Monday, April 25, 2016

Forgot my Planner (Week 59)

I forgot my planner from last transfer so it's going to be a little bit spotty trying to remember everything that happened. I guess first off I can talk a little about transfers, which started yesterday but not for me and Elder Schwanke. We are both training, but he is going to Warsaw. The trainees don't get in until Thursday so we are in a state of limbo until then, also I might not even be able to come back to Krakow until Friday because there is something weird going on with their legal work so we might not be able to leave Warsaw for a while. So it should be a fun week. I am going to be District leader, at least for the first couple of weeks. President said it might be a good idea to put that job onto Elder Vance or Lanterman at some point so they can take more responsibility and I can focus on training.

This past week was a little bit slow to be honest, we had some stuff fall through so we spent a lot of time doing finding. We found some solid people, but nobody has turned into new investigators from that quite yet. On Wednesday we had English class and afterwards we set up a meeting with this girl who had expressed interest in the church the previous week. The meeting was for sunday, and we confirmed it Saturday night, but on Sunday we got a text a couple hours before the meeting that went something like this "Hey, I'm not going to be there at 16 today. I left your book at the reception. I'm not coming to English anymore. I don't like your religion. I don't want to get to know it. Goodbye." Totally random, that was a bummer. Unfortunately if you Google Mormons in polish the first couple of links are very anti (one of them was read to us by an investigator a couple weeks ago). So I assume so ran across that. It's really unfortunate because we haven't been able to make contact since then. 

But instead of that meeting we got to go do some tracting then went to the Strobel's house for dinner and gave a spiritual thought. Which was really nice.

I didn't mention this last week, but we had a really cool experience. We were contacting on Wednesday a week ago after English class and we contacted a guy who basically said "Look guys, I don't have time. I'm actually on my way to a bible study class, do you want to come?" And I looked at Elder Schwanke, he looked at me, and we went with him. The guy's name is Grzegorz. We went into this big old Church called Saint Anna's and listened to the priest explain why Catholics don't believe the 2nd commandment "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." It was actually really funny, because he totally acknowledged that if you take that commandment literally they would be in trouble. He looked around the chapel and was like "I sure hope that God didn't mean this literally". Anyways, we were sitting there and I was feeling a little bit anxious because I felt like we were kinda wasting time, so I said a little prayer to see whether we were supposed to be there, and I got a really good confirmation that we were supposed to be there. So we stayed, and talked to Grzegorz a little bit afterwards, and he was totally interested in hearing our message. Unfortunately it's been hard to set up a meeting because he is out of town from Thursday-Sunday every week, and busy with school on the other days. But we will meet eventually.

Yesterday we had a really good lesson with a guy name Gabriel. He was a self referral out in Mydlniki which is like 40 minutes away by bus (or 10 minutes by train as he informed us). We went out there to deliver his book of Mormon and he let us in to teach him a lesson, I should preface this by saying that self referrals are 9 times out of 10 bad experiences, they are either bad numbers and bad addresses, or the person denies ever ordering a book. But this guy was super prepared, we shared our message and he took it really seriously, he told us he is definitely searching and is super excited to read the book. He wants us to let him read it first before we meet again... we will see about that. Hopefully we can meet sooner.

I love you guys and can't wait to skype in a couple weeks!
-Elder Everett

Monday, April 18, 2016

District is now very small. (Week 58)


Solid week last week, some good stuff to talk about. I guess I can start off from Monday, on monday evening we met with Wladek from Belarus. It was super good, he brought his roommate Nazar who is also interested so we went back over the first and talked pretty in depth about everything. So that was good.

On Tuesday we had district meeting, which was strange because it was only us and the Daltons. It was really good though, we ended up watching a Mormon message and talking about it. We also helped out the Daltons with their Polish. After that we went and visited Tomasz in the Hospital, we went and sat down on his bed and we were talking to him. The guy next to us kept doing weird stuff which was really funny because Tomasz would always give him this look and say stuff like "I really don't like my new roommate" (the guy couldn't hear). He would like take off his diaper and Tomasz would have to call the nurses, and it happened like 3 or 4 times in the 30 minutes we were there. It was good, Tomasz is doing well, he is recovering. After that we went to visit Romek in the hospital, he was asleep so we were going to leave then one of the nurses insisted that we wake him up, her argument was that he might as well wake up now to see us because he has all night to sleep. So we tried to wake him up, but he wouldn't.

Also right outside Romek's hospital this lady sitting on a bench said "Oh! Missionaries!" as we walked by, we assumed she was a member, but she wasn't. She actually thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses. She said she was from America, but I don't believe her because her accent was kinda strange. She also told us she was a convert to Catholicism, that she joined in Miami, it was an interesting conversation because she was half crazy (there is a mental hospital there so it is totally possible).

Wednesday we taught a lot of English, we taught a girl that the Sisters used to teach named Alicja. She was super cool, and understands like 90% of what we say, but she can hardly say anything herself, so we are working on that. She told me that ever since I told her I was from California last week, she has been wanting to ask me about it, because her biggest dream is to go to California some day. So we talked about all the many blessings of living in California.

English class was really good, we only had 1 class today (normally there are 3) because the sisters are gone, and none of the advanced students showed up, so it was just us. There were a couple of new people including this girl named Aneta who is really cool. After English I invited everyone to stay for Book of Mormon reading, and she stayed and was way interested. Unfortunately after BoM reading I got pulled aside by one of our other students and so did Elder Schwanke, so we didn't get a chance to get her phone number/ask her if she wanted to meet before she left. It was frustrating.

On Friday we met with Robert, I'm not sure if I have talked about him but he has lymes disease so he has some trouble moving around and talking, but he set up a meeting with us at the Mall food court so we went and got dinner with him. After we finished eating we asked him if he had read the Joseph Smith brochure we gave him last time, he told us that somehow he had lost it so he didn't get a chance to read it, but he brought us some brochures about Siostra Faustyna. So we took them and offered him another JS brochure to which he said "No! Don't give that... (he didn't know the word in English) rozdawac (to give out) ... to ANYONE!!" But he had yet another present for us, he stood up and went behind me and was acting super sketchy. Then he turned around and had 3 rosaries in his hands, and he gave one to me and the other to Elder Schwanke and kept the third. Then he demonstrated how to use them and told us to pray every day with them. It was actually really nice of him, and they are super sweet.

On Saturday we went to visit this guy named Adam, we met him on the street a week ago and he invited us over to his house. It took us a while to find his house, but it was funny when we found it because it is this random super old red brick building in the middle of a big industrial park. So all the surrounding buildings are like 3 times taller and are these modern glass buildings, and there is the tiny brick apartment building. So we went up to the door, and expected to ring the intercom so he would buzz us in, like most buildings in Poland. But there was no intercom so we had to call his phone and he had to let us in manually, he also had to use his key to let us out, which was pretty sketchy. We taught him a first and he received it really well. He is a protestant, but feels like he has gotten really far from God lately, and we bore testimony super hard of the book of Mormon and everything. We set up for 2 weeks from now because he can only meet on weekends, and he is out of town next week. Also on our way out we met his roommate who said he would be interested to meet with us next time we come.

Sunday was super good, there were a lot of people in church because they had to primary program so all the families were there. The primary program was really good, there are only 5 boys in the primary so it was a lot smaller than it is back home. The spirit was really strong though, and then after Alex gave a talk, which i translated for him into Polish. It was embarrassing because I totally forgot the word for Spring, and for some reason could not say Umożliwiać which isn't normal a hard word. I tried to say it like 5 times then just gave up and moved on haha.

Sunday school was super good, brother Pawlik taught us about Enos and also King Benjamin. Our investigator Ola who was at church was super involved in the lesson, she was asking really good questions. It was a super good day for Church. Also we got two new members who moved in. One is named Lucas from Argentina (I didn't really get a chance to talk to him) and the other is named Yuri from Lviv in Ukraine. He is super good and will be  a huge help because he will probably be fluent in Polish in the next 3 months, because he is actively trying to learn and educated Ukrainians who try to learn polish generally learn it really really fast because the languages are very similar. So that is really good for our branch.

I think other that we didn't have anything too crazy this week. So thats probably it!

-Elder Everett