Monday, July 27, 2015
Monday, July 20, 2015
I have been learning a lot about patience as a missionary. The fact is that, I am not in control of anything. Through studying the plan of salvation, so many aspects of missionary work just make sense. When we understand why we are here, we understand why things are hard, why things aren't happening, why we need to do certain things. We know what blessings are, we know what trials are, and we know who we are. I think about how great The Book of Mormon is, how great the hope we gain from a knowledge of latter day prophets, but the single most important doctrine for people to learn about from us is why we are here.
The plan of salvation is not just a piece of what we believe, the plan of salvation is what we believe. I am so grateful for the peace and hope I have from learning about it, and that peace and hope is why I am not discouraged one bit that things aren't happening on my time scale. This life is much more than me.
So the other day it was raining and it was just absolutely gorgeous. There are just some times where I am here and think about how I am totally living a fairytale. But I know it's not because I am living in Poland. It's not just because I am far away from home doing things I would have never imagined. My life is a fairytale because of the Gospel. I know what choices are the right choices to make, and because I make those choices, my life is blessed. When we do the right things, our lives will be fairy tales. This Gospel is the path to happiness. If you don't know that yet, find out. If you do know that, then tell someone else. I don't know why in the world we are so afraid to spread happiness!
I love you all. All of the emails, letters, love from my friends and family back home do more than any of you could know. I read and treasure each one. They get me through some tough times. I am so grateful for all of you. Stay beautiful. I love you all so much.
G-d loves us. We are his children. I know it. I want everyone else to know it. It is such a happy day when someone learns who they are.
Bardzo kocham was!!
Monday, July 6, 2015
This week was a great week, just like the rest. It is hard to not have a great week out here in Kraków. It is possible to have a hard day, maybe a hard two days, but it seems that every week ends up great! Of course I learned from an African man at a bus stop that the secret to being happy and having a great week, is hope. He said that the African people carry a hope in their heart for tomorrow. They believe that tomorrow can be better and so with that hope, they are able to be happy today. We are meeting with him soon, he was super cool!
So look at the world news, now back at me, now back at the news, now back at me. Ah, you must think that the world is a pretty rough place. Full of zły (evil) people who just want to tear each other apart. Well let me tell ya something, turn off the television and step outside! Why am I beginning on such a random tangent? The other day we looked down the street and saw the tramwaj (streetcar) coming. We put our legs in high gear and started booking it like usual. We made the tramwaj with enough time to hold the door open for a cute little old lady. Then we started moving forward.
All of a sudden we hear a ton of honking. I sort of ignore it, but Sister Holden looks over and taps me on the shoulder. We see a man with his window rolled down beckoning at us. The tramwaj stops at the next przystanek(stop) and we step outside as he hands me my wallet out his window. This man saw my wallet fall out of my bag, got out of his car, picked it up, hopped back in his car, and followed us to give it back to me. That wallet had all of my MSF fund, my karte pobytu, and all of my credit cards. I learned two things, not to keep my wallet in that pocket anymore. But the more important thing I learned is that a simple act of kindness can inspire multitudes of people. We got back on the tramwaj and all of a sudden EVERYONE wanted to talk to us. Everyone started talking about how nice that was of that man, and how people like that really are still out there today. This man got a tramwaj full of Europeans talking to each other about a Gospel principle. To echo the words of Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Kindness is the essence of greatness."
I've been thinking a lot about Jesus Christ. Naturalnie. I've been thinking about how smart he was, but how we know that he came to his knowledge grace by grace. Christ taught in parables so that all could understand, but to teach in parables, he had to understand what it was he was talking about. For example, to teach about a shepherd rescuing the one sheep, you first need to know what a shepherd is and what he does. Before Christ ever taught in parables, he first had to learn. That got me thinking about how much I am learning here as a missionary, and more importantly, how I am learning.
It blows my mind that people see the Book of Mormon and automatically dismiss it. Hand me a Jehovah's Witness Bible, I'll read it. Have an atheist tell me why he doesn't believe in God, I'll listen to him. This life is about acquiring knowledge, as all knowledge, all truth comes from God. So why reject an opportunity to acquire more knowledge? If the Book of Mormon isn't true, your great aunt Anabelle will still make that fruit cake, the oil will still changed tomorrow, you will still have that birthday cake for Jonny to make. But I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is just more truth, more light to illuminate us! How exciting! How wonderful that we get so much truth in such a concentrated form! Now instead of Aunt Anabelle making a fruit cake every year until she dies, you get to be sealed to her and eat that fruit cake for eternity! Now instead of the oil being a chore to overcome, you realize god has given you the ability to change oil so you can help old man Jenkins down the street change his! Now you get to teach Jonny that in 10 more birthdays, he'll be able to serve a mission, share the Book of Mormon with others, and go change his world! The Book of Mormon and the truth that it illuminates dispels the fog and helps us see life in a more brilliant way!
I am so happy to be here, to just love these people in Kraków. These people are phenomenal, they are so loved by their Father in Heaven. Now it's just my job to give them a few pointers to help them see it! I can't wait for the day when all of these people here, these people I love so much, understand who they truly are. I just really love them, I really do.
I also love all of you. I am so grateful for your prayers, support, and letters. I love you all so much, every person back at home. I think about you and I pray for you constantly. You are all so special to me, and so special to our Father in Heaven. I hope you all have a fantastic week! Because you deserve it! And remember, if your day seems pretty hard and you aren't feeling to great, just let your heart be filled with the hope that tomorrow brings.