Monday, October 12, 2015

First Snow! (Week 31)

It's Snowing!!! My first snowfall in Poland. Nothing is sticking though, so that's good. I am not quite mentally prepared to have to walk through snow everywhere.

It's been a good week, actually have gotten a couple of new investigators who are really solid. First of all is a family, they just moved here from England, but they are Polish. The all speak Polish and English, the kids have fluent English because they lived in England for half their lives. The Mom's name is Agnieszka, they have a daughter named Julia and a son named Antonii (which is not a polish name... strange), they also have a little boy named Tobi on the way in 7 weeks. We have not met the Dad yet, hopefully this week that will happen. Basically what happened was a couple weeks ago we were tracting and we met Julia and talked with her for a little while, she already knows a lot about us and was willing to start reading the Book of Mormon. She gave us her mom's number and we have been trying to call and set up ever since, but with no luck. Finally on Friday we went and knocked and had a short lesson with just Agnieszka. It was super awesome. Super powerful spirit and she invited us to come back on Tuesday to teach the whole family.

At the dentist for Elder Guthrie
We also met this guy named Grzeszek, he is super cool. We met him on the street and he stopped to talk to us, he basically told us that he has been searching for God lately. He had just met J-dubs earlier that day, and he took his meeting with us as a sign that God was trying to tell him something. He told us after a little while that he is struggling with Alcoholism, which is really unfortunate. He was actually on his way to a councilor to get some help at the moment. We basically bore testimony of the power of the atonement, and how we can receive strength from Jesus Christ. It was super cool. Really strong spirit present for a street lesson.

We are preparing for an "MTC Night" this Saturday, its going to be pretty cool. Basically we are going to talk about how to deal with Less-Actives when the come to church, by sitting with them, talking with them, not asking them why they smell like smoke, and not judging. It's going to be really cool. Elder Guthrie and I are going to show the Prodigal Son Bible video, as long as the Office can get it translated before Saturday. Which shouldn't be that hard, its all already translated (Its in the bible) they just have to sit down for an hour and put the subtitles onto the video. It's going to be really cool. After we show the video we are going to talk about how the parable can be related to Less Actives.

Selfie in the Polish Woods
I just remember another cool story. So we recently changed the way English is set up here, instead of teaching 3 separate English classes (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) we combined them into one conversational class. Mostly because of lack of people, there was only like 1 or 2 people in each class. So Elder Guthrie and I were at the chapel in the Family History Library watching the last Session of General Conference when a guy walked in and asked us about why we changed English, so we kinda explained and he went to join the class. It was funny though because we saw the same guy on a tram later on in the week. We talked to him for a little while then he got off the tram. Then Yesterday during church we stood up after sacrament meeting and there he was, sitting on the back row! So we went back and taught him a short lesson about the Book of Mormon and he said he would come back next week. It was pretty cool, he knew a lot about different Protestant churches which is weird because basically nobody here cares about other religions outside Catholicism. He told us that our Sacrament is similar to what Calvinists believe, that the bread and water does not literally turn into Christ's flesh and blood. It was an interesting conversation.

Speaking of interesting conversations I got taught a history lesson on the street by an old guy. It was cool, I tried to talk to him about the gospel, but he just wanted to talk to me so I listened. He told me about how Poles really love Americans because after the war we helped them out a lot, until Roosevelt and Churchill gave them to the Russians. He really did not like FDR, it seemed like he felt personally betrayed by him. He told me about how when he was a kid, if it hadn't been for us things would have been a lot worse for the Poles, that we probably saved the Polish people from extermination. Which is interesting because Russia was the one who actually liberated Poland, but he hated Russians, and he hated Germans. He really hated Germans actually, he told me about how the Germans destroyed Warsaw, he actually teared up a little when talking about that. He told me that his father was in a concentration camp for most of the war, and everything he remembered was when he was a little kid (this guy was really old). Its easy to forget that even though the Jews were the main focus of the Holocaust, Poles, Gypsies, Hungarians, and most Slavic races were also targeted.

Well, enough of history. Lately I have been studying Pride. So it's funny that you sent me Pres. Benson's talk, Mom. I actually have already read that a couple times, but it was nice to read it again. Its so crazy how prevalent Pride is. I am very guilty of being prideful, which is why I have been working on it. A lot of the way's it shows up as in missionary work is as disobedience, laziness, and unwillingness to take suggestions. What I have been trying to do lately is just to recognize when I am being prideful, and trying to stop it. I would highly recommend the talk "Beware of Pride" by President Benson, it is super good.

So about Sabbath day Observance. Its funny that that is your topic dad. There is a member here who speaks up all the time, and about the half the time she reprimands everyone for not keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. She says that all the world's problems would go away if only people would keep the Sabbath day. I think Poland actually does a really good job of this. Most stores are closed on Sundays, the buses/trams run only about half as often, and most people are off the streets with their families. Its really cool actually. I don't know if I have any cool experiences to share for your talk, but I really am starting to understand how important the Sabbath is.

Another little insight I had this week is about the Gift of Tongues. I am starting to understand really what it is, Joseph Smith said "that it was particularly instituted for the preaching of the Gospel to other nations and languages." I have really seen some instances of it working. It's one of the ways I can tell if I am teaching by the spirit, Polish is a very hard language and it comes out very slowly. Because of the endings of words you have to think about what you are saying and generally I speak at a moderately slow pace. But sometimes I can recognize that I am teaching something that the person needs to hear because the words flow off my tongue, I will explain a whole concept with almost perfect casing without even putting much thought into how I am saying things. Its really a testimony building that the Lord is working through his servants and if he wants something done, he will enable us to do it.

That's about it that I have for this week, I love you guys!
-Elder Everett

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