Thursday, August 8, 2013

6 Day Exchange


Hey guys! How's it going? It's been a good week here in Bydgoszcz, but a bit of a crazy one as well. We had a 6-day exchange this week. Yeah, I know that sounds a little nuts, but I'll explain. So, Monday night President Edgren called us. We had talked with him a little bit about doing an extended exchange with Gdańsk, but nothing too in depth. We got a call from him Monday right before P-day ended, and he told us it might be a good idea to go forth with it. He wanted us to take some time, plan out what we would do, and see what we thought about the whole ordeal. We did that night, and we got back to him right before planning. We decided the whole thing was a go. We called Gdańsk, got people on trains Tuesday afternoon, and just barely switched back companions this morning early. It all happened super fast, but we had some great plans and made it effective. It went reallly well. I stayed here in Bydgoszcz and Elder D came down and spent the week with me. He was the same missionary I had an exchange with the week before for a few days too. The reason why this all went down so fast is because we have mission leadership conference this week on Wednesday, which means we'll be in Warsaw, and we wanted to have this exchange done before that. We felt waiting any longer wouldn't be all that effective for what we wanted to do.
I've been focusing lately on a quote from President Faust's talk in the binder that Dad gave me entitled "These I Will Make My Leaders." It says that in order to be effective leaders--or as I think, in order to be effective in goal-setting--we need to know where we are, where we want to go, and how we're going to get there. That's what Elder D and I did, and it worked very well. When we sat down on Friday to weekly plan, we talked about everything. Elder D had already learned everything that I had planned for him to learn, so we were able to set some new plans, make some new goals, and make our time effective. I'll pull from my President's letter now. I think I covered most of everything else that happened with us in that.
A principle I learned this week is that of delegation. Helping missionaries and companions get involved makes them feel like they are a part of something bigger and have an important role to play. Leaving them with too little to do makes them feel unwanted and unnecessary, and nobody wants that. Another principle learned this week is a bit harder to describe in one word. As I lead this exchange with Elder D, I wanted him to learn by making mistakes, seeing where he could improve, and then helping him to change. I stopped preventing him from making mistakes, and rather chose to sit back, watch him work, and then after, discuss what had happened with him and see what we could do to fix it and improve upon it. I found this to be a much more effective way of teaching. I could point out what he was doing well, compliment him on it, and then help lift him to the next level. I believe that this is a much more effective style of leadership and teaching. It allows for other elders to use their agency, learn from experience, and forge their own path in becoming great missionaries. A quote that I heard fits this perfectly, "We learn a lot by stumbling a little here and there."
A spiritual experience that we saw this week was when we were searching out a referral. Jedynie mieliśmy adres tego pana, i spróbowaliśmy go odwiedzić już raz. Podczas gdy planowaliśmy na następny dzień, ja i Starszy Dodge czuliśmy że powinniśmy tego pana odwiedzić, ale już prawie skończyliśmy planowanie i mieliśmy inne plany. Pomodliliśmy się, i podjęliśmy decyzję tego pana odwiedzić w następnym dniu. Zmieniliśmy nasze plany. Gdy odwiedziliśmy go, on nie odebrał swojego domofonu. Pomodliliśmy się o pomoc od Pana Boga, i spróbowaliśmy jeszcze raz. On odebrał. Chociaż on miał gości, on dał nam swój numer telefonu, i mamy do niego zadzwonić dzisiaj.
(We only had this man's address, and we had already tried to visit him once. While we were planning, Elder D and I felt that we should visit him, but we had already almost finished planning and had other plans. We prayed, and we decided to visit this referral the next day. We changed our plans. When we visited him, he didn't answer the domofon. We prayed for help from the Lord, and we tried again. He answered. Although he had guests, he still gave us his phone number and we are going to call him today.)
The Lord answers prayers. We had another experience one night as we returned home. We were a few minutes early, and we decided to visit a potential investigator who lives just around the corner from us. As we did, he let us in and we talked for a minute. We didn't have time for a lesson, but we were able to set up for a lesson today and talk to him a little bit. When we strive to make the most of our time, the Lord blesses us immensely.
I feel my exchange with Elder D was effective. As we started the exchange, I was very honest and straight forward with him about the purpose of the exchange and what we wanted to accomplish while we were on it. We talked, set some goals, and laid a plan of how we were going to accomplish it, all based upon the leadership method I mentioned above--knowing where we are, where we want to go, and how we are going to get there. Elder D set his own goals for himself, was able to hold himself accountable, and learned everything I wanted him to learn. He is a fantastic missionary. I'm proud of the work he accomplished on our exchange. He learned a lot about being a leader, about how to be an example, and about how he can take that example and those lessons back with him to Gdańsk.

It was kind of weird being with a different companion for so long. When Elder R and I got back together today, it felt kind of like we were starting a new transfer. Yet at the same time, we felt like nothing had ever happened.
We also ran into a guy named S on the street this week. He is a dad and was with his family. They didn't have time to talk, but told us to drop by this Wednesday and talk. We were excited, until we realized later that we have mission leadership conference on Wednesday, and we're going to be in Warsaw, so that's a bit of a problem. We'll try to visit them on Tuesday instead and see what happens. We didn't get his number, so unfortunately we can't call him. Speaking of crazy schedules, there's a baptism out in Szczecin this week, and since he's being taught by the district leader (shout out for my trainer, Elder M), we need to go do the interview. Well, that's a LONG train ride that will take up a whole day just getting there and back. There's another day of work basically shot, and we haven't even figured out when we're going to do that yet. It's going to be a fun week. Nothing better than crazy schedules when doing the work of the Lord!
I'm super jealous that you guys were out at the cabin this weekend and will be at Bear Lake this week. I miss boating. I won't deny that. I'm grateful to be in Poland though. I'm just going to have to do some serious boating when I get home. Dad, don't worry. Next year we'll have man time so you don't lose your man card. I'll make sure of it. Thank you for the scripture. That helps greatly. It's exactly what I needed to hear right now. I love you and am grateful to call you Dad and for all you do for me. I hope to live up to the example you've set for me, and I'm grateful for a gospel that allows me to do so. It's so true. Good luck with all your traveling this week.
Mom, I'm laughing about James' role in Shrek. It's a perfect fit. None better. I'm glad you guys all made it home save and sound, hitting a deer is definitely a scary event. Thanks for the advice. I know I need it. I get a little too intense from time to time and too hard on myself. I just need to learn that life also needs to have a fun side, and not just work. I'm working on it. I love you and am so grateful that you're my mother. I couldn't ask for anyone better.
Hannah bear! You go get them with the skiis! You'll be able to get up, I know it! We gave away 10 copies of The Book of Mormon this week! A really good week. Have a great week. Search for bugs, under the rugs, around the school, but not in the pool! I just made that up off the top of my head. Love you!
Heath, keep it up with going to the temple each week. It makes all the difference. It's a special place. I miss it here in Poland. I wish I could go so bad. Have fun at Bear Lake and make sure that knee gets healthy. Remember, raspberry marshmallow is the best flavor of shake! Love you!
Emms, Have fun at Bear Lake! It will be a great week. I'm sure of that. Keep it up with all you have going on! We'll be sure to do some great boating when I get home. Love you!
Remember, the gospel is true! This is the Lord's work I am doing and i'm so grateful for a chance to be in Poland and spread the best message in the world!

Elder Vernon

No comments:

Post a Comment