Monday, July 29, 2013

Cześć Rodziny!

Hows everything going back home! Everything here is Poland is pretty crazy I guess. haha People are still crazy as always. But i'm definitely gettin the hang of it! 

This week we really didn't have much success at all. We gave out 7 Books of Mormon. which isn't many haha. But there is a Sister companionship in our mission that taught 19 lessons this past week! that's insane for Poland. hahaha I think most that has ever been taught in a week. We've only had like 3 lessons since i've been in Poland! So not much success but that's ok! 

I've had A LOT of success personally! Because success is measured on how hard you try and are committed to bring others unto Christ! And I'm trying my best! I promise ya that! 
A way im tryin hard is just by trying to talk to people! haha I actually gave out my first Book of Mormon on last Tuesday! (all by myself) haha Pretty sure the grandpa had no idea what I was saying but I asked if he would like one (in my broken Polish) haha and he said "oczywiscie" with a smile. (which means of course!) haha it was kinda funny. But I just felt super happy inside as he slipped it into his little bag. 

And what was really awesome that about 10 mins later I gave another one to a lady! And she wanted me to sign it. I guess alot of people here like Americans to sign their Books of Mormon. haha Polish people like to talk to Americans cause they think that its cool we are from the States I guess. Which isnt good and sometimes good! Cause it can spark a conversation that we gotta lead to the Gospel! But sometimes all they wanna talk about is the United States. But they Lady  said she would read it!

So pretty much what ive been doing all week is just PRAYING! like crazy. Im so thankful we have a way to communicate with our Heavenly Father! Everyone just remember that as long as you are doing your best to do good, and you are on the way that your Heavenly Father wants to you to go then you should feel absolutely safe. When the arms of the Savior and our Heavenly Father are wrapped around you then there is no saffier (safer?) place that you could be! Always remember that. With the Lord and the Savior on your side then everything will be ok! President Holland said something along these lines, "that a commandment from Jesus in the Bible says to remember that we are at peace when we are with the Savior, and we should always remember that, and that it is one of the commandments that is mostly forgotten. REMEMBER YOU ARE SAFE WITH THE SAVIOR!" 
Through the Savior's Atonement we can have burdens lifted and peace in our Hearts! 

Every Morning we have Personal Study, Companion Study, and Language Study! I love Personal Study the most because of how good I feel while reading the Scriptures, and the words of our Prophets and Apostles! I feel so good inside!

Let me know how everyone is doing! Remember to Read your scriptures, share your testimony, PRAY, and GO TO THE TEMPLE! I wish I could go to the temple so bad. That's one of the things I miss the most. Besides my family and friends.
And American Food.
hahahaha the food here is ok. But I just miss anything that is american. The best food here is Kebab. its actually a Turkish food. But we go to this place called Amrit. mmmm sooo goood. I should probably take it easy on those though.

Please keep praying for me! I can feel your prayers with me everyday! My understanding of the language has built soooo much this past week. I know that is cause of all your prayers. So thank you sooo much! 
Love you all!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Well Hey There!

I'm glad to hear from you all!!!!! sike! didn't get an e-mail! hahah just playin its ok. I got some others from my friends and what not.
Hope everyone is doing well! Let me know how Kerstin did in Junior World!
And the other kids sports. I got some pictures from Jacqueline of the kids. haha they made me laugh. I love seeing pictures from them!
So this week was a pretty good week!
I had my first exchange. My comp got on a train to Białostak for 3 hours and another Elder came down here. His name is Starszy Gibby. We had a day with each other. It was pretty cool cause that day we had a lot of success and what not. Talking to alot of people.
After we do an exchange we give each other advice and set goals with each other on what we can work on! It was pretty cool! 
Then he got on a train to go back to Białostak! And me comp (Starszy Garfield) was traveling back. So I was all by myself in Poland! hahha pretty crazy. I had to like travel back by myself and I have like no idea how to get around here for the most part. But I made it back to my apartment safely. Then i was by myself for 4 hours. which was weird! Cause Im usually like always with someone. But it was kinda nice to get some alone time. I cleaned out apartment. Like really good. Then I had the best Personal Study that i've had since on my mission. I love Personal Study time. I love "feasting on the words of Christ". I just love the feeling a get of reading the Scriptures and Words of our Prophets today. So grateful. And Then I watched some District. haha pretty sweet. I finished the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time the day I got to Poland. And started it again and in Mosiah. I love the Book of Mormon so much. That is where my testimony started was with the Book of Mormon! I would just read it cause it was the right thing to do, even though I could not understand it at all! But I could feel the affect it had on my life. It was the Lord blessing me because I was trying to do what was right! 
And now the more I read it I can actually tell what is going on in the book. I know what the words mean and the Spirit is much stronger! And I know who is talking and what they are talking about. I just love it so much! Something one of my teachers said in MTC "FLOOD THE WORLD WITH BOOKS OF MORMON!!!" "You never know where the Book will end up!" -Brat Leimer
I have been trying to give it to as many people as possible! It is impossible for an human being to read the Book of Mormon with an open heart and not know it is the word of God!
I encourage everyone to MAKE TIME in their day to read the words that our Heavenly Father has given us! Every single day we should be reading! I promise if you guys do so your lives will be blessed soooo much! 
So on Saturday it was pretty awesome day! We had like a BBQ as a Branch (which is like our Ward, but so small here its a Branch) and that was fun. But after the BBQ there was a baptism. Not my investigator, But the kids name is Oscar! He is like 15 years old. And The first sunday he came was the first time our branch had a Deacons Quorum in 4 years! he's the only youth in our branch that is a boy. There are two other girls here from Utah actually. But the Baptism was soo awesome! I could feel the Spirit so strong when he was in the font! The font was super slow to fill up so he had to like get huge pans and start filling it up before the baptism! hahah it was pretty funny! But Im so proud of this kid even though I dont know him at all! And his mom was at the Baptism and is now taking lessons from the missionaries. It's funny cause they go to teach her and she just says oh yeah i've already learned all of that from Oscar! haha this kid is such a stud and he took 4 Books of Mormon and gave them to his friends. So awesome! I have a vision that the youth here will be huge!
And something i've been studying about is obedience! In Mosiah 2 it talks about Obedience and serving others! I encourage everyone to read that. But something that stood out to me in it was....
It talks about what our Heavenly Father as given us, Which is EVERYTHING! I dont think we appreciatte enough what he has given us! Some times we don't realize it. So he has given us absolutely everything that is good of this world and all the Joy that we have ever had. And ALL that he asks of us is to follow his commandments. Thats it. I feel like World makes it so much harder than it really is. And while we keep his commandments we are still indebt to our Heavenly Father. And we forever will be. Because as we do what he asks he continues to bless us more and more and more and more. 
When somebody is indebt to you, do you just keep paying them money and more money. haha no. Heavenly Father has this simple plan of HAPPINESS for us. If we do what he says he blesses us. And I know that is true! I love having a knowledge of a Loving Heavenly Father. "Kochający Ociem Niebieskim!" Read the Scriptures daily! Pray to him daily and thank him and give praise to him WITH ALL YOUR HEART! I promise the Lord can give you anything aslong as it be good and of his will! Mowie to, w imnie Jezusa Chrystusa, Amen. 
Love you all! Keep up the Good work! Go to the temple for me cause we don't have one here;( haha I miss it! Loves!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Helllooooo Everyone!

How is everyone doing! Hope all is going well! Everything is going well here in the country of Poland! 
You can just write letters to the Poland Warsaw Mission Home. or Mission Office. Not sure which one it is! But whatever the one is that I started with. Should be found on the Mission blog somewhere! So you can just send letters through that. Just don't use American stamps. Cause then it won't get here. ha im sure you already know that!
Good job to Isaac with speaking in Church! Those moments are gold to prepare for your mission cause you need to get used to speaking in front of people! So make sure you all are going to Seminary too and getting the most out of it! Seminary teachers are the bomb!
hahaha I'm sure Isaac and Lennon are excited for SCOUT CAMP! Good to see Mom cracked down on Scouting. Something I wish I did was get my Eagle. I'm pretty sure Im like one of two missionaries in this whole mission that didnt get his Eagle. haha so im kinda a let down on that. So get your eagles boizzz!!
I pray for Selu's elbow all the time! I hope she gets better! Thats cool that Garrett got some scholarship money for BYU! You guys will have to let me know how they do this next year. Im sure Selu is excited for Garrett to go to school with her! 
Shoots! I miss little Emma so much! Probably cause I took care of her so much my last couple of months!! Send me pictures of her! Thanks for everything! Send me pictures and Letters!
So this week was very good! We handed out 13 Book of Mormons! But we handed out 9 in on day! Which was awesome! our Goal is 10 per week. haha ask you can see not much success in this Mission. But guess what. Thats whats so exciting cause the Work is hastening so fast! And Im so excited for it! When I leave Poland there are gonna be so many members! You watch! Im excited for it! This week we had a investigator committed to coming to church and we went to get him Sunday morning but he was sleeping.... haha geez. But its all good. Its crazy to see people not realize how important this gospel is! But guess what! Sweet story...
I had been praying for ever to Find that guy from Egypt that speaks english for ever. Cause I talked to him my first week! And I'm just chillin on the Tram and I look up and its him standing there smiling at me! haha he said "Hey Jacob" in his egyptian accent. He remembered my name which was sweet. He is like the happiest guy! But he was "im going to Egypt tomorrow! But i will only be gone for 5 days! Then I want to me with you" So I got his number and what not! And he said "What do you want from egypt?" "Like anything, Ill get you anything from there" haha nicest guy ever. But yeah i didnt want anything obviously and I dont even know what is there? (Should have asked him to bring me back one of those Pyramids?) 
But yeah that was an answer to my prayer.
So the Language is so rough. But so good. I cant wait to speak Polish. So excited. But that might not be for a little. Its coming along slowly, but surely. And Im understanding more and more each day! These people here talk crazy fast. And slur their words so I understand nothing. Yesterday we were trakting and this guy opened his door in his underwear (happens alot) And I said hey were are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ sharing a message about families and The Book of Mormon! (in polish) He then responded with some crazy saying. And this wife come to the door and just said "NIE!" haha i asked my companion what he said and he said"What language is this man speaking?" haha so yeah. its fun though. Crazy people here.
I love the work though! I'll let you guys know how the work is coming! Lovessssss!
Love you all!
Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21
-Starszy Fotu

Monday, July 8, 2013


How's it going back home!?!? So Who all went to California? I loved the pictures! Holy smokes Tyler and Emma Look bigger already! It's crazy! They look so different! I hope California was wayyy fun! Looked really fun. I
m sure Lizzy and Sara are so sick of the little ones after that longggg drive!

The weather here is pretty hot! It's usually like high 70's or low 80's. And we walk and ride the bus and trains everywhere! So I sweat so lots. haha So ive lost a couple pounds since being here!  The food is actually pretty dang good! The Milk here is really weird. I bought some milk like acting like i know what i was doing in the store. The milk tasted sooo bad. It was like super sour. I guess i got a weird one. But all the milk here is weird. They still have McD's and KFC and pizza and zstuff here! But we go to this place called Amrit Kebab alot. And these things called Kebab are wayyyyzzzz good. like a tortilla with lamb or chicken meat in it. And yeah dont know how to explain it but their good. They're actually a turkish food but all over Poland.
Pretty excited for Garrett to go to BYU! he better work hard! hahah I saw that picture of him holding Taylor and Joe's Weddings. hahah so funny. 

This week has been way good! we are basically in the process of finding more people to teach and trying to get all the members involved! Its hard cause we dont have many but members dont realize how big of a roll they have in missionary work sometimes. But i've heard a couple stories of people bringing others to church! That is soooo awesome! Holy smokes! The work is growing like crazy!

haha I had my first actually like lesson. Obviously I have no idea what was going on. But this guy named Robert wanted to meet with us and we had the lesson and i asked my companion what was going on. haha he said the guy pretty much just wanted to meet cause he wanted a member in on the lesson. So that he could try to sell us all insurance. And they guy told us that we should just talk to a pope and become catholic. so that was kinda a fail! But you never know maybe he will take our lesson to thought and maybe later down the road! But we got a couple meetings set up this week! And we do tracting in the conda complexs which is like crazy. haha people hate us. haha but they mostly just kinda look at us with a confused look and just say nie dziekuja or nie mam czas. haha and shut the door. But I just stand there with a smile. So its all good!

I actually am trying to just talk to people on my own now! which is way scary!  I say Dzien Dobry!!! Jestesmy Misiojnarzamy Kosciola Jezusa Chrystusa Swietych w Dniach Ostatnich dziliemy sie przeslaniem o Jezusa Chrystusa i rodzina dzisaij!!!! Which means Good day we are missionaries and we are sharing a message about Jesus Christ and Families. And if they are nice enough to stop they say something.... But i have no idea. and I just say.... nie rozumiem ala viem ze ksiega mormona jest slowa boza. haha which means I dont understand BUT!!! The book of mormon is the word of GOD! And I just try to share my testimony!
So its pretty funny cause they are already looking at me weird cause my skin is brown. And Then they get and even weirder look usually. But its awesome! haha I know the Lord has definitely helped me these past weeks do every. He has blessed me with The Gift of Tongues for sure! And Gift of Understanding! Im starting to understand more and more polish everyday!
I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday! haha in my terrible polish! But they understood it I think... But alot of members came up to me after saying thank you. So i guess that means it was good or they were just being nice!

Last thing I wanna share is about Trials! Everyone remember that "After tribulation comes the blessings!" I really didn't have that much of a trial going through the MTC and I've never been so happy and everything was going my way! Getting to the field it was super exciting! But the first few days were probably that hardest that i've ever had in my life. I honestly had litte moments where I didnt want to be here at all. BUT!!!! I prayed like crazy. Heavenly Father was there for me! Im so thankful for that trial that he gave me! Because now I am sooo much stronger! That is why Heavenly Father gives us trials! If we can fight through those we will be a better person! I love the mission field sooo much now! I'm so excited for this work. If any one is going through a trial I promise that if you fight through it Heavenly Father will bless you more than every!
Love you all! Let me know how all the kids Sports and what is happening at home! Keep sending pictures! 
Love you all!

Oh send me some recipies! haha Im a pretty dang good cook now! jokes. pretty bad. 
But i wanna make some stuff. So send me like cookies and bread recipies. The recipie that sara's mom had for that easy bread maybe. Thanks for all the support!

I can really feel your prayers. I pray for all of you every night!
-Starszy Fotu

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

First Week in Poland: Dzien Dobry Rodzina!

Czesc ludzie!
Well I'm definitely in poland now! Its pretty INSANE! So getting here was crazy cause I didnt sleep for like almost 40 hours straight. I couldnt sleep on any of the planes. And Im still a bit jet lag but im getting over it quickly. Right now it is 14:07 (2:07) That is how they tell time here. they go by the 24 hour time. But How if everyone at home. I dont even know where to begin!
So we got to the Airport and luckily we got all of our baggage, but President and Sister Neilson were there waiting for us! Along with Elder Zalezniak and Elder Raines. They are the Assistants to the President! But we just went to the Mission home first and had interviews and what not.
As the AP's took random groups out to contact on the streets. hahaha it was insane. So crazy. But so good too. 
My first contact it was just me and Elder Zalezniak from Australia. (I knew of him before coming, from a friend Dauffisi in BYU Hawaii) He's half tongan half polish. haha weird mix. But he's so smooth.
But we walked outside and saw a lady walking her stroller. He went off in polish with her and we talked for a little. He asked me to share my testimony. haha I do so in my terrible polish.
She had a little baby girl and I tried to tell her that i have a little baby sister at home about her baby's ago. haha and she asked someythin in polish and all i said was "tak tak tak" which means yes yes yes. haha Elder Zalezniak just smiled at me and kept going on. Right before we left this sweet little lady she asked in her broken english, "So you left your daughter at home to come here and serve a mission" So i guess i told her that I had a little child at home. And she asked you have a little girl at home (in polish) and I said "tak tak tak" haha
So my first contact went kinda weird. but Elder Zalezniak straightened it all out for me! We contacted more throughout the day. and the people here either just keep walking and say "nie mam czas" which means i dont have time. Or yell at us and say something about hor they are catholic.
But we went back to mission home and got paper work done, for our legal work in poland. We had dinner and then we got assigned to our areas and companions! I was assigned to stay here in the Warsaw I branch! And my companion is Elder Garfield! he's a boss! He is from Washington DC and has been here for about a year. 
His polish is unreal. But yeah he pretty much just talks to whole time and I try to sneak my testimony into his talk. But how we tract is we just walk up to everyone on the street and say Hi we are sharing a message today about The Book Of Mormon and Jesus Christ, or Families. And USUALLY the people just keep walking or get mad at us. haha it has been something weird to get used to. I usually just laugh. hahaha and say "milego dnai" haha "have a nice day".
Its pretty crazy. But very good. And very hard. We probably only talk to like 15 people a day and that is only because they are nice enough to stop and talk to us and about 12 to 13 of those people say im sorry but thank you very much. Im Catholic.
This is definitely the hardest thing that I have ever done. But its so good. I know the Lord will bless me in his work! I'm very excited to learn the language even though I have no idea how the language works. But I know the Lord has a way for me to learn it.
My last story that I'll share is from on Thursday. So Me, my comp (Elder Garfield) and 2 other Elders were doing something called a FREE TABLE. And we set up a table and try to get people to stop and talk to us. We sat there for a while and tried to get many people to stop. Usually you have more success to do that but mostly the same stuff happens. 
But I was passing out Ulotki which is little flyers. And we had been doing this for about an hour. I gave one to a man and he walked a couple more steps and stopped. And looked at the flyer and said "I dont speak Polish" hahah I responded with "GREAT! I DONT EITHER!"
luckily I had a Book of Mormon in English with me in my backpack with my testimony in it that I had prepared earlier. 
I gave it to him and he was very interested in the Book and was asking questions. He was in Poland going to school and from Egypt. I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon and shared as much as possible. He said " I will read some of this and you will hear from me" "I want to know more" The spirit was so strong with me at that moment. And its amazing how much love you can have for someone without even knowing them. Our main motivation should be out of the Pure Love of Christ. And If you have that for everyone around you the the Lord will help you and his power will be with you! I want to learn polish so I can share this message with EVERYONE! 
So the people here are amazing! and I love them. Some like to call us crazy things. There is a lady that is homeless that is always by our apartment and she couldn't hate us more. haha she like was yelling at us the other day and pretend spit on us. And whenever we are talking to someone, she will ride by on her little push scooter and say "don't listen to the them! They are of the Devil!" hahaha there are a lot of insane "in the membrane" people here. But its ok. 
I'm so excited for this work and what Heavenly Father has in store for us!
The work in Hastening everybody! And You all are part of it! The members need to work hard to keep the missionaries schedules full! I don't care where you live! Listen to "the work of Salvation" broadcast! Something that President Packer said was " The greatest teaching done in the church, is done by the Mothers"
Mom has done very well. The best that she could have done. I appreciate my parents so much since Ive been here! Remember what all your parents have done for you. 
Something that everyone needs to remember is that "Contention is of the Devil" Contention can ruin absolutely anything. Mom always said to be a PEACEMAKER. If you can try to get rid of contention in your lives as much as possible it will bless you soooo much! Your lives will be so much happier. No matter what someone does, always try to be a peacemaker. Love you guys! Remeber The Savior Jesus Christ always!
Do Zobaczenie! Do Widzenia! Kacham moja rodzina! Viem ze moja rodznia mozebyc razem na zawsze!
-Starszy Fotu