Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Miracles & Tender Mercies

Dear Friends and Family,

If I could desribe this week in two words, it would be "Miracles & Tender Mercies"​. This week was so full of them! I have so much to tell you all. :) (But, what else is knew, right? ;) )

First of all, exchanges in Krakow!!! Siostra Johnston and I were able to travel to Krakow for a day this past week, and it was amazing to see! The architecture there is beautiful, and there are so many big cathedrals and statues! It was amazing to see a different city, but it sure felt good to come back home to Katowice, too. :) I had a couple miracles happen in Krakow, so I'll tell you those first!

While I was there, we had a meeting with a woman named Iwona. We had heard from previous missionaries that she was a little... I'll just say, crazy! But, nonetheless, we went into the lesson with an open heart! Well, the lesson was wonderful!! We taught Iwona the Restoration. :) I am still working on my Polish (I've got a long way to go!) so, normally in lessons I don't say much, then at the end I bear a little testimony in the best Polish I can! Well, this lesson was different. The Sister's in Krakow had heard that I had been working on memorizing the account of Joseph Smith that we call "The First Vision", so, during the lesson, Sister Anczak had been talking about how Joseph Smith had been confused about which church to join. She talked about how he read James 1:5 in the Bible, then after she had finished saying that, all three of the sister's (including Sister Johnston my companion) turned and looked at me with that look like, "Alright, Siostra! Take it away!" and inside I was saying, "WHAT?! Ahh!" But, I took a deep breath, and as soon as I opened my mouth, the words just came. I was able to talk about how Joseph Smith took that verse to heart, and he knelt in a grove of trees and inquired of the Lord to know which church he should join. I then talked about how his prayer was answered, and he was visited by our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, and quoted the words written by Joseph Smith about his experience that we call "The First Vision". When I was finished, I looked at my companion and Iwona, and they both had tears in their eyes! The spirit was so strong in that room from the words of Joseph Smith, and the spirit bore witness to me so strongly as I spoke, that the words I was saying were true. Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Lord. The same church that Christ established while on the earth was restored through Joseph Smith. It is on earth today. And everything I believe in, everything I testify and teach of each day... It's true. All of it.

I have tried since then to say what I said in that lesson, but I can't do it. I don't even know how the words came...  Don't overestimate my language skills, y'all... I can barely order a hamburger from McDonald's! :) It was a miracle, and a little tender mercy. That was all the Lord, and the spirit of the Holy Ghost.
I also had the opportunity to visit a member of the Krakow branch while I was there, and that meeting had to have been one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. The Krakow sister's had told us before we went over, that Romek is very poor. His apartment has no heat, no running water, and it is a very humble environment. We stopped by a small bakery on the way there, to pick up some warm Rolls to give him, and then went over to his apartment. When we arrived, Romek welcomed us in, helped us take off our coats (Polish people are so hospitable. I love them.), and welcomed us into the living room. His home was very humbling to me. There was almost nothing in his home, except he did have a wall of just books upon books. He told us he loves to read, and make models of little ships and things. :) But anyway, so, we sat down, and he walked over to a little backpack he had on the ground, and pulled out five little packets of hot cocoa, a water bottle, and a little box of chocolate cookies. He looked at us and said, "I know it's not much, but..." then he walked to the kitchen, made us our hot cocoa, and came back in. I have never been more humbled... Here was a man with almost nothing, and he had gone out of his way to make sure he had something to give us when we came. If you ever here me say, "Polish people will give you the coat off their back, even if it is all they have.", I'm not exaggerating. They are wonderful people. I am so humbled and blessed to be serving such wonderful people, in such a wonderful place.
Last story for the week! Tracting!! A quote from Elder Einfeldt on the subject- "I love tracting. It's like trick-or-treating, but we have the treats!" (I love that! ha ha!) So! Siostra Johnston and I had been tracting with the Elder's, which is when we go to neighborhoods and knock on doors, and... we had no success. I can't count the number of doors I have had slammed in my face this past month, but it's funny, because even when people are rude to us... I love them. I love them. Because I know the Lord loves them. You know what, not everyone is going to care what you have to say, not everyone is going to accept your message. And I think that can go for all of us, even if we aren't missionaries. :) But, everyone wants happiness, and everyone wants peace. What some people don't realize, is that this gospel can give them more of those things than they could even imagine. But to all my fellow missionary friends out there... DON'T GIVE UP. As my friend Elder Einfeldt says, "Sometimes, you'll have a bag of jelly beans that is all black licorice. And you'll be super discouraged because you hate black licorice. But, you still go through the bag, hoping that somewhere in there, there'll be a raspberry jelly bean. You may have to go through a lot more black licorice jelly beans than you want, but how worth it is it when you get to the bottom of the bag, and stuck in the corner is your raspberry jelly bean? :)" There are people waiting for you. :)
Well, that day, after a lot of unsuccessful tracting and black licorice, Siostra Johnston and I found our raspberry jelly bean. :) Her name is Gabriela. She is amazing! We met her and her 8 year old son, Milosz, and they were an answer to our prayers! They welcomed us into their home without a moment of hesitation. We talked with them, and it was another little tender mercy to me because Gabriela speaks wonderful English! It was wonderful to talk with them, and Milosz even played us some songs on the piano that he has been learning. :) We will be returning to her home this week to teach her about the Restoration, and we are also teaching Milosz english! :) I can't wait to tell you all more about them next week!! They are SO wonderful!!
I'm out of time for the day, but I hope you all take a few minutes at the end of the day to think of how the Lord blessed you this week. He is always there, every step of the way. I promise you that. :)
Miracles happen every day. It's all about the little things.
I love you all, and hope you have an amazing week!!
∞, Siostra Kamp

We made cinnamon rolls with the Elder's :)

Elder Jourdan bought us Peanut Butter!!!! Best. Day. Ever! :)

Krakow sister's :) I love them!!

We went to Gabriela's restaurant in Krakow! It is BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS! :)

Walking the streets of Krakow :) (That's Sister's Allowitz and Anczak)

Gabriela gave us homemade pickles and jam! Sooo goood :)

Saying bye to our Elder Hon!! He got transferred to Lublin for a few weeks :) We love him!!!

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