Monday, October 8, 2012

Letter #7 from Poland

Ah, I love Mondays and being able to read your emails! It's so good to hear from you all.  Anyway, this week hasn't been too exciting for me, but it's been a great week. Elder Mikolyski has had a nasty cold, so we spent a few days inside getting him healthy, along with conference, and interviews with President and a combined district meeting, so it's been a little low on the missionary work side, but still a great week. First off, President Nielson is the best. Like, for real. He's awesome. He really focuses on the fundamentals. He gives us specific, little things to do as we contact, teach, and work that are going to make all the difference in everything we do. Something he tells us is to contact the first 3 people we see every day. Dad, the first time he did that, I had to double check and make sure it wasn't you speaking, because that's totally something you would tell me to do. It makes me think back to baseball and how you would always tell me to swing at the first pitch, no matter where it was. It's so cool how there are so many analogies between sports and life. I see so many of them every day out here in the mission field. I had an awesome experience this week while teaching as well. So, Elder Mikolyski wasn't feeling well, like I already said, so when we taught one of our investigators, Z, I had to basically teach the lesson by myself. I was freaking out a little bit, because I am still struggling understanding a whole lot of what goes on. (The Polish people speak crazy fast and everything slurs together and it's just crazy to try to understand at times) Anyway, I was super nervous, but the Lord definitely has His hand in this work. I could actually understand what Z was saying and what he needed and wanted. I didn't understand everything, but I was able to get enough of a gist to know what was going on and to share what I felt the Lord wanted me to share. It was awesome. I even told stories from my life about what I've seen and done in better Polish than I thought I could speak. It's incredible to see how I can be a tool in the Lord's hands, but the trick is staying humble, because this definitely is not something I can do on my own.
In other news, conference was incredible. We didn't get to watch all of it, only both Saturday sessions and Priesthood up until halfway through Pres. Eyring's talk, but I'm hoping to find a chance to watch some more of it today. So many great talks though. I learned so much that I needed to know, and I loved Elder Nelson's talk. I thought it was funny how he kept saying "Ask the missionaries!" and then thinking, hey, that's me! Anyway, there's been one statement that I wrote down that I've been continuously thinking about. It was from Elder Robert C. Gay's talk in the Saturday afternoon session. He said "May our lives confirm that God forsakes no one." It's been something that I really want to go forward and apply in my missionary service, because God really forsakes no one. He knows all of His children and loves each and every one of them. I know that because I've felt His love and continue to feel it out here daily.
The announcement about missionaries was a bit unexpected. It's weird to think that I have friends that are girls that could now be going on missions, but it will be a great blessing for the church. That's so weird that Bryce can now go next summer. This whole things is going to change a lot, but I know it's what the Lord wants. It will be a great blessing for the Church. I feel lucky to have had a year of college under my belt though. I felt like that really prepared me for going on a mission and I was much more ready then than I was right out of high school. But, the Lord knows why He does things, and His ways are not our ways, nor do we understand everything He does, we just have to trust Him and walk by faith, rather than by sight (2 Ne. 2:24 and somewhere in Corinthians... I dunno, but I'm sure Dad does).
Since Elder Mikolyski had to take a couple of sick days, I was able to do some in-depth studying of the Book of Mormon, which was awesome. I loved that. It is such an incredible book, and my testimony of it grows every day. I feel so lucky to share it with these people in Poland. Think about it. Every time I give one of them a Book of Mormon, they hold in their hands the tool to not only change their lives, but work out their own personal salvation! Is there a more worthwhile book to study and read in the world? (Along with the Bible and modern scripture of course)
Dad, I heard about that debate from the senior missionaries here in Kato, Elder and Sister McGrath. Elder McGrath's answer was that Romney "blew Obama out of the water." It will be very interesting to see what happens in the future. As for football, I'm glad BYU beat Utah State. Elder McGrath and Sister McGrath lived in Logan, Utah, so now I've got a little bit of bragging rights :) In good humor of course. I got a paper from Grandma Honey this week that had the article about Lone Peak beating Bingham, so that was exciting to read about Zack Mortenson, but it also said that Riley's back was hurt. What is the deal with that? Is that why he hasn't been starting? Anyway, I'm glad to see Taysom having success. I'm also excited to receive this letter about the Spirit. So far, I've only received your letter with the Holland and McConkie talks, and I never received mom's letter with Grandma Helen's program or blog letters. I'm not exactly sure what happened with that. I also never received the Fiszki cards. I'm not sure what exactly happened with that. I did receive that package from London, but I haven't received the second one yet.
Mom, that's super exciting that Jake has his call. You'll have to tell me where he's going. I'm excited for him. Don't worry, I'll make sure I get a good coat and everything. The trick is just finding them. I've also bought a few ties and such while I've been here.  Thank you for keeping my name on the temple prayer roll. I know blessings are coming directly from that.
Hannah bear! That's so awesome that you can ride the rip-stick! I'm super proud of you. I love and miss you too. Keep working hard and being awesome! So cool about Sean and Megan, and tell Grandma Fernie hi for me!
Emms, I'm glad to hear you had a good birthday. I'm jealous that you are hiking all over Sundance. I will definitely be doing that when I get home. It's not too cold yet here, and I'm loving the fall weather. I'm going to have to learn how to tell temperature in Celsius though... that will be an adventure.
Heath, sounds like you had an exciting week! I'm glad you had a great surprise birthday party and that Sarah did a good job planning it all. She is a good friend! Oh, and Happy Birthday on Wednesday! Good luck with the surgery on Tuesday.
Wish everyone at the cabin well for me! I'm sad to be missing, but I'm where I need to be, I do know that.
I love you all. Keep the faith and study conference!
Elder Vernon

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