Monday, December 25, 2017

Week 53 - Lodz

Our Christmas Skype call with Jake was wonderful! He is happy in his service, and had a great Christmas day -- tracting, a district get-together, and other regular missionary work. His only sadness is how fast the time is going. That's his new Christmas gift sweater from home, and he was eating mom's homemade caramels while we talked. We're so glad he got his gifts from home in time!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Week 52 - Lodz

Hello there everyone!

     Surprise, it's me!  We have p-day today because Monday is obviously Christmas, so all of the stores and stuff where we do shopping will be closed.  So yea.  This week was good.  We had zone conference in Warsaw on Wednesday, and that was good.  President and Sister Turek both talked about the Atonement, and we talked specifically about the enabling power of Jesus Christ.  It was really solid.  We also had a lesson with our less-active T. yesterday, and we read Mosiah 5 with him.  That went really well.  He really liked that chapter.  We talked about conversion and what it means to be converted.  He'll be at church tomorrow, so we're pretty excited for that.  And we also have a meeting with O. tonight.  We are planning on talking about Alma 32, so we'll see how it goes.  We think it will be good.  And yea, that's been our week.  We're excited for the next few days to see how they go.  For my spiritual thought this week, I'd like to share the words of Isaiah:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The 
Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  (2 Nephi 19:6)

At this time of year, we focus on Christ, His birth, life, and most of all, His atonement and resurrection for us.  I am so grateful for His selflessness, that through Him I can improve and receive help in my life.  I know that as we learn of Him and strive to be like Him through obedience, we can come to know Him and He will never leave us alone.  "God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son" (The Living Christ).  May we remember Him at this time of year and always.  Merry Christmas!

-Elder Hadfield

Monday, December 18, 2017

Week 51 - Lodz

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

     Hope everything is going well for you all, wherever you are!  Life is good over here.  It's pretty crazy that we only have one more week until Christmas, it's come up fast.  But yea, this past week was a good one.  We had a meeting with T. for the first time in a couple weeks because he was on vacation, and that was good.  We also had one with our investigator O. on Sunday, and that went well as well.  We had him read Jacob 4 before the meeting, and then we talked about his progression and stuff.  It's amazing to hear him tell the story of how far he's come to this point since he met the missionaries like a year and a half ago.  We're going to try helping him simplify things and continue having him read from the Book of Mormon and see how things go.  My spiritual thought for this week is a short one, it comes from where I'm reading in the Book of Mormon recently.  It's 2 Nephi 2:25 - 

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

We came to this earth as a result of the Fall of Adam, and we came to this earth in order that we could experience happiness.  What a great thing to know that even if things are hard in this world, even if things don't always work out the way we want them to, we can be happy through our knowledge of the Savior and our knowledge of God's plan for us.  Have a great week everyone!

-Elder Hadfield

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 50 - Lodz

Hey everyone!

     This week was a good one.  It's been quick, as they usually are.  We went to a castle fairly far away for p-day today, so I don't have a ton of time, but we'll see how this goes.  We were surprised by a visit from President Turek at district meeting this week, and that was pretty sweet. He brought some packages including one for me from home.  So we got the apartment all decorated up, so it looks pretty lit! We had a lesson with O. on Thursday, and that went pretty well.  We're starting to base our meetings off of the Book of Mormon and reading from it, and we're hoping that it will help him out.  We're planning on going over Jacob 4 with him next week, and we're excited to see how that goes.  

The other elders are currently working with someone from English class, and this guy is pretty awesome, we all think he's pretty sick.  Well in the middle of English last Monday, we're talking about Stevie Wonder for some reason, and this guy asks, "Have you ever seen Stevie Wonder's wife?"  And we all look at each other like, what the heck? And then after the slight pause, he says, "Well neither has he!"  And it was pretty darn hilarious, mostly because we didn't ever see it coming from this guy.

We've had to get up at like 5:00-5:30 each of the last three days, so I'm kinda pretty exhausted right now.  Hoping we can get a good rest tonight.  

We also had a baptism in our district this past weekend!  One of the sister's investigators, J., got baptized yesterday morning.  That was an awesome spiritual experience.  It's always awesome watching that act of someone entering that covenant with God.  I've been blessed on my mission witnessing people make that covenant. 

Sounds like the Christmas season is going well for you. But that's about all the time I have for this week.  Hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Hadfield

From Jake's companion, Elder Blau:
The other big news that I have is that Elder Hadfield and I did a Marathon on Piotrkowska. 26.2 miles. That ended up being 12 laps for the part that has most people. We went from 11 until like 8:30 at night. It was pretty intense. Elder Kapela was there for a bit over half of it. It hurt pretty bad by the end. The next day, we woke up and it was really fun trying to walk around for the rest of the day. I think that it was worth it for the story though. Not too many people can say that they did a marathon on their mission. hahaha
Sunset at 3 pm

Elder Hadfield
After the marathon

Oporow Castle Tour

Monday, December 4, 2017

Week 49 - Lodz

How are you all doing this week?  Hope life is going well for you all.  Life is good over here.  This past week was another quick one.  We had a meeting with W., the recent convert, about family history on Thursday.  That went well.  We think it will be helpful for him.  We also had a Polish class with our investigator O.  It went well.  We didn't have a ton of time to talk, but he made it to church as usual yesterday.  We have a new plan in place that we're going to try where we will get him to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon before our Polish class every week, and then talk about it afterwards.  We feel pretty good about it, we're going to try it this week with 1 Nephi 13.  We'll see how it goes. 

The funniest experience from this week was probably on Friday.  We went caroling with the other elders, and we went to an apartment building and started knocking on doors.  Not a ton of people were interested in hearing carols, but there was this one lady who came out and talked with us briefly.  She found out we were from the States, and she proceeded to say every English word she knew how to say and list off every American she could think of.  It was kind of funny.  

We had our first big snow here this past week, so that's been pretty cool. Last Thursday, it literally snowed all day (meaning from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm), but unfortunately the ground was still pretty warm, so there was only about 2 inches on the ground. I hope it snows a lot though this year.  

It's pretty crazy that it's the Christmas season already.  As far as decorations go, we don't really have too many because I haven't gotten the package Mom sent yet.  Hopefully soon though.  

Just like last year, the church has the Christmas initiative of #LighttheWorld.  It's pretty cool, so you should all check it out.  It's cool that during the holiday season, we can focus on serving others and making their holidays a little brighter.  As we serve others, we learn more about the Savior.  I hope we'll all be able to make an effort to serve others during this holiday season.  Hope you are all doing well, and have a solid week!

-Elder Hadfield

just for fun, Elder Blau's report on the week:
This past week has been pretty good. I guess the big news here is that the Christmas initiative has started and that it has snowed for real. The Christmas thing is Light the World. In Polish it is Świeć Światu. We have gotten a ton of ulotki (I don't know what to call them in English. Maybe cards or something) and we have been working on passing them out to get the word out. It is kind of fun handing them out because they are a lot smaller than the ones that we have for our English class. ...

One of the bad things about the card is that they are really hard to write on and we write our phone numbers on all of them. They also direct people to the site in English so we have to write /pol on all of them. We made like a thousand of them in 2-3 hours. It should be good though. I like that they have a picture of Mary on the front though. Polish people love Mary. Like a cuss ton. It is harder to say no to her. 

Most of the stuff that we have done in the past couple of days has been about getting people onto the site. We handed out ulotki on Piotrkowska, talked to random people on the street, caroled in buildings, and caroled by one of the big malls. I enjoy caroling a lot because I get to play guitar. The buildings were fine to play in, but it was a little difficult playing near the mall because it was so cold. I wasn't able to feel my fingers that much and that makes it hard to move them. It was a ton of fun. I was just glad that I finally got to play outside and use my guitar as an asset. The Polish hymnbook has like 6 or 8 other Christmas songs that weren't translated and are more Polish, whatever that means. I have been working on learning how to play them a bit. The only one that I can do for sure right now is Dzisiaj w Betlejem. They are either really fast or really slow. 

Other than that this week, we started our fast by going to a Vietnamese place. It is called Good Morning Vietnam, and it was really good. The only problem was that it had a billion options to choose from. It was all in Polish, and I don't know most food description/cooking words. I just guess that it all would be pretty good and went with the easiest thing to say. It ended up working out for me. It only cost like twelve zlots too. Not too bad. It would have been enough, but we were about to fast so we went to a Biedronka and got some pierniki. They are kind of like pretzels with chocolate, but way different. They are quite good though. I feel as though they bring happiness to my life. 

The Poles are planning a giant Christmas party. It is a pretty big holiday here. They are planning to do it on Christmas Eve. It is called like Wigilia or something. I guess that all of the less active members come because there is food. It should be a rocking time.

It has already started to snow. There was one day where it snowed from the time that we woke up to the time that we went to sleep. It was really interesting mostly because there was only like 2 inches on the ground by the end of it. I guess that the ground was still too warm. It is pretty cold as well. Our fingers start to freeze a little if we don't cover them. We also don't cover them much because we can't hand out flyers for English class with gloves on very well. I am going to buy some gloves with the fingers cut out so I don't die.