Prepare to Serve

Monday, September 28, 2015


This week started out with an Exchange with sister Bąk, my third exchange with her, she's so fun! The first thing we did when she got into Kato was go and get Pizza hut, it was great because I haven't eaten at Pizza Hut in almost 2 transfers! The next day we had a fun finding activity with the elders in a sketchy little city called Sosnowiec. We went to a park there and did a chalk talk. Me and Elder Garrison (who was here on exchange from Kielce) each picked an end of the park and started drawing/writing stuff in chalk on the ground. It's our new favorite kind of finding activity. I did one for the Book of Mormon, and he did one for English class, and then when I finished mine I went to a different spot in the park and did another one for English. I like chalk talks because I get to draw and occasionally people come right up and talk to me as I'm drawing and then I can use the drawing as I'm talking. While I was working on the English one a couple of old guys on rollerblades came over near where I was and started playing rollerblade basketball. One guy was really good, he could make a basket over his shoulder while zipping by on his blades. The other guy talked to me for a while about English classes and what I was doing in Poland, his name was Dzisław, which is a hilarious name because it's pronounced like "G-suave".

Later that day we had Coordination meeting with our Branch Mission leader, Łukasz. The meeting went on really long, and Sister Allowitz fell asleep during the meeting, so I made sure to take some pictures. After the meeting was over we, stayed at the chapel for a few minutes to get some art supplies that I need for the legit English poster I'm making, when there was a ring at the Domophone. Sis Bąk answered it and said there was a girl here to see the church. So we let her up. She told us she had seen the JWs near the Dworzec and thought they were us. When she asked them if they were Mormons they proceeded to bad-mouth us and she didn't think that was very Christ-like so she decided to come meet us for herself. While we were showing her around the chapel we asked if she'd like to meet with us and she said yes. Her name is Agata and she's super cool. She works as a security guard and she has a crazy schedule so we've only been able to meet with her a couple of times and had a few meetings fall through, we also have no idea how she's going to be able to get to church but she's super prepared and awesome! She also has a sister who was either a former investigator or a member in Poznań.

We met with Anna, I'm not sure I've mentioned too much about her, she just recently joined the church a few months ago. She's really funny, we go over to her house once a week to finish up the lessons with her again. She had a talk this week, and it was her birthday on Thursday... we think. Sister Johnston said Anna told her and Sister Slagowska that the day she got confirmed was her birthday too, so we're not sure if one of them is her birthday and the other is her name day, or if she has decided that since she's 59 she can celebrate her birthday whenever she dang well pleases! I made banana bread with chocolate chips for her to celebrate and we basically went over, helped her with her talk a little, and had a tea party. It was really fun, the best part though was at the end when she served us home-made Jello. As soon as I got mine I looked down, saw that it was green with fruit floating in it and thought "Oh, yeah, she's a Mormon alright." The Jello hadn't turned out quite right though, as we were eating it Anna pointed out how it hadn't quite set right, she told us that it could just be "do picia" (for drinking). Mine however, was solid on the bottom, so solid that I lifted it up and it was a huge bowl-shaped hunk of rubber. Everyone stopped, looked at mine in shock and confusion and I said "Och, nie do picia!" (oh, not for drinking) we all just died laughing! It was a really fun party, Anna cracks me up, I can't always understand when she says, because she mumbles, but she will frequently say something and then bust out laughing. It makes her seem like she's totally batty, but she's actually really clever. She gave her talk on Sunday and she was so nervous she was visibly shaking, but it went so well!

On Friday we accidentally wandered into a dance recital that was going on at the Rynek. We had a little bit of time before our lesson, so we decided to stay and watch a few numbers. It was so cool, I recorded a lot of it. They had some dances from all around the world, a Russian dance, the Can Can, some Spanish dances, Irish, a traditional Polish one, and when we first walked up they were dancing to Footloose which we assumed was America's dance number.

On Saturday we had to leave our apartment really early so we could open the chapel for the members who clean it. After we had opened the chapel we were passing by the Rynek to go home, and saw that there was a big apple festival going on, so we decided to stop in and see if we could get any free apples. They had a tent up with free samples of various apple dishes out. I ended up trying some kind of apple cobbler/cake thing, apple and chicken liver, and apple and śledź, which is pickled herring. They also had a big concert going on with a dance floor and they were inviting people to come dance to Shakira. Unfortunately, it was only 10:00 in the morning, so the only people on the dance floor were two girls who worked for the festival and whose job was clearly to dance so others would join in, and two very drunk Larrys. Sis Allowitz took video of them dancing to Shakira's Africa, it was awesome! I'm going to try and get those videos from her.

Saturday was a pretty packed day. After the apple festival, we ate lunch at some food trucks set up by the Spodek, which is the stadium here, and watched them tear down a building nearby. Then we had a free-table with the elders that got broken up because we had to literally pack everything up as quickly as we could and run from the political un-rest going on about 30 feet from us. They were setting off what I'm 99% sure were totally fake explosives, though they sounded pretty freaky either way. And there were thousands of Hoolies dressed in black, swearing and basically inches from rioting. It was nie dobry. We're pretty sure it was something to do with keeping Muslims out or something, we're not sure, we got out of there super fast.

After that we went to get food for Elder Garrett's birthday. It was on Thursday, but we hadn't had time to celebrate then, so we planned it for Saturday. He really wanted to try out this Vietnamese place he'd heard good things about... and no joke, it's called "A Dong"... Yes, we are all five 😁 The food was really good though, it was a little expensive though and I'm so out of MSF it's not even funny, I'm sure dad has noticed the many many purchases from my card. So I just got soup, it was good though.

Then that night we stopped by this new store in the mall, called Tiger. It's one of those stores that just has a ton of random things that no one really needs, for really cheap. We bought fanny packs... because they had them there, for 15 zlots and they were cute... a teck deck (mini skateboard), and 11 foam swords, because today we are going to go to a castle to play capture the flag and we thought it would be a billion times more fun if we combined it with LARPing. It's going to be so flippin' fun!

That's basically it for the week.

Kocham was!

Monday, September 21, 2015

... Card Error? What Does That Mean?!

We did end up going to the zoo, which was great, unfortunately I might have lost almost all my pictures from that and this week, and my entire mission... I'm not sure yet, but my camera isn't recognising my card for some reason, it tries to get me to format it every time I turn on my camera. So that's a pretty bad sign... I hope you've been saving my pictures dad 😉

It was still a really fun time at the zoo. Unfortunately the elders insisted that the zoo wasn't a good enough reason to wear non-proselyting clothes, so we had to wear skirts. Which meant that we had to sit and watch while the Elders got to play on the fun interactive dinosaur part of the zoo, while we sisters stood back and took pictures... in our skirts... super lame. We got to see meerkats though, and a kookaburra almost bit Elder Garcia's hand off, and it was lots of fun.

This week was zone conference, and we had a special guest speaker, Elder Kearon, so we all got to go to Warsaw for it, yay! It was so much fun! We got to see everyone from the mission. I saw Elder Sidwell for the second time since coming to the country.

After Zone Conference Sis Johnston, Elder Garcia and Elder Summers had to stay in Warsaw for one more day for an MLC meeting, so Sis Allowitz and I and Elders Park and Garret went back to Kato. The next day, before sis Johnston was supposed to get in Sis Allowitz and i decided we wanted to do something nice for her. She had been planning to make us a pie for a couple of days, and had all the ingredients ready. So we figured we'd make the pie for her so that when she got back there'd be yummy chocolate mousse pie in the fridge. OK, so really Sis Allowitz made the pie, I was working on a poster for English advertising, which is the most legit poster ever... too bad the pictures of it were on my camera *sigh* next week. Anyway, Sis Allowitz made the crust and then started on the pie. I went over to help her with the parts of the recipe that were written for monkeys and people with at least three arms, and then went back to my postering. When she was supposedly finished, however, she called me over to show me that the chocolate filling was still really watery. We weren't sure how it was supposed to look when it was done, but we figured it shouldn't be that watery. So we were too scared to pour it into the crust, potentially ruining it, and instead put it in the fridge to cool for a few minutes, we thought that might help it thicken. About 30 minutes later, sis Allowitz went to look at the filling, she pulled it out of the fridge and it was like Satan just smacked the bottom of the pan, it exploded everywhere! Sis Allowitz was covered, the kitchen floor was covered, about the only thing that wasn't covered was my poster, thank goodness. I took pictures of it... but again, the camera. It was really funny though. We didn't have enough ingredients, or time to make another pie before our whiteboard with the elders, so we just left it, and presented Sis Johnston with the lovely pie crust that she would later fill with delicious chocolate mousse. And what happened to the remaining pie filling, that didn't end up on the floor or sister Allowitz?... I drank it... I drank pie filling, like hot chocolate.

On Saturday we had a branch grill, it was super cool. We rented out a fire pit in this big weird museum park. They had log cabins and sheep running all over the place, and a freaking windmill! Needless to day I ran around it playing the windmill song from Zelda on my phone. We took tons of cool pictures, and videos, which I hope can be recovered from my card somehow, cuz they were so cool! Luckily sis Allowitz had her camera too, so I can get some pictures from her. At one point we wandered into the bee hive area, and there were a ton of sheep there, and they were surprisingly friendly, so we got to pet them. One sheep got annoyed with sis Allowitz while she was petting him though and he whipped his head at her, and smacked her in the butt, it was so funny!

That's basically it for last week. Today we went to Aushwitz again. I didn't take anywhere near as many pictures as I did last time, thank goodness, because MY CARD BROKE! So I wouldn't have been able to send them to you guys if I had taken more! Right as I went to take a picture of the outside of the gas chamber because I hadn't gotten a picture of that last time. I blame restless spirits, it's the only explanation. Why they targeted me though, when I only took about 4 pictures, and two of them were of maps, and they didn't target the people with selfy sticks and tripods, I don't know...

I only have two random funny things from this week -

Sis Allowitz, Johnston and I were walking through the mall in front of our house to get to our tram stop. We passed a guy and as we did I saw him drop a key on the ground. He didn't notice he'd dropped it, so I picked it up and ran round a corner after him to give it back. When I was walking back I saw Sis Johnston still walking way far away, and sis Allowitz standing in between the two of us looking really torn on who she should follow. Apparently when she'd seen me run around the corner she'd called out to sis Johnston "Sister! She's making a break for it!"

We were having lunch at the chapel on Wednesday because we didn't have time between lessons to leave, or even have a full lunch hour. We had just sat down in the chapel kitchen to eat when suddenly one of the the guys who works in the building near us wandered in and handed sister Allowitz a package, and then left. It was so bizarre, and what's more, the package was actually for Sis Allowitz, it was from Daniel Freedom Chastity Mountainman Wilson, and it contained Reeses Peanut Butter Cups!

That was basically it for this week. It was really fun and a lot of crazy stuff happened... unfortunately most of those moments were captured on MY CAMERA!!!!!

Kocham was!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Pot De Creme Pie

So the Zoo, didn't happen... it rained so instead we played ping pong and took funny panorama pictures on elder Garcia's ipod and elder Garcia and I played a game of magic, I destroyed him 😈 it was pretty fun. However, we are still going to the zoo! Today! We had planned to go to Auschwitz today, but then around 9:15 last night the elders called asking about the details and we realised we had no details, we didn't know bus Times or prices or anything... so that'll be next week.

We had an exchange this week with Kraków. Sis Johnston went to Kroków and sis Herrera came here with me and sis Allowitz. Sis Allowitz had legal work in Warsaw on Tuesday though, so we had to wake up at 4:00 to get her on a train at 5:45. She went all the way to Warsaw, got her legal work done, and then came back to Katowice, getting here just after District meeting ended at 13:17 It was crazy how fast of a trip it was. Aside from her legal work the only other thing she did in Warsaw was get Chocolate muffins with the office elders, Elder Wilcox and Elder Weiler. Sis Allowitz served with Elder Wilcox and Elder Weiler last transfer. It was funny when she told us about it because she was like "Whenever we go to get food with Elder Weiler he always buys like half the store!" She said she just bought like a muffin or two but Elder Weiler bought a bunch of muffins, a pastry and a lemonade. Lol, that totally sounds like Elder Weiler!

While we were with Sis Herrera I really wanted to see if we could find this magic store that was supposedly really close to our house, so we decided to go contacting around the area and look for it along the way. We found what was supposedly the address but it definitely wasn't the magic store... frankly there was nothing magical about it, it was sketchy as heck! It was some run-down apartment building. We went inside and it was pitch black, save for a little but of light pouring in through the open back door. So, to be sure it wasn't the right place, we decided to walk up the stairs. They were coated in plastic covering that looked like wood and were completely falling apart. I got almost to the top and then saw that the last floor was this creepy attic that had some kind of massive cage in it! It was so sketch! I didn't even finish walking up the stairs, I just turned around shaking my head and was like "Nope, nope, nope! We're leaving!" We did eventually find the place which was cool because while we were there sis Herrera had a Chance to talk to some people there who turned out to be from Hungary, and she has a friend serving in Hungary!

We tried a new restaurant on Wednesday, it's called Jeff's and it's an American restaurant. Sister Johnston had been there before and said it was really great, but I was skeptical on how American it would actually be, seeing that we are in Poland. Oh my gosh, you guys. We walked through the door and above the doorway was an American flag with "Welcome Home" written across the top. We walked inside and there was random crap all over the walls!!! It was so authentic I almost cried! And the food was so good! The only thing that wasn't quite right, wasn't quite American, was that the drinks were tiny. It was still good though, so good that we went back with the elders on Friday!

We had some really fun whiteboards with the elders this week. one of them was a marathon board. The elders started it at 14:30, we joined them and 16:30, and we all ended the whiteboard together at 19:30. We met a lot of cool people, and only had a few weird things happen. Only a couple of drunk guys, one of them basically fell in love with sis Allowitz and we had to pull her away and get the elders to distract him, and then he swiftly fell in love with Elder Garcia and wouldn't stop following him around, and calling out for him. He couldn't always remember his name though so sometimes he called him "Martinez!" or "Gomez!"

We had one totally ridiculous thing happen on one of our awesome whiteboards. Sis Allowitz and I talked to this girl and it was so great. We gave her a book and got her number and she was super interested in meeting with us. When I got her number I tried it right there, to make sure it worked. Her phone rang and she pulled it out and was like "Yep, I have your number now, good" and then, about 20 minutes later she called us and was like "Why did you call me?" and we were like "We just talked to you and you wanted to met with us, remember?" and she was like "I don't know what you're talking about, I don't know how you got my number, don't call me." It was so baffling! I don't even know what happened! Our current theories are that she has short term memory-loss like Dory, she has multiple personalities, or that she looked up something on the Internet and freaking out. Roll my eyes* it was super weird though either way.

Sis Allowitz was sick on Saturday, and me and her were both sicky yesterday. So we spent almost 2 full days inside. I bought a new puzzle, a Wiedźmin (the Witcher) puzzle, on Friday night though, so while we were sick we just worked on the puzzle like the whole time, and talked. It was a lot of fun, but surprisingly the puzzle is only partly done, it's huge! and so cool!

That's basically all we did this week though, the weeks are just flying by! I'll just list some funny stuff now before I end this.

Random funny stuff!:

The other day sis Allowitz went to sleep really hungry. She woke up in the night and was still really hungry, but she told herself that she could make it till the morning because she was too tired to get up and get some food. She went back to sleep and then woke up at like 3 in the morning standing in the kitchen halfway through eating a banana. Haha! She was so confused and annoyed she just threw it down onto the table and climbed back into bed!

a few days ago I woke up in the middle of the night and found myself standing up out of bed and walking into the kitchen. I had no idea why I was awake and standing, I didn't need to go to the bathroom, and I wasn't particularly hungry or thirsty, but I had already made it that far away from my bed that I didn't really want to go back, so I just went and got a drink of water and then went back to sleep.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how we got stuck in our tracting area, and the elders had to bail us out. We'll ever since then they've insisted that they owe us a pie. So Sis Johnston finally made them a pie, a chocolate mousse pie because when she asked them what kind they wanted the only word Elder Summers could frame was CHOCOLATE! The pie turned out so good though that she decided to make one for us too. But the second time she decided to go off recipe, and accidentally made it wrong... well, wrong is a matter of opinion, because she accidentally made Pot de Creme Pie!!!!! Basically. It was so good! And really nice since mom has talked about Pot de Creme in her last two emails and I was starting to crave it.

That's all folks!

Kocham cię

Monday, September 7, 2015

Cursed Tracting Area

This week was great, I bought some new shoes so I had to suffer through the blisters of breaking them in for the first couple of days, but now it's all good, and I can walk again. Tracting was a lot of fun though, we had to take a break to find a żabka and find me some bandages. Then I sat down on a bench and bandaged up my feet like a Larry. It was a proud moment for me, I wish I had pictures, but I didn't think of it at the time.

We had Zone training this week, which meant that we didn't have district meeting, but we totally forgot about that and showed up at the chapel for district meeting on Tuesday. We decided to just have our own district meeting, since we hadn't been able to finish our studies anyway. Sis Allowitz was district Leader. The awkward thing was, the actual district leader, Elder Garrett showed up partway through and decided to stay for the language portion. It was fun though.

So Sis Allowitz's Uncle served a mission here in Poland about 12 years ago, and he served here in Katowice. When he left, he was so sure he'd come back to Kato that he left one of his suitcases with a member here. He did not return to Kato though and so the suitcase was lost to the ages. However, Last Monday Sis Allowitz received an email from her Uncle who told her Prez Urban had contacted him and told him that they found his suitcase. Sis Allowitz quickly volunteered to take it home for him, and called prez Urban to set up the exchange. Actually getting the suitcase turned out to be more of a hassle than we imagined. Prez Urban told sis Allowitz that he needed to explain something about the suitcase before she could get it. So in the days leading up to it we were totally wrapped up in the mystery of the thing, wondering what Prez Urban had to say about it and if Sis Allowitz's Uncle was a spy and all that... it turned out it was just that some of the stuff was missing, like some gloves and a scarf that Elder Remy had taken when the weather got cold, but it was still a fun mystery, and it's still a really cool coincidence.

We started tracting at this new location last week, and every time we've gone out there we end up having some kind of trouble. The first time we almost couldn't get a bus to take us home and would have been out way way late. The second time my feet were so damaged from blisters that I couldn't walk, and the third time sis Johnston had to go to the bathroom so badly that we had to pause our tracting to go find one. We are all convinced that the next time we go out there to tract something horrible is going to happen to sis Allowitz... she is terrified :) Anyway, we walked all over the place looking for a public restroom, or at least a McDonalds or somewhere she could pay to use or something. We were walking for like a half our and sis Johnston was starting too look at the bushes as the best option when sis Allowitz suddenly stopped this Pan (a Sir) and asked "Gdzie jest łazienki?" (where is the watercloset?) The Pan looked super confused, shook his head and walked away. We sadly turned and were about to walk across the street when the Pan turned around, one finger in the air, and came back with a look of determined resolution on his face. He came up to us and said "Toaleta, tak?" (the toilet, right?) Then gave us directions to a public toilet just a street away. Sis Johnston was so grateful, and it was a really nice public bathroom, we were all pleasantly surprised.

We had a fun whiteboard with the Elders this week. Elder Garrett is very musical, so he brought a guitar and decided to sing hymns. After a couple of minutes of absent mindedly humming along with him I decided to join him, and eventually Elder Garcia joined us as well. It was a lot of fun. It's funny how comfortable I've gotten with singing in front of people on my mission, it's a cool skill I didn't really expect to develop in Poland, but I'm glad I did.

We went to the Planetarium on Saturday with the branch for a branch activity. It was so cool! They played awesome music, remixes of classical music like the flower duet (I died laughing when it started because all I could think of was The IT Crowd) and Mr Sandman. It was a really cool story, it was about the astronomer Haweliusz and his wife Elżbieta. There were large chunks of it that I didn't understand, and I'm still not totally sure why they showed a big basket of lemons at one point. The whole planetarium was super ghetto though and made me think of Fallout the entire time, it was great!

On Sunday after church we went by a park and saw a war re-enactment. It was so cool! There were explosions all over and fake gunshots! They were driving Nazi motorcycles around and executing people, it was a fun time!

That's basically it for the week, today we are hoping to go to the Zoo, but it all depends on the weather. It was raining like crazy a few minutes ago, but it has since stopped and is now really sunny, so we'll see.

Kocham was!