Well, we have officially survived the transfer week. It was a bit nuts, but we did it.
The trainees had been stuck in Denver due to weather. They would not be able to make it to Poland until Saturday afternoon. Well, this threw off everything. We had to stop everyone in their steps so that none of them would travel unnecessarily and make a ton of changes. We spent basically all of Tuesday working on it. We were going to just pair trainers up in different cities and let them work for a couple of days until we could get them their companions, but we realized that that would leave Sister companionships alone in a few cities for a few days, and we didn't like the idea of that. So, we had to put a couple of tripanionships together and figure lots of travel stuff out. Wednesday was the main transfer day, so Elder Wilson, Elder Neuner, and I all went to the train station and had to direct most of the main traffic there for the first part of the day. We then had to come back and finalize all sorts of stuff for the Mission Leadership Council going on the next day and make sure we had train times all figured out for trainers and such so things would be going ok. Add on to all of this that we're having to contact everyone in the mission and make sure people are aware of everything that's going on. It was a bit nuts. Usually, we just send everything out via email but because P-day had already passed, we were left to making phone calls. Well, we at least got everyone in right places and things figured out for the rest of the week by Wednesday night. We still hadn't figured out what sort of schedule the trainees would have and what to do with trainers yet, but we were way too focused on getting through Thursday to even think about that yet.
Thursday came and went without any hiccups. Elder Neuner actually left us by then to go to Łódź, so Elder Wilson and I were all by our lonesomes trying to figure out what we were supposed to do. It was fun. Throughout the course of Friday we got everything figured out and phone calls made to everyone so schedules were all fixed. Then, Saturday came along. We picked up the big transporter van and got on our way. We were able to pick up the trainees without any problem. Luckily, they all even had their luggage! Well, except for one Elder, but he ended up staying here in Warsaw, and the airport actually delivered his bags this morning, so he already has them in his posession. Anyway, it was quite an adventure. They got in on Saturday afternoon. We took them to the mission office where they got all their legal stuff figured out and started, took them to the mission home for a wonderful meal from Sister Edgren (who's an amazing gourmet cook!) and put them to bed after they all had interviews with President. They were all so tired. After all this, our jobs weren't quite done. We had to get to the train station where we picked up Elder Raines and Elder Żeleźniak (both former assisants who are both training this transfer). We dropped off Elder Żeleźniak with Elder Saltmarsh and Elder Waszkiewicz for the night, then took Elder Raines back to our apartment. We woke up early and got to the mission home wth Elder Raines in tow to help Sister Edgren with breakfast. We got the trainees all out the door and to the Wolska Chapel. In talking to President, he decided it was best that they experience church here in Warsaw at the historic Wolska Chapel (the only church built building here in Poland). We got them all there, got things settled, put them with their new companions, and then got them all on trains back out to their respective cities. We were so certain we were done looking up train times and everything, but we were just a little bit wrong. We had to stop at the office one last time to update some emailing things for the mission and what not, and realized that nobody had train times for the zone training that is happening this week. Thus, that necessitated our looking up times from city to city for different days and preparing emails to send out to missionaries all last night. So, we officially had no time for normal contacting all week. It was definitely something new. I'm not complaining. I'm plenty busy and love helping missionaries. It just feels weird to not have talked to anyone on the street in the past week. Well, we've talked to people along the way and such, but we haven't had a contacting session since I've been here. In fact, we've only had studies in full once, and personal study twice since I've been here, and probably had to wake up early more days than not. It makes life fun!
Here are some excerpts from my letter to President-
Elder Wilson and I have enjoyed all the excitement with which we've dealt this week. Not that we're dying to have such a busy schedule all the time, but we've enjoyed it. I'm grateful the Lord didn't give me much spare time, because it made the transition easier. The Lord knows exactly what we need and when we need it. I'm sure of that.
Miracles have been ever present this week with all the travel and excitement, but I think one really hit home. As we were driving to church with Elder Taylor, he spoke of the first missionary from Poland to ever serve. He mentioned that his Dad had trained this missionary and that this missionary had predicted that one day, one of his trainer's sons would serve in Poland. Well, Elder Taylor is now here, serving in Poland. After a few quick questions, we determined that this polish member who was trained by Elder Taylor's father was none other than A.B., the branch mission leader in the Warsaw 1st branch. Elder Taylor is now serving in Kraków. It was no mere coincidence that all the missionaries were held up in Denver for four days. Because of all the changes, all these new missionaries attended the Warsaw 1 branch, which has never happened to a group of trainees that I've seen come in. I don't know if Elder Taylor will serve in Warsaw, or even if he'll get a chance to see Bro. B. again the rest of his mission, but I know the Lord had a hand in making sure they were able to meet on Elder Taylor's first Sunday in Poland.
Elder Wilson and I are doing great. I love serving with him so much. He's become one of my best friends, both here on the mission, and will be after as well. He's such a great kid. He knows how to work, he's obedient, and I'm so grateful for the example he gives me. I'm incredibly blessed.
Hannah bear, you make those donuts! They look like they're awesome. And, nice work on the hashtags. I'm impressed.
Heath, good luck with the knee. I know Sterling Scholar can be busy, but I'm sure you're up to the task. Obviously I'd love it if you went to BYU. Come on. We haven't even gone to the same school since forever ago. You haven't had to put up with me and my nerdiness for ages. You think you can handle all of that? I like your comments about music. There are few other mediums that can bring the Spirit so powerfully. It's important to recognize that music shapes a big part of who we are.
Dad, I'm liking these comparisons from Alma's mission. It is quite remarkable. The Lord definitely knows what He's doing. Nice work with the Book of Mormon placing. So, are you going to write this pamphlet now? I'd love to read it if you do.
Emms, I think you'll be good to go with whatever you choose. I don't know much about the girls' lacrosse program over there, and I know that the high school track program for sprinting isn't organized super well. For distance it definitely is though. It's your choice. Don't worry, the Spirit's with you. The Lord is in your life. Look for His hand. You'll find it.
Mom, thanks for being a mom and making sure that I'm doing ok. I appreciate all the work you do at home for me still. I'm trying to do my best here and realizing that numbers aren't always everything. Visible results, while they are the most pleasing in the here and now, are often replaced by the results the Lord wants to see. I haven't been the most successful missionary in terms of numbers or in terms of people whom I've taught, yet I know the Lord has taught me specific lessons that I need to have. The Lord and I are continuing to develop a more personal relationship. Sometimes, it's hard for me to trust in what He's giving me or trying to teach me, but I'm learning. I told the trainees yesterday in a testimony meeting, I haven't received everything I wanted on my mission, but the Lord has given me everything I've needed.
Now, my mission is still a long way from being over, and I'm not thinking about that too much. Yet, it's comforting to look back and see where the Lord has influenced me and what I've done.
Well family, the gospel is true! I love it and am glad to be preaching it here in Poland.