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,
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! :)