Dzien dobry! It is so great to be able to message all of you at home today! I have had such a unique week, and several experiences that have built my trust in the Lord and in his plan for me.
First off I wanted to start by talking a little bit about Polish. It is a very challenging language to learn! We have language classes 6 hours a day and spend between 2-3 additional hours on personal and language study. Difficult! But it is starting to pay off. I am recognizing more phrases in Polish and I know that the gift of tounges (dar jezyków) is real. Here is an awesome experience for you... Last night we had our very first TRC.. (Training Resource Center) where we taught two 20 minute lessons. Guess what?! Moje Kolega I ja (my companion and I) taught a man from Warsaw who was baptized two years ago and married one of the Siostra misjonarz who taught him! Oh. My. Gosh. His native Polish was so cool to listen too yet so intimidating!! It changed my life!! I cannot wait to find more people like him out there. We also taught one of the first missionaries to serve in Poland! He was great and he has a son who is in the MTC going to Anaheim, California. Or as I call it, the Disneyland mission haha!! Jealous! Polish can be difficult, and I get a little mixed up because alot of words sound very similar to me right now! Its funny because the language actually sounds like a ton of whispering. It is very light and smooth. It is beautiful! As hard as it may be teaching a lesson in a far more difficult language, there is one thing in each meeting that stays consistant, whether it be English or Polish. The language of the holy spirit can be heard and felt in any gospel discussion. It never ceases to blow my mind. We always start lessons with a prayer to invite peace and the spirit of the Lord to be with us! There is a little about how Polish is coming! I love it!
Next I wanted to talk about the devotional that we had this last Tuesday! Elder Nielson of the Seventy came and answered questions that missionaries had submitted to him this last week. As many of you may already know, Elder Nielson is the head of the missionary offices and is a very great man. He answered these questions...
What percentage of missionaries experience homesickness?
How do I overcome doubts of not being good enough to enter the mission field?
How do I get along with my companion?
What do I tell myself if I feel my mission is not as exciting as other missions?
Answer: Even in Idaho, every missionary is called to serve in a specific place for a specific reason and by the end of your mission you will know why you were sent there.
Elder Nielsons thoughts concerning homesickness touched my heart and I was able to gather some incredible notes on the subject. Guess what?! His son served in Poland and he was telling all of the missionaries at the MTC about his experiences! Isn't that so cool?! You can't tell me that talk wasn't made to bring me from such a low point to such a high one. Since that meeting I have been very happy and have loved learning about the gospel!! I also wanted to say thank you to my wonderful family who has supported me each day with messages and prayers, and friends who's advice contine to change the way I think each day. I cannot thank you enough. Keep em coming!!!! Haha!
My companion and I are getting along great, we have a very good relationship! Haha funny story, so we lost 36 missionaries this week and they were replaced in our zone by 21 Tagolog eldere all going to the Philippines!! I was so excited because that is where my dad served! We actually were forced to move rooms yesterday so our zone could be on the same floor. So that's what we spent all night on Tuesday and all morning on Wednesday doing! But it was alright! I had a chance to get a little more organized.
How are all of you doing? I am so grateful for your messages to me! Along with not being able to know what's happening in the outside world, they won't let me dance at the mtc.. Haha that's ok I guess because there is nothing to dance to except like... hymns...
I miss dancing like crazy, ahhhhhh! But a mission is an all around sacrifice, and I know that my family and my loved ones will continue to be blessed as a result. Family and prayer are my biggest motivations and I have such a testimony of them. Wiem że rodzina są wieczny I modlitwa jest potężna.
I feel each day the small amounts of growth that are coming from being a missionary. I have so much to still learn and so much work to still put in, and I know my natural capabilities are not enough to complete the task ahead of me but through Jesus Christ, and through the holy spirit of the Lord and the power that comes from holding the title of Elder and missionary and the name of Jesus Christ on my chest, I can do all things. My burdens are becoming more light as I learn to show my faith. I never knew being away from home would be so difficult, but if it means I can bring families together so that they can love one another the way I love my family, then there is no place I would rather be.
The power of technology is incredible! I started my mission marking up my hard scriptures with pencils but I have been transitioning just a little after I went to a lesson about how many tools the gospel library provides. I love marking scriptures in there and then creating tags that I can easily access for lessons later. It works alot quicker than flipping through notes or books. But I am not opposed to still reading and marking a hard copy!! I believe that the Lord has given us technology so that we can teach more effectively. The only downside is that there is no Polish Book of Mormon online! Dang it! Maybe I need to look in a different place.
Throughout the day I will try my best to respond to all the emails I have received! I love you all so much and I know that this mission is where I need to be! I love being a missionary. I wear my nametag proudly!
Mosiah 24: 13-14
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
I hope this scripture can comfort those in need this week. I am always thinking and praying for you. I love you. Thank you for loving me.
The Lord answers our prayers. I know that to be true. He has experienced all pain and suffering so that we need not suffer alone. There is no greater pocieszenie than that. (Comfort)
If you have any more questions about my mission or the MTC please let me know! I will keep you all in my prayers! To all of my siblings and my cousins and friends, good luck in school! This is going to be a great year for all of you! Work your hardest and I promise it will pay off. I will work on teaching the gospel while you work on straight A's Haha! Sound good Charley?! If you ever get sad just remember your big brother Zak is in school too!!! Just a different kind right? Have an amazing week and keep me updated! I cannot wait to hear from you all soon!