Thursday, December 18, 2014

crazy week---- no time!

So I have no time. I gotta run to the train station and pick up some missionaries. Its transfer weeks.
I got another comp his name is Elder Retallick! He's from England. My olf comp Elder Swicegood is going to a city called Katowice and he's training! Im staying here in Warsaw and still President's assistant. So thats really fun! We have tons of planning and stuff to do! Im pretty stoked! 
I will hopefully have time later to e-mail! probably around 15:00. So ill talk to you guys then! thanks for the package! let me know when you guys wants to skype for Christmas! love you guys! Keep it fresh!
_Starszy Fotu

Monday, December 8, 2014

Im freeeezin!

Well the winter is here. I think today is the first legit day of snow. It's not sticking at all. But I was just outside and it was startin to come down a little. It's usually pretty cold lately. got down to like -7 c or whatever. 
Well things are just starting to get crazy. We have had a lot of planning with President lately. Trying to plan out all the transfers and mission leadership councils and then I heard that Elder Charles (the presiding authority that was going to come before President and Sister Edgren left) he will be coming again. So we got a lot to do right now. Last night we spent a while with President trying to decided where to place and move all the missionaries this next transfer. It's kinda stressful. But we have fun doing it. I just can't usually sleep after cause I have so much on my mind.
I've been studying this handbook its called "Principles of Leadership". Its a church handbook and it has a lot of really good things in it. It talks about motivations. And it says something along the lines "Love is His motive, so it must be ours." I think that is the number one thing to learn on a mission is how to love people. First, how to love the Lord. Second, how to love the people. And third, is somewhat the same. How to to your enemies. If anyone can learn how to face iniquity with love they will be very successful. And I feel like it all starts with our thoughts. 
For me it has been trying to find the moments in life when I see the natural man try to come out of me. When someone yells at you....the natural thing is to yell back. But if someone can learn to control their thoughts then they will be able to control they actions and even their desires. A change of nature. This is where the power of the Atonement comes. For Selu with her accident it is was the very thought of Christ that brought her strength and comfort. I have no doubt that there is a legitimate power in the very thought of Christ. Thats why the basics keep us so strong. They guide our thoughts towards Him.
Sometimes for me it was "pretending" to love someone. Even though I felt I didn't really love them. Sometimes it was forcing a smile and pretending I was happy in EVERY situation. This becomes our true nature as we rely on the Lord and exercise our mental and physical faith. Eventually we begin to do what He would do. Say what He would say. And even think as He would think. And thats why we are here on earth. 
The thing that holds us back from doing what is right is the natural man. So first be humble to notice it in your life. Then be committed to overcoming it. Set goals and act instead of being acted upon.
President Monson said, "We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey." 
These are just thoughts i've had lately. It's Christmas and I've been thinking.....I need to show my Savior how much I really love him by overcoming the natural man in myself, and helping others do the same. Cause we are all on the same team. We begin to build our love for others when we realize that God is our Father, and we are all brothers and sisters. Its pretty simple.
Love you all! Thanks for the prayers and support! I look up to you all because of your faith unto repentance. 
Time is flying. Weeks are beginning to feel like days and months feel like weeks. It blows my mind. But I have a lot of work to do.
trzymaj się! kocham was wszystkich! Tęsknię za wami!
z miłośćą
_Starszy Fotu

Friday, December 5, 2014

December is here!!!

I can't believe the year 2014 is almost over! It's been the fastest year of my life! I feel like it was just a couple months ago when I was in Szczecin for Christmas! The mission is going really well! The mindsets of the missionaries is changing and I believe we will see a lot of good success and fruit as a mission here real soon because of it.
This last week was a blast! And it was pretty effective. Unfortunately Piotr (Peter) has said he is not interested anymore. This happens pretty often with people here in Poland. They have these very spiritual moments with us and the Book of Mormon, and then something happens and they lose interest. Usually they look something up on the internet or something. But we continue to work hard and keep our faith high! Never gets us down!
Something exciting... President Edgren got an idea of how we could improve our tracting here in the mission from another mission president (I think in Czech Republic) The idea is have a tracting letter. Everyone (mostly everyone) here in Poland lives in a apartment building. And So the idea is to make a letter with information of what we are doing and maybe even pictures on the letter. The letter also includes when we will be stopping by to see if they are interested. This was genius because one, most people hate when we knock on their doors cause it feels like we are intruding (cause we kind of are). So now the people are actually expecting us and we get instant feedback whether or not they are interested! Also when we tract usually about 70% of the people are not home or don't answer. So now we can go back at least 3 times til we drop the address. One city in our mission tried this with one block of apartments. And got a new investigator the first night. They went back the second time for those that didnt answer and 3 people set up meetings with them. Pretty amazing, cause if they would have just tracted it normally like we always do they probably would have gotten the same result. President Edgren has talked about "doing things differently, cause if we do the same thing over and over again we will get the same results" I know Dad has taught be about this a lot.
I feel like this kind of sums up life. If we arent improving ever Day then we are decreasing. The fact is we are always changing. Moving forwards or backwards. Never standing still. So we need to always make sure that we are moving in the right direction, towards the Savior.
I'm excited for this month! To be able to celebrate the birth of the Savior. Time is flying. I miss a lot of things at home at this time of the year, but I try to stay focused on my mission and whats important cause I have such little time left.
Love you guys! Remember the basic things everyday!
z miłośćą
_Starszy Fotu

heres a cool video for ya in polish. Im sure you've all seen it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weeks are flying by!

This week really went by quick. Here's a good miracle story for you all!
Elder Swicegood and I decided to go tracting on of the nights this past week. We had decided to go to a neighborhood just outside of Warsaw, where some little house were. Looking at the map trying to decided which street to go on, something told me to keep looking. I came across a street called Ul. Rybnicka. We decided to go there and knock on some doors. Elder Swicegood and I were really guided by the spirit on where to go. We knocked on a door and a younger kid answered name Piotr (Peter). He was very prepared to hear the gospel. And he had a really rough past life with alcohol and drugs. But he said he decided to change because of many things that happened. His mother died about 9 years ago also. It was good to see us practice our faith and rely on the Lord to be lead to him. We are excited to work with him. Keep him in your prayers!
President gets back tomorrow! We are excited for that! Sister Edgren will still recover in Utah. She is such a champ.
We continue to search for those seeking the truth. I've had some amazing conversations with people on the streets. That say they are searching for answers or that it would mean something to them if God restored his church. But they arent willing to act on it. I guess thats the difference between them having the desire to do something but not acting on it.
Everything is going really well though. The mission is changing it's mindset. And so I'm super excited about that. We will be planning transfers coming up with President soon I think. I have no idea what I wanna do next. But we will see. I have two transfers left. Meaning I could have 2 new companions then I am out. I think I will be let out of being assistant though. Cause thats what usually happens. And Im really excited. Assistant takes up a lot of time, but its really the best cause you get to spend time with all the missionaries and do trainings. I've never learned so much than I have these past couple months. I went from one of the lowest parts of my mission to the highest. I love it out here. I love the people. I've been so blessed. 
Im excited for Thanksgiving. We will do a little celebration but mostly just a normal work day! Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. I've felt the power of prayer in my life. 
I love you guys! Sorry this is so short!
                                                             z miłośćą
                                                                     _Starszy Fotu

Good Week!

I've got a log lecture for all of you to read this week...... haha really though its pretty long. This is kind what we taught during zone conference.
We talked about what true success as a missionary is. Because all through the church people think that baptisms is where our success lies. When really our success lies in our commitment. Many missionaries think that our mission is harder than any other mission. What makes a mission hard is what is required. And all our requirements are found on page 10 of Preach My Gospel. The requirements for every mission is the same. No matter where you are. Serve with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. No matter where we serve, we are always gonna be serving with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. Our big goal was to change the nature and view missionaries have as success. But to also keep their expectations and goals high. Cause people do listen. People do get baptized here.
But about Mental and Physical faith. If you read in the bible dictionary, the 3rd paragraph says "true faith leads its possessor to physical AND mental action" notice it uses the word andinstead of or. Meaning you need both mental and physical action for it to be true faith. Many missionaries are really good at the physical faith, they get out and walk the streets and talk to people. But the mental faith is important. The mental faith is the expectation that every single person you talk to will except the gospel.
As missioanries we expereince rejection. And that can cause us to lower our expectations. But it really shouldnt. 1 Nephi 3:14 "...we became exceedingly sorrowful..." Nephi also experienced sorrow. He was sad. Because of the rejection in obtaining the plates from Laban. But it was his reaction to the sorrow that made the difference. The next few sentences show the reaction of Laman and Lemuel and then the reaction that Nephi had. Laman and lemuel had the physical faith. They were technically obedient, they walked to Jerusalem. But their mental faith wasnt there.
Im almost done preaching....At the beginnning of my mission I had the mental faith. I really really want to help people. I really loved people. But I was scared to open my mouth. I wouldnt do it. But I exercised my physical faith. And the Lord helped me. Missionaries can have mental faith or phyiscal faith. But they need both to have true faith.
You know the phrase "Make it til you make it"? Thats been huge for me. The faking is an act of faith. Forcing the smile on your face, when someone does wrong to you. Pretending that you love some one. The pretending and faking really are acts of faith. And as we fake it or as we pretend it, the Lord will eventually turn it into a real smile at all times or real love for the people. Thats applying the atonement in your life. Thats when we think of Christ and what he would do. Thats when our nature is changed.
Find where the natural man comes out in your life. Notice it. And Change it.
Alright im done preaching.
Just want to thank you all for the prayers and support. I've never felt the Spirit so strong in my life than I have this past week. My body was so exhausted from riding trains, teaching, road trips, but the spirit was so strong I couldnt even sleep. It was pretty amazing to see the missionaries get so excited. And really catch this vision of what real success is (our commitment) and how to build their mental and physical faith. I love you all. Thank you so much. The prayers have helped so much.
z miłośćą
_Starszy Fotu
here are some pics with all the missionaries throughout Poland!

Crazy Good Week

I don't really know where to start.....
Had a pretty amazing week personally. We were preparing for Elder Charles from the Seventy to come and do a mission tour. We were very excited for it all to take him all around the country and listen to his training. I really was excited cause we've been talking about a change in the mission. Wednesday night I was praying fervently for something to happen in the mission, some kind of change that needed to happen with the mission.The next morning President Edgren called me telling me that the mission tour was canceled. Sister Edgren (his wife) will be having surgery in the U.S. And President has to go with her. With President not being here Elder Charles had to post pone the mission tour.
President told me in this phone call a story.....(sorry if I get some of these facts wrong) Mitt Romney was an assistant to the president when he served his mission. One day he was driving the mission president and his wife and they were hit head on by a drunk driver. The mission president's wife was killed, and Mission President was put into the hospital along with Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney was actually pronounced dead at the accident. But luckily he served and was put in charge of the Paris France mission. The mission average about 80 baptisms a year....And their results jumped at this moment when Mitt Romney took over the mission. It was his lead in helping the missionaries focus on hiring their expectations and visualizing it that lead to the number of converts jumping. 
I dont believe the Mission President was doing anything wrong. But I believe that the trial that they went through was a blessing. It only made them stronger as a mission. I dont tell you this story to make you believe that I am the next Mitt Romney, and President Edgren has left me in charge of leading the mission. (Even though he somewhat has.....haha im pretty stressed. All the missionaries will call to me when they have problems and what not.) He keeps telling me that he is excited for this week and this upcoming time. And that "im the man for the job". I've never been more stressed. But I've never felt the Lord's love. After this phone call with president, Elder Swicegood and I decided we should start preparing a Zone Conference for the missionaries for this week. And so we would be ready to do one without President if he wanted it. President liked the idea of doing one without him. As a mission. 
Ive felt confident ever since that this was going to be a good thing for the mission. The Lord has helped me feel so much love for the people here, the missionaries, and those around me this past week while preparing. I've never felt so close to him. Im excited for this week to visit with all the missionaries and change our mind sets and nature. Our mission statement or I guess the purpose we want to come out of zone conference is "We want to change our mindset and nature as a mission family by building our unconditional faith and trust in Jesus Christ"
I'm trying my best. haha it's the hardest thing ever. But I love my mission so much I can't even explain. I'll attach my president's e-mail that he sent to the mission this morning before leaving to the US. And you can watch the video we will be using in Zone Conference. heres the link:

There is a quote from Elder Bednar in general conference, he is talking about trials and he uses the word LOAD instead..... "sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is the necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness."

Please pray for us this week. I can already feel your prayers daily. Love you guys. Continue to notice the blessings. no matter what situation you are every. cause every situation is a blessing.

z miłośćą

_Starszy Fotu

President's E-mail to the mission:

We love zone conferences. We especially love being together with you. It is a time always full of the energy and the wonderful spirit we need. We were looking forward to this upcoming conference with even more anticipation of being edified and uplifted by the spirit. We had already put in a lot of effort in preparation. 

As you have learned on your mission, often, things don’t turn out as planned. We were very surprised by the swift turn of events that will not allow us to attend. Our first reaction was that we would need to cancel conference. However, things usually happen for a reason. We prayed that you would take personal ownership of the conference so that your “contribution spiritually will be a full one.” You will be doing that in more ways than we had anticipated.

When we saw the willingness and readiness of the APs to carry on with zone conference, we were thrilled. It was an answer to our prayers. We felt a wonderful peace come over us as we envisioned each of you at conference. We have total confidence and trust in your desire and commitment to be faithful and dedicated disciples of the Savior. We really do get the best missionaries here in the Poland Warsaw Mission. 

You each have a unique opportunity to make this conference very special. In our fast last Sunday, we prayed that conference would be an opportunity for each of you to receive special promptings from the Holy Ghost meant for your own individual hearts. Those prayers are even more pertinent now. Please review the instructions from Elder Charles again in preparation for a wonderful experience:

1. Each of us should come to the meetings anxious to record impressions given to us as individuals by the Holy Ghost. We do not expect what we say to be copied verbatim but rather to record the impressions that come as very personal thoughts. Have confidence that this will happen.
2. Ask the question; am I ready to receive what the Lord has in store for me? Are there questions I want answered?
3. What is the Holy Ghost directing me to do? These might be personal or in respect of my mission.
4. What changes do I personally need to make as a result of the impressions?
5. What goals do I need to establish to achieve these changes?
6. As a result of the conference what can I do to establish a personal action plan/some goals for 2014 and 2015?
7. Prepare to meet with President Edgren to discuss my action plan and to be held accountable in the next year for the goals set whether personal or to do with my mission.
We love you and we will miss you,
President and Sister Edgren

Real Quick!

Man such a good week. Well We had a lot of planning to do. But the best thing this week was probably our lesson with a guy named Emanuel. Emanuel is from Nigeria. (He's my black homie) Such a stud. He was in Park City and some members reached out to him. We had such a good lesson with him. The spirit was so strong and he was just so ready to hear the gospel. Its amazing. His dad was a pastor in Nigeria. And he knows the bible pretty well. He is very spritual and has experienced alot but he knows that he just keeps pushing and relying on God. And he has seen God in his life everywhere. Such a stud. We are meeting with him again. 
So something exciting. We are having a member of the Seventy visit Poland. And we get to do a mission tour with him. So we get to go around Poland with him and do training. Next Tuesday we get to pick him up from the airport and take him to the holocaust camp (Aushwitz) Which im sooo excited to see. Cause I was worried I wouldnt be able to get to see Aushwitz. But im so stoked to spend time from him and learn. I really am so stoked. My comp and I get to take a road trip for about 4 hours. Except im really sick of driving cause he still doesnt have his drivers license. But its all good. 
We continue to look for those that are prepared. And be lead by the spirit. But I really just love my mission. These people are so much different. And are so faithful. I will send you guys pictures with the members and everyone.
Ive been studying the difference between desires and commitments. I think EVERYONE has a desire to do the right thing. Every missionary has the desire to be a good missionary. But just because they have this desire that means nothing if we are not committed. We can talk about changing but never do it. The Savior expects our best effort. Our might, mind, and strength. All of it. Thats the only thing that God doesnt have. Is our agency. We have to give him our all and hold nothing back.
Keep the priorities right. The God's kingdom is the most important thing in this life. Whether it is building it in our homes, with friends, or strangers. The Lord expects us to build it. Im done lecturing. Love you guys.

_Starszy Fotu


Im freezin my brown bum off out here! Really though its gettin pretty cold! But still lovin it. Today is gonna have to be quick. Here is a really cool miracle....
So we were in a big store this last week buying things for this "ALL SAINTS DAY" holiday this next week. And I was just walkin around with my companion lookin for stuff. And one of the workers stops me in the store. In her broken english she says "Hey I talked to you about 6 months ago on the street in Wrocław. You gave me this little card that had information where i could order a Book of Mormon. My husband and I ordered it. We havent read it yet. But we are going to read it now. Because of you." I was pretty shocked. Wrocław was the last city i was in. And a couple that I talked to over 6 months ago had took a pass along card and actually order the Book of Mormon. And Then I some how ran into this lady in a different city that is over 7 hours by train away. Pretty crazy. And really our success isnt built on numbers, but on our commitment to invite others. But its was good to hear someone say those words, "because of you". I know its because of the Lord. And we owe everything to him. It will be pretty amazing someday to actually be able to see the little and big effects I had on people here in Poland. (the ones that I had no idea about)
But everything is going so well. We have a lot of good potential here this next week to pick up some really good progressing investigators. We are excited. But we are also going to be really busy with planning everything for Zone Conferences. At first coming to be assistant for president I was really scared. I was coming off on the hardest transfers in my mission. And my self-esteem was really low. But I prayed so hard to rise to it and become a leader. And I've really felt the Lord bless me so much in just having confidence. I think im still quiet but in my heart I have become more fearless. But trying to stay humble.
We also went to a funeral this last week. There was a member that passed away. I didnt know him at all. But I had to help organize the funeral with the branch president here and everything. Some of us missionaries did a musical number that was good. During the funeral there was probably about 30 to 40 people there that were not members. And there was a talk given by a member name Filip. And he talked about the plan of salvation. It was an awesome missionary experience to see these people that had never heard of the plan of salvation before. And the spirit was so strong there with them.
I know this is so short. But hey i love and miss you all. keep being amazing. Im so thankful for those around me. Youve all had a huge impact on my life.
Love you guys.
_Elder Fotu

ha i read a letter from my little bro jared the other day. and it said......I LOVE YOU. The Y standing for yur. The O standing for our. And the U standing for umezing. You Our Umezing! love you guys!

heres a couple pics for ya'll

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Transfer!

Well im stayin here in Warsaw. Elder Swicegood is with me now and we are just rollin! Its pretty awesome being with someone that you served with in the MTC. He's such a stud and has taught me a ton about all kind of things. 
Man i got like no time. I just used all my time to e-mail a member that is a little less-active. And I love him. He is such a stud but just kinda lost right now. Love him though. So i just took like 30 mins to type him up a e-mail. I heard he is doing better though. His name is Bartek. Keep him in your prayers. He changed my life.
This week was crazy. Transfers was insane. But everything went well. Solid missionaries came in. They are amazing. A quick miracle that happened was......
We had a baptism in our branch. His name is Janusz. Elder Caskey and I taught Janusz about 5 weeks ago. We had his first lesson with missionaries. And it was such a good lesson. He is so prepared. And he excepted baptism on the first lesson. And since then we had to pass him off to other Elders cause he was in their area. But so good.
Today we have a couple meetings that im stoked for. A family that has a Dad that is a less-active member. But the wife and kids have never met with missioanreis before. And then another lady that we met last night that set up for today! The family with the Dad's name is Grzegorz! Keep him in your prayers. And we are just talking to all kinds of good people. So we are pretty stoked. We will let you know what happens! 
We had District Conference this last week. The talks were so awesome. I was reminded about how important the companionship of the Spirit really is in this life. Do you guys remember the last time you felt God's love of His Spirit? We all have some kind of Natural Man inside of us, and sometimes we give into it. These things push the Spirit out of our lives. The speaker invited everyone to make a list of things that push the Spirit out of our lives. Look at that list and remind yourself when you are in the moment of choice. That the Spirit of the Lord is essential. 
Man I love you guys. I just feel so blessed. Time is flying. And im scared for my mission to end. I still got a while though! So im just pushin along! Lovin it out here! love you guys!
keep inviting the Spriit into your life as you do the simple basics daily.
ofa lahi atu
z miłośćą
_Elder Fotu
This is my favorite talk from Conference! I loved it. Helped me think a lot about the people that I talk to on the streets! Love you guys! 

October 2014

Hey Family! Crazy week! Luckily we got some extra time to e-mail today! It's monday the 13th. And its transfer week. So sunday my new comp came in. Elder Swicegood. My boiiiii. We were companions in the MTC. Here's a beautiful pic of us for ya'll. Im super excited for us to work together this transfer. Although I loved my last companion, Elder Caskey. So sunday he came in along with many other missionaries that will be going home tomorrow. So that night was crazy with getting everything together. 
Sacrament meeting on sunday was the best Sacrament meeting I've been in on my mission. Probably the best in my life. The branch presidency was changed. And Rafał Pogorzelski became the new branch president. This is the member that Elder Caskey and I have been working with the past couple months. We met with him and his small family at the beginning of the transfer. And he asked us for a priesthood blessing. After this we just had trust in our relationship and he was giving us referrals and hittin the streets with us and just so excited to build the kingdom of God. In a meeting we had with him we were talking about his conversion story, and his dreams. He used to be atheist and then found the church. And when we asked about his dreams for his life he responded, "Well, I want to build the church in Poland." It was amazing to see the priorities of this guy that has a family living in a small 2 room apartment. But his very first priority was God's kingdom. And that really hit me hard. Over the months it was amazing to see the Lord prepare him to be ready to be branch president. Here's a picture of him making some BOMB pizza for us.
I love my mission. The people here. There is something else about them. Many when they return home from church they are hit with people making fun of them for being mormons. They are hit with family members that wont talk to them cause they feel like they have betrayed the Catholic church. They really are the best members on this earth. When they become members they realize that the support system is very small. But the ones that hold on strong, lean on God, and are converted to Him. I just kinda sat in Sacrament meeting and just soaked it in. And realized that I only have 6 more months, that I will only be able to experience something like this for the rest of my life.
Alright well im probably boring you guys. Heres a funny story. Maybe I already told you guys...... Im not sure.... But about 3 months ago we were playing football at the park outside the chapel. I was wearing my favorite hoodie. (Its like dark red, blue, and grey stripped.) I think our cousin Butch left it at our house or somethin. But I was hot so I hung it up on a tree. I didnt realize til a couple days later that I had left the sweatshirt at the park. And I joked with my companion that I would see a homeless man wearing it.....sure enough 2 months later we were playing and a homeless comes walking by carrying plastic bags full of cans..... I just sat there and was like Elder Caskey thats my sweater. And everyone just started busting up laughing. Then I ran over and ripped it off his shoulders..... haha no im just kidding. I just let him wear it. But pretty funnny. I may have already told you guys that.
Man I love you guys. I loved conference obviously. Im gonna be studying it alot. I listened to half in polish. But my favorite talk was probably Elder Christofferson's. Im gonna be studying that so much cause there is so much good in it. 
Hey im out of here. Got to take missionaries to airport early tomorrow morning and  then pick up the news ones! Im stoked! But hey I love you guys. I love hearing stories of my family doing missionary work and doing good work. I love it.
Keep killin it! Remember the basics. And love. Its the most important. Obedience always comes with love.

_Starszy Fotu


Man what a good week. General Conference is always the best! As we listen to the words of the Lord we realize our strengths and weaknesses. These inspired thoughts and feelings we receive are supposed to change us. Write down your promptings and bind to act on them. Pray for a vision. A vision for yourself personally, and your family. "You don't get what you want, you get what you see."
There will be obstacles in achieving your vision. President Thomas S. Monson said, "To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility." 
Continue to study the words of the Prophets and Apostles. You will be inspired on what you need to change in your life.
This week we had an awesome moment. We have splits with the members. I was lucky to be put with Rafał Pogorzelski. Such a stud. He is the Dad that we taught at the beginning of the transfer that asked for a blessing. And has just been helping us with missionary work. We were in the park and we were only there for 30 mins.And had two sweet conversation. One being with a lady that actually lived in park city for a year or so with a mormon family. haha so random. And another with a lady that took the missionary lessons ten years ago, and she said that while she and her family were meeting with the missionaries, that started her husband conversion in Christ. But they are Catholic. But it was so awesome to see the member exchange numbers with her. Rafał just called 30 mins ago saying we have a meeting set up with the family this wednesday! When the members sacrifice their time for the Lord's work, He blesses us with so much success. 
But everything is going well. Next week is gonna get crazy with the new missionaries coming in. And a new transfer starting. I have three transfers left. Pretty crazy. But everything is going well. Just gotta keep pushin myself to get better and better. This week im pretty sick. I didnt get much sleep last night. I woke up in the middle of the night and laid in bed for 2 hours. So i got up and sat on the couch and looked at the transfer board tryin to figure out transfers.
love you guys! Thanks for your support and prayers! 
_Elder Fotu

Elder Caskey and I at T.G.I. Fridays!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week by Week

We had another awesome week here in Warsaw. We had a exchange with a city called Kraków. So my comp hoped on a train monday afternoon and headed down there and Elder Allen came up here with me. It was pretty awesome. His girlfriend is actually serving in Isaac's mission. We had a really funny contact. We were talking with this man about baptism and repentance on the street and talked about things being changed after Christ and His apostles death. And the guy regarding these topics said..."We are all imperfect. There are only two people that have lived on earth without sin..." haha so confused I listened closely...he said..."Jesus and Mary.." haha so thats kinda problem. But its pretty amazing and sad actually to see how confused people are just about life and what Jesus taught. 
Elder Caskey and I were at the mission home one morning cause we met with President Edgren to talk about transfers and where missionaries would be sent and who would stay in their area. We had breakfast before we met and I was in the kitchen with Sister Edgren helping make pancakes and they actually have some children and grandchildren over right now staying with them on a trip. One of the little ones runs up to Sister Edgren and says, "Nanny, I need to go potty!" and sister edgrens heard wrong and replied in an exciting voice, " you want some pancakes!?!? ok go sit down and they will be ready soon!" haha so the little girl ran off and I said "sister edgren I think she said she needs to go potty?" and she was shocked that I like understood and she didnt. And the girl is like doin the potty dance in the corner of the room. So she calls to President Edgren to help her to the bathroom. President comes in the room and says, "alright lets go, Elder Fotu your gonna take her right?" haha i told him i would be breaking rules though. But it was kinda funny. Maybe you all had to be there.
But this week was good! unfortunately all our investigators droppped. Wiktor and Halina and their family decided they didnt want to meet with us anymore. But they said they would continue to read and pray. So we wil pray for them. We are startin back where we were! But its all good we are excited to find some awesome people this week. 
Today im going on exchange with Elder Kimball. ha his name is Spencer Kimball. His family actually lives in our stake. He was set apart by President Bangerter also. So thats pretty cool! 
So today I wanted to talk about blessings. haha I think thats all I talk about. 
Ive been so blessed since ive been gone. And most of all our family has. Mom and Dad have been so blessed in Dad's business. All my siblings are doing amazing. And I can tell they are all on the path to conversion. Many of my friends have made their way back on the path. And I guess I have been really blessed with a love for others around me, the gospel, and God and His Son. But I still have a long way to go.
I took Elder and Sister Gay (a senior couple here) to the airport last sunday. They are flying home cause their 13th and last child is getting married in the temple. And all of their children and spouses with be there along with one of their grandsons that just got home from his mission. Thats pretty amazing to me. And probably my biggest dream in this life. I feel like we are all on our way. And the only thing that will stop us is pride.
Im so thankful for the people that have been placed in my life. My family most of all, and then my friends. There are too many to count that have been a blessing in my life.  And Im not sure why ive been so blessed.
Love you guys. As we continue to notice the "natural man" in our lives we will be able to adjust and as the moment comes when we want to turn out, we think of Christ and make the right decision. This all leads to happiness which is a common thing that EVERYONE wants. 
loves. pamiętaj Chrystusa!
                                               _Starszy Fotu

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Family and Friends

Hey ya'll! Well a lot has happened this past week. But like always I have no time to tell about all of it! Some of you may have already saw pictures of Me and Elder Caskey teaching Zone Conferences! That was a pretty amazing experience. We were able to see all the missionaries in the mission. And hear most of their testimonies. I love all of them and they have helped me so much. 
I had a lot of doubt going into the conference. And was pretty nervous that I would mess up and what not. My comp gave me a blessing and that helped a lot. But I continued to pray for help and guidance. And The conferences went great! We were able to have a good flow with everything and teach with power and the spirit. We were able to travel with the Mission President and his wife and that was amazing. They have alot of experience in life and Im so happy I can learn and grow from hearing their many stories.
So with investigators.....with the little time that we had to do in our area we were able to have a lesson with Wiktor and Halina. The Ukrainian family we are working with....
It was pretty amazing. Wiktor's sister is now staying with them and also their daughter that is about 22 years old. So its been pretty amazing cause they all have sparked an interest. And They really are a great family. They have they doubts and what not but they continue to search for truth. We talked about the plan of salvation. And whenever we do that I like to show them the picture of my family in my Book of Mormon. And testify of what the gospel and the plan have done for us. Im just so thankful for what Heavenly Father has blessed me with. Ive often stayed up at night wondering why I was so lucky to have the truth and such an amazing family.
Elder Caskey and I are doing great. He was trying to parallel park and he thought the care was in first but really it was in reverse and he backed it into a pole. So now we really got some comp unity cause we have both scratched the car up a little bit. But we continue to work dilligently and search for those prepared. And we are just having a lot of fun.
This we my sermon for you all is to look to your patriarchal blessings for direction. I always knew that patriarch meant father, and that dad was the patriarch of our family. But I never looked at our blessings being fatherly blessings from Heavenly Father. I know as we search those frequently and prayerfully we can see the Lord's hand more in our life. Love you all and im so grateful for you all. Its so good to hear going to the temple frequently. There really isnt better news as a missionary then seeing and hearing how blessed his family is back home.
Love you guys. Do work.
ofa lahi atu
_Elder Fotu 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Recent Pictures

1) Missionaries in mission home! Packed House!
2)Missionaries in the transporter!
3)Me and my comp Elder Caskey!


Crazy week this week.
But so may miracles. First off our couple...Wiktor and Halina. They are from Ukraine. But they speak good polish. And they are just amazing. They really are searching for truth. In our mission we have been focusing on teaching how faith and repentance lead to baptism. And Christ gospel and teachings have been changed. But now restored. And it has been amazing to see the results we've had on the streets and in lessons with our investigators.
Wiktor and Halina read the whole first Book of Nephi in one week. And they are jsut diving into it. We had to explain so simply the apostasy and restoration with them. But they finally understood it and realized why its important. And why it is important that they need to find out if the Book of Mormon is true.
Im so excited for them. We are also meeting with Maxim. A kid that is 22 from Ukraine also. Its pretty funny we are meeting with all of these Ukrainians. They are prepared for the gospel. Maxim also met a member in Alaska when he was working there. 
Wiktor showed up to church, but his wife was working. But he really like it and loves being involved.
After one of our lessons with Wiktor and Halina, Elder Caskey and I were driving home and just talking about how happy were were to be here on our missions. And how we wouldnt rather be anywhere else in the world  even though we missed our families that much.
We have been preparing for the zone conferences this week. This afternoon we are riding down to Katowice with President and Sister Edgren. And we have a conference there tomorrowWednesday we will be back here in Warsaw. And then Thursday we will be in Poznań for another. We are excited but a little nervous!
I continue to be amazed at how much the family and friends have been blessed at home. I thank Heavenly Father for that every night. We have no time today. We barley even have a P-day cause we are leaving at 2:00 PM.
Let me know how you all are doing. Continue to become brilliant at the basics. Thats what truely makes the greatest servants of the Lord.
Love you guys
_Elder fotu

September 8th in Warsaw!

This week just flew by. We had a couple exchanges this week. I went to a city called Bydgoszcz. I had a couple hour train ride there. And was with Elder Hubbard for a couple of days. And then got back to Warsaw and went right back into a Exchange the same day with Elder Retallick from England. He has a beautiful accent and is a awesome missionary. 
But everything has been crazy busy. We are preparing for Zone Conference next week. And really just buidling up our area.
Friday we have splits with the members. 3 members came. So Elder Caskey and I were with our favorite member Rafał. (The younger dad that asked us for a blessing) And we have been building a really good relationship with him. And he actually gave us a referral this last week named wojtek that we are teaching. But as we hit the streets with him he was asking like is this even affective... should we just go try to find less-actives. But him and Elder Caskey had a really good little lesson with this awesome couple. And it was a really good and spiritual moment for him that there really are people searching the truth. The real miracle happened on sunday. When Rafał got up to bear his testimony. Cause most members look up to him in the branch as a leader. And he talked about the experience and encouraged the rest of the members to go. After church he invited Elder Caskey and I over for dinner, he wants to make us pizza. 
It has just been amazing to build a relationship with me. And with the many other members here. Cause these relationships are really gonna be the things that last the most after the mission. And it just brings us so much joy in life.
Everything is going so well though. Ive never had so much unity, love, and hard work in a companionship before. I love all my last companions. And theyve helped me realize that I can add more to the companionship, and have helped me become a better missionary.
I had many doubts and low confidence coming to be President's Assistant. But I prayed for help, and continued to try to be myself and help others. And the Lord has blessed me so much. This country is pretty amazing. The members continue to amaze me.
Yesterday, a member from Ukraine showed up 30 mins late to church. But brought two of his freinds with him. And it was amazing cause we had a really good lesson with these three after church. But during the lesson Wylodomir just passed out cold. He was so tired cause the whole night he was helping a girl with her legal work in poland. So he hadnt slept but he still got up and got to church and brought his friends. So we are excited to work with Maxim and Edgar. Maxim is pretty prepared for this and they both are reading the Book of Mormon in Ukrainian. 
Miracles are everywhere. Not only in the mission field but at home also. My family has been so blessed. Garrett getting married, and Isaac on a mission. It was pretty sad to see the pictures of him entering the MTC by himself. I still remember that so clearly. It takes alot of faith cause you feel so alone, but the best comforter of all is so strong there. 
Love my mission. Thanks for the support. I really am so thankful.
Love you all!
_Starszy Fotu

September in Warsaw!

So its startin to get cold here in Warsaw. And we are hittin the Golf Course today! Unfortunantly President Edgren wasnt able to come with us, cause we wanted to take him for his birthday. But we are gonna go to this golf place today. They have like a range and some holes. So we wil see how that is. We are pretty stoked for that!
This week was insane, but so amazing.
We had a meeting with President and just talked about what we wanted to train the mission on. And so we came down to the point that the brethern want us to first have a "model area". And then when we do training we can teach with spiritual power because we have applied what we are teaching. And we were starting from nothing cause we just moved into a new area. 
Elder Caskey and I decided we needed to start with a fast. And it was pretty amazing. As we fasted the next two days were probably the most rejection we got our whole mission. We couldnt even get past saying "dzien dobry!" (hello) to people on the streets. They all said "we have no time!", "im not interested"...etc. It seemed like the harder we tried the less success we had. But we kept pushing. We had a goal with 3 new investigators for the week. And as friday came we had 0. We were in a new area and we walked around for a bit trying to find a new building to tract. We rang through the domophone. After about ten numbers a lady answered and let us in. (this doesnt happen ofter) We walked up to her apartment and she was standing there with the door open and inviting us in. We spoke with Agnieszka and she had been praying for help. She has a son that is going off in the deepend and she personally needed spiritual strength. We had an awesome lesson with her. The next day we found another couple. They are from Ukraine. But speak polish. And they were the nicest couple ive met. We've been pushing to get people diving into the Book of Mormon and get them progressing. We committed Wiktor and Halina to reading the first book of Nephi this week. And they said yes and we had an awesome kneeling pray at the end of the lesson.
There were so many other miracles. But I have no time to write them. 
The Lord truely is moving the work forward. And its amazing to be a little part of it. 
Being an Assistant is pretty crazy. We are always busy. And driving is weird in Europe. Left hand turns are so crazy. I drove down a one way street (the wrong way) the other day. And we didnt even realize it til we got to the intersection and all the cars were comin at us. haha its was crazy.
Yesterday we had a surprise birthday party for President Edgren. And we scared him to bad that we thought he was gonna have a heart attack.
I love it out here. Im growing so much. And its so amazing to see the miracles here in Poland. But also the miracles back at home....Garrett getting married......miracle.
Oh yeah isaac just told me that he proposed a couple hours ago....ha and that was it..... so fill me in guys. But im sure she is amazing. Im excited for them!
Hey I love you all. I know our happiness lies in the happiness of others. And that as we do the simple things daily that we will continue to stay strong and become better and better. We can become better and recieve strength through the power of the Atonement.
Ill love my mission forever, cause of the love i've found for the Savior!
Love you guys!
_Elder Fotu


So im just gonna get right into it. So much to tell with not much time...
Im back in warsaw. Its getting cold already. The branch is amazing that I am in. I was trained here. And I love being at the only chapel in Poland. 
Some of the members still remember me, some think im a "greeny".
haha its fun and so filling. 
This last week we sent missionaries home and brought new ones in. 
We stayed at the mission home with the ones leaving, and then woke up at 3.30 am to take them to the airport. It was really sad. There really was some of the most amazing missionaries. And we returned to the mission home to find it empty. It was pretty depressing. 
We tried to sleep for a couple more hours. And next thing you knwo we were off to the airport again to pick up the new ones. 13 new missionaries! And they were so fresh and they quickly brought the momentum back into us. It was so amazing to see how excited and filled they were even though they were so wiped out from the plane ride. 
I took one with me out on the streets. Elder Summers from Alaska. Filled with so much energy and faith. But yet we stepped on the streets and he was SO SCARED! we approached a couple and I asked if they had a second. They said no, so i left them with a pass along card. I tried calming Elder Summers down a little. But I told him to go get the lady with the stroller. It was so amazing to see this fresh missionary hit the work so hard. He faced his fear square up and just spit out all the polish he could with this lady. (really good polish btw) 
After the lady walked on he came up to me and said "THAT WAS THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE IVE EVER HAD!!!" I told him "This is missioanry work. EVERY.DAY." He continued to go on about how he was going to love his mission sooo much! 
It was really cool to see someone faces his fears as he did. And even with rejection he was so excited about it. 
Later int he week we had Missionary Leadership Council. I had never been to this meeting cause I wasnt even a Zone Leader. And now I was being expected to Teach parts of it. It was overwhelming and really hard. But I prayed for help. And the spirit was so strong with me and kept me calm. And everything went so smoothly. 
I love my mission. My new companion (Elder Caskey) and I have been talking about how amazing our mission really is. As we were in the mission home with the 13 new missionaries and the 13 trainers we sang hymns. And I was standing in the back and just kinda watched. The spirit was so strong with me. I realized that everyone here was really part of something bigger. I love my mission. I love the missionaries. I look up to all of them.
My comp. Biggest stud. He really is so diligent, and loving. And we have alot of goals this trasnfers and we are gonna work so diligently to get them. We are so stoked. 
I love you guys. I know its all about the basics. It really is. It starts out in the morning. and you decide. No one else can decide for you how your day goes. Find the Lord's will, and align yours with it.
Love you guys! and am so thankful for the support I have. 
_Elder Fotu

Monday, August 18, 2014


So First of I have zero time.
Everything just got a little crazy. 
So first off I left Wroclaw.;( really im so sad. Most amazing city ever! We had the most solid invesitgator. Slawek. So amazing. He is so humble and I will let you know what happens with him!

So I got transfer back to Warsaw! And its pretty crazy. I am kinda really stressed. And I have no time. We have to leave. But President Edgren asked me to be his Assistant. Pretty overwhelming. I havent even been a Zone Leader. So I have no idea what im doing. But imma learn it quick. And figure everything out! So much to do. Next week we will have more time to explain. But right now we are just in charge of transfers, sending missionaried out, and bringing the new missionaries in. So I will see the new ones tomorrow! Im so stoked. Ill see Sister Woodward. So its always fun to see a familiar face.

So I have no time.
But this week I heard something really cool. I actually got an email and it was awesome. so this was the story......

Once a group of 500 people were attending a seminar. Suddenly the speaker stopped and decided to do a group activity. He started giving each person a balloon. Each person was then asked to write their name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room.
The people were then let into that room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written on it within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and there was utter chaos.
At the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon.
Then, the speaker asked each person to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.
The speaker then began, “This is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is.
Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness; you will get your own happiness. And this is the purpose of human life…the pursuit of happiness.”
Hey I have no doubt that we are in this life to help others. We are here to serve others and we will recieve so much happiness from this. My dream is to make make a family, while always relying on the Lord, make money, retire, and go on Humanitarium Trips with my family for the rest of my life and serve a mission with my wife.
I love it out here. Ive never been so happy. And I know that this is true happiness. The gold from my mission has been the relationships ive built with all of these people. I love them so much. And Im so thankful. The Lord wants us to be happy. So do what he has asked us to do and everything will be good. I know these relationships will last FOREVER. Not just in this life.
Love you guys. I love my mission.
_Starszy Fotu

Trasnfers coming up!!!

So this week was amazing. I dont got much time so Im gonna have to be quick!
First off we went to Legnica. A smal town outside of Wroclaw and had some solid lessons there. The members there (two families) are really into missionary work. And drive to church every sunday about an hour. President is actually thinking of putting missionaries in Legnica. But we had a two really good member lessons there. One man is named Bogdan. He is actually one of the members landlord. And so she invited him to take the lessons. And he seems to be progressing. Next is a kid named Krzysztof. He is young. A sister in the branch added him on facebook thinking he was a less active member, but turns out it wasnt the right person. But she asked if he would be interested in the gospel anyways. Turns out he is searching and has investigated man churches and religions. So we are excited.
Last is a kid named Slawek. He was the first kid Elder Stumpf and I talked to. He is 23 years old and studying law right now. He is just really humble and willling to listen to us. He is kinda of scared though I feel like and scared of commitment. But he really is golden so we have big hopes for him.
We have trasnfer calls this saturday. My companion goes into Warsaw on Sunday and then home on tuesday. Its crazy. But im excited, cause i really hope I stay in this city. The branch is so amazing and we have some good investigators right now.
The coolest thing is the relationships on our missions. I really feel like they are the Gold and treasures of a mission. Relationships with members, companions, and converts/investigators. They are the most amazing things. And they last forever. The most important relationship I think is the one we build with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 
Its amazing to see all the joy that I have recieved from my mission. Im trying to always live in a attitude of grattitude. Cause I really am so blessed.
I love being out here though. I love my mission. its flying.
Im sorry this was so short! but I dont have much time! 
I wanna thank all you guys for your support! 
I know that if we are obedient then the Lord cant break his promise of his Spirit ALWAYS being with us. And I know that obedience starts with Charity and Love. 
Build Charity, pray for it. Obedience will follow. And the Spirit will always be with us. And that will answer many questions that we have and comfort us at all times.
Love you guys! 
_Elder Fotu

AUGUST........from Wrocław

Hey Family and Friends!
So this last week I hit another 1st day of the Month. Every time that happens I kinda freak out cause I went into the MTC on the First. So it just means that another month flew by....
So I got like 8-9 months left....
Time just continues to fly. I might have already shared this quote with you guys from President Uchtdorf. He said "The bad news is Time is flying, the good news is YOU ARE the captain."
So this week was really good. We had a good lesson with this kid named Marcel. He is super cool and the lesson went great. We asked him if he found out that all of this we were teaching was true would he be baptized and he said yes. So that was super awesome. We just need to keep him progressing and get the others progessing also.
In a couple weeks we have transfers. So don't send me anything to this address cause I might get transfered. Just send it to the mission office.
I went on a couple exchanges this week with the other Elders in my District. And it was really good I learned alot from them.
The coolest part about this week I think was in church.
So there is a man named Robert. That just become reactivited in the branch. And he has a girlfriend/wife. They are planning to get married soon. But they are like in their 50's. And Robert is just the most solid guy. Helping him get reactivated has been so cool. He is now our Branch Mission Leader. And we just mess around with eachother all the time. I actually gave him one of my old suits. And he wore it to church and looked super fly. So ill send you guys a pic of that next week. And this week im going to give him a haircut.
We are gonna start teaching his wife/girlfriend (Renata). And she is just eating up the Book of Mormon. She is really scared to pray for some reason though. So our goal is to help her pray this week. But it was really cool cause in church I wsa sitting with them. Robert got up and bore his testimony. And them he came and sat back down. Right after him I see Renata stand up. She was really really scared, and she was whispering to Robert, "w imię Jezusa Chrystusa tak?" Which means "in the name of Jesus Christ right?" I have never seen someone so scared to bare her testimony. She was crying so hard. But it was so cool to see someone do something, even though they were sooo scared. She had the most solid testimony. And said she would soon become a member of this Church. So cool and the spirit was so strong. When she ended her testimony she was so scared that her body like tensed up and she couldnt walk back to her chair. So Robert jumped up (in his fresh suit) and like ran to help her back to her seat.
It was really cool to see that, and all the members thanked her for her testimony after. And were really nice to her.
One other story. We were doing a whiteboard. And when we were doing it this time, there is a whiteboard with a statement or a question on it, and then a table with some supplies like books and what not on it. And then there is usually four missionaries there. Two sitting down at the table and the two other trying to stop people. It was my turn to sit at the table.
A big group of boys walked by and just looked at the whiteboard for a sec and then kinda walked off. A older but still younger guy stopped. And asked us what we were doing. In English. We told him about our message and he asked us about our beliefs. He was with this big group of boys. Before I knew it we had 10 younger boys and 2 older guys surrounding me and my companion at this table. They were all standing around us in like a half circle. They began by like asking what we believed. And then they shared what they believed while quoting scripture and what not. But the spirit there was so strong. Cause all these younger aged boys (around my age) were talking with us about Christ. And I could tell and feel that some of them were really trying to do what is right in their lives.
I came to find out that they were from Holland. And they were kinda of like a young mens group from their church. And they had earned some money to travel around Europe.
They did believe that we could become perfect like Christ was in this life, and completely without sin. One of the older leaders had said, "I remember the last time I sinned, and Im not going to do it again." I think they lived only according to the ten commandments.
But it was a cool experience to have that man people listening to you, and you could just bare testimony of our message and how the Book of Mormon could help them.
Hey im gonna head out. Thank you all for your prayers and e-mails. I really am so thankful.
I Wonder to myself every single day why I am so blessed to have what I have.
Love you guys. Keep up the good work!
See ya'lllll later!!!!
                                       _Starszy Fotu