Hello from Cracow!
Super good week with a super new companion! Elder Wood just came in fresh from Boise Idaho, and I'll just start off by saying that he is a beast. Elder Wood has literally no fear to talk to anyone, we get on a bus and he will look around for someone around our age, then go sit by them and say "I'm new in Poland can I talk with you" then he says "ask me a question" and they will usually ask him a question and he has no idea what they said, but it does not stop him whatsoever. Seriously, this guy talks to everyone.
|Elder Bryton Wood|
I'm going to go backwards through this week, just to mix things up a little bit. I'll start with today, today we went to the Salt Mines (again) with Sister Johnston and her family who are touring the mission right now. It was super fun, and it was bonus fun because Brother Johnston paid for our lunch after :D I've been there 3 times now, but it doesn't really get old, it's super cool every time.
Yesterday was interesting for sure, Church was really good, small, but good. We only had a couple members come but we had a decent attendance. Our investigator Alicja came to church, we started meeting with her this week as an investigator, but we have taught her private english lessons the past couple of weeks since the sisters left (they found her). She said she really enjoyed it, and she has been reading the Book of Mormon since we started teaching her on Friday, so that is awesome. We also had a killer Priesthood lesson given by Alex, it was his first time teaching in Church here so that was really good. After church we got invited to go to the Goriachev's to break our fast, it was really fun I got to have a really good conversation with both Max and Natalia. Apparently Max is really into Bitcoins so we had a good conversation about that, he thinks that they are going to shoot up in the next couple of months, so we should probably hold onto those Dad :D Dinner was super good, not traditional Ukrainian, but it was traditional Italian food. Super delicious. After that we went tracting in the area, we actually got let into a ladies house, which doesn't happen too terribly often, and we taught her the first. But she wasn't super interested to learn more.
On Saturday we had missionary Correlation Meeting with Brother Tudor-hart, it was really good. I like going to MCM when we actually have a lot of people to talk about because it actually feels productive and i think it really helps build the branch's confidence in us. After that we went out and did a Chalk talk with the other Elders, we drew up two people and gave them little beards and staffs and wrote speech bubbles with both saying "I'm the prophet" then we talked to people and asked them which one was a real prophet. It was actually really effective, we got a guy's phone number who seemed really interested.
Later we met with Denis, our Ukrainian investigator. He was really good, we about authority and baptism and the gift of the holy ghost. He stood very firmly by his testimony that he has the gift of the holy ghost because he has spoken in tongues and healed people by the laying on of hands before, they were actually really cool experiences. We promised him that if he would be baptized by someone having true authority he would experience the holy spirit more abundantly than ever before, like is written in Mosiah 18:10.
Thursday was Elder Wood's first full day in Kraków and it was an awesome day. We got to spend a lot of time with President Kucia and got to teach a couple of people. We first went out with Pres. to the Tudorharts and brought along Zbyszek, our investigator. President Kucia had prepared a home teaching lesson and he wanted us to bring an investigator so we did. It was really good, we got to talk a lot about the restoration and exactly what was restored as we discussed Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about saving marriages from GC.
After that we went back with pres. Kucia to the chapel and met with Alicja, we had our first real meeting and committed her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. we also committed her to come to church which she did. Really powerful lesson, president kucia nailed it when he explained Jesus Christ's role, and Elder Wood killed it as he recited the Joseph Smith first vision, then bore testimony about it. It was pretty cool because she asked about being baptized twice when we invited her to baptism and I had just read that day Acts 19 (I am reading the new testament in Polish right now) and so I shared Acts 19:1-5 with her. President Kucia started laughing when I read verse 2 where paul basically says "Did you guys get the Holy Ghost when you got baptized?" to which the men respond "Nope, we have never even heard of the Holy Ghost". President thought that was really funny.
Going to Thursday, Thursday was crazy because that's the day I got Elder Wood. We had a train at 7:47 to Warsaw then had to wait around for some other missionaries. It was pretty funny, so Elder Schwanke and I's train was delayed like 30 minutes, Elder Mulder was like an hour late, and we also ran into Elder Park and Sister Pierson while we were waiting with Elder Coutu who was the only one who's train got in on time. So we were all waiting around at the Metro for Elder Mulder until like 10:50 when we finally left to go to the meeting which started at 10:45... needless to say they waited for us, seeing as we had half the trainers with us. We finally got there around 11:10 and had our trainer meeting.
The trainer meeting was really good, they basically stressed how important it is to be really obedient, and to follow the First 12 Weeks program and stuff. After that meeting we went to meet the trainees, they were super full of energy. Its a really good group, they clearly were super diligent in the MTC, and are really excited to be here. I got Elder Wood, and he is really glad to be here, he said everyone in the MTC was talking about how much the wanted to go to Kraków, so he lucked out.
After that we had lunch at the Warsaw 2 chapel, then headed to the Train Station. Our train wasn't for like an hour so we went to McDonalds and sat down to have a little planning session and to discuss investigators. Elder Wood is super solid, and was itching to actually meet all the people we were talking about.
After that we had a 3 hour train ride back to Kraków, elder Wood and I talked for the first hour, then we started talking to the other guy in our train car, who was super cool. Elder Wood wasn't understanding too much/he was jet lagged so he passed out about 15 minutes into our conversations, but I talked to the guy the rest of the 2 hours back to Krakow. Unfortunately he wasn't super keen to have a meeting with missionaries, but we had a good conversation about a bunch of different things.
This Email is getting long...so I might just close it there, we didn't really do anything super exciting the first couple of days anyway, just normal stuff.
Love you guys, and can't wait to skype this Sunday!