Monday, April 29, 2013

Baptism in Bydogoszcz! (pictures courtesy of Kelley Kagele)

Elder Vernon, Odys, Karolina, and Elder Gudnason

Hey hey hey family! Well, another week is past and gone.
It's been a good week, one full of exciting times, and disappointments, like all weeks in missionary work. I have been sick this week, which has been a bummer, but I'm feeling better and healthy now, so it's all good! Mom, I know you'll be interested in what I had and everything, so I'll let you know now, it was just a cold. I actually ended up losing my voice with it, so i couldn't do a whole lot, which was frustrating, but Sis. Kagele (Mom, you will love her) got some nyquil for me, and I'm all taken care of. I'm already back up and going strong, so no worries. I'll apologize right now, this computer is being strange, and I can't get my voice recording to work, so you'll have to wait until next week for that.
My new companion is going to be Elder W! Yes, that's the same Elder W from my group in the MTC, who you guys met at that academic dinner at BYU. We're super excited to serve together. He's a great and powerful missionary, and I'm hopeful we will do great things together. I actually head into Warsaw on Thursday to go pick him up. We have a Zone Leader Council--now actually known as Mission Leadership Council--on the day of transfers, so what will happen is he will have his luggage there at the meeting, and after we will come up to Bydgoszcz. It's pretty exciting! As for the others, Elder H is staying in Bydgoszcz and training! He'll do a great job, and I'm excited for him. His companion, Elder D(from Highland Utah of all places. Crazy, right?) is going to Krakow. He's excited and will do a great job down there.
As you all already know, we had the baptism on Saturday! It was a great experience. This branch in Bydgoszcz understands how the church should function. There are about 4 or 5 families that make up most of the branch. One of those is the Kagele's, and the rest are all polish families that all have lots of kids and are strong in the gospel. Actually, funny coincidence with that. The branch president here has the last name Zalewski. His 18 year old son, O, performed the baptism on Saturday. O is super cool. Anyway, there was a missionary I met in the MTC who I actually played lacrosse with at a BYU camp forever ago, and he has polish ancestry. His last name is, you guessed it, Zalewski! He told me to keep an eye out for the name. Who would have guessed that I'd find it here in Bydgoszcz. Anyway, the baptism and the confirmation both went very well. K is a little bit scared of the water we think, because the first time she went under, she was super stiff and wouldn't go all the way down. It took almost a minute for her to calm down enough to go under again. We got it all figured out though and everything went smoothly the second time.
Elders Vernon, Gudnason, Harris and Dodge

Being a new zone leader, and not having taught K at all, I actually had to do the baptismal interview. I was super nervous, having never done one before, but Elder G and I role-played it in companionship study and everything went super well. I'm always amazed at who the gospel touches. K is a shy, quiet, 16 year old girl, but she has a testimony. It's just a testimony builder to me that God is preparing people everywhere for this message. 

Elder G is a fantastic missionary. I'm grateful for the chance to work with him for a couple of weeks. I've learned a lot about contacting from him, and especially about asking for referrals. He asks everyone. He has fine tuned skills that I know I need to develop as a missionary, and it's been a real blessing seeing them all in action this week. He knows what it means to be a missionary, and it's helping me to get a view of who I can really be as a missionary. He's committed to work until the very end as well, which is a real blessing for the both of us. He hasn't slowed down one bit, and we won't this week either. I've been learning a lot about how dumb Americans are from him too. It's been a real eye-opening experience, haha.
Well, we just found out the emailing closes early today. Time's up for me. I have to go! I love you all and the gospel is true!
Love, Elder Vernon

No comments:

Post a Comment