Dear friends and family,
WOW!!!! What a week this has been!!! I have so much to tell you all, and like no time to do it!!! :) So, here we go!
I'M IN POLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy cow. Poland is absolutely incredible. Every positive word you could ever think to describe something, that's Poland. :) That, and so much more! It is absolutely beautiful everywhere you go, the food is delicious, the people are wonderful, and I have just fallen in love with Poland so much. :) It is everything I ever hoped it would be, and so so much more!
My new companion is Siostra Ellen Johnston, and oh my word. She is the cutest thing ever!! :) When President Edgren told us who our companions were, the first thing Siostra Johnston did was hug me and say, "I knew it! I knew you were mine right when you walked in!!" :) It just made me so happy! She is so sweet, so selfless, extremely genuine, and pretty much the funniest person I have ever met. She is amazing at speaking Polish, and she helps me so much with my language! But even more than that, she helps me build my testimony so much. She has the most incredible testimony of this gospel, and I just look up to her so much. She is the kind of missionary that I hope I can become :)
After getting my companion, I was assigned to a city and I'm in..... KATOWICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am absolutely positively BEYOND excited to be in Katowice :) From the moment I heard all the cities in Poland, I couldn't get Katowice out of my head!! It was the one city that I always said, "If I could pick any city to serve in, it would be Katowice :)" and MY WISH CAME TRUE!! Man, I just really feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be in Katowice. :) Everyone says Kato is the Ghetto of Poland, but OH MY WORD. If this is the ghetto, then I can't even imagine what the rest of Poland looks like! Wow!! :) It is beautiful. The buildings are incredible, we ride a tramwaj and autobus or train everywhere we go, their is hardly any light pollution so the stars and moon are amazing every night (you can't get that anywhere else :) ), the food is heeeeavenly, and I just feel so blessed :) I'm in the best place on Earth, and I couldn't be happier. :)
My district is absolutely the best ever! It is me, Siostra Johnston, and 5 of our Starszi:) Starszy Hon is our district leader, then we have his two companions: Starszy Jourdan, and one of my good friends from before the mission- Starszy Einfeldt!! Then we have the other companionship of Starszi- Starszy Connelly and Starszy Alvarez. :) They are all absolutely hilarious, and have made me feel so at home! From the moment they met me, they adopted me into their little Kato family, and I couldn't love them more. :)
Since being in Kato, I have done so much!! I feel like I have been here way longer than 5 days! :) I have contacted so many people on the street, and they always ask me how long I have been studying Polish! Whenever I tell them 9 weeks they are always so impressed!! Polish people are wonderful. :) Even if I go up to someone and they aren't interested in what I have to say, they politely say, "No thank you miss. I am Catholic, but you have a beautiful smile. Have a wonderful day." Or something like that!! They are just so wonderful, and I have grown to love the people of Poland so much. :) They are very different from Americans in many ways, but they are some of the most wonderful people I have ever met.
It is incredible to me that I can be on the opposite side of the world, in a foreign country, not understanding a word of what anyone is saying, and standing outside in -20 degree weather all day, and still be sooooo incredibly happy. :) It's definitely not because of me! I could never do this by myself. That's why I am so grateful to have a Savior. He walks with me every step, and I have come to notice how present He really is in my life. :) This gospel is true.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to church (in Poland!) with my little Branch :) There were about 10-15 members there, and we had a fast and testimony meeting for sacrament... Oh my. I wish I could bottle up some of the spirit that was present in that room and send it home for you all to feel. The testimonies these people have of this gospel are incredible, and they are such an inspiration to me. They have been through so much, and the gospel is the one thing that keeps a lot of them going. They have found peace and comfort in this gospel that nothing else could ever bring them, and it is incredible to see. They have touched my heart in a way I never thought was possible, and I just can't believe how lucky I am to know them. :) And you want to know something crazy? I have not been able to understand more than a word of every sentence any Polish person has said since I have been here, but during that 1 hour of testimony meeting, I understood every. word. I can't even describe the spirit in that meeting. It testified to my heart the truthfulness of this gospel more than ever before. I know it's probably hard to imagine how much of an affect that could possibly have on me, but I hope you all know, that i KNOW this church is true. I have never been more sure of anything in my life. :)
Ahhh I have so much more to tell... But I am out of time for this week! I am so grateful to have all of you! I am so grateful for your love and suport, and your prayers! And I am SO grateful to be in the amazing country on my mission. :) Man, I'm the luckiest girl in the world.
Hopefully I will be able to tell you all more next week!!
I hope you have a wonderful week!! I love you!! :)
The streets I walk down every day :)
Siostra Johnston made me homemade Zurek for my first dinner, and it. was. delicious!!! :) I love Polish food, and my companion is the BEST cook!
My new "Mom" (companion) Siostra Johnston!! I love her more than the world!! (If we look freezing, it's because... we were. ;) )
Flying into Warsaw, Poland!!!
WE'RE ON OUR WAY TO POLAND!!!!!!!!!!! :D The cheesy smiles don't even do how excited we were justice!! :)
Classic picture by the map on the last day at the MTC!!
We're going there!!!