It was nice to get the letter from home and the translation of great grandma's tapes. I guess I will start hacking at your questions as fast as I can.
I did not have to fill out a customs card on the plane. I went through the same passport area as everyone else, but in a different "EU" window. Everyone else got a stamp, I didn't :(
They sell gluten free foods at grocery stores here, it is imported so probably costly. They do not have any gluten free menus though. We cook most of our meals (or eat out). We don't really have time to do much "cooking" we just whip up some eggs or sandwiches or cereal, whatever is cheap and easy. Peanut butter is available here for about 8 or 9 zł which is actually very expensive since we only get around 680 zł for the whole month and have to buy all of our food. Nutella is even more (about 15 zł) which is surprising since it is made right next door in Germany I think.
Elder J is a great trainer. President did interview us, but he had already pretty much decided who was where (although I didn't know). I did not tell him that I had family from Łódź so that was a good inspired decision. We see the other Elders and Sisters just about every day.
Our apartment is a decent size, I honestly couldn't tell you square footage. We have one main room that is just our living area and kitchen. We have a small side closet for all of our luggage and proselyting materials. A small bathroom with an European shower with a handheld shower head and no curtain or surrounding doors or anything. The bedroom is large enough to fit 2 beds and 2 sets of dresser drawers. We are on the 4th floor.
Warm water is just like the states, you turn it to warm and it gets warm pretty fast, but it never runs out. In the winter our apartment is heated by hot water pipes, but they won't turn that on until about October 1st. We cover a decent sized area, pretty much all of the south of Łódź. The sisters have the west side, and other Elders are North.
The train was pretty slow, it took about 1.5 - 2 hours to get here, we also road to Warsaw and back last week for zone conference. Don't know anything about the fast train.
A was just baptized and confirmed this past week end. He only speaks Polish so we are only able to communicate a little. He is about 30, lived with his mom but she passed away about a week before his baptism. He got baptized and right after baptism he turned his phone back on and found out his grandmother just passed away too. He came to church the next day though to be confirmed so I think he is doing OK. He was contacted on the street by some sisters a while back and then he has been taught by Elder J for about 2 transfers. He was baptized by a member of the branch.
We went to the łódź zoo last P-day. 10zł, that is like $3 to get into the zoo, I was so happy about that. The zoo was awesome, well maintained.
I am running out of time and want to get some pictures sent, so I will leave it here.
Love you all, bye!
Feeling at home at the Palace. He better not get used to that!
Goofing around at Ikea.
Enjoying some ice cream with the other missionaries at Ikea.
At the Zoo!
Playing with a butterfly at the Butterfly Pavilion at the Zoo.