Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I feel so honored! I stand all amazed at the faith that the Lord has in me! He has placed me in the Western side of Warsaw in a region called Bemowo with Sister Owen. It's a residential area so there are families galore to find! And the best part: I am now serving in a branch with a mission coorelation leader and a CHAPEL!!!! The only one in Poland! It's the most amazing thing! I feel like this is the closest anyone in Poland can get to working in a mission in the states! President expressed that he has called us here for a reason because he has faith that we can unite this branch and that we have enough faith to see miracles! Needless to say, this branch has some really amazing missionaries in it and I'm humbled that I have been called to serve among them! I have absolute faith that amazing things are going to happen this transfer, and I will work my hardest to gain the Lord's trust so I can be a tool in His hands to bring about His work and His glory here in this branch. We are really all teaming up as missionaries in the branch to help the branch feel love and chairty for eachother. I am excited to see how love will transform this branch.
I am so grateful for the Savior's resurrection! While some churches really focus on the death of Christ, I am so grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints's focus on Christ's Resurrection! He died, but He lives! I know He does because I've felt His power working in my life...making my weaknesses strengths...feeling His love in lonely times...forgiving me when I make mistakes. I'm so grateful for His power that we can feel every day as we try to become better! It's HIS power that makes us better every day.
I LOVE being a missionary! Thinking that in a few months it's going to be over has brought me to tears a few times this week...but I just need to rememebr that I DO have time left still being a set apart missionary! I need to rejoice in every moment I have left! It has given me a whole new motivation to work my hardest.
I am filled with love for the Lord and His work
Pic: my new district at a kebab place in Warsaw!
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Let me paint you a little picture: Top floor of the Hilton Double Tree Hotel here in Łódż. A beautiful eternity pool (literally and figuratively :) ) overlooking the biggest and most beautiful park in Poland. The sun setting. 3 beautiful women in white. My 3 sisters Aleks, Beata, and Aneta all got baptized this Friday! I cannot even begin to tell you how joyful I am! It was a day I will NEVER forget! Each of them was so excited to be baptized..to have a fresh start in life!
It has been so amazing to see the change made in each of these women! the changes might not be super noticable to some, but each had a light about them. A look of peace and happiness as they have been learning about the gospel with us for the past couple of months. Aleks has this light about her! Her eyes are clearer and brighter and she has more faith in the one and only thing that one really CAN truly rely on in this life: Jesus Christ. 2 months ago, Sister Montesinos and I started talking to her outside of the mall close by to the chapel. Her heart was open and her life is changed forever! Beata who was super shy is always smiling and joking now...she found the church that matched the beliefs she's always had! When the missionaries tracted into her door, she recognized that it was an answer to her prayers and willingly accepted the gospel! Aneta had never been a very trusting person, she has some phobias including fright of crossing the street and shaking people's hands. But after her mother passed away a few months ago, she realized she needed a change in her life and found the missionaries' phone number online and called us. I can see the Atonement helping her with her fears and with the problems she has in her life! She is more and more peaceful and trusting. It is amazing to see! And she even shook the branch president's hand after the baptism! A miracle I tell you! I will never be able to repay the Lord for allowing me to be His tool in the work! I have never been more happy!
And to top THAT off, Tamara ( who i had the priveledge of teaching in Wrocław and she got baptized in Dec.) came to the baptism!!!!! She came to support Aleks in her decision and to meet Beata and Aneta! I can't tell you how joyous it was to see someone whse baptism I got to be a part of coming here to be a part of someone else's baptism!! My joy is absolutely overflowing!Despite how much I love these women and would do ANYTHING for them, The Lord sees fit that on this Transfer Wednesday I move to Warsaw for the next 2 months. Even though I wish I could be here to help these 3 sisters of mine become more converted and participating members of the church, I'm grateful for the chance to go and find more people who are waiting for the gospel! I hope that I can keep the trust that the Lord has in me. I'll be serving with a Sister named Sister Owen, and I've only heard great things about her and I've met her once and she seems super cool! I'm absolutely ECSTATIC because I will be serving in the same branch with 2 of my many new best friends here in the mission: Sister Hemming and Sister Poklinkowska (who I was companions with in Wrocław!) I'm excited to be serving in a branch that will actually have a meeting house!! The only one in Poland! I can't wait for the Lord to teach me even more lessons about how to work with members so I can go home and BE a member and work well with the missionaries!
4. Zofia Adamkiewicz taught us how to make a Polish food called gołąbki! Delicious! I wrote down all the details so I'll make it for you all when I get home :)3. Beata, me, Tamara!!!, and Aleks!2. Aneta, Beata, Aleks1. Left to right: Beata, me, Aleks, Sis Moncur, AnetaPictures:The Lord is in the details of my life! The miracles can be easily overlooked, but for those that really pay attention, they can see that they are everywhere! Keep a liffle journal of miracles you see that day! Sister Moncur has this little day planner where she doesn't write plans for the day, but instead writes down ways she saw the hand of the Lord in that day...it's in the little things! In a storm there are millions of snowflakes that make up a beautiful powder day, but each of those snowflakes EACH have a different design (a fact I learned in the 3rd grade)... If the Lord can be that detailed, then how can He not be involved in my life when I see things like 3 of my best friends being baptized this past Friday! I can't tell you how many times I've said this this past week, but I'll say it again: I stand all amazed!Love, Sister Blake
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Before I left on my mission, I had to choose a verse of scripture for the plaque that they have in your home ward with your picture on it. Not really knowing why, I chose D & C 84:88, "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." I think I sort of felt like my Grandpa Poppy and Grandma Karla would be looking out for me as an angel to bear me up, and that could've been a reason why I chose that scripture. Never in my whole mission have a felt the truthfulness of that promise in such a real way as I did this week...here's why:
This week was such a hectic week, filled with getting companions back to health, finding pools to rent, meeting with and preparing our investigators for baptism, getting things organized for the Catholic Mass performance, etc, etc…I could never even write a list of all the things that were on my mind this week! It was a goal (one that I lost sight of mid-week) to not stress and do all I can and let the Savior take care of the rest. I will admit that I let the stress of things get to me at a few points during the week, but once I reminded myself that the Savior is at the head of the work, I would recognize that I have been focusing so much on the things I have to stress over that I was not opening my eyes to see the amazing blessings! But looking back now, I know that it was angels that were helping me though this week. I never felt like I was going to pull my hair out or cry, and I know that is because the Lord’s promise in D&C 84:88 was being realized!
I know I had divine help bearing me up and helping bear my burdens. This was only confirmed when we went to the Catholic church to sing! We had missionaries come from all over the mission to help us out. Singing songs of the Restoration of the gospel and songs of Christ was a truly amazing and unforgettable experience! I know that we had angels singing with us. Heavenly Father is the only thing that we can truly trust in....not our situations or in the weather or over other peoples' free will...because that is uncertain... but the one thing in the universe that is not uncertain is Heavenly Father, His unwavering love for us, and the Atonement of His Son Jesus Christ. God ALWAYS keeps His promises. I know that because I experienced it all throughout this week as I felt concourses of angels constantly around me bearing me up.
The LDS Missionaries were invited to sing and speak in a Catholic Mass in Lodz on April 6th. The fact that they performed here on April 6th is significant because we believe it to be the actual birthdate of Jesus Christ and also the day that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored to it's fullness and established as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, April 6th 1830.
The LDS Church respects other faiths and recognizes the truths in all churches. We invite people to bring all the truths that their faith and experiences has given them and then let us add to those truths. We believe that over the millenniums that many of the truths of Christ's gospel were altered and we believe that the fullness of Christ's gospel has been restored through living prophets starting with Joseph Smith in 1820. We believe that the fulness of the Gospel and principles, and priesthoods and ordinances that Christ established in His time have been restored to the earth for these Latter Days to bless and guide all those who learn of Him and are seeking for truth.
We invite you to learn more about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can begin by going to mormon.org or to hear talks from our prophets and spokesmen and woman of our faith in this past General Conference on lds.org. You may also request to hear from missionaries wherever you live in the world by going onto mormon.org.
Outside the Catholic Church in Lodz, Poland. Kendall mentioned before that this church was founded in the year 1820, the same year that Joseph Smith received his First Vision, where Christ and His Father God appeared to Joseph as a 14 year old boy in the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, NY.