Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013

Well hello! The month of May flew by! And this week was especially crazy! It started with transfers! So that means that my companion (Sister Bezdjian) had to leave and go to another city in Poland for just a day and a half and then a sister from Katowice (Sister Packard) came to Wrocław. It was really a cool experience! I was a really eye opening experience and so interesting because, as you all know, I've only had one companion since being out in the field and I don't know anything different! So it was really neat to see what parts of what I've been doing for the past 4 weeks have been mission standards and what parts have been Sister Bezdjian's standards (both very great standards :) ). But I really enjoyed being able to see certain things from Sister Packard! During the day that she was here, she was very reliant on the Spirit which I really admired -- not to say that Sister Bezdjian and I aren't -- but it was just neat to see how with every thing she did, Sister Packard checked her feelings and tried to listen to the Spirit in all that she did. "Which way do you feel like we should go?" "What do you feel like we should say?" I just really admired that she turly implimented the saying "having the Spirit with you always". She also helped me discover that I know more Polish than I thought I did! She really let me take the lead on a lot of our conversations and lessons! I was really appreciative of her trust in me and her challenging me to push myself when speaking to other people. So I was really greatful for that opportunity this week!
Well, I experienced a baptism of someone I taught for the first time this weekend! Cynthia Call got baptized this Saturday! We barely did anything because she honestly knows more about the gospel than I do currently! haha She's so fantastic! But it was truly amazing to see her on Saturday! She was just beaming with happiness and so excited to be baptized promise that for the rest of her life, she'll follow the Lord by being baptized! The on Sunday, she was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and recieved the Gift of the Holy Ghost! How amazing! What a gift it truly is! Before you are baptized, you can feel the Holy Ghost, but only after you make lifelong promises to Him can He bless us with the Holy Ghost which can be with us we are worthy of it. I really loved being reminded of that this week.
So...honesty circle time. Yesterday I was having a bit of a hard day...(who doesn't?!) So today during my personal study, I read 2 Nephi 4. In this chapter, Nephi is just having a rough day. His dad just died and his brothers are ganging up on him! At first he's kind of feeling sorry for himself, and he wants to be happy, but just can't bring his soul to be happy... and then he starts remembering all the times the Lord has helped him in his life. He starts remembering the blessings he sees everday, and he gets himself pumped up and practically commands all the bad thoughts in his mind to leave him! Because the Lord is more powerful than Satan (or any bad thought or thing in our life!) If we trust in the Lord and recognize His hand in our past and in today, then it's easier to be able to rid ourselves that bog us down! "for my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord"! When we are having a down day, may we be like Nephi! Acknowledge the fact that you are in a slump, and then remember all the times that the Lord has helped you in similar situations! Gratitude will shine light on every corner of the soul!
This gospel is true! I firmly believe that every religion or believe has good and truth to it, but the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has all truth: the full gospel of Jesus Christ. How amazing that we have this!
I love you all so much! Thanks for tuning in! Until next week...
Funny of the week: We have a neighbor who is the most hilarious woman! Every single time we see her she says "oh hello my sweet beautiful dear angels!" and gives us chocolate! That makes her sound so sweet, but she's actually really sassy! haha I've never seen her wearing a skirt and she's always wearing jeans with her slightly pink tinted hair up in a bun! LOVE HER! She always makes my day!

Another funny: I was eating something and a lady came up and asked me for money, but we can't give away money, so I offered her what I was eating not really expecting her to take it...but she did :) ah well! Smacznego! I hope she enjoyed it :)
Love always!
Sister Kendall Blake
Also mom! Yesterday was mother's day in Poland and I made beef stroganoff in your honor last night!!....needless to say, it did NOT reach any fraction of the standard that your beef stroganoff sets! but I tried.. ahha

I was eating something and a lady came up and asked me for money, but we can't give away money, so I offered her what I was eating not really expecting her to take it...but she did :) ah well! Smacznego! I hope she enjoyed it :)

Mom, the first picture is for you! I had a really long time by myself while I was waiting for Sister Bezdjian to get back from the exchange and so I made a meal that reminded me of something you would've made me! A grilled turkey sandwich with grapes on the side :) 
This picture is of Cynthia (9 year old who we taught and got baptized this week!) 
and her family!

This is me at the Rynek with a cool special festival going on!

This is of me outside this hat shop where I bought a cute hat!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

Well the weeks just keep rolling by! And I honestly don't understand when people talk about their missions how they say that the days drag on but the weeks fly no... the days FLY by!!! It is the weirdest thing!!! And of course the weeks do too and it's just crazy! But seriously...where do the days go?! I'll tell you where... Every single spare second we have is dedicated to finding the people that I KNOW the Lord is preparing here in Poland! We here so many stories of people who say: "I had never heard of the church and one day I saw two people with name tags on a bus and I was baptized 6 weeks later!" You know what? Those people are here! We have to find them though! It's so fun! Such an adventure! Not saying that my goal is to baptize baptize baptize...that is important, but you know what? for me, the most important thing is that sweet Edyta's soul becomes uplifted at the knowledge that her family can be happier as they read the words of Christ together. Or that Konstantine can find solace through the Atonement in his difficult life. These are real people I'm dealing with! Obviously, I want to do all I can do to help lead these people to knowing what they need to do to make a promise with the Lord that they will always follow Him (in other words: baptism), but truly, my goal is to bring these people closer to Christ. It is their decision of whether or not they will take the first step towards Him. I love that picture of Jesus waiting outside of the door with no door knob. It just makes so much sense! We need to be the one's that ask Him for help. He wants to help us in all that we do, but we need to be the one's to ask Him.

That's actually what I gave a talk on in church on Sunday! I followed my fantastic cousin Chandler Stone's example on this one and decided to use my talk as an exercise of faith. I read the verse in D&C saying to treasure up in your minds the words of life, not thinking before hand what you shall say, but that it will be given in the very hour that which is meted unto every man. So I decided to try this. To prepare for my talk, I read and search and pondered and prayed about the Atonement (because that was the topic I was given to talk about). I treasured up in my minds the words of the topic, but didn't prepare a talk. During language study, I would study words and phrases about the Atonement. But I didn't prepare what I would say, having faith that as long as I tried my hardest to treasure up in my mind the words, that it would be given to me in the very hour. It was actually really difficult to NOT plan my talk! To have complete faith that it really would be given to me in that hour that I needed it. So on Sunday, I gave the talk, and I think it went pretty well...i hope that it touched someone listening. But regardless, I really do have faith that what I said (whether or not in perfect Polish) was what Heavenly Father wanted me to say. I really developed so much more faith this week!

Another thing! We have been teaching a girl named Cynthia in the ward! She is so sweet and cute! She's 9 years old and for some reasons hasn't been baptized yet because their family moved and it's all just really confusing...BUT! We get to teach her!! She needed all of the missionary discussions before she could be baptized and she speaks English. She's a daughter of a returned missionary and is probably a more knowledgeable member of the church than I am! What an answer to pray right!? We were praying to be able to teach prepared people and PLOP! Right in our lap the Lord puts sweet prepared Cynthia! Truly a miracle! But her baptism is on Saturday! We're really excited!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to My sweet brother Sam!!! I hope you had the best birthday ever! I was thinking about you all day on the 16th! I love you tons!!

Another shout out to Makena! Happy Birthday!!! I love you tons! And i was thinking abou you as well on the 11th :)

CONGRATULATIONS TO ELISE AND KATE on you're mission calls!!!!!! OH my gosh I can't even believe it!! I love you both so much and congratulations!!! [Kate and Elise are Kendall's college roommates. Kate Hargadon is going to Nashville, TN Mission and Elise to the Santa Cruz, Bolivia Mission.] To anyone else who is getting their mission calls: I HAVE to know where you're going, so email me!!! AH! What an amazing time!

Funny thing of the week: During culture night (we get one night during the transfer that we can do something offered in the city), we decided to use our culture night on the Night of the Museums where ever museum is free! It was so fun! But anyways, in one of the museums, we found this picture... 'nough said.

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

So I would say that I'm gettin gused to this, but even after being here for a week and a half, sometimes it still feels like it's my first day! haha But it is wonderful! Being perfectly honest to all those out there who want the honest truth, adjusting to Poland and also this new way of living hasn't been quite as a sinch as I would've hoped! haha i have been putting way to much pressure on myself to be perfect and that's just silly because I've only been here for a week and a half! I read in Alma 26 about these missionaries- they were missionaries before Christ came to Earth! They were on missions for 14 years! Sometimes, I think about how long a year and a half is and realize just how long away I'll be away from the things I am comfortable with and the people I love, but compared to 14 years?! I'm fine! But as they had patience and trusted that they actually WERE doing what the Lord wanted them to be doing, they were able to have more joy than they could even explain! So that example of patience has really been helping me. I need to be more patient with myself and take every day one day at a time. Like I said, it hasn't been the easiest thing in the whole wide world, But you know what's interesting? Is that even though the language is hard and I don't understand very much of what people are saying, The time in each day that I feel the happiest is when I'm talking to the Polish people! Whether it's on the street or in a lesson or if I'm talking to people in the branch (where there are 24 active members!! One of the bigger branches in Poland) I always feel the best when I'm making connections with these people and loving them! Truly the language of the world is love!
For example: We got in contact with a former investigator named Krystyna. She is SO amazing! She has had a pretty difficult and lonely life, but through it all has been able to see the good in it and see the Lord's hand in her life. She is such an amazing woman and an amazing mother and daughter. She went to America and worked as a nanny for a few families there and gave almost all the money she earned to her family here in Poland. She wants to be baptized (as she said in her prayer) but the last think she wants to do is upset her mother, who she loves and appreciates a lot. She doesn't have very much at all, but she insisted on taking Sister Bezdjian and I to a nearby bakery! She is honestly the most giving and Christlike person I know! I'm so greatful to have met her and hopefully help her in her journey towards coming closer to the Savior. I already love her so much and we only met her once!
Yes this work is indeed hard work (mostly mentally! haha) but it is so worth it! I am so blessed to be in the most beautiful city in Poland, the be with the best companion EVER [Karen side note: Kendall's companion is a soccer player and has her running every morning!! Kendall is not a runner, but is becoming one. Each morning at 6:30 right after they get up they go running! Hilarious and awesome. It spiritual, physical and mental boot camp :) She is getting stronger every day!], to have the best branch and wonderful investigators and the sun is shining and everything is just wonderful! I truly am SO blessed! [Karen side note: Kendall said the branch has 25 people in it, which is one of the largest LDS Church groups in Poland, outside the two wards in Warsaw. There are only 2000 members in the whole country, there are about 3000 in Park City.]
Inspirational thought of the week...derived from a thought from Sister Bedzjian: "Doing your best" each day is different. Sometimes your best is a gallon! But sometimes it is just a teaspoon. But you know, when you give your best and take each day as it comes, it doesn't matter how much your best is! Just as long as you are doing all you can to be better that day.
So mail here talkes about 1-3 weeks to get from the states if you wanna send letters to my apartment here in Wrocław, you can! the address is:

Komandarska 53/12
Wrocław 53342

Funny moment: I've almost gotten attacked by pigeons on THREE separate occasions this week!
I love you all!
--Sister Kendall Blake :)

Photo from Kendall's PDay (Preparation Day, when she does laundry, gets and sends emails and writes letters, after she has done that, she can go out and run errands and sightsee and see Wroclaw. 

"So in this city, they have all these little gnomes hidden all around the city! This is a picture of us with one of them!"

 Kendall's study area
 Bedroom, Kendall is the red bed
 Apt Kitchen
 Kendall's Apt that she lives in with her companion
 Polish Grocery Store
PDay shopping

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

The eagle has landed! I am in the country...the Polish country! The wonderful country of Poland! After the longest day of traveling and losing a bag along the way (don't worry it's found and safe and good and I'm getting it on Wednesday), I got to Poland! This has just been the craziest week full of new things! My mission President and his wife, the Nielsons, are AWESOME! And I love them so so much! We went contacting on our first day in broken Polish and only with a few words that we knew! It was a little scary at first but now contacting (when you talk to people on the street about the gospel) is actually so fun!

The second day in Warsaw, we got assigned our trainers and areas! So nuts! Must nerve wracking thing ever! But as it turns out, I have the BEST trainer in the whole entire mission!!! She is sooo awesome and I love her so much!! Her name is Sister Bezdjian and it's actually pretty funny because I met her sister in the MTC and went to EFY with her brother a few years ago (Ashton, if you're reading this, ANDREW BEZDJIAN! As in andrew, peter, and isaac and butch cassidy and the d.b. kid!!!) So anyways!

We are assigned to a city called Wroclaw and it's so beautiful here! There are lots of parks and good things and places to find people and talk about the meaningful things in life and how this gospel and message of joy and happiness can bless people's lives! I love it here! We are "white washing" which means that we are both new to the area and have to figure everything else out from scratch, but really that makes it so much fun because even though Sister Bezdjian has been here for a while, we are both on the same level about this city. We are starting from ground zero and just trying to do all we can to find people to teach and share joy with!

Sister Bezdjian is awesome and it's her last transfer here! So I am committed to making this the best transfer of her whole mission! We have already been doing some amazing things! I copied an idea from Alex (Bertha) when he was on his mission: The other day, we decided that we'd talk to everyone wearing blue! We committed to the Lord that we would do this and had faith the the people He has been preparing for us would be wearing blue that day! It was so fun and ended up having the best day ever!

I had the most amazing experience this week! Sister Bezdjian and I were contacting one day and started a conversation with a girl. It turns out the she didn't speak Polish because she was from Germany so we talked to her in English (which I must admit was like a breath of fresh air :) ) But anyways, we got to talking about the church, of course, and it turns out the she had already taken all of the missionary lessons and wanted to be baptized a few years ago, but at the time, her school wouldn't allow it. But we just got into a really good discussion about how much joy the gospel brings and it was so great! We could just see her lighten up with the Spirit after a little bit of talking. We got her email address and asked the office Elders to refer her to one of the missions in Germany! It was just so amazing because it reminded me that: Yes, I have been called to the Poland Warsaw Mission, but my mission is the same even if I was anywhere else in the world: to bring others closer to the Savior. Even though Sister Bezdjian and I knew that we wouldn't be able to teach her because she was just on vacation, I really strongly believe that the Lord placed us in her path the remind her of the joy she once felt and remind her that she still desires it! It was just so amazing!

To answer some of Mom's questions:
What days are your Pdays? -- Monday

What area are you serving in? Wroclaw!!!

What are the Polish people like so far? So nice and really cool to talk to! Each person is so interesting and has a really neat story behind them!

Where are you living- in an apt? or in a members home? -- apartment! It's one of the nicest one's in the whole mission!! LOVE IT!!!

What kind of car are you driving- do you get to drive, or just senior companion? Do you drive on the right or left side of the road? --- We don't get to drive, but  people drive on the right side of the road :)
the food? ---the food is good! Nothing really too different this far, but I'll try and get some real polish food soon and tell you what it's like haha

Well I love you all tons!! XOOXX

-Sister Kendall Blake

Funny Moment of the week: 2nd day in Poland. We contact the first 3 people we see (meaning we just go up to a random person and start telling them about our message!). One of those people is an old man who was standing on the side of the street. I say in broken Polish : "Have the sir heard everthing Book of Mormon about?" He starts rattling off in Polish, dies laughing, and then grabs my head and gives me a huge kiss on the check!  Ah the people here are great!!

Below are photos of my first day contacting with my MTC sisters!...other picture is Rynek in Wroclaw!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1, 2013

 Nathan, Kendall, Sister Barth, Karen
 mother and daughter reunited :)
 Cracking up by running into Kendall
Mom and Nate and Kendall- great day!!!