Monday, February 1, 2016

Szczęść Boże! (Week 47)

Greetings from sunny Poland, where it has been above freezing pretty much everyday this week.

With Elder Mulder and Jakub at the Sanctuary of Godly Mercy
It's been a good week, we started out with an exchange with the Kielce elders. They both came up here (which is how we are supposed to do exchanges now) and we spent Monday night, Tuesday and part of Wednesday together. It was really fun, on Monday we had a meeting with a Less Active because she asked us to show her how to use a computer because she got promoted at work and needs to use one now. So we showed her how to turn it on and off, and type. It was pretty funny because neither of us knew any vocab about computers in Polish so it was interesting.

On Tuesday we did a couple of fun things, we went out to this area called Mydlniki and looked for some old investigators that the elders found like a year ago, then for some reason stopped teaching. Unfortunately almost everyone we talked to said that their husband (who was originally interested) was not home, or nobody was home at all. But we will go back and eventually find those people.

After rock-climbing activity. Vlad is on my right.
We also went out to Nowa Huta, which I talked about last time I was here in Kraków. Its basically a super cool little city about 30 minutes east of Kraków by bus. We went out to do some tracting and we actually found some solid people. We talked to this guy who was Brazilian, but for some reason spoke Polish really well, and left him with a Joseph Smith brochure (which is my favorite brochure the church uses).
On Wednesday we had a Hot Chocolate finding activity below the Dalton's apartment. We gave out free hot chocolate and talked to people about our church. The whole time I had this internal struggle raging about wanting to go over to a bus stop across the street and give a sermon to the people waiting, standing on the bench, unfortunately I chickened out, but I am going to prepare so that next time I will overcome my fear and just do it. For some reason some things in Missionary work are really scary. I don't know why, but standing up on a bench and preaching to a group of people is terrifying for me. but hopefully I will be able to overcome my fears and spread the gospel everywhere I can.

The drive to Nowy Sącz.
After that we dropped off the Kielce Elders (Elders Garrison and Weiler) at the train station and went to go print off some tracting letters. Which are basically little letters that describe who we are, what we are doing, and when we are going to return. We go around and hand those to people with a copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. It works pretty well, people tend to actually listen to us when we come back the second time, regardless of whether they read the letter or not. It was funny when we printed it off this time though because I have this workout video on my thumbdrive that President put on our mission's Google Drive, and it's really funny the stretches and stuff they do look ridiculous. When Vlad (the guy who works at the copy shop) was printing off our letter he looked at the video and said "what is this" then went and clicked on it, so we watched like the first couple of minutes. We were laughing pretty hard, and Vlad thought it was hilarious, and the other guy who was in the copy shop thought it was pretty funny as well. Good times, luckily we know Vlad pretty well (he's kinda an investigator) and so it wasn't super awkward.

We had English class later, our English class here in Kraków is interesting. We have 3 levels- Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. We teach Beginners, but most of the students speak English pretty well. This last week was really funny because we spent most of the time telling jokes in English, and them telling us jokes in Polish.

Elder Mulder had a pretty good Polish joke: basically there are 3 turtles who are planning on going on a trip across a big desert. They are about to get started when they realize they don't have any supplies, so they go buy a big head of cabbage. When they are about to get started again they rethink things and decide they need to go buy more food, so 2 of them say to the third "You stay here with the cabbage while we go buy more food. But DON'T eat any cabbage, not even one little leaf. Do you promise?" Then the 3rd turtle promises he won't even eat one leaf of the cabbage. So the Turtle waits while his friends go to get more food... he waits for an hour... then 2 hours... then all afternoon... then the whole night... and the next week... and he ends up waiting for 2 years for his friends. After 2 years he is starving pretty bad, till this point he has will powered through and didn't eat the cabbage, but finally he gives in and takes a bite. Then the other 2 turtles pop out of a nearby bush and yell "AHA!"

I hope you thought that was funny because I don't understand why it's funny at all... Polish humor...

The title of my email means something like "May God give you happiness". Its what you are supposed to say to Nuns and Priests instead of Dzień Dobry which means Good day. I included it because we contacted someone, and he wasn't interested, but at the end of the conversation he told us "Szczęść Boże" which I don't think anyone has done to me before. It made me feel good because basically he recognized us at Ecclesiastical Authorities. Pretty cool.

So on Thursday we went out to Nowy Sącz to visit some members who live there and try to get in contact with some Less Actives. The Daltons drove us out, we visited one of the members out there and him and his wife (who isn't a member) fed us lunch and we gave a spiritual thought. The food was delicious, they made these things called Gołąbki which translates to pigeon. They are little dumpling things filled with rice, super good. Then we went and split up into two groups, Elder Mulder went on a split with one of our other members out there, Alex and went contacting in the city center, while I went with the Daltons to try and find less active members. We found one, kinda. We were looking for a Father and a Son and an older lady opened the door and told us the Father is in Germany and she has no contact with him, but the son might live there. She told us he did live there initially, then changed her story and said she didn't know where he was. So hopefully we can find him in the future because he is 17 years old and would be a great addition to the branch.

Later that night Elder Mulder and I went tracting and we talked to an interesting man, he came out to his fence to talk to us and while I was explaining what our message is, he cut me off and asked me if I would stop speaking with an accent. I told him I didn't know how and continued. Then later he cut me off again and asked where we are from, we told him from the states and he broke into English for a split second and said "Really!?" then he told us since we are in Poland we will speak Polish (thank you). It was funny because at the end of the conversation he switched into an American accent while he was speaking Polish, which I have never heard anyone do before. It blew my mind, I had not realized how different we sound from the way poles sound. We plan on going back to his house and asking if he will help tutor us on our accent while we practice giving our missionary lessons (sneaky right?). 

Well that's about it for this week. Thanks for everything!
-Elder Everett

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