Monday, September 24, 2012

Poland Letter #5

Ok, crazy week this week. I've got lots to say and not so much time to do it in, so I'll do my best, and whatever I don't get to, I'll put on my voice recorder and send home next week. I've included just a few recordings this week. Hopefully they work! I also still haven't received that first letter sent from Dad to the apartment. I'll let you know when I do get it, and I'm looking forward very much to the next one.
First, Monday night. Super cool story. I was struggling a little bit, I won't lie. It was a hard day, finding out about Heather and Grandma Helen. Then we had to go pick up Elder C at the train station for an exchange and we were going to be home late. I was grumbling a little bit and kind of unhappy. Then, on our way home, we saw we left some lights on in the chapel, so we had to go turn them off. This being so, we missed the bus we were going to take and had to go to a completely different stop and take a whole different bus. I was trying to be happy, but I really just wasn't. As it turns out though, the Lord had a plan. Because after all this, we ran into Z. If we would've hit our normal bus, we never would have seen him. We were able to talk to him for 45 minutes and address a lot of his concerns and really help him. It was such a blessing from the Lord to be able to do so. We had another lesson with him later in the week which didn't go very well. He was really argumentative and didn't really want to listen to what we had to say, so we'll see what happens with him, but it might be the end of the road with teaching him.
We also taught R twice this week. He's super cool. We taught him all about prayer and obedience and he even prayed for us! It sounded as if he was already a member he prays so well. We were thinking we were going to have to drop him because he hasn't been making any progress, but I don't think we will anymore. He's making huge progress. He told us he really wants to change his life, but he's scared what it would be like to be a member in Poland. The church here is so small. He told us he likes what he sees with us though. He talked about how we just have an inner peace he hasn't found anywhere else. I know that peace comes directly from the Gospel and the Holy Ghost. It makes such a difference to know that we are sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father. What direction and comfort that gives us in life.
A few exciting things happened this week other than these. First, I now definitely know what beer smells like! That's something new. So many people drink here. It's unbelievable. I want so badly to help them learn of this gospel and see the change it can make in their lives. Also, smoking is very prevalent. Like, 13 year old kids smoking prevalent. Crazy, huh? Yeah. It's hard to see it all around you, but I know there are people here that I can help to change their lives. Also, I got spit on this week during contacting. That was something new. Don't worry, I didn't freak out or anything. The guy just spit on me as he walked by. It got on my hand and shirt, and I just wished him a good night and kept on moving. You know me, I'm not one to let my temper go. It just made me think all about the trials and things the Savior had to endure in His time on the Earth. Anything I might have to go through is nothing compared to that.
I gave a talk in Church yesterday! In Polish! That was exciting, and very nervewracking too. But, I made it through and everyone told me I did a great job. I also talked to a member for a while named A. He's a gypsy. Or at least his ancestors were. I told him about how my Grandma thinks we are part gypsy. He thought that was super cool. This is the guy who is super well doctrinally versed that I think I talked about last week. If not, tell me and I'll tell you some more about him. Anyway, he's been in Łódź at a conference this past week and got to interact with some of the other Elders in my MTC group. He told me he's very impressed with the quality of missionaries coming to Poland, and that we are some of the best missionaries he's seen come out of the MTC. What a huge confidence builder for me to hear that! I've still got so much work to do, but it was comforting to hear that from him.
We also had to change our sink this week! That was fun. I talked about that on my voice recorder. I'll send some pictures too if I have time.
Heather, I forgot to tell you, but I never received any of Kelsey's letters. I'd love to write her though. Could you send me her address? I'd really appreciate that. And maybe tell her I never got any of her letters. I'm not sure exactly what happened with that.
I'm glad to hear the funeral went well! I'm excited to get the program and other letters from home. I'm running out of time. I'll print out your letter and hopefully tell you a little more about my week and answer some more of your questions. First, I'll try to answer the ones in the email.
My apartment is great. It's actually the biggest in the mission, which is awesome. We're also right next to our bus stop, and we ride the bus a lot, so that's really nice. I'm finding some good things to eat. They have Pierogi which are kind of like Ravioli, and those are really good. We also eat Kielbasa with pasta a lot. That's good too. The apples are really good right now, since they are in season as well. I could still use some nice easy missionary meals though for Poland food. They don't have chili here, and canned vegetables are not super popular either, so I could use a little help. Please, mom? Any ideas? Don't worry though. I'm healthy and doing my best to eat well!
For church we meet in a little rented office space on the second floor of a building in Kato. It's really small. We average about 35 members a week who come to church. Yes, I still play the piano every week. It's actually really nice to be able to play. I play grandpa's arrangements as well on P-days sometimes and I'm working on a piece that Sister P, a sister missionary in Kato, wants to sing. It's a version of Come Thou Fount. It is really cool.
Anyway, I'm out of time. Sorry I can't write more! Dad, BYU game sounds crazy. I'm interested to see what happens with Riley and Taysom. Our defense sounds incredible though.
Love you all. This gospel is true. Good luck Heather with your MRI and surgery! I'll be fasting for you. Emms, I'm excited for your letter. Hannah, good luck with your tooth! I love hearing about your soccer games!
With lots of love,
Elder Vernon

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