First week in Bydgoszcz and Lance loves it already! He says it's "seriously the best!"
He says the town is very similar in size to his hometown in Utah. The people are friendly and many people stop to talk with the missionaries. He and his companion are starting out this transfer right. They've got one person who is very interested at this point. This man has promised to read the Book of Mormon and find for himself if it's true. So they are very excited about his progress! He feels this transfer is a blessing.
He shares Alma chapter 12 from the Book of Mormon. The chapter lays out the plan of salvation. Alma explains it well so that most anyone can understand. Adam and Eve chose to learn through the full expression of free will. It's best to have the opportunity to be faced with both the good and bad so we can make a more educated decision.
Lance had zone trainings recently and he was able to see one of his past companions, which he was happy about. In his zone, they have Poznan, Szczecin, Gdansk, Bydgoszcz districts, so he and his companion teach the missionaries in those districts. He loves the work! He enjoys translating for the American family in his branch. He thinks they are an amazing family! He has become friends with those he serves with.
The weather's cold so they keep their apartment very warm. He's decided that he hates the cold. "It's horrible. It hurts!"
No meeting with their current investigator this week, though they're not too worried. They gave him a baptism date. He says one of the biggest lessons he's learned is patience and trust in the Lord's timing. He points out that God knows what we need and when we need it, so we ought not get frustrated. We just need to do our best, keep our covenants, and align ourselves with God's plan. Everything will work out!
Though they receive their fair share of rejection, they don't let it get them down. He's found that it helps him keep his emotions in check. Even when they get yelled at, threatened, and attacked, they keep on going. They ask themselves, "What would Christ do?"...and that is to just love and accept people. God loves all His children!
Sunday is always a miracle day, he says. He gets to translate for the 3 hour block and he has enjoyed it. He says he keeps his energy up by drinking water and taking shots of peppermint oil. He really relies on the Spirit to know what the speaker is saying so he can translate correctly. He loves the language and plans on continuing it even after he's home. He says he'll probably pick Welsh back up when he gets home. He thinks it'll be easy considering the difficulty level of Polish. But they had a great teaching experience later that day. They contacted someone who invited them to meet at a certain address. Turns out it was a large Catholic church. They were invited to an upstairs room to teach a small group of young men. It was a very spiritual meeting.
The Superbowl was yesterday and Lance was curious as to which team had won. His companion was rooting for the Seahawks, so he was wondering if they'd won. The weather's been nice there and they've enjoyed the spring like temps. They taught quite a few lessons over the week, including their usual Sunday miracle day! He prayed and fasted that day to find people who are ready to hear the Gospel and are ready to change. They had their prayers answered that very night.
His brother's birthday was February 1st and he sends his love and well wishes. He ate a brownie from an American brownie mix and had an MSG reaction. I know what that's like considering I also have the same physical reaction to it. So, he learned a valuable lesson not to eat bad food.
He mentions again that he feels like the mission has helped him become much more patient. He shares a scripture story from Mosiah where we are encouraged to be patient in our afflictions and be faithful that we will benefit from our trials. Put our trust in God. Mosiah 24:14-15
Follow this link - http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/24?lang=eng
How do we get patience?
Step one: Hope, faith, and prayer
Step two: 100% trust in the Lord
Step three: Do everything in your power to not get angry or frustrated. Choose to be calm and cheerful.
We all have weaknesses but when we try to overcome them, He makes them strengths. We're not perfect but Mosiah 4:9 helps us put our trust in the Lord. It takes charity, faith, hope, prayer, scripture study, hope, attaining knowledge!
He closes this week's recordings with his testimony of Joseph Smith being a true prophet.
Lance starts out by hoping we received the snow that we prayed for. He knows that Utah counts on the snow pack in the mountains for our water for the summer. In Poland, the weather's been really warm.
He shared his regular everyday schedule:
Get up at 6:30, get ready, work out, eat, shower.
Personal study at 8:00 in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel
Comp study at 9:00, read from the Missionary Handbook.
Language study at 10:00.
Out on the streets teaching from 11:00 to 1:00.
Lunch from 1 to 2:00.
Then more teaching till 5:00 for dinner.
Back out for more teaching until 9:00.
Plan for half an hour, pray, and take calls from the 4 District Leaders in the Zone.
Call into the APs.
Write in our journals and go to bed.
He gives a review of Our Heritage and shares his feelings about the history of the pioneers. He has the utmost respect for Joseph Smith and those who were the first members of the restored church. Many of his ancestors on his dad's side are those pioneers and most of our state was settled by them. He's very grateful for their sacrifices.
He's making plans for what he'll do when he gets home. School is on the docket now, which is a change since he didn't care at all before he left for his mission to go to college. He has learned a lot about life and people during this mission. He has a genuine concern and love for his fellow man.