Monday, January 4, 2016

5 Companions in 7 Days (Week 43)

So crazy week, remember how I said I was serving in Kraków with Elder Wilcox... That didn't really happen, I'm actually here now with Elder Mulder who was in the MTC with me. It's been kinda crazy, but I'm super excited for this transfer, he's a super missionary.

Elder Mulder and I outside our apartment
I'll explain everything from the beginning. So on Tuesday I was with Elder Cowley in Warsaw, and basically all we did there was go to MLC which is the Zone leader/Sister Training Leader training thing. It was really good, we talked about how we can improve our morning exercise, personal prayers, and companionship studies. It was really good, I was actually companions with Elder Wilcox at the point once we got to MLC.

After that we went to the train station and got on a train to Kraków, the train from Warsaw to Kraków is my favorite train in Poland because it is super fast (only a 2 hour ride from Warsaw) and they give you free juice, and the seats are really comfy. I sat next to this cool guy named Wojciech, he is studying down here in Kraków and basically as soon as I sat down he started chatting with me because he heard me speaking English with some of the other missionaries (all four of us were on the train). He was a really cool guy, unfortunately not too interested in the Gospel, but we talked for the whole 2 hours so I got in a bunch of good doctrine.

The next morning was kinda crazy, Elder Wilcox was on the phone all morning talking to various people. He let me know after studies that he was probably going home :(. He has been struggling with depression the past couple of months and so President/doctors in Germany decided it would be better for him to figure it out at home. Really sad, but it was necessary. For the rest of the day we went around to various parts of Kraków and tried to visit a couple people, then we went to eat dinner at the Strobel's (American family living here). Then the rest of the night we were trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do, because Elder Wilcox had a train back to Warsaw the next morning at 8 o'clock in the morning. Luckily Brother Strobel swooped in to save the day, he became my companion for like half the day on Thursday while I waited for Elder Einfeldt to come down from Katowice. President basically had us do an indefinite exchange until he found me a permanent companion.

With Brother Strobel we did a little bit of Language Study because it was biting cold at 9 in the morning, he served his mission here so he speaks Polish. Then we went out and did some street contacting/looked for a less active member. It was pretty fun, really cool getting bits of advice from him. He suggested I buy a bucket and get some mushrooms, then walk around with it, Polish people love mushrooms so he said people would probably stop me and ask about the mushrooms and it would be an easy conversation starter.

Crazy Manger
Around 13 or 14 Elder Einfeldt rolled in and we started our exchange, he packed enough stuff for about 3 or 4 days because president put no time limit on the exchange. It was really fun serving with him because he is really new, he is in his 2nd transfer. We were going to do a lesson with Tomasz, an investigator that Elder Owens and I met with that dropped off the face of the planet, then miraculously appeared at the chapel during District Meeting my last week in Krakow who has been meeting with the missionaries ever since, but unfortunately the meeting didn't happen, he canceled. Then at night we had to stay inside because of New Years eve. We had to be in at 16 and stay inside all night. Elder Einfeldt and I watched Mountain of the Lord, which is a movie about the Salt Lake Temple, then just chatted and hung out for like 3 hours. It was the longest night of my mission yet. I was getting so antsy just sitting around the apartment.

Luckily the while companion deal got figured out by the next day, President called during Comp Study and let me know that Elder Mulder was coming down, he was in Warsaw with Elder Jourdan, but now he is with me, and Elder Jourdan went to Katowice to be in a trio with Elder Honn, and Einfeldt. Crazy stuff, because right now there is already a trio in Kielce, 2 trainers and a trainee (I have no idea why). I figured president would split up that trio and have one of them come here, or have Elder Mulder go break up that trio, and I would be comps with Elder Jourdan. But this is how it ended up, and it's awesome.

That night Elder Dalton took us out to dinner for his birthday, it was awesome, and I got to see Sylwia who was baptized my first transfer. It was really fun, Elder Dalton probably sent pictures of that to you guys.

We tried to go do a Chalk talk with the Sisters on Saturday, but it was way freaking cold so we ended up finishing early and we went and did some area book work. Its not actually that cold here, but for some reason the cold feels really powerful, it might be the humidity or something I don't know.

Sunday was cool, It was fun seeing a couple of members. There were not that many people at church unfortunately, in Poland we are still in the holidays. It is technically still Christmas time until this Wednesday, which is 3 kings day. There is a new member here, Alex. He is from Indonesia and is a recent convert of 6 months. He joined the church in Indonesia, then his parents sent him to Nowy Sącz (a small town about 2 hours away) to go to college because they knew there is no church there, but he makes the 2 hour bus ride every Sunday to come to church. He is seriously awesome. We got to go do some missionary work with him after church. We went and tracted, it was really fun because his polish is decent, but he doesn't know any religious words (he is 1/4 polish and learned a little from his grandma) so we got to teach him some words and stuff. Really cool kid.

Then that Sunday we went to go visit Waldek, who was investigating the church with us back when I was here with Elders Vance and Jackson, but asked for a couple months to read the Book of Mormon. He is a Jehovah's Witness, and a really nice guy. It was a crazy meeting, we sat down with him, and he had read to Jacob, but the first thing he said was that the book was a lie and that it was from the devil. So we had to do a little damage control. He had hardened his heart a lot since the last time we met. We talked for like 30 minutes about that, then in the end it was really cool. The whole time I was getting really frustrated, and so I said a little prayer while he was ranting about how Joseph Smith didn't translate the name Jehovah into the Isaiah chapters to know what we needed to do, then I felt a lot of peace all of a sudden and asked if he had prayed about it, he said no and started ranting about how he doesn't need to pray about it to know it's from the Devil, then we bore testimony that the Book of Mormon and invited him to pray about it. And it was really powerful seeing his reaction, because he had been getting really worked up, and was really strongly apposed to praying about the book, but when we invited him to do it, he accepted. So I need everyone to pray really hard this week for Waldek to get an answer to his prayer.

Really really awesome, and crazy week. I love being a missionary and sharing the gospel with people, I would not rather be anywhere else.

Elder Everett

PS. Also today we got to go see these really cool manger things at a museum on the rynek, I'll send pictures. 

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