Monday, November 16, 2015

Tiny Sacrament Meeting (Week 36)


Welcome to my weekly email! Crazy week, lots to talk about!

The Białystok Temple (jk. Mary is on top instead of Moroni)
So starting from the beginning, Last P-day we went to the Warsaw Uprising Museum. I mentioned it a little in the MTC because Brat Smalley explained a bit about it. Basically it was a month or two long uprising against the Nazi Occupation. It was in the fall of 1944 in August. The fought the Germans throughout the streets of Warsaw for a couple weeks, but ended up having to surrender. As a result most of Warsaw was destroyed, apparently the city had a population of 1.3 million, then after the Uprising there were only 900,000 and only a couple thousand were about to stay living in the city, everyone else was homeless living in the outskirts. It was a super cool experience to see everything there, I recommend looking stuff up about it.

Related to that, we started teaching this man named Maciej. He is super cool, and has a ton of stories. He is actually currently in a weird situation of almost losing his job (he is a university professor) because he spoke out on TV about public worship. It was a really long story, but right now he is on scientific leave researching and he doesn't know if he will be able to keep his job. The reason he is related to the Uprising was because of a story he told us:

Here on the 5th of August 1944 Hitlerites shot around 1000 Poles
He told us this story while we were talking about prayer about the power of prayer. So his mother was living in Wola (a district of Warsaw, the chapel is in the Wola district) during the Uprising. During the Uprising the Germans had orders to kill all the inhabitants of the Wola district, about 90 or 95% of the civilian population were murdered (there are memorials all over about this, I'll attach a picture) and luckily Maciej's mother was saved from this initial massacre because their house was attached to the hospital and the soldiers apparently thought the house was part of the hospital so they missed it, but when they were going through burning down all the buildings they found his mom and her family (she was 12) and lined them up against a wall in front of a machine gun. Maciej's mother started to pray asking that her and her family would be spared, then right when the man was going to start shooting a motorcycle came up with new orders to stop killing civilians. So they made it out, and later also excaped getting sent to a concentration camp.

Maciej has a ton of faith, and believes strongly in God. Please pray for him!

On Tuesday we had a really cool miracle. So we were set up to meet with Bogdan and Anitoli after English class on Tuesday, and we were going to have Filip, the branch mission leader, on the lesson with us. About 10 minutes after the lesson was supposed to be we were going to leave, but then we decided to meet with a random English student, Karol, who was hanging around the chapel. It was a crazy lesson, we started talking about Baptism and Filip hammered it so hard into the guy, I quote "Your baptism is NOT VALID" and he explained that he needed to be baptised in our church because we have the authority. I guess it was exactly what he needed to hear though because he accepted a baptismal date for the 12th of next month, so we will see where that goes.

But Miracle part 2 is that after our lesson with Karol, as we were walking to the tram, Bogdan and Anitoli show up... almost an hour and a half late. It was awesome, so we went back to the chapel and taught them a really good lesson as well. We all need to pray for them by the way, they asked us to pray for them that they can receive a certain scholarship so they can continue their studies here. Also Bogdan has a super important test this week in one of his classes.

Wednesday was crazy, it was Polish Independence day. Fun Fact, Poland has the oldest constitution (like ours) in Europe and the second oldest in the world (behind us). So Polish independence day is huge, and can get pretty crazy, enough so that President asked us to stay out of Centrum in the evening. So first crazy story from Wednesday was in the morning, we were going to the chapel to plan for Zone Training with Sister Antczak, but for some reason the tram we always take took an unexpected turn. We just assumed it was a detour and we would eventually get out to Wola where the chapel is, but it just kept going south when we wanted to go west. We asked a lady sitting near us if she knew whether it was going to Wola and she said it was, but then she got up and asked the tram driver, he said they changed the destination of the tram and it was no longer going towards Wola... She flipped out at the guy that he didn't make an announcement or anything that the tram wasn't going to the same destination. So we all got off the tram and we started talking to the lady, then she pulled out her phone and said to us "This is ridiculous, I'm calling a taxi. Come with me, I'll pay." So she bought a taxi for us and we got to the chapel only 10 minutes late instead of probably and hour or so if she hadn't got us a taxi. It was a miracle.

Then later that night we were going on splits with the AP's (they are in our district) and I was with Elder Burdick in their car. We went to our lesson and parked the car, went up, taught the guy, then left. Then as we were walking out to the car, we see the reflection of police lights on a nearby car. Elder Burdick says "That had better not be my car" then as we round the corner, sure enough... Towed. So we spent the next couple hours trying to work through polish bureaucracy... on a holiday... trying to the get the car back, we ran all around town trying to do different things, then eventually we met up with my companion and his companions and ended the splits. The AP's got the car back... the next morning. Luckily everyone involved had a good sense of humor about it.

We had Zone Training on Thursday, we taught everyone about having a vision and taking ownership over the work. It went really well, the spirit was strong. It was also really cool getting to see everyone in the zone, especially the Łódź people because I just left there. Also there was Pizza at the end so that was a bonus.

On Saturday we had a Member Whiteboard, basically a finding activity we invite the branch to. Unfortunately it was super cold and windy so only Godfrey (member from Zimbabwe) and Stanisław showed up, they were awesome but we were hoping for more members to come. It was a lot of fun doing missionary work with the members, they all have a really strong passion for sharing the gospel, because almost every member here is a convert.

Then that evening we had our meeting with Maciej that I already talked about, that went really well.

On Sunday we got to go out to Białystok, which is a city about 3 hours away from Warsaw. There is a tiny unit there (2 active members) which is a unit of the Warsaw 1 branch so we go out about 1 time a month to hold sacrament meeting. It was really cool, there was only 1 lady there but the spirit was really strong. We also got to visit Patty's grandma (Patty is serving a mission in London), her grandma is pretty lonely so it was cool getting to talk to her for a little bit. We barely made the bus home though, Patty's grandma was sure we were going to miss it, but we made it by like 5 minutes.

And that was my week!
Love you!

-Elder Everett

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