Tuesday, February 28, 2017

...It all depends on you.

Moi drodzy <3

Good morning, everyone! :) 
I hope you have all had an amazing week!! 

This week has been QUITE the week for us! I have so much to tell!! 
First thing is first...

Oh my goodness... We are so excited! :) It is the biggest miracle!! I am the luckiest missionary in the world to be able to spend the last few months of my journey in Poland in this charming little city, with all the incredible people here. I could not be more grateful, and my heart could not be more full! 

The beginning of this new transfer has brought with it a new renewed sense of love for this amazing work I am able to be a part of - and I have not stopped smiling for the past 72+ hours! I'm pretty sure I even smile the whole night in my sleep... Is that normal? :) I'M SO BLESSED! 

As I go throughout each week, so many wonderful things happen that impact my heart in the biggest way - but I can never find the right words to explain them all to you. It's rough. ;) You'd think that writing each week would be a skill that could develop over such a time!... haha. 

Well, as usual, my time to email is short - BUT - I'll share a couple experiences this week!

First, as most of you probably know, Sister Larsen and I have been called to serve as Family History Specialist Missionaries (whatever you want to call us!) and it has been an incredible experience. Family means the absolute world to me, and being able to help others in the search for their families has brought such joy and miracles to this work. This week we set up a meeting with one of our sweet members, Renata, to help her with her family history and you will not believe the miracle that she was to us! She walked into the chapel and shouted out, "Hello, loves! I'm so sorry I'm late, but I brought a few extra things! :)" We just laughed and said, "Awesome!" and all went into the family history center to start. Let me just say... She wasn't kidding! :O She had three big bags with her, and in each bag was information, photos, family trees, records, and anything else you can imagine - not only for her family, but for 6 other members of our branch, and 3 of her friends that are not members of our church but want our help with their family history work. WHAT. It was incredible!!! My jaw was on the floor the whole time. I can't even explain the happiness I felt as we watched her entering in all the information for her family that she had brought onto our familysearch website, and seeing her face light up whenever she found something new. There is a spirit that comes from helping others find stories and information about their loved ones that fills your heart up right to the brim... I can't even describe it, but it is incredible. Our loved ones are not gone... They are by our side with every step. I know that.

Ah! Time! Okay quick summaries! We spent our culture night at a filharmonia with a few of our sweet friends this week, and seeing their smiles and how much fun they all had together was SUCH an answer to prayer, and such a miracle. :) It was an amazing night! We spent this past Saturday in Poznań doing a training on FamilySearch for the missionaries and members there, and that was an absolute blast! Our sweet friend Anna was able to come to church with us on Sunday, and it just made my entire day. My heart was so full! She is amazing. We now have a new Branch President, and he is also such an answer to prayer. I am so grateful for him, and the wonderful spirit he brings to this branch. Bydgoszcz is going to be blessed with SO many miracles this transfer... The Lord is so present. :) I look forward to the next few months in this wonderful place with such peace and excitement :) Whatever it holds, the Lord is in it, and it is going to be WONDERFUL. 

I've been studying a lot about prayer this week, and have been amazed by the insights the Spirit has given me. Yesterday as we met with our branch president, he said something that I have adopted as a new "motto" of mine, I guess you could call it. He said, "Pray as if it all depends on the Lord... but work as if it all depends on you." I love that... 
Prayer is such a gift. I have no idea what I would do without being able to talk with my Father in Heaven each day. Prayer has given me comfort in the midst of my hardest times, and has brought a light to the darkest days - but even beyond that, it is through prayer that I have received witness from my Heavenly Father that He is there. He knows me, He loves me, and He has a plan for me. It is through prayer that I have felt his overwhelming love, even when I felt the most undeserving... And it is through prayer that I have truly come to know Him. I hope you all know how much I pray for you. I know the Lord loves you so much - His spirit has given me a witness of that love each time I pray for you. 

This gospel is true, you guys. It is true, and it is so wonderful. <3 
I can't say that enough. 

I love you all, and hope you know that. But even more, I hope you know how much your Father in Heaven loves you. :) Pray, and I promise you - you will feel it.

I wish you all an amazing week, and a wonderful beginning to march! :) 

Z miłością, 
Siostra Kamp

For our Culture Night this transfer, we went to a Filharmonia with our friends Ewa, Agata, President Mowes, and Ewa!!  Best night ever. :)  Love them all!!

Dinner at the Tufts with our lovely friends - Kasia, Sławek, Piotr, and Leszek!

PREPARATION DAY IN THE BEAUTIFUL TORUŃ!!  (I apologize in advance for the photo overload!)

Elder Byrd's "model shot"

"Sister - be cool!"

Wall of truth!  We all failed... Co to znaczy?...

The best graffiti discovery!!  This photo says it all, all by itself!  haha. :)  {Mama Kamp using Google Translator:  Polish, repent!}

The house of Nicholas Copernicus!

Best milk bar in the world <3

Toruń is famous for its heavenly gingerbread...For good reason too! :)

Making homemade donuts and Paczki with our lovely Agata for Poland's traditional "Fat Thursday"!!

All the crazies :)

The old city wall in Toruń!!

Our Ikea trip this morning with Elder's!  They tried out every chair in the whole store!

Snow storms and smiles!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

His glory is in His children.

Dzień dobry, Drodzy!! 

I hope you've all had a wonderful week! :)
Unfortunately I only have a couple minutes to write today, but I did take quite a few photos this week, so I'll send those along! :) 
I have to keep this short today, but I'll tell some quick highlights from the week! Bardzo szybko!! 

We were able to meet with our sweet friends Ewa and Anna this week and talk with them about the Plan of Salvation - both of those meetings were absolutely wonderful :) There is always such a special spirit present whenever we talk with others about our Heavenly Father's plan for us. He loves us - and that love is so evident in his perfect plan. It's true, and it is so wonderful. 

We were also able to have a conference this past friday with all the missionaries in the north, and that was wonderful as always. I just can't express enough how grateful I am for our mission president and the inspired leaders we have. I learn so much from them each day, and am so grateful for their inspired councel and guidance. I'm so lucky to be in the service of my God with such amazing people. 

I have to get going, but I just want you all to know - the Lord loves you. And so do I! :) 
There were a couple beautiful quotes shared yesterday in Sacrament meeting about the love our Father in Heaven has for us, and I want to end with those today. :)

"Of all the titles God has, Father is the one he declares. His glory isn't a mountain, as stunning as mountains are. It isn't in sea or sky or snow or sunrise, as beautiful as they all are. It isn't in art or technology, be that a concerto or a computer. No, his glory is in His children."

"My brothers and sisters, the first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength-- that's the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life. Indeed it is only with that reassurance burning in our soul that we can have the confidence to keep trying to improve, keep seeking forgiveness for our sins, and keep extending that grace to our neighbor."

I know that is true. You are all so loved. :) I hope you know that! 
I'm sorry for the lack of time today, but I love you all and wish you an amazing week!!
Until next week!

Z miłością,
Siostra Kamp

Last Preparation day:  A day of Rummikub

Elder Byrd's best friend Romney is serving in Africa, and Elder Byrd temporarily made him the screensaverof our computer :)  Caption:  "Guys.  Africa is so cool."

My cute companion made a Valentine's breakfast straight from a 5 star restaurant!  AMAZING.  She's the best!

We brought a Valentine's cake for or English class! :)

The travels to Poznań for Zone Conference!

Reunited with Elder Dickson!!!  Love him.  And of course, a photo with our Łódź baby bible's was a must.

Selfie!  Love them!

Sister Hammond!!  She is the sweetest person in the world. :)

Sister Butler!!!

Sister Thornton!!!

Sweet Sister Larsen turned 20 on Saturday!! :)

Celebrating SIOSTRA LARSEN!!!


Last Pday I bought an antique Polish camera....My heart...<3

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A week of just...HAPPY!

Dear Family and Friends, 

Hello, everyone! I hope you've all had the most wonderful week! I have so much to tell, as always, but in short...


We started this week (and ended it!) being on the receiving end of so many miracles! Have I ever mentioned how good the Lord is? I'm continually amazed by Him... 

One of our miracles this week was being able to get in contact with so many sweet people! One evening we only had enough time to call 10 people from our Area Book, and guess what?! We set up meetings with SEVEN of those ten!!! It was incredible. 
One of the sweet firls we were able to get in contact with was a young girl named Maria that Sister Craig and I actually met almost a year ago in a clothing shop called "Zara"! She is such a sweetheart. We were able to meet with her twice this week, and she came to both of our english classes, AND to dinner at our lovely Elder and Sister Tufts apartment last night... Miracles! I love her so much. She has the best attitude and outlook on life and just... loves being HAPPY!! :)  We had the most wonderful talk this week about happiness, and what the word really means... and I've been thinking about it constantly this week. I've just been ALL smiles! :) That's the best way I can even think to describe this week... 


So... with that, instead of going into long stories and rants about the details of the week like I always tend to do... I decided that today, I'm just going to share with you all a list of the little moments that brought a smile to my face this week. :) (no matter how big or small)

1. The birthday and beautiful baptism of our sweet Amelia!! <3
2. My lovely Agata and her "how Polish are you?" quiz. (I'm not Polish... and neither is she! ;) )
3. Ella and Annafleur's paint fight as we were helping Sister Kagele paint her school.
4. The sun showed it's face today!! :)
5. Packages and letters from home.
6. Elder Byrd making our english class rap to his beat boxing. 
7. Surprise dinners of service and unplanned friendships along the way. :)
8. A receipt that costs 10 złotych.
9. Drunk drummers and dancing pigeons.
10. The everyday "Byebye!"'s from of favourite doorman.
11. Lava cakes... without the lava...
12. Unexpected phone calls from my friends in Łódź <3
13. Whipping out the old violin after too long in the case. 
14. Antique cameras and Russian Book of Mormons.
15. The sweet testimonies of the members here in Bydgoszcz. 
16. Biscuits, bananas, and apples in bags for homeless friends along the way. 

I have a list of 53 things that I made just this morning of things that made me smile this week (and I only wrote down the ones I could remember!)! This is just so much to smile about. :) This week, I challenge you all to find the joy in every day. The seemingly unnoticeable things, or the really big things... There is joy in it all. :) Make a list! Send a text! Smile at someone random! Happiness is the best medicine for the soul. :) 

I don't think it was a coincidence that this Sunday our lesson in Relief Society was on "Optimism and Spreading Sunshine"! But one quick thing I want to share from that lesson with you all... 
When President Gordon B. Hinckley was a missionary in England, every person he met was greeted with a warm handshake and a small quote that still stands just as true today... 

"Life is good". :) 

And it really is. 
I just want to end this email with the best quote I've possibly ever heard in my entire life. It is from one of my favourite people in the world - the one and only Ania from our little Bydgoszcz branch. :) Yesterday, with the biggest smile on her face, she stood up in the middle of Relief Society and said, 

"I wake up every morning and dance to the toilet! I am just so excited to still be alive!!"

How wonderful would be the world if would could all be like Ania. :) haha! 

Have a wonderful week, everyone!! 
I love you all, and the Lord does too. Never forget that. 

Z miłością, 
Siostra Kamp

Dinner at the Tufts!! I love these people <3 

Sister Kagele! Love this woman!!

Having too much fun painting!!

The crazy Elder's​

Even though I can't get this little munchkin to hold still for anything, I just LOVE her! :) 

District selfie!

Sweet Amelia's baptism. <3 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

small and simple!

Dear Friends and Family, 

How are you all? :) I hope you are having the best start to your week!

I don't have a lot of time today... But this week has been so much fun, and so many wonderful things happened! :) I'll fill you in on a little more of my week this week, since last week I didn't give as many details! Speed round!

We were able to meet with our lovely friend Anna a few days ago, and I just love her! One of our sweet members, Ewa (my favourite person ever!), was able to be on that lesson with us all, and I am just so grateful for her testimony. As she bore testimony to Anna I couldn't help but get a little teary eyed from the spirit she brought with her words. She has a testimony of gold, and so much faith... Her example to me is indescribable. It was a wonderful meeting! 

We spent a lot of time on the streets this week as well, talking to the amazing people here about family history work! It. was. amazing. I met the sweetest woman in the world! We talked and laughed and told stories of our families for so long, and it was amazing. It is so special when you feel a connection like that to someone you just met on the street, but after 5 minutes of talking I felt like I had known her forever. :) The Spirit of Elijah truly can be found in the sharing of family stories, and I have no doubt in my mind that the relationships we have here continue beyond the veil. 
My favourite moment of our conversation was what happened after I handed her a little card with the address of our family history center on it. She took one look at it and saw "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" and asked, "What is this?" I couldn't help but think, "Okay... Here we go." having seen many wonderful conversations end short after such a question, but I just smiled and told her we were missionaries from our church, here to help bring others closer to Christ. I'm sure you all can imagine how happy I felt when in that moment her face just lit up. :) She pointed to the address of our family history center and said, "This is amazing." Then, pointing to our church's name said, "But this... This is even more amazing." :) It was such a tender mercy for me, and I am so grateful for that small experience. This gospel really is "more amazing". It is the root of all my happiness, and I have no idea where I would be without it. 
We will be meeting with my sweet friend later this week, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it next week :) She is my miracle. 

So many other amazing things happened this week!! I was able to get in contact with some of the people I met with when I served here in Bydgoszcz last year, and we have meetings with them in the coming week! We were able to travel out to Toruń to visit our sweet little Amelia and her family! She is going to be baptized on Saturday, and we all cannot wait!! :) My heart is so full. :)

The Lord truly has just been so good to us this week. :) He always is. 

I love this gospel, and I love you all! I'm sorry my time is so limited today, but I wish you all an amazing week!! :)

Until next week!
Kocham was!

Z miłością,
Siostra Kamp

District McDonald's run on preparation day!

Our family history whiteboard! :)

The Elder's were excited to have their ancestors on the board!

Visiting our sweet members in outlying cities means crazy road trips with these three!  (And our favorite Elder Tufts who missed the selfie...)

Im sure you can imagine my confusion when Sister Larsen sat down on the couch with just a cube of butter and a knife...

Miss Ella turned 12 this week!! :)  We had fun bringing her a cake!

Ella's birthday cake!!  Happy Birthday, my dear!!  :)

The day I almost stole a  cocker spaniel named Navy... <3

 Visiting our sweet members  :)  They amaze me!  (Yes BYU basketball fans...that is who you think it is!)

Ewa made us a Polish dinner last night!!  She is the best in the world.  Have I mentioned that before?

Mirek invited us to his chess club!