Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We had MLC this week.

Hey family.
So, I've decided that I've become incredibly boring with emailing. Life is just too busy as an Assistant. Plus, I'll be home so soon that you'll hear about all my adventures anyway.

We had an exchange this week in Gdańsk. I went with our only missionary from Norway, Elder Weggersen. He's a super cool kid, and a soccer star. We had a solid exchange, talking a lot about leadership and different things. He's still quite young in the mission, but he's going to have to step up quickly.

We also had an area authority in town this weekend. His name is Elder Adler. He gathered all the missionaries in Warsaw on Friday night and spoke to us all. It was really inspirational. He talked a lot about teaching by inspiration. It caused me great reflection. As I've grown and learned on my mission, I've learned a lot about basics and fundamentals. As I've done so, it seems like so much centers around some of the most basic things we talk about starting in primary: scripture study, daily prayer, and going to church. What I'm trying to say is that I felt like that was a lot of what Elder Adler talked about, but he focused on making them count. Those things are so important. They are what tie us to God and build our personal relationship with Him. That's why they're focused on so early in our childhood. I've come to appreciate them much more as my mission has progressed. I'm grateful for Elder Adler and the Spirit which he brought and his words of wisdom which he shared. He was also here for Sunday. I ended up translating from Polish to English for him during sacrament meeting and priesthood. It was stressful, but it went ok. Priesthood was hard to translate. The acoustics in the room were horrendous and I couldn't hear much of anything. But, we figured it out alright. It's always fun to have visiting authorities in town.

We had MLC as well this week. It was fun to gather with the missionaries and give training. It was my last one as a missionary. It's kind of sad, but I'm relieved at the same time. Time is such a fickle thing. It goes so quickly. I just hope what I've done here as an Assistant has made an impact for the better. We had the area doctor, Doctor W here with us for the MLC. It was interesting to see what he talked about. He spent a lot of time talking about depression and things.

We were invited over by the Kosanovich family for dinner this week. It was kind of hectic. They were really busy, as were we, but they felt impressed to have us over. It turned out to be important that we were there, especially for me. I talked to them a lot about how they ended their missions (they both served in the same mission actually). The answers they gave didn't surprise me, but they were about things that I hadn't thought much about. I really appreciated their advice.

In other news, do we know my subject yet for my talk? Or maybe I shouldn't worry about it yet. I'm excited to hear about Chase Cuilliard. Helaman's Camp will be fun. I'm excited about it. Do I get to stay up there the whole time? Or what's the deal? I'm just curious.

Mom, as for an open house, I'm happy to do it whenever. I'm flexible. I don't think I have any plans yet for that weekend, other than speaking in church. Ha, weird. Not having plans.... that's totally not missionary like.

Well, I don't know that I can think of much else. I love you all and I love hearing about your week. Keep up the stellar work. Hannah, what do I remember about Gpa Leo? I remember many of his jokes. I also remember him waking up in the cabin and having crazy hair, along with cheeto crumbs all along his mouth. Plus, I remember him playing racquetball and drinking ocean spray grape juice.
Dad, thanks for all the doctrinal notes. Congrats with the sale. You've been at Wencor a long time. Are you going to stay?
Heath, enjoy graduation. Life moves fast. You'll be in college before you know it.
Mom, thanks for getting ready for my return. I'll do my best on this side to be ready to come home. I appreciate all that you do!
Emms, thanks for loving me more than lacrosse. Speaking of which, we found lacrosse in Poland this week! Elder Lanham and I saw some kids practicing and we went over and talked to them. We even got to throw with each other for a minute. It was a blast.

Anyway, I love you all. The gospel is true!
Elder Vernon
Elders Vernon and Weggersen

Elders Vernon and Weggersen

Spending a lot of time on trains

Last MLC

MLC in Warsaw

Elders Lanham and Vernon with the visiting area authority.

On an exchange in Krakow with Elder Allen

Monday, May 19, 2014

The term "bittersweet" has never had so much meaning as it does now.

Hey Family!
Sorry, but my time is super short. We've got to run to an exchange we've got going on today. We'll be in Gdańsk with Elders J and W (second one is from Norway). It'll be a lot of fun, but as such, our P-day has become crunched for time.
I've found myself studying the concept of light lately. It's something that has been enlightening. Ha, no pun intended. Anyway, I've placed the concept of Christ being the light of the world on the background of thinking clearly. The gospel is really intended for us to have a clear perspective of why we're here and what we're doing. So many people are lost in their own thoughts. We get so caught up in the course of our daily life that we often miss the big picture and the peace and comfort provided by the gospel. When I think about light as a source of illumination, it becomes quickly clear to me why Christ is considered "the light of the world." He is the source of our illumination as to thinking clearly about this life, and the life to come. The gospel centers around Him, and without Him, we are left in darkness. It's a beautiful concept.
It's been a good week. Things have been a little bit hectic, but enjoyable nonetheless.
I've felt a bit slow this week. Honestly, I'm getting tired. Part of me can see the end of my mission in sight and wants it to be here already, while the other part of me never wants it to end. I've never felt so torn. The term "bittersweet" has never had so much meaning as it does now. For a long time on my mission, I had all these hopes and dreams about how I was going to end my mission with all these strict rules and consecration. Now, it seems like it's taking all my efforts to just finish strong. In the end, I think that's the way I should do it. I feel that I've served my mission honorably for the time I've been here. Maintaining pace and treating every day the same is the way I feel I can serve best to the end. My mission hasn't been made by the last few months, nor by one day or two. It's a whole. I want to treat it as such.
I had a great exchange with Elder F. He's a stellar missionary. I've come to love the kid much more during my time in Poland.
A few other highlights from the week were being able to participate in something called the night of the museums here in Warsaw. Most all museums here in Warsaw stayed open all night to allow others to come see what they hold. They opened up the chapel here in Warsaw for family history purposes, and we were allowed to stay along with a pair of sisters to lead guests around the chapel and show them what we do. It was a lot of fun. We didn't stay up too late, don't worry ;). We still made it in by 10, as was requested by President. There was a super cute little girl there who reminded me of Hannah. One of the Sisters took her under her wing and drew pictures with her. I ended up getting one. It was of a seal. This little girl, E, told me it was of me. We had a good laugh about it. I love little kids.
Anyway, it's been a good week. Life is good here in Poland. I'm doing my best to finish strong. I love you all. The gospel is true!
Elder Vernon

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2104 It was great to Skype yesterday!

Hey howdy hey family!
So, I don't really know what to say this week. I'm kind of at a loss for words. You already heard about everything that happened, so I just sent a few pictures that I don't think I had sent before. One of the days I'm planning on sitting down with Elder Lanham and taking care of getting all the pictures he has of me. He's got a really nice camera and takes a lot of pictures, so he's got a fair number of me. It's been a blessing to serve with him.
It's been another good week. I felt really good about the exchange that took place in Bydgoszcz. I'd say it was one of the best exchanges of my mission. Elder Hardy and Elder Swicegood are a good combination. They laugh a ton, but at heart, they have people's best interests. We spent some time talking about how to contact with baptism, but in all honesty, I wasn't worried so much about how they were doing with that. Things seem to be going well. They are encountering some opposition, but all in all, I think they'll keep plugging through and doing their best. What seemed to me to be the most effective was the talk we had about leadership. Both of the Zone Leaders felt a little lost as to what they were supposed to do and how to best lead a zone. We talked about how to best teach District Leaders how to be District Leaders, how to run successful exchanges, and focusing on your vision and passing that on to those in their stewardship. In all honesty, it was almost exactly what Elder Lanham and I have been teaching in previous leadership training meetings, just in an extended version. I've got a lot of empathy for Elders Hardy and Swicegood. I was in their same position exactly a year ago. I was a newly called Zone Leader, white-washing into an area, not knowing what to do, and having a companion my same age in the mission who was just as clueless as I was. I felt blessed that the Lord put me in a situation which I was familiar with and helped me to show others how to be the missionaries the Lord expects them to be. I think a lot of good came from what I did up there with them, and I hope they will take the lessons they learned and run with them.
The leadership training meeting also went really well while I was up there. Everyone was receptive to what I had to teach and I feel confident that they will go home and implement all that they have learned. All in all, I think there's a lot of good things going on in Bydgoszcz right now. I was pleased with what I saw.
We saw what I felt like was a huge miracle this week. During the open house that was held on Thursday, I was playing piano to try to set a good background feeling when Sister Neto came up to me and without a whole lot of explanation took me to a room where I was to teach the Restoration with Elder Cieślak. We, without any preparation, taught a full restoration and explained why it was so important to our church. Listening were a man, R, and his friend, M. During the course of the lesson, both were visibly touched. I was as well, especially while we talked about the first vision. The Spirit entered into the room with a strong presence, and both R and M were moved to tears. After things were finished, they both quietly slipped out, asked what time church starts, and then left. In talking to others after, I learned that R has been a member since the mid 1990's. He had not been to any sort of church activity since 2002. With just one phone call from Elder Pieper to invite him to the open house, he showed up and brought a non-member friend along with him. It was a real miracle. It was a testimony to me that there are still people out there who want to hear this message, and there are those who have been touched by it who will return in time. I don't know what else may come from R. He wasn't in church yesterday and I'm not sure if anyone has been in touch with him since the open house, but I have faith that if he came once, he'll come again.
I've got an exchange today with Elder Finch, from good ol' American Fork, so that will be fun. I'm excited to talk with him and catch up a little bit. He's a good kid.
In other news, there was a huge miracle story from Sister Kosanovich this week, but I don't have the time to tell it here. Ask her about her friend "M" if you get the chance.
I'm also curious how Will proposed. He's a smart kid, so I'm sure it was a good one.
I'm sufficiently distracted now because of yesterday's call, but it's ok. Give it a few days and I'll be back to normal.
Well, I love you all. Thanks for the spiritual insights and help you give me. I appreciate it greatly. Keep on keeping on! The gospel is true!
Elder Vernon
Elders Swicegood, Vernon and Hardy

May 5, 2014 It's been a full week!

Hey family!
It's been a full week with zone conferences and the like. You'll all have to read my journal once I finish this grand adventure. I don't have nearly enough time to write about all that I've done. Heck, my journal is suffering a bit too. Life as an Assistant is just crazy. If I could use twitter, I would definitely coin a new hashtag. #AssistantProblems
We taught a lot this week about implementing baptism into our contacting. That was the main focus of basically all that we did. President wants everyone to really jump on the bandwagon and strive to be bold on the street. Elder Lanham and I have been taking this approach by starting contacts on the street with baptism for over a month now. We've seen effects as well. It gives us a greater feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment. We really feel like we're doing what we've been called to do--call others to repentance. No, we're not holding up cardboard signs that read "He's coming!" or talking about the sword of justice hanging over a wicked people, but we do talk about the need for repentance and the ability to place our lives in line with God's will. It's a powerful thing to look someone in the eye, talk about the feelings of guilt and shame that we all have, and tell them a way they can be freed from those feelings thanks to the atonement of Christ, repentance, and baptism. It makes me feel like a real missionary. It's given me a great chance to reflect on my baptism and the steps I've taken to be clean of what I've done. Whether mistakes be big or small, they can all be wiped away thanks to what Christ did for all of us. What human soul doesn't yearn for that? Think about it. New starts, new beginnings, and a clean slate. Don't we all want that from time to time? The gospel is so beautiful. It provides everything that we could ever truly want in life.
I've really been thinking a lot lately about clear perspectives. I discovered a quote in an article by Elder Ballard. He said that when his grandfather died, the last words he said were, "Brethren, above all else, let us think straight." That quote struck me. All of us from time to time deal with a clouded perspective and a skewed view of life. I know I talked about it in zone conference in my testimony, but the gospel truly is what gives us a clear perspective of life and what we are doing here. When it comes to thinking straight, we have no greater tool than the gospel. The symbolism of Christ being the light of the world is also powerful. Light is what gives us a clear perspective with which to see. Christ adds light to our life and gives us the perspective we need to do what He has asked of us. I'm grateful for the light which I have in my life and the opportunity to share that with others.
I'm excited for my exchange in Bydgoszcz this week. It will be interesting to do an exchange in a threesome. I have yet to do such an exchange, but I think it will be effective nonetheless. I know both Elder Swicegood and Elder Hardy fairly well and hope to be able to help them improve as zone leaders. I really want to focus on teaching the baptism contacting while I'm there. Of course, I will do leadership training and make than an emphasis, but if I can help them to be proficient in teaching baptism on the street I will consider my job accomplished.
I really thought a lot about what Elder Retallick said after we went contacting. We finished a conversation and as we walked away, he talked about how fulfilled he felt. That fulfillment doesn't come from any other source, whether it be drugs, entertainment, or any form of earthly pleasure. It's a fulfillment that comes from being on the Lord's errand. As we do our best to fulfill our calling, the Lord gives us that fulfillment. (This one requires a side note. We took all the missionaries out on the street in the middle of zone conference so they could practice the new contacting approach. It was a cool experience. Elder Retallick is our british missionary. He's stellar.)
I'm excited to skype with all of you this weekend. It's going to be exciting! I'll be curious to see if you think I've changed at all, and I'll be interested to see if you have all changed. Dad, Mom, don't worry, you still look the same as always from what I can tell ;). Just a reminder, I'm planning on getting on about 8:00 PM here on Sunday, which should be noon over there. Hopefully that will give you all enough time that you don't have to miss too much of church.
Weird to think that Kyle's coming home this week. I'm sure he'll do a great job with his homecoming. When does Jared get back? I would have thought he would have got home this week, but maybe I'm wrong. The end is quickly coming. Pretty soon, I'll be next. I'm learning to be ok with that. Don't worry, I'm not insanely trunky or anything, and I'm committed to do my best until the end, but I'd lie if I said I wasn't excited to come home. Sorry, maybe I talk about this too much, but it's something that I'm learning to adjust to and deal with.
In other news, I found a scripture that I really like this week. It's in Mosiah 8:18--"Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings." I've thought a fair amount recently about why I was called to Poland. I don't have all the answers. I couldn't tell you all of the people whom I've affected or what the Lord exactly wanted me to do here. At the end of the day, I don't think I'm really supposed to know. I've seen ways that others were meant to affect me and I feel that I've learned the lessons to this point which God wanted me to, but I'm learning to have faith that even though I don't see the results of all the efforts I've put forth here, they've still been accepted by God.
Well hey family, I love you all. Emms, keep on keeping on. I hope you're ankle feels better. Dad, good luck with your new calling. I've got full faith in you. You'll do great. Heath, tell Brother Anderson I say hello. I miss that guy. He's awesome. Mom, thanks for being crazy and waking up in the middle of the night to figure out skype accounts. You're awesome!
Doobs, I'm waiting for a new poem next week!
I love you all. The gospel is true!

April 28, 2014

Hey howdy hey family!
So, let's get down to business. Package. I don't have any major requests besides those Jon Schmidt songs. Maybe one last jar of peanut butter would be good. Smooth preferably (Elder Lanham's not a big fan of crunchy).
Another week is in the books. It's been a busy one, but a good one as well.
We had an opportunity to proselyte this week with Elder Cieślak and Garcia. We contacted using the baptism approach. I spent most of the time working with Elder Cieślak. He was impressive in his missionary work. He's stepped up a lot to fulfill his calling as a District Leader. I've been impressed. As we taught about baptism, it was interesting to see reactions. Many people understood what we were teaching and willingly listened. I'd go so far as to say that they understood the benefits of baptism and why it would be important. Yet, when it came to to commit them to meet with us or take steps toward it, they backed out. It seemed so frustrating. All of them could see exactly what we were teaching. It's exactly what they need and everything they could want, and yet they don't reach out and take it. I've come to learn though that the Lord will give me experiences to teach me empathy and sympathy for those whom we are teaching or will teach. When a crisis takes place in our lives or conditions are such that we are prone to change, it becomes much easier for us to reshape our lives to be more in line with what God would have us do. It is much harder, however, to take someone who is comfortable with life and ask them to change. I guess what I'm getting at is I'm learning to have empathy and patience for these people. Those who are the elect and will hear the voice of the Good Shepherd are those who will listen to our message and change. As much as it saddens me that some will not listen, I feel that this baptism approach is much more effective and quickly weeds out those who are willing to change from those who aren't. I don't know that it will increase our finding numbers dramatically, but I do feel that it will change the quality of the people that we find and the lessons that we teach. That, in my book, makes all the difference in the world.
I've seen miracles happening as of late with my scripture study. I've been making an increased effort to have study daily, and I've seen the blessings come from it. I've started taking better notes of what I'm trying to learn that day and what scriptures apply to it. I've begun to find direction, counsel, and insights more frequently than before. I've learned on my mission that I have come to fall in love with the scriptures again and again. They're there to be discovered time and time again in our lives. I'm convinced of it.
I recently have been pondering the depth of the meaning of the resurrection of Christ. I read the talk from Elder Christofferson, and it was a powerful experience. Truly, Jesus is the Christ.
Really, I recommend that talk from Elder Christofferson. I love the logic he uses as he speaks. He seems to be a very well put together speaker and always covers all of his doctrinal bases. In talking about the resurrection though, I don't think I've ever really comprehended what that totally means for us all. Think about it. It means that we won't ever deal with pain, heartache, sorrow, loss, sickness, or anything ever again. When we really think about all that that means, it becomes and incredible gift that shows us just how much God loves each and every one of us. It's a powerful thing.
Our mission has been focusing a lot on repentance as of late. We have zone conferences coming up this week and we're teaching a lot about it, as well as implementing a new contacting style where we start by talking about baptism. As I've come to study and learn about repentance, including baptism, I've been filled with a sense of hope. There are uncomfortable parts to changing one's life, but in reality, the doctrine of repentance is what each and every soul yearns for. Who wouldn't want a chance for a new beginning, a fresh start, and a way to fix those things that we don't like about ourselves? At the end of the day, those who really understand what this gospel is and what it does are the ones who will accept it. Change will always be hard, and always has been, but without change, we could never become who God wishes us to be. I'm coming to understand just how perfectly this gospel answers the questions of every aching soul seeking for relief. I just read this morning in Mosiah 4:3 where it talks about having "peace of conscience." That's what repentance gives us. It's a beautiful message.
As for our schedule with zone conferences, we'll be in Katowice tomorrow, Warsaw Wednesday and Thursday, and Bydgoszcz on Friday. It will be fun to get out and see all of the missionaries. This will be my last go-around for zone conferences. It's sad, but I'm excited to see all of the missionaries and interact with them.
All in all, there's a lot of great things going on in the mission right now. We're excited to see where things go with Zone Conference and what we will be able to present. I'm enjoying the time I have in the mission field. It's going by quickly.
Yes, Mom, you did read correctly. We will be able to skype. I should have more details on that next week. Weird to think that that will happen in under two weeks. Life is flying by.
Anyway, I love you all. Emms, sorry about the ankle. Heath, glad you had fun at Prom. Hannah, keep Starszy away from the underwear! Dad, thanks for the study tips. Mom, you're the best mom in the world. Keep on keeping on.
The gospel's true!
Elder Vernon

April 21, 2014 We've been running on little sleep

Hey howdy hey family!

Well, it's been another solid week. We've been running on little sleep and had a lot to deal with, but we're enjoying it. We received another new batch of missionaries. They're going to be great. It's weird to think that when the next batch comes in I'll be going home. I don't know what to do about that. It's weird, I don't know whether it's best to talk about it or just ignore it.  Anyway, it shocked me how young all of the missionaries who came in were. I couldn't help but think to myself, "Was I think young, naive, and blind to the world when I came into the country?" Sad thing is, I was probably worse. Anyway, their names are Elder Wynne, Garrison, Hon, Platter, and Remy. It's a pretty interesting batch of kids. There's a lot of different personalities. The trainers were Elders Retallick (our one and only Brit), Kimball (great-grandson of Spencer W. Kimball), Neuner (from my group), Allen (whose mom and sister you meet), and Fotu (our favorite polynesian from Alpine Utah). They're a really solid group and they will do well with everything. Elder Fotu matched up with Elder Hon, who is from Gilbert Arizona and said that he met President Nattress once or twice maybe before he came out. Elder Neuner with Elder Garrison, Elder Kimball with Elder Platter, Elder Retallick with Elder Wynne, and Elder Allen with Elder Remy. We, the Assistants along with a few other Elders, were able to take the trainees out on the Rynek and go contacting with them on Wednesday for an hour or so. I was with Elder Garrison, a football player from Iowa. He's a real quiet kid, and a bit nervous about everything. He reminded me a lot of myself on my first day. We had some great conversations and handed out a copy of the Book of Mormon together. He's going to do well as a missionary.

It was a lot of fun to spend time with new missionaries and just talk to them. They're always so filled with faith and pumped up about everything that we do here in the field. As I spent time with them, it gave me a chance to reflect on my own mission. I'm shocked at what the Lord has done with me in the space of just under two years. I feel that I've changed significantly. Not that I'm in any way worse. I feel like He's molded me into the person He wants me to be. It's been a long process, and it hasn't been pleasant, but it's been oh so worth it. I don't know what will exactly be different about me, and sometimes it scares me to think that people will be expecting the old me, but I have faith that it will all work out.

So, there's a lot that I want to say, but time is short. I would, however, like to share some of my thoughts from this Easter Season. After all that I've been through as of late, my perspective on the love that God has for each and every one of us has changed. With that background, my view of the atonement has changed as well. I now understand better the love which was shown by God. I better understand the empathy which the Savior can have for each and every one of us because of the pain and sorrow He suffered in our behalf. My mission hasn't been easy, nor do I expect that anyone's has been. Yet, I add my testimony to Elder Holland's: "No, it is not without a recognition of life’s tempests but fully and directly because of them that I testify of God’s love and the Savior’s power to calm the storm" (October Conference 1999, "An High Priest of Good Things to Come"). The simple truth that God loves us all more than we can imagine has become more sweet and more meaningful to me than ever before because of what I've dealt with and what I've been through. I feel as if certain truths of the gospel have been written on my heart, never to be erased, so long as I am obedient and do what the Lord will ask of me. The gospel is powerful. No other source can heal the spiritual wounds caused by the daily blunders of life. The Savior is the one and only source of any lasting peace we seek in this life. It is only through Him that we all will be resurrected and rise from the dead. Such is the beautiful truth of the gospel.

There are many things to share, and much to be said, but one can only do so much through email. Luckily, I keep a good journal, and there will be stories galore once I get home. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter Sunday. Keep the Savior in mind, and enjoy the great time spent with family. I love you all. The gospel is true.

With lots of love,
Elder Vernon

April 14, 2014 There has been no shortage of things to do!

Hey family!
So, it's been a bit of a crazy week. Life has been a bit crazy, and my emailing time now isn't exactly long, but I'm going to do my best to get you a good email.

This has been a busy week. There's been no shortage of things to do. It's been great though. I enjoy being busy rather than not having things to do. I feel that Elder Lanham and I have been effective as well, and that's a pleasing thing. I'm grateful to be staying with him for another transfer. I feel that we will be able to accomplish great things.
Elder Lanham and I have been talking a bit lately about the difference between big picture thinking and detail-oriented thinking. I've been trying to see the big picture as of late. By nature, I'm a detail-oriented guy. Whether it be ties, clothes, whatever, I notice details. I think that's both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes, it prevents me from seeing the big picture. Yet, I don't feel like I have a weakness in not seeing big picture things. I feel that I see both, and frequently do so as well. At the end of the day, it's about seeing the big picture and understanding where we need to go, but focusing on details and doing the work that needs to be done in the present. Balance is important in all we do. I'm learning that more and more.

I spent some time on an exchange this week in Łódź. Basically, I've spent more time in Łódź this past week than I have in Warsaw. We were there Saturday and Sunday for the choir thing just over a week ago, then I spent Tuesday through Thursday down there for an exchange, and then we went back down on Friday with all the missionaries going home for a baptism that was happening. The sisters down there, Sisters Blake and Moncur, had 3 unrelated baptisms all happen in the same day. It's a pretty big miracle. 3 of the 4 Elders going home had served in Łódź, so it was a nice treat to them to see everyone down there and see all that happening in Łódź before they went home. Let me put it this way, I know the road really well between Łódź and Warsaw now. It was an adventure, for sure. Anyway, back to the exchange. It was a great chance to see Łódź and work with Elder Pieper. He's a solid kid and it was a good exchange. We talked a lot about obedience and being able to expect blessings from obedience. That's a lesson I'm learning more and more on my mission. It all hinges on that scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants section 130. "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say. But when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." It's important for us all to see the blessings we do get from the Lord and to be grateful for them, no matter how they come. Obedience that we show in our small sphere affects so many other things, whether we see it or not. I'm a firm believer of it. A talk from Elder Holland emphasizes this point well, I believe. It's called "An High Priest of Good Things to Come." I can't remember if I've talked about it already, but it's quickly become one of my favorite talks. I highly recommend it.

Apart from that, we've had craziness happening with transfer calls and what not. It's been an adventure trying to put things together with a group going home and everything. Plus, a group comes in tomorrow. The group had to go home early because Elder Żeleźniak extended for a month and wanted to go home with the next group (transfers worked out such that he was a month ahead of the next group), so they headed home just a few days early because President couldn't extend Elder Żeleźniak for any longer. So, that's why there is a few days difference. Anyway, it's all worked out nicely. But, we sent the group home Saturday morning, finalized the transfer board Saturday afternoon, and then President hopped on a train to Gdańsk and made the calls Saturday night. It made for a hectic Saturday. On top of that, we had to go do all the logistical stuff. Usually, the board is finished before the day of calls so logistical stuff is easier, but with a lot of changes and no time, this one has been especially busy. So, please don't be mad if my email is short.

Alright, last thing. Dad, I was talking to a few missionaries, and the question arose about praying in the Old Testament. I've heard that people in the Old Testament often prayed to Jehovah. Yet, we pray to God the Father. How does that work? Any comments or ideas? I'd appreciate any answer you can give me.

Anyway, I love you all. I promise, I'm doing well, and I'll try to get a longer email next week. The gospel is true!

Elder Vernon