Wednesday, 12 November 2014

"Are You Guys Mormons?"

Some of the members from our Gdansk Branch on Sunday

My companion Sister Wood and I taking a selfie at the library

Here's a photo with me and a card tower that I made :D (One of the elders in our district is really awesome with doing magic card tricks, and he carries a deck around with him all the time) 

This week I've had so many great experiences with my new companion Sister Wood (plays piano beautifully, speaks ein ganz kleines bisschen auf Deutsch, and comes from California). It was sad to see Sister Montesinos go, but I'm very grateful to have this new opportunity to learn from being in a different situation.

On Wednesday, I had to wait for over an hour at the dworzec (station) for Sister Wood to come in from Szczecin (a Polish city near Berlin) and while I was waiting, I had the mobile phone for the Gdańsk sisters (normally the senior companion takes the phone responsibilties, but as I had no companion, I was holding on to it until Sister Wood got in). So then I got a call from a member in our branch, who doesn't speak English! I answered, and it didn't take long for the member to realise that this would be a difficult conversation haha, but in time and with her patience, I was able to speak and understand her (we set up to go have dinner with her that night). It was so cool that I was able to understand her by myself (I've never spoken in Polish on the phone before, and it's a lot harder when you can't use body language to get a point across)- so yeah that was a milestone for me :)

A couple of days later, the district decided to go out in the town and try finding some people to teach who might be interested in our message. So we went to a pretty busy area near the station, set up a table with materials, and started talking to people. I'm normally a big chicken when it comes to talking to people, but I was somehow able to get over that hurdle, and we managed to find someone who the elders are now set up to meet with later this week. My companion and the elders were able to have some good conversations with people too, (I started to have a conversation with one lady, and then she touched my face and hair and was sort of treating me like a 5-year-old before walking away...haha it was pretty weird!). There were also these 2 American ladies that came up to us, and were like "Are you guys Mormons?" and we're like "Yes we are!". So then we were talking for a while and they were super loud and speaking English so it was probably a funny site for some of the locals. The ladies weren't members of our church, but they were super friendly and wished us luck on our missions.

Later that day, my companion and I decided to go tracting at some apartment blocks around our place (normally something that I'm also a big chicken at). So normally the routine goes like this: We ring a random number at the domophone, say we're missionaries, be lucky and someone will let us in, we start at the top floor and try all the doors, people answer and tell us they're not interested (in many colourful ways), we work our way down and then it's time to go home. But this time was different! Well, sort of! We actually were able to find 2 people (from 2 different households) that let us speak to them, and we were able to leave them with pass-along cards (with on it and our number and church address). We're hoping to visit these people again tomorrow and see where it goes and we're very excited about the potential of getting to know these people better and being able to actually teach them lessons. This was the first time I've ever had anyone let us do that, and we had 2 in one night! It was a super cool experience, and I actually maybe just slightly might enjoy tracting now ;) (My companion also helped with that- she would tell me funny stories while we were going from door to door and we were still in the 'getting to know you' stage so we had a lot to talk about). Then 2 days later we went tracting again, and found another guy who actually let us teach him a mini lesson at the door and he accepted a Księga Mormona (Book of Mormon)! It was a pretty cool experience.

Last week we went to Sopot to visit with a less-active member. I wasn't sure how long it would take to get to her house, so we ended up getting there about 20 minutes early. While approaching her building, we saw an apple tree (just growing in a public place) and my companion loves apples, so I suggested she eat one. Apple trees are everywhere in Poland, but I've never actually tried a fresh apple from the tree before. So we both picked one each, cleaned them off a little on our skirts, and gave it a shot. We were both expecting them to taste funny, but to our surprise, after biting into them, we realised they were super juicy and fresh and full of apple-y goodness. So then we decided to pick a few, and put them in Sister Wood's backpack. We had a good catch-up with the member, and then when we got home, we washed all the apples and we had 15! I didn't realise that we had so many haha. So anyway, I found out I have a new hobby- apple picking! (just kidding, but actually I wouldn't mind doing it again).

Today we're probably going to walk around the old town here (if the rain holds off) and then play some board games at the chapel before p-day finishes. I'm super excited for this transfer and all the things I'm yet to learn. I love being here in Gdańsk, and I feel so blessed to be a missionary here amongst the beautiful Polish people. I think about you guys all the time, and I love you dearly!

Til next week,
Sister Grgich

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