My first P-day here in Poland. I can hardly believe that it’s only been a week. So much has already happened. We had three good flights, and thanks to the amazing gift of being able to sleep on a plane, I really didn’t experience much jet lag. We spent a couple days at the mission home, going out on splits with the Warsaw missionaries in the afternoons. It was so scary to go out there and start talking to people, but it’s really cool when someone actually stops and you talk to them and get to testify about your message. I was on splits with a Sister in the first branch on Monday and a Nigerian man that I contacted has been coming to Institute, Church, FHE. It’s so cool when you get to see the effects of the gospel in people’s life.
And then on Wednesday morning we got our assignments…….
And I’m in WARSAW!!!
I love it here. So much was lost in the years of war and communism, you can still see it, but they have really tried to restore a lot and to beautify the communist block housing that was left behind. During our first few days here they took us to the rynek which was stunning. I had seen some pictures before, but it is so much cooler in person. And a lot bigger than I expected. And there are huge gorgeous parks everywhere. I love it! I love riding public transportation (most of the time). It’s a huge city and I am still trying to get my bearings on where everything is–by the end of the transfer I know I’ll figure it out, but until then I’ll just follow my trainer around.
My trainer’s name is Sister LeFevre and she is awesome! She’s been in the country about a year and speaks really well, which is nice because I do not. I’m coming to love the Polish language more and more, and I know I learn a lot everyday. It’s really quite amazing, but I remember the first day we went out white boarding (where we take a white board out onto the side walk and have a question written on it. Then we try to get people to stop and write their answer on it and hopefully start a conversation) I think I understood maybe one word that they said. Now I can understand the gist of most conversations.
The weather here has been crazy. The first day was hot and humid. Even more so than the weekend I spent in Houston a couple months ago. It was impossible to wear more than just a lightweight shortsleeve shirt. Two days later it turned into cold fall weather. I pulled out all my sweaters and my peacoat. At least I like Fall. This must be an extra special blessing for me.
The members are great and really patient. A lot of them speak a little English, so if I don’t know what a word is I can ask them. And on Sunday they helped me translate a lot of my talk- Sister LeFevre and I spoke in Sacrament Mtg. All of the meetings were on member missionary work and so it seemed appropriate to have the missionaries speak, broke me in pretty fast though. The members were so nice and encouraged me. I admire their strength and their faith so much. Many of them have watched the church grow from a dozen members in Poland to two branches in Warsaw of about 60 people each. The first branch meets in the only chapel we have in Poland. But I’m serving in the second branch which is on the other side of town. )