Monday, February 22, 2016

Hey everyone, I don't know if I've told you all yet, but transfers happened and I am in Warsaw II with Sister Lerch. Siostra Carlson is in Łódź, now. 

The day of transfers was crazy! We had to deep-clean our apartment and our vacuum didn't work, but luckily one of the members lent one to us. Sisters Lerch and Gammon and I spent the day in a trio while Sister Barney was on her way. We then ended the night English contacting at the Fishbowl. On Friday, we had a great lesson with Kasia and answered her questions about the Plan of Salvation. This week, we've been doing a lot of contacting and delivering cards to less-actives. We found out that one of the members on a previous list has been dead for six years! We got to meet his wife and caregiver, though. Piotr's wife wasn't interested in the Church or service, but she does remember the missionaries, so that was great! We also went to deliver a card to Teresa, and when we got to her building,  we met her in the hallway on her way out. She was so happy to see us! If y'all remember, she's the lady who can speak and read in Russian. We found out that she likes to do genealogy work at the chapel in Warsaw I! We made an appointment to see her next week. 

This week has been quite interesting, Siostra Lerch is still in her training phase, so it's been nice to review the training books, I never really realized that reading them on a daily basis can help, even if we're not training. I hope none of this sounds boring, but it's been a huge blessing to be with Sister Lerch. We're different in some ways, but we've been through similar life experiences, so I know that I can trust her. 

In other news, our oven door shattered everywhere yesterday, luckily the glass pieces are about the thickness of a Coke bottle, so we've had no trouble cleaning them up (our vacuum's still broken). 

We are going to be making cookies for the upcoming YSA conference! We'll be using lunch hours to make them at the chapel, and for this particular recipe, the cookies last a long time. They're chocolate and the texture is like cake! I'm so addicted to them! 

I think I've ranted, so I'll stop now, but please remember to keep us in your prayers! I love you all and appreciate your kindness :D 

Siostra Herrera 

Monday, February 8, 2016

1. With Kaja
2. The beautiful sky on our way to Santiago's
Hey everyone! We have a limited amount of time today, so I'll give you a rundown of our week: 

Monday, we had P-day and had an awesome lesson with Maria who is a former, we taught her the Plan of Salvation and talked with her she remembers a lot of what she's been taught in the past. She is such a sweet lady! She worked as an engineer and has built roads in Poland and in Africa. She loves African culture and is also a painter, her art along with some of her daughter's hangs in her apartment. We had a nice conversation about art history and it turns out that her favourite period is Surrealism! She was really happy when I told her that my favourite artist is Frida Khalo. Since Siostra Carlson has her cosmetology license, we promised to come back to colour her hair.

Tuesday, District meeting, which was beautiful as always, then district lunch with curry. Contacting for a few hours, then we went to see the Kate and Denis who are from Kiev, Kate has never doubted the hand of God in her life, despite the hardships she and her family have endured since moving to Poland. This family is such a huge strength to the branch, even though it is hard to come to a place where the Church isn't as strong, I'm so glad that they are here to be lights! Tracting in the night.

Wednesday, studies, lunch and then contacting in Wilanowska. We then had an appointment with Maria to colour her hair and enlightened her on how Heavenly Father has a body and how we are made in His image. Dinner, then English, tracting for the rest of the night.

Fat Thursday! In the morning, we had to leave early to go to the mission office to watch the first hour of the missionary broadcast, we then finished studies and then headed out to contact until lunch time. We went to go meet the Elders at the dworzec and bought pączki (at least my companion did, I was feeling nauseous so I had a piece of chocolate instead). Met with Elders to buy tickets to Sieldce. Afterwards, we went contacting and helped Kaja make Valentine cards to send. Night-time tracting.

Friday: Made enchiladas.We took the day to go see Santiago and his family, they live out on a farm. He is from the same part of Mexico my father is from! 

Saturday, made rice and beans for our meeting with Anna. We met with Ela who is a member and her son even came in at the beginning and prayed with us! He really likes Tony Hawk and teaches skateboarding. Contacting before our meeting with Anna, where we made chilaquiles and re-taught her the Plan of Salvation. Night-time tracting.

Sunday, D.A.R., Church, and a meeting with President Neto for less-actives. Dinner at Carters'

'bye everyone!

Siostra Herrera

Monday, February 1, 2016

Semper Invicta/Zawsze Niezwyciężona Gwiezdne wojny

Well, hello there! I apologize if this seems choppy, but I forgot my planner at the chapel and Siostra Carlson is kind enough to let me use hers. 

On Monday (P-day), we emailed and had lunch and a Belgian fries place. Their burgers are excellent! At 6pm, we went to go see Marta who has two boys and we had dinner/English lesson with them. Piotruś and Wojtuś love Star Wars (Gwiezdne wojny, czyli Stary Wars) and showed us their lego figures. They loved my R2-D2 keychain, so I will have to see if I can get some for them. They had a Star Wars picture book, so Sister Carlson and I explained what was happening in each scene in English and in Polish if they didn't understand fully. Marta is amazing! She speaks English really well and is also fluent in Italian after living in Italy for a couple of years. Marta was explaing some Polish cultural aspects to us when the time came for us to leave. We had explained to them earlier that transfers would come on the 15th of February, so the boys were sad to see us go, so they ran upstairs and came back with a doll for Sister Carlson and a sheep doll for me. I have named him Słodkich Snów which means sweet dreams. :D 

Tuesday was district meeting and then we went to go do a finding activity with Elders Wynne and Coutu. We had to leave early because we had exchanges and Sisters Gustafson and Lerch came in from Łódź. If y'all remember, Sister Gustafson was one of my MTC companions and now she's serving in my first city! I love Łódź! We split off with Sisters Carlson and Gustafson going out to tract and Sister Lerch and I tracted in the opposite direction. When it got too late to tract, we went contacting and ended up meeting a lady who happens to speak both Russian and German, I find that is really common among the older generation, she said she was too old to learn English, so she would give the ulotka to her daughter. 

Wednesday, we started morning workout, had lunch and then went out to see Anna. She really has a fun spirit! She hadn't been to church in over a year, but has recently had the desire to come back. We read the talk "Choose to Believe" by Elder Clayton and talked about the difference between hope and faith. What we discussed together was that faith is what gets us going and hope is what keeps us going. Sailor Gutzler had the faith to get out of the plane and walk to the farm in the dark, and she had hope that once she got to the spot the light was shining from, she would be safe. As we shared the story with Anna, she said she hadn't felt the Spirit in a long time until then. She then said that she was grateful that we had come to see her. I love Anna! 

Thursday, we made cookies and took them to Emilia and Dorota who haven't come to church in a while. They weren't home, but we left them on their doorsteps. We taught Katarzyna the rest of the Restoration in the afternoon, went contacting, and then went to go have dinner with Michał and the rest of our district. Michał is a returned missionary who served in Poland as well! It was really funny to compare our missions! 

Friday, we had weekly planning and went to go teach Grażyna, but she told us the lesson was the next day, so we spent the rest of our day tracting and contacting. For the night, we have started mapping out all the less-actives and picking days when we can go see them.

Saturday, we went to Nowy Świat to go teach English and see Ania who is a very talented artist! After English, we went to go contact with Elders Wynne and Coutu on the Rynek, and it brought back so many memories from when the AP's first took our group there to go contact on our first night in Poland! We then had dinner with Kaja whose major is Near Eastern Studies, and one of her finals is to interpret Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs! Yikes! After seeing Kaja, we went to go see Teresa who no one has seen for a while. She was baptised in 1992 and knows both German and Russian, too. She didn't want to talk about why she doesn't want to come to church, but she showed us her photo album/scrap book of the time from when she was baptised to years later when the sister missionaries who taught her were still keeping contact. We shared a story out of the 2010 Liahona on temples and talked with her about why the Lord gives us hard things to do. In the story, President Monson had an operation on his feet which made it hard for him to walk, but he wanted to go see a member of the church in Germany who was too ill to come. President Monson gave him a blessing. I love how President Monson was determined to put aside his own pain in order to be a light in his friend's life. I love our prophet!

Sunday, we had church and President Neto talked about the importance of reaching out to less-actives. 

Yesterday as Sister Carlson and I were contacting, we had a nice conversation with Piotr about the history of Warsaw, and we learned that the motto for the city (czyli the title for this email) means "Ever Invincible".  

Sorry it's choppy, we have to go now!

Siostra Herrera