Thursday, 26 March 2015


Sister Johnston and I at the Israeli restaurant/cafe in Warsaw with our 6 selections of hummus!

My companion Sister Johnston and I with Róża and Kaja at the Warsaw 1 chapel

Us on Sunday with Ola (member from Wrocław)

This week I arrived in my new area- Warsaw! I caught the train down from Bydgoszcz (not too long of a trip, and the views were great) with all my belongings (2 suitcases, my guitar, handbag and a duffle bag) and was greeted at Warsaw Central Station by my new companion Sister Johnston and some other sisters serving in the Warsaw 1 branch. We then carried all my belongings up and down stairs, on some trams and walked across cobblestone to finally reach my new flat! It's almost been a week and I already feel at home here- the city is big and busy, the branch is full of wonderful members, we have some incredible investigators with whom we're working and the missionaries in our district are fantastic (there's an Elder who was in my MTC district and a new trainee-Elder straight out of high school (pretty much haha)- I love his fresh enthusiasm!).

This week I got to meet a recent-convert family, whom I actually taught with the sisters here in Warsaw way back in my first transfer (before they were members), and they remembered me which is cool! So I feel so blessed to be able to continue to teach them and help them on their way to deepening their faith and knowledge of the restored gospel. We also got to meet up with a current investigator Kaja- the coolest girl ever! She works at the Jewish Museum as a tour guide (haha she wonders why everyone seems to know that about her even before they meet her (rumours spread ;)), but I gotta say it's a pretty cool job!) and she speaks English incredibly and she has awesome short hair, and has a way cool fashion sense, and she's way smart and most importantly, has an incredible testimony of the gospel! We ate lunch with her at a vegetarian Israeli cafe (my first time eating hummus!) and a YSA member from Wrocław was there too (she just so happens to be a friend of Kaja's roommate! small world.) so we had a good time together and took photos of our lunch (as all good hipsters do :p). After that we went to do a 'whiteboard' (where we contact people on the street, have a question written up on the whiteboard and try and get people's attention so we can talk to them) with the Elders, and Kaja and a YW member from our branch Roza came along and helped us find people to teach. I got to teach a few people with Róźa (native Polish speaker!!) and I was so impressed at what a good missionary she is. She's actually preparing to go on a 'mini-mission' soon in Łódż with the Sisters there for a week, and I'm so excited for her! Seriously Poland has the coolest people! That same day, there was a baptism in the Warsaw 1 branch, so we got to go to the chapel and see someone get baptised- it was so special! The service was beautiful and I was just filled with joy thinking about how wonderful it is to have the church here in Poland. I've already seen how so many individuals and families have been greatly blessed by this gospel. I know it changes lives for the better, and that's what life's all about! Oh, speaking of life, Kaja also taught a lesson for YW on Sunday about the purpose of life, and it was so good! We looked up a bunch of scriptures from the Book of Mormon, New Testament and Doctrine and Covenants, and my companion and I felt the spirit so strongly during her lesson. Ah I seriously want to cry from how happy I am! I just love the goodness of people. I've been so blessed to have met so many great examples on my mission. People that just make me want to be more like Christ, because of how Christlike they are. The world is is a good place! Cherish it, and especially the people within :)

This week we also got to teach an American investigator Molly. She actually is traveling around Europe now (she sort of reminds me of myself a couple years ago haha) and having a load of fun I bet hehe, but she's actually been living in Poland for a bit, so the Sisters have been teaching her, and she's just another amazing soul! She's so friendly and is so open to learning, so I look forward to continuing teaching her before she goes back to the States! I just love it how the church is in so many countries, and there are missionaries almost everywhere around the world. I remember when I would travel around Europe and find missionaries in different cities, I was just so excited to talk to them, because I automatically felt like they were family (just another plus side of having a church organisation!).

Well I've still got plenty of people to meet (less-actives, members and hopefully some new people that want to learn about the gospel) but I'll be here for at least 8 more weeks so I'm excited for that! This transfer we're really working hard on inviting people to come to church (whether they be members or visitors) and helping people make the choice to be baptised. I'm so excited to be working with Sister Johnston, and I know we can make a difference in this area for the gospel to be spread to more people. I'm so grateful I have this opportunity in my life to be a missionary, and I wouldn't trade this time and these experiences for any other!

All my love,
Siostra Grgich

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


This is us at the rynek (city plaza/square)

Sister Bak is in Bydgoszcz for the day with SIster Antczak and I

50s Style Diner

Taking out the trash! (the bag was actually from the senior missionary couple in Gdansk, they gave me a present before I left- I miss them!)

Sister Antczak, a member Ewa and I. (Ewa is friends with the Irelands and loves Australia :D)

My companion and I with the Branch President

My companion and I, with Elder Whiting

A member from Bydgoszcz and her grandson with my companion Sister Antczak and I

the Sunday School teacher and his granddaughter. Bydgoszcz is a beautiful branch!

This week I found out I'll be leaving Bydgoszcz! Sad news, because I love it here, but I'm also excited to serve in Warsaw :). I'll be in the 2nd branch (so there are 2 branches, the first meets at the actual chapel, and the second meets at a rented building). My companion will be Sister Johnston, and she's actually in the same MTC group as Sister Antczak. I'm excited to get to meet new members and missionaries, and I'm hopeful that we'll find lots of people to teach!

Yesterday at church, I gave a talk about what we need to do to go to the temple. It was hard for me at first, because I didn't have a lot of time to write it (and of course it was in Polish) but I think I was able to do a good job, and I bore my testimony about the importance of temples, and how grateful I am that my parents were married and sealed for eternity in one of God's holy houses. We had a great lesson from an enthusiastic Sunday School teacher about the Sermon on the Mount. It reminded me how important it is to make sure we're living as Christ lived and would live if He were in our situations. I've been blessed with an incredible companion these past couple of weeks- she's shown me so much Christ-like love and is always serving others! It just makes me want to be better, and I know that sometimes the best missionary work we can do, is to live by example. Others see that light and are drawn to the Saviour because of our good works. It's a win-win situation where everyone is happy!

Yesterday after church I also got to talk to a member named Ewa, and she knows the Ireland's! She's really cool and is planning on going to Australia for a holiday, but unfortunately I probably won't be back home soon enough to see her there. I told her she'd probably see you though at the temple, because you're like almost always there :D Oh that reminds me, I found out, I think I won't be coming home until after Christmas this year, (maybe like 1 day before the New Year or something like that) so I hope you enjoy another Summer Aussie Christmas without me! ;) I;m really so blessed to be serving my mission in Poland, the people are amazing, the culture is so rich, and I'm even getting used to the weather! I think when you experience so many miracles as well, it's sort of hard not to love the place just by association in your mind of all the good memories.

Well today we're going to the Soap Museum (oh yes, I'm sure it'll be as exciting as it sounds haha) and then we'll have dinner with an American family the Kagele's (they're so awesome!) so I'm looking forward to that. I'll let you know how everything goes next week, when I'll be in Warsaw!

Love you so much,
Siostra Grgich

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Pictures Worth 1000 Words

Me saying goodbye to my old companion Sister Wood (probably the last time I'll see her because she goes home in a week!)

Sisters Wood, Antczak and I pretending to be modelesque Babcias (Polish grandmas)

Backstreet Boys In Westerplatt

Sister Antczak and I headed off to the Filharmonia for our culture night
And Sister Antczak and I next to the Bydgoszcz river (I don't know what it's called)

Me being a zombie in the basement of the Bydgoszcz chapel (someone said it used to be a building where Nazis met, but I don't know how true that is...?) anyway, it's creepy down there!

Ok I don't have much time so this'll be short, but I sent some photos and they count for 1000 words each, right? ;)
This week in Bydgoszcz I've been able to experience a lot of new things, so it's been great! We had our 'culture night' on Friday - the missionaries in our district decided to go to a classical/orchestral concert in the Filharmonia on Friday (pretty snazzy!) so that was a different experience (Polish Opera singers and a very young, enthusiastic cunductor!).
My companion and I were able to experience the awkwardness of street contacting on Valentine's Day (a little harder to talk to strangers and interrupt them while they're in the middle of a romantic date haha!).
We were able to make a really cool morning studies plan (which we've been sticking to, and it's been really effective for helping us stay on task).
 We were able to have an exchange with Sister Wood (my previous companion) and did some whiteboard contacting together (found some people who we're still hoping to teach further).
We were able to teach some investigators (and even though some didn't show up to our meetings, we were able to plan good lessons and enjoyed the learning experience).
We've made a lot of goals in our companionship (like speaking more Polish to each other!) and they've been going well.
I was able to make a lot of telephone calls to people (in Polish!) which is VERY new for me, because I've never had that responsibility before in my past transfers, but now I've got to do it! (It's a little different speaking to someone over the phone than in person, face-to-face!).
So a lot of different experiences this week (I've also really loved my studies this week- have found so many gems in the scriptures I've never noticed before) Have a look at this one from Jeremiah 29:

12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
 14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

I read that yesterday and I really love it. Scriptures can have a very different meaning looked at through the eyes of a missionary!

One good experience before I end, yesterday at church my companion and I were able to sit in on the primary lesson and help with music time. We stayed for the lesson too as the Polish was simple (and helpful for us to learn) and unfortunately our investigators couldn't make it to church. So we were able to sit in on a wonderful lesson about Jesus Christ and "Gospel Treasures", and it was just so beautiful hearing the gospel laid out so simply (which is actually what we try to do as missionaries too). There was only one girl in the primary class, but it was so precious seeing how she has been raised with such a knowledge of the gospel and the most important things of life. I was thinking about my nieces (similar ages to this one girl) and how great it is that they have family that are bringing them up in this knowledge. Their lives will be forever blessed, and they will always know that no matter what trials come their way in the future, they can always depend on Jesus Christ, and they can always have that view of eternal life and true happiness. I'm so blessed to have also been brought up in a knowledge of these basic truths!

I hope you have a wonderful week, and always remember the basic truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are what life is all about!

Love you so much
Sestra Grgich

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Grass Is Always Greener Where You Are Right Now!!

A view out my train window of some Polish fields

Zone training in Poznań and Bydgoszcz last week (me and my district and then some elders from Szczecin and Poznań that were in my MTC group)

Me saying goodbye to the Gdańsk flat (that's Sister Wood in the background)

Sisters Bąk and Wood eating my Nutella and pretzels on the kitchen floor, as you do when you mourn the end of a companionship

Sister Bąk and I by the central city tram stop (Dworzec Główny) on my last night in Gdańsk (at least for this transfer). The station building is really fancy, and right next to it is the fancy KFC restaurant haha- the clasiest looking building if you ignore the big, red 'KFC' logo.

This week has been a bit different (well I could probably say that about every week, but anyway...) so I'm no longer serving in Gdansk, but rather in that town you (mum) can't pronounce that starts with a 'B' heheh. So this past Tuesday my Gdansk district all went over to Bydgoszcz for Zone Training (hosted by the Zone Leaders and myself) and our mission president and his wife were there too, so we had a great time for learning and uplifting each other. We spoke about specific goals that we want our Zone to work on (a lot to do with having unity and being consecrated) and then afterwards the Bydgoszcz district served us all home-made pierogi (Polish dumplings) that they'd made the day before- it was so delicious! Then I stayed the night with the Sisters there because the next day we went over to Poznań to give the Zone Training for the other half of our Zone (it just works out better because of the distances of the cities to do it that way). Then on the train home I got a call from the Mission President telling me I'd be going back to Bydgoszcz to finish at least the end of this transfer (and probably next, but we'll see). So I was really sad when I told my companions and realised I'd be leaving my favourite (well, it was my first and only) city, but we ended up making the best of our last 2 days together. So now I'm in Bydgoszcz and that explains why!

So after packing all my things and saying goodbye, (and getting to have one last lesson with our 2 investigators, a married couple who are the sweetest!) I arrived in Bydgoszcz just a few hours before an Open Day activity they were having at the chapel there. So we had a couple of hours to prepare (and eat) and I'm so grateful I got to be here for that experience! They (the district of missionaries in Bydgoszcz) had organised an open house with the help of the local branch members, and it was basically an opportunity for people to get to know more about why our church exists, some of our basic beliefs and then what we do on Sundays (like the different auxillaries and Sacrament Meeting). Some members brought their friends along, and it was just a really good environment. One of the recent converts in Bydgoszcz is from Austria (so speaks German!) and his German non-member friend came and I helped translate for them (from Polish into English, with a few German words here and there haha), so it was really fun! I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had to learn German (mostly at church in Solingen) because now I know all the 'gospel' terms like revelation, covenants, priesthood etc. It worked out well! I got to meet a lot of the members in this branch, and they've already helped me feel so welcome. A lot of people here actually know the Ireland's from when they served here as a senior missionary couple a little while ago! And there's a whole new realm of people here who have to struggle with learning to pronounce my awkward surname hahah :p

Yesterday at church I gave a short testimony and introduction, and we had some great talks about prayer and modern revelation through prophets and apostles. It was really insightful, and I also coudln't help but feel so overwhelmed with joy that the members in Poland have such strong testimonies of the restored gospel of Christ. I feel so blessed to be in Poland, because almost all of the members are converts (as in, their parents aren't members) and a lot of them have sacrificed so much to be in this church- you can see that it's all worth it because of the happiness their knowledge of the gospel brings them. I'm so grateful for the missionaries before me, who've taught these people and extended the invitation for them to simply follow after Jesus Christ. These people are now such great examples to me- I think of the wonderful members in Gdansk that I've had such a privilege of getting to know, and now I can see in Bydgoszcz how they are just as amazing and I'm so thankful that God has given me this opportunity to meet even more precious souls.

I'm so excited to hear about how things are going well back in Australia! I feel like I have a personal attitude of it doesn't matter what problems we have in life, everything will always end up fine in the bigger scheme of things, as long as we just keep the faith and endure to the end. I know I got a lot of this attitude from you (mum and dad) and I wouldn't want to see life in any other way!

Have a great week and I hope things continue to run smoothly with all the moving around and renovations! Oh, I got a really lovely email from Sylvia today, and she put this quote in it which I love: "THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENEST WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW!!"- I appreciate this saying so much in my life right now! I love my friends, they're the best :)
All my love,
Sister Grgich