Friday, 23 January 2015

A Monumental Mark! (Sort of)

Some of the women in our church on Sunday

Some of the sights around our flat in Gdansk

here is a picture taken in the old town, right by where the we live. This is on Długa Street. we were taking some photos for a tracting letter we are sending out to try and introduce the church a different way. This was from our photoshoot.

This week I hit somewhat of a monumental mark! Ok, it's not that amazing haha, but in personal studies (we get 1 hour every morning to study the scriptures, Preach My Gospel, and some other church books like Jesus the Christ etc.) I've been doing all the "suggested personal study activities" from cover to cover of PMG, and I finished the last actvity! I started in my first transfer with Sister Montesinos and just finished a few days ago. I've actually already started up again doing the different activities, and I've been getting a lot out of doing it for studies. It's just felt good to have a worthy goal to accomplish, and now I can see my spiritual and intellectual knowledge has grown- so it feels good :D I've been learning a lot from just taking my time to read through verses in the scriptures, cross-referncing them, and having specific questions in mind when I read. I hope the studies I've been doing on my mission will continue to be a part of my life after the mission- we need that spiritual food!

Last week we rang up a lady who we found tracting, and asked her if we could come to her house to talk about the church, and she said yes! So we set up a time, and when we went over and got talking, we found out that she'd actually known a member before. We asked more about it, and found out that the Mormon she knew (but had since lost contact with) is still a member in our branch today! The member, who had served her mission in Russia many years ago, had spoken a bit about the Book of Mormon to this lady, but after she left on her mission, they lost contact and hadn't spoken since. So now they have contact again! And we're hoping we can continue to teach her, and have the member come on lessons with us :) So it's an awesome situation!

Today after P-day, I'll be going on an exchange to Bydgoszcz again (aka, that city that starts with 'B' ;)) and will get to stay there for a couple of days, and then on Saturday we'll be going down to Warsaw to have a special Zone Conference with an Elder from the Quorum of the Seventy. I'll be having a meeting there later too, so I'll get to go to church in the Warsaw chapel on Sunday before heading back to Gdansk, so I'm super excited for that. It's the only official chapel in Poland and I haven't seen it yet, so it'll be good! I'm also excited for the chance to be with other missionaries and learn from them and our leaders- I always come away from these things with a renewed motivation and new ideas :) And I get to go on a train and see the beautiful Poland countryside, so I feel super blessed right now.

Well today we're going to go to Westerplatte again and maybe walk around those concrete ruins! It'll be good to just relax and enjoy the outdoors. Hope the sun doesn't burn you too bad in Aus! Lots of love,
Siostra Grgich

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Look at All That Polishness!

Sister Bąk and I on Długa in front of Neptune

we thought to be creative haha.. for the record the snow didn't stick long :((((

my fingers were ready to freeze though haha (then I started using my heels)
decided to leave some spiritual messages in the snow on the way home haha

Sister Wood and I in front of Neptune (in the Gdańsk Old Town)

Me and the district at the Shaw's house for Sunday lunch/dinner

Sister Bąk and I sitting on a tram

Sister Bąk and I in Gdańsk- look at all that Polishness!

Hi Family!

This week we've had some crazy weather! SOO windy, it's sort of crazy. I think it's settled down now though, so no problemo! I'm so glad that there are gonna be 3 return missionaries from Poland in Australia- it'll be cool to catch up on all that Polish goodness! (ok technically 5 when you include the Ireland's of course!).

This week we got to meet up with Basia- an older member in our branch who we haven't seen in a little while. We had been ringing her to try and set up a time to visit, but never got in touch with her. So we decided to head over to her house and she was home! We had a beautiful visit and spoke about how Christ and His gospel brings light into our lives. (we shared Alma 19:6- it's pretty cool to think about how blessed we are to have so much light/purpose/comfort in our lives!). Then later that night we went tracting in an area called "Twarda" which literally means 'hard' (as in a hard surface) and we ring the domophone and get let in! Then we go upstairs and there's a YSA aged guy who says he's interested in our message :D Yay, then he asked his neighbours if they were interested, but they said no :( But all good, because we had a great lesson with him, and left him with a Book of Mormon and hopefully we'll teach him again soon!

Later in the week we did some more tracting (we go almost every day) and found quite a few people who were interested in hearing from us, so that was super cool! Maybe people have been making New Years Resolutions to be friendlier to the missionaries ;) Really though, we're keeping our expectations high and are always trying to find those people who are ready to accept the Gospel in their lives. Our tripanionship always talks about how the people of Poland desperately need the light of the Gospel. It's sometimes a little gloomy here, and even we can get a little down. But then we realise, maybe we're feeling a little glimpse of what Polish people feel- after all they've gone through with government and wars, it's gotta be tough! So I try and give people a smile and make their lives a little brighter when I can. I know some people might look at what we do as missionaries and say "Well what's the point, are you really making a diference?" and I can proudly say "Yes!" I know that the individual matters to God. I know that we all have the potential to make other's lives a little brighter. I'm so grateful for the individuals that have blessed me in so many ways.

This week we got to have a visit from our Mission President and his wife. They bought us lunch and we spoke about how the work's going in Gdańsk. We all came away feeling uplifted and eager to work together for the good of the branch and our area. It seems so simple, just having a short visit and someone talking to you, but I can honestly say it helps! I'm so grateful for our inspired leaders who pray for us and are given revelation from Heavenly Father of how to help us fulfill our duties and be happy :). God knows what we need and always answers our prayers- don't forget it!

I'm so grateful for all your support- it keeps me strong and keeps me going.
All my love,
Siostra Grgich

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

"No, We Don't Want Money!"

Me with my temporary companions in Bydgoszcz

This is in Bydgoszcz last week- we set up a whiteboard asking what people's New Year's Resolutions were, and sung some hymns

A group of German tourists came up and I got to speak to them a little bit!

Ok so zuerst muss uch sagen dass ich die Deutsche Sprache vermissen sehr!! haha Ok so for some reason this week, I was thinking a lot about Germany and the language, and then I met a bunch of different people that speak German!! Tender mercy from God- just to put a smile on my face I guess :)

So on Monday to Wednesday I was in Bydgoszcz for Zone Training- we went to the shopping centre and just had an awesome time relaxing. In the evening the Zone Leaders and I planned what we were going to teach for Training and on Tuesday, my fellow Danzigers (my district in Gdansk) came down and we had a great time! We wanted to bring up the story of Nephi and his brothers getting the plates from Laban (in the Book of Mormon of course) and so instead of just reading it, we decided to make a script and get the missionaries to perform it as a play. It was pretty funny- we made a lot of parralels to our missionary work in Poland and how we need to keep our expectations and faith high!

Also on Tuesday, we went contacting out in the cold- but no problem coz we met some awesome people!! One man we spoke to said he was Catholic and we encourged him to let us teach him more of our message. I said something about how we can't tell him that it's true, but he can find out for himself. It was really cool because then he brought up the point of how we can't "know" everything, because that sort of ruins the point of faith, and we were like "YES EXACTLY!". It was pretty cool to hear that point from a stranger. We asked if we could have his number to keep in touch, and he said "Well, I normally don't do this, but OK" It was super cool :D Ooh, then we got to teach and investigator from Ukraine and I just found out 2 days ago that she wants to get baptised! It's super awesome.

The next day we did a singing/whiteboard finding activity and again got to talk to some awesome people. At one point a big group of people came up sort of just staring and not saying anything, but holding out money to give us, and we were like "no, we don't want money!" haha then an elder found out they were Germans!! So he called me over and I got to speak with them for a bit and unfortunately it wasn't a very gospel orientated conversation, but hopefully they'll remember the 'mormons' and look more into it when they go back home. That night for New Years Eve, we had to be inside our apartments early (5pm) to avoid the ruckus outside. So my temporary companions Sisters Owen and Antczak had pizza and put on facemasks and played cardgames, so it was a great night :)

The next day we went to Poznań and did another Zone Training for the Szczecin and Poznan districts. That one went really well and I enjoyed getting insight from other missionaries. I love the way that our missionary work is so organised and how it helps us all learn and grow so much. That night I came back to Gdansk with just more motivation to get to work and find people to teach. I've really been inspired and I hope to keep working on that. We have a few potentials and hopefully can get to teaching them within the coming week. One man we met contacting on the street, said "Just a moment, I'll be back, I need to pay for parking" and so we were like "Did he really just say that?" (I'm not trying to sound negative, but normally people are like "mehhh, I'm not interested in your message" so we were sort of shocked at his answer to us introducing ourselves!). SO we waited for a couple of minutes, and we were starting to think maybe he was leaving us hanging, but alas! He came back and we spoke to him and he said we could teach him again! He was on his way to Warsaw but lives in Gdansk, so hopefully we'll see him soon and talk to him more about the Gospel :)

This week I learnt a lot about how important friends are :) I've been so blessed to have friends from all over the world and love and support me, and I only hope I can be that same friend back. I'm so grateful for my family and the way I was raised. I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had in life for anything else. I know life is sometimes hard- maybe even harder than we think we can bear. But I know that when we push through, really work through the struggles- we will come out stronger and truly happier. I love you so much, thanks for always being there for me.

Love Siostra Grgich

Friday, 9 January 2015


this is me and my sisters (companionship) in Toruń!

Me and my sisters on a tramway in Bydgoszcz
and then our district in Toruń in front of a stone that says Gdańsk!

Skype on Christmas with the Fam Bam!

And then me in Bydgoszcz in front of a really nice river :)

here are sme of our Bydgoszcz missionaries and our Gdańskees together in  Toruń :) last pday.

so.. this is what happens when you open up your sofa (that happens to have storage space.. haha and then you find these) . Keeps  us warm now that snow is falling :P

so.. the 5 of us had fun. this was us trying to "smolder" haha.

Christmas day- and the 3 of us doing each others' hair :p

The snow in Gdańsk on the main street (Ulica Długa)

This last week has been a little crazy, just because of all the unusual schedules. So after Toruń last week, (which was so beautiful, by the way) we had our Zone Conference in Poznań (another lovely city) and learnt a lot about Christmas, and enjoyed being around the other misssionaries. We all had a gift exchange, so my gift was a kangaroo coin pouch, and I ended up getting an alarm clock and a winnie the pooh wallet haha. It was pretty funny. We also got a slideshow of photos of all the missionaries in Poland and a Bible Videos DVD from the Church, so that was really nice.

After conference, we went back to Gdańsk and the next day got to spend "Wigilia" (Christmas Eve) with a few members in in our branch and the other missionaries in our district. We made cookies for a few different people and it was just a peaceful, happy time. Christmas Day I got to Skype you in the morning!! The other missionaries were eavesdropping and laughed when at the end I said "dovidjenia" (in Bosnian) because they thought I was saying it in Polish - but in Polish they have the same word for 'goodbye' but it's pronounced slightly differently, and they just thought I had terrible Polish haha. Anyway, it was so cool to see you all! For lunch, we got to go to the senior couple's home (it was so tasty) and then the other missionaries skyped their families in the evening and we played ping-pong at the chapel :D. There was a lady working at the reception of the building where the chapel is, so we brought her a plate of cookies and then we were best friends ;) Cookies solve everything, right? :p Oh wow, I just realised I've been saying the word cookies instead of biscuits- I'm a terrible Aussie!

Anyway... Then on Boxing Day I went down to Warsaw for a training, and we got to stay at the Edgren's home (the mission home) and partake of the awesomely delicious food that Sister Edgren makes. (don't worry mum, I'm well-fed!) It was really good because I got to see 3 sisters from my MTC group again (Sisters Smith, Kuchar and Benson). The training went over til the next day, and we learnt a lot about being humble in our callings and as people, how we can maintain high expectations and how to be open to change for the better. So then after coming home, I got to spend 1 night and Sunday morning (for Sacrament meeting and Sunday School) in Gdańsk and then I had to leave again to Bydgoszcz. SO I'll be in Bydgoszcz for the next 4 days while we organise and carry out the Zone Training for our area. (We use what we learnt at our time in Warsaw and meet with the missionaries in our area to teach each other and learn/make goals etc.).

So, I'm missing my companions a little bit, but at the same time, I feel really grateful to be in Bydgoszcz learning from the missionaries here. Today after emailing we're planning on going shopping, so maybe I'll finally buy a bigger coat! Haha we'll see. It's started snowing here -it's breathtakingly gorgeous riding on the trains and seeing the snow-tipped trees and glistening fields. Poland is a beautiful country! On a train I was on yesterday, I met a girl from Azerbaijan who's studying in Finland and just here for a holiday, and we were talking about how good it is to be proud of your country, and also how good it is to appreciate this beautiful world that's been created for us. I love getting to see this other side of the world-it's so different from Australia but I love it! I hope you're all getting out in nature and enjoying this magnificent world! I miss you and love you and thank you for always being my support :)

Til next week!
Siostra Grgich

Wednesday, 7 January 2015


Me and my companions going tracting (we're a tripanionship- Sister Wood, Bąk and myself)

here we are in the old town-not at all far from our place. :)

Claudia made me a paper star thing for Christmas- she's super creative!

Our district with Dawid and John (2 members of Gdansk branch) over at the Shaw's place for Sunday Dinner :)

Our district is in Toruń today! (It's such a beautiful city)

here we are at this little food place serving kiełbasa, bigos, and ziemniaki and such. pretty good! We were all stuffed haha. There is the 3 of us.

Dear Family,

I'm in Toruń today so I don't have a lot of time to write (we're gonna do some exploring around this amazing city). We have our Zone Conference tomorrow in Poznan, so we've come down this direction for pday. Well I sent a kajillion photos, so they should speak for my lack of words in this email! (and I'm so excited to Skype you all!).

This last week has been so great. I have 2 companions now (Sisters Bąk and Wood) and we are having such a great time just learning from each other. I feel so blessed to be at this point on my mission so far. God knows His children way better than they know themselves.

Last week, after tracting an area we caught a bus home and my good German friend who I haven't seen in forever was there! It was so cool to catch up with him (he used to come to the branch every Sunday, but hasn't come for a while- he's not a member but enjoyed the environment). It was such a tender mercy for me to be able to talk to him again.

This Christmas our district will be spending time together, but the days surrounding, we're doing a lot of travelling! On Boxing Day (which isn't a thing here, or for Americans) I'm going to Warsaw again, but the cool thing about being in a tripanionship, means that my companions can stay in Gdansk and keep the missionary efforts going. It's been a little hard to talk to people on the streets lately, I think coz they're all just rushing around doing Christmas shopping and what-not, but I'm hoping that people will be more receptive to our message after the new year. I feel like it's a good time for people to be thinking more spiritually-minded because it's a time of fresh starts and new beginnings, and the gospel is all about that!

Hope you all have an amazing Christmas- I'll be thinking about my family and friends who have been amazing gifts to me in themselves and the relationships I have with you all. Be cheery and joyful and remember to smile!! Have a great time in that Aussie summer heat- this'll be another wintery Christmas for me!

All my love
Sister Grgich