Monday, February 19, 2018

Week 61 - Szczecin

Hello everyone!

This week was another quick one.  I blinked, and it's Monday again.  Pretty crazy.  But yea, it was a good week.  We didn't have much going on in the way of meetings, just one with K. and his son, J.  They are our only investigators at the moment, and we haven't had a super high quality lesson yet, but we're hoping that turns around this week.  We have a meeting scheduled with them for Wednesday, and we're hoping to sit down and teach a super focused lesson on the Restoration.
A., our main potential at the moment, has been out of town for a week, so we weren't able to meet with him this past week, but we're hoping to do so at least once this week.  We have another potential, D., who we contacted from the area book, and we have a meeting scheduled for Thursday.  We'll see how that goes, we're hoping to get some consistent meetings with him.  But yea, excited for this week, and we'll see how it goes. 
We have an English speaking club that we go to as a finding idea called 'toastmasters', and basically they just discuss a bunch of topics in English.  Well it was time for us to go, so we went to excuse ourselves, and they wanted us to talk about one more subject each before we left.  The subjects were randomly chosen from face-down cards, and they were Valentine's Day themed.  Well, Elder Lange got 'marriage' and I got 'lovers'.  So you can probably imagine us up there as missionaries floundering trying to talk about these subjects.  It was kinda funny.  
Yesterday in sacrament meeting, I had the opportunity to speak about teaching with the Spirit, and I enjoyed preparing for that.  I learned some good things.  One blessing of having the Spirit with us that I studied and thought was good was that when we have the Spirit with us, though we may be weak, we can be strengthened by the power of God.  I think that's an incredible blessing, because I have many times where I feel weak, but through the Spirit, I can be strengthened to do what I need to in an effective way.  Hope you all have a great week!
-Elder Hadfield

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Week 60 - Szczecin

Hello all!  
This week was solid.  It was quick, as most weeks usually are lately.  Last Wednesday, we went to a town about an hour and 45 minutes away from Szczecin called Barlinek.  It was a pretty city.  We went there to visit a couple of referrals we got from church headquarters.  We weren't having any luck contacting them with the phone numbers we had, so we were hoping they'd be home when we went and we could have a lesson with them.  Well, as luck would have it, neither of them were home.  So that was a little disappointing.  We have since then gotten a new number for one of the referrals, and he seems open to meet and learn, so we're hoping to stay in contact with him and visit him soon.  Also this past week, we went and visited K., our 94 year old investigator.  He really likes to talk, and it was hard keeping the lesson focused, so we're gonna see what we can do next time to stay more on topic.  Another one of our potentials, A., was in church again, so that was great to see.  We're hoping to start teaching him here soon, we'll see if we can get that started.  He's a really solid guy.  Yesterday, we had zone conference down in Poznań, and that was a really good experience.  We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon, and it was good.  We watched a video from the missionary department about how only one verse from the Book of Mormon can change a life.  I've definitely seen that personally, and it's amazing what power that book has.  During personal study, I've had a goal to read the entire Old Testament before the end of my mission, and that's been going well so far.  This past week, I really liked a psalm that I read.  It's Psalm 82 verse 6:

6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
I love the doctrine that we are literally children of God, our Heavenly Father, and he loves us.  Sometimes in this world of ours, it's easy to forget our potential and to forget that each of us has worth, but it's an amazing thing that God is literally our perfect loving Father.  What a blessing that each of us has.  Have an awesome week everyone!

-Elder Hadfield

Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 59 - Szczecin

Hey everyone!
     How are things going for you all?  Hope you're all doing well and life is good for you all.  Life is good over here.  This was a pretty solid week.  We were going to have a 1st lesson with a potential named P., but unfortunately he flaked and we haven't had any contact with him since.  But there were some other good things that happened.  We visited a less-active named Z. this week, and he said he'd try to come to church, and he made it.  So that was pretty cool.  We also have another guy from Belarus named A. that we have been teaching English to, and he was also at church yesterday.  That was good to see.  He knows the branch president fairly well, and we're hoping we can make some progress with him.  But yea, the work is going well, life is good, and we're having fun out here.  Next week, we have zone conference in Poznań, so that'll be fun.  I'm looking forward to that.  And yea, hoping that this next week will bring some success, and we'll see how it goes.  Have a solid week out there!
-Elder Hadfield

Monday, January 29, 2018

Week 58 - Szczecin

Hey everyone!
          This week was a good one.  We started out on Tuesday going on exchanges with the zone leaders in Gdańsk.  It was a 5 hour train ride there and a 5 hour train ride back the next day.  That was a lot of time sitting on a train.  But the exchange went well.  I was able to teach a first lesson with Elder Mandla to someone from their English class.  I think it went well, and hopefully they will be able to keep working with him and making progress with him.  We also did a lot of contacting and talking with people on the streets on the way from place to place, and that went well.  Elder Lange and I have been working on making goals based off what we did and learned with the zone leaders.  
          On Thursday, we had a meeting with our investigator, K.  Our lesson kind of ended up going like last week's lesson, where he wasn't very accepting.  We're considering dropping him for now, so we'll see what happens. 
          On Saturday, we went to the weekly 'Park Run' 5K, and it was fun.  I'll have you know I shaved a minute and a half off my time. 
          We had a meeting with a less-active, J., on Saturday evening, and he ended up coming to church yesterday!  So that was pretty good.  We also something cool happen on Thursday.  We made some calls to referrals and potentials, and one of them, P., ended up calling back and he wanted to meet and talk about the Book of Mormon!  So we set up for today, and we're excited to see how that meeting goes.  But yea, the work is moving forward here in Szczecin, and we're excited to see how we can continue that this week. 
          Yesterday in church, one of the members here gave a talk about how we can build our relationship with Jesus Christ.  Her talk was really good, and at the end, she challenged everyone to set goals regarding building that relationship with Christ over the next year, and at the end of the year seeing what improvements were made.  So I've decided to take that challenge and really focus on Christ in the work here, in studies, and I've seen some progress in just that short amount of time.  So I'd like to pass on that challenge to you all.  Set some goals to improve your relationship with Him and really come to know Him, and then after a period of time, see what improvements you've made and what you can do better.  I'm excited to see where this little experiment goes.  But yea, hope everything is going well for you all.  Have an awesome week!

-Elder Hadfield

Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 57 - Szczecin

Hello all!
   Hope this last week was a good one for you all.  It was good over here for sure.  We didn't have too much in the way of lessons this week, we just had one meeting with K., our investigator.  We read Alma 32 with him and discussed faith.  He wasn't extremely open to the idea of faith, so we'll have to figure out what to do from here.  He's not progressing at the moment, so we'll have to find a way to help him make that progress and gain a testimony as he reads the scriptures and prays.  Other than that, it was a week full of finding and stuff like that.  
On Thursday, we went to a city about an hour and a half north of Szczecin called Świnoujście to visit referrals.  It's right along the German border, and also pretty close to the Baltic Sea.  Unfortunately, all of the people we tried to visit either didn't live there anymore, or they weren't home.  So that was a little disappointing.  The city was super cool.  We also had a little bit of a snowstorm while we were there, so that made things interesting as well. 

It's kind of funny as far as weather goes.  I was also assuming that it was going to be a lot colder here in Szczecin than either Łódź or Kraków.  But so far here, I think the coldest it has gotten is about -3 Celsius.  So like not even worse than Utah haha.  I'm not really sure why that is, maybe it has something to do with the Baltic Sea or something.  Last year in Kraków, it was consistently in the negative teens, and it got all the way down to -25 Celsius.  So I'm pretty lucky I think.  I keep wondering when it will actually get really cold, we'll see if it does. 
On Saturday, there's a park run of some kind we go to every week as a finding idea, and we went there and I decided to run.  It's a 5K, and that was pretty fun.  I think my time was around 26 minutes, which is probably pretty slow, but I'm out of shape, so yea.  I probably haven't run that much since the golf class and going on those 3 mile runs with the baseball team.  Haha those were good times.  I'm still a little sore from that, so we'll see if I do it again this week.  

Sundays, are pretty good.  We only have two hour of church here, probably because of the lack of members to fill different callings, so that's interesting.  I'm actually lined up to give my second talk in sacrament meeting on my mission in about a month, so we'll see how that goes.  Sister Poff and I switch off weeks for playing the piano in sacrament meeting, so yea I'm still playing.  I still only know I think 22 hymns, so I'll have to keep learning new ones.  It looks like Elder Lange and I will generally bless or pass the sacrament, unless I'm playing the piano, then President Trukszyn (branch president) will help out, because we are generally the only 3 priesthood holders in church regularly.  That was probably my favorite spiritual experience from this week, though, I got to bless the sacrament.  I haven't done that in sacrament meeting since Kraków because the members in Łódź would always take care of it, and I love doing that.  I have a spiritually powerful experience participating in the ordinance of the sacrament.  I miss being able to do that every week as a deacon, teacher, and priest. 
This week will hopefully be a good one.  From Tuesday to Thursday, we'll be in a city called Gdańsk on exchanges with the zone leaders.  So that should be interesting, we'll see how it goes.  Our English class is going pretty well, we have about 7 people every time, and most of them stay for the religious discussion afterwards.  So hopefully we can turn some of those people into investigators here soon. We're looking forward to this week and hoping to accomplish some things.  We'll work hard and see how it goes.  Hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Hadfield

Monday, January 15, 2018

Week 56 - Szczecin

Elder Lange & Elder Hadfield

Elder Hadfield's Study Area
Szczecin Apartment

Hello everyone!

     How are things going for you all?  Hope they are going well and you're all enjoying life.  The past week has been fun.  Last Monday, I got transferred from my area in Łódź to a city up in north-western Poland called Szczecin.  So this will be my third area.  It's a port town, and it's a very pretty city.  I love it here.  The branch is small, it looks like we only have 5ish members come normally, so it'll be a little bit of a change here.  We don't have too many investigators, and we didn't have any meetings this past week, so we're hoping we can change that around this next week.  We'll see how it goes.  This week in the Book of Mormon, I finished off 2 Nephi.  I've had an awesome experience reading from the Book of Mormon on my mission.  I'd like to share a verse that was mentioned in a talk in church here yesterday.  It's found in 1 Nephi 1, verse 12. speaking of Lehi:
12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.
It's a simple verse, but I think it effectively summarizes Moroni's promise that as we read, we will be filled with the Spirit.  In my experiences with reading the Book of Mormon, I know that as I have read and ponder what I read every day, and really try to make my studies a spiritually powerful experience, I have the spirit with me throughout the day.  I'm happier and I'm a more effective missionary.  I know that as we read the scriptures daily, we are blessed with the Spirit of God to guide us through life.  Have a legendary week!

-Elder Hadfield
Szczecin, Polska