Monday, April 18, 2016

Błogosławieństwa po błogosławieństwach!! (Try pronouncin' that! ;) )

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was amazing! :) (Jak zwykle!) I have so much to tell, so I'll just jump right into it! Everyone aboard the "weekly novel of Sister Kamp" express!! Haha.

Fryderyka! Last week, Sister Craig and I met the cutest girl named Fyrderyka, and this week we were able to set up and meet with her! It was honestly such an incredible experience. Especially because of the events of the previous day...

So, the day before our meeting with Fryderyka, Sister Craig and I had a meeting with another girl we had met a few days before. We met her on the bridge here in Bydgoszcz, and went to a beautiful park for our lesson! We sat on a park bench and taught her the Restoration, which was great! Then at the end of the lesson, we bore testimony of the Book of Mormon, and offered her a copy for herself. She all of a sudden got really wide eyed, quickly returned it to us and literally FLED from us, saying "I... I'm sorry! I have to go!" Well, Sister Craig and I watched her flee the general area, and then just sat there - not knowing what had just happened, or whether to laugh or cry. So, we decided to read a scripture story. It was amazing, because that whole day we had just been so discouraged. No one stopped on the streets to talk to us, (they didn't even look at us when we tried to talk to them!), and then our lesson had literally just fled the scene! haha. It was such an off day, and I didn't really know how to feel. So, we got out a Book of Mormon, and I just kind of said, "Alright, Heavenly Father... What did you want me to learn from this?..." Then we opened up the a random page - Alma 26, where we read this:

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the [Poles], and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success. And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.
 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.
 Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many."
I could not help but feel the Lord's love as we sat on that bench and read that. He knows us, and He knew that we needed that. Call it a coincidence, but to me - that was a miracle, and exactly what I needed. The Lord has a plan. All we have to do is trust in Him, even when things don't go the way we want them too.

So, we brushed ourselves off, and then carried on our way.

Well, the following day we met with Fryderyka - it was an amazing meeting. She is 17, but is so beyond her years. She reminds me of Joseph Smith in a way. She's so young, but is so concerned about her faith. We spoke of her Faith, and she told us she had recently started to wonder a LOT about God, who he was, about the Catholic Faith, and so many other things. She felt she was losing her faith, and this seriously concerned her. We were able to tell her why we are here as missionaries, to help people increase their faith, and she just loved that. We talked about the Restoration, and read Alma 32, of the "Seed of Faith" and she just smiled and smiled. The whole meeting she was smiling from ear to ear. And this time, as we handed her the Book of Mormon, she got big eyes too (just like the young girl the day before) but she said: "Really? For me?! Oh my gosh..."  and her face just lit up. It was such a tender mercy - she held it like a priceless treasure. She has the most tender and wonderful Spirit about her, and I am just so excited to see her again! :)

This past Wednesday, we were also able to meet with our beautiful friend, Ewa! This time, we were able to speak with her about the Restoration with our senior couple, the Tufts! She just loves them. :) We have had some wonderful meetings with her, and I just love meeting with her. We watched the Joseph Smith Restoration Video with her, and it was an amazing experience. Her face lit up as she watched it and it was beautiful to watch. At the end of the video we spoke of Joseph Smith and she had some really incredible questions. She expressed how unlike Joseph Smith, here in Poland, there has never really been this time of "Religious excitement". Never before has she had to question which church was right, as the Catholic church has always been there - And it never occurred to her that it could not be the "One Church". She again expressed how much she admired our sacrifice of coming to Poland. That we were here, and for all we left behind. I bore testimony that we had come to know this was true for ourselves, and that was why we had come, leaving behind our family and friends. We testified that if she was to pray to know, God would answer her prayer. She spoke of the serious consideration she must take before asking this question. She said that she wasn't afraid to ask God if what we teach her is true... She is afraid of what the answer will be, because her Catholic faith has meant everything to her and her family. I just love this woman! After she told us that, she said that for a moment and said, "But... everything you say stays in my heart, and it grows in me like nothing I've ever heard... and I love it." :) It was an incredible lesson. I will never forget it.  

Agata!!! - This week we were able to meet with Agata, along with our friend Ewa (a member from our branch, not the Ewa I just talked about! ;) ). It was AMAZING. Ewa was able to answer a lot of her questions and Agata told us she feels at peace - She is still preparing to be baptized on May 20th, and we could not be more happy for her. She told me at the end of our meeting (in English): "Sister... I don't think I ever stop being afraid. But, that is okay. I know with whole heart, this where I'm supposed to be." I love her so much. Her testimony strengthens mine every day, and I am just so grateful for her. 

Agnieszka and little Albert are still doing well. It has been a tough time for her with a lot going on, and so we have not have the opportunity to meet with her this week, but were able to talk over the phone, and she is just so incredible! I have been so blessed here in Bydgoszcz with the most amazing people :) 

On another side note, we have an English Class, which we provide for free, and some of our closest friends have come from that class! That is how we met Agata! :) Usually it is really funny, we teach them slang words and such and they teach us new words and it is a TOTAL perk to being in a "non English" speaking mission - SO fun! Well, there is a woman in the class, who just loves Sister Craig and I! Her name is Małgorzata. (Good luck pronouncing that! ;) ) Well she became curious about church and what we believed in - so we met up Sunday morning, and she came to Church with us! It was so so so incredible. She got emotional as she heard the various talks and I could tell she was feeling the Spirit very strongly. She expressed afterwards the distinct difference between our meeting and any Catholic church she had been to. It just felt different to her, and she expressed a desire to keep coming back, perhaps over the next few weeks regularly. Later that evening, Elder and Sister Tufts, our Senior couple (Whom I adore) invited her over for Dinner. We all came and Her and Elder Tufts were able to talk in German, as he served his mission there over 50 years ago. It was so fun! I am so excited for her and hope I am around to see her start to blossom in the Gospel. We will start meeting with her this week after English to teach her more about our church, and I am just so excited! I love her! Cutest little lady ever!

Well, you are all probably going CRAZY if you have read all of this... But I promise I'm done now!! haha! This week was awesome :)
Transfers are next week, and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me! I've learned that trusting him only brings miracles. :)

I love you all!! Have an amazing week! Serve someone, and smile! :)

Siostra Kamp

Us, Anna, and Małgorzata on the Rynek!! Happy Birthday, Bydgoszcz!!!!!!! :)​

Małgorzata!! We love her!!


Tracting! (Thanks Elder McMaster for the behind the scenes pic!)

Elder Coutu always makes fun of me for my "signature pose"

Fish wall!

Elder Coutu, at his finest. Starring: Sister Craig and I, trying to take a normal photo! haha!

We went to the zoo last P-day... But it was closed... So we decided to be the animals ourselves. Except Elder Coutu...

Sunsets and Cathedrals

The river and view from by our apartment. :) I love Poland.

Yes. That's a hedgehog. In the middle of the sidewalk. They're everywhere!!

My lovely friend Ewa and I on our walk home from our lesson! :) (Isn't Poland beautiful?)

Our lovely friend, Małgorzata, from English took us out to ice cream!! I love her!!

District adventure in the woods!

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