Prepare to Serve

Monday, February 23, 2015


We got transfer calls, and guess where I'm going!... drumroll please... WROCŁAW! That's right, two transfers later I'm going back to Wrocław, lol. It's great because I love Wrocław, and I'm going to be with Sister McCleary, who is straight up awesome, but it was quite the surprise... Except not, because I've always felt like I'd go back there, toward the end of this transfer especially. I kept talking about next transfer like I'd be in Wrocław and now, lo and behold, I will be there in just a few days, woot! I'm excited!

But, I'm getting ahead of myself, as for this week...

At the start of the week I was super sick, coughing, no energy super dizzy literally all the time. I feel mostly better now, aside from the occasional cough and dizziness, but at the start of the week I could barely do anything. Sister Smith was still sick too so we spent P-day playing card games with the Elders because we were too sick and tired to move.

Tuesday we had an exchange planned with Kraków. We woke up that morning and were practically dead walking. We talked about calling off the exchange but Sister Smith prayed about it and still felt like the exchange needed to happen. So we still went ahead with it, and were thankful it was only going to last a day. Sister Gammon came here with me, and we had a good time, we had to take it slow because I really felt awful, but we still got some good work done. Partway through the day we got a call from Sister Smith who had been contacted by a member from Armenia who had just moved here. His name is very hard for me to pronounce or spell, but it's something like Vartgus... something like that. Anyway, we had a really cool lesson with him, and showed him the chapel. He had been in Warsaw last year and had become friends with Elder Rettalik. It was really cool too because just after we closed our lesson, while Vartgus was waiting for his bus Sister Gammon got a call from Elder Rettalik, and he and Vartgus were able to talk a bit. What was especially cool about it was that Elder Rettalik had called by accident.

On Wednesday we had English, I got to say goodbye to the class, because we were already pretty sure at that point that i would be leaving Katowice. At the end of the class Wacek came up to me and said "Good luck in Utah, don't be a sitting girl!" He then turned to see Sister Smith standing right there and they kind of glared at each other. He looked ready to say something so sister Smith said "Do you have something to say to me, Wacek?" He kind of rocked back and forth for a minute, looking like he was trying decide if he should just leave or not, then quickly said "You are a very ugly girl!" and waddled out of the class. It was hilarious!

After that we had our Culture night. We went and got pizza and then went bowling. It was fun, but they had TVs set up there which played music videos and a lot of them were really stupid. on the bright side though, I got the highest score out of the district in the last game. On the way back we had kind of a funny moment. We were just walking back to the tram stop, chillin' when we saw the tram we needed, coming up behind us. We were still pretty far from the stop, so the elders started running. Sister Smith and I were dead last, and we were pretty sure they were going to catch the tram and leave us behind. But then I noticed the stop up ahead, and just as we reached it, at the same time as the tramwaj, I noticed the Elders, still running, way past the tram stop. So sister Smith and I hopped on, and laughed at the elders and we passed them, still running alongside the tramwaj. It was very entertaining :)

On Thursday we had Sister Owen come to town to stay with us. She's been travelling around to all the cities and helping out all the sisters for the last 2 weeks of her mission. Prezydent Edgren has been calling her his "Sister AP". It was really cool having her there, we were able to get some tips and advice from her. And Sister Smith was able to bug her about transfer calls because Sister Owen already knew what was going to happen.

On Friday we had another district finding activity. We tried shoe shining again, and Elder Burdick also brought his guitar and played songs to attract people's attention. It was a lot of fun, but I don't think it was quite as effective as it was last time. I can't decide though if it was the area, or if we had one to many things going on. It was still fun though, and we still had a lot of good come from it.

On the way back from the activity, a bunch of girls scouts got onto the bus with us and started singing. Elder Taylor thought it was so cool that he just had to go over there and talk to them. Before we knew what was happening they had handed him a book and he was singing with them. It was really funny and he had a great time.

We had a pretty cool thing happen yesterday too. For the whole 4 months that I've been in Katowice I've seen this really old lady walking around. She's kind of stuck out to me, and I sometimes say hello to her, or smile at her, but I've never talked to her before, I'm not sure why. Well on the way back from church yesterday we saw her and finally decided to talk to her, and at least find out her name. So we did, her name is Helena, and Sister Smith set up to meet with her next week. So that was pretty cool. We'll see how things go with that, she's 95, so she might be pretty set in her ways, but she seemed open to talking and we left her with a plan of salvation pamphlet, so, yeah.

Anyway, that's basically it for the week. Right now we have Sister Gammon, from Kraków, staying with us until transfers actually happen, and then she will go back to Kraków and I will go to Wrocław. I'm really excited about this, I think it will be lots of fun.

Kocham was!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Plague!

The start of this week was awesome. I mentioned last week that we'd be going to a castle. Well, that's what we did, and there was so much snow there that it was literally past our knees in some places. Unfortunately the castle was closed, so we couldn't get in... fortunately there was a little section of courtyard that was separated from the rest of the castle because you could easily climb into it. So we went there and had an epic snowball fight! It was so much fun! We hid around in the windows and broken sections of the castle wall, and ran and jumped and dove all over the place, and at one point elder Taylor shoved Daniel's face into the snow, it was hilarious! Unfortunately I lost my badge... but it was totally worth it! We weren't even cold, until the drive back, then we were freezing.

That was really the highlight of the week though, because the rest of the week was kind of a bummer. We had legal work to finish on Tuesday, which we thought was only going to take like 30 minutes, but ended up taking like 2 hours. We also has a bunch of stuff break in our apartment, so our landlady and one of the building maintenance men had to come by and fix everything, twice.

We also, had plans to meet with this awesome girl we met a few weeks ago. She was so cool, and really interested in everything we told her. We had this meeting scheduled for like 2 weeks, and we were texting her about it, and she always responded really quickly and was super excited. And then the morning of she wasn't there, we waited 15 minutes. Sent her a text, fifteen more minutes, tried to call, it was busy. A few minutes later, she texts us, she got in a car accident and was in the hospital! It sounds like she's OK, but we haven't heard much from her since then. That was really sad though.

We had a tiny highlight after that because we finally got to go to institute, and it was also fat Thursday so after institute we got lots of pączki (donuts) and we got to have a lovely relaxing chat/lesson with Daniel about how we can bring back the less actives. SO Thursday night was pretty fun, but when we got home Sister Smith was feeling sick and went right to bed, leaving me to make her Sister Training Leader calls for her. Sister Smith coughed all through the night, and barely got any sleep. And the next day she was dead on he feet.

So, we stayed inside all day on Friday, and we were so bored! We watched The Testaments, Legacy, Ephraim's Rescue, and 17 Miracles, and while Sister Smith rested I walked her through a few episodes on The 10th Kingdom. We also played Uno for a while, but sister Smith was too weak to hold the cards, so I would hold them for her and she would point at which one she wanted to play. We also had the Elders running errands for us, because we didn't have enough food in our apartment to last us the whole day, and Sister Smith needed medicine. By the end of the day Sister Smith was starting to look and feel better, at least enough that she could walk around the apartment and could write in her journal.

That night Sister Smith woke me up at 3 in the morning, she had been coughing and couldn't get to sleep at all. She thought if I told her a story it might help her get to sleep, so I told her the entire plot of Shrek, because she said she didn't remember it too well. The next day, she was feeling awful again, and partway through the day I started getting chills and feeling sick to. We both slept for a big chunk of the day, and eventually forced ourselves to leave the apartment for a little over an hour, to go to Elder Weggersen's Norwegian class, because we could not stay couped up inside for two straight days! That night we celebrated Valentines day by watching Legacy :)

We managed to feel well enough to go to church yesterday, and even stayed through all three hours and the coordination meeting after. But after that we went straight back home and languished in our illness for the rest of the day. Today we both have horrible coughs, and some chills, but for the most part we are OK.

This week wasn't without funny moments though...

One of the members here, Zygmut, he always hands out candy at every branch function, before church, after church, at branch activities, when he comes to clean the chapel. On Saturday he came to the Norwegian thing, and he gave us all yummy lemon candies. Then, on Sunday, before church, after seeing me and Sister Smith in our illness on Saturday, he handed out cough drops to everyone.

I had a funny moment on valentines day, when we finally left the house, I was so happy to be out and was soaking up every minute. But after a while I realised there were very few people outside. I looked around and most of the people I could see were couples. I thought to myself. "What's going on, where is everyone? What is this a holiday? probably some crazy Polish holiday, there are millions of them! All I see are couples, what is it, some kind of couple holiday?..." And that's when I realised that it was Valentines day, and that made me laugh.

This week at English we were all waiting for Wacek to say something ridiculous to Sister Smith. She was kind of avoiding him. He kept going in an out of our class for the five minutes before it started. But eventually decided to go to the Elders' class because the clock we used to have on the wall broke. Five minutes before the end of class though, he came back in. And at the end of class we were waiting for him to say something to sister Smith, instead he came up to where I was sitting at the front of the class, leaned in and whispered "You are a sitting girl!" then smiled smugly and waddled away... lol, I really think he just uses whatever vocabulary he knows, and, is also crazy.

That's basically it for the week. It was extremely uneventful, and it was not fun to be stuck inside with nothing to do for days. But i am hopeful for this week. We are both feeling somewhat better, Sister Gammon is coming here from Kraków on exchange tomorrow, and Sister Owen will be spending a few days with us too.

Kocham was

Monday, February 9, 2015

Quite the Kerfuffle

You may remember that last week i said we were going to a castle... that didn't end up happening. We found out just as we were about to leave that Elder Connelly was going to be coming back from Warsaw and the Elders would need to be in town in order to pick him up. So instead we went and got pizza and were planning to take it back to the chapel to eat it while we waited to first, find out when Elder Connelly would be coming in, and then until he actually came. The problem was that when we got to the chapel there was something wrong with the door, we couldn't turn the key enough to unlock it, and we didn't know why.

We tried everything for a while, then gave up and ate our pizza on the stairs, then tried to open the door again for a while. We thought about climbing onto the balcony and going through the windows but they are all locked from the inside. We tried the spiral staircase that leads to the kitchen, but it was locked. We even tried calling the Landlord, but he didn't answer his phone. So instead we called Prezydent Urban, who happened to be getting lunch at the mall nearby. We joined him for lunch and talked deep doctrine with him for a while before going back to the chapel. We then got a locksmith to come by and check the door. He pounded on the door, and kept trying to turn the key, and basically did all the same things we had already tried...

SO, then we called Jessie, who had keys to Prezydent Urban's office (because he forgot his keys at his house) and Jessie came and opened the office. Then he and Prez went through a huge box of keys in there and pulled out some that they thought might go to the kitchen door, through the spiral staircase. So, we went there, and as we were trying to unlock the kitchen door, we heard a babcia (granny) from the floor above yelling at us. She had heard us walking up the spiral staircase, and I guess she thought we were trying to break in. We tried to explain to her that we were locked out of our church but she kept telling us that all the churches are outside, there aren't any churches in this building. And we were like, "no, seriously, we live here", and she was like, "no one lives there!"

Anyway, it was a bit of a fiasco, and we couldn't get the door open because there was another lock on the inside of the door that we couldn't unlock from the outside... Finally, Elder Burdick, on a hunch, picked up a random key off of Prezydent Urban's desk and tried it in the second lock on the front door (the one we never use because we don't have keys to it) and that worked... for some reason... anyway, this was after several hours of trying, so that was basically our p-day... at least it was an adventure :)

This week we also had another exchange, I went to Kraków with sister Petersen, and we had lots of fun. We taught a fun English class with the Elders in which we had fake job interviews and we basically just made up a whole bunch of ridiculous reasons why we are qualified to be astronauts. Things like "I can survive in a vacuum atmosphere" And "I've already gone to the future and met aliens, and now i speak their language." Also, Elder Hubbard let me play with his 2 by 2 rubiks cube on the bus ride back to Katowice for zone training (we were having zone training at the end of the exchange, so instead of going back by myself, all of the Kraków missionaries came with me) I expected that playing with this rubiks cube would take up some time in the journey and occupy me for a while, but when he handed it to me, I messed it up, and solved it in about 30 seconds...

Because we had zone training this week we got to go to Wrocław on Friday, that was super cool, though it was bitter cold there. We got to eat at Frankies which I'd been wanting to do for a while, and we got to hang with the Wrocław missionaries for a bit, but we had to leave soon after zone conference ended so we didn't get to stay and have lunch and chat with them. We had a good train ride back though. We started talking to a girl in out train compartment and had a really great conversation with her. Elder Weggersen was being hilarious and ridiculous, and told us all a long story in Polish about an epic battle between two kings named Frank and Bobby... I thought there was going to be some point he was making in it, but there wasn't, he just told us all a random story, lol. The girl seemed more amused than bewildered by his story though, so whatever.

After that we had a "girls night" with Kaja, we got ice cream and watched "Jospeh Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" the 2002 good version. Sister Smith was really excited to so us this one, because I've never seen this version, and we were pretty sure Kaja hadn't either. When it started though Kaja was like "I'm pretty sure I've seen this before", Sister Smith was like "Are you sure, what do you remember about it." and Kaja said "Is is super cheesy?" lol, that just cracked me up. I love that movie, but it is super cheesy at some points. The 2002 version is much less cheesy though... I don't understand why they took that version and edited it to make it not as good...

On Saturday Elder Taylor came back from Warsaw, so we celebrated by getting lunch with the Elders, and eating muffin's he had brought with him from Warsaw. Sister Smith and I also started our Polish week! We are really trying to only speak Polish to each other this week. So far we've had a few moments where we had to break into English because we just could not get our point across, but so far we've done pretty well.

Yesterday morning, we woke up, took a look outside and saw a winter wonderland... it had snowed so much! We left our apartment for church bundled up with big coats and hats. I wore my new bright yellow gloves and hat that says "Hello Sunshine" (sent by mom and the relief society ladies, thanks for the package!). I turned to Sister Smith at one point and asked her "Can I go contacting in this hat?" And Sister Smith replied "I don't want to go contacting with you unless you wear that hat!" lol. Anyway, on the way to church the snow was so deep, and the wind was so strong that I had to basically hold on to Sister Smith the entire was so she wouldn't fall, especially since her hood kept blowing in front of her face and she couldn't really see for most of the journey. It was very entertaining, we made it though, and a few members even made it too :)

Today it's still snowing, we hope it will stop and clear up and eventually become summer again, but for now, we'll just need to keep braving the cold... We're also planning to go to that castle again today... hopefully it works out :) wish us luck!

Kocham was!

Monday, February 2, 2015

All Kinds of Crazy!

This week was pretty awesome and pretty crazy, we kicked things off with an exchange. Sister Smith went to Wrocław with Sister Holden, and Sister McCleary came here with me. We had a fantastic time! Sister McCleary is a ton of fun! She's from Utah, and used to work at Desert Star, and she had a lot of stories for me about it. Sister McCleary told me all kinds of hilarious stories during the exchange, but that's not all we did, we also had a lesson!

On Monday morning as we were getting ready for our p-day activities we suddenly got a call from one of our investigators who we hadn't been working with for almost 2 months. Her name is Lara. She asked if we could come over for lunch and a lesson. So Sister McCleary and I went to visit her, she made us soup and then, basically told us she wants to get baptised. I was so shocked at first that I think I asked her to clarify like 3 times. "Okaj, jeśli rozumiem, chcesz zostać ochrzczona?" (Ok, if I understand, you want to be baptised?) She just laughed, she said later that she was amused by how we just lit up at the very mention of baptism, we were like "Yeah, it's so important! We know what it means that you want to take this step, you want to come closer to Christ!" yay! It was really great. I was a little worried about how the lesson would go though because sister McCleary is only in her first transfer and I knew that I was going to be talking a lot, but it went fine and I was able to say a lot more than i thought I would. there were even a few moments where I found myself speaking but I had no idea what word I was going to say next until I was saying it, just like those missionary stories you always hear :) We weren't able to set a date before we had to leave to catch our bus though. But we met with her again on Sunday and talked to her more about it and what to expect and helped her pick a day. It's still not official yet, she wanted to pray about that day to see if it's the right time for her. Pray for her guys!

So yeah, that was huge, and now everything else in the week looks a little less exciting by comparison, but really, that was the most important and exciting thing, everything else is just funny. On Thursday we went tracting, and had a hilarious experience, which is usually the case with tracting. We had just started on a new floor when two ladies came up in the elevator. So Sister Smith turned and started talking to them. Their first question was "Are you Jehova's Witnesses?" I didn't hear what their response was when Sister Smith told tchem that we're not because the woman who's door we had just rung came and I turned to talk to her. She gave me the "nie ma casu" (I don't have time) and shut her door. I turned to see both women facing Sister Smith and talking quickly while she looked a little shocked. Then I noticed that the women were dressed similarly to us... JWs...

lol, we had accidentally tracted into JWs and somehow started a scripture war, as is usually the case when you start talking to JWs. What those poor ladies didn't know is that Sister Smith is a master scriptorian, and her face lit up like Christmas when they asked her to find where in the bible it says that Jesus is Jehova, not God. Lol, I mostly just stood there and watched while Sister Smith pulled out scripture after scripture, confounding the JWs. It was actually a very civil discussion though. Sister Smith has nothing against Jehova's Witnesses, her father was associated with them before he joined the church and he always invites them in when they come by, so she's used to them. It was a very entertaining experience though.

One of the funniest moments of the week happened on Wednesday, at English. I think I wrote about Wacek last week, and his strange comment to Sister Smith. Well this week he had more things to say to her. I don't know how it happened, but they seemed to have started a vendetta against one another, and the results are hilarious. This week, before English started the front door was shut, we usually leave it cracked before English because it can't be opened without a key. There was someone knocking at it for a while but we didn't hear it at first because they were knocking very quietly. So Sister Smith finally noticed and ran to go get it. When she opened the door and woman walked in, and the Wacek poked his head around the door and strolled in like he owned the place. He then pointed at Sister Smith and said "You are a terrible girl! Very beautiful, but terrible." and then walked off.

Then he then did not come to our English class as he usually does, but instead went to the Elders Weggersen and Burdick's class. When class was over, Sister Smith went up to Elders Weggersen and Burdick and was talking to them about something when Wacek suddenly walked up to Elder Burdick and said -

Wacek - *pointing at Sister Smith "Did you know, that she is a very ugly girl?" Sis Smith - "Hey! You want to say that to my face Wacek?!" Wacek - *raises his arms victoriously and walks out of the room backwards with a look on his face that says "yeah, I just said that!"

Lol, it was so funny, Sister Smith and I could not stop laughing about it the whole week, Wacek is so crazy it's hilarious.

Well, that's basically it for the week, lots of fun, super exciting. This week should be really great too, today we are going to see a castle, so we're kicking the week off nicely.

Oh, also, I'm acting as district leader for the next couple of days, heh heh :) Elder Taylor (our actual district leader) got really sick on Thursday night, and had to go to Warsaw to visit a legitimate hospital, (because apparently we don't have any of those in Kato... which is a little disconcerting...) we're not sure how long he'll be gone, but while he's gone, I'm the only person left in Kato who doesn't already have a title (Sister Smith is the Sister Training Leader, and Elders Weggersen and Burdick are the Zone Leaders) so I've taken the role of District Leader :) yay for mutiny!

Kocham was!