Tuesday, May 26, 2015
This week was pretty cool. We had tons of fun experiences I saw lots of improvement in the language, and we saw some cool answers to prayer. The week kicked off with Sister McCleary and I babysitting Elder Garcia while we waited for Elder Burdick to get in from Katowice for their exchange. We had a lesson scheduled with a former investigator, Elżbieta, who texted us last week and asked if we could meet. So, we figured we just have Elder Garcia join us on the lesson. It went really well. I saw so much improvement in the language. I was able to say things I had no idea I could say, and I understood almost everything she said. The spirit was crazy strong in that lesson too, it was great. The next day we basically had an Elder day, we had district meeting, then went to lunch as a district, then we did a whiteboard. It was really fun. After the whiteboard though we stopped back at the chapel to pick up our leftover pizza from lunch and prezydent Cieleński called. He talked to me for a minute and then said "Hey, can your companion give a talk this Sunday?" So I responded with "I don't know, how about you ask her." Sister McCleary, who was on the other side of the room talking to the Elders, realised what he'd just asked me and immediately started saying "No, No, No, No, No!" Until I handed her the phone and she was all "Hi, prezydent! Of course I'll give a talk." He'd heard her though so he just died laughing for a moment and all of us in the room couldn't help but laugh too. On Wednesday Elder Burdick went back to Katowice so we babysat Elder Garcia again while we waited for Elder Remy to come in. We had to do a lot of traveling around for some reason, I can't remember now, and it always seemed like we couldn't get the trams we needed so we did a lot of walking. Which wouldn't have been a problem except that it was pouring rain all day, so We looked like drowned rats. It was all good though because Sister McCleary was super hyper and really entertaining. She kept switching accents at random and saying and doing crazy stuff, it was so funny, and the rain only seemed to spurn her on! Thursday we had a whiteboard planned with the elders, and I was super worried about it because I had zero energy. I was falling asleep during studies and I couldn't concentrate at all, I knew I was going to be less than useless on the whiteboard. So I prayed to have energy because I didn't know how else I was going to get through it. On the way to the whiteboard I was still dead, but once we got there I perked right up and was able to talk to people and understand what they said just fine. It's really cool to see answers to prayers even when they are for simple things like that. Then that night I made Carbonara again, and this time it turned out much better. On Friday we had an awesome lesson with Agata. She had a lot of great questions again, but we were able to answer them all, at least for now, I expect she'll have more the next time we meet. She's going to Paris this week so we wont be able to meet with her until next week. About 5 hours after our lesson she texted us saying "oh, zapomniałyśmy się pomodlić na koniec!" (Oh, we forgot to pray at the end!) She's so cute :) We also contacted a referral we got from the łódź Elders and set up a lesson for Friday. Unfortunately we have to reschedule because we just found out we are having zone conference on Friday. We have several lessons scheduled for Friday that we have to change up, and we're not even having zone conference with our zone for some reason! We're going to Poznań and the rest of our zone is going to Warsaw... So yeah, we're just a little annoyed about that.. but whatever. Saturday was crazy, we had a whiteboard with the elders, talked to a couple of really cool people. Met a girl who's dad was an investigator. We gave a book to a guy named Stanisław who was really interested in reading the Book of Mormon, and said he might want to meet with missionaries after he's read some, fingers crossed. At one point I tried talking to a babcia who walked away mumbling "Nie rozumiem" (I don't understand) I called after her in Ponglish (half Polish half English) (not quite loud enough for her to hear) "You rozumiesz mnie! (you understand me) Wiem to! (I know that!) My polish is at least good enough to be understood!" Sister McCleary was just dying laughing. We then got to pet a huge husky that was at least as big as one of the dire wolves in Game of Thrones, it was great :) Then that night sister McCleary and I bought a disposable grill from the żabka under our house and had a grill on out balcony. We had meat and peppers and onions and pineapple and it was really fun and really tasty. That night I also made cheese cake for the lunch we were having after church the next day. It turned out really good, if I do say so myself. The crust could have used a bit more work but the cake itself was a huge hit. At first I just took out a few rows and put it on a plate thinking maybe a few people would want some and if they ate it all I could get some more out of the pan. I realised quickly that I would need to move out the entire pan when the prayer finished and the first thing that happened was that about 3 people went straight to the cheesecake and grabbed a piece. Everyone was talking about my Sernik (cheesecake) and Prezydent and Sister Cieleński asked me for the recipe (or as he called it, "the directions" lol) A funny thing happened during the lunch, the kids were all running around super hyper, Łucia and Amelka were chasing each other around the room, and at one point they ran toward the kitchen, past Elder Garcia. He reached out to scare Łucia as she pasted and she spazzed out, took a hard left and ran straight into the door frame. Łucia was totally fine but Elder Garcia was super worried, and Prezydent Cieleński (Łucia's father) just shook his head and said "not your fault" lol, I just died laughing, I couldn't help it, it was so funny. Sister McCleary gave her talk too and it was so great, it was on prayer. I noticed a funny thing here that doesn't seem to be the case in US wards. In the US when a missionary is asked to speak it feels like it's a bigger deal, like we expect a lot out of the talk, it should be long, and not read from a paper, all of that. Here, because all the members know that their language is really difficult, it feels like a missionary's talk is expected to be on par with a child's talk. Not very long, read from a paper, contains a few mistakes, stuff like that. At least, the couple of times I've given a talk I feel like a little kid, lol, it's kind of funny. Wow, this week that crazy, there was so much stuff I just had to write about it from day to day. That's basically all that happened though. Kocham was!
This week was pretty slow, We had a lot of our plans fall through. But we still had some good times. We had some good lessons with Agata, she's a investigator that Elders Torres and Jackson were teaching last transfer. She is awesome, super sweet, and she asks tons of great questions. We met with her twice this week and both times we had really great discussions and were able to answer a lot of her questions. Some of them are really hard to, we've had to thumb through the scriptures right there to answer a few of them. But it's really great because we know it means she's really thinking about this stuff. The branch came up with a cleaning schedule for the chapel last week, and we were chosen to clean the chapel this week. So, all of us missionaries went to the chapel on Saturday and cleaned it, it wasn't too big of a job, but even so, Mariusz (one of the members here) offered to make us dinner at the chapel afterwards. So he and his wife came and made us boiled potatoes and breaded chicken and this strange salad stuff made out of cucumbers and cream, which was surprisingly tasty. It was really good. While they were making the food we watched this "face to face" interview with David Archuleta on LDS.org. It was filmed just after he got back from his mission, so he was still a little awkward, lol. We had fun laughing at some of the funny things he and the hosts said, and making fun of the camera guys, who could not seem to get a shot of the stage without getting another camera guy in it. It was also a pretty good interview though, David said some pretty cool stuff. After we were done cleaning the chapel we stayed behind to send out a few texts before we forgot. While we were alone in the chapel we found Elder Garcia's iPod, he had forgotten it. I tried to mess around with it but the code lock was on. However, even with the code lock on it still allowed us to take pictures :) So Sister McCleary and I proceeded to take many ridiculous pictures of ourselves, including a brilliant panorama picture of sister McCleary sitting at the table reading on one side of the picture, and peering creepily around the door on the other side of the picture. I want to include a copy, but I need to get it from Elder Garcia and he forgot to bring his usb cable, so that probably wont happen until next week, unfortunately. Yesterday, Amelka, Prezydent Cieleński's oldest daughter, was running amok with her new makeup she got for her birthday (she's like 5 or something, and she's adorable) She had lip gloss smeared all around her lips and eyeshadow smudged around her eyes, and she just looked dang cute! At one point sister McCleary decided to compliment her, saying "Och, wyglądasz bardzo piękny!" (Oh, you look very pretty!) So, Amelka took that as a request from sister McCleary to make her look just as pretty! So, Amelka proceeded to slab makeup all over Sister McCleary's face, it was so funny, and adorable! Sister McCleary, and Cynthia both tried to get Amelka to put makeup on my face, but just as she was about to sister Malinowska stopped her. It was kind of sad :( Also, this week we got a "hey Sisters!" from some American tourists, which was on my mission bucket list, so that was pretty great! That's basically it for the week, not a lot happened, this coming week looks pretty busy though! Kocham was wszystkich!
Monday, May 11, 2015
It was so awesome getting to talk to you guys yesterday! I'm just sad that I didn't have more time, I'm greedy like that :) This week went by so fast, I'm sure part of it was the excitement of getting to skype on Sunday, but I think another big part of it had to do with the fact that we weren't in Wrocław for a good chunk of the week. We went to Katowice Wednesday morning for zone training, but then, because sister McCleary and Sister Johnston had to do their legal work the next day, we spent the night in Kato with sisters Slagowska and Johnston. We had a lot of fun. We went to their English class which was, of course, very entertaining. Wacek was there, he told me I'm "a sitting girl still" then waved with both arms like limp noodles, lol. We decided to sit in on Elders Torres and Connelly's class. They only had one student there at first and she didn't want to be in there all alone. Eventually they got a second student in there. It was very entertaining for two reasons though, first because Elder Connelly was being a total sass, lol. Every time their student would say a complicated word in English Connelly would say "You do speak English!" she would then insist that she doesn't speak English, and Connelly would sass her in Polish and insisted that because she knows words he doesn't even know, then she does speak English. The other reason it was entertaining was because Elder Torres can't spell anything, in Polish or in English. At one point he spelled "pumpkin" like "pumpkim"... seriously?! Lol, we kept having to spell stuff out for him. At one point he was writing down a list of food we eat at thanksgiving, so we were naming and spelling things for him. Sister McCleary said "sweet potatoes elder, and they're spelled G-U-L-L-I-B-L-E". He started to write it, but eventually realised what he was doing, we just died laughing at him, and their students just sat there confused, they didn't follow what we were doing. The next day Sister Slagowska and I sent sisters McCleary and Johnston off on a train to Warsaw for the day. They were going to be back around 18:20 and then 10 minutes later Sister McCleary and I would be on a train back to Wrocław... however, we returned back to the Kato apartment after saying goodbye to our companions to find that we didn't have the keys. All of my stuff, including the keys to the Worcław apartment, were inside the Kato Apartment, so it was then that we realised we would be spending another night in Katowice, unless we had a spare key somewhere... which we didn't. It was simultaneously sad and hilarious when Sister Slagowska called the Elders and said "So... we sent our keys to Warsaw this morning..." The Elders let us into the chapel though and we were able to finish our studies there. Later that day we had a finding activity in Tarnowskie Góry. I drew the Plan of Salvation on the ground in chalk, which I've been wanting to do for like a really long time but just haven't gotten around to it. It took me a really long tome to finish it all, I finished it only a few minutes before we had to leave, so when I finished I looked at the other missionaries and said "I'm sorry it took me so long to finish this, but, you asked an artist to do this... not not a child with crayons... what did you expect?" Soon after we got back from the finding activity we picked up Sisters McCleary and Johnston, and informed Sister McCleary that we would not be going home that night. It was all good though because we had a fun time hanging out with the Kato sisters and were able to get back to Wrocław in time for our lessons the next day. We had literally the funniest tram ride I've ever experienced on Saturday. There were two guys on there who were so drunk that one was just singing softly to the other one who was dying of laughter. They were so ridiculous that everyone else on the tram was laughing at them too. I couldn't understand what the guy was singing about but he sounded like Jabba the Hut but with a higher voice. It was so funny! On our way off of the tram a guy near the door stopped sister McCleary, and handed her a flower. It was super cute, she was all smiles after that, even though the boy wasn't all that good looking and the flower had ants on it, lol. And then yesterday I got to skype my lovely family, which of course, was awesome :) That's basically it for the week, I can't really think of anything else that happened, it was pretty great though. Kocham was!
Monday, May 4, 2015
So... Apparently my face is putty... Sister McCleary informed me the other day that the skin on your face grows in whatever direction you pull it. That's why when you apply makeup you are supposed to put it on moving in an upward direction... So, you can cause the skin on your face to sag just by putting on your makeup wrong... AH! when I found this out I kind of freaked out and began pushing the skin on my face up and away so I don't end up with "Droopy the Dog" jowls. I've been paranoid about it all week... Anyway, as for the rest of the week. It was pretty chill. It was transfers this week. So we had one last P-day as a district. We just spent the day walking around Wrocław looking at all the pretty art and looking at the cathedrals on and around catholic island. Then we went with Elders Jackson and Torres and got Pizza Hut for dinner. On our way back to the chapel we heard some people speaking English, so Elder Jackson, being Elder Jackson, went to say hello. Big mistake, they were super drunk and once they found out we were Americans they thought we were instant best friends and kept trying to get us to sit down and eat dinner with them. I thought drunk Polish people were annoying, drunk Americans are the worst, at least I can't understand what the drunk Poles are trying to say! Lol, we finally escaped them though and went to buy some juice at a store near the chapel. Elder Jackson got himself a poweraid and started drinking it right after he got out of the żabka. In about 2 seconds the whole bottle was empty and Elder Jackson was sad. We heard him sniffling (fake crying, the dork, lol, *roll my eyes*) then he said "What happened to my poweraid! Did I buy it empty?!" He then proceeded to play it up all the way to the chapel, and even fell on the floor in the elevator "crying". It was really entertaining. Elder Jackson is always doing funny things like that. Earlier in the day we came across some kids doing parkour. Elder Jackson saw them and was like "I want to go over there and do a flip!" So we were all like "do it!" so he did, but instead of running over there, or trying to do some kind of cool lead up to the flip, he creepily tiptoed towards the kids and then at the last second did a flip over the bench they were standing on, then ran away. It was hilarious. Tuesday was transfer day, so we had to be at the Dworzec bright and early to see Elders Wynne, Jackson, and Torres off on their trains. We then spent the rest of the day, until 17:17 with Elder Remy until his companion, Elder Garcia came in from Kielce. The day before had been sweltering hot, and that morning was a little brisk and rainy, but we thought for sure that it would warm up, so Sister McCleary and I didn't wear coats, and I didn't even bother wearing tights... Unfortunately it did not get warmer, it actually got colder. To top things off, we spent the entire day helping Elder Remy move things between the two Elders' apartments and he didn't have a tram pass, so we had to walk the whole time. So, we spent most of the day outside in the cold, walking back and forth, and those apartments are not close, they are at least a mile apart, probably more. Needless to say, since that day we've been a little under the weather. I've had a sore throat and Sister McCleary's has a pretty bad cold... We won't be making that mistake again, we've been over dressing for the last couple of days. We'd rather be too warm, than make ourselves sicker. We had some fun stuff happen on a whitebaord we had with the Elders this week. Most of it happened to Elder Garcia though. He's from Austria, and he's half Filipino, so he pretty closely resembles a gypsy, which makes contacting sometimes difficult for him. Gypsys are always coming up to people and begging for money, they will follow you down the street, into shops, even into cathedrals... yeah. One tactic they have for getting money is they will hand out little cards (which is a pretty common sight, people handing out flyers) but, if you take the flyer, they will follow you and insist you pay them for it. The only way to escape them at that point is to pay them (really bad idea) or basically throw the card at them (or you can do what sister King did once and stick it in the hood of their coat and run away). Well, Elder Garcia tried to talk to a girl and she turned him down, no doubt thinking he was a gypsy asking for money. But then, he tried to hand her an "I'm a Mormon" card and she straight up slapped his hand away and ran for it, lol, it was hilarious! On that same whitebaord Elder Garcia also started talking to a guy who turned out to be kind of crazy. Picture the rat from flushed away with the toast sign that says "the end is nigh!" and you've basically got a good mental image of this guy. Poor elder Garcia was talking to him for like a half hour, lol. I think that's basically it for the week... Transfer week is usually pretty slow. This coming week is going to be interesting though, we have zone training and we're going to Katowice for that, and it looks like I'll be staying in Katowice for Thursday too because Sister McCleary needs to go to Warsaw to get her legal work done and unfortunately I don't get to go with her. :( Bummer, I was really hoping I'd get to go to Warsaw when she did her legal work. It's about time she did it though, she's basically been in the country illegally for a few weeks now. Kocham was!