Monday, September 16, 2013

Another Week Here in Poland!

Hey hey hey family! It's been another week here in Poland!
Mom, to answer your concerns right off the bat, I'm no longer down in the dumps. Elder H and I had a great week and it was just what I needed to bring me back out. Things are good in Szczecin and I'm enjoying life. This district is awesome. Everybody is ready to work hard and just do missionary work, which I love. Elder H is awesome. Honestly, I've never seen a missionary so young in the mission so capable of doing everything and so dedicated and willing to work. He's obedient too, so it's never a battle to get to things on time, role play, or anything of the sort. It's a blast as well to be serving around Elder M again, especially for his last transfer. I love that guy so much. He's a spiritual giant. I've been lucky enough to be able to be in contact with him my whole mission. I know the Lord definitely wants me to learn something from him, which I'm trying to do. Elder F is just a bucketfull of polynesian awesomeness
Anyway, let's move on to some stories, 
Elder H and I discovered something in our role-playing this morning. We've decided to make a concerted effort to refer to the restoration as quickly as possible on the street. We role-played answering some questions and in a few sentences getting into the restoration. We've also been practicing teaching with simplicity. I've felt for a while on my mission that absolute simplicity is vital in missionary work. I know that as we strive to do our best in these areas, we will be blessed and our teaching will improve. 
Elder H and I had some great success with our goals from last week. We set our transfer goals as a district, and Elder H and I tried to focus on acheiving our goals of two lessons taught and two copies of The Book of Mormon placed a day. Miracles abounded. We found people all the time, had greater success than I've had in a long time on my mission, and found the people we visualized in planning in the places we planned to find them. One night was especially miraculous to the both of us. We had Zone Training in PoznaƄ on Wednedsday. Both of us were skeptical that we could acheive our goals with so much time spent traveling and with a meeting. As we got home--later than planned because of a mix up with the trains--we were even more unsure, but committed to try our best. We went to the chapel for a meeting we had set up already. On the way, we passed out a copy of The Book of Mormon to a lady at a light right next to the chapel. Then, we had our meeting. On the way home, at 8:50 at night, we found a man ready to listen to our message. We taught him a street lesson and gave him a copy of The Book of Mormon. I know that when we strive to do our best to acheive the righteous goals we have set, the Lord blesses our efforts and helps us. At the end of the week, when we looked back on our numbers, we saw 14 lessons taught, and 13 copies of The Book of Mormon placed--which is 2 lessons taught a day, and almost 2 copies of The Book of Mormon placed a day. The Lord is so merciful.
In other news, one of the recent converts here in Szczecin, B, is incredible. He's always willing to help out, works hard, and is a stellar member. He seems willing to learn how to play the piano and I asked him if he would want me to teach him. He said that he'd be alright with that. I'm hopefully going to try to start teaching him for a half hour or so every week so he can eventually play the hymns here in this branch. 
I should talk for a minute here about zone training. It was a great meeting. It was awesome to say hi to Elder Saltmarsh for the first time in who knows how long. By the way, he sends his best regards! It's been fun to call in to him every night. District leaders call in to the Zone leaders to tell them that everyone is in and safe. President Edgren has asked us to stop using the word meeting to denote our gatherings of missionaries. Instead, they are now going to be known as Councils. This comes from a talk from Elder Bednar talking about how he doesn't like the word meeting. It denotes too much of a business setting. A council is much more fitting, for it is a place where we will learn the doctrines of the kingdom and come to uplift one another. Thus, we're changing that in the mission. The whole Zone Training was very much focused on looking outside the box for finding ideas. It was a good meeting (dang it, I mean council), and we've all been told we need to do something crazy for our finding ideas before the next Zone Training. We're already starting. On Thursday night, we walked past the other elders by happenstance and saw them out playing the guitar and singing with a table of copies of The Book of Mormon and other church paraphenalia (spell check?) They called us over, and we joined them in singing and contacting. We didn't know many hymns (only "Praise to the Man" and that only in English) but it was still a blast to sing, see people look at us strangely, and enjoy ourselves as missionaries. Some people actually came up and tried to pay us, but we wouldn't take it, of course. Come on, we're missionaries! So, we gave them a copy of The Book of Mormon instead. Yay for the gospel!
Well, another story for the week. Monday night, we were contacting after p-day. We ran into a drunk guy wearing basically no pants, simply boxers. He got kind of aggressive and wasn't very nice. Anyway, we decided to keep going and avoid him. As we did so, we discovered it was later than we thought, so we had to take a tramwaj (trolley, in essence) home. As we hopped on, this drunk guy also hopped on at the last second. Well, he had been yelling at us for not being Christ-like earlier because we wouldn't give him money (the missionary handbook actually asks us not to do so). We were scared things could escalate on the tramwaj and get nasty, so we decided to non-chalantly sit down and try to avoid the situation. Well, he ended up standing right behind our chairs and even rested his hand on the back of my chair. Yet, he never noticed us nor said a word. Within about 5 minutes he got off the tramwaj, and we were able to get home without any problems. It may seem like a small situation, but I know the Lord blesses missionaries and keeps them safe! Could we have handled the drunk guy? Definitely. Elder H is a ju-jitsu master and also wrestled. It is nice though that the whole situation was avoided. 
Hannah bear, We placed 13 copies of the Book of Mormon this week. It was a great week. What kind of computer do we have now? I'm curious to find out.
Mom, you're the best! Am I going to get to eat some of these peaches? I'm doing my best to exercise. You'd also be proud of my diet. I'm eating well! I even made myself fried rice from my recipe book yesterday. It was good! 
Emms, Nice back to the future quote. I'm a fan. Missionary work is the best. It seems like every question we don't have an answer to always gets asked. It's an adventure every day! Have fun at Strawberry!
Heath, keep up being an awesome senior at AFHS! I'm happy the football team is doing well and you're enjoying life. Remember, I have to ok all of your boyfriends (but seriously). I'll be sure to shoot Parker a letter. 
Dad, I'm glad you ran into Trinity. He's awesome. I didn't have to cool him down too much on the field, but there were a few times.... Well, we won't get into details. I'm glad the fireside went well. It seems like the Lord is really preparing this younger generation of missionaries. The work is speeding up! Everyone is playing a part as well, no matter where we are. I like the Hugh B. Brown quote and scripture. It's the truth. The Lord knows what he's doing. MIssionary work is the greatest. Thanks for the AF update. Sounds like they have a great team. I'm glad. BYU hopefully can pull out a win next week too, and then we'll be in business!
I love you all. The gospel is true! This is the Lord's work. Keep up being awesome everybody! I pray for you all.
Elder Vernon
P.S. Tell Grandma I got the package, and thanks for the email. Unfortunately, I won't have time to email her back, I'm already pushing it as is. Tell her and grandpa I love them though! There should be a tie coming for Grandpa soon!

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