Monday, 18 May 2015

Science, Painting and Translating

Sister Herrera and I at the train station

Riding a science bike at the museum

Teaching Somchit (Thai member) basic English

The National Stadium in Warsaw- next to a bridge, and right around the corner from the Copernicus Science Centre/Musuem

Building a dome at the museum (it has an inflatable dome inside it, and you build the blocks around it then deflate it and see if it'll stand)

This week we had exchanges! So our p-day was on Tuesday instead of Monday because of the Easter Long Weekend, so after p-day we took Sister Johnston to the station and sent her off to Łódż, and then Sister Herrera swapped her place. So I got to be with Sister Herrera until Thursday. She's super cool, a convert to the church (she was Catholic and then converted to Judaism before meeting some of our missionaries), speaks a bit of Spanish and is super awesome! We were able to teach a recent convert and find some potential people to teach. We spoke to a lot of people and invited them to church- one man even rang us back and told us he was interested in learning more, so that was exciting! I was a little bit sick still, but we were able to get a lot done and learn from each other, and I was so grateful for Sister Herrera's enthusiasm! She's only in her first transfer, so I'm sure we'll be able to work with each other again in the field.

This week we also had our "culture night/day" for the transfer. Our district decided to go to a science museum here in Warsaw, it's called the "Copernicus Centre" or something like that- it's basically just got a lot of fun sciency stuff to play around with. I was grateful that they had everything in Polish AND English haha because you just have to walk around the different exhibits and set ups and figure out what to do with it all. It was great fun, and the weather that day was incredible- 20 Celcius, just glorious! Later we went to the chapel, had some food and watched a movie about Joseph Smith before heading home.

I wish I had taken some photos of this but oh well... on Saturday we helped out with painting and cleaning in our chapel with other branch members. The walls all have a lot of scuff marks, so we were able to clean a lot and get the Primary room repainted. They'll probably continue to paint different rooms as time goes by- it looks good and it was a lot of fun spending time with the members helping out. And we had Pizza afterwards so I guess that was a bonus too ;)

Yesterday at church I translated into English for the American members in our branch- it was pretty difficult, so luckily I had Kaja (an investigator) help me with it. For one of the talks she basically did all of the translating herself hahah poor thing. I did however translate in Relief Society by myself, and I think I did an ok job if I do say so myself ;) I'm slowly getting more comfortable with understanding Polish- it's an interesting language so you have to constantly be willing to study and improve! After church we went to the city centre to talk to people about the gospel, and we ended speaking to a man from Barcelona. That was pretty cool, although I didn't attempt to speak much Spanish because that language is pushed WAY back in some dusty corner of my brain now :p He said he's come to church in a couple of weeks, so we're hoping to see him there soon! We were also able to invite many others to come to church and see what it's like for themselves- hopefully they'll come :)

Well this morning was a little bit crazy with the weather, but the sun's already coming out, so I'm not sure what we'll do but hopefully we'll spend some time with Elder Hardy before he goes home (this is his last p-day before going home) and I'm gonna try to send off some letters too. I Hope you have a wonderful week, love Sister Grgich <3

Sunday, 10 May 2015

The Living Prophet is More Important To Us Than a Dead Prophet"

Hi Family! I'm a little sick today and my brain's not entirely working, so I'll just keep this short! So this past week my companion and I got to teach a lesson for YW in our branch, we taught about General Conference, how we can prepare and then we played a little game with learning more about the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 Apostles of the church. We spoke about how in this world full of voices and information, it can be hard to know what we should do or who we should listen to. Thankfully we have not only the scriptures (writings of prophets of old) but we also have living apostles and prophets and they can guide us by speaking with authority from our loving Heavenly Father. Their words are more relevant now than anything else (there's a quote in the Liahona this month from Ezra Taft Benson) :

“The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet. …
“… God’s revelations to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the Ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore, the most important prophet, so far as you and I are concerned, is the one living in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us. Therefore, the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet … contained each month in our Church magazines. Our marching orders for each six months are found in the general conference addresses, which are printed in the Ensign magazine. … Beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence.

I like that quote. So this weekend we did indeed get to watch General Conference! We actually still need to find some time to watch the Sunday afternoon session, but everything else we've seen so far. I'll encourage you to do the same thing we encouraged our investigators and members- go to Conference with one or a few questions you need the Lord to answer. Then bring something to write on and listen for the answers :) It was a great experience for me to feel the Lord's love through these inspired leaders and their talks. When we come to the Lord ready and willing to receive answers, we will not go back empty-handed.

I'm grateful for the time we had this weekend to remember Jesus Christ's Atonement and resurrection. It's been nice speaking to people this past week about life after death and why Jesus Christ matters to everyone. We generally talk about that anyway, but perhaps this week, people were more willing to take time and reflect on what this season is about. It's so good to have and know my purpose in life. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how I can feel at peace knowing that we are all children of God and members of His family. I'm so grateful the church has been restored with all the principles, ordinances and authority from Christ himself.

Yesterday we were contacting people on the street when a young family came up to us. They're here visiting from England, although they're French natively. They're members from our church and so we started talking. It was so nice having those automatic friends :) It sounds funny but it's true! No matter where you are in the world, when you find someone that's a member you just feel right at home in their presence! I think it's because we know that we are all family, we're not afraid of anything, we're not skeptical of each other- we just want to help each other. We know that we're all trying to be more like our Saviour and we have so many reasons to be happy :)

Ok I'll finish now and I'll wish you an amazing week full of great experiences and lots of smiles!

Love you so much,
Siostra Grgich

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Eating Caterpillars

Sister Johnston and I at Park Łazienki last p-day (it's a massive, fancy park in Warsaw)

Me on the tram on the way to Zone Conference

Me with Sister Bąk at the chapel

4 of the 6 Commonwealth missionaries! (2 from Canada and 2 from Australia) There's another 2 missionaries from the UK but they weren't in this photo

Sister Johnston and I at Dennis' house

Us with Dennis and his friends

A plate of caterpillars!

This week we had a few exciting things going on! Monday after emailing we went to a famous park in Warsaw called the Łazienki Park. We saw a lot of interesting animals like peacocks, squirrels, ducks and humans ;) It was really nice walking around and talking with the other missionaries. The sun was also shining and it was just a nice relaxing time.

On Thursday, my companion and I went to the government office to get some legal work done with my residence permit- we had to wait a really long time :/ But now everything's all done and dusted so in a few weeks I should get my new card and not have to worry about any legal work for the rest of my stay here. It was pretty cool while we were waiting, we were doing some of our morning studies, and at one stage we were reading aloud to each other from the Missionary Handbook (in English) and a lady next to us started speaking to us and saying how she wants to learn English. We ended up speaking for a while, she's actually from the Ukraine, lived in Germany for a while, and is now nannying here in Poland. So we were swapping from speaking Polish, English and then settled for a while on German (it was her more comfortable of the 3 languages) it was so fun! Haha we invited her to come to our Enlgish class and we're hoping that we'll get to see her again soon. I always love having someone to speak German with :D And I guess I have a soft spot in my heart for Ukrainians after living with one for a year :) Then later that day, we were contacting people on the street, inviting them to learn about the church, and who did I find?- A German girl! Hehe, we started talking in Polish and she cuts us off and says "I don't speak Polish" and we said "Oh where are you from?" and she says "Germany" and I just about freak out ;) We spoke for a bit in German but swapped back to English so my companion could understand, but then she said she was in a rush to go anyway, so we gave her a pass-along card and we hope she'll look at the website and give us a call.

Oh, also, on Tuesday we finally got our washing machine fixed. It had been broken for 4 weeks and we'd been having to go to a laundromat (it was getting expensive :/), but finally someone came and fixed a broken part, and now we have a fully-functional washing machine :) I'll never take one of those for granted again! I also shared a Tim-Tam with the handyman and showed him my kangaroo fur scripture case, so that was fun haha.

On Wednesday we had a Zone Conference for missionaries at the Warsaw 1 meetinghouse. It was nice to see a lot of the missionaries and catch up. We also had good food and a lot of inspired words, aimed at helping us be better missionaries and people in general. I particularly enjoyed learning about how we all must strive to be perfect, but we shouldn't expect that that's going to happen in this life. We spoke about the blessings of obedience and we all committed ourselves to being better at specific things in regards to the missionary work. My companion and I are both working hard and we see the blessings every day from our efforts. I love being a part of this work :)

On Friday we were invited to go to an African member's house for dinner and a lesson. His name is Dennis and he's on of the most enthusiastic and happy people I've ever met! He made us fufu (not sure if that's how to spell it) and he had 2 other Christian friends there. He fried up some caterpillars and I mustered up the courage to eat just one haha. He also told us that he had crocodile and monkey meat, but he was just kidding! We all believed him though for a while hahah. It was nice to spend time with him and his friends, we all spoke about how beautiful it is to have the knowledge that we are all brothers and sisters- one big family and we need to look out for each other. I love multiculturalism- there's so much we can learn from one another :)

On Saturday we had a YSA girl Róża help us make calls to former investigators, and we were able to set up a meeting with someone for tomorrow. We've been doing a lot of work with trying to find former investigators and less-active members to see if there is anything we can do as missionaries to help them progress in the gospel. So far, we've had good contact with a lot of people, some of whom are interested in learning further, so we're excited to teach them and help them. Even though we don't always know what will come out of our efforts, we know that we have to give people the opportunity to accept what we teach, and then it's really up to them to accept the blessings that God is waiting and willing to pour out on them.

Love you so much, have a wonderful week!
Siostra Grgich

Friday, 1 May 2015

3 Packets of Tim Tams!!!

Yesterday we joined with the Warsaw 1 branch for a district conference and had a wonderful time listening to the different speakers of all different ages and backgrounds. It was so nice to hear everyone's testimonies and meet with many different members, investigators and missionaries. It was a great time of learning for me (both with the language and increasing my spiritual knowledge) and I'm so excited for the opportunity we'll have in a couple of weeks to watch General Conference- it's going to be so great!

This week I got a package from Australia! It had 3 packets of Tim Tams!!! :D And a really cool letter from you mum- it's so cool to hear about your experience with a legitimately interested investigator of the church. It's so good to know the Lord's promise is sure, that as we obtain His word (by reading the scriptures and listening to modern-day prophets and apostles) our tongues will be loosed, and we'll know what to say at the very moment we need it! Oh, about the Tim Tams- the missionaries in my district LOVE them and so did an American lady in our Polish class. I don't understand why they don't sell them here!! Anyway, your gift is greatly appreciated, and I think I still have about half of the biscuits left :) I also really appreciated the photos- I've stuck them up on the wall near where I study, and they always make me smile :D This week there was a day for companionship study which we watched some church film about how families can be together forever. I think I actually watched it when I was doing the temple preparation course with you, mum. Anyway, it's pretty cheesy and from the 80's, but it made me and my companion both cry! It's so beautiful having this knowledge that we do about the eternal bonds of families, sealed together for eternity by God's power. I'm so grateful for our family and the knowledge that we'll always be together.

This week we met with a member and spoke about Family History work. I've been really impressed lately to put more of a focus on it. I keep reading in Preach My Gospel about how important it is to use Family History in our finding efforts and with members. There's a quote I love from Spencer W. Kimball :

“I hope to see us dissolve the artificial boundary line we so often place between missionary work and temple and genealogical work, because it is the same great redemptive work!”
And it's so true! Sometimes it's hard on earth to find people who are ready to accept the gospel, but we can do our family history and submit names for people to have their ordinances done at the temple, so that those people (who we know are being taught the gospel in the spirit world) will be able to accept those saving ordinances and receive the consequent blessings. I would love to see myself helping others do their family history work, so that the missionary force can continue to roll strong both here on earth and in heaven. So mum, I'm so proud of your incredible example to me of being actively involved in genealogy and temple work, and I will certainly do more of it when I return home- please don't allow me to get lazy with it!

This week we got to meet with a member who made us authentic Thai food! It was so delicious :) We had a great time with her and encouraged her to prepare herself for the temple. She really wants to go so we're going to do all we can to help her with that worthy goal.

This week we were able to find a few former investigators and invite them to learn more. We caught a few at home but said they were no longer interested, but we did manage to find one that was excited to see us and let us in her home! We taught a little bit about the purpose of life, and we're hoping to meet with her again to teach the Plan of Salvation. My companion and I are excited to meet with her and we hope she can develop a testimony in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ- she's so wonderful and her life will just be 10-fold blessed if she can progress in the gospel :) My companion and I love looking for former investigators- we're praying that some of these people will be ready to receive the message now, and we have great faith!

This week we got to meet with our current progressing investigator and 2 recent convert women. I love teaching them just the basic doctrines, and I love hearing their testimonies and seeing their growth. It's such a privilege for me to be around them and to learn from their amazing examples. I'm so grateful for the missionaries who have found and worked with these people over the months, and I hope I can continue to strengthen them and find others who will be blessed in the same way.

Today we might go to a museum- we'll see! Or we might play volleyball at the chapel. Either way, it should be a great p-day, followed by some tracting later tonight (or FHE, we'll see what happens). The sun continues to shine and I know that I've got Tim Tams waiting for me at home, so nothing will get me down! ;)

Love you so much, have a great week!
Siostra Grgich