Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekly Email - October 28th

Hi Family,
This week we saw some great miracles. I wanted to start by telling you of the biggest one that I saw. Saturday night marks probably one of the greatest (if not the greatest) nights of my mission so far. We were working all week, all day, and now it was after dinner and we were going out again to try to find those who had been prepared. At about 18:15 not far from our house, Elder B stopped a girl and began teaching her the restoration. I could see that he was doing a great job and she was being very patient in listening to him and so I just stood by and listened. She was listening pretty intently and every once in a while, Elder B would ask me for a word or phrase and I would help him out. Once we had pretty much gotten through the points of a first lesson, she looked at me and asked if I spoke really good Polish. I said that I could hold a conversation. She then asked to both of us "What is it that the restoration has given you personally?". I wasn't sure at first how to answer, but I figured I would just go with the spirit. I told her for me it brought a knowledge of what God expects from me. I know where I came from, what I am supposed to do and where I am going. I told her that this is called the Plan of Salvation. She said I was being too general, she asked what that meant specifically because every religion has some theory on what our purpose is. Honestly I did not feel very prepared to give a lesson about the Plan of Salvation at that point, I told her that we could spend hours talking about that and that we would love to set up with her and talk to her at some point on that topic. She then asked if we would have just 30 minutes to talk right then because she is really busy, but had just gotten off work and has the whole afternoon. We said of course and we went and sat on a nearby bench. Elder B explained some things about the Plan of Salvation we explained that the goal in this life is to live worthy and to take upon us the ordinances that are necessary to return to live with God. She found that to be very interesting. We got into a detailed discussion of Who God is and how we can come to know Him. She had always had faith in a higher power but it seemed that she mostly believed He was just that, a power. I asked if God had a body, according to her. She said "well... No, I believe He came down as Christ and that he died and is more of a governing force". She said He had a will and a "mind" like a perfected man, but she didn't imagine that he had a tangible body. I was able to testify that this truth was restored with the rest of the restoration. We talked about the Holy Ghost. She said she has always had a hard time gaining faith in any solid points of doctrine. She believes in God, but cannot easily gain a testimony in things like the restoration or the Book of Mormon, or even the Koran, or other religions that she has looked into. I told her that only the Spirit could bring that testimony to her and only after earnest seeking. I felt like I could very personally relate. My whole life has been a struggle for faith. It is not something that comes easily to me, it is something I had to work very hard for and continue to work very hard for. I have always had desire, but I am naturally a doubter and a skeptic. I testified that if the Holy Ghost brought me this testimony, He would do the same for her. We had a wonderful discussion, and we set up to meet with her again this week. For me it was one of those moments where I could feel the Spirit work through me, I wasn't teaching the lesson, I was just carrying the words of God. It began to flow much more smoothly, less mechanical in presentation. I have only had a few such instances on my mission, but it is those experiences that I value the most about this work.
The rest of the week, we saw a lot of work with little visible fruit, but a lot of spiritual rewards. I had some particularly rough days where people were just more mean than usual. One day we went out and tried to talk to every person we saw and they did not just deny us, they completely ignored us. One person after the other. We would walk up adn just say "Hey, good day..." and they would walk by eyes straight ahead as if we didn't exist. It became almost comical like they had planned it. That was a rough day and A LOT of walking, but I feel like I learned a lot. I learned a lot about dilligence in the face of all opposition and relying on the Spirit to do the talking, not your mouth. It was a good week, we worked hard, we got a couple of really good conversations and we are looking forward to meeting with some of these people again.
Sunday we had District Conference. All of the members, missionaries, and investigators who could gathered in from Kraków, Wrocław, Kielce, and Katowice into our chapel. I got to see a lot of old faces like President K from Kraków, and the O's the nice American/British family who had us over for Christmas and their two children. The meeting went great and President Edgren gave his talk in wonderful Polish which the poles are always very happy about. The chapel was filled and it was wonderful to see little kids running around and people talking and having a great time. Then the Elders from Kraków (S and Z) had a few hours till their bus. We toured them around Katowice and they had the recent convert L with them who I taught when I was in Kraków and I had not even heard that he was getting baptized! It was a good day all in all to finish off a good week.

Love you all,

Starszy Godwin

Here are some goats that are always by our apartment.

The "Spodek" or flying saucer, one of the tourist sites in Katowice.

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