Monday, July 22, 2013

Another Full Week of Missionary Work!

Elders Rittmanic, Raines, Zelezniak, and Vernon
Getting ready for the day!
Hey hey family!
Wow, where does the time go? It literally flies by out here. It doesn't seem like it should be Monday already, but it is. It's been another full week of missionary work with ups, downs, and all arounds, but we're loving it. Anyway, I'll see if I can get some logistics out of the way, like usual, and then we'll start into the stories.
Mom, I'm not necessarily in dire need of garments, but if you could be so kind, I would greatly appreciate two new pairs.  Apart from that, I'm doing well with everything else that I have. I bought a pair of european shoes today for $17! They're not the greatest quality, but I figured it might be fun to have a pair for zone conferences and stuff while I'm on my mission, and $17 was a steal.
I think that's about it from my side on things that I need and what not, so let's get into some stories!
My plans to achieve goals this week are to strive to eliminate wasted time. Elder Rittmanic and I sat down and had a spiritual moment in determining what we are doing, where we want to go, and how we need to get there. I felt like this was a big step forward in our leadership in this zone. In studying leadership this week, I came across a talk by James E. Faust that talked about leadership. He specifically stated in it that a good leader needs this type of vision and must act according to it. We looked back at what we taught during zone training, and realized that a lot of the advice we gave and hints we suggested we had yet to put into our work. We then set plans on how to fix it. We've determined that we're going to count up our wasted time throughout the day, then add it up and subtract that on how many hours we could have spent working. We're not trying to focus on negatives with this, so we want to take the hours that we spent engaged in the Lord's service for that day, and then see if we can't improve it by a few minutes the next day. We've passed such a plan to the rest of the Elders in our zone as well, and it should be talked about this week in District Meeting. We hope this will improve our effectiveness as missionaries. We're not just striving to avoid wasting time either, but we know that by doing so, we can be more effective tools in the Lord's hands and achieve our mission goal of 72 baptisms.
A spiritual experience I had this week was with a man named J. Jego spotkaliśmy przed kaplicą i porozmawialiśmy z nim na temat ewangelii. Na początku, on był taki agresywny i zły, ale gdy on się dowiedział że nie jesteśmy świadkami Jehowy, on uspokoił się w miarę i zaczął nas słuchać. Podczas gdy porozmawialiśmy, on został coraz bardziej zainteresowany i miły. W końcu, my jemu daliśmy Księgę Mormona i umówiliśmy z nim na spotkanie. Niestety, kiedy byliśmy w kaplicy w sobotę na to spotkanie, nie było go. Jednak dzięki temu doświadczeniu przypomniało mi że Duch Święty jest mocny i On zmiękcza swoim wpływem serca tych, którzy są chętni go słuchać. Będziemy udani w tej pracy tylko wówczas, gdy nauczamy mocą Ducha Świętego.
(We met him in front of the chapel and we talked with him about the gospel. In the beginning, he was a bit aggressive and mean, but when he found out that we weren't Jehovah's Witnesses, he settled down a bit and started to listen to us. While we talked, he became more and more interested and relaxed. In the end, we gave him a copy of The Book of Mormon and we set up a meeting with him. Unfortunately, he didn't come to the meeting. Thanks to this experience, however, I was reminded that the Holy Ghost is powerful on that his influence softens the hearts of those willing to listen to him. We will be successful in this work only when we teach by the power of the Holy Ghost.)
A principle I have been learning this week is about spiritual power. I was thinking about it after our experience with J and Dad's definition of it, which I think was spot on. I came to the realization that I wasn't quite sure how powerful I was in my teaching or in my missionary work in general. After a long thought about it, I determined that I wasn't doing as well as I could or should. Studying this morning, however, showed me otherwise. I found that I had been looking beyond the mark for spiritual power in this work. In chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel, we are told different ways that spiritual power will be manifest in our work. These are in some of the simplest ways, and yet some of the most powerful. Little things, like being led where to go, participating in ordinances of salvation, and even having a testimony confirmed by the power of the Spirit are all indicators that we have power in our work as missionaries. These are things that my companion and I can see around us if we take a step back and see the bigger picture. I hope to take this reminder farther as I start to study listening to the Spirit more in depth. I think the Spirit's influence is more present in my life than I have ever taken time to notice. I feel I miss some of His more subtle promptings because I am looking beyond the mark and expecting the fantastic, rather than a constant stream of small and simple things.
 I feel like all the time in my studying, I begin to learn a lot about a subject, feel like I've got it down well, turn away from it for a while, and then the Lord shows me that I've nowhere near mastered all I can about it. I figure that's probably the way it will be for the rest of my life though with the gospel. As Poles often say, "The farther into the woods, the more trees." 
Dad, To answer your question, I was referring to the 80/20 rule that you often apply in conversations with people. The goal is to have them talk 80% about themself, and only talk 20% about yourself. Elder Rittmanic is ridiculously good at it. I'll try to talk to him about something in his life, and then find that he's turned it back on me and I'm talking about something from my life, all without me noticing it.
In other news, the new baby that was born into the branch on July 9th was blessed yesterday in church. While Prezydent Zalewski was heading down to do the blessing, he invited me into the circle. Don't worry, I didn't misread a head nod. I was at the piano, the only one in that direction, and he invited me. I was totally taken aback. I'd never participated in a baby blessing before, so that was a new experience! It was great though, and a special privilege. I feel that I've really started to build a great relationship with President Zalewski. He is a great man.
Lastly, if you would, Elder Rittmanic and I have been talking about ways to improve our contacting lately. We had a thought about it, and we were wondering, what would stop all of you if you ran into missionaries on the street? What could they say that would catch your attention? What part of the gospel would appeal to you? Especially if that missionary was from a foreign country. How could he catch your attention? Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.
Time runs short. We've got an exchange today that we need to get ready for. Elder Rittmanic is going up to Gdansk, and I am staying here. I'll be with Elder Dodge from good old Highland Utah, and Elder Rittmanic will be with Elder Skolimowski. It should be fun. Elder Dodge was in Bydgoszcz his first two transfers, so he knows the city well. It should be fun! I'll let you know how it goes next week!
Hannah Bear, we placed 7 copies of The Book of Mormon this week! I'll be sure to watch the moon. I love full moons. Love you.
Dad, You'll do great in your talk next Sunday. I can't wait to hear about it. I love your insights to the gospel. Truly, without opening our mouths, nothing can happen. Keep me updated about your study with Preach My Gospel too! I'd love to hear about what you're learning that can help me. Love you.
Grandma, you're the best! I love you and pray for you too.
Emms! Rock bear lake, alright? I'm glad you had a great time at Girl's Camp. Keep on being awesome, and I definitely think you ride your road bike with mom and dad in the ULCER. Love you.
Heath, you are old! Haha, but really. Soon you'll be thinking about college. Yuck. Tell Parks good luck for me and wish him the best. He'll do great. I think about you guys all the time too! Love you.
Mom! You're the best mom in the whole world! When you taught your lesson on missionary work you didn't cry? No way. I don't believe it. Thanks for sharing some of the missionary stories with me. I can't imagine being so alone on a mission. It would be a real trial of faith. Aren't we so lucky to be assisting in the work at this time and in this way? It's the best! Hey, if you would be so kind, could you get me Parker Farnsworth's email? I'd love to find out how he's doing at home. I love you! You're the best.
Well family, the gospel is true! God lives and loves us all! I love you guys too!
Elder Vernon

No comments:

Post a Comment