Monday, September 21, 2015

First Week In Łódź (Week 29)

Saying goodbye to companions
Well, this has been a pretty crazy week. The first half of the week was filled with contacting, we went to Nowa Huta a lot trying to get some solid investigators out there. Sadly Kraków does not have a very deep teaching pool, so we were working on that.

On Wednesday we had our Mission Conference. President Kearon who is a Seventy and president over the Europe area, came and spoke with us, he talked about a couple really cool things. First was about how we should not call Investigators such, we should start calling them friends like they do in France. So now when we introduce people in church we should say, "Hey Brat ... come meet our new friend ...." instead of using Zainteresowany (literally intrested) we use Kolega/Koleżanka. He also talked about how morning make or break a day. We need to use our morning hours productively because if we don't it puts a bad vibe on the whole rest of the day.
Selfie at train station. Traveling alone is strange.
So like is referenced in my subject line, I am in Łódź now. Yesterday during the 3rd hour of church I got a call from President Edgren basically saying "I've put this whole thing on the backburner too long, can you get on a train tomorrow and go to Łódź?" So of course I said yes. I had about 18 hours or so from the time he told me to when I left Kraków, so I missed saying goodbye to some people which is sad, but the Lord needs me somewhere else right now so It will be okay. Wszystko będzie dobrzy!

My companion Elder Guthrie is super cool, he has about a month left of his mission and we are going to go out with a bang. I'm excited to get to work and I know he is too. He was in a trio, but for the last week they were both in bed sick with a fever so they were not able to go out and work. Luckily now, they both woke up this morning feeling great, and all of Łódź is ready to go!

The new apartment in Lodz
So I'll share my travel experience it wasn't really anything special but it happened so here goes: I got up at 6:00 to finish packing then got a train at 8:16, it was hard saying goodbye to my companions because they are awesome. Elders Jackson and Vance are definitely two of my best friends. I had about a 3.5 hour train ride to Łódź Widzew which is a train station on the outskirts of the city, then I had to switch trains to come into centrum. It was super weird because I was alone the whole time, so I was just walking around by myself. It was a strange feeling not to have a companion. I got into Łódź around noon or something then we went to the apartment, went and got my bus ticket, then went and got Naleśniki (crepes) with the district. PRetty good day so far.

I'm running out of time for today unfortunately so I'm going to half to cut this weeks email a little short, sorry!

Love you all!
-Elder Everett

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week of a million referals (Week 28)

I'm staying another week in Kraków, this is honestly a little bit annoying, the whole not knowing what is going to happen/how long I will be here. I'm doing okay though, I love being in Krakow!
Chalk Talk
I'll get right into it, so we have been spending a lot of time in this area called Nowa Huta. Its pretty cool mostly because there are a ton of people who live there, it is super densely packed communist housing. Its pretty fun because there is this Żabka (convenience store) that we go to pretty much every time we are there. We are pretty good friends with the kids who work there. They are like our age and are straight Hoolis (short for Hooligan, which is the word poles use for Hoodlums). Anyways, we were walking by one day and they had all these Pallets in front of the store with all their weekly supplies. We offered to help them take it in and so we spent like 15 minutes helping them carry it in, it was actually really cool because while we were helping like 5 different people asked us about our church and why we were here as missionaries.

Check out the sign behind me.  Ronald Reagan Plaza.  Cool.
We also went to this really cool Church in Nowa Huta, it was a little strange because there was an old lady praying over the PA system the whole time. It was really funny too because as we walked around the outside we saw this window at the base of the building and we could see into the basement. They totally had a boxing gym underneath this cathedral. I wish I could have taken a picture but my camera was dead. Catholics know what's up.

We have been working with a somewhat less active member named Klaudia, she is super cool. She hasn't come to church in a while, but we have gotten her to come the past couple of weeks, and she even gave a talk yesterday about faith, it was super good. It feels pretty good to help people come back to church, so far I haven't helped any new people come into the church so it was awesome to help someone come back.

Catholic church in Nowa Huta
So we got a ton of referals this week. The office elders found a bunch of 5 year old referals that got lost in the system, so we have been calling all these people saying "Hey, so we heard you had an interest in reading the Book of Mormon a little while ago." Its funny because some of them are still super excited and eager for us to visit, but others are like "That was 3 years ago, are you kidding?" Its fun.

There isn't a ton of really cool stuff other than that that happened this week, but I just remembered that Mom asked me to include spiritual thoughts in my emails so here we go:  So on the street the other day Elder Jackson was talking to someone who asked if he had a person relationship with Jesus Christ. Of course Elder Jackson said yes, but then the guy asked "How, have you ever seen him, talked with him, touched his hands and feet?" And so Elder Jackson and I had a cool discussion about that, about how we can attain a personal relationship with our Saviour. 
So first, I think a huge tool given to us to come to know Jesus Christ are the scriptures. I have been reading through the Old Testament with the help of the Old Testament Student Manual for institute and one of the things I am learning is how much we learn about him through what he did in the Scriptures, both in the mortal ministry in the New Testament, and through his Godly dealings with the Isrealites in the Old testament. Then with the testimonies of Christ given in the Book of Mormon along with his Ministry there after his Resurection we can learn so much about him
But Secondly, and probably more importantly: we can only really know Christ through sincere prayer and relying on him. That is really what I am learning on my mission, is how to rely on Christ, and to use his atonement to make me so much more than what I am on my own. I truly can feel myself growing closer to Christ and developing that personal relationship, and I testify that He lived and still lives, that he is there and wants to help us.
Well, thats all for me this week. I love you and miss you all!
-Starszy Everett

Monday, September 7, 2015

"This is the last warm day of the year guys, good luck!" -Man in a park (Week 27)

Hello Everyone!

Good stuff happening in Kraków!

We started out the week with some good stuff, we taught Piotrek again. He sadly is not progressing very well. He has trouble accepting commitments to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and continually is looking for evidence that the book is true, without allowing to Spirit to bear witness to him that it is.

Here's my new coat. It's going to get REALLY cold soon.
We went to this park called Park Bednarskiego, Bednar's Park. I like it because it's like basically an apostle's park. Sadly there was nobody there on the Monday night we went so we went over to this little square. Behind us was this huge Cathedral which is beautiful, I will take a picture of it at some point. It was funny because it was dark at that point and some lady kept telling us we needed to leave because it wasn't safe. People in Kraków always tell us that though, there was no danger though, its a really well lit square in front of a church. It was kinda funny though.

We went to Zone training on Wednesday, it was fun. We learned about making effective use of studies. Halfway through we went out and contacted, it was really funny because a bunch of people got potentials and gave out like 10 book of Mormons total. But the past week the Sisters in Katowice rode the nic train, czyli they got 0 in every single column of key indicators and the elders were 1 other lesson away from the nic train. So they were complaining about how nobody stops in Katowice and its impossible to do missionary work there. Proved them wrong.

We spent most of the rest of the week until the weekend doing normal missionary things, good stuff happened, we taught Łukasz (member) how to give blessings on Friday.

On Saturday we had a packed schedule which is strange for me, usually we need to fill in time with contacting. We dropped off a Book of Mormon with this guy named Krzystof who requested one through then went to a Kingdom Hall (Jehovah's Witness Place) and talked with a guy named Jakub about prophets, then had a less active lesson with a girl named Klaudia, she came to church the next day, so success!

On Sunday we had normal church then taught another Jehovah's Witness named Waldek, it was a really good lesson and we definitely felt the spirit.

Out of time sorry!

Love you guys!

-Elder Everett