Monday, October 29, 2012

Poland Letter #10

It has been a great week. Elder B is a champ. He's teaching me a lot and is a master of the Polish language. (Ok, maybe not a master, but he is super good at it). It's been a lot of fun to work with him this week and get to know him. He loves sports, is a real go-getter, and we are going to have a great transfer together. Let me tell you a little bit more about him. He is the youngest of four kids. Their family is a mirror of ours. They have 1 girl and three boys, with the girl being the oldest. His parents send him a package weekly, which he enjoys, and we are having a great time together. He's about my same height, and he played football and wrestled in high school. I picked him up off the train on Thursday morning and we unpacked and right away set some goals for the transfer. I'm excited to see where this transfer will lead us. I apologize that we don't have a picture together yet, but I will get one and send it as soon as I can.
We had district conference this week, which is basically like stake conference for Poland. it was super great. We even got B, our 84 year old eternal investigator, to church! It wasn't until noon, so I think that helped a lot. It was super awesome to see President Nielson and to have him express his confidence in us that we will be a solid companionship and do great things down here in Katowice (Sosnowiec to be precise). Along with district conference, I was able to watch A N, a missionary leaving from the Kato branch, be set apart. He's leaving for the London Birmingham mission today. It brought back so many memories from when I was set apart. It was a good time for me to step back and take inventory on how I'm doing as a missionary. I took inventory on how I'm doing at becoming a missionary and not just doing missionary things, and if I have fulfilled some of the promises that were made to me in my blessing. I feel confident in saying that I have done my best and have worked hard. In essence, I feel it was the Lord letting me know that He's pleased with the work I've done, but I still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go. I'm excited to keep moving forward and to see what the Lord has in store for me here in Poland. It was awesome to see A prepared to go out and preach this gospel. His English isn't perfect, but he will be a great missionary.
A few other exciting things happened this week. First off, I seem to attract crazy people when I'm contacting. First, I ran into a man who was trying to convince me that all the spiritual experience I have had and all the spiritual confirmations I have had are all a figment of my imagination. Well, I wasn't having any of that. I bore strong testimony to him that I know this church is true and that he could too. He wasn't convinced, but I felt blessed to be able to bear my testimony to him and let him know what I know. I also was contacted by a 7th day adventist that same day. Note, I didn't contact him, he contacted me. He was going crazy and asking me all these questions about Jesus and about the end of the world (all in Polish by the way, so I had no idea what was going on) and was super condescending when I couldn't answer his questions. I didn't even know what he was asking. He told me that I needed to know what it is that I preach. I thought of dad's experience on his plane ride over to Australia with the preacher who told him the exact same thing. How vital it is that we know all that we should in order to preach this gospel. I feel like Heavenly Father was telling me that I'm doing good work and it's great that I have a solid testimony, but I have a lot to learn. It's so interesting to see these ups and downs of the mission field. To go from being on top of the world to being humbled within a matter of minutes.
Something else cool that has happened this week is that my understanding has skyrocketed. I had been discouraged and I felt that my understanding of Polish was far behind what it should be as a missionary and that I wasn't contributing in every area like I should have been. That changed this week. With both Elder Bokinsky and I being so young, we've both had to step up and do more so that our companionship can be productive. I have watched my understanding improve by leaps and bounds. It's still nowhere near perfect and I have so much work to do, but I can see the Lord helping me and giving me little nudges here and there. In essence, He's helping me enough so that I can be a valuable tool in His hands to do His work, but letting me know I still have a lot of work to do, which is exactly what I needed. I know He is in this work and He is not leaving me or Elder Bokinsky all by ourselves.
Mom, thanks for the packge. We love the soup mix packages and ciders and hot chocolate, so thank you very much for that. I still have not received Grandma Honey's first package, but I hope it just got delayed and I will get it soon. 
Dad, I want to wish you a big happy birthday! I hope everything is good and that you don't feel too old. Don't worry, you are still young to me.
I'm sad to hear about Rick. I pray that he can be comforted and not have too much pain or discomfort. I love you all and love hearing from you. Keep working hard and do all you can! This work is the Lord's work, and I am working hard for Him.
With lots of Love,
Elder Vernon

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