Thursday, 17 December 2015

I Wanted To Start With A Story

In Szczecin- I arrived just in time for the end of the branch's 'Family Home Evening', and met Grzegorz! (I think that's his name!) He knows a lot about Yugoslavia (bosnia and slovenia- he has sung in a choir there), his name is based off of the same language root as Grgich (from gregorius) and he's pretty funny hehe.

Jan, Me, Dagmara and Sister Sloan (she was companions with Sister Smith last transfer) at the chapel in Szczcin.

Sister Young and I before Vitali and Marzena's wedding.

At the branch Christmas party/fireside (with Olga and Marzena, and the Christmas tree :D)

Singing Christmas carols (kolędy in Polish) - yeah, we all have funny faces, but that's what happens when you're singing and having a great time! ;) (oh, now Nacho Libre is stuck in my head, that scene where he's like "I yama seenging at dee parrrtyyy" hehehehe)

Klaudia doing my hair- didn't she do a great job? Hehe :D

Us in Wejherowo with Marzena

This week I wanted to start with a story- I came across it while doing my daily morning personal scripture study (it's from the Book of Mormon seminary teacher's manual):
“Some time ago there was an interesting article about mountain climbing in a medical magazine. …
“The article was about a man named Czenkusch who runs a climbing school. Czenkusch was describing to the interviewer the belay system in mountain climbing. This is the system by which climbers protect themselves from falls. One climber gets in a safe position and secures the rope for the other climber, usually around his or her own body. ‘You’re on belay,’ means, ‘I’ve got you. If something happens, I will stop you from falling.’ It is an important part of mountain climbing. Now note what followed next in the article: ‘Belaying has brought Czenkusch his best and worst moments in climbing. Czenkusch once fell from a high precipice, yanking out three mechanical supports and pulling his belayer off a ledge. He was stopped, upside down, 10 feet from the ground when his spread-eagled belayer [Don] arrested the fall with the strength of his outstretched arms. “Don saved my life,” says Czenkusch. “How do you respond to a guy like that? Give him a used climbing rope for a Christmas present? No, you remember him. You always remember him”’

This story could be applicable to/a metaphor for a few things, but quite obviously to me, it encourages me to think about the saving Atonement of Jesus Christ- how He has truly saved my life. Every week at church, we have the opportunity to partake of the Sacrament- we remember the Saviour's sacrifice in our behalf, and as a form of gratitude (and for other reasons), we promise to always remember Him, and keep His commandments throughout our lives. I'm so grateful that we've been given one day in the week to particularly slow down and remember Him- we do different things on the Sabbath day, because in fact, is not just another regular day. We take the time to think of Him who has done so much for us, that we can never truly 'repay' Him- but we remember

Well yesterday was a very special day- I had a wonderful time at church and afterwards. A man came and visited our branch for the first time- I had never seen him before (as a reminder- I've been here for 13 months haha), then when I introduced myself to him after Sacrament Meeting, he told me he's Polish but has been living in Germany for quite a while, and he had met the missionaries there. Long story short (it's a great story and I'll have to tell you some time)- he now lives in Gdynia, he has a strong testimony of the Holy Ghost and His presence in our church and with the doctrines taught therein, his dad lives in Solingen, and he lived in a city right next door! It was so uplifting to talk to him and hear his 'story', his testimony about how the gospel has changed his life for the better, and how it is positively affecting his life right now. I'm sad that I'll be leaving the country so soon, but I'm so happy that the branch here continues to be strengthened by such wonderful people, and I know that wonderful things are happening in the lives of the people who live here.

This week Sister Young and I went to Wejherowo for a wedding of 2 of our friends. We've been teaching them lately, and they both love the doctrine of eternal families and being sealed in the temple- we're continuing to help them learn, and we're so blessed to know them and see them start their family together. I know the gospel will bless their lives so much (I've already seen how it has), so I pray that they will continue to seek for truth and read the Book of Mormon, because I know that God will answer their sincere prayers and they will find more joy in their lives than they've ever known before :)

This week we also had our branch Christmas fireside/party- we had a great turnout and it was just so nice being with everyone to focus on our Saviour and the true meaning of Christmas. We had a great discussion, a talk, Klaudia read the Christmas story from Luke, we sung carols and we had lots of good Christmas-y snacks like mandarins, gingerbread and kompot :). 

Many other wonderful experiences happened this week (like getting to visit Szczecin- ah we had such a great lesson with a lady after English class about the Plan of Salvation). I'll have to tell you all about it when I get home haha, I have to much to say! ;) Ok, love you so much, have a wonderful week :D

Siostra Grgich

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