Prepare to Serve

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Day Sister Carlson Wore a Nightgown Proselyting

I found a fireball in my backpack... it's really yummy 😂

This week was pretty crazy, we had zone training, and an exchange and it was packed with tons of funny stories, I think the best way to do this, would be to first talk about the exchange and zone training, then explain the subject of this email, and then just write all the random funny things that happened.

First of all, We had a bit of a different Exchange this time, Sister Holden and Sister Herrera both came down with the Zone leaders, Elders Garcia and Summers. and they all stayed in Wrocław for two days to have big old awkward exchanges with all of us, it was great!

I was with Sister Holden both days which was really cool cuz it's the first time that we've done missionary work together since the MTC. We reminisced and talked about how much time we have left and how fast the transfers are slipping by and all that. It was tons of fun! On Thursday we had Zone training, then all went out for food at a milk bar, followed by ice cream because Elder Garcia was here and Sister Carlson owed him ice cream. Then we went to Legnica, all four of us sisters. We did some tracting then had an English lesson with one of sister Call's friends in Legnica. Her name is Elżbieta Kot and her son is a well known Polish Actor, Tomasz Kot. She's really nice and she bought us ice cream during the lesson, so we ended up having a ton of ice cream that day. Also, the lesson was on telling time, which was fun because it gave us a use for the broken clock we have in our house, and Elżbieta thought it was funny when I pulled a whole clock out of my backpack.

Then, just before we were about to leave Legnica, Sis Carlson saw a striped nightgown hanging in the window of a travel shop. She just had to try it on, and then, she just had to buy it... and then, the next day, she just had to wear it. That day was interesting. Earlier that week we had set up with a former and on Friday we met with her... it was interesting. She talked... a... lot... Our lesson went about an hour and a half, and thirty straight minutes of that were just her talking... about Russia... Sis Carlson timed it. And every time I'd try to say something she'd quickly say that she was going to answer the question that I barely even remembered asking, and then go back to talking about politics, it was the worst. I think I shut down for about 20 minutes, because I don't even remember most of it, I just remember praying in my head begging for help because I had no idea what she was saying and I didn't know how to bring it back to the gospel tactfully, and I didn't know how to get her to stop! And then, it was like the spirit was saying to me "You know how in PMG it says not to interrupt investigators? Yeah, throw that out the window, interrupt her, interrupt her hard, or this will never end!" So I just started interrupting her every time she started to get on tangents. I forced her to stay focused and answer my questions and I feel like we actually got somewhere with it.

It was so funny though, sis Carlson was loosing her mind during the lesson. She could not handle how much this woman talked. The Woman brought her nephew with her, he was probably about 9, and he sat more reverently than my 20 year old companion, it was so funny. At one point I felt impressed that I should get Sis Carlson to share her experience of how she came to know that the church was true. When I turned to her, her hair was all disheveled and she looked absolutely crazy, and the best part was, when she spoke, the Polish was basically broken in her brain, she hardly cased or conjugated anything, she started her testimony like this:

Carrot - "Młoda dziewczyna... jestem (Young girl... I am) *looks at me in confusion
me - "Była (she was) *I meant to say byłam (I was), but my voice cracked
Carrot - "Była!" (she was)

After she said that I was like, "ah crap, it doesn't even sound like she's talking about herself... Even so, her crappily cased testimony brought the spirit hard, and The lady didn't try to interrupt her. After she was finished bearing her testimony she closed in the name of Jesus Christ and smiled at me like, "we're done now, right" but unfortunately I felt like there were other things I needed to say to her and other questions I needed to ask her, so the lesson went on for a bit longer. When we got out of it though sis Carlson immediately collapsed on the floor in the family history office. It was really funny.

As for the funny stuff that happened throughout the week...

On Tuesday we went to do a whiteboard with the elders in a park, but when we got to the park we found it was not a good park for whiteboards. so we wandered towards skytower looking for a different place, and ended up taking opposite sides of the street and contacting to skytower where we would buy drinks, because it was blazing hot. At one point it was so hot that Sis Carlson just had to take her hair out of the braid it was in and switch to a bun on her head. After it was up she turned to me and said "DO I look Asian with my hair like this?" I just looked at her and said, very seriously "You look so Asian right now, I can't even be seen with you!" It was so funny. And it was only made funnier the next day when I recounted that story to sister Holden and as soon as I quoted what I had said to sis Carlson we walked past a family of Asians, I don't think they understood me... at least, I really hope they didn't.

On Tuesday, after we had gotten drinks at skytower, the Elders decided to eat dinner there, but we had to go get some stuff at the chapel. The elders were under the impression that we were going to be getting dinner as a district though, so when they stepped onto an escalator and we said "Hey, we're gonna bounce now" they both looked super confused, and we ran away laughing. Then, after we had gotten our stuff at the chapel and made some calls, we were leaving the chapel and singing the rock version of "A Child's Prayer" that Dad sent me, in the hallway outside of the chapel, at the top of our lungs. We got in the elevator and were still singing. Then just as sis Carlson was about to really belt, the elevator doors opened and the elders were on the other side. Our song quickly and awkwardly died in our throats and the elders got in the elevator, and for some reason, we didn't get off. Then just as the doors were shutting, one of the guards squeezed his way into the elevator. We all rode together to the 2nd floor, all got off the elevator, and then sis Carlson and I awkwardly turned and got back onto the elevator. Then, just as the doors were closing again, the guard squeezed in again, and then proceeded to tell sis Carlson how much hair she had, and that he could just chop off the bun on top of her head and it would all be gone. It was all so bizarre!

That day we also walked by the most random, funny scene. There were some workers doing some kind of construction work on one of the streets. And at one spot there were three of them gathered around this one guy who was working, while the others watched him work, and one of the guys randomly had this massive ice cream cone, It was so funny. All four of us saw him and then just died laughing.

then, on Wednesday, we had a whiteboard and  it was so hot outside, when we came to the chapel for English we were all dripping with sweat, and we smelled awful (because the deodorant here doesn't work unless it's Old Spice odor blocker). After English, Sis Carlson, Sis Herrera and Elders Lanterman and Summers were staying after to help one of the students who wants extra English classes. Sis Carlson was in the hall with me and Sis Holden and the others were all in the room, starting the lesson. Sis Carlson had been looking for some kind of air freshener that we could spray ourselves with (yes, we smelled that bad) she found some kind of "Dragon Lilly" scented febreeze type of thing, and handed it to me and then someone called to her from the room, she looked in to respond and I don't know why, but I just pointed the air freshener can at her and sprayed it. A stream of the stuff shot out and hit her straight in the neck. She fell comically back and sister Holden and I just dropped laughing. Inside the room, sis Herrera had witnessed it all and she just busted out laughing, it was so funny!

Two tiny funny tid-bits before I end this puppy so we can get some food!

We went to Biedronka this week for lunch (it's a grocery store, basically like fresh market, which is a store here too, but it's a convenient store) The thing about poles is whenever you pay they want you to give them as exact change as possible, so a lot of the time if you hand them a bill, they'll ask if you have some grosz (cents) or złoty (larger coins). I payed for my food with a 50 and the lady asked me if I had 65 grosz, I did not, she asked if I had 5 grosz, I did... then she asked me if I had a zlot, I did not... then she got annoyed and gave me 19 zlots in coins... My wallet is so heavy now.

The other funny thing, we have sung the same 4 hymns in church for 3 weeks in a row... we just keep forgetting to change them...

That's it for my week!

Kocham was!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Jumanji Week

As the Subject states, this was Jumanji week mostly because of the crazy weather, but I can find some other things to relate to Jumanji... for example, crazy mosquitoes! There was a mosquito in our house, it was huge and it somehow managed too stab me through my thick sweat pants, 3 times! I Buddha palmed it to the wall in anger though and since then I haven't had problems with mosquitoes, but my calf (where it bit me) is all puffy and swollen, and it hurts!

Also, spiders! There was a massive spider crawling on Elder Lanterman's butt yesterday. Elder Connelly saw it, and almost spanked his companion right in the middle of the dworzec, but he thought better of it. So instead all four of us watched in horror as this massive spider crawled up Elder Lanterman's butt, onto his back and towards his face, before Elder Connelly finally managed to gather himself and flick it off of him.

There were actually some instances of crazy, hairy jungle-men running around this week. One in particular was during a whiteboard, there was a man just down the street from us who had overgrown hair and beard, was not wearing a shirt and was shouting at a statue of Medusa sitting on a throne in the park.

And there were MONKEYS!!!!!! And by that I do mean the Elders, haha!

Then there was the weather. We got rained out of several whiteboards this week because occasionally the sky would just open up on us. mostly it was really blazing hot though, much worse than the fourth of July. On Saturday when we were in Legnica it was so hot I literally could not think of anything other than getting a drink of water, and the episode of Spongebob where he visits Sandy's treedome, because I understood perfectly how Spongebob felt in that episode. I felt so dried out at one point I was certain that if I didn't get a drink of water soon my tongue might just disintegrate!

Then there was yesterday. Yesterday was pretty cool, because it was the second time they've held a sacrament meeting in Legnica, and it was the first time that we got to go. So we had church in wrocław then us, and the elders all hopped on a train and went to Legnica for second church! Along the way to Legnica we talked a lot about how flat Poland is, there are NO mountains... none, it freaks me out so much. And that got us talking about tornadoes and crazy weather, and how Elder Lanterman, being from Virginia, is used to those kind of crazy things. Then we had church in Legnica and it was fun, but it was swelteringly hot. Sis Carlson had a talk too, which she had to give in both meetings, heh heh, and while she was giving her talk it was so hot she literally looked like she had just gone swimming, lol.

After Legnica church we went to the dworzec to catch our train and then found it was delayed 90 minutes (by comparison, not that bad, another train on the schedule was delayed 200 minutes) So our choices were wait 90 minutes for that train, or catch the train that was only an hour later and hope our tickets would work for that one, since it's headed to the same place. We chose the second option because with that one we'd only be a little bit later getting into our apartment, and with the other one, we wouldn't get to our apartments until around 10:00. And let me just say, it was a super uncomfortable train ride. There were tons of people on it because everyone had the same idea as us, so there was no where to sit. We stood the whole way and there was a guy next to me hogging all the available space and his thigh kept bumping into mine which was super awkward, and my feet hurt really bad, it was swelteringly hot in there, and to cap it all, there was a weird guy wearing Trelawney glasses and a hood (just a hood, it wasn't attached to anything) who wouldn't stop staring at me and elder Connelly!

By the time we got home it was after 9:00 but we had barely eaten anything all day, so I proceeded to make up a thing of mac and cheese, which I got from the Kuchnia Świat (world kitchen), and ate the entire thing, by myself. Then, around 10:00, the time we would have probably been getting home if we had taken the other train, things got crazy! First, I noticed that the sky was being completely lit with lightning, then, the next thing we knew, it was raining, then the wind got so bad our windows were shaking. Then the sky literally opened up and the wind was straight up pummeling our building with gallons of water. It was leaking through our windows and filling our balcony. Lighting blazed across the sky right above our street and was so frequent it wasn't really even night anymore. It was a monsoon, no joke. The street flooded and there were cars still trying to drive through it. It was crazy. At one point it absolutely looked like a tornado, and Sis Carlson and I were so freaked out we just said a prayer right in front of the window while the water was pounding it, and there was lighting everywhere. And then literally, less than a minute after we said the prayer, it all calmed down. The street was still flooded and there was a city-wide alarm going off for several hours afterwards, but we felt much safer.

This morning on the way to go email we got to see that chaos all around. Now, more than ever, our neighborhood looks like it came straight out of the video-game Fallout. There were entire trees ripped out by the root and strewn across sidewalks, in the road, on top of cars. There was a huge sign near our house that was bent all the way to the ground. Biedronka (the grocery store) flooded a little, so all the products were wet and a little soggy. We didn't even bother looking at the bread, it was all ruined. I've heard about the time the streets in Wrocław flooded (the main road next to the Rynek, and right by the chapel) and I always had trouble picturing that happening. Not anymore, It's very possible.

That was the main big thing that happened this week, other than that there were some funny things.

On Monday we had to cancel our whiteboard because of crazy rain (nothing new). Sis Carlson and I wanted to check out a possible location for a whiteboard so we found coats people had left in the chapel, and decided to wear those. I found a pretty good looking leather jacket, but sister Carlson found a huge bright read poncho with a hood, which, when worn over her backpack, with the hood up, made her look like a giant red dinosaur. It was so entertaining. Her backpack under the coat also kind of made it look like she had a hump, so of course I took picture of her climbing through the window like Quasimodo.

There was a bike-off outside our apartment. We didn't see how it started but I think this young bald dude bumped into this old guy on his bike. (they were both on bikes) the old guy was ranting and swearing and yelling at the young guy. Then the young guy got mad at him and bumped the old guy in the leg with his wheel. That only made the old guy rant more, so the young guy turned and rode away. The old guy, still yelling and grumbling to himself got on his bike and started to ride away. When the young guy showed up again, out of nowhere, sped past him, and tried to kick the old guy off his bike as he passed. It was a pretty weenie attempt though, and didn't really do anything except make the old guy angry. Then the young guy turned around and rode off, while the old guy slowly turned his bike around and rode after him, calling the police as he went, lol! It was so bizarre!

I think that's basically it for this week, there were a couple of funny little things here and there, and Elder Lanterman and I discovered how fun it is to scare Sis Carlson, but other than that, that was my week... it was pretty crazy.

Oh, and dad, before you ask, yes I call him "Elder Green Lanterman"

Kocham was!

Monday, July 13, 2015

All's Well

The weather was so much better this week. We prayed for rain, and for things to cool down and it definitely happened. It's been much cooler and more pleasant. Though on Thursday, when we were in Legnica, is was down-right freezing. Our train was delayed 40 minutes too, so we huddled together on the train platform, which thankfully was covered, but still open on the sides, and played Uno. We also got rained out of a whiteboard/banner finding activity with the elders yesterday. We had just set up our fancy new banner (they are colourful and have pictures of the Jesus from the new videos) when the wind started picking up. I had to hold onto the banner with both hands and stand on the back so it didn't blow away. Then the sky just opened up and drenched us all. Elder Connelly loved it, lol, he kept trying to contact people in the rain but they were all running to get inside, and no one stopped, not too surprising. Poor Elder Lanterman chose the wrong day to wear his khaki pants, they went from a light golden colour, to a poopy brown in seconds, it was very entertaining.

We met some cool people this week and had some fun experiences. On the train ride to and from Legnica, sister Carlson and I always try to get seats across from each other with a little table on the side so we can play Uno. On the way to Legnica on Thursday we managed to get some really good seats. A guy sat next to us and so partway through the train ride Sis Carlson invited him to play Uno with us. He said no thanks, but then we ended up talking to him anyway. we found out that he was interested in learning English and invited him to our classes. He's a JW but he was super nice. We gave him our number and a few hours later he called us to make sure of the time for English, so we're really hopeful he'll come.

Then on Friday we had a whiteboard with the Elders. We were trying to talk to people and no one was stopping even for a second, for a long time. Sis Carlson was starting to get discouraged and at one point just stopped and said "Please, somebody just stop!" Then we saw two women walking towards us, going opposite directions, so I told Sis Carlson to choose which one she wanted to talk to. She chose the older woman and as soon as Sis Carlson spoke to her she stopped dead, and we were able to have a good conversation with her and leave her with a book.

Yesterday was pretty great. A few weeks ago we got a self referral, some Ukrainians who had met with missionaries in the Ukraine and wanted to keep coming to church and meeting with missionaries. We've had trouble setting up with them because they speak little to no Polish or English and it's hard to understand Ukrainian. But they were finally able to come to church yesterday, and we were able to meet with them. Thankfully we have Wlademir in our branch, he is Ukrainian and speaks English really well, so we had him on the lesson to translate. It went really well. Two of them Tatiana and Dimitri have already had all the lessons and even had baptismal dates in the Ukraine. We're really excited about them, they are really eager to come back to church and to prepare to be baptised, it's awesome!

On Saturday We were planning to go to Legnica for the whole day but Prezydent Edgren informed he and sister Edgren would be in town. So we had some good interviews with them and still went to Legnica afterwards, but only to drop off more letters for tracting. We delivered all of the letters except one before we had to book it back to the dworzec in order to catch the 19:52 train. If we'd have missed it we would have had to take the train at 20:52 and wouldn't have gotten into our house until past 22:00 (10:00). We basically power-walked/jogged from one end of legnica to the other in about 14 minutes and made it just in time for our train. I was the only one allowed to jog as we were going though because I'm a slow-poke and I have no endurance and Sis Carlson would have left me in the dust if she had been able to run, or even lightly jog, so she power-walked, and she was still faster than me!

On the train ride home we sat near a guy who was watching old episodes of Doctor Who on his laptop. We watched a little over his shoulder, we couldn't hear anything because he had headphones, but it had English subtitles, we tried to read them a little, but they were too fast for us. He then started watching some other BBC show that was very confusing. Everyone was yelling and talking with their hands and we couldn't for the life of us figure out what was going on. It looked at first like a court drama, then it looked like a crime drama, then the guy kept laughing (in between falling asleep) so we thought maybe it was a comedy, then it looked like the world was ending, and their was a press conference where they seemed to be introducing a new product, and in the preview for the next episode there was definitely a trial to straighten out everything that had happened. We were very confused, and we couldn't help but make fun of it and talk for the characters the entire way.

We're pretty sure that guy was a wizard though he was on the train with us, then I saw him get off the train before us, and take off, then I could have sworn he was behind me at one point. Then next thing you know, we're waiting at the tram stop and he crossed the street going back toward the dworzec. Then Sis Carlson saw him waiting at the tram stop with us. And then next thing you know, he was on one of the trams that passed by us. It was crazy!
There wasn't too much else that happened this week. There was a really funny moment in a lesson with Lucyna where Sis Carlson completely botched a word, didn't even come close to pronouncing it right and Lucyna and I just looked at each other and snickered quietly, Sis Carlson didn't notice, it was really funny.

That's basically it. We're excited for this coming week, Legnica is going to be having their own church meeting so Sis Carlson and I get to go to that, we're going to have double church next week, woo!

Kocham was!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer is Definitely Here.....

This week was pretty great. The first half of the week was pretty tough and discouraging. Partly because it's really really hot, and I hate being outside and doing things when it's hot, and partly because we were working really hard and seeing nothing for our efforts. That's not really an uncommon occurrence, bit it's the start of a new transfer and feeling like you're having no success at the start of the transfer can be really tough because it feels never-ending.

When we planned on Friday we were both kind of bummed and were like well, this week was a bust, We didn't find anyone new, we didn't make a single number goal, and we're sad. Then, that very afternoon, we had a Whiteboard with the elders.

At one point Sis Carlson stopped this girl and asked her is she had a minute to talk. Usually people say that they don't have any time, but this girl immediately said "Tak" (yes) and stopped dead. We talked to her a little about the Book of Mormon and she was super interested. She told us she had ridden the tram with us the day before and she had looked at us and thought to herself "I want to talk to them and know more about what they teach" and then we stopped her the next day! It was so cool. She's finishing exams for school right now, so we haven't been able to meet with her yet, but she's really cool. Her name is Justyna, which is cool because an hour before we met her, Elder Connelly had been saying that every set of sisters has an investigator named Justyna and we were like "We don't".

Then on Saturday we went to Legnica again and went tracting. It was boiling hot, I'm pretty sure we shattered some record. No one was outside, except two little sister missionaries who were literally drenched in sweat, I'm not going to lie. Tracting was very hot, and not terribly successful, and then we had to head back to the train station early to catch a train so we could get to Wrocław in time for a lesson with Lucyna. We bought our tickets and waited on the platform, and then they announced that our train was delayed 30 minutes. so we waited some more, and some more. Thankfully we weren't in the sun, but we were in a big metal building, so we were dying. Then the train arrived and the air conditioning was off... so we boiled to death for the entire hour long ride back to Wrocław. When were were getting close to town I noticed the guy sitting diagonal to me, next to sis Carlson (who was totally passed out), was looking at our badges a lot. I had a strong feeling that when the train stopped in Wrocław I needed to give him an ulotka (pass-along card). I didn't want to because it was hot, and we were packed on that train like sardines and I just wanted to burst out of the train and run to the nearest żabka to buy water, the second the train reached the platform. But I knew I needed to, so I did anyway. He thanked me for it and we parted ways.

Then, yesterday we had a whiteboard planned with the Elders, and yet again it was stupid hot outside. So much so that I really wanted the whiteboard to fall through somehow so we wouldn't have to stand on a hot street in the sun for two hours. But I kept having this crazy thought "If you do the whiteboard, you'll see the guy from the train" I was like "that's way too coincidental! not going to happen" So, we're doing the whiteboard, and there's like no one passing by. There was at least 5 minutes at the start of the whiteboard when we were literally just standing there, looking at each end of the street and not seeing a single person. But I felt like we shouldn't move, so we stayed there and tried to talk to the few people who did pass. Then at one point I turned and I saw
the guy from the train. I smiled at him and said hello, and he smiled and immediately walked over to me. We asked him the question we had on the board and talked to him about the Book of Mormon and the apostasy and the restoration. It was really cool, we gave him a Book of Mormon. We weren't able to set up another meeting, but he's going to read some and call us when he has time.

It was also the 4th of July this week! Woo! Last year I spent the 4th of July in Legnica, and this year on the 4th of July I was in Legnica again. Only last year the weather was much more bearable. 4th of July morning though, as soon as Sister Carlson realised what day it was she immediately started trying to sing the Star Spangled Banner, but she couldn't remember most of the words, so I had to help her, I couldn't even remember all of them but I could remember most of them, which I find funny because it's been over a year since I was even in America, and I remember the anthem better than sis Carlson, and she's only been in Poland for a couple months, lol. She then recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and forgot a lot of the words to that too. And then she insisted on us singing the national anthem together... twice, and the second time she filmed it, lol. As soon as she turned the camera off, after we had sung she smiled and said "Good, now, I am never ever going to watch that"... it was that bad, lol.

That's basically it for the big cool stuff. There were some funny little things that happened during the week though.

Sister Carlson and I passed a group of kids in summer school, going by for a field trip. They all had little red caps on to distinguish them as being part of this school group. As we were walking up to the cross-walk one of the boys in the group surreptitiously slipped his cap off and lined up at the cross-walk with us, trying to escape his group. We wouldn't have even noticed, if one of his friends hadn't run over to him and dragged him back into the group. Lol, he was so disappointed!

We contacted a crazy lady who kept chanting at me, and either tried to bless me, or cast out a demon from me, lol, it was super weird. I tried to end the conversation by just giving her an ulotka, but as soon as she saw her attempts to bless me, or whatever, were unsuccessful she ripped up the ulotka and stormed away. Sis Carlson and I couldn't help but die laughing, it was so bizarre!

I swear there were other funny things that happened this week, but I can't really think of any others. Anyway, this coming week looks pretty great, we'll be going to Legnica a lot again, I really hope it won't be too hot!

Kocham was!