Thursday, 5 February 2015

Zone Conference!

Sister Smith (MTC comp) and I. This is with Elder Hon (my Zone Leader) photo bombing in the background

This is Sister Kuchar and I talking with Elder Charles (he was presiding at our Zone Conference).

All of my MTC sisters reunited (except for Sister Woodward- not sure why we didn't get her in the photo!)

Sister Kuchar and I at Zone Conference in the Warsaw chapel
Hi Family! This week I went to Bydgoszcz again! I got to serve with Sister Antczak (she's in her first transfer, and from Texas and is super awesome and sings Australian songs with me) while her companion Sister Owen went to Gdansk and stayed with my companions. We had a really cool experience, we spoke to some people on the streets, sung some songs, taught English class, met some more cool people and then had a great lesson with a Ukrainian girl named Ola who's preparing to be baptised soon, and a member from the branch. I had such a great time and I learnt so much from the other missionaries there :) We prepared a lesson about how to get answers from the scriptures, and it went really well! We were able to teach about how it's important to pray with specific questions in mind, pray to focus during study, then really ponder the scriptures and look for answers. It was really cool having a member on the lesson too because she helped explain a lot of the concerns our investigator had and gave a second witness to what we were teaching. I really felt blessed with the Gift of Tongues- I know God is helping me learn this language, there is NO WAY I could speak as well as I do now all on my own. I'm so grateful for the many ways my Heavenly Father allows me to grow and learn.

On Wednesday I came back to Gdansk and we were able to have a beautiful lesson with a less-active member in our branch. She is the first member I actually met in Poland and she let's us call her our Polish Grandma. She made us NaleĊ›niki (pancakes) and we had a great time talking with her. Sometimes she gets really sad so it's good to just be with her. I'm glad I've had many different trials in my life, because I know they allow me to sympathise with others. I know I don't always understand how other people feel, nor would I pretend to, but I know that all our pains can be healed through Christ. Some things take time (and I can see that a lot in my own life), and it's always so important to have friends to care for you and support you. I can't say enough how thankful I am that we have the organisation of the Church, that allows everyone to be cared for and aims to not let anyone get left behind. One thing we're really trying to work on in the branch, is encourage the members to fulfil their home and visiting teaching assignments. People just need to feel loved! I know that when the members can learn to look out for each other, the church will continue to strengthen and all will be blessed, by being concerned for "the One" (Luke 15:4- "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?").

This week we also had Zone Conference and we got to go to Warsaw! Elder Christopher Charles (an Area Seventy) and his wife came and spoke to us about the missionary work and gave us a lot of encouragement and inspired counsel. They're both converts to the church and told us amongst many other things, how they came to know the church is true. It was so good to hear from them bearing bold testimony of the gospel. They told us of how one of the missionaries that taught them had only been out for a very short time, and had prayed when he had opened his mission call, that he would find a family that had been prepared to teach the restored gospel to. It was humbling to hear or the kind of missionaries that taught Elder and Sister Charles, and it really encouraged me to make sure I'm the best missionary I can be- humble and loving, yet bold and courageous enough to share the message with those that my Father in Heaven has prepared. After the conference (and getting to see so many of my missionary friends!) I got to stay in Warsaw with Sisters Kuchar and Simkins and we managed to speak to a lady on the tram about our message. It was again a miracle with how we were able to speak Polish with her (and be understood!) and we were able to leave her with a Book of Mormon. We hope she'll read it and want to find out more :) We were able to talk a lot (Sister Kuchar was a great friend to me in the MTC) and the next day (Sunday) I got to go to church there before heading back to Gdansk. I got to meet a few of the members in their ward and I was overcome with the Spirit and immense happiness as I sat in Sacrament meeting. I felt the Lord touch my heart and comfort me. I was looking around at all the families, the old and young, some people who have no other family members in the church, and I just thought how beautiful it is that we have the church in this country. I'm so grateful that we have that chapel, and many other temporary places around Poland for the saints

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