Monday, January 28, 2008

Jan 28, 2008 ~ Sweet Polish Ties

It's monday about noon and I just learned that President Hinckley died from some e-mails. So I'm kinda taken back right now.. hmm. He's the only Prophet I've ever really known so it's going to be different to have President Monson in there. He'll be great though, and I know President Hinckley is enjoying the richest blessings of peace and happiness right now. > > Mmmk so this week, this week, what did I do. Well last P-Day we went and played some basketball. Absolutely essential to make any P-day a success... although my district isn't much of a basketball district unfortunately. Then we hit up a Carrefour and purchased some ties. I finally have some European ties, they kick. I don't know if I've talked about ties in Poland yet. But basically there is nothing that can bring more joy to a shopping missionary, a consumer of any sort to be honest.. they are high quality, high class, and cheap. So naturally because of my ties, more people talked to me this week on the street. You gotta look good to play good. We have Zone Conference this week so all of the Elders (6 of us) bought the same tie. It pwns so I think we will be the talk of Zone Conference. Vroatsuave is definitely the place to be in Poland right now theres no doubt about it. Then we went to what the Elders call the "Russian Bazaar" basically this shady outdoor market where stuff is way cheap. Frankly I questioned where exactly they had "obtained" their inventory, being a greenie i figured it was best to just not ask the other elders. I didn't buy anything but it was way entertaining to see Elder Duty haggle these guys down in prices. And yeah that was basically my P-day we contacted the rest of the day and met with a new convert, Przemek and taught him some new member lessons. > > This week was rather slow as far as our investigators go. Everyone from age 18-25 is busy because of finals and things so we weren't able to meet with any of them. Our 2 investigators with baptisimal dates were being way lame up until a couple of nights ago when we finally got a hold of them. Y'all know that every companionship in the mission gets a cell-phone... well Elder Duty usually carries it around because... let's be realistic.. I'm not exactly a fluent Polish speaker. And there's quite a difference between being able to understand a Pole on the street and understanding a Pole on the phone. Of which i can't understand either of the above listed persons. Elder Duty still makes me suffer through making calls to potentials everynight.... too many stories and mistakes to recount in an email but i do ok as long as they are just listening and don't talk. Anyways I'm babbling.. so for some reason I happened to have the phone on me when one of the two bapt. dates called, krystyna. It rang, i looked at the number and gestured for Duty to take the Phone ... i nonchalantly inform him"It's a Pole," but Duty would have none of that "You got it Daly" this point my nonchalant attitude turns into cold sweats and heavy breathing (exaggeration added for effect) i answer it "tak, slucham" then all of this sudden this wave of Polish hits me and I for a few minutes i'm not sure exactly where I am.. long story and even longer conversation later she set up with us for this week. So.. yeah.. stoked.. stokage.. major stokage. We are way excited, hopefully we can keep her on that road that leads to true conversion and baptism. > > The weather was rather awful this week. It was warm... relatively speaking. It rained a lot, snowed some and the wind is killer. But it's beautiful today, we'll see if it sticks. I talked to some great people this week. I'm convinced that the Lord puts people in my path knowing my feelings of inadequacy and such. I had some great conversations this week .. got a bunch of numbers during whiteboards without any help which is always a great feeling. Hopefully those turn into new investigators. Elder Duty and I ventured where few have gone before this week.. into Domki land to find this Lady that Elder Barlow and I talked to during exchanges. We were able to find her but unfortunately she was no longer interested. Sometimes its easy to get frustrated. I just want to take a Pole and shake em.. do you know how long I've traveled and the sacrifice I've made to bring this message to you.. it must be important! That's just my pride creeping in though and I need to keep that at bay. And it really isnt much of a sacrifice.. especially when compared with what the Apostles went through after the death of Christ. I've been study the New Testament a lot of late because it's easier to get a Pole to listen if you quote from the Bible then if you quote from the Ksiega Mormona. But yeah.. whenever i think missionary work is hard i just think about those men.. they went through the ringer and then some. Great examples of complete disregard for their lives and devotion to Christ and His gospel. > > Well ill answer some questions i receieved real quick then I'm going to go play some football amerikanska. Oh by the way I havent received any packages.. apparently i have a couple packages in Bytom being held captive because they didnt like something that was in them... so I'm not sure if ill get them in one piece.. or at all for that matter. I've lost all faith in the Poczta system here. Only mail I've got has been some letters from Syd and a couple of friends. Thanks for sending them though i hope i get them :-) > > The people do a variety of things for work here.. usually just sales and such are the ones i've run into. Although most the people we talk to are students. There is one major University here in Wroclaw that most of the students are at.. an oddly enough I think I've talk to more people majoring in art than anything else. And unfortuately i don't see much chess in the street cafes although that would be rad. I saw some sweet bonus Polish chess sets for sale that i might have to hit up later. And i get to run almost every morning around this track at this highschool about 5 mins from our place. Duty plays soccer and flies kites while i do it.. i love him for enduring it with me at 6:30 in the morning. > > I love you all have a great week! > > Elder Daly

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another hello from London!! Here are some more fun pics. The ones below are from our first day trip...the first one is in a cute lil town called Rye and the other one is in Canterbury.

For my art drawing class, I have to draw 6 hours a week!!! It's crazy long, but hopefully I will build patience for it. It's kinda hard right now when I suck lol. But last week I found myself in museums a lot. These pics are from the British Museum, which is way cool. My favorite part is the Egyptian section with all the sweet mummies :) The skulls are for Cameron and the mummy cats are for Laners lol!

Here are some pics with one of my roomies, Britnee. One is in Trafalgar Square and the other is in Kensington Park. Fun walks around London!!! I love it!

Tea anyone?? Yes we went to the Orangery right next to Kensington Palace to have tea (the herbal kind lol), cucumber sandwiches, and an English scone. So much just like real Brits!

We also went to another play this last week...The Importance of Being Ernest. We had to read it for our British Literature class and then we watched it. So funny!!!

The sun decided to come out a few times this week. I'd have to say, the weather has been pretty dang the 50s! So we posed in front of the Round Pond in Kensington Park, which is just like a five minute walk from our flat.

Harry Potter was here!!! Haha, I had to pay a visit to Platform 9 and 3/4 at King's Cross Station. Sadly, I couldn't get to the other side and visit Hogwarts lol :)

Had to take this pic...I love how they call garbage here rubbish. It's fun to say..."Rubbish!"
(with a British accent)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The reason I get up every morning~


Siemanko-Jan 21, 2008

Siema!? hey family! I just realized that when i send these emails home that is about 3 am there. crazy sauce. Well its another blissful P-day here in Wroclaw .. btw thats pronounced Vrotsuave suave as in the shampoo. Vrot pronouned like boat. Probably more info than you wanted or needed.. but hey there it is. This week.. hmm this week. It was actually and excellent week. People finally sat down and met with us so i got to practice my Polish and teaching skills. Both of which are lacking, but progressing. We got 3 new investigators this week... the rastafarian and her boyfriend.. and this way rad and well read, erudite if you will kid named Michal. (Meehow) Both the lessons went really well. Although the rastas believe that the Law of Moses was never fulfilled and should still be implemented so Duty and I have been studying that a bit this week. Michal knows polish, english, hebrew, german, french, and spanish.. He's 25 and says he'll have the whole ksiega mormona read by the end of this week.. If i were a betting man, just based simply on the fact that he knows that many languages.. I would bet he's going to read it. So Duty and I are incredibly stoked about that. We also doubled the number of lessons we taught on the streets this week. Although that was partly because we had the AP's come down from Warsaw and go on exchanges with us. They are pretty good missionaries.. and by pretty good i mean very. I definitely learned a lot. Apparently the AP position in this mission used to be kind of looked down upon. President would just take kinda mediocre, half class elders and put them in the office. But President Engberg has switched that up since he came in.. I would venture to say they are some of the best in the mission. Which kinda doesnt make sense to me to put the best elders in the office. Nevertheless Duty and i had great times on exchanges. I went with Elder Barlow, he's a good man.. he dies at the end of this transfer. He taught me more about the Polish language then I've learned since I've been here.. so that was way helpful. He hates centrum and the hustle and bustle of the city so we took a tramwaj like 45 minutes out of centrum and started knocking domki... just residential areas. We had an amazing time. People are definitely a lot more willing to listen when they arent running through the rynek trying to get to work or their next meeting, etc.. > > I had some great experiences contacting and whiteboarding this week.. met some very interesting people... one danced in front of our whiteboard for 20 minutes about some hindu? maybe god.. what did he keep saying......... ah yeah "hare krshna!" over and over .. he was hilarious ... some other people too but ill save those for another time haha. I had a conversation with a Pole for like 10 minutes on one of our whiteboards and i understood everything he said ! Life goal #46 accomplished. > > The weather hasnt been particularly friendly this week to say the least. It has been way warm though. Unfortunately it has been raining for a few days .. constant drizzle.. doesnt make the work easy sometimes. Still an absolute blast though. So yeah, all is well Poland, the work is catching fire. Yesterday we had a baptism in the ward it was a great time. There were supposed to be 2 baptisms unfortunately the investigator flaked so that put kind of a damper on the whole day. Hopefully she'll change her mind. > > I apologize this email has been kinda scatterbrained i never really organize my thoughts before i start typing. I just go for it. > > Lysh-> Lysh I'm so proud your taking an english class! thats so davage.. you'll pwn it for sure. I came up with an 'extended metaphor' if you will about the work in Poland. I feel it's accurate and appropriately captures the crux of what missionary work is here in Poland. I'll even apply it to London. Let's say a Brit named Edmond travels to America. His goal: to convert the people of America to the game of cricket. Well he comes up to the first American he sees once he gets off the plane and stops him. "cheerio, im sharing a message about the game of Cricket" Ofcourse the American would say something to the tune of " What the heck kind of accent is that? ...Cricket? never heard of it, sounds like some sort of sect... listen here Edmond ive been playing Baseball my whole life and there is no way in heck im playing some game called cricket." Edmond: "But you dont even know what it is and i didnt ask you to stop playing baseball" American: "Hey, there isnt anything thats going to change my mind. Why are you even here in america.. dont you know we all play baseball .. always have, always will.. maybe you should try canada or mexico" > Haha its actually kind of scary how accurately that describes missionary work sometimes here. The catholic church has such a hold on some of their hearts. That's alright thought, we are just here to find the elect, not the hardhearted. Sounds like great times in London, your pictures are way rad. keep having fun and working hard. Draw some sweet pics for me haha. I love you lysh!> > Laners- > Thanks for your email laners I'm glad all is going sweetly back there in Idaho. Way to go on pwning your classes thats awesome. Junior year is a tough year that really is way impressive. Keep on keeping on.. have fun with all your homies.. dont push the camaro passed 165 mph on state st though next time. no worries though i won't tell dad, im sending you the money for that $200 ticket tomorrow so it should get there in a few days. haha love you sister :-) > > Have a great week all, thanks for your love and prayers > > go pats> > fainego poniedzialeku > > starszy daly

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A big hello from me (Alysia) in London, England!!! Here is the place all us BYU students get to chill in. It has like 7 stair cases and I am in the very top room...its pretty much like the attic, 86 stairs to the top so I get a workout everyday. But it's pretty nice...we have a kitchen, family room, our classroom, and all our bedrooms and bathrooms for 40 girls and 1 boy. It's located near the Notting Hill area of London...pretty sweet stuff!

The first night we got to London, all of us got to go watch the play Les Miserables. It was so amazing!!

We went on tons of London walks the first few days to get ourselves out in London. We saw tons of fun things...Tower Bridge, telephone booths lol, Big Ben, London Eye, Tower of London...I could go on :) Basically London is so beautiful!! I love all the old buildings and history in them!

Here are us girls at Westminster Abbey...the parish church of the royal family. It is so beautiful! We will be able to go inside a little later in the trip; for now it was just a quick walk by.

Buckingham Palace - where the queen lives!!! And she was inside that day because the flag was flying at full mast. That's Mike in the middle, the one guy in the progarm. He's luckly for getting all 40 girls to himself...or cursed lol :)

How tough for the guards not to talk or smile...but we actually got this one to smile eariler in response to our stupid American conversation about what if we got in his way when they switched formations and we got chopped up by his bayonet...he must of thought that was funny because the other girls were actually worried.

This last Wednesday was so much fun!! We went south to Canterbury, the city of Rye, and Beachy Head. Looking out on the English Channel and then back at the rolly green English hills was just so amazing...I can't even describe it. Pictures definatley do not do it justice.

I can't forget to mention the chocolate!! I haven't even tasted that much of it yet...but places that have Cadbury eggs all the time and not just for Easter is a place I want to be lol. So good!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sweet Ninja Nun~

> hey family, hope you are all having a great week. thanks a bunch for the emails.. i really enjoyed them all, only mail i get these days .. sometimes i miss good ol dear elder at the mtc ;-) > > this week has been quick, feels like i was just in here yesterday... lots of contacting and whiteboarding. We had 6 set ups this week but we were flaked all 6 times, buncha bullies... we met some way amazing people this week that hopefully will show up. One of which is a nun. Duty and i were on the Rynek and she was walking by.. Duty told me that he always tries to contact the nuns but that since hes been out none of them have stopped. Well this just so happened to be Sweet Ninja Nun version 4.6 ... bc she stopped and talked to us for a half hour. We have a set up with her this week.. we're pretty positive she'll come. Then not but 10 minutes after we meet with the nun we stop this lady with dreds. Rastafarian. We talked and discussed beliefs for a long time (i didn't understand a whole lot, but she did mention Bob Marley so i figured Syd would be stoked about that, a fellow believer) and she's agreed to meet as well. Probably with the sisters though. Umm other than that just good old trench missionary work. I'm feeling really good about this week though hopefully we get to teach a lot of lessons. We are teaching english on tuesday night so that should be an experience :-) Elder duty and i taught a lesson after church yesterday. It went alright but the guy appears kind of 'bez domu' homeless .. so we dont know exactly what's going to happen there. On Friday we went and served for a couple hours at a Jewish Cemetery. I really enjoyed it, the cemetary was amazing. Ill have to take pictures maybe next time i go, its pretty intense. Oh ps i forgot my usb this week but ill bring it next week and get some pictures to y'all.> > Let's see if i can answer some of these questions...The food in wroclaw is fantastic actually, im a pretty big fan of polish food. Kebabs, nalesniki.. its amazing stuff. The grocery stores, on the other hand are somewhat second rate.. maybe even third. The milk isnt really milk.. its this stuff that lasts for like 2 years.. its weird pulling out your milk in the morning and it says July 2010 on it.. "oh ill be home when this milk expires" the cereal is most definitely inferior to american cereal in my opinion.. its the imitation stuff that doesnt really come close.. so cereal donations are always accepted. Um, i cook a lot.. mostly just rice and sausage because im poor right now and thats all i can afford. next month ill be in better shape. But yeah i think ive cooked more for myself here than i did in a year at byu. My apartment is nice im not going to be modest. A lot nicer than what i expected. Duty tells me they hook us up in eastern europe to make up for all the baptisms those missionaries get that are living under mosquito nets in madagascar and s. america. Once again ill have to just take pictures. And the language.. hmm the language.. what to say about Polish haha. it's umm.. it's tough. Probably the hardest thing ive ever had to learn. It's definitely coming though.. the tough part is understanding.. i can speak, not usually gramatically correct, but i know the words.. its just when they speak that im pretty lost. Its a humbling experienece when i duty and i are split up during whiteboarding and i have to walk up to somebody and contact them knowing that im probably going to get dominated. Dominated in the sense that i wont be able to follow them. So i try to limit my questions and just teach and testify, and try to get their number. Its fun at the same time though. I'm not going to lie sometimes i feel pretty useless.. but im giving the poles all i got.. no reason to stress though. line upon line, itll come. > > Poland is straight up amazing, along with the people, the members, and the work. I love the work, and the opportunity i have to walk into bloks.. or walk onto the Rynek or through streets and on tramwajs knowing that all of these people dont have the truth and that i can bring it to them.. not always gramatically sound.. but i can still share my testimony. Its like that feeling i used to have as a kid when we would chill on some random shore at lake Don Pedro. And id go explore the body of land and think to myself "man i bet noone on this earth has stood where im standing right now, and noone has ever seen this tree that im looking at" however inaccurate that was it still made me feel special. As with that i feel a special emotion being able to talk to a a fellow brother or sister about something they havent heard since they heard it from the mouth of our Father in Heaven. Sometimes it does feel pretty overwhelming though, sure are a lot of them. > > Quick experience then ive got to write my president and go eat and shop for food. one of the Poles we stopped on the street was catholic (shocker) and told us that we arent open so why should he be. Well short converstation shorter we accepted his invitation/guilt trip to attend a cathloic bible study. So we go looking for the church one night.. get lost.. 2 hours and a run in with a crazy larry later and we make it to the church. Ofcourse we were late and missed it.. but just walking through the church the spirit seemed to almost immediately dissipate. It was just a simple something that made me that much more grateful for Christs church and the comfort that comes from His gospel. > > The church is true the book is blue.. have a most fine week.. stay warm... ill attempt and probably fail :-)> > milego dnia> starszy daly

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008

"First Door Knocked"

7, January 2008 - 'First Door Knocked.. and Larrys" Its an absolutely beautiful day here in Wroclaw. Not a cloud in the sky and probably 30's or 40's. By far the best day we've had in a while. This week has been .. a week i cant tell you that right now. First full week of straight up missionary work and missionary life. I love my trainer Elder Duty.. he's a good man and a hard worker.. and more importantly he can speak Polish. He's from Georgia and yeah he is just an all-aroundstallion. I definitely got lucky. He's been out here a while though haha i bring up movies and music that i think are commonplace between us and he's all like... nope never heard of it. It'll be a trip when i get to that point. But we've have had an interesting week together. Our area is the majority of downtown Wroclaw .. the rynek and what not so we hav a great contacting area. Basically most of our time is spent roaming the rynek .. and saying a quick "przepraszam na chwile.." and they either keep walking like we dont exist, tell us they dont have time (90 percent of the time), or they stopand let us get to "we are missionaries.." then walk away. Some listen to us for a while and we get to teach them a little about our church. But they are definitely not a very receptive people. I had the opportunity to teach some way cool people on the streets though and some of them are justway incredibly nice. It was unreasonably cold this week which seems to be a recurring snowed a bunch the past couple days which made contacting hard.Elder Duty and i were having a tough time stopping people in the street because if you stop for more than 30 seconds your feet straight up freeze to the sidewalk... so a little frosbitten and down.. we took to the aparment buildings to knock doors. They call them Klatka's in Poland. They are all locked(obviously) so we have so buzz to each room until someone lets us in.. i thought it was way cool.. just like seinfeld... real live apartment building. Duty buzzed the first 20 or some rooms with little luck. I told him to do it just like they do in Seinfeld and just act like we know the person.. Don't even tell them we are missionaries.. just give them a little "hey sup." He told me i was crazy and dishonest.. i was neither.. i was just cold. So he tries it on the next one.. sureenough we get buzzed in :-) ... ill be sure to be more honest next time. So duty knocks the first few doors and shows me how its done. Noone was interested so i give my first door a shot. This old babcia (grandma) comes to the door and at first she seems way nice.. although her husband was yelling from the other room for her to shut the door. We started telling her about the church and she starts touching are tags.. like alot.. which should have been a hint to get out of dodge. After smelling the alcohol on her breath we could tell she was a little drunk. And apparently she had mistaken us for Catholic boys who supposedly come around and sing kalendas (carols).. so she kept asking us to sing. Yeah she was pretty crazy and she had this weird creepy voice.. she reminded me of one of those psychic ... palm reader ladies. So her husband keeps yelling and i look over at duty like "lets get the heck out of here" but he keeps trying to teach/talk to her. All of the suddent the husband comes to the door, pantless and starts saying some not so nice things. Duty was defending us then the guy comes straight out and grabs Elder Duty and pushes him back.. this confrontation continues for another half minute until Duty just starts walking away. And all the time this is happening the crazy babcia is telling me how i need to marry her beautiful granddaughter in the states. Haha it was quite the experience.So first door was a goodie. I was a little shaken up after the whole thing, Duty as well.. we decided maybe we should stick to contacting. The next day we actually went tracting again and got let in to someones apartment! they were a way cool family that had investigated the church 3 years ago. I had my firstexperience with fruit tea.. which is awful. But it was still an amazing thing to get let in. Duty told me that he hadnt got let in while tracting in several months. Probably the most success we have is when we go whiteboarding. We go with another companionship and set up the whiteboard on the rynek and write a question up like... "who do you admire" or "who is your hero" etc... and then we have them write it down and somehow try to tie it into the gospel. Some of the Poles get pretty into it and its fun to be with other missionaries. Its funny for the "who is your hero question" i think 8 out of 10 poles told me Chuck Norris! Haha i dunno how they know him.. but chuck norris is a pretty big deal over here.. strange culture. Duty and i have a few investigators. Although we had 3 set ups this week and all 3 people flaked out. happens i guess, i was way sad i didnt get to teach though. We have some investigators with bapt. dates but we havent been able to get a hold of them yet. Its sad how many people lose contact with the missionaries after there is a transfer and new ones come in. I had some pretty funny run-ins with some "larrys" this week. the elders in the mission call the homeless/drunkard polish guys 'larrys' why, im not sure. But they stop me and duty all the time and try to get money out of us. we usually play dumb and tell them in english that we dont speak polish. Elder duty had one attack him this week... hes doing ok though.. larrys dont fare too well when they are under the influence. Sunday was awesome here.. the branch is incredible. We had a lot more members and investigators there yesterday. They have such amazing testimonies of this work. Some of the elders in our group have a 20 year old investigator named Monika. And she is being kicked out of her home because she is getting baptized. It is pretty incredbile to think the amount of faith she must have. I think of myself and whether or not i could honestly let my family disown me if i believed in this gospel. It would take one heck of a testimony.. i definitely admire her conviction and faith. I love the people here. And ive already started to develop a hate of the cathloic church. Which might not be the best thing, but it just controls their thoughts and ideals too much. What a different place this world would be if founded upon the principles of the gospel. Well i love you all, have an absolultely amazing week. School starting and what not. Hopefully alysia gets to London ok :-) thanks for your emails.. they make my life. Definitely use the email to send letters i can receive and send to only my immediate family. But dont go through the trouble of mailing anything, email works great. Unless you want to send me davage packages, always welcome :-) the cereal here is kind of second rate..cough..cough :-) i might be using my debit card a little this week because i got 700 zlots at the start of the month.. but i had to buy a ton of stuff and pay 400 zlots for my visa work so that im legal.. i get refunded for it but it wont be for a while.. so im poor right now. i think thats about it! wszystkiego najlepszego -starszy daly