, czyli, a twelve sided Rubik's cube that isn't a cube at all. I borrowed it from Elder Taylor, who borrowed it from Elder Burdick, and I solved it in one day. And I've solved it quite a few more Times since, it's really cool :)

That's mostly it for this week, it just flew by, I barely even noticed time was passing, but that just seems to be the nature of the mission.

Kocham was!

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years!

Hey guys! Sorry, I don't have a ton of time to email today because it's some holiday I've never heard of today and so both of the libraries we normally email at were closed today and we've had to take turns emailing on the one computer at the chapter and Sister Smith and Elder Burdick both took forever and and a day to email.

This week was Zone training, and since my companion is Sister Training leader I got to experience it twice, but it's all good because one of those times was in Wroclaw! Yay! So I got to hang out in Wroclaw again, so that was awesome, unfortunately it was on New Years day, and we forgot that when we left, so none of us ate any breakfast that morning. So, one 3 hour train ride later we were in Wroclaw and starving and we couldn't get any food, so we wandered around the rynek for a little while before training started, looking for a  place that was open, any place. It all worked out though because the Wroclaw Sisters brought us some food.

We had some really cool experiences with a new thing Elder Burdick talked about in zone training. He and his trainer would pray to be able to see someone they should talk to the next day. So, the night before New Years Eve we tried it, and when we did it I pictured a pair of eyes with dark eye makeup and sister Smith thought of a woman with short brown hair, who was waiting. The next day, we were walking towards the chapel and passed a woman waiting for her tram, with short brown hair. So, we stopped and talked to her, and she was super cool, and really nice, and at one moment during the conversation she looked at me, and I recognised her eyes as the ones I had seen in my mind the night before. It was so cool! Unfortunately she had to run for her tramwaj and I gave her a Restoration pamphlet, but realised later that it was in English, for some reason, I don't know how I got English ones in my bag. But, even so, it was a really cool experience and we've been doing it more since and had other cool experiences with it.

New Years day was pretty crazy. New Years is a big deal here, and the fireworks would be super illegal in Utah. It literally sounded like bombs were going off in the street, they were deafeningly loud. We also had to be inside by 5 for our safety, but even at 3 we felt very unsafe walking the streets because people were already setting off bombs. It was really cool though because We were allowed to watch a lot of movies that we normally can't really watch. So Sister Smith and I borrowed Elder Burdick's flashdrive and had a movie marathon. We watched Baptists at our Barbecue, One Good Man, and The Other Side of Heaven. It was fantastic! I haven't watched a feature length movie in almost 9 months and it was so needed! It was fantastic and I really enjoyed all three movies, especially, strangely enough, Baptists at our Barbecue, mainly because many of the situations in the movie (the tiny branch, the crazy people, the weirdness of everything) reminded me so much of Poland! It was awesome!

At Midnight we were awoken by the street exploding outside! I took some video, I'll try to see if I can upload it to dropbox, if I've got time. There were fireworks going off right behind out building, in the middle of the street, it was crazy. And then, Kaja called us, to wish us a happy New Year, so that was fantastic!

There's not too much else to tell about for this week, at least not with the short amount of time that I have right now, sorry about that.

Kocham was, I hope you all had a great new years and that you will have a great week this week :)