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!