I feel like its appropriate to start this weekly email to all of you back home by telling you that I love Jesus Christ. I am really grateful for the trials that I've been given over the last 4 months. Through them, I've learned that I need humility in order to have the companionship of the Spirit. I've found within myself new strengths that weren't there before I left home. I'm being melted and refined, each day. One day I want to look back on my time as a missionary and see how beautiful the transformation was that took place because of the struggles that I had to go through. Hardship has helped me to look deeper for the sources of true happiness. Today I felt real happiness. I went grocery shopping and bought for my family back home a little Christmas stocking that was filled with chocolate. I walked outside the doors of store and had an impression that I'm sure came from the Holy Ghost. I promised myself and Heavenly Father that if I saw a little kid while walking back to my apartment (30 second walk) then I would give that child my candy to help brighten their day. There was nobody in sight, I could see all the way to my apartment and there was nobody in sight. That was until out of nowhere there came walking down our street a little girl, holding her mother's hand. I couldn't help but smile because I knew the Lord orchestrated that. I walked up to the two, and with the little Polish I know, told them that I was from another country and I wanted to give them a gift for Christmas this year. It was really tender for me giving that package of chocolate to an adorable little girl who surely needed it more than I did. That experience gave me happiness today. Isnt that funny how service works? You find long lasting happiness by helping others instead of focusing on yourself. I love that.
This week my companion and I were fasting for a certain family who has been struggling with personal problems and what we were teaching them. While contacting on the streets, we got very hungry and forgot that we were fasting. We saw a Mc. Donald's and agreed to go and get fries together. On our way in we met a homeless man. I gave him all I had which was some candy. We talked for a minute and then we excused ourselves to go into McDonald's. We decided to buy the man a cheeseburger because it was very cold and that was all they had that could help him warm up a little. We gave it to him, he wanted some of our fries too so I actually fed them too him! It was pretty great. We said goodbye again and walked away eating our fries. I then remembered that we were fasting... We hurried back to the man and gave him our fries also! In the end I concluded that we were allowed to forget our fast to help the man who needed food. If we hadn't have forgotten, we wouldn't have stopped at McDonald's. The Lord is amazing and works in such strange ways. But they are always beautifully orchestrated.
We had Zone Conference this week! We learned so much about using Facebook and other media to find more people to share the gospel with. Our goal is to post every day as missionaries. We want to show people that we are normal just like them and we love their culture and home and we want to help them in any and every way possible. I am so excited to see what kind of miracles come from our social media finding!
I sometimes wish people knew we weren't trying to sell anything. I'm truly here to be like Jesus Christ. I want to help these people be happy. Something that I've learned recently is that more miracles and blessings will come once the Lord trusts me to teach His children. It requires a great amount of humility to be true disciples. It also takes a great amount of humility to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am growing through Jesus Christ to become more sufficiently humble in order to have the opportunity to teach more of his children.
Tomorrow I start teaching dance classes! Please pray for me. I've been having really painful back problems the last few weeks. I am also nervous for how this is going to go. I need to have faith that the Lord will take control and allow miracles to come from our efforts. I am so excited!!!!! What an Incredible opportunity this is.
This week was full of trials and a few hardships. I can't lie about that. But that is how life is meant to be. I need the bad in order to know the good. I am grateful for my trials and know that they are building me into the person I have always wanted to become. The blessings come after the trial of faith. I have a testimony of that principle. The people here, along with us have all felt a little down this week I believe. The weather and lack of light have been an adjustment! I think that everyone will be adjusting to it all better pretty soon! I love being a missionary in Poland. I love having the opportunity to message you all back home. I am well! I am made stronger each day because of my Savior. I look at the problems I face with a smile and a grateful attitude! I am so grateful for the opportunity to become the best version of myself. It's a long road, but I can do it! I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving (and a safe Black Friday) back home and want you all to know that I am grateful for you and for everything you are doing to become better each day. I love you. Until next week.