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: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2013-01-003-mountains-to-climb?lang=eng

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