Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekly Email - September 30th

So this week was good. The work was really slow this week. Other than being a little hit to my ego, I feel satisfied with our efforts, and I feel like we did what the Lord would have us do. There was nothing else that could have happened better because people have their free agency. We worked on trying to find less actives a lot this week and we finally got in contact with one young guy, we have a meeting with him this week. We got to visit with an older woman who was a former investigator. She said that she loves the Mormon missionaries and has two "missionary sons" that call her their "Polish mother", but she will never be a Mormon. She said that she used to cook for them every Sunday but she will never cook for us because we can't replace her sons.
We went to a new little city for less actives in our area called Mysłowice, it is a neat place with cool graffiti. I will send some pictures.
We were getting to the end of the week, all our appointments had fallen through. We had talked with every single person that crossed our path for a week and not one stopped for a second to talk to us. We had only gotten that one lesson with the old woman and that was it. We were pretty distraught and frantically looking for anyone to listen to us on Sunday to get our last efforts in before the week ended out. It was looking bleak, but then a woman actually stopped for us. She was very nice, very open. She said she is open to faith, but doesn't feel too firm right now. Her husband suddenly passed away 3 months ago and she asked me where he was. I was able to relate her story to Grandma and testify that they are still around, and that we will get to live with them again. She set up a meeting to talk with us again. It was a really good experience to end such a slow week.
Love you all,
Starszy Godwin

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekly Email - September 23rd

Note from Mom: There was no post last week because Elder Godwin was in a hurry and didn't have time to write us a message. We did chat back and forth through email for a little and we really enjoyed that exchange. Here is this weeks e-mail.
Hi all,
Well, firstly, great things are happening in the mission. On Friday we had a meeting with President Edgren who is a great president. He told us (among other things) that we are now allowed to text in order to help us better fulfill missionary work. We have now moved out of the stone age and into the bronze age of human evolution. He said in a meeting with Elder Holland, that he said that we might get iPads in about a year or two. It sounded almost like more of a joke than a reality. Sister Holland apparently turned to Elder Holland and said "Honey, they need those iPads RIGHT NOW!". Then she turned to the Edgrens and said "You'll get them". That is how Sister Edgren relayed the story to us. The meeting was great, very spiritually uplifting focusing more on how faith will help us achieve our goals more than just obedience alone. We have to believe that they are attainable because this is truly the Lord's work. He also said we need to take the time to truly minister to people. He read us the story in 3rd Nephi chapter 11 when Christ came to the Nephites. He pointed out the fact that Christ allowed time for every one of the gathered Nephites to feel the prints in his hands and feet and side and to witness for themselves that their Savior had come. He could have just had Nephi (my favorite Book of Mormon Prophet) go up and tell the people that he was the Christ, but he didn't. He waited until each person had come up and seen and felt for themselves before he ministered to his Apostles and Prophet. 
After the meeting we went out for pizza at a nice, quaint restaurant with a brick oven. It was delicious. The Edgrens also said they have hardly been in Warsaw at all since they got to Poland, so maybe when things calm down she will have time to make a blog. They are doing great though and really trying to teach the missionaries to be leaders and to work with faith.
The rest of the week was full of different activities, we played some basketball with President U and K. We got to see K's dog Laila just before it gave birth. We had pizza with K and President U (we did have a lot of Pizza this week).
The weather is getting ridiculous. It is steadily around 50 or less degrees and rainy almost daily. I have no real winter layers except my jacket from last year, but it is looking a little big on me and I need to get a layer to go under it so it looks a little more normal. I have also heard that this winter is going to be the winter of all winters.... We'll have to see how that goes. The Poles are saying that last winter was nothing, this year will be a tundra.
Elder B and I are in good spirits and we have a new focus as a district to work with our members. So that is where we are at for the week.
Love you all,
Starszy Godwin
 Starszy Godwin with two of his friends from Sosnowiec.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Weekly Email - September 9th

Hello all,
So, this week was one of the hardest on my mission yet. We worked for 8 hours a day, every day, hitting the streets harder than ever before, and had NOTHING going for us. We were getting shut down left and right. We had people calling us a sect, people bringing up a numerous host of doctrinal arguments, and every insult you can imagine. On Saturday we went out, it was a fresh new day, it felt like good things might be around the corner, and the first guy I try to start a conversation with immediately says "Their is no such thing as the Church of Jesus Christ, only the Catholic church". That may not sound that bad, but the Polish he used was very blunt and very demeaning and he did not stop there, he said "What kind of nut thought up your church anyway?" and I calmly answered "Well sir, actually, the Lord Jesus Christ did, that is why we are called the Church of Jesus Christ". He continued trying to tear down my faith as we walked away.
Then Sunday rolled around, we had ALL 0's for the week. The only thing going for us was that we were going to have one person in sacrament meeting, and we have one progressing investigator. Not that I am a number mongerer, but it is really disheartening when you have consecrated two years of your life to teaching people the gospel of Jesus Christ and not one wanted to listen for five minutes in 40 hours of work... I was beat, people thought I was gonna pass out in church. P was like "you two don't look so good" I told him it had been a long week and we had nothing to show for it. He said to keep our heads up and keep working. We had two lessons set up for Sunday after church, they both got cancelled. We went out and did the only thing we know how to do.... contact on the streets. to our surprise, we were able to stop and talk to two young women (at separate times) and tell them a little about our faith. They were both very open and we exchanged phone numbers and will be setting up appointments with them to tell them more. It was a miracle evening because we only have had a total of 2 street lessons our entire 10 weeks in Sosnowiec up until yesterday evening, all those we teach have come from referrals. It was a lesson for us on perseverance and faith, I never thought it was possible, but it was great to finally get to talk and connect with other human beings besides my companion, I was starting to get lonely...
That was pretty much how our week went.

Love you all,
Starszy Godwin
Me and my friend "Rex"

Launching a lantern

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weekly Email - September 2nd

First thing is first, I am sure you all want to hear how transfers went. This time it was very different. President Nielson always called after 8:00 p.m., but Edgren began right after church ended. We got a call from the Assistants to the president about 2:00. Elder Neuner called (he is the new Assistant to the President) and he said that Elder B and I are both staying right here in Sosnowiec. So we have another nine weeks together. Elder C is still way off in Łódź with a trainee.
This week was wild. We had pretty much nothing going for us until Thursday. We had planned to do a grill for all of our investigators in our front yard. They all wanted to try American burgers, so we delivered. The grill went great. Then we had a lesson. We taught them about the plan of salvation that we had drawn up on a pizza box, and then we went over the gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, and enduring to the end), It was fantastic.
Thursday night we got a call from Elder W. He told us to keep it on the down low, but that Elder N was going AP and leaving early the following (Friday) morning and that we needed to pick up Elder W at the train station at 8:00 a.m.. We got up, met them at the station, said bye to N, and he was off to Warsaw. We have been in a threesome since then. That is interesting, and I think we now intimidate people on the streets even more. On Friday we taught K about baptism. We got to play with the their dog, Laila. She is a French Bulldog (my new favorite breed). Everyone and their mother in Katowice has a French Bulldog, and they are hilarious. She is a really funny little fat dog, I have some pictures.
So that was our week in a nutshell. I hope all of you are doing great. I love you. I wish you all the best I need to send some pictures. So I will leave off here until next week. BYE!