Monday, February 22, 2016

I love Bydgoszcz - version 1.0

Dear Family and Friends, 

Oh my word, I fall more in love with Bydgoszcz every day! :) We did sooo much this past week, that there is just no possible way I can fit it into one email! :) I'll share a couple of the highlights though!!

First, we met with several of our investigators this week, and they are wonderful! One of our investigators is named Patrik! He is a Jehovah's witness, and is very firm in his belief in the Bible which is awesome!! Because, hello, I love the Bible too!! :) But, this last lesson we gave him a Book of Mormon, and talked with him a little bit about it. He was very hesitant to even take it, because he says the Bible is the only word of God. But, by the end of the lesson, he was willing to take it and read the introduction before our next lesson. We told him we believe in the Bible as well, and that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. The Bible and the Book of Mormon work hand in hand, and the only way he could know for himself if the Book of Mormon was the word of God, is if he read it and prayed about it. We promised him that if he asked God about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, he would receive an answer. He told us he knew that God would answer his prayer, and that he would read the Book of Mormon. :) I can't wait to meet with him again! He is so wonderful, and it is so obvious that he is searching for the truth. A year ago, he was Catholic, then he found the Jehovah's witness church, and now... He found us. :) I know that it was no coincidence that we met him on the street- and he knows that as well. Each time we give him a little pamphlet or something, he does not put it down until he reads the whole thing! He is such a spiritual man, and I just know that the Lord put him in our path for a reason. 

Another of our investigators is named Ada. She is absolutely wonderful! She is 17, and is such an incredible girl! We taught her about the Plan of Salvation this past week, and it was a wonderful lesson. The Plan of Salvation is incredible, and I can just see the hope it brings to those we teach. :) Their faces light up and even the thought of it! It makes me so happy, and each time I bear testimony of the Plan of Salvation, the spirit testifies to me that the words I'm saying are true. Ada is so wonderful! She is incredibly spiritual, and I can truly feel how much the Lord loves her each time we are with her. :) 

We were also able to meet with some members of our branch this week. :) They are so wonderful!! We were able to go over to the home of Elder and Sister Tufts (the cutest seniour couple everrrr!) and have dinner and a game night with one of our members named Armine, and her family! She is so cute!! She is from Georgia (the country), and her husband Alex is from Russia! Then they have a 12 year old son named David :) They are the cutest family ever, and I am so grateful to have gotten to know them! By the end of the night, Armine was teasing me, trash-talking my board game skills, and treating me like a daughter! It made me so happy, and I just love her so much! :) They are the most wonderful family!! 

We also were able to go over to our friend Anna's house! Oh my goodness... This lady... She is SO WONDERFUL!!! :) We went over to see her yesterday, and while we were walking there (side note: we walk everywhere here! No trams or buses! I love it! :) I definitely get my excercise in! :) ) Anyway, it is about a 40 minute walk to Anna's house, and while we were walking there, it just started pouring rain!! We didn't have hats or anything! So, we ran, and by the time we got their, our hair was pretty soaked! :) It was so much fun though! Anna opened the door for us, and as soon as she saw us she pulled us inside, got mad at us for not wearing hats, and ran to the bathroom to get towels for us to dry our hair!! ha ha! But, we didn't dry our hair... She did it for us!! ha ha! She wouldn't let us do it! It was so funny. :) The whole time she was drying our hair she just kept say, "Oh my lovely girls... Oh my lovely daughters... Your hair is so wet... You must never do this again... What were you thinking? Oh my goodness... I love you. How are you doing?" and she would just go on and on! She is the cutest old lady EVER! :) I seriously love her! I've only visited her/talked to her three times, and she has already adopted me as her granddaughter! (And I've definitely claimed her as my grandma here in Poland!) CUTEST LADY EVER! :) So anyway, when we left she made sure to bundle us up! :)

Oh man, side note!! Everyone in Poland wears "house slippers" :) You never walk around the house bare footed! So, when Anna asked us if we wore house slippers, and we told her no, she was appaulled!! It was so funny! :) She said that needs to be fixed, and she will have a present for us soon! Oh my goodness... Could she get any sweeter? :) I love her!

So... I'm pretty much out of time! But holy cow, I have so many more wonderful people I could mention!! The Mowes family, Ewa, Trae, Alicia... There's so many! :) So many miracles happened this week. I wish I could tell you them all! I will tell you more next week! I absolutely love it here, and am so blessed to be here!! :) 

There are no coincidences :) The Lord knows EXACTLY what He is doing. I have the biggest testimony of that. :) 

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!! 

Siostra Kamp

Note from Mom:  My tender mercy photo came today, Tuesday!  Thank you to President Edgren for posting this perfect moment!  MTC sisters back together again at Zone Conference!  I bet there were LOTS of hugs going on!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Trusting in the Lord.

Dear Friends and Family,

Okay, I know I say this every single week... but I mean it! I HAVE SO MUCH TO TELL YOU!!! :)

So, first things first! The biggest change of my week... Wait for it....

I'M IN BYDGOSZCZ!!!!!! I got transferred from good ol' southern Katowice, to the good ol' northern Bydgoszcz!! As you all know, I absolutely loved Katowice, Siostra Johnston, my investigators, the branch there, the city, the people, the stars (they're incredible)... Katowice is so wonderful! So, when I received a call from President, and he told me I was leaving, I didn't understand. I was so confused, and so sad. But... that is where faith and trust in the Lord came in to my week. :) I was struggling, I really was. So, a prayer filled my heart, and I kneeled down (more than once), and prayed to the Lord to comfort me, and to help me remember the trust I had in Him. I know He knows much more than I do, and I know He has a plan. I was reminded of the incredible trust that I have for Him as I knelt there, and that was such a comfort to me. Just to know that if I trusted Him, that He would never let me down. :) Prayer is a miracle, and such a blessing. I can promise you all, from many personal experiences, that not only are prayers heard, they are answered. Always. So, I put my trust in Him, boarded my train, and arrived here in Bydgoszcz 7.5 hours later!! And oh my goodness, everyone! Bydgoszcz is BEAUTIFUL!! It is just absolutely beautiful here. I have so many pictures to show you all! My new companion is Siostra Craig, and she is the cutest thing! I was extremely nervous to come here, but as soon as I got off the train she welcomed me with open arms! She is so sweet, and so contagiously happy, and she has just been the biggest blessing to me already! I am so grateful to be here in Bydgoszcz with her, and I just know the Lord has so much in store for us here! :) I can't wait for everything He has planned for us!

Trust in the Lord. He has a plan. If we give our complete trust to Him, I can promise you that He will never let you down.

So, here I am, in Bydgoszcz, as happy as ever!!! :) I have already had such wonderful experiences, and the longer I am here, the more I realize this is where I need to be. :)

I have to tell you all an experience I had from this past week! So, Siostra Johnston and I were out on the streets talking to people with the Elder's in a little town called Dabrowa Gornicza. (The same place we met that cute old man, Marion, at!) We were contacting, and for those of you who don't know what that is, let me explain! In Poland, we contact a little differently. :) We have a big whiteboard with a question on it that we set up on the street, and then we walk around and direct people's attention to the whiteboard, ask them the question, and talk to them about our beliefs!! It's amazing!!... If you can get people to stop! haha :) Everyone that knows me knows how extremely introverted I am. So, going up to random people on the street, and talking to them? Yeah... I am always nervous about that! haha! (And it's in Polish, which makes things even funner, right? ;) ) So anyway, on this particular day, I had told Siostra Johnston how nervous I was, and I was determined just to hide behind her the entire time! But, being the amazing missionary she is- she turned to me, and gave me this advice. "Sister, when you don't feel like doing something, that's when you need to do it the most." That has stuck with me every day since then. So, again trusting in the Lord, I said a little prayer to help me have the courage to stop people. And guess what? We stopped and talked to more people that day than we ever have! We got people's numbers, we gave out Book of Mormons, and we set up appointments to teach! That has never happened as much as it did that day.

We talked to a woman named Ania that day, and it was incredible. She was very curious about what 2 American girls were doing in Poland, and we were able to tell her "Well, this is why we're here!" We began talking about who we are, and why we are here, and all of the sudden she asked us the question, "What do you believe about life after death?" So, we told her! :) We told her what we believe, and briefly mentioned our belief in eternal families, and she just started to cry... She opened right up to us and told us that her mother had passed away a few weeks before, and she had just been praying for the Lord to give her something to comfort her. Then she told us that just the little ounce of hope that we had given her that she would she her mom again, was enough to bring her to tears. Then Siostra Johnston held her hand, and told her that it was not just a hope we had, we KNOW that she will see her mom again. That brought even more tears, and it was just such a special meeting. The Lord really puts people in our paths for a reason. I realized that day, that if I had not trusted in the Lord, and acted on the advice Siostra Johnston told me, we would never had met Ania. She would not have that comfort that we were able to give her. I can truly testify that everything happens for a reason.

So, as you all go about this week, I challenge you to keep Sister Johnston's advice in your mind. Never surpress a spiritual prompting. If you have a thought to do something good, do it! Nothing bad will ever come from trusting in the Lord. :) He has more blessings waiting for you than you could ever imagine. I can promise you that.

Anyway, I have to go! But I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's day!! I know we did! :) I love you all, and pray for you every day!

Have an amazing week!!

Siostra Kamp

Siostra Craig and I

How cute is Bydgoszcz?!?!

The lock bridge!! :) 

Cutest ever bike mural in Bydgoszcz! :)

The first thing I saw when I walked into my new apartment in Bydgoszcz!! Siostra Craig is SO CUTE!!

My district (and Siostra J's new companion, Siostra Gustafson!!) sending me off to Bydgoszcz! I'm so blessed to have served with them!!

"Bye, Katowice apartment!!"

Saying "see you soon" to my two favorite people, Beata and Yazminka! Man, the love I have for them is more than I can say. I. love. them!

Our beautiful friend Priscilla!! :) She's incredible.

Rysiek gave us roses... How cute is he?!? (AND SURPRISE!!!!!!!!! I CUT MY HAIR!!!!!!!)

Being monkey emoji's with Sis. J and Khumo! :) I love them.

In rained, snowed, sleeted, and everything else possible on this day! :)

Adventure in Krakow!!

Wawel Castle!! So beautiful!!

Adventure in Krakow!!

Siostra Johnston and I :)

I have the best district ever :)

Adventures in Krakow!!!

Adventure in Krakow!! (Yes, those are tons of horse drawn carriages!)

Monday, February 8, 2016

I love Poland!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

I have so much to tell you and no time! Ahhh!! :) We are going to visit the beautiful city of KRAKOW for our Preparation Day today, and I'm so excited! We will be visiting Wawel Castle, the Rynek, some different museums and cathedrals, and I can't wait to send you all pictures next week! :) So... We will be leaving to Krakow soon, so I have to do this email speedy fast! Lightning fingers! Here we go! :)

This week was AMAZING!!! There are so many highlights that I could talk about! We'll see how many I have time to mention :)

So, first! Our investigator Priscilla, and her boyfriend Mickey. They are wonderful, oh my goodness. I absolutely love them, and I love teaching them. They are so spiritual, AND the lessons are in English (they are from America, they are just here for Med. School!) so I can actually understand what they say! It is wonderful for me, because I have a personal relationship that is difficult for me to have with our Polish investigators because of the language barier. But hey, I will get there. :) But anyway, this week we taught Priscilla and Mickey about Tithing and Fasting. It was the most wonderful lesson! We spent the first little bit of the lesson just talking to Priscilla about her feelings, and she shared with us many thoughts and experiences she has been having recently. I was very humbled to know that she trusts Siostra Johnston and I to confide in us the way she did, and we had a wonderful conversation about faith at the beginning. :) So, the lesson went very well, and Siostra Johnston and I were able to share some personal experiences we have with the blessing of tithing, and Mickey even shared an experience! (he is a member! Just in case I forgot to mention that! He just hasn't been active for a while.) His experience was so special. Then, we asked Priscilla if she would pray to end our lesson, and she said yes, even though she was very nervous. But man, that woman is so amazing! Her prayers are so personal, and she is such an example to me. Every time she prays it is like she is having a conversation with God. I love it so much. But, I will never forget what she said in this prayer. She said, "Thank you very much for these wonderful meetings. I always feel so warm. And, Father..." then she paused for a while and said really timidly, "Father, I think I do know that this church is true." And I was a bit embarrassed afterwards because as soon as she said that, the tears just started comin'!! The spirit was so strong, and I couldn't hold them back. After her prayer, she looked at me and smiled, and I just gave her the biggest hug. The love Heavenly Father has for her is incredible, and I can feel it every time I am with her. If only I could bottle up the spirit we all felt when she said those 10 words... :) The Church is true, and nothing brings me more joy than seeing the people I love come to know that for themselves. :)

Okay, I don't have much time left, but I'll just share a quick funny story! So, we were doing a little contacting activity with our Elder's, and Siostra Johnston and I had just finished talking to a very nice lady. She walked away, and all the sudden this old man practically ran over to us! We greeted him, and he just kept saying, "Wow, you two are beautiful! Beautiful hair, beautiful eyes, beautiful face, and cute matching hats!!" (We have matching beanies :) ) And so Siostra Johnston and I just looked at each other like, "Oh great, we caught another frog." (That's what we call the creepy men here in Poland ;) ) But oh man... He turned out to be the BEST MAN EVER! I'll have to just tell you all the short version, but basically he made us guess how old he was, so of course we said 45 because he looked 70! But he told us he owns a kind of "cultural center" where he teaches a dance class, they do acting classes, you know things like that! Then, he told us his students always think he is 18 or 20, and he told us he is 90!! NINETY! And here he is running around, dancing, wearing this nice suit... That is one awesome 90 year old. ha ha! Then he stuck his hand out to me, so I went to shake his hand, and he just grabbed my hand and spun me right around in the middle of the street! ha ha ha! I was cracking up... Oh my goodness, he completely made my day! And he just kept calling Siostra Johnston and I "My beloved" (in Polish of course. That is what all the old people call us... It's so cute!! :) ) And he gave us candy, and invited us to tea and his dancing class, and it just made my whole day. :)

So, there's a little funny story for you! This week was also "Fat Thursday"! (Quite possibly my new favorite holiday... ha ha!) Basically Polish donuts (paczki) go on sale for super cheap, and everyone just eats as many Paczki as they can!! It's great!! So, us and the Elder's had an awesome time with that :) There really is an amazing story to why the Poles celebrate this, but I don't have any time to tell you all...

I'm sorry I have like no time today... But this week was incredible. I have so many amazing spiritual experiences to tell you all, and no time to do it... But I'll just have to tell you all when I get home!

I love you all, and hope you have the most amazing week!!

Siostra Kamp

Katowice has the most beautiful sunsets...and stars.  Don't even get me started on the stars!

There are Catholic churches like this around every bend! Poland is the Catholic version of Utah! :) (LDS Church buildings everywhere you look! haha!)​


Siostra Johnston's sandwhich was the size of her face!! :)

Poland has amazing history, and so many statues of rememberance. This is one in our town square, dedicated to the soldiers who died defending the city of Katowice from Hitler and his armies... ​
  I got a packaggggggge :) I love my family!!!!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

I am God's Investigator.

Dear Friends and Family,

Another wonderful week in the best place ever! :) Have I mentioned how much I love Poland? Not today? Well... I LOVE POLAND SO MUCH!

This week was AMAZING. We met again with our recent convert Anna, and her son Adam, who is now investigating the church! It was a wonderful meeting, and we talked to them about enduring to the end. :) Personally, I absolutely love this subject. When we think about "enduring", we normally think of really negative words like "trials, hardships, uphill battles", things like that! But I love talking to people about what "enduring to the end" really means :) The Lord does not want our lives to be something we have to ENDURE. He loves us! He wants us to be happy! He has given us this gospel, the scriptures, our families, fuzzy socks and hot chocolate, popcorn... You know, SO MANY things that make life great! :) Life shouldn't be something we endure, it should be something we enjoy. :) It was such a good lesson! Adam's baptism is coming up so quickly, and he is just getting more and more excited as the days go on! I am SO excited for him!!!!

We also met with our cute friends Beata, Marysia, and little Yazminka this week! They are my faaaavourite!! I love them so much! Whenever I am with them, I feel like I am with family. I have a story for you all about them! This is definitely my biggest miracle for the week. :)​ So, Beata's husband works in Norway, so he is only able to come home to Poland for about 2 weeks every 4 or so months. We haven't met him yet, but Beata has told us that he is Muslim, and he is not fond of Mormon's. She has always been so scared to tell him about her interest in our church because of that. BUT! When we went over to visit her this week, she was just smiling from ear to ear, and told us that not only had her husband met Mormon missionaries in Norway... He had met with them twice, and had been going to church for two weeks!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, it was so wonderful to hear!!!!! Can you believe that? :) Siostra Johnston and I had been praying for a miracle for Beata. You can't tell me that that is not the biggest miracle, and complete answer to our prayers. :) We were also able to talk to her husband on the phone while we were there, and he said he will be coming home to visit later this week, and would love to meet with us so we can tell him more about the Book of Mormon! Oh my goodness, we were (and still are) ecstatic! :) (Special thank you to the amazing missionaries in Norway that helped answer the prayers of two sister missionary's in Poland that they don't even know exist. The Lord is so mindful of us. He has a plan for everything, and no matter what, it always works out. :) )

Also, Siostra Johnston and I were singing little lullaby's and primary songs to Yazminka to put her to sleep, and somehow us playing a musical number in Sacrament got brought up! So we told Beata that we would be playing in Sacrament meeting, and she turned to Marysia and said, "We must go!!" Siostra Johnston and I were in shock!! We had planned that night to invite her to come to church with us, but there we were just sitting there, and she invited herself!! And guess what? Beata, Marysia, and little Yazminka were in church yesterday for the first time!! :) I am completely overwhelmed with joy just thinking about it. :) They were my miracles this week. :) The Lord's hand was so present in our lives, as it always is.

I've really been thinking a lot this week about my investigators. It is hard to explain the love I have for them, because it's a different love than I have ever felt before... I imagine it's kind of like the way God loves us. Not exactly, because we can't even imagine that kind of love! But, I imagine it's similar. :) As a missionary, I have developed a love for my investigators that I can't even describe. You love them so much, that seeing them stop keeping their commitments, stop reading the Book of Mormon, stop praying... it devastates you. It really does. But no matter what, you love them, and you are there to help them get back on the right track when they need you. On the other hand... When you see your investigators reading the Book of Mormon, praying, coming to church, and just coming closer to Christ- your are overwhelmed with joy :) While I've been noticing that this week, I've realized that that is probably the way God feels about us. I imagine that He is devastated when we distance ourselves from Him. That must crush Him.. But, He loves us anyway, and He is always there for us, even when we don't see Him. Then on the other hand, when we bring ourselves closer to Him, He is probably overwhelmed with joy! :) I am God's investigator. We all are! These past few months have opened my eyes to the love of God so much. :)

I want you all to know that I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Saviour, Jesus Christ. I love this gospel, and I love the peace and happiness I see it bring. Not only to myself and my family, but also to the wonderful people I teach. I am so grateful for this gospel, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have every day to put on my little black tag, and testify of Jesus Christ. :) This gospel is true. Everything we believe in... It's true!

I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for you all! Have an amazing week everyone! Do something this week to bring you closer to the Lord. I know that whenever you do, He looks down and smiles, because of the joy He feels :) And I can promise you that you will feel that same joy. :)

Siostra Kamp

A note from Mama Kamp:

Mondays are my favorite day, as I'm sure you all can guess why!  I love hearing all the stories Lexi tells us about her mission.  I love hearing all the answered prayers and people's lives changing for the better as they learn of their divine heritage and Savior!  But I must tell you something, I LOVE THE PICTURES!  Maybe it is the photographer in me, but pictures speak to my soul...I know that sounds cheesy!  But they do!  When I get an email without is hard for me to wait until the next Monday.  My heart hurts to see her.  BUT, last time that happened, I received a picture from the Mission Presidents wife of Lexi!  They had decided to take a train down and have lunch with her and her companion.  She took just one picture of them at lunch and sent it to me.  It was a tender mercy from my Heavenly Father!  So today, when she told me she didn't have any pictures she was able to send today, my heart kind of dropped!  I was again, a little sad, and was already counting down until next week when I would get pictures.  Then I saw a text on my phone from one of Lexi's friends, Garrett.  He told me to follow a link to see the MOST VIEWED IMAGES IN THE WORLD ON FLICKR!  So I clicked on the link:  click here and it took me to a picture of Lexi taken by a famous photographer at a bus stop in Poland!  Thank you, Heavenly Father!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the tender mercies you show me every day!  I love you!