Monday, October 28, 2013

October 14th Letter

Hey hey hey family! I hope you've all had a great week. I know it's been a good one here in Poland. I'm enjoying life and enjoying the chance to be a missionary.

Elder Hardy and I have decided this week to make a concentrated effort on learning and teaching the message of the Restoration, the 1st lesson in Preach My Gospel. We liked what was taught at Zone Training about focusing on the first discussion and striving to master it as we teach and work here in Poland. We know that as we focus on it and strive to teach it to the fullest, our efforts will be seen by the Lord and He will help us in His own work.

For District Council this week, I am focusing on commitments. I know that as we strive to do the best we can with commitments, the Lord will help us to move investigators along the path to baptism. If there has been one weakness that I have seen in many missionaries, including myself, during my mission, it has been that of commitments. I feel that we as missionaries just don't do a very good job of extending them, nor of following up. If we can improve on that, the work will move forward at a faster rate.

A miracle that I saw this week actually started last Monday. My family was able to provide Elder Hardy and me with a good number of referrals. My mom was talking to a lady at her work when the conversation turned to my mission and that I was in Szczecin currently. This lady's husband has family here in Szczecin. Long story short, they provided us with around 5-7 names here in Szczecin of people we can go visit. Elder Hardy and I tried to visit them on Tuesday, but with little to no avail. Well, on Thursday, one of the referrals we were given actually showed up at the chapel looking for us. We hadn't had contact with this man, L, before this, but he had heard me on the radio thanks to the interview I did. He actually got in contact with his family in my hometown, and came searching for us. We were able to talk to him a little bit, and have actually set up a meeting with him this Wednesday. L is a sailor, and leaves next Sunday to go to sea for 4-6 months, so we were blessed to make contact with him before he leaves.

Elder Saltmarsh and I had a good exchange this week, and I was pleased to see J pass his baptismal interview. If all things go well, he should be baptized on Saturday. Elder Saltmarsh seemed a bit down on himself but I tried to help him as best I could pick himself back up and get a jumpstart to go back home with a new companion and get the fire back in the work. He reminded me of a lot of things as well. He helped me realize that from time to time, I get too focused on purely contacting. If there's nothing else to do, I just have a habit of hitting the streets, when there is more to missionary work than just contacting. I realized I've neglected area book work a little bit, as well as making phone calls. I'm grateful for the reminder of how I can work more effectively and serve the Lord well with the time I have.

In other news, President expressed some fantastic compliments to me on the phone yesterday. He told me that the reason he moved me out to Szczecin was not because I was demoted or for some reason like that, but because he knows that I would do exactly what he asked me to do and be a huge strength to not only the members, but to Elder Mikolyski and the other missionaries out here. That was a very humbling, but very comforting thing to hear. He also told me he wanted someone out here he could call on to be a branch president after Elder Mikolyski left. Well, as it turns out, I'm not going to be branch president, because we're getting a senior couple here in Szczecin this Tuesday! That will be a great blessing to everyone out here. They will do great things for the branch and the work. I'm excited. Their last name is Gay. That will be an interesting thing to try to explain to the poles out here, but we'll do our best. From the looks of it, I'll probably be called on to do a lot of translating as soon as Elder Mikolyski leaves for the branch president. Or maybe they'll get some poles to do it. A few of them here speak pretty good english. We'll see what happens. I'm excited though. It will be a big blessing, especially because this might mean more homecooked food from a 2nd mom!

Heath, you lucky dog! I-phone? I'm jealous. Good job on the ACT! I'm excited to see what you decide to do for college. Of course, I'm rooting for BYU, but I'll be happy with whatever you choose. Also, Sarah was complaining because she hasn't heard from you in forever. Sorry, don't kill the messenger. I'm sure you're busy, so I don't blame you for falling behind.

Emms, you're a speedster. You better do track this year. You'll dominate. Yes, Dad has amazing old man strength. I would love to race him in a 400 sometime. Maybe when I get back from the mission. We'll see. In any case, enjoy the winter fever and make sure you do some good skiing. Good luck with school and everything.

Hannah bear, you're the doober! Keep up being doobery! I'll write you a poem soon and send it to you, ok?

Mom, way to go being super Mom. Keep on keeping on and tell everybody at the junior high hello for me. Does Mr. Dean still work there? He was my german teacher and is a pretty funny guy.

Dad, thanks for the football updates. Lehi? No. That's sad. We're going to have to take state just to make up for that. Keep on doing work in the stake.

Sorry for the abrupt end, but I'm running out of time and want to send some pictures. Love you all! The gospel is true!
Elder Vernon

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