Date

December 23, 2019

Area

Kielce

Companion

Elder Carl Nielson

Week 20: Życzę tobie Wesołych Świąt i szczęśliwego, nowego roku!

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! 😄
Traveling up to Warsaw on Tuesday for Zone Conference was the perfect way to start the week! Haha we got stuck in some bad traffic when we hit the city driving with the senior couple and decided that we were going to get McDonald's because we were so hungry! Well because of that, we only had 3 minutes to make it to the mission home for the conference! Haha, you've never seen me eat 5 double cheeseburgers and drink a shake so fast! 😂 (Maybe you have actually, I do that quite a bit at McDonald's!) We walked into the mission home right on time for the conference to start! The mood was set immediately by watching several videos on the birth of the Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. It was perfect! Later we watched a video that showed scenes from many Christmas movies that I grew up with! It was like watching the last 19 Christmases of my life pass me by. Alot of memories came flooding in! It segwayed perfectly into how it is okay to miss home during Christmas but that this Christmas will be the most unforgettable of our lives. President and his wife shared their Christmas missionary stories with us from when they served in Poland. I thought it was great! Truly Christmas has felt nothing like the Christmas I know and love. No snow. No caroling. Not very happy people to talk to on the streets. No family or loved ones to hold on too when it gets cold out. Grey skies and tall dark buildings. Christmas music hasn't played through the streets or the malls. No fun dates to Temple Square in Salt Lake City or to the store to shop for loved ones.
No, this year Christmas is very different than what I grew up with. I don't get all of the family traditions or laughter and smiles that came with each Christmas surrounded by the people I love the most. No American foods or movies but I will tell you what I do get... I get an experience like none other, to discover who my Savior is, in ways that I never have thought about before. I get to feel his love for me as I turn outwards. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else this year. I get to gain a deeper testimony of who Jesus Christ is to me. I get to share that with Poland. I get to grow into the person I have always wanted to become. This is an experience that I do not dread. Instead this is an experience I have longed for, to share the gospel on the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. This year I am becoming more converted. I have seen the strength that comes to a faithful servant of God. I am excited for Christmas, I am anxious to serve and I look forward to the next 18 months of growth and teaching and unforgettable experiences. The anxiety and fear that I have felt for those I left back home is fading into faith and joy. Nobody can tell me that something like that just happened naturally. It is a blessing from God. Who am I without Christ? Simply spoken... Nothing. Having faith to serve as a missionary brings me joy. I have faith in the blessings that will come as I fulfill my purpose in Poland. I am blessed to be able to declare His gospel to those who remain yet untouched by its teachings and blessings.
We were able to all go together during zone conference and see the palace of Kròl Jan III who was the last true king of Poland. His palace looks very similar to Versailles! I felt like I was back in Paris again! It was decorated with beautiful lights. It was an unforgettable experience!! We missed our train home the next day but after 4 hours of waiting in yet another McDonald's, we made it on another train!
Dance class was fantastic this week! We had a very small turn out due to a ton of people being away and busy for the holidays. I hope it picks up in January! I have faith!
On Thursday we saw The Nutcracker from the Moscow City Ballet!!! Seriously you guys, it was incredible. I loved every minute! 2 hours felt like 20 minutes! It was the original story and choreography of The Nutcracker Ballet and I really appreciated that! It was amazing!
We traveled on Friday to the home of Siostra Sałata who is very old. She fed us... Headcheese and pig liver.
Fantastic.
She is a sweetheart, let me tell ya, but I can’t eat that stuff again. She stared me down the entire time to make sure I ate it all. So I had to. It was a very very horrid experience unfortunately. Also unforgettable.😂 I also discovered that the meat she bought didn't come from a store...(sounds like the beginning of the Grinchs line at the end of the Jim Carrey movie right?😉) No instead, she bought it from a "private seller" who comes to her in his car and sells meats to her from his trunk...
Later that night I came down with some sort of "bug" and spent some time throwing up at our chapel! Haha, no truly, I came down with some sort of flu this week. I spent 2 days sick at home. Even walking made me sick. I was very faint. Today I am feeling a little better!
I spent today in Kraków!! What a beautiful city... Holy smokes. It was FREEZING but it was a fantastic experience! The shops sold amazing food! I bought a zapiekanka, which is a Polish meal, with a long piece of garlic bread with mushrooms and ketchup! It was soooo good!! Wow, I loved it! At the top of every hour in Kraków, a man emerges at the top of the cathedral and plays a song on his bugle then waves to everyone. Do does it facing the north, east, south and west. It was really cool! It was so nice to see a big city all decorated for Christmas with all their shops. Still felt nothing like Christmas to me, but it was an awesome experience.😊
I wish you all a Merry Christmas! I love you so much! Hold your loved ones close and always remember to thank Heavenly Father for the blessings of family and loved ones that bring us so much happiness and joy. Please don't take them for granted! Sometimes I believe you don't know a good thing until its gone! I am so blessed with an amazing and wonderful family, an incredible girlfriend and marvelous family friends who have shown me their love for my family and I countless times. Don't forget, if you are feeling alone this Christmas, I'll be praying for you. I am excited to write you all next week and let you know how Christmas went. I am going to a Catholic mass tomorrow at midnight! Very cool! I'll talk to you all soon!
Merry Christmas everyone. 😊❤




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Poland Warsaw Mission
Local
Poland

Length of Service

85 %

Days in Mission Field

1
Years
8
Months
11
Days