Monday, March 18, 2013

I forgot to wear green!

Hey howdy hey family! How are we all?
First off, I'd like to issue an apology to Parker. I totally spaced congratulating him on his mission call last week. Heath, can you give him, and all the other boys receiving calls, my warmest regards and congratulations? I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for keeping me updated on all of them too. I appreciate it and it sure is fun to see where all these guys are going to be serving for 2 years.
It has been another week of great missionary work and we have seen great things. One of the most exciting things for me I think this week was being able to see Elder G pass out his first Book of Mormon all by himself. We were contacting last P-day, and I received a phone call as we were walking. While I was on the phone, Elder G stopped the next girl that walked by. He was able to testify to her, explain to her the Book of Mormon, and she was willing to take a copy and read. After he had testified, explained the book, and committed her to read, I finished my phone call and was able to help him get her number and set up for a time to call her in the future. I still remember vividly the first copy of the Book of Mormon I placed by myself (to a couple of older teenagers in Kato, whilst I was contacting by myself), and I was very excited for Elder G to have this experience so early on in his mission. I know it was a huge confidence boost for him and helped him to fave faith that he is capable of doing this work. I remember how discouraged I was at times and how I felt like I could never understand Polish, let alone be able to teach people. As I look back now on those first few weeks of my mission, I'm amazed how much I've grown and how much the Lord can help us do what He needs us to, as long as we have faith and trust in Him.
That day was a super productive day for missionary work. We were able to place 3 copies of the Book of Mormon that night. With the other two copies that we placed, we were able to teach street lessons, and have a prayer right there on the street. It was a super cool experience, especially because these two lessons came on subsequent contacts. President has really been stressing getting out and being effective on P-day lately, and I know we were blessed because we tried to follow that counsel and make those hours effective on P-day.
So, we had an awesome lesson with J this week. The zone leaders were in łódź on Wednesday for zone training, so we taught their English class for them. We as a mission teach English for free as a finding tool. These lessons hold themselves (haha, that's a real polish way to say it) on Wednesdays and they're actually quite effective and fun. Anyway, Elder G and I are the only companionship in the mission that doesn't teach them, because there are so many companionships in Warsaw. Thus, teaching English was a little bit out of the ordinary for us, but we played Bingo with the students and had a great time. Anyway, returning from my descriptive tangent to the meat of this story, part of that lesson, the spiritual thought we gave was 2 Ne. 9: 28-29 (we give spiritual thoughts in English because we really are focused on teaching the Gospel--we are missionaries, aren't we?). Little did I know that we would end up using this same scripture the next day in our lesson with J. We were teaching him the Gospel of Christ, when he opened up to us and started relating a story about how he's slowly finding it in his heart to forgive. Thanks to the Book of Mormon reading we have been doing, I thought of Alma 37: 6-7. J could see the relativeness to his life, but was curious about how the Lord confounds the wise. The Spirit brought to my memory 2 Ne. and I was able to relate these two scriptures together in a light that I had never seen before, and helped him relate them to his life and to one another. It strengthened his testimony greatly of the Book of Mormon and how it relates personally to him. I'm so grateful for the Spirit and how He helps us to know how to perform this work. I'm learning, just as it says in PMG, that the Spirit really is the most important element in this work. He should be in everything we do as missionaries.
Another cool story from this week--we were tracting on P-day, after having such great success with those street lessons, and we were let in by an 86 year-old man named H. He wasn't so interested in the Gospel, and was possibly a bit senile, but he told us about some interesting information about Polish history.  He gave us a kiss on the cheek, wished us all the best, and told us to help Poland grow. Anyway, it was super cool to meet him, and to get a wish of success from him!
We also had District Conference this week, which was awesome. It's basically Polish Stake Conference. Elder L, an area authority, was there and spoke to us. He's super awesome, and told some cool stories. See recordings for more details.
As always, there's much more I'd love to say, but time is short.
Hannah Bear, I didn't wear green :( and I did get pinched by Elder W for it, but I'll pinch myself again for you. I totally spaced St. Patrick's day. 
Dad, I absolutely love the chapters from Alma to his sons. Indeed, some great advice for all of us. I'm doing all I can to implement it into my missionary work. I agree, the key to boldness is humility. Now, that is seemingly a paradox (I just thought of Gpa Leo and his jokes and laughed), but with looking at Spencer W. Kimball, we see boldness and humility in perfect sync.
Mom, there has been a lot of talk about the Pope, and thank you for the info. We were tracting when he was chosen, and nobody wanted to listen to us, so that was a fun night ;). Thank you for all the food, packages, and love that you send. I really appreciate it. Yes, a chocolate chip cookie recipe would be great! As for pottery, we're going next week.  Anyway, speak now, or forever hold your peace. Whatever you say goes.
Emms, have fun at AFJH. It is a great school. I loved my time there. Keep being awesome and following the Spirit.
Heath, you got my vote. Good luck with Secretary, and have fun with Grant! That's awesome about Aly.
I love you all. The gospel is true. You guys are the best! Loves you all lots.
Elder Vernon

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