Monday, September 23, 2013

It has been a great week here in Szczecin!

Our kitchen in Szczecin

My companion Elder H
Hey hey hey family!
Overall it has been a great week here in Szczecin! I am sad to say that J did not get baptized. There are some issues and some things that just needed to get straightened out, so we ended up postponing it until he gets back from a trip. We'll let you know when he returns.
Secondly, I love the voice recordings that you all send! They're the best. I've been able to pull them all off and listen to them one by one, and I'm a huge fan. We've had some good laughs. Please, keep sending them!
Dad, I have yet to get your letter from China. Where did you send it? If it was to the mission office, then that makes sense that I haven't received it yet. If you sent it to one of the apartments, then I'm a little worried. But all is good. It'll get to me one way or another, I'm sure.
I'll try to answer some of your questions before I get into my email. Mom, as for the scriptures, I would like my full name on them. As for polish sides, I'm not sure. I can't think of anything off the top of my head. Polish people love their salads, but they're not normal salads. Weird things with pickles, carrots, and sometimes apples, or sauerkraut. It's a funky food world a little bit. They also love bread with almost everything. They do meals differently, it's kind of in courses, and it's polite to leave a little bit of food so that they know you don't want more of that portion. If you eat it all, they will refill your plate with whatever they're serving. A good polish side is also soup. Gulasz is good, as well as zurek, which is a kielbasa based soup with hard boiled egg halves in it. I hope that helps somewhat.
As for laundry, we have a washer, but we have to hang dry clothes. I haven't had a dryer my whole mission. That will be a very strange luxury when I get home.
I've got a good coat right now. It's really warm and does well. If I end up needing another one, I'll be sure to get one, so don't worry too much Mom. The weather has started to cool off a bit, but we're doing fine.
In other news, I have a few requests. I'd like a few audio files of a couple talks, if it wouldn't be too much trouble. There's one by President Eyring called "Act in All Diligence" which was given in Priesthood Session in 2010 I think, and another by President Uctdorf called "Of Things That Matter Most." I think that one was also in 2010, if I remember right. Anyway, I'd be very grateful if you could get me the audio files!
When I left Bydgoszcz I left two flat rate boxes with Sister Kagele. Have you received them yet? If not, would you mind getting in contact with Sister Kagele to see if she sent them? I left them with Elder Rittmanic to give to her, and I'm just hoping the chain gets connected all the way!
Let's move on to some stories, alright?
Elder H and I have recently set some specific goals to find a family within this coming week. During weekly planning we sat down and did all we could to try to make plans to put ourselves in a position to find and teach a family in this coming week. We're going to try to contact in a park where a family would be walking at least once a day, at an optimal time for families to be out and about--around 6:00 PM. We're also striving to tighten up the daily schedule and make sure we are only spending an hour for lunch and dinner, and getting out the door right at 11 in the morning every day. We've also set a goal to talk to 15 people walking with strollers a day, which has been a good thing that has stretched us recently. We feel confident that these plans are going to help us achieve our goal of finding, teaching, and baptizing a family. Elder H was sick for a few days this past week, so that unfortunately took up some time, but we are still doing alright and trying our best. With some hard work this week, we should be in a good position to still reach all our transfer number goals. For District Council this week, I'm focusing on teaching Revelation Through Prayer. I want to focus on how prayer plays a role in our work as missionaries, and how it plays a role in conversion for investigators. I've prayed about it and feel confident that this is what the Lord wants me to teach this week. For what reason, I'm not sure, but I'm confident that it is in line with His will. If the chance arises, I would like to share the things I have learned about a "Daily Devotional" spent in prayer with the other Elders, but I'm unsure if during district meeting would be the right place and time. In any case, I have notes prepared for it, and although I feel as if I won't share it tomorrow, I will be ready in case the Spirit directs otherwise.
I've also got a planned exchange this week with Elder F. I'm excited and feel that we will have a great time together and get some good work done. I am going to strive to do my best to help him be confident as a missionary. He's doing well and I'm excited for the great things that he will do as a missionary. I feel that both he and Elder H have big roles to play here in the mission. They're ready and capable for a lot already, which seems to be a lot sooner than I was ready for whatever came my way.
Elder H and I are doing fantastic. He's a great missionary. We are enjoying working together. Sometimes, it's hard to stay focused during studies because we get along so well and we just start talking, but we're working on being more focused and doing the Lord's work to the fullest. We've set out a companionship study schedule that will help us stay focused. In other news, piano teaching has been an adventure! I haven't felt so stretched with my polish for a long time! I thought I prepared well too, but it was hard to predict all the terms that I would encounter and what I would need to say. Plus, I had never taught piano before, and this was kind of like starting from ground zero. It's a hoot. I've got a better idea now of what I need to do though, so hopefully the lessons will get better as we go along. Don't worry though, the first lessons weren't bad, they just have a lot of potential to get better :). I know you all have very busy schedules, and I don't want to interrupt or take away more time than necessary, but would it be possible if you could search for any sort of learning/teaching piano helps? I'd be very grateful. Anything found in polish would be very nice as well. We already have a hymns made easy book here in Szczecin, but anything else would be very helpful and appreciated.We also received the ability to text this week on the mission phones. That's something we haven't had my whole mission. It felt so weird to send a text again. I'm totally not used to it. I don't know what I'm going to be like when I get home with all of that, but we'll tackle that barrier when we get there. I don't like to think about coming home too much. I'm going to miss the mission field way too much. Anyway, I know that texting will be a great tool for the mission in being successful with setting up meetings and getting things done, we just have to make sure it stays a tool, and not anything else. 
Well, I'm running out of time. Know that I know the church is true. I'm glad Grandma Fernie got herself a kiten! That thing will definitely be spoiled, but it will give Grandma some good company. I'm sad the cougars lost, but we'll get Utah the next time around, for sure! Go AF football! I'm glad to hear they won. Now they just have to beat Lone Peak so I can have bragging rights while I'm out here. If we lose, I don't know if I'll hear the end of it from Elder Fotu.Anyway, I love you all. I've got to go so I can send some pictures. Tell James I say hi and miss him and to keep rocking the thespian world. He's the man.With lots of hugs and a love that's true, remember forever that the gospel is true!

Elder Vernon

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