Ok, This photo is not Tracy but I thought it was a good representation of fun in the mission field.
I was looking for photos on Google images and found the photos of Tracy I have put here on her blog. Somehow I felt so violated. Where’s the privacy? Anyway, I ended up looking and reading all these other blogs that were connected to pictures of missions and the word Poland. It was actually very uplifting.
So here’s Tracy’s letter for this week. I left out the portion to me. Enjoy.
This week has been so busy. We’ve been running around trying to meet with everyone and get everything done. I’m sure this is typical of missionary work in general, but you have some weeks when you contact and white board and call potentials all week, and then you have some weeks when you meet really cool people that are actually interested. Yesterday was one of those days where we taught and people weren’t just asking annoying questions or passively listening, but they really wanted to know, and they really wanted to study the Book of Mormon. It’s lessons like that that remind me why I’m here.
This week has been full of experiences that solidify why I’m here. I met a man on the bus who talked about how he was an idealist and wanted to go into social work and help the world. After wards I was thinking about myself a few years ago saying very similar things about helping people, and then it hit me– this is the most effective way to help people that exists. People will be happier with the gospel of Jesus Christ than they ever would be with me helping them build a school or a well. Not that those are bad things, they are very good things and very good desires, but this is the best work. I am so happy that I get to be a part of it.
The language is frustrating as always. It is frustrating to stop people and have them actually listening to you and interested in the message and I don’t know the questions that they are asking and when I try to say what I know, I stumble over my words and try to remember how to say what I want to say. It’s not a new experience, I know every missionary goes through it, and so I will remain patient and work on listening and speaking everyday. I know eventually it will come, and although I might not be one of the greatest Polish speakers, eventually I will be able to do what I need to do to succeed in sharing the gospel.
This is a new segment to my e-mail– funny language mishaps. We’ll start with a couple:
The word for beautiful is very similar to hell. So one night I was praying with Sister LeFevre and instead of saying “Thank you for this beautiful day” I said “Thank you for this hell day”. I couldn’t figure out why Sister LeFevre was laughing through the prayer…now I know.
Then last week at Institute I was talking to a member and they asked me how long we studied Polish before we came to Poland. Instead of saying “two months” as intended to I mixed up the word for months with the word for men. They were kind of confused and amused.
There are a lot of thrift stores here (at least 3 within a block of our mieszkanie), but the word for cheap looks kind of like the word for dancer. So for a week I read all the signs that say “cheap clothes” as “dance clothes” I thought there was a dancing sensation sweeping the country.
Fun polish fact: They have really small markets instead of big grocery stores. And they don’t give you bags to put your groceries in, you have to bring your own. They do sell these bags that fold up really small though and now I have one. I’m officially a resident!
Also, the fast food chains that aren’t super nice in the US like McDonalds and Pizza Hut. They are like gormet restraunts here. Super super nice.
Well I need to go, I love all of you so much and am grateful for everything you’ve done for me.
Sister Tracy Allen
P.S. Can I request a few things in a future package. Some U.S. medicine. I am just getting over a cold and even though they do have cough drops here, their cough syrup didn’t really work. Could I ask for some U.S. Medicine for a future cold that will probably be contracted this winter? And then there is a grammar workbook that I would love to have for language study. I have the text book but apparently there is a book with exercises to practice too. It’s by Dana Bielec. And some nylons- not either of the kinds we got before though. George brand doesn’t fit very well and Ann Taylor got a run really fast.
(cookies and tortilla chips are not hated either:)
I know you’re in Korea right now, so I don’t expect one for a while, but when you have time to send one, I would love those.