Monday, 25 November 2013

Half way there and livin' on a prayer

WHOAAAAH I’m halfway there… whooah livin on a prayer! I’m halfway!!!  My mission is going so fast its crazy!! We talk about it all the time. Its blowing my mind!! 9 months! It’s a really cool point in my mission actually. Because I can look back on the first half of my mission and see who I’ve become and all the things I have accomplished. All the miracles and laughs and then look forward to the NEXT 9 months and its going to be even better!!

I cannot explain to you all the amazing things that happened to us this week. As you know we have goals and we also started the 40 day fast (not literally just a goal program), and it’s like we showed the Lord that we were willing to sacrifice and that we wanted to be better and he blessed us TEN FOLD!  We were a little worried about accomplishing all of our goals but the Lord provided miracles and we were able to accomplish everything!!! We passed out 10 books of Mormon by Wednesday! And surprisingly we gave out many of those on trams and buses. I have never liked tram and bus contacting EVER but we decided that if we needed to accomplish all these things we needed to, we really needed to go the extra mile to talk to everyone and so we did. The Lord blessed us so much! My faith has never been stronger!!

We met with Kasia this week. She walked into the chapel right before transfers and said she had learned about the church before and wanted to be baptized. WHHAAAAATT!?!?  And then she had to go to a family reunion so we haven’t been able to meet with her since! But she came back this week and we taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ. We planned out her whole baptismal calendar and guess when she's getting baptized.. DECEMBER 14TH!!!!! We met with her 4 times this week and she came to all 3 hours of church and just loved it. The branch did a great job of fellowshipping as well, which is something we were worried about. We just wanted her to feel welcome. She just talked to everyone and invited them all to her baptism. It’s just amazing! She knows this gospel. It’s great to see the Lord's timing. For whatever reason she was not ready before but now she is so prepared! Half the time she's teaching US the lessons! She is so wonderful. I've never had an experience like this on my mission so far. It’s been such a struggle to keep people interested or progressing or to have them actually want to be baptized. Kasia, is a miracle.

I think one of the most amazing things about this week was that we were able to achieve our goals (in our hearts). We are working hard and STILL have so much fun! We laugh all the time we are so happy!!!! It’s an important balance to have and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I love my mission and I love this work and it shows! We are genuinely excited to talk to people and to teach them of Christ! Heavenly Father sees that in my companion and I. This is why we were successful this week.

It was a great week! Undeniably one of the best of my mission, but this weeks going to be even better!!

Miss you so much all the time!! But it’s easy to love the work and that makes it all worth it :)
Siostra Pearson :)
Me with my new companion Sister Tobler

In Warsaw, Poland

Monday, 18 November 2013

November 18th - When we sacrifice for the Lord, He will bless us

So Warsaw... I can’t successfully put into words the wonders of this past week. Sister Tobler and I are doing great and the Lord is providing so many miracles!!!
We have so many different people that we are working with and we are so busy all the time! I’m exhausted and it feels great! The people here seem to be a little more open to the gospel than in Kato. Maybe it’s just cause I talked to everyone in Katowice already and they knew who I was. Warsaw has this wonderful atmosphere and its so big and open. It’s really hard to explain but I have been able to meet, teach and talk to so many wonderful people! In fact a lady I taught on a white board a couple days ago came to church yesterday! That has never happened to me before! The Lord has been putting people in our paths and he is preparing so many people to accept the gospel!

This week Sister Tobler and I decided to do the "Purification Process"! There was a talk given to missionaries all about this purification process. It’s a 40 day fast!! Luckily not from food or water but from things as missionaries we want to change or not do anymore. So we studied the white handbook for missionaries and made a list together of the things that we struggled with or things we wanted to improve on. It was very humbling and unifying. It was really cool because all the things we put on the list weren’t horrible. They weren’t things that were causing us to be disobedient or wrecking our missions but they were things that we recognized we could be better at.
I know that when we sacrifice for the Lord that he will bless us.

So that’s what we did! We made a list of all the things we struggled with and wanted to be better. It’s all about going the extra mile to be who the Lord wants us to be. The best possible version of ourselves!

So yesterday we started our 40 day fast with a real fast and from now until December 26th! We will be doing the purification process! I can’t wait! It’s going to be so hard!! but I can already see the Lord's hand more. Helping us everyday and we need the extra blessings!! We need HIS help in HIS work! We need miracles. I already feel the wonderful effects of this and I cant wait to let you know how it goes!

There were so many things that happened that I don’t even know where to begin! I just love Warsaw, I love being a missionary and I love these people. I read a scripture today that I LOVED, "Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." -
3 Nephi 5:13

That is what I am here to do. I am here because I know that the This gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is our Champion!! (that’s from President Uchtdorf) and I want to help everyone else, especially these wonderful Poles, feel the happiness of the gospel and to receive everlasting life!! It’s a huge deal! and that’s why I love it so much.
The members here are amazing! I miss Kato all the time but its so fun to get to know more people and love them! We went this week to a members house named Jadwiga, her husband died about 7 years ago. She was never able to have children so she’s completely alone. When we went to her house we asked her to share her conversion story with us and it was beautiful! It just shows me that it is proof that people really are being prepared here! She’s been a member for about 10 years and she’s as happy as ever! She’s so cute.

I LOVE understanding polish!! My comprehension has really improved over the last few transfers and even though I might not be able to always say very much it’s so great to be able to talk with people and listen to them and hear about their lives and just serve them! It was so great!

There were so many miracles this week I can’t even successfully share them all with you! But this week I am going to need extra prayers! It’s going to be the best and it’s going to take a lot of faith and work. I can’t wait!

Siostra Pearson

Monday, 11 November 2013

Goodbye Katowice and Hello Warsaw

I’m in Warsaw!

My week didn’t start out like that.

On Tuesday the branch threw a going away pizza party for transfers, it was so good! but so sad! There wasn’t a ton of members there but the ones who were there were so great and everyone was just saying such nice things. It was a great chance to see the people here and to recognize the love I have for them. I knew I was sincerely going to miss them. I am so grateful for the time I had with them, to help them and to learn from them. It was beautiful and part of me will always be with them in Katowice.

On Wednesday we taught English for the last time and said goodbye to all of those people who aren’t members. Once again my heart was just so full of LOVE for them all and I just felt so privileged to meet them and know them.

After English class we had a meeting with Barbara. Sister Blake who is one of the sisters replacing us in our area came to Katowice that night so she joined in our lesson with Barbara. It was nice for Barbara to meet her with us there. It was our first meeting together since before her work schedule went crazy. So we met and talked to her about her life and how she STILL HASN’T SMOKED and just about her faith and testimony. She shared that she knows this is true and the spirit was so strong. I cannot explain how much love I have for Barbara. She changed my life. My heart is filled to the brim when I think of her. After we talked about her testimony we talked to her about baptism again and how we KNEW she would be baptized. It is the next step for her. It was just beautiful to be able to talk with her and testify to her. Oh man I will never forget that meeting. I could talk about it for hours but it came to and end. We took a couple pictures and then had to say goodbye and she hugged us and then tears started streaming down her face and we hugged some more. I think it took her off guard. It definitely took me off guard! So then all three of us were crying as we said goodbye and it was one of the most tender times of my mission. I have been so blessed to be able to work with her and help her come closer to Christ. I will forever be grateful for her and for the time Sister Petherbridge and I had to be with her and all grow together.

Then Thursday came. It was kind of sad because Sister Petherbridge and I didn’t really get a last night as a companionship because Sister Blake was staying with us but it was really good and in the morning we went on the train to Warsaw. It was bittersweet! It’s really hard to explain. But I know that its not really goodbye for Sister Petherbridge and I. We will be friends forever and there are just things that we need to learn now from other people and other areas. Its going to be great.

So WARSAW!! It’s huge! and beautiful! and there are people all over the place and NONE OF THEM KNOW WHO I AM! haha its so cool!
I got here and we went and met up with two of the Elders in my district and set up a white board. We talked to so many people and there are so many people here who speak English it’s so weird! I didn’t even know what to say to half of them! It was so embarrassing! My English is so horrible now. Anyways it was really fun and there is a special energy here. The next day we did another white board with different Elders in our district and we only had 1 hour and in that 1 hour we met our goal for the day! We talked to so many people and gave out 3 books of Mormon! The Lord has been blessing us left right and center!! It’s crazy! Then we taught our investigator Beata the plan of salvation which was very new for me to be teaching. It was a learning experience and it was so much fun! The spirit was so strong. The Lord has really shown me a lot just being here especially with the language. My language has been improving so much in these last couple months but it’s not the best ever. In fact it’s not even close BUT I still talk to people. I love them and I work hard to receive that help from the Lord, I know that he will help me and that everyone learns differently and at different paces. I’m just so grateful for where I am now.

OH! Let me tell you about my new companion!! Sister Tobler!! She is so cool!! She is my FIRST companion from Utah! She’s from somewhere near Provo. She has such a beautiful singing voice! She was making her own cd before her mission! She’s so cute and I already love her! This is her second transfer and her polish blows my mind! She just gets it and speaks beautifully! I’m going to learn so much from her. It’s going to be so great! We've been laughing a lot. I feel really good about it. There are a lot of things that will be happening this transfer. I already know its going to be one of the greats.
Yesterday was Sunday, so I got to meet my new branch. They are wonderful! I bore my testimony and I was just myself. I told them that I didn’t speak polish so well and I hoped they had lots of patience. I just spoke about missionary work and the happiness of the gospel. Then I told them that I already loved them! I did! It is so cool!!! Many of them came and talked to me after and I just felt so welcomed and loved already. OH! We meet in a chapel!! A real one! It’s the only one in Poland and its BEAUTIFUL!!! It’s been so long since I’ve been in a church building! It was so cool!! 

I have been reading through conference talks again. I was reading one by Bishop Causse from the priesthood session. It was directed towards missionaries!!!! He talked about how we need to be humble which will make us want to be obedient which will allow us to have the spirit! I can’t wait to study it more and apply it into my life now so I can be the best missionary and the best ME I can be. I love my mission. More than I ever thought I would. THE CHURCH IS STILL TRUE IN WARSAW!!

Siostra Pearson

Monday, 4 November 2013

November 4th 2013 - I am being transferred to....

So the verdict is in and I'M BEING TRANSFERRED TO WARSAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to finish training Sister Tobler and I can’t wait to meet her! I am really excited for this great opportunity! I’ve only ever been in Katowice so I’m going to miss it a ton but it will be nice to have some new faces and new experiences! Plus this is the BEST time to be in Warsaw!! I will be there for American Thanksgiving AND Christmas!!! So I am really excited!! So you can send anything you want straight to the mission office and I will get it right away! Wahoo! I’m really excited! I didn’t think I would be going to Warsaw right now but I have always wanted to serve there AND SISTER PACKARD IS THERE!!!!! So I’m going to see her all the time until she goes home! Its like a dream comes true!! AND Elder Waszkiewicz is in my district! I’m not sure if you remember him but he is from my group in the MTC!! We had so much fun! I have heard nothing but great things about Sister Tobler and I know we are going to get along great!! She just finished her first transfer so I willll be finishing her training and I’m excited that the Lord has blessed me with this opportunity to help out and ahhh! It’s just very exciting :)

Phew, now that that’s out of the way!

 I still have so much to learn in Polish and it’s a reaaaallly hard language to become fluent in, but I will do my best to learn! The Lord helps me all the time and I just want to not have the language get in the way of me connecting with people that’s the hardest part but It’ll come with time.

This week was great!!! First of all on Tuesday Sister Petherbridge and I along with Elder Lanham and Elder Wilson met with these American girls who are teaching English here and the leaders teach us Polish. We have met twice before and it’s really cool cause they are really young and so are we and we found out that they are Baptists and so they had a lot of questions about the church and so this week we talked about our religions the whole time!! It was really cool because it was in English and that never happens! But more importantly we were all open to talk and share our beliefs and respect each other for our faiths. It was really eye opening for me to hear them talk about what they believe and have them react to what we believe and to openly discuss the differences. It was a really cool conversation. I’ve never really talked to anyone deeply who was of the Baptist faith and I definitely never thought I would on my mission especially in English, Poland is 99% Catholic!!!  I have tons of respect for them. We should be meeting again this week so that'll be fun!

The people weren't really feeling it on the streets this week. It was a pity but anything is fun with Sister Petherbridge! We usually just sing our words instead of speak them and sing about the restoration of the gospel in Polish until someone comes and we talk to them. It’s always a good time! Other than that we had some meetings and everyone was getting the transfer buzz. and then.. on Friday we found out the Elder Wilson was going to be the new AP (Assistant to the Mission President)!! Which is crazy because this is exactly what happened last transfer with Elder Neuner and now they are going to be companions again!! For the third time!! Its crazy!!

On Friday we took our culture night and on November 1st, it is the day of the dead here in Poland. It is a really amazing holiday!! It reminds me of the family history work you have been doing because weeks before Nov 1st everyone gets together with their families and they go clean the graves of their loved ones who have passed away. They clean all the graves and make them nice and put new flowers all over and then all these candles. It was really cool to see all these people come together and have such a special time to spend with their living family and remember those who have died. Everyone is doing it in the whole country!! On Friday all the candles, like thousands of them, are lit all over all the graves in the graveyards and you walk around and it was beautiful!! It made me wish we had that holiday at home! Those who have passed on are always in our hearts but I thought it was a wonderful thing to be able to do. That is what we did for culture night, we walked around a graveyard and looked at all the candles! Alright, it sounds a little lame compared to the circus last transfer but it was so great!

On Saturday we went and did some more service for Małgosia and painted the outside of her działka with the Elders and had tons of fun! That night Sister Petherbridge and I were walking home and we were in our service clothes and these kids were walking the opposite way and we were just talking have a grand ol' time and then... we heard something drop and I thought I dropped something so we turn around.. and they had thrown an egg at us!!! I WAS IN SHOCK!! and appalled! That has never happened to me in my whole life and we didn’t even look like missionaries at the time. This is evidence that I have changed and am becoming more Chirstlike as a missionary because before my mission I probably would’ve chased after those dang tweens and scared the poops out of them for throwing an EGG at us!! We are people!!! BUT I took a deep breath and we just turned around and kept walking. Its probably the miracle of the week!! haha

Sunday came and it was fast Sunday and I had a feeling I would be transferred and so I bore my testimony. Its always nice for the members to know I have a strong testimony and its getting a little easier to tell them all in Polish. Its a good thing they are patient!
After church we had transfer calls!! and that’s when I found out I was going to Warsaw!!! AND Sister Petherbridge.. is going to Gdańsk!!!!!! This means they will have two new Sister Missionaries here in Katowice. We didn’t think that would happen and its really scary for our investigators and were nervous BUT we know that this is inspired by the Lord and we have done what we needed to do in Kato and there are other things waiting for us. I know the sisters coming here and I know they will be amazing.
I am very excited for Sister Petherbridge too! Even though I already miss her like crazy!!! She has changed my life and I love her so much! I know we will always be friends so it will be good :)

That was my week! it was a lot but it was good! Sister Petherbridge and I leave on Thursday and then ill be in Warsaw. a new adventure is coming and we can’t wait :) also I got my conference issue!!!!!!!!!!!! IM SO EXCITED!!! I can’t wait to read all the talks and learn from all of them again!!
Enjoy the pictures!

I miss you all and I love you all and I’m praying for you!!

xoxo love

Siostra Pearson

Bobbing for Apples

Me with Elder Wilson