Happy Holidays

Hello family,

I’m doing quite well today. We had a good week. It was really busy. We’ve been really lucky lately to be teaching a few people frequently. Thanks for the pictures, it was really fun to see you all together and the house looking so nice and festive.

Wow, Scott’s papers are in. That is crazy. I remember that time, it was so, so exciting just waiting for the call. Good thing he’ll have a lot to keep his mind occupied with for the next week or so. As for my guesses where he will be called I am going with somewhere in Latin America like Peru or the maybe the Philippines. Zobaczymy.

I did get the package of brown sugar and chocolate chips with the chocolate advent calendar. But if you’ve sent something more recently, I haven’t received it yet. I’ll definitely let you know. I’m having to get serious about souvenir shopping now, but the problem is, I just can’t wrap my head around going home. I still feel like I have tons of time to figure that out and prepare, but in just a bit I’m going to have a shock. However,  if there’s something specific anyone wants, please let me know. I still have time get them. And it’s always hard to know what people will like. Do the boys want T-shirts, ties, something else?

I LOVE Christmas time. Which I say at least one time a day as we see Christmas decorations around town. We bought a mini Christmas tree and there are a couple presents around it and I hung up my stocking from last year. So there is some merriness in our apartment for sure. Despite all this, it’s surreal to me that the holidays are so quickly approaching. Missionaries don’t really get holidays. Sure we don’t tract on Christmas day, but if at all possible we try to be with ward members and investigators and testify of the Savior.   It is a wonderful time of year, and Poland has some fun traditions that I enjoy so I’m glad I get to stay for a second one. Our little choir is preparing diligently for our program. We’re going to sing Silent Night in Polish, English, German, and French because those are all the native languages of people in our choir. Cool huh?

You asked about people and lessons we taught. We had a few lessons this week with a woman named Emelia. She is the nicest person ever. The elders met her on the street and when they told her about the Book of Mormon she realized that she already had a copy. Her mother had been a truth seeker and had investigated with many churches. She had read the Book of Mormon and kept her copy. When she passed away Emelia inherited it. The elders set up a time for us to visit her and teach her more and we’ve had several meetings in the last two weeks. She’s actually preparing to move to Canada at the end of the month. But her English is still a little rough, so this is the perfect opportunity for her to learn about the gospel in her native language before she leaves. God definitely has a plan for everything. I’m praying she moves in with a really nice LDS family in Toronto through her schools live-in program.

Life, and a mission especially, is an amazing school. God gives us so many opportunities to learn how to deal with different situations, trials, etc. Right now, several of the people we are teaching are talkers. It’s difficult to teach them doctrine, because if we’re not assertive, we wouldn’t teach anything. It’s been teaching me a lot of patience and charity as we’ve learned how to balance listening to their thoughts and opinions and sincerely caring about them, and then also helping them stay focused on the lesson so that their testimonies can grow. Yesterday we were in a meeting, and the woman was going off on a tangent that didn’t have anything to do with the lesson, I knew that if we didn’t bring it back quickly, she would remain on this tangent for the next 5 or 10 minutes and so I said a silent prayer asking God to help me know how to teach her and keep the lesson on track. About a minute later, God reminded me of a diagram that I had seen used once to teach the principle of the lesson. Having this concrete drawn-out diagram to refer to throughout the lesson helped us keep the topic focused and it was one of the best lessons we’ve had with her! It was a very humbling reminder that this is His work and we cannot do it alone. He makes our knowledge and capabilities enough for the situation.

A member I know from Warsaw who is from Lodz originally, was at church yesterday and I got to see her. She’s such a fun person from the second branch and so it was really fun to talk for a bit.   There will be a Zone Conference in Warsaw on Thursday and so you can look out for some pictures on the Nielsen’s blog. We’re really excited to go in and spend some time with other missionaries. We’ve heard rumors of going caroling there too, so that will be fun.

Well, hope you have another great week. Love you.

Siostra Allen

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