Monday, April 11, 2016

Sunshine and Smiles - they go a long way.

Dear Family and Friends,

Witam, wszystkich! :) Welcome to this week's version of "How many details can Sister Kamp cram into this weeks email"! hahaha. 
I miss you all so much! I hope everything is going well in the US, and that it is warming up and blooming as much as it is here! Polish springtime is my new favourite thing. :)

This week was another amazing one! I had so many experiences that just made me so grateful to be a missionary, and reminded me that I am exactly where I need to be. 

We have been spending as much time as we can outside this past week, because the weather has been nothing short of perfect! So, we've been doing a lot of activities like "whiteboarding" and "chalk talks" to talk to people on the streets. :) It's been so much fun! This week Sister Craig and I met so many wonderful people. I'll mention a few of them! 

So first, we were doing a whiteboard on the beautiful bridge we have in Bydgoszcz, and it was the nicest day! I was just as happy as ever to be here, and it was one of those days I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. :) So, I was talking to this cutest old man, when I saw this woman walking towards us. I was in the middle of a conversation, so I couldn't stop her and talk to her, but I just got this prompting that I still should do something. So, not thinking much of it, I smiled at her, and gave her a little wave! I think it caught her off guard a little bit, because she kind of stopped and stared at me like, "Do I know you?" then smiled back, and kept walking. BUT! It gets better. She walked past us, and then looked back, stopped, and went to the side of the bridge looking over the water. Deep in thought as to whether or not it would be a good idea to talk to us strange mormon's I'm guessing ;) But, to my surprise, even though I was still talking to the cute old man, she walked back toward us and Sister Craig approached her and started talking to her!! :) Well, come to find out Sister Craig had the most wonderful conversation with her, and she wanted to meet with us again! MIRACLE! 
So, fast forward a couple days, and we met with her!! Her name is Hania, and she is amazing. We got some little baked rolls from this little bakery, then went to the cutest park by our apartment and talked with her about our beliefs. It was an amazing meeting. I feel like sometimes since my Polish is not exactly "top knotch" yet, I just stick to the memorized phrases that I know how to say, and I'm not really able to connect much with the person we meet with. But with Hania, it was different. We were able to have the most amazing conversation with her, and by the end of our meeting she was sharing her personal struggles with us, and we were able to just be there to listen to her. Sister Craig is incredible at following promptings of the spirit, and she was able to ask Hania some questions that Hania had been searching for the answers to for so long. It was incredible! So, it was just an amazing lesson, and when we asked her at the end if she had time for us to meet with her again, she said, "Oh, I have SO much time!" haha! But anyway, Sister Craig asked me if I would be willing to say a prayer to close our meeting, so of course I said yes! We taught Hania how we pray, and she just absolutely LOVED the fact that we pray with our own words, like a conversation. So, I said a prayer (in the simple Polish I know), and when we looked up after, Hania was just starring at us. We just smiled, and she said, "I've never heard people pray with such gratitude before..." It was a wonderful experience for me, because I didn't even give thanking God for all our blessings a second thought, it's just what we do, right? But to her, it meant absolutely everything. 
It was an incredible lesson. :) And to think it all started with a smile! Never underestimate the effect that a smile can have on someone's day. :)

With the weather being so perfect here, the Polish people are always outside! Just them and their ice cream cones, what could be better? :) (Polish ice cream?... yeah... It's to die for!) But anyway, while we were doing a whiteboard on the bridge, I was trying to explain in my broken Polish to a woman that we are not in fact Amish, or racist, or polygamists, we don't hate the Bible, we don't have our "own Jesus Christ" we worship that lives in Utah... Let's just say it was an interesting conversation ;) But while all that was going on, my companion noticed a woman with a baby stroller, just sitting on a bench enjoying her ice cream! So, being Sister Craig (she's amazing), she went right over and asked to share a message with her! The woman immediately told her "Of course! Please, sit down!" (MIRACLE), and Sister Craig talked with her for over an hour! The woman, named Agnieszka, told Sister Craig that she had just gone through a divorce, and was having a very difficult time in her life, and Sister Craig was able to testify to her that even though we may not know exactly what she is going through, Jesus Christ does. It was an amazing thing for me to look over and see. :) They both cried a little together, exchanged numbers, and Agnieszka and her little boy Albert went on their way. :) (While this was all happening, I was still on the bridge, stumbling over my Polish, but having some Amazing conversations as well! It was a miracle to me that I was even able to talk to people for an hour by myself! Miracles!! :) But I just absolutely love this woman Sister Craig met, and I seriously find so much joy in my companion's miracles - so I thought it was worthy of sharing. :) )
Well, Sunday morning came, and guess who came to church?! Agnieszka and little Albert!! Oh man... It was amazing to see her there! :) We were SO excited!!!! This Sunday was an ADVENTURE, that's for sure! There has been a bit of a flu bug going around, so a lot of people were sick and not able to come to church this week... So, Sister Craig and I got to teach Primary and Relief Society! Whoo! :) We were feeling stretched beyond our abilities trying to juggle everything at once, while trying to make sure Agnieszka knew what was going on, etc. The time came for Relief Society, and hardly any Sisters remained, except for an Older woman, named Danuta, who just LOVES to talk. We became increasingly nervous. We brought Albert in some coloring crayons and all sat down with the manuals and talked of the topic today - The Atonement of Jesus Christ. We asked Danuta to help us along the lesson, and we opened with a prayer. We proceeded to read aloud from an experience given by a prophet, of losing a loved one, and how the atonement strengthened him through that time. As we read of the Savior and His love her us, Danuta, the member, testified of her experience of recently losing her beloved husband, and how the Gospel has been such a strength for her. As she testified, all my worries seemed to melt away, and I heard a voice come clearly: "Do not worry. She is in my hands." Despite all my inadequacies, and feelings of responsibility, it all melted away in that moment. I knew everything was going to be alright. Danuta testified sweetly to her, and Agnieszka was brought to tears. Agnieszka said her Sister, only a year younger than her, had recently passed away - How difficult it had been for her. Danuta put her arm around Agnieszka and whispered to her: "You are in the right place". It was one of those moments... You know what I'm talking about. The one's you wish you could just bottle up and keep forever. The one's that make you realize everything you worry about is in God's hands, and He will never fail you. 

I really wish I had more time, but I feel like I have already written you all a novel... So, I'll save the other stories I have, but some time down the road I may tell you all about another miracle I experienced this week. :) It was something so small, but meant the absolutely world to me. Her name was Zuza.  

Anyway, I love you all so much, and hope you have an amazing week! I'm still loving it here in Poland, and I'm still absolutely in love with being a missionary. :) I'm the luckiest girl in the world

Kocham was! 

Z miłością,
   Siostra Kamp

A homeless man stole our whiteboard.... haha! So, lucky for us - we got a new one!!!! (And of course, knowing us, we had to pretend we were thugs.)

I never sent these, but... ZONE CONFERENCE! I got to see my favourite Sister D!!!!!! :)

A photo starring some of my favourite people in the world :) Zone conference edition.

Upside down house! :) Coolest thing ever! 

Last P-days "picnic in the park" adventure! Poland is so beautiful... :) (and our Elder's are super talented!)

Our beautiful friend, Monika! I love her!! (and it was freezing... haha!)

My favourite part of spring. :) All the trees look like this!! "Pink popcorn popping!"

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