Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekly Email - August 26th

Hi all,

Sorry, my recording is really short, and my letter may be a little short as well. We are at a little internet cafe emailing and we paid for just 1 hour and are a little rushed. My cough turned into a cold which has been going all week, but is finally starting to clear up a bit. This morning I woke up and could breath out of my nose for the first time in a week, so I am happy with that.
Our investigators are doing great.We have still been teaching them, we extended a baptismal date to them. They were a little taken back, but they seemed OK with the idea. They want to develop their own testimonies so that will be our main focus with them over the next week. We had a great lesson though and got to watch the Restoration video with them in church and talk a lot about that. They all came to a Saturday grill. We had a great time and at the end, each of them said they would be in church. Three of them showed up at church and it was wonderful and P... was so excited that all of his brothers were in church with him, he got pictures with all of them, it was wonderful.

The people here that we are teaching are great. They are at such a crucial age (17-19) and they are really thinking and searching and doing it together. G... has been trying to invite other friends as well and says that when he reads the Book Of Mormon, he really feels something. I also would like to add my testimony that I too "feel something" when I read the Book of Mormon. I have realized recently on my mission how full circle the gospel is. All things point to Christ as our Savior and Redeemer (Zbawiciel i Odkupiciel). Christ established the gospel of salvation among the people of Jerusalem, the Nephites, and surely many others. He then returned to a prophet in 1820 to testify of His gospel and restore the lost points. Recently I have been reading in Mosiah (I am reading the Book of Mormon again from start to finish), and I am learning more than ever before. So much is written there of the blessings of the Lord and about how we can obtain those blessings and promises for ourselves. That book came from God and testifies of Jesus Christ and His salvation. I am grateful for Him, and for the miracles He has provided for us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I need to send my recording and some pictures, so I will have to finish off this letter here. I love you all and hope everything works out with the house and health and all of that. I would love to do some archery when I get back. And I send my congratulations to Johan and Lauren and their new baby. 
Love you all,
Starszy Godwin

Weekly Email - August 19th

Hi all,
This week things are really finally starting to look up. We had set up some appointments through our branch president. They had decided to meet us for pizza on Thursday and talk about the gospel since their older two brothers are members. One of them also came to FHE at the chapel on Monday which was great and the branch was very welcoming. When Thursday finally rolled around, we had planned on doing some contacting on a B-Ball court by challenging kids to some games, but when we went to pick up a ball, all of the stores were closed. IT was a Double-Holiday here, both Polish Armed Forces Day, and Assumption Day. We walked to main street where they had taken the celebration onto the street by lining it with tents that sold all sorts of airsoft guns, fireworks, slingshots, cotton candy, etc. We of course had to take advantage of the 8zł slingshots that shortly thereafter broke. After that fun, we tried to get out to an investigators house, but the buses were on Holiday schedule. After waiting about 30 minutes, we saw our bus coming, and it blew right past the stop.... Didn't even slow down! We went home defeated for lunch. Finally the time came for our lesson at Maxi Pizza, and we found our investigators waiting for us. We went in and ate some delicious pizza. We talked a lot about the restoration of the gospel and prophets. They had entirely different concerns, so we want to start meeting with them separately. A... really helped us out on that one too.
On Friday we had weekly planning and then contacted to Roni Kebab to eat some good wholesome lunch. That afternoon was rough because there was a soccer game in Sosnowiec so everyone was drunk. Elder B got a shoulder thrown at him by some big guy. We did make it home safe and sound though.
One day, we were leaving home when someone took my companion's nametag. We followed after him and got it back.
On Saturday, we went to play some soccer and teach a lesson. We had a good time and then gave them each their own reading assignment. We are really trying to get them a baptismal date so that they can be baptised with their older siblings.
Sunday we got to church and all three of our new investigators were there and we even got to teach them in a separate "gospel doctrines" class during second hour. Then, we went later that day to visit a former investigator who lived a little ways away. We got to their house fairly easily and it turns out they don't live there. It was getting home that soon became a problem. We got on a bus that should have worked and we got on going the wrong way. We soon found ourself in a different little city called Jaworzno (or something like that). Then we got on a city bus going to the city center to find another bus out, we weren't sure if our monthly tickets from Katowice worked (they do work in some sattelite cities) and then we got ticket checked. They caught us red handed and we tried to explain that we thought our tickets should work and we will just get off at the next stop, but instead of hitting us with a 150zł fine, they let us off with buying a ticket from the bus driver which was very nice of them. We got off the bus at the station in this town, not knowing if any bus would ever come that could save us, but I asked a nice couple how to get to Katowice or Sosnowiec and they told me to take the next bus to the city square and from there to catch a private bus called a J-tka or E-tka to Katowice and from there to ride the normal busses to Sosnowiec. We did not like this option but it was our only choice and we were going to be very late. As we waited for the next bus, the bus we were originally on that got us into this city (which was supposed to have already stopped running for the day and was not supposed to go to that stop) stopped right in front of us. IT WAS A MIRACLE!!! We hopped on and got victory photographs. About three or four bus stops later, the bus broke down. Unbelievable. We got off, and to our amazement, another bus that worked came just two minutes later. We were saved!!! It was a wild adventure, and we made it home with time to spare for contacting where we met a very nice couple who quizzed me on how much I knew about Jesus. I guess I won the quiz, they were quite impressed. All in all, it was a good day to end off a good week. 
Lots of love,
Starszy Godwin

 Happy and victorious to have made it on the right bus. Too bad it broke down minutes later.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekly Email - August 12th

Hi all,
Our library has been shut down for the month, and we are emailing from another library. The computer here has a hard time reading my voice recordings, and I can't figure out how to bring them up.
This past week has been rough here, we work 8 hours a day, every day, we are ALWAYS on the streets, and this week we had 1 street lesson. I feel like we are still grinding gears, but that is how most of my mission has been. 
I am not sure what they originally did, but the whole south of Poland used to be coal mining, so I assume it was that. People are starting to compliment my Polish more and more.
We went to Auschwitz and got there at 2:00, but to our surprise, they won't let you in without a tour guide until 3. We did not have time for the 3.5 hour tour (it is impossible on the mission), but we waited patiently until 3. We went into Auschwitz I (the one I saw last time) because there are 2 camps. The first has more museum exibits, and an original standing gas chamber and the like. Last time I did not get the pleasure of seeing the inside of the chamber or many of the exhibits. This time we saw it all, and we made it to Auschwitz II which is far larger (a.k.a. Birkineu) and has the gas chambers that were destroyed by the Nazis during their escape as well as the international monument "Forever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity, where the nazis murdered about one and a half milion men, women, and children, mainly Jews from various countries of europe".  "Niechaj na wieki będzie krzykiem rozpaczy i przestroga dla ludzkości to miesce, w którym hitlerowcy wymordowali około półtora miliona mężczyzn, kobiet, i dzieci, głównie żydów z różnych krajów Europy". The most intense part for me for some reason was the room with all of the shoes that the Nazis had taken from their prisoners. There was a Huge room stuffed full of all types of shoes, many were nice "sunday shoes" there were work shoes, street shoes, I think it made it much more real, these were real people from all different walks of life. That was rough.
The rest of the week was full of different things, we got to play soccer on Saturday with our branch president and a friend who will soon be investigating the gospel, and we played until I kicked the ball on the roof... oops...
Our branch has really been trying to help us out lately which is great. One member said we work very hard and she is glad we are there. 
Love you all, hope you can get the house pulled together and sold soon enough. Good for Kaj, I am glad to hear he got called to Sweden. 
Love you all,
Starszy Godwin

Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekly Email - August 5th

Hi all,

This is really short because we are heading out to Auschwitz. We had a good week. Full of a lot of hard work and very few results, but we did teach the nicest Polish family. We were visiting members and we got to a house, and there was a woman outside. She recognized our nametags and let us right in. Her husband and two teenaged daughters were home and they were just the greatest Polish family. They even wanted to cook us dinner at 9:00 when we had to leave. They are heading out of town and won't be back in town for 3 weeks. Transfers do not hit for another 4 or 5 weeks, I will tell you when I have the date next week.

I have you in my prayers. Love you all,

Starszy Godwin