What a week it has been! Everyone has been telling me that the days go by slowly but the weeks go fast! I cant believe that I'm into my fourth week of my mission. I wanted to start this email by telling you about our very special devotional this last Tuesday... We had the privilege to hear from Elder David A. Bednar! Isn't that the coolest thing ever? Luckily I was apart of the choir so I was able to sing for him, and that was a unique experience. We sang a rendition of I Know That My Redeemer Lives. It was a very powerful song. My favorite moments of the devotional were when I sat and watched Elder Bednar looking up at me. I could literally feel the spirit that he brought into our meeting. He spoke on the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and about how we are guided by the spirit not knowing beforehand what things we are to do. He actually had his family there and he invited his adorable little granddaughter up onto the stand to bear her testimony on the subject of prayer! It was such a perfect message for every missionary in the congregation. Near the end of his remarks he gave us an apostolic blessing that we would be able to endure and listen to the promptings of the spirit, even when we have no idea where we are going or why we are being asked to do a specific thing. Our closing song matched his message perfectly, it spoke of the Holy Ghost guiding us... Elder Bednar literally stood up, cut of the song halfway through and told us that the spirit was trying to speak to us at that very moment with that song and had us start over. So cool! When he stood to leave the meeting he looked at all of us, smiled, raised his hand and said, "I love you." Wow, wow, wow we are all just a mess haha!
This week has presented me with many challenges while I have been trying to learn the language. Lucky for me, when I am diligently working I am blessed with Dar Jezykow... The Gift of Tongues. Last night I taught a woman from Poland who is a convert of about 2 years. Native Polish is difficult to understand but I am grateful for the experiences because it is teaching me how it will be when I arrive in Poland. I also taught a recent convert named Bart from Poland! He is the coolest guy, he gave us so much advice last night after the discussion. He told us that our Polish is great, and that most people are very friendly if you are struggling with the language, especially the younger generations. Sometimes the older people will give you a judgmental look and try to call you out but he told us to not even care and just keep moving forward! Ahh I'm so excited to get there. Itll be great to be in the real world again haha! I feel like we are in a little box!
A few days ago I met an a missionary named Elder Thomas. He is 26 years old and has had some of the most brutal experiences in life. He's been homeless with his siblings, kicked out for learning the gospel, survived gangs and drugs and is here to tell his conversion story. He will be serving in Ogden! So cool! He can't wait to convert the gang members there because he says he knows exactly how to help them. Elder Thomas taught me so many valuable lessons and one of them was that its important to keep the gospel and its terms simple so that the people we are teaching can feel more confident about what we are teaching. I love Elder Thomas. He's from Arkansas but lives in Houston right now. Craziest conversion story!
We were also blessed to have heard from Tad R. Callister this last Sunday! He wrote the book A Case For The Book of Mormon. His talk was so factual which I thought was cool because it was a change of pace.
This last Sunday my companion and I were asked by our branch presidency to represent the zone by meeting with the MTC presidency and speaking to all of the new missionaries this upcoming sunday in a panel devotional. That's is going to be so fun! We are super excited for that.
I would love to hear from all of you soon. It is so great hearing about how you all are doing and what sort of things are happening in your lives. I pray for you all every night. I love you.
I wanted to close this email with a short testimony...
Wiem że Księga Mormona jest prawda. Jeśli czytam, otrzymać pocieszenie I pokój. Wiem że rodzine są wieczny I Bóg jest kochający i Jezus Chrystus jest Synem Boga. Zadośćuczynienie jest dla wszystkich. Kocham Ewangeli Chrystusa. W imię Jezusa Chrystusa, amen.
I love you all. I know that this mission is not about me. This is His gospel. His work. I simply am here to be his servant and declare His word unto his children to bring them to a knowledge of who they once were. I am learning to love this work. Blessings come from missionary service and the Lord will never fail us.
I recently read 2 Nephi 31. Never before has a scripture hit me so hard to the point where I could not finish it. Look at verse 13. It is one of the most powerful promises in the Book of Mormon. I would love for you all to read that. I promise that as you do so with sincerity of heart that you will feel the spirit testify of the truthfulness of the scriptures. I hope it brings peace into your hearts and your homes.
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.