Monday, February 11, 2013

"Blessings and Doughnuts"

Hey hey hey!
How we doing family? This has been a crazy week of blessings and doughnuts. I also received a Valentine's Day Package yesterday! That was awesome. I already opened it, hopefully that's ok. We enjoyed the candy and love getting mail from home. We're still waiting on Payton and Heather's letters, but we hope we will get them soon.  So, this week started off with Zone training, which was wonderful. I feel so lucky to be able to attend these meetings and learn about what the Lord wants me to do for Him as I serve here in Poland. I've tried to come to every big meeting so far on my mission with questions that I want answered. Every time I have done so, I have found the answers I was searching for, and even a little bit more that God felt I needed. Knowing that He loves me and is wanting me to succeed gives me the courage and drive I need to go forth each day and find those He has prepared for this gospel. It's also a fun experience to just get together with the other missionaries and be able to spend time together. President was pretty funny this time. Sister Nielson showed up with a new camera for Valentine's day that she bought for herself in the states. Anyway, she told us it was President's gift to her. He agreed he did a great job of picking it out! President and Sister Nielson are wonderful and it has been a huge blessing to be able to work under them and spend time with them here in Poland.
Unfortunately, we dropped K, our baptismal date, this week. Something hadn't been sitting quite right with me about him for a long time. Pres. J (the branch president here) had a chance to meet with him yesterday. After doing so, he talked with us and explained to us how their meeting went. As it turns out, K was more interested in convincing Pres. J that his views and theories were correct and wasn't understanding basic doctrines. Elder Saltmarsh and I agreed with him on this, for during our meetings K has often gone off on tangents about what he believes and never really came to belief fully in the restoration of the Church. We covered the restoration with him multiple times, but to no avail. He's a great guy, but just wasn't ready to commit to everything he needed to do in order to be a member of this church. We've learned a lot from teaching him though and I feel I am a better missionary because of what I have learned from him.
We were, however, able to extend three more baptismal commitments this week! They haven't been to church yet and we've only taught them about the restoration and the Plan of Salvation, but all of them have agreed to work towards baptism on the 30th of March! It's a very exciting time for them all. This week they all should be in church and we have a meeting with them again tomorrow. They're all reading the Book of Mormon and their testimonies are growing.
Now, on to Fat Thursday. (Note: Fat Thursday is a Polish holiday before lent) Well, Elder Saltmarsh and I both had the goal to eat 36 doughnuts (pączki in polish) in order to make a grand total of 72--the goal we have, as a mission, regarding baptisms this year. I didn't quite make it. I only put down 18--which is still remarkable considering that is a dozen and a half. Mind you, polish pączki are different from American. They're more bread-like and all have a berry jam in the middle. They're super good though, just harder to eat. Anyway, Elder Saltmarsh put down his 32nd, and then threw up. But, he pulled the impressive feat of eating 36 doughnuts! Plus, I learned how to say "to throw up" in Polish. Score!
I'm excited for this birthday package and I will be sure to let you know when I receive it. Today I will probably be buying that Poland soccer jersey and scarf (that I told you guys about at the beginning of this transfer) as my own little gift to myself. Yay for me! 
Anyway, I'm sorry, but time to me is really lacking (haha, super polish way to say things). I love you all though.  Emms, ski hard. Hannah bear, you go own chickadee! Heath, have fun at Morp and good luck with Prom. Yes, I know Eli, he's the man. Tell him I say what up and to stay out of trouble.
Well, the church is true. The book is blue (hah, that rhymed), and it is indeed true (I'm a poet!). Keep reading the Book of Mormon. There's power in that book. I know, I experience it daily. Abinadi is champion status, that's all. Keep the faith and I will talk to you all in a week! I will know what's happening with transfers next week.
With Love,
Elder Vernon

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