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.  :)

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