Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekly Email - January 28th

Hey family,

This has been a colder and slower week. On Monday we went to Schindlers Factory. However, by the time we got there it had closed. But we were able to go to the giftshop and buy a replica cup of the cups they used to make there. We will go back again this week but go out earlier.

I went on exchanges with Elder H in Katowice. I took a bus out there and it was good to see Elder H again. Tuesday was an awesome day. We got a call and were reminded that there was a branch get-together in the evening. Katowice has a pretty big branch. The senior couple were being transferred so they were having a party to see them off.  So we made a bunch a calls to invite people to the get-together. We did some contacting for a while without much success. After that we went to a lesson with K, who is a recent convert. We taught him about family history and showed him After that we did some more contacting. In the evening we had the branch get-together.  The branch members were really neat. The branch president seems awesome. They have such a nice branch there. We had an investigator that showed up and we taught him an impromptu lesson. Elder H and I worked so well together and we were able to very naturally go back and forth during the lesson. It was a really fun exchange. That was pretty much it for the exchange since I returned to Krakow on Wednesday.

On Wednesday after I got back we had English. We had our 2 usual students show up. They have really good English and we do a lot of conversation practice. We also reviewed numbers. M stayed after the class and we had pretty good conversation with him.

Thursday we went to do our service project for SA. We shoveled snow and cut wood. We also shared a message with him. Can you believe that I Elder Brian Godwin your son shoveled snow. I’m proud of it too! After we left there we did some contacting.

Friday we had weekly planning. We have some good things planned for this next week. We also have been going through the area book and I have good feelings about that. We also went to the chapel to meet with SW. We read together out of 2 Nephi 31. We discussed baptism and he is planning on being baptized in February. So we are working on preparing him for this.

On Saturday it was way cold outside. So we decided to go through our area book. We decided to call on the contacts that were in the book. So that is what we have been working on yesterday and today. We have also done some more contacting on the streets.

Unfortunately we didn’t have any investigators at church this week. I was a little sad about that since we had 4 investigators last week. Next week should be better though because one of our investigators were out of town this week but should be back by next week.

Elder S gave a talk at church today about the Priesthood. President K also gave a talk. It was also a very good talk. He talked about how we have to prepare ourselves, and those around us for the future. He talked about how we live in a difficult time, and that we as members have to rise above what’s going on in the world. We also had branch council and we were informed that we have a boy who is turning 8 and is going to be baptized. So we are supposed to go and teach him and get him ready for baptism. That will be really cool! We will share some of our favorite scriptures with him. So hopefully we will have 2 baptisms in February, which will be really neat. After church we made more calls from the area book and set up some appointments.

We had dinner with the U family again and President K was there too. We have dinner with them most Sundays. It was really nice and we shared a spiritual message with them. I will share that with you too.

Alma 19
This is when Ammon is with the Lamanites and he is speaking to their king. The king is in the process of being converted. Ammon is speaking with great power. The King and His wife the Queen and all that are listening go in to a trans as if they were dead. All except for a woman that had already been converted because of her dad her name was Abish.

Verses 16 & 17
 16 And it came to pass that they did call on the name of the Lord, in their might, even until they had all fallen to the earth, save it were one of the Lamanitish awomen, whose name was Abish, she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father—

 17 Thus, having been converted to the Lord, and never having made it aknown, therefore, when she saw that all the servants of Lamoni had bfallen to the earth, and also her mistress, the queen, and the king, and Ammon lay cprostrate upon the earth, she knew that it was the power of God; and supposing that this opportunity, by making known unto the people what had happened among them, that by beholding this scene it would dcause them to believe in the power of God, therefore she ran forth from house to house, making it known unto the people.

Abish having seen this miracle she wanted to share what she had seen. She went from house to house inviting everyone to see what had happened. Then Ammon got the opportunity to teach these people that Abish had brought. And many listened and were converted. So my message is to not be afraid to share the gospel with the people that are around you. You know that the Gospel has blessed your lives, I know the gospel has blessed my life. So share it with others so that they will be blessed by the gospel. The missionaries have been set apart to share the gospel so introduce them to your friends and let them share the gospel with them.

President K. shared a message with me. He said that we can just go about life doing average work. We can do our thing, but that is not going to get us celestial glory. There are 3 different kingdoms of glory and they are all kingdoms of glory. Not everyone is going to reach celestial kingdom. God expects things out of us and he expects us to change and grow. The hardest part is not just doing the easy stuff. You have to learn to listen to the spirit because it will tell you what more you need to do.

Anyway, I got to go. Love you all!

Elder Godwin

Once there was a snowman, snowman, snowman,
Once there was a snowman, tall, tall, tall.
In the sun he melted, melted, melted.
In the sun he melted, small, small, small.

 Elder Godwin shoveling snow. And this is how you do it if you are from Arizona.

 Not sure if that is what the shovel looked like before he got there or if that is what happened to it after Elder Godwin was done.

 Elder Godwin is looking pretty happy to be in Poland. He is having fun and enjoying the work. 

Read this, sombering quote from a Jew in the Ghetto which was fenced around by a wall that was built to resemble tombstones. "What a contrast! In some apartments in the ghetto - the prayers, the cry and the moans of the orphaned, and right across the wall - the music, the vodka, the intemperance without restraint. 'It is going to be our turn in only a few hours from now.' the participants think. 'The OD-men will drag us out to the optima yard. Let them at least drag us out dazed with alcohol, with a sense of having our basic lust satisfied. For what can we accomplish with our bare hands? What can we do faced with a sea of evil?'"
We can do a lot with our bare hands, and even more with the Lord on our side. The people in the Book of Mosiah were encircled about be Lamanites, told they couldn't pray to their God under penalty of death. They prayed in their hearts and minds, with faith in Christ and were able to escape the clutches of the drunken Lamanites with all of their own senses and clarity of thought intact. There is never a reason to give up the fight. As King David said before challenging the great Goliath "Is there not a cause?". It may appear at times that there is a "sea of evil", but the Lord sees the big picture. He knows that there is one outcome, only one victor no matter how it looks in the moment. It is our job to look forward with a steadfastness in Christ, nothing waivering. Not every battle will end without casualty like the strippling warriors. Christ will not save us from death in this mortal journey. I know that he is waiting on the other side though, to welcome those who have been faithful and followed his word and example. We must be ready to "bear the crosses of the world" and walk that burdened path that he walked, some have less obstacles in their way, maybe they wouldn't be able to handle the challenges, maybe they don't need the challenges to prove themselves. All I know is that it is how we deal with OUR obstacles that matters...
Love you all, bye!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekly Email - January 21st

Elder Godwin sent home a very excited email. They had a very successful week teaching several lessons and meeting some interesting people. They had 4 investigators at church and good church meetings. Unfortunately I had a busy week and didn't have time to transcribed the recording. Here are some pictures he sent home and I will try to add the transcription shortly.

Have a great week everyone!

 Did you know what is behind the wall? (for some reason this makes me cry)

 That looks like on e of my son's friends.

This must be another picture of Anja. She really is on all kinds of advertising.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekly Email - January 14th

Hi this is Elder Godwin,

Let me tell you all a little about my week. It has been a crazy week with meetings and exchanges. On Monday it was p-day and we decided to clean our apartment. We were having the other Elders come and stay with us because of the meetings and exchanges. When the Elders came in we picked them up and went out to eat some Kebabs.

I don't know if you know about Kebabs, but they are a missionary favorite around here. They are originally Turkish and they have both chicken and lamb. I don't believe they have them in the US.

Note from Mom: Ha, ha, he is so clever. All these years we've been going to the state fair and my family all went for the Indian Fry Bread and I ran off and got myself a "gyro" which in Europe is called Kebab. They all pointed their noses up at me because whatever I was eating couldn't be nearly as good as what they were having. Look at him now, he has been converted.

After that we came home and went to bed. The next day (Tuesday) 2 of the Elders went off to Warsaw for a meeting while I stayed behind with Elder L. He is one transfer behind and we had a really good exchange. He took a Polish class at BYU before he entered the MTC, so he got a jump start with the language. He's language skills are really good. He is super nice, motivated and is more mature than most of us because he is a little older. He has a great personality and I really enjoyed working with him. It was really a cool day! When the other Elders came back from Warsaw we met at the Rynek and did some street contacting.

On Wednesday we took a bus to Katowice, it took about 1 hour 20 min. for Zone Training. Our zone leader taught us a lesson and reiterated what he had learned from the Zone Leader Training that he had attended. I got to see some of the Elders that were at the MTC with me. That was fun! After the meeting we took a bus back to Krakow and went straight to English class. We had a larger class than normal. We had 4 ladies there were new and are in beginning English. Then we also have some people there that are quite advanced. We had an interesting class. Then we spoke to someone we had given a Book of Mormon to a while back. He had a list of questions for us to answer. We also had an appointment with S and gave him the first discussion. He had a lot of questions which we answered as best we could. We did invite him to church. He said he would try to make it.

On Thursday, we went contacting and we did really good. We met one man that was interested in learning more about what we believe in. He was really interesting. He also spoke English so we did some of our conversation in English. We spent over an hour with him and went through the first discussion and some of the plan of salvation. He gave us his contact information so we can catch up with him again.

On Friday we went contacting. I decided I wanted to ask the locals where the best Kebab place is. So I went up to several people and asked them if they could direct me to the best Kebab place and we ended up trying one of the places out. It was really good. It was a sit down Kebab place. I also purchased a chess set. Krakow is know for their handmade chess sets. So I decided to buy one, and the one I got is cherry wood and really nice, but I think it is machine produced and not handmade. I don't want buyers remorse, but it's nice and it was cheap. So Elder S beat me the first time we played, it took me 3 times to beat him.

Saturday was just cold. We went outside to contact and it was freezing. -4ºC all day and it felt like -9ºC at least. We had no meetings schedule all day so we were just out there all day. We just froze all day. And did I mention we froze. When you are freezing it's hard to contact because you are just freezing.

I have also been busy writing a talk because I had to give a talk at church on Sunday. My first one in Poland. I also had to translate it to England at the same time. It was pretty cool. It was an OK talk and it went alright. The branch president said I did good but my accent is not a Polish accent.

We had a good turnout at church today. We had a Polish family there and all of them speak English. S also came to church. He stayed after church and we had a discussion with him with the help of B. It was more like and question and answer session which was good cause S had a lot of deep questions. And B is a great scriptorian and is very knowledgeable. He was able to answer the questions and make himself understood better than we could since he is Polish. P was at church too. He is really funny and cool and speaks good English. We are going to be meeting with him this week sometime. We had dinner with the U's again. It was fun! They are a very nice family they have 2 little kids. We left them with a spiritual message.

After dinner we went contacting again. And suddenly we just heard a bunch of bangs and turn to see what was going on. In the reflection of a window I saw some fireworks. And they were shooting off fireworks right there at the Rynek. They didn't go for very long though. They were having a fundraiser for a children's hospital. They were collecting coins and when you donated you got a little sticker that said you helped today. All the donations went to the Children's Hospital. This is a yearly event and it's a big deal. Most Polish people there donate to the cause. After the fireworks there was a concert, but we didn't stay for that. We continued contacting and then went home.
(these aren't the actual fireworks they saw)

We had a pretty good week, contacted some nice people and taught some classes. It was a nice week.

I'm attaching my talk in Polish, I hope you enjoy it!

Here is our spiritual thought for the week. 1 Nephi 16

 18 And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.
 19 And it came to pass that we did return without food to our families, and being much fatigued, because of their journeying, they did suffer much for the want of food.
 20 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael did begin to murmur exceedingly, because of their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness; and also my father began to murmur against the Lord his God; yea, and they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did murmur against the Lord.

So this is when Nephi and his brother's were out hunting for food. So they encountered a hard time because Nephi broke is bow and they had no food. They all started complaining and that's understandable. Then Nephi came upon a solution.

 23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?
 24 And it came to pass that he did inquire of the Lord, for they had humbled themselves because of my words; for I did say many things unto them in the energy of my soul.

Nephi having been met with affliction decides to go in faith, he inquires of the Lord in prayer and then he ACTS. He makes a bow with his own hands. 

In Jesus the Christ it mentions that every miracle that Christ perform on earth that he had every possible thing that men could do for themselves he had them do it. One example is the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Christ told the men that were there to move the stone that were blocking Lazarus tomb to move the rock. Then he told the women that were standing there to remove the wrapping. He had them do what they could do even though he could have done anything himself since he was able to raise him from the dead.

We of course, have to have faith, faith in prayer and in the receiving of miracles. It is also required of us to have action. There are the 2 truckers that both get stuck in the mud. Both truckers get out and see that this is not going to be easy. The one trucker kneels down in prayer and prays all day long. The other trucker kneels down in prayer and then gets up and gets to work. Who do you think is going to get out of the mud? My bet is on the one pushing his truck. Do everything you can. We go to the Lord and then we need to follow that with action. Action to do the righteous things. There is no sitting on the fence, either you're in or you're out. We should always be anxiously engaged in a good cause.

That is my testimony for the day, that I know that faith without work is dead.  That we need to be diligent to keep the commandments just as Nephi was, just as the children of Israel were at the time of Moses and Joshua. That the commandment given to them to sanctify themselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonder among them was a true commandment of the Lord. And obviously they did sanctify themselves and purified their hearts because they were able to cross the Red Sea and the River Jordan. 

I love you all! Keep up the good work!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Weekly Email - January 7th

Elder Godwin is doing great this week. On P-day which was also New Years eve, he had the opportunity to take the bus out to Auschwitz. Because of the schedules he wasn't able to get out there before the Museum closed. So unfortunately he wasn't able to go to the museum. He was able to see some of the other buildings that are in Auschwitz main. Here are some pictures from Auschwitz.

It was definitely a sober experience. This was something he really wanted to go and see while in Poland. He will try to get out there again and hopefully be able to to get there a little earlier.

 Krakow is a beautiful city. It is a very picturesque and he loves the Rynek which is the square downtown where everyone goes.

Here are some horse carriages at the Rynek.

 Here is another picture of Elder Godwin with a poster of the blonde girl that is on all kinds of advertising. It is his goal to get a picture of himself with as many of her posters as possible. He's looking really good!

 Elder Godwin is really proud of his new winter boots. He especially likes the warm furry interior of the boots. He thinks it's funny that the boots are marked "FASHION" on the heels. So I guess he must be very fashionable!

 I don't know that history of the little paintings on the wall, but I guess the Elders got a kick out of them.

Elder Godwin made a cover for his Book of Mormon. Turned out pretty good if you ask me.

Elder Godwin shared with us how thankful he is to be able to be in Poland at this time. He loves having the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people in Poland. There is no more important work for him to do at this time. He asked us to join his missions scripture reading challenge for the year. Read the Book of Mormon by April 30th. He says that if we read the scriptures every day, pray and fast we will feel the spirit enrich our lives. The mission has also extended the challenge that as we read the scriptures to mark the scriptures with 4 different colors, one each for FAITH, CHRIST, OBEDIENCE and REPENTANCE.

I have been so thankful to the challenge extended and I have enjoyed reading along with my son and the other missionaries serving with him. We feel so blessed  to have a missionary out there working hard serving the Lord. We do miss him, but there is no other place we want him to be. This is a wonderful experience for him. He is growing in his faith as well as a person. His heart is in the right place as he wishes and strives to serve others, both spiritually and temporally. He has fallen in love with Poland and loves being there. He has met some great people already.

Stay tuned for more news on Monday!