Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A week of "Allelujah"

Dear Family and Friends,

​You know how some weeks I email you all and tell you I had the most amazing week ever? I know I know, that's like... every week! ;) I can't help it!! But seriously, this week was the most amazing week ever! 

First of all, HAPPY LATE EASTER! :) The Easter I had here in Poland is one I will never forget. If you would've asked me 4 days ago what my favourite holiday was, I would've replied without a doubt, "Christmas!" But, after this week... I think I may have a new favourite. :) First of all, if you haven't seen this video in celebration of the Easter season, (or even if you have) you should watch it! Here is the link:

(that one has Polish subtitles, but... it's still in English! :) ) It is such a touching video... I just watched it again just now, and I have chills all over! I've always been taught how wonderful of a time Easter is, to remember Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and all He did for us. But, I don't think I have ever relished in the Spirit of Easter more than I have here. It is a different feeling for me to be able to celebrate the wonderful man I talk to people about everyday, the one who's name I wear each day on my chest... The Saviour of the world. It was amazing for me to be able to spend my Easter doing His work, and I've never felt closer to Him. :) 

This week was full of so many miracles. SO MANY! I probably won't have time to get to all of them, but... I'll try my best to name off a few of the biggest ones!

I'll talk about Easter first! It started off with the most wonderful church meeting. The talks given about Christ just touched my heart, and I couldn't help but sit in awe of my Saviour, and all He did for me. This past week, I have spent my personal study reading chapters of the Book of Mormon and Bible about Jesus Christ. I have never loved personal study more! One of my favourites is a chapter from the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 14. When I read this chapter, I was reminded of a talk I had read a few days before by Elder Bruce D. Parter. In it, he says,

"The boy child who arrived that birthing season is known as 'The Lamb of God'. It is a title of deep significance, for He arrived with the lambs and would someday be brought as a lamb to the slaughter... He who was the greatest made Himself this least-The Heavenly Shepard became the Lamb."

I just love this time of year... I love Jesus Christ. He is my brother, the Saviour and Redeemer of the world. I know He knows us each individually. He knows our pains, and our struggles. His empathy comes not only from His love, but literally from experience. I love Him, and I am so grateful to be here in Poland with His name on my chest. 

After church, we went over to the home of the sweetest family ever- the Kagele's!!- and had Easter lunch with them. :) It was delicious, and I am so grateful for them! 
Then, we went to visit an investigator of ours, and went tracting! Whoo! (That is when we knock on doors!) So... the investigator we went to visit is just the sweetest lady. It is so sad because she agrees with everything we teach her, and tells us often how much she loves the gospel, and knows it is true. But, this past meeting we had with her on Easter, she told us she loved us, and knows our gospel is true, but to not come back again. Her church was not happy that she was meeting with us... It was so disheartening. But, I know the Lord loves her, and we made sure she knew that too before we left. :) I love her! Although it broke my heart to her that from her, I am so grateful to have met her.
So, on that sad note, we went tracting with our Elder's. We were excited to go tracting, because... It was Easter! And here we were, sharing a message about Jesus Christ, the reason for the season! :) Of course people would listen, right? :) ....Welllllll, not exactly. The first building we went into, I think like 4 people opened their doors! It was wonderful! (They also each took about 5 minutes yelling at us... but, we'll just leave that part out! ;) ) Then, we went to the next building!! Again, a few more people answered! :) (and again...leaving that other part  out!) Then finally, we entered into another building and began to knock on doors. The first door we knocked on, opened! :) A nice woman answered, and we quietly stood there as she yelled and screamed her little heart out at us for what seemed like forever, and then slammed the door as hard as she could. I've had many experiences of getting yelled at, and slammed doors in my face, but, nothing like that day. I don't think I have ever been more discouraged on my mission than I was at that point... My companion and I stood their for a moment, then with tears in my eyes I told her how discouraged I was. And you know what she said? "Siostra Kamp... After hard times, come the blessings." Those 6 words hit me so strongly, and I was automatically reminded of Christ. How could I possibly think this would be easy for me, if it was never, ever, easy for him? So, I brushed myself off, said a quick prayer, and knocked on the next door. Long story's short, my companion was right. :) Her name is Mariola, and she is the NICEST lady in the world! She welcomed us right in, gave us some little cheescake and drinks, talked to us all about our church, and told us to please come back again. :) In that moment, I knew that the Lord knows us. No matter how small of a thing it was, I knew the Lord knew my saddness in that moment. He gave me the opportunity to go home that night and just call it a night, and I'm sure He would have understood if I did. But, He also gave me the opportunity for a miracle, if I would only put my trust in Him, and take 2 steps and knock on the next door. He knows you, and He loves you- I can promise you all that. :)

Well, this email is going to be SUPER long... But!! One more miracle! 
The biggest miracle of my week-
 We had the most wonderful meeting with our investigator Agata. I wish you all could meet her. She is the most incredibly spiritual person I have ever met. Her love for the Lord is so obvious in absolutely everything she does, and I wish I could describe her in a way that would do her justice! But anyway, during our lesson she brought up how incredibly grateful she was for our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and everything He did for us. It was incredible to hear her testimony. I felt the spirit so strongly as she was speaking. We talked with her about how incredible it was that Christ did, and continues to do so much for us, and only asks for a few small things in return. Agata has many questions, and has expressed to us her feeling of inadequacy to be baptized because does not know everything. But, that's the wonderful thing about this gospel. I remember a quote from last General Conference that says, "The gospel is an everlasting fountain of knowledge. There is no end to the wisdom and light we can obtain. It is simple enough that it's principles can be understood by little children, but everlasting enough that one can build on the knowledge of its principles forever."  We watched a mormon message video with her called "Showers of Heavenly Blessings", and it was perfect! We were able to testify to her that the Lord has so many blessings just waiting for her, all she has to do is close that umbrella of her fears and doubts, and let Him rain the blessings on her. :) Some of my favourite quotes from that video are:

"It is our fears and doubts that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us. It is up to us to close the umbrella so we can receive the shower of heavenly blessings."
"The Creator of the skies, and the seas, and the endless stars is reaching out to YOU."

As we watched this video, I realized this video doesn'tjust apply to my investigators. I realized how much I personally put up that umbrella sometimes. When I get to scared to talk to someone on the street, or I doubt my ability to know how to say what the spirit tells me to in Polish, or I'm afraid I will teach something wrong... I'm blocking the Lord from myself. I felt guilty, for ever letting my fears, doubts, and uncertainties keep myself from the Lord and His blessings. But, I've been doing my best to not let that happen anymore! We can always improve! Anyway, side tangent! Back to the story Sister Kamp!! Agata absolutely loved this. She sat there for about 5 minutes after we had talked about the video, just smiling to herself and looking at her hands. When she looked up, there were tears in her eyes and she said, "I can't imagine my life without this church... I want to be baptized." ....We didn't know what to say! In that moment, I have never felt the love of God for one person so strongly. I was in tears!! It is impossible to describe my feelings in that moment, so I will just leave it at this- The gospel is true. It's true, and I cannot deny it. The Lord is so present in our lives. I'm so grateful for Him, and His influence on Agata's life. It was absolutely nothing we did. :) Agata will be getting baptized on the 20th of May, her birthday. My heart has never been more full. :)

Now do you understand why I say this week was a MIRACLE? :) I had so many experiences that were such miracles, and I haven't even mentioned half of them!! :)

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter this past weekend, and are looking forward to General Conference this weekend! I promise that if you listen to this Conference with a question in your heart, you will find an answer. We are so lucky to have a living prophet today, to guide us. :) I love Thomas S. Monson, and I know he is a prophet of God. 

I love you all! Sorry for the long email!! I give you so much props if you actually read it all! :) 

Z miłością,
Siostra Kamp

 Elder Coutu on the Donkey of Shame. We have too much fun! 

So, other funny story! "The leaning tower of Toruń"! Also in the olden days of Toruń, if you were accused of lying, they would make you stand against this wall! If you couldn't hold your balance, you were guilty of lying! Let's just say I feel sorry for anyone ever accused of lying back then, because apparently we are all liars! haha! :)

Going up the tower to the top, that overlooks the entire city!!

Yeah... My inner photographer was just coming out during this little day trip... haha!!

Photos from last week's adventure in Toruń!! :)

So, in the olden days, if you got caught braking the law, you would have time sit on a donkey and ride it around town all day! That was your punishment, because apparently, it hurts! haha! I love Poland. :) So, this is me, sitting on the Donkey of Shame! Also starring: Elder Coutu's ice cream cone.

 Little shops! Even the little street market shops have European tops of their buildings! I love Europe!! :)

 Elder Coutu, preaching the gospel to Toruń... hahaha you gotta love him!

Annnnnd we made it to the top!! :) (I was scared out of my mind.... :O But I'm so glad I actually did it! :) )

 Elder and Sister Tufts, Siostra Craig, and I made our cute little Anna a birthday cake! :)

Easter selfie! (Yes, us missionaries selfie too... But we have to! ;) )

So grateful for this nerd. :)

Elder Coutu really likes his ice cream in our photos... haha! :)

The little market!!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

The best week in the best place with the best people... THE BEST!

Dear family and friends,

Wow I have zero time to email today!! Today has been crazy, and so much fun! :) I'll have to tell you about it next week!! 

I love Poland. I love it here. I know I tell you all every single week, but I am just so incredibly grateful to be a missionary, and to be here in Poland. I'm the luckiest girl in the world! 

There are so many wonderful highlights from this week that I could tell you all!! So many to choose from! :) I'll just pick a couple! 

First of all, my exchange in Gdańsk!! Aka, an absolute DREAM! Man, that city is absolutely beautiful!!! We didn't do much exploring, because missionary work is better ;) I was able to be reunited with one of my MTC companions, SIOSTRA DEKKER!!, and we were able to hit the streets of Gdańsk for another amazing adventure in the beautiful country of Poland!! The architecture here in Poland is absolutely breath-taking! There's just no other word to describe it! I'll send photos :) But, our time up in Gdańsk was a definite spiritual boost for me. We had a meeting with the Elder's up there, and in that meeting we talked a lot about an talk from this past Liahona magazine called, "The Light of the Perfect Day" by Larry R. Lawrence. If you haven't read it, I seriously encourage you to! It's amazing. :) One of my favourite things I took away from that meeting was this, that Our Heavenly Father loves us each so much, that before we left His presence to come to Earth, He gave us each a parting gift: the Light of Christ. That really hit home with me, because it is so obvious to me the light that is in the people we meet. Even though they have not yet received the gift of the Holy Ghost, his influence can still be felt, because of that light which is in them. There is a light in everyone, and the more we strive to become closer to God, the more visible (is that a word?) it becomes. :) One of my favorite scriptures finds itself in the Bible- Romans 8:16. It says, "The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Whenever we get that feeling of peace when we read the scriptures, or that tingly feeling all over when we listen to the words of the prophet, that is the Holy Ghost, testifying to our own spirits this, that we are a child of God. 
One thing I've really realized as a missionary, when I see people who have really lost their way, is the love God really has for us. We all know how we feel when we lose something that is precious to us. I imagine that is how God feels when one of His children is lost. 

Anyway, just some little insights :) NEXT! 

We had a special guest here in Bydgoszcz this week!! Elder Leimer of the Quorum of the 70!!! He came this weekend to speak in a Conference we had for the northern zone of Poland, and it was incredible to meet him! There is nothing like meeting general authorities of the church. He is such a spiritual man, and his spirit just radiates! Siostra Craig and I were able to meet him on Saturday morning before our meeting with Agata (I LOVE HER), and it was amazing! Agata met us at the chapel, and we took her into another room to talk to her, (Elder Leimer was in a meeting), and all the sudden about 10 minutes after we started our meeting... Elder Leimer knocks on the door and asks if he can join our lesson!!! :O I was like, WHAT? Talk about intimidating! :) Of course we said yes, and oh my goodness... It was the most incredible lesson I have ever had, no exaggeration. Agata has a lot of concerns, and many questions, and Elder Leimer was able to just talk to her, answer her questions, and the spirit he brought with him into that room was enough to make me emotional! And Agata as well! Agata turned to Elder Leimer while we were talking, and told of her experience meeting the missionaries. (She speaks English very well). She said: "I met the missionaries 5 years ago, and since then I cannot imagine my life without this church. But I just don't feel ready to 'take a baptism' yet. I cannot explain why. Even in Polish it is difficult for me. But I just know when I'll be ready." He listened, and then bore his testimony. He shared his experience meeting the missionaries as a young convert at age 22, and how she sounded a lot like he did at that point. He invited her to read 2 Nephi chapter 2 (About using ones agency) It was incredible, truly. I will never forget that lesson. He wasn't able to stay long, but the influence of the spirit he brought stayed with us for the remainder of the lesson, and even the remainder of the day! As soon as he left, Agata told us she knows how respected he is in our church, and kind of compared him to an archbishop in the Catholic church. But she told us this, that whenever an archbishop comes to visit, you must kiss his ring, and bow to him, and all these other rituals as if they are God himself. And she kind of got a little emotional as she told us this, that she loved how Elder Leimer just walked into the room, sat down, and talked to her as if they had been friends forever. :) How wonderful is that? I thought a lot about that since then. I like to imagine that is how it would be if Jesus had walked into the room. He would not have demanded us to bow to him... He would have treated us as if we were his closest friends. It was an absolutely incredible experience that I will never forget.

The District conference was a wonderful conference, and was a strength to the Saints here in Poland. At the end, Elder Leimer called "Randomly" upon my companion and I to bear out testimonies in from of everyone in Polish (Missionaries don't need warning, He said. Too true, and painfully proven time and time again on my mission.) It was a nerve racking experience in from of all the Polish members, however I just felt so happy and so good as I did so, the fear disappeared. At the end of the meeting, we sang "The spirit of God" and It brought tears to my eyes. "The spirit of God like a fire is burning, the latter day glory begins to come forth." All the Polish members singing it in unison, in Polish - I just felt overwhelmed with love for them, and this Gospel here in Poland. The latter day glory truly is coming forth. it was a sacred experience. I love this mission. 

Man, I have so much more I want to tell you all, but preparation day is almost over, so we have to be going! But I just want you all to know how much I love you. How much I love my Saviour, and how much I love His gospel. With Easter coming up, I think about Him especially often. I hope you all have the most wonderful Easter, and take a moment to pause, and remember why we celebrate it. :) He is Risen, He lives, and I know that with everything I am. That is why I'm here.

Sending all my love,
Siostra Kamp

Reunited with Siostra Dekker!!!! Man, I just love her. :)

Jesteśmy w Gdańsku!!!

One of the Gdańsk ports!!

We went on a morning walk... and it was beautiful. 

Siostra Dekker and I's shadows! We have too much fun. :)

All four of us in Gdańsk!! :) I love them!! I was reunited with my MTC companion, and so was Siostra Craig!! :) It was the best exchange EVER. 

Amber Alley (the best Amber in all of Poland!) with my favourite Siostra Dekker! 

I keep forgetting to send this photo!! But this is that selfie I took with Aydin and his friends the first day I met him! :)


Monday, March 14, 2016

Another week in Paradise, folks! :)

Drodzy Rodziny i Przyjacieli,

I love you all so much! :) Is Spring in the air over there in America?! :) I have so much to tell you all this week! As soon as I'm finished with this email, Siostra Craig and I will be heading to the train station to go to Gdańsk!! Ahhh!! We are going on an exchange with the Sister's up there, and I will be reunited with one of my MTC companions- Siostra Dekker!! :) We will be up there until Wednesday night! I can't wait!! I've heard that Gdańsk is absolutely beautiful... So, next week- expect lots of photos!! :D Ahh I'm so excited!!

Well, this week Poland celebrated a special day called the "Day of Women" where women are celebrated! Whoo! Yeah! (Don't worry, men! The Day of Men is two days later! :) ) Sort of like Mothers day, or Valentines day, and started in the communist times here in Poland. ALL around people are giving out Tulips and hooligans are running around trying to kiss as many girls as they can - Needless to say it was nice to have my companion's crutches on us... they may or may not have been used as a weapon... CLASSIC. ;)

On the "Day of women" we received a bunch of Flowers from members, and other men whom we know in Bydgoszcz, which completely made our day!! So sweet! :) Lots of kisses on our hands and cheeks too... Polish culture... Sometimes so weird.. But you just gotta love it!!! :) We even got a beautiful pot of flowers from my mom to celebrate the opening of her studio (Happy Birthday, Daisy Tree!! Little did my mom know that it was also the day of women! :) Double win!!) delivered to our door! ...WELL almost our door... this is where it gets interesting...

So we get home at the end of the "Day of Women" and discover a note on our door, requesting us to immediately contact the room directly above us. Sister Craig's initial thought was "OH NO WE WERE TOO LOUD. QUICKLY HIDE YOUR TAG. OH NO WE ARE POOR REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CHURCH" etc. I just LOVE her!!! hahaha. So, after she calmed down, we went upstairs, and  knocked on the door. Soon we were greeted by a Family - a larger man with a GIANT handle bar mustache, an older woman, and their 30 - something year old daughter, with BRIGHT orange hair - with her little 3 year old Daughter.  They told us how they had accidentally received the flowers, and as such, wanted to return them to us! We took them and then they proceeded to invite us in - We just looked at each other like: "Uhhh, okay!" They were the nicest people ever! Maybe a little too nice. Okay well, they had done a little TOO much celebrating. They were all heavily intoxicated. As we came in the larger mustache man insisted we have something to Drink, and each time we refused, just lowered the amount he offered us. Oh gotta love these Polish people. We told him that as representatives of our Church, we don't drink. Well, soon enough we had the opportunity to teach a whole discussion and even directed them to our internet page!  It was so funny, because they just went off the whole time, and as they were having a little too much fun on the "Day of Women". But they just took in everything we said! The larger man told us that we did not understand the Polish Culture, and could not relate to them. And although that is true, we were able to bare testimony that we may not be able to understand perfectly what they have gone through, or still go through today, but through our own trials and experiences, we have become very well acquainted with the only one who can... I think, although they were not "All there", that really hit home with them. It was wonderful to talk to them, and be able to testify of what we know to be true. It's amazing the comfort just knowing that there is someone who knows EXACTLY what we are all going through can give to someone. Well, after that fun meeting, we decided it was time to head home! We got up to leave, and the older Woman said: "Okay, we will see you at Church tomorrow!!" :) What?! I was so excited!!!... but then realized, it was only Tuesday... So... hopefully they remember who we are, and will come to Church. But we shall see... So many fun adventures over here! Never a dull moment. :)

We also had the opportunity this week to meet with Aydin again! He is amazing. He came to church yesterday, and it was so good to see him there! Everyone in our branch just loved him, too! :) We were able to teach him the Plan of Salvation this week, and that was so great! I always get so nervous to teach people about the Plan of Salvation, because... everything about this plan just means the absolute WORLD to me. I'm always afraid that I won't teach it in a way that gives it enough justice. But, it turned out to be such a wonderful lesson. Aydin is so receptive to everything we tell him, and I just am so grateful to have met him! He offered a prayer for this first time at the end of our lesson, and it was probably one of the highlights of my mission. There is something about being able to hear people pray for the first time that is so hard to describe. It's the most incredible feeling! As soon as Aydin opened his mouth and started praying, the spirit just FILLED the room, and it almost brought me to tears. :) That is one of those moments I will never forget. We ordered Aydin a Turkish Book of Mormon after our first meeting with him, and have been anxiously waiting for it to get here... Well, it finally came!! We were able to give it to him, and I SO wish I could have captured his face when he saw it. :) He just looked at it in amazement and said, "Oh my... Oh my GOSH! It's... It's in Turkish!!" and his face just LIT UP! :) It was the highlight of my day. Little moments like that - I love them. :)

Sunday night, we went tracting in an area just outside of Bydgoszcz, and ran into a man, who invited us into his home! Unfortunately he was wearing a Bath robe, and did not appear to be "All there"... So we called the Elders, and got them to visit him instead. It ended up being a really cool experience as we went down a few apartment buildings, and got let into one. Siostra Craig is incredible at acting on the spiritual promptings she receives, and as we approached a building she said, "I have a good feeling about this one." :) We knocked and knocked, nobody answered. But, this is why you never give up! On the last floor of the apartment, the last door, a woman opened it. :) As we introduced who we were, she immediately responded: "Sorry I am not a faith oriented person" And began to close the door. We quickly jumped in and asked her if she didn't believe in God, or just didn't believe in Church. Here in Poland, I've found that a lot of people are believing, they just don't believe in church, because they have seen a lot of corruption of the Catholic church here... She responded the Church, and we quickly bore testimony of our Church, being the restored Gospel of Christ on the earth. That many things were distorted after Christs death, and that that is why God called a prophet to restore His true Church. She listened, and the whole nature of the contact changed - "What Church is this?" she asked, and we told her we were from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons. She expressed how she knew of out church, and had only a few days ago seen a TV show about us. She excitedly took our information and invited us back. This experience, although it may seen small was really meaningful that night. At times the people here in Poland can appear as though as nails, and like they will never change. But, meeting this woman, how open she was, and how only by sharing simple Gospel Truths she opened up - gave us hope. That Sunday in Church, members of our branch shared their testimonies (Everyone here in Poland is a convert) of how they met the church. So many said things such as: "I just came to Church once and knew it was true." I was left wondering, "Where are those people now? There has to be more people like that here, just waiting for this gospel." But this small experience renewed my faith that there ARE people prepared for our message. And a lot of them, it truly wont matter how impressive my language skills are - they will just know. They will want this gospel, and all it has to offer them. I am so grateful for how the Lord acts in small and simple ways.

Well, that's about all the time I have left for today, we have to catch a train to Gdańsk! Whoo! :) But I'll just close by saying I know that this Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ, once again restored in its fulness to the earth. I know with all my heart that the things I talk about with people every day are real, and they are true. I owe everything I have to this gospel, and am so grateful for it. 

I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week!! :) 

My favourite quote of the week: 
"Faith can move mountains. But, don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel." :)

Z miłością,

Siostra Kamp

Thanks for the flowers, Mom!! :) (Happy Birthday, DaisyTree!!)

Lots of you have been wanting to see the little "tender mercy" I received here... Well, here it is! Yours truly! :) I love this violin... It has the coolest back story. I'll have to tell you all some time! But it seriously means so much to me. :)​

Talking about the Plan of Salvation with some of the member's at family home evening! :)

Shout out to Elder Tufts for this picture! This is the day we spent at the doctor's! Whoo! ;)

Looking up a Polish elevator... Literally so sketchy... haha! It's just a platform that moves up and down! No walls or anything! You just stand on a platform, hold a button down to raise you up and down, and hope you don't die. :) (just kidding ;) )

The cutest little girls on the block. :) Anna and Ella! (We have a lot of fun... Can you tell?)

We got the Elder's some Air and Earth for the Day of Men! :) (So, everyone in my district is really into the show "Avatar:The Last Airbender"! If any of you have seen that, you will understand when I say that we all have been assigned "bending powers" by Elder Coutu! haha!)

Crazy comps. I love Siostra Craig!!

Dinner with the Kagele's!! I love them! :)
Flowers on the Day of Women! :)

This one's for my little sister, Emily! I figured she would like this big graffiti we found!! It reminds me  of her! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

God created us to feel joy :)

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week full of so much to tell! :) No time to waste!!

So... last week I told you all about my wonderful friends, Izella and Aydin, that we had planned to meet with this past week! Well... We did! :) Those two meetings were definitely highlights of my week. The Lord really leads us to those who He needs us to find. I don't know the whole reason why I was led to Izella and Aydin, but I can tell you right now that they have already touched my heart so much. I am so grateful for them. :) 

Our meeting with Izella was so wonderful! She was just overjoyed to see us, and was so welcoming! She welcomed us into her cute house, made sure we had our fair share of little cookies and chocolate, and asked us all there is to know about ourselves! I love her :) Siostra Craig and I were able to talk to her a little bit about the Plan of Salvation, and she was so amazed by it. It was so wonderful to me to watch her as we talked about it, and to see how intently she was listening to every word we said. Her husband passed away a few years back, and I just know that she has been waiting for the peace and hope that this gospel brings for so long. She is WONDERFUL, and I'm so blessed to know her! We plan to go back to see her again this week, and teach her more about the Plan of Salvation. :) 

Aydin!! Oh man, he is amazing! If you don't remember him, he is the young man I met on the bridge last week! :) Siostra Craig and I met up with him this past week, and were able to show him our chapel, and get to know him a little bit! It was amazing to me to see his expressions as he walked around our chapel. He grew up in Turkey, and explained a lot to us about the culture and religions there, and was just in awe about the simplicity and reverence of our little chapel. :) After we showed him around, we were able to sit down with him and teach him about the Restoration. That was probably one of the most amazing experiences I have had on my mission. The more we explained to him, the more the spirit filled that room. Throughout the entire meeting he would say things like, "Wow! This is incredible!" and "Yes! Yes! That totally makes sense!" He had so many questions, and it was incredible to see him find the answers to those for himself. :) One of my favourite moments of that meeting was at the beginning when we were talking to him about how we pray. He taught us how Muslims pray, and after I asked if I could say a prayer to Begin our lesson, and he said "of course!" So, Siostra Criag and I bowed our heads and said a prayer, and I'm pretty sure he just stared at us the entire time. When we finished, we looked up and he just said, "Wow... That was amazing..." and just couldn't stop smiling. :) It was amazing, and the spirit I felt during that lesson was one I've only felt a few Times on my mission! The kind of feeling you get in meetings like that is the kind that you never forget. It's the kind that you look back on, and can never deny. This week I've just been incredibly grateful for the joy and blessings that have come from acting on spiritual promptings. :) I can't imagine how different things would be if I hadn't followed through with that prompting I got to go talk to Aydin on the bridge! Never deny a spiritual prompting. :)

We also had an incredible meeting with our investigator, Ewa. She is the cutest little blonde haired blue eyed mom ever :) She recently had a good friend at her work pass away, and has had a lot of questions about what we believe about life after death. We were able to go over to her home this week with our senior couple, Elder and Sister Tufts, and teach Ewa the Plan of Salvation. This was another one of those meetings that I will never forget. Ewa is so spiritual, and to see the hope that came into her eyes as we talked about God's plan for us was one of those moments I wish I could bottle up and keep forever. It was absolutely incredible, and I love her so much! The Lord is so aware of us, and knows us perfectly. He loves us enough to give us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it- not when we THINK we need it, but when He KNOWS we need it. He loves us enough to be patient with us, and give us the things we need little by little. :) 

One of my new favourite quotes I found this week in a talk from Prezydent Uchtdorf's general conference talk. It says, "Bóg nie stworzył nas po to, byśmy byli smutni. Stworzył nas, abyśmy odczuwali radość." Which in English means, "God did not create us to be sad, He created us to feel joy." :) I have that quote written on my daily planner, and look at it every day. This week I have really experienced that joy that the Lord created us to feel. There is nothing better, and I promise you that the best joy you will ever find is found in this gospel. His gospel. My family, my friends, my beliefs, all the happiness I have ever had, every blessing I've ever received... I've been given through the gospel. And that gospel has really truly come to me while being on my mission. I owe everything I have to this gospel, and I'm so grateful for it. :)

I hope you all had an amazing week!! Find joy in each day, and bring that joy you find to others. :) I love you all, and I know the Lord does too. :)

Siostra Kamp

Remember how I said Anna told us she was going to get us crocs to wear around as house slippers? Well.... :)

Anna!! We love her so much!

Just for you, G'ma Diane!! :)  Thank you!!  (We love you more then Peanut Butter!)

My district!! :) I love them!! (Oh, and did I mention my comp is on crutches? ;) Don't worry... She just sprained her ankle!! :) Nothin' serious!!)

My Polish Grandma!

Back together again, at Zone Conference!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Having the courage to find miracles!

Dear Friends and Family,

I bet you all can guess how I'm going to start this... Wait for it...

Last Tuesday we had Zone training, which is where all the missionaries in the Northern part of Poland get together and do what we do as missionaries... talk about the gospel! :) It was definitely one of the highlights of my week! I was able to see Siostra DeMourdant and Siostra Dekker (my MTC companions!!), Starszy Ashworth, and Starszy Einfeldt! It completely made my day :) They are all doing so well, and absolutely loving their cities! So, Zone Training! It was amazing. We talked about miracles a lot, which is something I've experienced as a missionary every single day. Our zone leader, Starszy Coutu, told a story about him being interviewed by a member of the Quorum of the 70 when he came to visit Poland! Starszy Coutu said he will never forget one thing that Elder Clark told him in that interview. It was, "Elder, you don't even know what a miracle is yet... I need you to have the courage to find out." I love that. We talked about what we can do to have the courage to find miracles, and it was so wonderful to hear all the missionaries talk about the miracles they have experienced on their missions. It was the most wonderful conference, and I can't wait for the next one in a few months! But, obviously after that meeting, I kept my eye open for miracles this week, and MAN did I find them. :) I'll share a couple with you guys!

First, I made my first Polish phone calls this week!! I know! Phone calls. In Polish. To strangers. In Polish. Did I mention it was in Polish? ha ha! SO NERVE-RACKING!! But oh my goodness, it was so great! :) I literally would type the number into my phone, stare at it for like 3 minutes, freak out, close my eyes, and then press the call button before I went insane! hahaha. But calling people is just like approaching them and talking to them on the street. The initial thought of it is so intimidating, and so terrifying, but once you just go for it, it is great :) I've really gained a testimony on my mission that the Lord will always fill my mouth with the words I should say, as long as I open it. :) I get a laugh out of that every once in a while, because often I get extremely scared to talk to people, and I think, "But what if I don't know what to say?" and it's almost as if I can hear the Lord saying, "Try me." :) It's always a good little wake-up call to me! It's like the Lord is saying, "Hello, Sister Kamp! I called you to be successful! I will not let you fail!" I love it. 
Wow, okay! I always go on huge rants about random things! haha! Back to the story! So, Sister Craig and I were going through the book we have of old investigators, and we found a paper of a woman named Izella who had been taught by the missionaries here in 2007! That is almost ancient, right?! Just kidding :) So... we called her! Whoo! I was so scared to call her, of course, but oh my goodness, as soon as she answered the phone and I told her I was a missionary, she screamed this cute old lady scream and said, "Oh, lovely girl! Please come to me! I miss you so much! My lovely missionaries! Please come see me! I miss you!" and things like that over and over! She is 76, and the cutest lady ever!! :) I love her already!! We are going to see her on Wednesday! And to think she had been hiding in our book this whole time... :) If that is not a miracle... I don't know what is :) 

Neeext miracle! We were doing an activity with the Elder's where we write a question on a whiteboard, and ask it to people on the street, and talk to them about the gospel! We call it "whiteboarding"... Pretty creative, right? haha! But anyway, so we were whiteboarding, and there was a group of people taking photos by the bridge we were on. I saw them, and got a little prompting from that still small voice to go talk to them! There it is again, always pushing me to get out of my comfort zone! haha! So... I did! I asked if I could take a photo of them, and they said yes! (and they spoke English! (they're from Turkey!) Miracle, right?! haha!) So, once I finished taking the photo of them, the guy came over to me and said, "Thank you! Now, will you take a picture WITH us?" Uh... Of course I said yes! It was so much fun!! haha! Anyway, so I took a selfie with them, and ended up talking to the guy, his name is Aydin, for like 15 minutes! He is so great! He is here studying, and is going to be here for the next 4 months. He asked me what I am doing here, and I told him I'm a missionary, and told him a little bit about what we do, and the gospel that I love enough to drop everything for 18 months. :) And guess what he said to me? "You know what? I would love to hear more about your church. You just light up when you talk about it. That must be something special." It was the best thing ever!! So, we will be meeting with him this week to talk more about the gospel! Whoo! My favourite thing to talk about! :) But really, he is amazing, and I am so excited to meet with him. He has such an evident desire to come closer to Christ, and I can't wait to meet with him. :) 

Those are a few of my miracles from this week. As small as they may seem, they were such answers to prayer for me. I really prayed to be able to find someone in that book to teach, and I really prayed for the Lord to put someone in my path during that whiteboard that I could talk to. Not only did the Lord give me both of those things, but I think Izella almost passed out from excitement at my phone call to her, and I was led to someone like Aydin, who is just so interested to hear my message. :) The Lord answers prayers, and He gives us the opportunities to have miracles every day. We just have to have the courage to find them. :) 

Have the courage to find miracles this week! I promise they are there. :)

Siostra Kamp

We all went out to dinner with out Investigator Agata! :) She's the cutest!!

Siostra Craig and Elder McMaster were trying to throw whipped cream up in the air and catch it with their mouths... Yeah, it got all over their faces, and we got the BEST laugh out of it! :)

We had dinner at Elder and Sister Tufts house with some of our branch members!! :) Sławek, Kasia, and their little daughter, Jagna :) 

Remember last week how I said Anna (my "Polish grandma") bundled us up really well? ;)

Yeah, Siostra Craig is from Canada, so we got maple syrup lollipops... SO GOOD. :)

The Sister's in Kraków sent Siostra Craig and I a package!! Umm... How cute are they?! :)

Siostra Craiiiig! I love her!

Comps :)  I love her!

Another lock bridge :) They're all over!! 

Marcin's pizza with the Elder's!! So good! :) (left: Elder McMaster, middle: Elder Coutu)

We call this "Chalk talk!" :) Us and the Elder's drew the Americas with a Book of Mormon, and the Middle East with a Bible, and wrote "Both of these books testify of Christ" underneath it! Then we talked to people about the Book of Mormon. :) It was a blast!!

It was our friend Ewa's birthday last week, so we all made and delivered a little birthday cake to her! :) We LOVE her!

Sister Tufts caught the flu bug this week, so Siostra Craig and I decided to heart attack her door to raise her spirits :) (Elder Tufts sent us this photo! How cute is she?!? We love the Tufts!!!)