Dear Family and Friends,
Pronunciation help!! :) Łódż is pronounced - "whoo" (like... whoo hoo!!) + J (like... friDGE)! TA-DA!! :) Such a fun name!!
Oh man, this week was amazing!! I've only been here for a wekk, and I already love this little town so much! :) (side note: My companions told me the Łódż was voted the ugliest city in all of Europe by popular poll... hahaha! But hey, if you ask me, it just has a lot of character ;) I love it here!)
We've seen a lot of miracles just in the seven days that I have been here, and it amazes me!! The Lord's plan is perfect. He definitely knew something more than I did when He sent me here to this city. :)
One of the biggest miracles for me this week has been my companions, Siostra Gheen and Siostra Carlson. They are AMAZING! Siostra Gheen is still a trainee, so Sister Carlson and I are finishing up her training this transfer, but seriously you would never guess that she has only been here for 2 months! Her Polish is INCREDIBLE! She is so motivated, so spiritual, so sweet, and seriously just wonderful. She is so brave, and is always so excited to talk to people! She is so patient, and always sees the good in others, no matter what. :) There is a lot that I can learn from her this transfer. I just love her! And Sister Carlson... Oh myyyyyy... I love her!! She is seriously the finniest person you will ever meet! I feel like I've been companions with her and Sister Gheen forever - we get along so well!! Sister Carlson is in her last transfer, and she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I look at her, and hope to be just like her when I am in my last transfer. She loves life, and is always making people's days with her smile. She is so genuine and sincere, and I seriously get teary-eyed each time she prays. She has such a wonderful relationship with the Lord, and I love listening to her talk to Him. She is the most amazing person I've ever met at acting on spiritual promptings she receives. I can't even count the number of times we have been walking and all the sudden she will stop and stand there with her eyes closed for a few seconds, then turn around and go a completely different way. And the amazing thing is, every time that happens, we are always led to someone.
In fact, I have a story about that...
So, yesterday evening we were tracting some apartment buildings by our house :) We had been tracting for quite a while, and it came to the point that we were just rolling through the motions. We finished one building, and then on our way to the next one, Sister Carlson stopped. Sister Gheen and I just looked at each other like, "YES! Here we go!", and before we knew it, we turned right around and started walking a completely different direction. :) We asked her where we were going, and she said, "You'll see!" So, we walked, and finally got to a building. It was a building that we had been working on, but hadn't gotten all the way through yet and I thought, "Alright, this is it!" So, we all smiled, and started ringing the domophones! :) (I love Polish domophones!) Well, literally the second house Sister Carlson's rang into, a young man answered. She told him who we were, and why we were here, and honestly - he was a little hesitant to let us in. But Sister Carlson is amazing, and just bore her testimony to him, through the domophone, and after that, he didn't even waste a second letting us in. :) We were able to meet with him, and teach him a little bit about the Restoration, and it was one of the most spiritual first lessons I've had on my mission. He was so kind, and told us he wanted to continue to meet with us and learn more about everything our church believes! I couldn't believe everything that happened in the course of that half an hour, but... It was definitely because of the Spirit. It amazed me.
So, that is just a short little story of one thing I have already learned from Sister Carlson, and I've only been here a week. Her favourite thing in the world is the Holy Ghost, and I just love it. That is going to be my new motivation this transfer - acting on spiritual promptings. :) I have no doubt in my mind that the spirit guides us, not only in this work, but just in our daily lives. One thing that has been playing in my mind over and over this week, is a simple statement by President Uchtdorf... "We would do well to slow down a little." :) It is only when we are listening, that we can understand the whisperings of the spirit. Sometimes life is crazy, but... It is eternally worth it to just slow down a little. :)
I feel so lucky to be here, in such a wonderful city with such amazing companions. I think the Lord knew that I still had new experiences waiting for me outside of Bydgoszcz, and that I really needed them. If my mission has taught me anything, it has taught me to trust in my Father in Heaven. I know if I do that, that He will always guide me to where He knows I need to be. Being a missionary is the best thing in the world. I am SO lucky.
I love you all so much, and I hope you all have an amazing fourth of July weekend there in the US! :) I am so grateful for that country, my country, and the freedoms it gives me.
With all the hussle and bussle of life, it may be a little much to ask... But I encourage you all to take President Uchtdorf's advice this week, and slow down a little :) Life is so much better when you take time to smell the roses.
Have an amazing week, everyone!!
We made cookies for English, and took them around Łódż with us all day! Sister Carlson called it, "findin' with the cooks", and made us all do our "gangster cookie faces"... I love them!! ("Our stomach's represent the gospel... FULL." hahaha!
Street art is everywhere here!! I love it!! :)
Sister Gheen... she's our moth catcher. :)
The longest street in Poland... Piotrkowska!! :)
When it's so hot outside that you use part of your dinner hour to soak your feet in a fountain... And realize 15 minutes later that there is a homeless guy bathing in it...