Monday, August 31, 2015

"Why are Mormons so rich? Do they have some kind of Enterprises?" -Piotr (Week 26)

Well, this was a kinda weird week... Mostly because we are in Limbo due to factors outside our control. Basically we are waiting on Doctors/People in Salt Lake to get back to us on what we are going to do about Elder Jackson's health, so we are just holding in there right now. Everyone pray for Elder Jackson to feel better. The beginning of the week went super well, we got a lot of stuff done and got lots of Potentials which we have been trying to call to set up with.

Elder Everett in deep thought
So on Wednesday we had a lesson with our investigator named Piotr, I mentioned him last week. He came in for another lesson and he had given us another list of questions that he had about our church while reading the BoM or just random things he though of. One of them was my subject line, which I thought was pretty funny. Anyways, we answered his questions, but for next time we made sure that we were planning on us planning a concrete lesson and we would teach it. So we set up again and in our next meeting we taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation before church. It was pretty good. He is a little skeptical of the BoM because he says there is no concrete evidence. He questions the temple in 3rd Nefi 11 because he says there is no archaeological evidence. We need to work on him growing a testimony of the Book of Mormon because then he will realize that nothing else really matters once you know its true.

Entertaining Krakow from rooftop. Not unlike Beatles last show.
So we went on like normal through Thursday and Friday, one problem we are running into is that now that we only have 2 companionships in Krakow we both have to go to service every Thursday and Friday which is at a soup kitchen. It's on the other side of Krakow however so it eats up most of our day. We are going to need to figure out a way to make that less of our day somehow. We still got some good work done, taught some lessons on the street and found some good people who we will hopefully teach at some point.

Favorite drink.  Not sure if it's actually Cactus flavored
Friday was actually a really weird day. We had service then we went from that to home to change into Proselyting clothes then went to Missionary Coordination meeting and Coordinated some missionary work. From there we went to meet a Potential near the Mall to teach her, but she cancelled last minute for some reason. So instead we contacted back to the chapel and went to institute because our investigator Piotr was there. While we were contacting I got called by President Kucia (Branch President) and he asked if I could call Romek (member) and confirm their apt. for that evening. I have no idea why he couldn't do it himself, but I am always glad to help out President Kucia. So basically we were at Institute and it was only us, the Daltons, Romek, our Eternal investigator Paweł, and our investigator Piotr. We read a really cool Liahona article and then we were going to leave. But as we were on our way out President Kucia called again and asked us to stay to have a lesson with Romek. So of course we did that. The lesson was super awkward because basically the last couple of weeks Romek has been giving these Sunday School lessons about topics such as "Godly Love", or "The Holy Ghost", or "Proof of the Existence of God". And he puts kinda strange pictures on these Powerpoints and likes to quote Catholic Priests. So basically President gave him a lesson from this "Gospel teaching" manual about how to teach Sunday school. It was pretty awkward.

Welp, that's pretty much this week in a nutshell.

Love you all,

Starszy Everett

Monday, August 24, 2015

Transfer Unknown (Week 25)

Alright, well first day of the new transfer and I'm feeling great! You all probably want to know what's going on this transfer, where I am/who I'm with. Simply put, I don't know yet. There are some factors that need to be resolved, and there is about a 50/50 chance of me staying in Kraków. If I do stay I will be at the other apartment, so my address is going to be different. If I leave I will be going to Łódź to serve with Elder Guthrie, and this is going to be his last transfer of his mission so that will be fun. If I stay I am serving with Elder Vance who is awesome, he is in his 5th transfer so 2 ahead of me, but his Polish is amazing. Its going to be an awesome transfer either way.

This past week has been a really interesting one. So Elder Jackson has been in Warsaw all week doing some business so Elder Mulder, Owens, and I were in a three-o all week almost. It was kinda fun, but also strange because being in a tri-panionship is very strange. It is hard to contact people with 3 of us, especially when I am the shortest person in the group. So we did a lot of Solo contacting and tracting, we would knock separate doors while tracting. So that went on Monday night through Thursday night.

Actually funny story from that whole deal. So we went on a split with Elder Dalton on Wednesday because we had 2 appointments at the same time. Elder Mulder and Elder Dalton hung out at the chapel waiting on a lesson while Elder Owens and I went to this guy Tadeusz's restaurant. He owns a Spanish restaurant off the Rynek. We met him and it came out that he is mostly interested in the Missionaries and not in the Gospel so we probably won't go back, but as we were packing up to go Elder Dalton and Mulder showed up and we sat back down. He ended up feeding us this really tasty pasta for free. It was pretty sweet.

So on Thursday I went up to Warsaw for Legal work. I went up around 18:00 on Thursday and got back at about 13:00 on Friday, it was fun because I got to stay at the Office Elder's apartment with Elder Jackson because he was still up there. We had some good times and got my legal work done so now I am a legal resident here. Then on Friday elder Jackson and I hopped a train down to Kraków and we got back and did missionary work.

We actually had a lesson that evening with this really cool guy named Piotr. He showed up in church last week and said he is currently attending different Christian churches to try and find one that is true. Before our meeting on Friday he had typed out and brought us a list of about 13 questions he had about Mormons titled "Pytań do mormonów -- dla Evereta" Its funny because poles will case my name sometimes, not all of them do but they will say things like "this is for Starszego Evereta" "I am with Starszym Everetem" "We're talking about Starszym Everecie" "Give this to Starszemu Everetowi" Its fun. But we basically answered Piotr's questions and taught a little about the Book of Mormon.

Then on Saturday we got out transfer calls and found out that the South apartment (my old apartment) is getting closed... So we had the whole district come down to the apartment and help clean the walls. Walls here get super dirty because they burn a lot of coal in the winters. The corners of the walls were pretty much pitch black.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Kraków lost a set of Elders. We now just have 1 set of Elders, 1 set of Sisters, and the Senior couple. Kinda sad, but that's what happens when no new missionaries get called to Poland. There is 1 elder coming today, maybe 2 or 3 next transfer and after that I don't know. But we are losing a lot more than that. It's pretty annoying. But yeah Szczecin, Warsaw II, and Kraków all lost a pair of elders this transfer.

But on a happier note, yesterday was awesome! I dropped off my companion at the train station then basically sat around for like 10 minutes because the other elders and the sisters took forever to bring Sister Holden's luggage to the Dworzec (train station) so I just pretty much walked up and down the platform until they got there. It was strange because that was the first time except for while on a train that I have not had a companion... strange. Yeah, so we finished dropping people off and picking our companions up then went and contacted. It was pretty fun, we taught a lot of people and got a lot of Potentials. I enjoyed it.

So yeah, that's my week in short. Love you all and have a great week!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tour de Pologne (Week 24)

Alrighty, hello everyone! As a heads up, next week P-day is on Tuesday because they are putting transfers on Monday, so expect my email then. Its been a good week over here in Poland. I'll start off from Monday I guess.

So on Monday we went to the Gorbachev's (that isn't actually their name I cant remember what it actually is but it sounds like that "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!") for FHE. It is fun because they have little kids who are crazy, it is pretty funny interacting with them because they don't speak any English or Polish, only Ukrainian and Russian. It was funny because we were told we didn't have to prepare a lesson, because Allison (the nanny) was going to prepare one, but it turned out she didn't so I gave an on the fly lesson. It was pretty good, but I realized about halfway through my lesson that I kept addressing the kids when they understood 0 of what I was saying.

Tour de Pologne
Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty normal, we spend some time doing group contacting and some time out in this neighborhood outside the city tracting.

Wednesday was actually really funny because it was raining, but we still decided to go out to a local park with the other elders and do some contacting. To be honest we were not expecting anyone to be in the park due to the rain. But it was honestly the most productive contacting session ever. It was amazing, there were so many people who stopped to talk to us and we got people's phone numbers and gave out book of mormons. I was so surprised.

Oh yeah, I totally didn't talk about culture night last week. We spent the night watching a bike race called the Tour de Pologne. It was fun, we just kinda hung out and ate kebabs and watched people go really fast past us on Bikes.

So also on Wednesday we had English. Only 1 person showed up which was łukasz, who is already a member. So we went contacting with him. We were helping him read the Restoration Brochure in English. Meaning he was reading a Polish Brochure out loud in English. It was pretty cool.

I had an exchange with Elder Jackson on Thursday and Friday, we did some really good work and I also got my haircut while we taught a less active lesson to this girl named Klaudia. It was super cool.

On Sunday I gave a talk in church which was good. I decided that my talks are terrible if I write them out verbatim, so I'm going to stop doing that. I figured it would help me because I am bad at polish, but honestly it just made it worse.

Okay, I am running short on time. I love you and miss you!

-Elder Everett

Monday, August 10, 2015

Masakra (Week 23)

Alright everyone, batten down the hatches and get ready for this weeks email!

So I'll start by explaining my title. Masakra literally translates to Massacre in polish, its kinda like a slang word but its funny because Polish people use it all the time. Like if we are teaching a first lesson and talk about the Apostasy we will be like "Sadly many things have changed over such a long time" and the Pole will agree saying "Yeah, Massacre". Its pretty funny.

We went to Zakopane hiking
So Tomasz, our investigator is making some good progress. We had a lesson on Monday right before Family Home Evening in which we talked about the Plan of Salvation. He then came to FHE and played card games with us/ talked about family history. It was super cool. Then later in the week on Friday we got a call from him saying that he wanted to meet in 20 minutes at the chapel and that he was bringing his friend. Sadly we were about an hour outside the city. We managed to get to the Chapel at about 20:10 but they decided to go grab something to eat, so by the time they got back to the chapel it was 20:30 only 30 minutes before we had to go home. So we taught a quick first to his friend Kasia and gave her a book of Mormon then read a chapter from Alma and called it a night. It was cool though because right as we walked outside the building a 304 bus came which is a miracle because that bus only has 2 stops between the chapel and our house and so we weren't late getting home, which is awesome.

So Tuesday was kinda funny because we spend like 2 hours working with the Polish Bureaucracy to get a permit to put up these banner things on the Planty park which surrounds the rynek. We use them when we contact there but apparently we need a permit. So we went to the first Urząd government building then they gave us 2 different building to try. We tried both and no luck, they ended up telling us that we could apply for a permit but we would never get it because the Planty is some kind of Cultural park and they don't give anyone permits. So that was a bummer. But it was funny because while we were waiting in an office some guy came in and dropped off a big stack of folders full of paperwork. My companion made the comment "Government..." and the guy at the desk started laughing because apparently he spoke English. It was funny. Gave us some comedic relief from the whole having to deal with Government.

Okay, sorry this email is short. I cant think of any other crazy good stories from this week so I'm probably going to end it here.

Do Zobaczenia!

Starszy Everett

Monday, August 3, 2015

Dzień Dobry! (Week 22)

Dzień Dobry!

SO sorry about missing last week, I'll try and make this weeks letter extra good to make up for it.

So we started off the week with an action packed P-Day.We went to Ogrodzieniec again and played Capture the Flag. It was amazing. Afterwards we had FHE and played Rook with the YSA, it was a little miracle because Jan came. Jan is a member who was baptised about a year ago, he hasn't been to church in a while and we always try to get him there because we see him all the time. He is an Alcoholic and a heavy smoker so I think he feels bad coming to church, but it was honestly a miracle that he came to FHE, speaking of which: Jan is a big fan of Native Americans, which is cool because Grandpa Tebbs had that Indian Store, so I talked to him about that for a while.

We were planning on having our investigator Tomasz at FHE but he couldn't make it, hopefully he comes tonight because we also have a lesson with him right beforehand.

So Tuesday we had a mini miracle happen. We got contacted on the street by some drunkish guy. We talked to him mostly because he had a car, which means he isn't homeless. We proceeded to have a super spiritual discussion with him about the Atonement after he told us he was an Alcoholic and that his wife was too and how much he had messed up his life. It was really powerful actually. We have yet to meet with him again because he keeps on rescheduling.

On Wednesday we met with a couple in the chapel. Their names were Nina and Michał and they were really cool. Nina had some problems with Women not being able to have the priesthood and our ideas of marriage. She is a firm believer than Men and Women dont need to get married and that marriage is made from Men and not from God. We gave them Books of Mormon and they are going to Read and Pray then after 2 weeks meet with us again (their idea) except Nina said she wont pray. But Michał agreed to pray.

On Thursday we had Zone Conference which was awesome, we talked a lot about contacting and better ways to do it. Then we went out and practiced, I was in the group assigned to do transportation contacting... it is fitting because I hate that. It is the most awkward situation to talk to people in Busses and Trams, i dont know why but it is. It was a really good experience though. We talked to the Swolldier about working out then shared a little bit about who we were as missionaries.

Friday we met this really cool family. Their names are Darek, Edyta, and Kuba and they were soo cool. We are supposed to call tonight to set up for either tomorrow or the next day. Im super excited because we have been spending a lot of time out in the edge of the city trying to find families with little success, but finally we have found a family.

Saturday there was this family history event put on by the Branch. It was cool because the missionaries had 0 participation. Which in Poland is amazing, usually the missionaries do everything. But we have been trying to get the Members to be more involved in doing their own events. It was really cool and a good experience.

So Sunday was just a normal day of Church then contacting, but at church I heard a really intersting story. I was talking to a member named Teresa and she mentioned she had been on TV once. I asked her why and she said to tell a story about her cousin. She told me the story, it is actually kinda disturbing but here I go. So she had a cousin who was taking care of his parents. His Dad was missing all of his fingers and his Mom was mentally ill. Then for some reason that she didn't explain very well, some guy that he knew murdered him. I think the guy got away with it but everyone knew that he murdered her cousin. A couple years later while Teresa was at her cousins grave, she met the Girlfriend of the murderer of her cousin (not sure why she was there) Apparently the Murderer got run over by a train and was now a quadruple amputee. Basically the moral of the story was that God is sprawiedliwy* (not sure what a good translation is) and that he will always make things right. It was a really weird story.

Anyways, thats it for this week, love you  and talk to you next week!

-Starszy Everett

* one translation of this word is "fair and square"