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!!!

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