Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dearest family and friends...

Dearest family and friends,
Good morning, everyone! I hope your week has been full of sunshine - both inside your soul and out! :) Ours sure was. (Maaaaaybe a little more inside though... *she said as she stared out the window at the pouring hail* :) ) 
But no really - what a wonderful week!!
This past week we met SEVEN of the most wonderful people I have ever met, and experienced a miracle when we were able to set up meetings with each one of them to talk more about our beliefs! The Lord's hand was so present in it all. We met all seven of these amazing people in different ways - one person we met simply by talking with people on the streets about what we believe. Another we were able to meet from some of the members in our branch. We also met one woman simply helping her clear dishes at the restaurant we ate lunch at that day. Another, because of our work with family history... The ways in which we met those people were all very different, but even despite the difference in the "how", there was no difference in the "why". I know with all my heart that each person I have had the privilege of meeting here was placed on my path for a reason. Every person I have met, each miracle I have experienced - they repeatedly testify to me of the reality and the goodness of God, and His perfect plan. Just when I think my heart can't possibly be any fuller - He allows me to witness another heart-filling moment.
I was able to have another one of those heart filling moments just a few days ago, as I watched my sweet friend Simon enter the waters of baptism surrounded by friends and family who love him - and again yesterday as he was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. More tears were shed than I would like to admit - but hey, when your heart overflows all that joy has to come out somehow, right? :) I love Simon so much, and am so lucky to have met him. It was a beautiful, perfect weekend, and I could not be more grateful to the Lord for letting me witness it all.
In the scriptures, at the end of the mission of any great missionary, there is such a powerful testimony written with their "last words". Those powerful testimonies have been something I have taken a special notice of this past week of study, and as I sit here in this little library in Bydgoszcz, Poland for the last time... it is difficult for me, wondering how I can possibly sum up all I have experienced, all I have learned, all I have been given during my short time here... Is it even possible? I have prayed and prayed to be given the inspiration and words to convey my "last words" to you all just as the missionaries of old - and I trust that the Lord will give me them in due time. :) But, the time for "last words" I guess hasn't come yet. As the Lord has told me recently, "This is really just the beginning." :)

But - in this last email to you all, I just want you all to know... I am so grateful to my God for giving me this opportunity to serve by His side these past 18 months. How He trusted such an imperfect 19 year old girl like me to come among His precious children here and share with them such a perfect gospel - a gospel of peace, hope, and everlasting joy - I do not know. How He has been able to show me such mercy and tenderness by giving me such miracles and answers to prayer, I don't know. His hand in every moment, the patience He has had with my constant pleadings, and the forgiveness He has so readily offered me of my innumerable mistakes. The trust He has put in me as I have put my trust in Him, and the many opportunities He has given me to see the testimonies of others strengthened and hearts changed - including my own... I just can't help but ask Him, "Lord, how is it done?" 
He lives. He loves us. And I have never been more sure of anything in my life. With every moment, whether it be the difficult ones or the ones full of joy, the Lord has given me a little glimpse into eternity. There is a peace, a joy, and an everlasting love that comes from this gospel that I took so for granted before my mission... I was so blind. He was always there, and He is always will be - no matter where we are on our path back to Him. 
Jesus Christ is our Saviour. He lived, He healed, He suffered, He performed miracles, He atoned, and He was crucified - for us. For you, for me, and for all of us. I have felt the enabling, strengthening, and cleansing power of His atonement more these past 18 months than I have in my entire life, as I have relied on Him with all I have. The Book of Mormon is the true word of God. Joseph Smith was a prophet of our God, and restored that same gospel Christ taught on the earth in it's fullness. Life continues beyond the veil... I know it. I could go on forever about the testimony I have received of the truths of the gospel.

Nothing will ever be able to take away the testimony I have gained of my Saviour and His perfect gospel, and as my time here comes to a close - my final prayer is this:
"But I have prayed for thee, that they faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen they brethren." -Luke 22:32
I love you all, and cannot thank you enough for your love, support, and endless prayers for me and the wonderful people of Poland. I am so grateful to God for all He has given me, and all He has done for you all as I have been away. He lives, and He loves you. Jestem tego pewna. <3
How good is our God?
Kocham was bardziej niż umiem opisać. Do zobaczenia wkrótce <3
Z wielką miłością,
Siostra Kamp

The zoo felt like a little bit of home - goats and horses!! <3

Failed selfie with the bear!

An upside down house?!

Skyping with the Elder's in Warsaw for a training!  I'm so grateful for these goofs.

The hardest goodbye in the world.  Saying "see you later" to my best friend. <3

Family home evening with some members of the branch! :)

English class - 27 levels of Jenga.

The most perfect day <3

Elder Barlow being his crazy self.

The best district selfie proooooobably ever taken.

Our sweet friend!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Prince of Peace - what Easter is all about.

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy late Easter!! I hope you all had the most wonderful Easter Sunday, and that you could truly feel the Spirit as the day went on. The love I have for this day set apart to remember our Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection is indescribable. I can't even tell you the gratitude I feel for my Saviour, and for all He did, does, and will do for me. Being in His service these past 18 months, I have grown closer to Him that I ever could have imagined. I love Him. He has truly changed me.

I apologize for not having had the time to be able to write much the past few weeks, or send many photos! This week I will send lots :) 

We have had a lot of wonderful adventures this last week, and it has been amazing to see the Lord's hand in our lives! We have had many meetings, and even more miracles! The highlight of it all though was definitely the Easter holiday :) 

Easter here in Poland is just as celebrated and loved as Christmas! I have loved being able to experience the Polish Easter traditions, and seeing the impact they have on the lives of the people here. The blessing of the Easter baskets of food for Easter morning, the special ceremonies on Palm Sunday, and throughout the week. The Easter games, the special foods, prayers, songs, plants, decorations, and everything my wonderful friends here have showed me about Polish Easter... It is all so surreal! 
But even more than that - I've been blessed to see the love the wonderful people here have for their Saviour, and all He for them did. My heart has been filled to the brim with love for them as I've seen them celebrating the life of Jesus Christ, and I can't help but feel so grateful to have the testimony of Him that I do. I feel blessed beyond measure to have had the opportunity in my life to personally feel Him by my side. To experience the enabling and purifying power of His atoning sacrifice for ME.  To feel Him lifting me when times are harder, and to share my joy with Him when the times are better. 
I know He lives. He lived, died, and rose again the third day - for me. And for you. And for all of us. He is my closest friend, and the source of my greatest peace and I will always be so grateful for Him. 

If you haven't been able to watch the Easter video put out by the church, please take the 2 minutes to do so. It brings me to tears. Every word in that video is true. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.

As the end of this mission nears, the peace I have been given from my Saviour has been the biggest miracle for me. I know without a doubt that His peace is real. It is real, and it is for every one of us, no matter what we are going through. He can calm troubled seas, and troubled souls. Even yours :) I know, because He has done the same for me. 

I love you all so much, and hope you have an amazing week! Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers. I hope more than anything that you can feel mine too. :) 

Z miłością, 
Siostra Kamp

Toruń, Poland!

Gathering sticks for our craft at the branch party!

My favorite people!

Saying goodbye to my favorite Ukranian in the whole world <3

This lovely friend of mine is moving to Germany today...  A picture was absolutely necessary!  I love her!

My Polish Grandma <3 I LOVE HER.

Stole my camera!  I love these goofs.

Skyping with my favourite Szczecin missionaries :)  We had a training with them - one last goodbye!

My favorite man in the world!!!

Saying goodbye to President Mowes.  He is the biggest example to me.  I just love that man.

At the Cathedral for Polish Easter tradition with our favourite person :)

Elder Barlow carved a lamb out of butter... We were so impressed!

Elder Barlow - taking on Toruń.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Conference - the light of spring!

Dear Family and Friends,

Good morning, moi drodzy! I don't have much time for a group email today... But! General conference this week was such a miracle for me - and I am sure it was for all that were able to listen to it. I haven't had the opportunity yet to watch the Sunday Afternoon session, but the one's I have been able to watch have been such answers to so many prayers. I wanted to just very quickly share a few of my favourite quotes, even there are way too many to put in one email!

"Even in the most difficult and darkest of times, there is light and goodness all around us." -Mark A Bragg

"Show respect to all, and hatred to none." -Dale G. Renlund

"Christ says, 'Come as you are, but don't plan to stay as you are.'" -Jeffrey R. Holland

"We may need to let go of the world, so we can hang on to eternity." -Gary B. Sabin

"If you listen with the Spirit you will find your heart softened, your faith strengthened, and your capacity to love the Lord increased." -Henry B. Eyring

"It is far better to follow the Creator than the crowd." -Gary B. Sabin

"A strong testimony of our Saviour will help see us through to safety.: -President Thomas S. Monson

I hope you all enjoyed this general conference as much as I did, and that the inspired words we heard are able to bless you, lift you, and strengthen your faith as they have for mine. 
The gospel is true. Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's prophet on the earth today, and I am so grateful to the Lord that He gives us guidance through His prophets and apostoles. 

I love you all, and wish I had more time to write... But I have to be going! 
I wish you all an amazing week!! You all are so loved!!

Z miłością,
Siostra Kamp

Our lovely Sister's from Szczecin came to Bydgoszcz this week for exchanges!  We love them!! :)

Family Home evening! Making apple crisp!

Our night with my best friend <3