Monday, April 20, 2015

Opposition can be a blessing

For the last time.....Time flies. Thats kinda all I have to say.
This week was amazing. My companion is the greatest. Elder Berlin just keeps my on my toes all day and I love it. He has so much faith. He just got in the contry 6 months ago, I still remember picking him up from the airport, and on sunday he was made the branch president here in Szczecin. He just has so much love, faith, and hardwork. He is gonna be awesome.
Alot happened. We had a baptism on friday. These two twins. Born in Florida, and moved to Poland a little while ago. They are hilarious. Only 14 years old but so smart and spiritual already. They are so fired up about spreading the gospel and building the church. Nicholaus, the boy, bore his testimony and it was really powerful. He got emotional as he talked about when he started meeting with the missionaries, he figured out how God speaks to him. And now he knows that he and his sister are supposed to be here. They are such studs! I love em!

Before the baptism we had breakfast with President and Sister Edgren at their Hotel. President gave us all interviews. President actually gave me a temple recommend interview. Those questions get me everytime, especially the first three questions. My eyes swelled up, and it just felt so good to answer those as a missionary. And I think im just so excited to get back to the temple. Its really weird to me that I can say, next week im going to the temple. It's been so long.

I don't feel like there is much to say cause I can talk to you all next week. I feel like this phrase is really said over and over again. But I really do love my mission. I love this country, the people, and my Heavenly Father.

The main opposition I would say for missionaries in Poland is probably loving the people.The people just have this little hard shell on the outside where they arent really willing to let anyone in easily. Its definately possible though. But that opposition has been the greatest blessing and trial i've experienced so far in my life. I have more charity to gain but I have the biggest love in my heart for these people, this country, the restored gospel, and my Heavenly Father, because of that opposition.

Here are a couple pictures. With the branch here in Szczecin. This saturday I have a train to warsaw an im gonna be in the Warsaw I branch this sunday.
Its gonna be really sad to say by to these people. But im excited to see you all! I hope we all can figure out how to change ourselves and come unto our Savior, as well as bringing our brothers and sister along with us.

z miłośćą

_Starszy Fotu

pic with the Branch here in Szczecin

pic with the Twins (Alex and Nick)

Monday, April 13, 2015

So many blessings!

Well I stayed in a city for a whole week. Here in Szczecin it is pretty amazing. I love it. I think most of it is because my awesome companion. Elder Berlin is such a boss. I love it, so much love, commitment, and hard work. Exciting things are happening. We are working with a guy name Mariusz. He is pretty amazing and really wanting to find truth and follow Christ in his life. We also are like befriending a group of religous kids form another church. We like went to their little like YSA activity. It was pretty awesome to see such searching and believing kids. Pretty much we might set up a some things with them, and we will see how open they are to recieving the restored gospel!
Everything is just going really well. This week was alot easier to stay focused on the work and area cause we are just focused on the area and branch and what not. There were 16 in church. Which was awesome. The branch president is a missionary. But we are excited cause the YSA really has potential to explode here.
This saturday the other elders in the city have a baptism. For two twins that are polish but grew up in america. They are awesome and just really smart 14 year olds. The next week they also have an awesome kid named Janek set up to be baptized. It been pretty amazing. We played soccer with some people that we are teaching the other day. And my body is super soar from that. My excersizing schedule got thrown off a little, and my companions ELDERBERLIN90x is a little too hard for me. But we are running around and everything. Today for P-day we are just running to everywhere. The store, library, park, chapel. The weather is getting really nice! Its awesome.
I just got a talk from my friend, And it helped me realize that I could have been doing something a little differently for a while. But I cant really remember who its by. But its about making decisions. And when we make a decision God is giving us that opportunity to make a choice. We need to pray and seek for guidance and ponder the thought out in our mind, make a decision, and then ask the Lord if it be right. Instead I think too often I had been praying for guidance, pondering, and wait for Heavenly Father to give me the prompting to do what is right. Instead of making the decision, and acting on it til I later feel his confirmation.
Im so grateful for my mission. Its not really possible to put into words of how I feel about it. Its been amazing to build a love in my heart for many different things, and I would say the most important things. People, the scriptures, family, friends, the gospel, and most important our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I've built so much love and built my knowledge of them of who they are and what they have done for me, what they do for me, and what they have promised for me as I continue to do my best.
Its been amazing to see the hand of the Lord here in the missionary field. But also at home in teh lives of my family and friends. I've seen so many lives changed for the better since I left, all of my sibilings have been touched with the goodness of the Gospel, my little brothers are strong men in the priesthood and preparing to be the best missionaries. Im sure in you are reading this you have grown closer to your Savior over the past four years. If not I invite you to do so. 
Next week is my last week to e-mail. I think. But I love you all so much. Thanks for the support. I dont think I would have gotten this far without the support from home.

Trzymajcie się! Kocham was!
_Starszy Fotu

Claim Your Blessings

Im not really sure where to start! I am now in the city of Szczecin, Poland. President called me on sunday morning and told me that an Elder got really sick. (Elder Quackenbush;) he is such a stud!) And he was in the hospital in Warsaw. So im not in Szczecin with Elder Berlin! The biggest stud ever. Its a little weird being back here in Szczecin. Its like I never left. I love this place. I've never seen the branch members so happy. Alot is going on in this city. It is now back to 2 sets of Elders. My favorite senior couple just went home (Elder and Sister Gay) It was a year and a half ago I brought them into Szczecin. They are some of the most amazing people I've met on my mission. Wanna hear somethin awesome.... They had 12 kids....They were able to go home during their mission for a week for their youngest childs wedding. They were able to be in the Celestial Room with all of their kids and their spouses. Thats pretty amazing. Rightous living! They have so much charity for all around them.
But yeah so some crazy changes happening. I was just gettin comfortable with Elder Campora in Warsaw. But im lovin it with Elder Berlin here.
So we had General Conference. It was pretty amazing. Saturday night I walked into the one and only chapel (building) in Poland. Its a really special place for me. And as I sat down I was just overwhelmed with love and joy for these people and this country. Im not sure I will get many chances in my life to love a country and group of people like this one on my mission. I watched all of the conference in polish, so now I am listening to it in English.
I loved Elder Holland's obviously. The way he described the Fall, and the purpose of life was so amazing to me. He has so much fire behind things and love. Also Elder Pearson's talk was pretty amazing. The line that I loved...." Casual obedience and lukewarm commitment weaken faith." Nothing but the best. Thats all the Lord suspects. Im so grateful that my mission is helping me build simple daily habits to show my comitment and love to my Father in Heaven.
Im gonna love studying conference this week. And then setting goals where I need to. The Spirit of missionary work is so amazing. It cant really be described clearly, everyone just needs to experience it.
Just gotta keep grinding it out! We got a couple really good things going on in this city. After Elder Allen and I finished doing our little training tour thing around Poland, these two groups of Elders found over 10 baptismal dates. They just caught the vision so well and applied the things.
Well I love you all! I've had a good birthday so far;) I love my birthday cause we can always listen and hear what the Lord has for us through conference! Im so grateful for all the support back at home. Thank you all for everything!
trzymajcie się! ofa lahi atu! z miłośćą
_Starszy Fotu

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Right now I am with Elder Campora in Warsaw I! We are Zone Leaders.... haha i've never been one so its kinda new. But we are super excited about the work! Campora is such a boss! I love him. He has so much love for everyone around him! We are gonna killin it this transfer! We are waking up at 5:45 every morning and doing P90X! I can barley type this e-mail right now, my arms are dying.
The mission continues to explode! a little over a month ago we had 6 baptismal dates. There are now 27. Pretty exciting. The mission had around 45 in all of last year. So its really exciting to see the mission really connect to their purpose and be able to explain it easily and simply! 
Quick miracle! This past week the sister missionaries were on a tram. And this man approached them and asked what branch they were in. He asked if "Elder Fotu was in the same branch! And he would be in church on sunday!" So its emanuel! The man that was working in Utah for a little and from Nigeria. A member in park city picked him up on his way to work to give him a ride. And invited him to church! 
Emanuel came to soccer on saturday and then to church on sunday in a suit! He is such a stud. He told me about how he has been reading the Book of Mormon for a while now. (we lost contact a couple months ago cause some crazy things happened with him, getting hurt and sick and being in the hospital) He said he just loves the Book of Mormon and has been having some life changing dreams and believes they are from God. Sacrament meeting was really good. We had Fast and Testimony meeting. The members really testified of the missioanry work and the important of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think because of their strong testimony Emanuel asked me..."what are the requirements for baptism?" We sat down with him and set expectations promised blessings and set a date for April 25. Yes thats my last saturday in Poland. We are pretty excited.
Things are really exploding here. And im so stoked to kill it with Elder Campora!
I loved reading in the ensign about the difference between mistakes and sins. or sins and weaknesses. or forgiveness and grace. Polecam czyli.....I recommend it!
But I gotta go! I love you all! Keep killin it!
Prepare for this weekend! We receive from the Lord what we are prepared for. Im so stoked for conference! Loves
_Elder Fotu

-Shout out to Selu and Ty for their birthday! I love you guys!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Im a little lost.... But stoked!

So sorry this email is so late. I wasnt able to email today for longer than 15 mins. So its about 9:00 at night right now. Im sitting in the mission home. Sister edgren is letting me send a email home real quick. We just had a little farewell for my comp elder allen, who is heading to california tomorrow! He extendd 30 days for us to travel around. It was so amazing. The miracles that we saw as the Lord continues to hasten his work here in poland! 
For me..... I have no idea what im gonna be doing for the next couple weeks. President has been thinkin about it. Weve talked about some ideas but nothing super concrete. He just drove the other elders home so i think when he gets home we will talk about itand decided. But im super excited wherever i go! 
It has been really amazing for me to learn from the 15 different missionaries i was able to do exchanges with over the past. Its been so fun and uplifting. I feel like im so much more connected to my purpose of helping others come unto Christ by receiving restored truth! The restored gospel! That is truely the greatest thing on the mission. The purpose that we have. Its so amazing. And i get really sad and choked up when i think about the day when i wake up and i cant walk out the door and constantly start preaching the truth and inviting others. Its a little harder to keep those thoughts out about home but i feel like im doing a decent job of keeping them out. 
I think we just need to always remember our purpose in life. Its all the same. The mission is just a little more intense. And im so grateful for the basic habits ive learned on my mission to keep that purpose in my life.

Continue to invite others to come unto Christ. Thats my thought for this week. Invite all. We all have that responsibility. Whether it be our sibilings, friends, family, stranger...anyone. Fear is the only thing that stands between us. Fear God instead of Man. Love God and all men.

I love you all. I love these people. Ill serve them and God til the end! 
Elder Fotu

Shout to my brother Garrett that i havent seen in ages! Have the best birthday yet! Ofa lahi atu!

Monday, March 16, 2015

16 marca 2015

Crazy week! We left Wroclaw on monday and headed to Lodz to do a training! After Lodz we went straight to szczecin which was a really long train ride. It was pretty weird returning back to szczecin and seeing old faces and walking and teaching on the same streets. It was pretty awesome though. It felt like I had never left there. After szczecin we went to the city of Poznan. Spent a couple days there. Yesterday in church there were 8 people present. 6 missionaries and 2 members. I blessed the bread and water. And spoke in church on obedience. It was pretty awesome. There was a member there named marta. So solid. She is pretty amazing. Just got back from her mission in Chicago. She started her mission here in Poland cause of Visa problems. And I remember being in her district. Its weird serving with her and now she is home. The foundation of members being built here in Poland is pretty amazing. I love it. I've never seen such faithful members.
Couple awesome things happening in the mission. The area presidency in Europe was wanting to close the gap between our progressing investigators and baptismal dates. Because we had so many progressing investigators without a date to progress towards.....which doesnt make much sense. Progression sky rockets when they have a goal in mind and we promise them that as they show their faith, God will answer there prayers. Thats really what our training is focused on. INVITE others to COME UNTO CHRIST by receiving RESTORED TRUTH. The words invite, come unto Christ, and restored truth. Very simple but sometimes hard to explain clearly to investigators our purpose. We are helping the missionaries build practical skills with these. We are helping our investigators understand our purpose by clearly setting expectations and inviting them to act. (setting expectations and extending invitations) so simple but so powerful. In setting these expectations we promise the investigators that God desires to make a covenant with them (a two way promise). And that as they learn of these restored truths they will desire to make a covenant with their Heavenly Father by being baptized. Its been powerful and amazing to see the results. At the beginning of our trips the mission was around 6 investigators with a baptismal date and 28 progressing investigators in all of Poland. Today we now have 17 progressing investigators with a baptismal date and 23 progressors. Its been amazing to see the Lord's hand in his work. The miracles are everywhere. We are finding the Lord's prepared children by his Spirit.
I love traveling around. I love these missionaries. I remember before the mission I had a hard time with accepting people as they were. If someone was a little different than I was, I didnt want much to do with them, I wouldnt go out of my way to know them. Many of these missionaries are so different than I am, but I've felt this love in my heart for them. They are pretty amazing and fearless in the work of the Lord. Its so fun and fulfilling to work with them throughout these exchanges. I love it. It keeps me fresh and excited with two hands to the plow and no looking back.
 Ill send some pictures from these past couple cities! Love you all!
_Starszy Fotu
1) Marta the member from Poznań
2) Missionaries in Łódź

1) Elder Larsen and I #LPpride
2) Poznań missionaries

our beautiful train ride (elder allen and I)

Monday, March 9, 2015


We don't have much time! We have to catch a train at 17:00 to Łódź!
We are now in our 6th city! And in the best city, Wrocław! I love this place. It's pretty amazing to be back. But im leaving today;( I hope I will be able to come back for a little later....
Im gonna send pictures of our little tour around Poland.
Its been a really good experience for me to train the missionaries and build a better connection between us and our Purpose as the Lord's missionaries here in Poland. Its really humbled me and helped me become better! And we are practicing with thema and putting everything into action.....
Really quick we are teaching how to become better connected to our purpose of "inviting others to COME UNTO CHRIST by receiving RESTORED TRUTH." We are training on how to connect these two points as quickly as possible whether is be on the streets or tracting in our finding efforts. Or in teaching like sit down lessons with investigators and members! Doing these things by setting expectations and extending invitations.
In the training we do role plays with the missionaries, then in the middle of it we say ok.... Lets go role play on the street! Its alot of fun and its fun hitting the streets with tons of missionaries like a huge force and just talking to every person we pass. Its been really affective. Yesterday my companion Elder Allen was on exchange with another missionary. They were in a sit down lesson and did the same exact thing as we did in the role play with setting expectations of Baptism and how if they listen to our message then they will want to make a covenant with God by Following Christ and being baptized! They set a lesson with this kid named Jakub before they even taught him the first lesson! Pretty awesome. Now Jakub knows what to expect and we arent hiding this baptismal invitation anymore. The number one way for others (non members) to come unto Christ is to have faith, desire to change and repent, and make a covenant with him by baptism.
Every time we hit the streets with each companionship and district we have found new investigators in every city so far. There is 26 progressing investigators in the mission (which is more than usual) and the baptismal list is full. Its pretty amazing when we return to the basics of connecting to our purpose the Lord hastens his work!
Real quick a good experience... Last night the Elders in Szczecin called me. They visited a former investigator named Bartek that Elder Vernon and I found over a year ago. When Elder Vernon and I met with him back then he wasnt very interested in changing his life and finding out if God really existed. The Elders there now called him and set up with him. When they walked in Bartek said, "You know when Elders Vernon and Fotu were here over a year ago I wasnt very interested. But now I need it. I need to know if God is real cause its too hard in life to live without it." They had an amazing lesson with him and he is moving forward. We are going to be in Szczecin this week. So we are pretty excited!
Everything is going so well. Thank you for your support and all you do! I love you guys!
Keep killin it!
_Starszy Fotu

1) missionaries in wrocław
2)missioanries in Kato
3) missionary in Kielce

1) my norwegian baby Elder Weggi
1) my brown man from Austria Elder Garcia (he is filipino)
3)whiteboard in a blizzard with big snowflake in front

1)missionaries in Lublin
2) Member (Daniel) from Katowice
3) Robert Dedyński from Wrocław