Friday, November 22, 2013

Just chillin in Zoliborz

We're quickly approaching Thanksgiving and Lance was remembering the party they had last year with the Nielsons.  He said it was a lot of fun and hopes they'll get together for another celebration this year.  Lance is always up for a celebration!

Last week was "a way good week", he says.  They are teaching a few awesome people and it appears that God is busy working miracles in their lives.  Lance comments that the Gospel will bless your life and give you more purpose...and can't we all use more blessings and purpose???  One of the people they're teaching is an older man who is so very kind to Lance and his companion.  He offers them chocolate and herbal tea and shares with them many stories from Poland's history.  Lance really appreciates their visits with this gentleman!

Usually when Lance speaks of his fellow missionaries in Poland, I hear things like, "They're all the best!  They're all the bomb!  I love them all!"...occasionally he'll mention actual names and tell us something nice about specific people.  Truly, everything he's ever said to us about these other amazing servants of the Lord has been super positive.  This week he mentioned a few of these missionaries and listed some of their great qualities.  All the Elders and the Sisters in his district got a shout out in this recording.

This week's spiritual thought is based somewhat from a talk from David A. Bednar titled, "And Nothing Shall Offend Them".  Basically he gives examples of how people may be too easily offended by human behavior.  He quotes the talk: "When we believe or say we have been offended, we usually mean we feel insulted, mistreated, snubbed, or disrespected.  And certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean-spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense.  However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me.  Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false.  To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else."  Lance says that he finds that to be very true.  We choose how we will react to other's behaviors.

He goes on to refer to 2 Nephi 2:13-14 wherein we learn that we are not inanimate objects to be acted upon.  He quotes Elder Bednar again, "Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon.  To believe that someone or something can MAKE us feel offended, angry, hurt or bitter, diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon.  As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation."  Lance goes on to quote more of the talk, which you can find here:

His final conclusion on this thought is we are imperfect people within a perfect church.  We learn through experiences and move on...that's just how life works.  Accepting the fact that we're ALL imperfect and make mistakes and acknowledge that, we stop becoming perfectionists within ourselves and have less reason to be frustrated.  We can be patient, with meekness, and put our trust in God that we will become perfect...someday!  He shares 2 Nephi 28:30, which has become one of his favorite scriptures.  Lend an ear to God's wisdom and receive what He gives us.  We just can't control others.  We can control how we react.

So, an interesting thing happened while they waiting for a tram.  He said some drunk guy kicked him in the foot as hard as he could.  Lance asks him why, and the guy responds with an apology and shakes Lance's hand.  As the guy stumbles away, the guy declares he doesn't like people who preach the Gospel of Christ.  Soon, the man was bothering others around him for cigarettes and money.

Lance says that speaking Polish has been giving him cankers!  He says the ways he has to move his mouth is tough and he gave us some examples of how some strange the words can be for an English speaker.  One word he shared sounds a lot like a bunch of shhhhh-es.  So funny!  Regardless, he loves the language, the people, the culture, and the land.

He closes by asking for more of his CDs to give out.  I'm putting his Christmas package in the mail this next week so he'll have it by Christmas.  I'll include his CDs, some more Christmas CDs, a bunch of healthy treats/snacks, pictures, more essential oils, and an awesome missionary looking stocking.  :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Being a trainer is the BEST!

November 4th, 2013

Apparently, the early winter weather passed them over and they are enjoying some warm fall temps.  Which he is happy about!  He is also happy that he is going to be a trainer again and stay in Zoliborz.  He says it's a lot of responsibility and can be a little nerve racking, but he absolutely loves it.  It makes him think about being as good an example as possible, at all times.

The week brought many opportunities to teach lessons, both on the streets and in people's homes.  They have been meeting with a man and his sister, which Lance says has been going well.  He says they are very open minded and he appreciates that.   They also met with another woman who has been going to their English class.  Lance says she is progressing wonderfully and believes she will accept baptism soon.

Halloween in Poland is much more of a spiritual celebration and it goes for three days.  November 1st is called "The Day of the Dead" and the missionaries put together an open house at the chapel to introduce the Gospel to visitors.  They put up several displays representing different aspects of the Gospel, such as The Plan of Salvation and the Restoration.  They also sang hymns and served refreshments.  He said they had a great turn out and it was a lot of fun.

For his spiritual thought, he focuses on leadership.  He says being on this mission has really taught him how important it is to lead by example.  Though he feels like he has been taught since childhood how to lead, he feels that he has grown much more in this area through being completely obedient to God's will.  He adds that being bold, confident, and diligent in all things makes a good leader.  He has learned a lot of great things from his leaders on the mission.  He points out that those people who are always being obedient to the Lord are those who have had the greatest influence on him.

Lance also feels it's important that missionaries do their best in all things, to be optimistic and positive.  To just be happy and enthusiastic about life, ready to help and serve.  Willing to give more than is expected.  He explains that he has made it his goal to be a "consecrated missionary"...someone who does these things because he wants to.

To quote Tad R. Callister's talk Becoming a Consecrated Missionary:
"What is a consecrated missionary?  It is a missionary who is willing to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice and to hold nothing back.  It is a willingness to give every ounce of energy, every conscious thought, and every drop of passion to this work - to submit our will to God's will, whatever it may be."

Lance also shares a great scripture from the Book of Mormon...Alma 38:5 "...I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day." See

This young man was a good buddy in Poland, but he's home now.
I'm certain Lance will be looking him up when he's home!

November 11, 2013

Lance starts off this week's recordings by sharing a lot of great things about his new companion.  Lance says that getting a companion straight out of the MTC is fun because they have so much fresh hope and excitement...and it is a great boost!

They were able to meet with an elderly man who survived WWII.  The man took them to a memorial near their apartment to show them where the Polish Uprising began.  The man was able to give them a lot of the story of how the Uprising started.  Lance usually jumps on the opportunity to learn anything he can about Poland from the people he meets.

They have been experiencing "so many miracles" lately!  They met a man from Nigeria who is in Poland playing for a soccer league team.  Lance says he is so cool, has a lot of faith, and is very sincere.  Lance speaks of an elderly man they are meeting with who is doing wonderfully.  They received a great compliment from this man...he used an honorable term in Polish which means something like "I bow to you".  I guess it's a huge honor to have someone "bow to you"!  Lance said this has only happened to him twice now.

His spiritual thought for this week is about being a part of God's work.  As a missionary, Lance has had the opportunity to immerse himself in teaching the Gospel.  But it applies to all of us...God helps us make our weaknesses strengths.  To accomplish God's great work, we must strive to be in alignment with His will and express our Christ-like attributes.  Lance says that one scripture that has influenced him greatly is from Mosiah 28:3, which reads:  "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble."
He says that has personally been a reason he's on a share the same happiness he has with others.  Though he's not perfect, he knows that he can still help others.

Lance loves Poland and the Polish people.  He loves the Lord.  He loves his family and friends.  And he loves life.