Sunday, 21 December 2014

Last Full Week of the Transfer

so, we all took our culture night this previous Saturday. It was a lot of fun! We all went to a handball game with the elders' investigator Dawid (far left). I discovered handball is a lot like football, soccer, basketball, and wrestling all in one haha. A prettyintense scenario, have not been to a public competitive environment in.. a while!

I got my (2nd) Christmas package hahah I'm so sorry, I just had to open it!! Full of those Aussie goodies :D You're all the best!

My companion Sister Wood and I at Westerplatte (a peninsula in Gdansk where they say World War 2 started- well, it was the first battle of the war between Poland and Germany)

Me on some fallen stairs (it was secured by poles and stuff- as in, metal poles, not the people Poles) har har stop Sister Grgich, you're too funny ;)

Selfie- me and my companion climbing the ruins

At Westerplatte- this is my district climbing amongst some ruins of an old guard building/barracks

The monument at Westerplatte (in remembrance of the Polish defenders). Don't let the blue sky decieve you- it was 2 degrees! But sunny, which was nice I've gotta say:)

so, kind of found ourselves in Warsaw for a couple days so Sister Grgich could do some legal work which was fun. Left to right are Sister Grgich, Elders Wolfley (office elder) Elder Taylor, and Elder Jaeger (office elder). There we are waiting fr the train back to Gdańsk.

so this is in the area where WWII began, in Westerplatte by all the ports. We got to walk around, see some ruins, lighthouses in distance, and see the Bałtyk :)

so here is where we spent some pday and following, enjoyed Da Grasso and an oreo pie thing :)
here is this ruin building- kind of fascinating got some legit shots inside on the various cameras, wouldn't mind returning there!
This week is our last full week together for this transfer- time goes by incredibly fast! Today for p-day our district decided to go to Westerplatte (they have a monument and a permanent outdoor exhibition to read about the history of the area) and whilst it was cold, the sun was out in full force and shone its beautiful rays on us for the majority of our time there, so all in all I'd say it was a glorious day :) This is where World War 2 had it's first European battle (so between Germany and Poland) and it also has a lot of significance in other times of history, so I'd definitely suggest googling it!
This week our district also went out to see a European Handball game, and an investigator Dawid who's getting baptised in the branch this weekend came along too (we chose this activity as our 'culture night' of the transfer). It was pretty fun to see the crowd and the teams all having a blast. Afterwards we all went to a Pierogarnia (a restaurant where they make and serve Pierogi- Polish dumplings) and spoke and just had a good time, feeling Polish and enjoying the atmosphere!
So last Monday, Sister Wood and I went down to Warsaw and back in 2 days so I could so some legal work, and we both got to stay the night with our MTC companions (so I saw Sister Smith again!!). It was pretty good, and being able to see my MTC comp again made up for the annoyance of being on a long train ride haha. Actually, on the way back, we had a great conversation with 2 people in our cabin on the train about what we're all about as mormons and missionaries (one man even took a Book of Mormon), so I would say it was an overall very successful trip! We also got to join one of the districts in Warsaw for their district missionary meeting, and we got to see President Edgren, so that was nice.
This week it's still been cold, but I feel like I'm already starting to get used to it. I still don't know if I could walk around with my ankles exposed, but maybe I don't need my gloves so much anymore ;). We've been doing a lot of tracting still (it's proven quite effective in my experience) and last week we got to have a lesson with someone in their home. It was a good experience and we got to explain a lot of simple doctrine. We also had a conversation just last night at someone's door, and even though the person was not interested in listening to our message (more wanted to tell us what Jehovah's Witnesses believe), it was a good experience for me, because it was affirmed to me yet again, why I love the gospel and the church organisation, and really reiterated the importance to me of my job as a missionary and being a representative of Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Saviour. It was sad to hear someone say that "Jesus was just a leader/guide". I believe I cringed when I heard this man's usage of the word "just". Yes indeed He is our guide, but He is also our Saviour, a part of the Godhead, one with Heavenly Father in purpose and mind, but a seperate being with an integral role to our salvation and happiness in mortal life and eternity. This man we had spoken to was so caught up on the fact that we must know God's name to be saved- it was, I must say, a sad realisation for me that people are so confused about life and God. We were able to bear our testimonies that our works and how we choose to live our lives are of more importance than anything else we do on earth. Jesus Christ indeed saved us all, and because of that, we will all live again with perfect bodies, but it's up to us to choose how we live our lives and whether or not we choose to accept the teachings of Christ, as to what type of life we want to have after this mortal one is over. I know that Jesus Christ was not merely a charismatic man, but is the focus and the reason for everything we do in life. It is ONLY through His Atonement that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and our families in happiness after this life. Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament. He led the prophets and spoke to them through divine revelation for the wellbeing of all on Earth. He did live and die for all who would ever be born, He was resurrected that we all will one day be resurrected. I know that He did appear to people in Ancient America as a resurrected being, and taught them of His gospel. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon, the Bible and living, current-day prophets that lead and guide us today, and their combined witness that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ.
Yesterday we had another great experience with teaching Dawid (he's getting baptised this week and we're all so excited for him!). We taught about certain commandments like following the prophet, the 10 Commandments, (including keeping the Sabbath Day holy) and obeying the law of the land. It's just so nice to teach someone that's so open and humble, and I love seeing how he's letting the gospel change his life for the better. He's such a great example to me, and I know he's already such a great example to his friends here in Poland. I've seen that it's not the easiest thing to do- go against the grain and join a church that your friends may laugh at or ridicule. But I know that he's making the right choice, and I couldn't be happier than to see someone make that progress in life :) Experiences like this just give me hope and remind me to keep working hard in inviting people to learn. There are prepared people out there waiting for the knowledge of the gospel, and all the efforts are worth it to find those people and help them on their way to a happier more fulfilling life.
There's a great video about Christmas on by the way,- I really encourage you to watch it! It's called "He Is the Gift" and I hope we can continually remember what Christmas is all about at this very special time of year! (Poland is looking beautiful with all the lights and Christmas markets up, hopefully I'll get some pictures of it all next week!). Be loving and kind to each other, and be happy!!

Lots of love,
Siostra Grgich

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