Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Sisters Conference

Me with one of Kaja's turtles (either Jerzy (George) or Barbara)

Me with the Book of Mormon in Croatian!

This week I made 2 friends- Jerzy and Barbara. They're pet turtles of our real, human friend Kaja hehehe. I held them and got photos with them so hopefully I can upload them to you later today! Anyway, being real now! This week we had the amazing opportunity to go to a "Sisters Conference" held at the mission home in Warsaw for all the sisters currently serving on the mission (minus the senior missionaries). The Sister Training Leaders organised different parts of the program (held over an evening and morning), all focused on trying to unify the sisters in purpose and helping us be uplifted and encouraged. I taught a section on obedience and my companion and I sung a song from the Children's Songbook (Keep The Commandments). It went really well, and I enjoyed the other things we spoke and learnt about (dealing with discouragement, avoiding jealousy and other bad feelings, understanding the role of sisters and women in general). It was so nice to see all the different sisters that are currently serving all over the country, and it was nice to see our Mission President and his wife, who were both so kind and accommodating to us.
I guess this week was women's week or something, because we also had a Relief Society activity! It was for the 163rd (I think) anniversary of the establishment of the Relief Society program, and my companion and I along with 3 sisters serving in the Warsaw 1 branch performed a song for it (I played guitar and we all sung different parts, 1 verse in English and 2 in Polish). It was really beautiful and just so pleasant being there with all the other sister members (and investigators) from both Warsaw branches. We had food afterwards (Sister Johnston and I made cookies for it!) and made little sock bunnies (I'll have to show you a picture some time) and just got to chat and mingle, so I really appreciated the time to get to know more of the women a little better. I think I say it a lot, but one of the things I love about the church, is the actual organisation of it! I love how we're all able to come together and strengthen each other, look out for each other, and simply be with each other. There's a scripture in Moroni about this: (Moroni 6:4-5)

 4 And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the HolyGhost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might beremembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchfulunto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.
 5 And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare oftheir souls.

I'm so glad to hear from you and others that tell me about how much they care about the different people in the wards where they serve. We're all in this together, and we all have to help nourish each other by the good word of God! I'm so happy to hear about everyone's missionary efforts, and I love that those Sisters and Tracey came to see Baba! I know that we as members of the church, need to always live as Christ did. We must remember to serve those around us, and help them grow in their faith so that they too can help others around them. I'm certainly working on exerting more of my efforts to look out for others, and I'm grateful for your examples to me :)
Yesterday at church, my companion and I had the privilege of teaching the Gospel Principles class. We were a little under-prepared (we didn't know we were teaching it!) but it went well and even got to meet one lady who hadn't been to church in 5 years, and another man who's from Africa that just decided to find a Christian church to go to, and ended up in our building! Pretty incredible miracles if you ask me! We also had and investigator and recent convert in the class, and I was just so filled with the Spirit, looking around the room and thinking about the beauty of these people and their different levels and understandings of faith in Jesus Christ and His gospel- all united in their desire to really learn and grow. I am so blessed every day as I'm able to meet different people and learn from my experiences with them. Life is a beautiful thing :)

Today I think we're going to be playing some volleyball (the sun is shining yet again!!) and then after p-day we'll meet some of the single members in the branch FHE and hopefully find some people to teach on the streets or in their homes. We're hoping everything goes well and that we can invite some more people to learn about the restored gospel :D.

Hope you all have a wonderful week, I love you so much!
Love Siostra Grgich

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Warmth in Poland

The weather is getting warmer now and the sun is making itself known again to this beautiful part of the world! This past week was another busy and rewarding one, filled with some familiar and some not so common experiences. We've been able to speak with a few different people on the streets- some more interested than others, but nevertheless, my companion and I were able to teach, testify and invite people to follow Christ and we felt so fulfilled in doing so. 

One experience we had a couple of days ago, was in talking to a man who actually had met with the missionaries before and had a Book of Mormon. He was really kind (actually, most of the people we spoke to this week were kind) and had some questions about our beliefs which we were glad to answer, but unfortunately his skepticism stood in the way of wanting to learn more from us or read and pray about the Book of Mormon. He actually knew a fair amount about some of our practices, such as the Word of Wisdom and how we perform baptisms for the dead, but these were precisely the things he found too "weird" to accept. I felt sad that he didn't want to learn more, because I know that these commandments, principles and ordinances, which are sometimes "weird" to the natural man, can become clear and not only normal, but they can be seen as they really are- essential and beautiful parts in our Heavenly Father's great plan of happiness for His children. One question this man asked, was why do some Mormons not live according to our standards (he made an example of a famous Mormon singer). My companion and I explained that none of us are perfect, for if we were there would be no point for us being on the earth. Jesus Christ makes repentance possible (and all the things that accompany it such as healing, comfort and strength) through his Atonement, and of course even members of the church will make mistakes, but we repent and become better- that's what life's all about!

Another man we spoke to took me a little off guard. Normally in Poland, we speak to a lot of Catholics, or at least people who have a general belief in God or who once did believe. Yesterday we spoke to a man from Turkey, who had a fairly different idea of who God is to what we know to be true. We mentioned how God is our Father, and asked him what his beliefs in God were. He said that he was Muslim, but wasn't really practicing, but then he made a point that God is all around and in everything and he has many names and we can't call him 'father'. I suppose the first point is true, that God is aware of everyone and everything, but the second point just really took me aback. I felt sad that this man didn't look at God as being his father, and I really thought about how essential it is for people to have faith in this eternal truth, in order to understand the gospel and the role of Jesus Christ and everything that goes along with it. We were at least able to give this man a pass along card, and he promised he would look at the website ( and we hope that some of the truths he reads will resonate in his heart and encourage him to learn more. He was friendly anyway so that was good, and I'm so glad that for the most part, all the different religions of the world generally teach about love and the importance of being kind to fellow man- for that I'm truly grateful!

This week we also had a great opportunity to teach some members- one of them is from Thailand and hardly speaks any English or Polish, but I truly heard the language of the Spirit- and I know that this woman's testimony was strong and real. We read a scripture with her from the Book of Mormon (it was actually about how the Spirit speaks for man's understanding) and as she read it in Thai I just felt so warm- I guess that's how I can explain it! I could see the smile on her face and I felt the strength of her words, bearing testimony of how she knows this gospel is true. What a great experience it is to be a missionary! I have also been blessed to teach others and have similar experiences of knowing that the Holy Ghost is there to testify and comfort. It's an incredible gift that members of the church have been endowed with- to always have the Spirit with us. How grateful I am for that!

Love you so much, remember that we always have the Spirit with us as we are living worthy of His presence- and take time to listen! :)

Siostra Grgich