Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekly Email - July 29th

Hi all,
This week has been rough in some ways, but we are still doing good work. We work all day long every day, we just do contacts with people on the street for 8 hours a day. We did have a lot of fun this week though in doing this work. 
For one thing, there was a hula party in a park this past Saturday, and Elder Boyce and I showed up dressed for missionary work. We ran to the closest open store and grabbed the first set of sale items we could find and got changed. We looked fabulous and our branch president loved it (especially my big fat American missionary shoes). He cannot believe that I am a size 47 (13 US). 
We had a good lesson with another man on the shore of a lake. It was a real "Jesus" teaching moment. We taught him that message of the restored, everlasting gospel right there in a nice peaceful setting, and then he told us he has no desire to change at all. We also have been working hard with members to get them interested in sharing the gospel. President Edgren is coming to give a fireside talk on Wednesday which we are all excited about, and we are hoping that we can find an investigator that will go with us.
In other news, there is a heat wave moving through Poland and we are at about 104 and SUPER HUMID. I am dying over here. 75 with humidity is bad.... 100 with humidity is unbearable. It will supposably subside around Wednesday (so I have heard)...
Love you all,
Starszy Godwin

Monday, July 22, 2013

Weekly Email - July 22nd

Hi all,
This week has been another good one. It started on Monday with a trip to the zoo for Elder B and I. We got in for 12 zł and proceeded to walk the whole giant Katowice zoo with every animal from Rhinos to a hippo to emus. The animals are also way more active here where it is not 170 degrees in the daytime. The whole thing was a nice experience that turned great when we saw a "dinosaur park" in the zoo with Dinosaur statues. We then went and rode on Dinosaurs and got some good pictures of that, it was like a dream come true. "I feel like a palaentologist whose been hunting dinosaurs my whole life and finally got to meet one!". That was a blast.
During the week we had the opportunity to stop and talk to a girl on the street for a while and it went really well. Her name was A and we talked with her for some time about what she thought about religion, what Mormons believe about religion, and we just had a really good conversation. It was all going really well until she had to go to catch her bus.
Other than that,this week we had the opportunity to go to the circus here in Sosnowiec. I was very excited because it was my first circus. It was no "Ringaling" Brothers, but it was very entertaining. The whole thing was in Polish and they had everything from lion tamers (with 6 white lions) to a magician, to a set of clowns doing skits. There was even a Ukranian artist who did the rollo bollo (or however it is spelled) where they balance on a board that is on top of a tube or piece of piping. He was balanced on a board that had a tower of blocks of different sizes underneath it, and then at the bottom was his pipe with a small block on top of it. Not to mention, all of this took place on a platform about 7 feet off the ground already.Then, his assistant threw him three clubs and he juggled up there. It was nuts.
That is the meat of the week, the work is going kind of slow, but we are still in good spirits and we know we are doing all we can, so the rest is up to the Lord.
Love you all,
Starszy Godwin



Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekly Email - July15th

This week was great. We have a new mystery person who sends us mysterious text messages through some online texting service who tells us who we should work with to help less-active members. So far that has been going great. We are either naming this mystery person Jarvis from Iron Man, or Q from James Bond. I like Jarvis more. We have found a a few new people to teach, including a woman who sings in the train station tunnels in Sosnowiec. We are stoked about that.
This past week we went over to a member's house and helped him clean his basement which is basically a Cold War bunker. In the basement, we found gas masks that he was going to throw away, so we of course took those and cleaned them up and have legit Cold War masks now. We are stoked about that. This member also has the cutest kitten I have ever seen, he is just a little malutki.
We are working hard and trying to find some cool investigators who are really interested, we are doing our best hope to get things going. Most of the Katowice members come from our area, so it has a lot of potential, it just takes some work.
We found a new super cheap, super awesome grocery store called Kaufland and it beats out even Biedronka and Netto in price, quality and quantity.
Hope all is going well for everyone at home. Love you all, have a good week!
 Here are the gas masks they found.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Weekly Email - July 9th

Hi Family,
So, all is well, I had a Chance yesterday to meet our new mission president, President Edgren. He is awesome and I already have the utmost respect for him. I am very excited to see where this mission goes. We have been doing a ton of contacting this week with little success, but we are going to shift gears. We have noticed that the members here in Sosnowiec are very open about the gospel and share it with their friends, so we are going to start focusing a lot on working with members. We are trying to work more closely with our branch president who is young and very cool.
I couldn't email yesterday because of our meeting that came up, but all is well here. I am still eating healthy, I do yoga on occasion, and I am feeling good. The branch members here said I speak really good Polish (they said if my grammar and vocab were better, I would sound just like a Pole). I had a good ego boost from that. I am still working out the kinks in my accent like the "L" sound is slightly different here, but it is doing good. I just need to study harder for the grammar and find a fun way to learn vocab, because I can't learn off a list.
Elder B and I are doing great, he is 6 months in the mission and is doing a good job and isn't afraid of talking to everyone. We are working our creative juices, because a whole new realm of possible finding activities has just opened up for us and more options are coming shortly. Elder B got sick this week and we stayed in for a day, that has to be the most boring time of a missionaries life! He is feeling a lot better though, and we have been out working ever since. I found a new flavor of juice here (grape limeade) that is delicious. Juice is just plain better in Poland. Cactus and Banana are always crowd favorites.
I hope all is going well at home I heard it was an exciting week for all of you.
Love you all,
Starszy Godwin
 Here is Elder Godwin with his buddy Mitt Romney. Don't know where he found this, the was no explanation. 

 This is the healthy eating Elder Godwin is doing on his mission. Thanks Elder K for teaching him.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Weekly Email - July 1st

Hi Family
Things are going good here. I got safely to Sosnowiec. The work is already going here. We are whitewashing again, which means that both me and my companion are new to the area. We have to figure everything out since we don't know where anything is. We didn't even know where to go and e-mail on P-Days so we are going with the sisters in Katowice (a 20 minute bus ride and a 10 minute walk). 
Elder B and I are really going to put a big focus on less active members, Katowice has really good and strong members and we want to work with the families that aren't coming out to church and we hope to bring them back to church.
Our area has great access to shopping and food and so you don't have to worry about that. We also have some "I am Legend" style window shutters that we can pull down at night and our place gets locked down tight like unto a dish. Elder B and I are doing great, I am talking a lot more Polish now, so hopefully my language skills will increase. I have found that I have loosened up a lot while talking to people just in the past week. I have also been told 2 times since getting here that if I had a bigger vocabulary and just worked a little on my grammar and phrasing, they would think I was a Pole. They said my accent is really really good, I just need more things to say and better ways to say it. I will definitely be working on that the next year. 
It is nice to see that you were able to go to the Nielson's homecoming. Thanks for sending me pictures. I recognized many of those missionaries and it was strange to see how much their personality came out in that picture. You got to meet Elder Johnson, I just love him. 
This past transfer I learned so much. It was definitely one of my best transfers. Elder K taught me the power of positive thinking. If we think positive thoughts blessings will flow into our lives. I have started meditating every day. Elder M taught me to be a confident leader. Elder W taught me the importance of memorization. I have just loved serving in Szczecin.

Here is a spiritual thought for you:

"...has the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? or has the withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain." Moroni 7:35-37

In the January 1996 Ensign, page 16, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said:

"One of the things that will become more important in our lives the longer we live is the reality of angels, their work and their ministry. I refer here not alone to the angel Moroni but also to those more personal ministering angels who are with us and around us, empowered to help us and who do exactly that. (see 3 Nephi 7:18; Moroni 7:29-37; D&C 107:20)...

"I believe we need to speak of and believe in and bear testimony of the ministry of angels more than we sometimes do. They constitute one of God's great methods of witnessing through the  veil, and no document in all this world teaches that principle so clearly and so powerfully as does the Book of Mormon."

Love you all,
Starszy Godwin

 Elder Godwin and Elder K got these Panda hats from a member in Warsaw. They were very excited! This sister makes these.

 This is when Elder Godwin was leaving. He traveled to Poznan on Wednesday afternoon. Then he continued on to Katowice on Thursday.

 While in Poznan Elder Godwin stayed with Elder Caskey. The following morning they both left for two different parts of Poland. Elder Caskey will be serving in Lodz.

  Elder Godwin took this picture on the way to Katowice.

The stove in his apartments is broken so they are resorting to sandwiches and this cute little BBQ.