Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day Trip to Runneymede, Windsor Castle, and Stoke Poges!!!

Here is our whole group!! Runnymede is where the Magna Carta was signed, so pretty important stuff! And the monument was in the middle of beautiful green meadows and hills. It reminded me of Jane Austen's movies :) So amazing!!!

Windsor Castle where the Queen lives sometimes in the summer. It was way cool and such a sunny warm day!!

In front of the castle is a long cement walk that stretches like two miles. We had fun jumping around and taking randomly funny pictures. Pretty much we were just goofing around like silly American girls haha. I had a grand ol' time!

Last stop was at Stoke Poges, a cute little town where we visited a churchyard that a known British poet, Thomas Gray, based the poem Elegy on. We had a modern British poem give us a tour around the place. Then we went into the Memorial Gardens, which were of course beautiful!! Loved it sooooo much :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

February 25, 2008...first transfer!

Jak leci family?! > > Before I get into my week which wasn't all that eventful, President sent out transfers which are going down on Thursday. Elder Duty is staying in Wroclaw for his last 2 months and i thought for sure I'd be staying with him, but I'm going way up North to Gdansk with Elder Errington who is also in Duty's group so I'll still be killing off someone. I'm freaking stoked, just looking at the Distirct I'm going to.. it's going to be rock something harddcore!! Im a little sad I won't be serving with any of the noobies coming in, but Gdansk is stilll going to kick. I've heard it's one of the nicest areas in the mission and it's right on the beach. It's going to be kinda cruddy though because at the same time I have all of my legal work here and it's not going to be done for a while. So i'm going to have to come back down to wroclaw on Pdays to finish it all up. Pretty long train ride im thinking.> > Well nothing incredible went down this week. Sorry my last two e-mails have been rushed, last p-day we got up in the morning and tried to travel to the Skull Chapel about 90 mins away by train. We ended up getting lost and found ourselves in this sweet bonus town called Klodzko (Kwodsko).. found out from some Poles that the skull chapel was still an hour away and closed on mondays so we just kinda chilaxed and spent the afternoon in the city. It was incredible, the city was rad and Duty and I got to hit up this castle there, I've got some pictures i might attach on this email if i have time. Anyways by the time we got back we had just a few minutes to email before we had to go to a dinner appointment. The dinner was more than worth it though, we got the hook-ups. Poles are the most hospitable people once youre in their home. It's just getting into the home that can be kinda difficult. This week i went on exchanges with Elder Urling and Barrowes in my district, learned some Polish, had some food.. it was good times. We have a new invesitgator with a baptisimal date! We didn't really do anything to get him to that point. His name is Mirek and the sisters contacted and taught him the first two lessons .. then they decided to give him to us because he was hugging them after the lessons. He's a way solid guy though, loves the book of mormon.. hard to tell if he's all there up top. Krystyna is getting a new baptisimal date hopefully sometime this week. Good things are happening, unfortunately i won't be here for them. I've heard the work in Gdansk is on fire though, see what i can do to add to that. > > This week was super-catholic week as far as contacting. Duty and i count two different types of lessons for our daily goals. There are lessons, then there are condemnations. This week we had twice as many condemnations as lessons. We did a white board the other day and I'm pretty sure every person i talked to was a practicing catholic. Which is weird because usually 90 percent of the people i contact say they are catholic but arent practicing so it's easier to teach them. I enjoyed teaching the practicing catholics though, even though i probably shouldnt because all it turns into is me making them look retarded which really should never be our goal as missionaries. But they really don't have a leg to stand on as far as doctrine. Any person with common sense and a decent konwledge of the gospel of Christ versus Catholic doctrine can rip apart the catholic church doctrine by doctrine. I told this one guy who was on his way to mass if he's ever prayed to know the Catholic Church is true. He said no so i encouraged him to pray about and that God would give him an answer if his prayer was sincere. He replied while walking away, "Im going to pray for you because your soul is lost" .. frustration... no, its not all that bad i just wish they were more open to trying new things. If all youve eaten is vanilla ice cream youre whole life.. why not try a banana split? you might like it 100 times more.. hey if not, proszę bardzo, go back to your vanilla and ill keep enjoying my split. Sorry haha im venting, i promise i have more patience than these emails probably make it seem, just feels good to write get my thoughts out.> > I decided something the other day. This is most definitely a different experience than i thought it would be. I'm sure Poland is probably a little different than most missions, and they all have their distinct challenges and blessings. I've found that the Poland Warsaw mission is a mission of little miracles. Baptisms and golden investigators are rare for sure. But little things like making a Pole smile, hearing an investigator pray, hearing myself speak this seemingly impossible language, interacting with the rock solid members here, hearing their testimonies, seeing how my testimony has changed.. Little miracles during the day that keep me going are really what it's all about. They say your first transfer is usually the hardest. New place, language, weather, schedule, companion, jetlagged, yadda yadda.. and it has been pretty tough. I've never had my testimony hanging by such thin threads and at other times ive never been so sure that this is the Church that Christ calls His own. Phew, 4 months.> > trzymajcie się > > elder daly> > ps we are going golfing for pday today.. heckkkk yeah babiesss!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

January 18 - Football and Exchanges

Hey family, this week was eventful to say the least. Unfortunately, Duty and I have a dinner appointment in about 50 minutes. It takes a half hour to get there so this might be a shorty. Umm where to begin, P-day last week i landed a standing backflip, be jealous, unfortunately i landed it on my back... so i won't be trying anymore of those. Bad idea from the start, but the promised food as a reward seemed like good incentive at the time. The sisters had exchanges for a week with the sisters from krakow. So we had sister mcgary here for the week and she was quite the entertainment, good to mix up the faces a little bit. Transfers coming up here in a couple weeks, im excited to get some new homies in here, itll be sad to see some of the elders go though. Anyways, i think it was tuesday night.. maybe wednesday, sister castleton asked me to give her a blessing. She found out during email the day before that her mom had been diagnosed with cancer. I was intimidated out of my mind especially when it is something as serious as that. Hope she received some comfort and maybe some answers from the Lord. The following night the elders in our district decided to do creative contacting on the rynek because we had about an hour left of proseleyting time and we were pretty much burnt out. So we took a football out to the rynek. We arent talking futbol, we're talking good old american football. I dunno if youve ever seen a Pole try to catch a football, i have to be honest its like.. well, probably just like me trying to dribble a soccer ball.. no, lie, its worse. I'm pretty sure they are all physically challenged, it'l almost sad. Anyways we were tossing it around to random people, talking to some people.. it was way cold out .probably around 2 celcius... then Burt, he's just this big thick guy.. points to this group of middle aged polish guys and puts up this hail mary. Yup.. the only one in the group of about 10 guys that wasn't looking gets absolutely dominated. And yeah.. the guy had to be wearing glasses. The ball hits him square in the face, his glasses fall to the rynek.. and madness insues. Punches were thrown, blood shed. No, he was way mad though, the police come over and kick us off the rynek. We felt pretty bad so me and duty went home and ordered telepizza to eat our sorrows away. On thursday, maybe friday, heck i dunno.. i went on an exchange. The zone leaders thought it would be a good idea to have district leaders go on exchanges so that they could see how other DL's run their districts. So they decided to exchange duty with the furthest DL away from us in the South, krakow. So i spent the next 6 hours of my day on a train to krakow while elder manookin came down to exchange with Duty. Pretty big waste of time and the missions money if you ask me but im not one to complain :-) I exchanged with his comp obviously elder Thomas. He's a, well, for lack of a better word, a different spirit of our Father. He's the group ahead of me so he's been in the country 2 months longer. Our exchange actually went really well though, he got a lot of people to stop just because of the uniqueness (sp?) of his voice inflection and accent, and just everything haha. I really can't even been to describe this kid you really just have to meet him. We taught a ton of lessons that day though, it was good to be with someone as young as him too because i got thrown into the fire a little bit as far as my polish goes. I speak and understand a little more than him so i got into this conversation with these two atheist guys. To be honest they are actually a lot easier to talk to than Catholics, pretty much anyone that doesnt have the iron fist of the catholic church over them is easier to talk to. Anyways we duked it out for a while, they still weren't convinced, but really we arent here to convince anyone just invite and teach. It's pure laziness on myopic-ness (sp) on their part if they dont want to find out for themselves. Unfortunately that's how most of Poland is. Anyways Thomas and i had a good time together, i also had a lot of fun with some of the other elders in Krakow. We whiteboarded together and i got to jam on guitar with some larrys. took some sweet pictures that i think ill just burn onto a cd and send home to you all, i apologize once again for the lack of pictures. So yeah krakow was fun i suppose, still seemed like a lot of trouble for just one day of exchanges. It took sister lindquist and i like 7 hours to get back to wroclaw though which was another adventure i dont have time to type. Umm yeah was happy to get back to Wroclaw, oh, the main reason i didnt want to go to krakow was because duty and i had a set up with krystyna our old bapt date that day. Duty said it went way well, she has a solid testimony that it is true. She quit her job so that she could come to church so duty and i were in high spirits. She promised to be at church yesterday, but yeah, she didn't show up so i dunno what the deal is. It is really hard to love the people of poland when they dont keep committments. I just want to be like "I'm still kind of touched by that whole 'my word is as strong as oak' statement" Poles are pretty bad about keep committments in promises, drives me batty sometimes. Still love them to death though, to death. Hope she gets baptized. That night all the of us elders went to shi crazy christian gathering. Guitars rocking out the whole bit, it's crazy to me that people think they can worship the God of heaven and earth through rocking out. Played some basketball with some hooli kids outside the back of our klatka the next day. 2 on 5, we owned on them pretty bad haha. then they put the ball on the ground and challenged us to soccer, we got ripped apart pretty bad. Have a great day, sorry for the rushed email. have a great week all

love, elder day

oh have fun in hawaii, big bullies :-) soak in some rays for me

Monday, February 11, 2008

February 11, 2008...a low key week

Dearest Family, > > I've got to get 400 English words typed out for this new language program that's going into effect and I have to write my Pres. letter as usual so this e-mail might be a quickie. This week was really low key. Almost depressingly low key. All of our set-ups fell through and none of our investigators came to church yesterday. And it was just one of those weeks where it felt like no one cared I existed when I was on the streets. I taught a few good people, none of them have materialized into anything yet though. I think the low point was during a white board yesterday when we had been out there for about 2 hours and not one person had stopped to talk to me yet. We were asking people who their hero was, pretty common one. Anyways, i resulted to desperate tactics and decided to speak with a heavy american accent. Actually worked pretty well for a while, got a few numbers after that. We had some drunk larrys randomly start dancing in front of our whiteboard. I'm still convinced that the Lord put larrys in Poland just to keep the missionaries sane and provide us with a source of entertainment. > > I think the highlight of this week was when Elder Duty and I were looking for another form of service to do each week. Duty isn't a huge fan of the Jewish Cemetary. Last week for service the guy that runs the place had us move a pile of dirt. We had to shovel dirt into a wheelbarrow and move it. The whole time i was thinking about all that stuff we did in the backyard, Dad and how you kept saying that I'd be doing it sometime on my mission. So yeah Duty and i decided to call up some dom dzieckos which are like orphanages. We contacted one and headed out there one night and it was wayy the heckk out there. When we got there though it wasn't really like an orphanage at all. They welcomed us right in for herbata and their home was amazing. Usually, well atleast the few homes I've been in, I've also been overcome with kind of an uneasy feeling. Usually they've got pictures of the Pope or Mary or just saints up everywhere and it's just way catholic. This was just like a normal home, it was almost like walking into an LDS home back in the states. I kept expecting to see the Oakland Temple or first presidency up somewhere. Anyway, there were 2 parents and 10 kids. 2 of them were their actual children, but I'm pretty sure that they've adopted the rest. The fell in love with the kids just being there 5 minutes.. and the parents are just rock solid. The husband works for the European Union so he makes quite a bit of money and yeah they are just these way normal people, way chill. The whole time all i could see was all 12 of them decked out in white ready to jump into the water... Nah, that would be amazing though wouldn't it. So yeah Elder Duty and I and maybe a couple other Elders are going to go there once or twice a week and teach them English and maybe play soccer or something with them... doesn't start for a couple weeks though. I'm stoked for it.> > Duty and I no longer have any baptisimal dates, although Krystyna is supposedly coming to English tomorrow, we'll see if that goes down. I don't think i really understood what i was getting myself into with this whole Poland thing haha, no it's good though I love the Elders I'm around and i enjoy talking to people probably more than anything I've ever done. It's just definitely been a change from the spiritual atmosphere of the MTC. The only teaching we do everyday is on the street so the spiritual fueling i get during the day basically only happens during my study in the morning. Elder Duty is getting pretty trunky on me unfortunately. I have a feeling that these next two months, being the last of his mission, might be a little rough. You get the companion you get for a reason though. So finding the good and the learning opportunities in any situation is always a good thing. Important to keep that vision that the Lord is shaping me and i can either fight the process and end up a larry or let the process happen and become what He needs me to be.> > I finally got some packages from the Poczta! Although I'm afraid I'm not going to get the one you sent me Mom. Duty is going to call Bytom for me today to try and get my package but it might be on its way back to the states by now. Dunno what their hang up with it was. I did get a couple davagee packages from Sydney though and those seemed to make it through ok. > > By the way i saw a little cafe off the rynek that has chess boards set up.. I'm going to have to do some special interest contacting one day i think ;-) > > Sorry this email was way rushed, have a good one all> > Happy Valentines Day > > elder daly

Sunday, February 10, 2008

OXFORD!!! Our day trip this last week was to Oxford, which was awesome and such a beautiful sunny day. The weather has been amazing this past week...it feels like summer. It makes me even more happy not to be in Utah haha - hot to rub it in lol :) Anyway, I learned a lot of cool things about Oxford. I didn't realize it's not one big campus like BYU but seperate colleges formed with older buildings in a quad. It is beautiful. One of the colleges, Christ's Church, is where they filmed the Great Hall for Harry Potter...so I'm going to have to come back and take a tour of it :)

There was a place called the Covered Market, which was a fun shopping place. I was bad and spent lots of money that day. I got an Oxford T-shirt and then a cute shrit and yellow shirt...not that you needed to know that but I liked my purchases :) But then I saw this milkshake place and had to satisfy my sugar craving so I tried one of their specials...chocolate muffins and banana...oh my gosh amazing!!! I believe the best way to remember a place is by the food you eat there, so Oxford will be a very sweet memory lol.

Tuesday, February 5th is a day I will always remember!! In this first picture you will notice I look a little sleepy...that is because I woke up at 5:00 am in the morning to stand in line for tickets to Shakespeare's play Othello. Why would I stand in line for a Shakespeare play that I didn't really know much about that early in the morning you might ask?? Because one of my favorite actors was performing in the play...EWAN MCGREGOR!!! He is my favorite with his amazing voice in the movie Moulin Rouge and his other movies The Island and Down with Love. I was so in love with him freshmen year and now I am obsessed with again because I got to see him like 15 feet away performing in front of me for three hours. It was the best night ever!!! I am definatley going to see it again!!! My dream has come true haha :)

Here are some yummy treats I love enjoying in London. Gelato of course...and McFlurry's at McDonald's. You may laugh but the McDonald's here are really nice and the flavors of McFlurry's are amazing...this is Cadbury Creme Egg!!! Yum...gotta love the chocolate :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

February 4, 2008...love those trains!

Co slychacccc!? I included some pictures.. it takes like 10 minutes to upload one picture so i apologize that there arent very many... i might just have to get them developed and just mail them home. One of them is a little sketchy i apologize.. The Babylon one.. i thought it was hilarious and ironic. This was taken in Katowice.. The chapel there is one floor above an "adult club" called Babylon. O Babylon, O Babylon..> > This past week was a shorty and not a whole lot of actual missionary work went down because we had Zone and District Conferences in Krakow and Katowice from thurs-sun. At the beginning of the week we had a couple of good lessons though. Krystyna our Bapt. date flaked us .. dangot... basically both her and Grazyna's baptisimal dates will probably be dropped by the end of this week if we don't meet with them. We haven't met with either our rastas or Michal just because of the short week, but we have set-ups with both this week. We met with two older women on Monday evening and taught a first. I'm exactly sure why they are interested, they seem to be nonetheless so we'll see what happens with that. Then when Duty and I were tracting.. sometime last week i really can't remember... we had walked up 17 flights of stairs, knocking each door.. it had been a day full of trials and tribulations comparable to those of Paul.. we had been spitten on, smitten on even and we were about to turn back.. I told Duty that we had to do the last floor and then motivated him by singing a stellar rendition of Eye of the Tiger.. so we pressed forward to the 18th floor.> > Actually it really was the last door, but it was on the first floor and she was the only person to give us the time of day. She was busy that night though so we made a return on her door on tuesday i believe. She was there and let us in and we taught a pretty rad by my standards first lesson to her. It was probably the first time in a lesson where i really branched out from what i usually say and bore a stronger and more unique than usual testimony and shared a personal story. So yeah 3 new investigators this week.. rock on.> > On Thursday we took a 4 hour train ride up to Krakow for Zone Conference. Krakow is straight up unreal. The rynek was hugenormous.. i have one or 2 pics i think of the rynek.. hard to capture it all. Also there is a picture of Vavel.. which is this pretty rad castle there. It was closed though so we didnt get to go inside. Zone Conference was davage. Great to meet all these missionaries that i hear stories about but dont have a face to put with them. Umm yeah President Engbjerg spoke along with his wife. Elder Wondra from the Central Europe Presidency spoke.. he's an interesting guy. I'll leave it at that. All of the dying missionaries bore their testimonies. That was probably my favorite part. I could see in each of them that they had really grown to love Poland and its people and that their mission meant the world to them. It was great motivation for me to make sure I'm making each day mean something. Then all of us took a train down to Katowice. Train ride was way good times actually. We were all sitting on the Peron.. or like platform deal waiting for our train to come (about 40 missionaries) we all chilled and chatted for like 30 mins waiting. Then when our train pulls up we realize we are on the wrong peron. So about 40 missionaries and some leaders with all of our baggage were booking up and down stairs in the Krakow dworzec (trainstation) trying not to miss our train. Haha it was good times.. we all made it on.. this time. Next time we wouldnt be so lucky. We had Zone P-day on Saturday which was essential to my sanity. We played football and soccer.. it jammed pretty hard I was quite happy. Elder Boyack (ZL) completely layed out a sister missionary during one of the football games. Pretty intense game to say the least. Then the elders had district priesthood meeting, then there were a couple of other meetings that night.. usual stuff. Sunday was Conference.. it was long but nice to get spiritually fed a little bit. Sang in the choir, it was all good times. I loved Katowice. I hope i get to serve there sometime. It's the dirtiest city in Poland and the pollution in the air is at 198% .. I'm pretty sure it's officially unsafe for humans to be living there. But it's just way davage the people are hardcore awesome.. we got to work a little around the city and everyone stopped to talk. There are also more missionaries in that area (slask) than in any area of the mission, except Warsaw ofcourse. So yeah, im a fan.> > We were told that we would be spending Sunday night in Kato.. because President doesnt like missionaries traveling on Sunday. However we were told at the last minute that he wanted us home Sunday night. So we had to book it to the dworzec and get some tickets. Unfortunately Elder burt and urling in our district were visiting a new member in Kato while this was all going down. So we phoned them and kindly shared with them the urgency of the situation and how they had to kick it to the dworzec pretty quick because our train was leaving in 20 minutes. I'm sure you can see where this is going.. they literally started running up the stairs of the peron while our train was taking off. It was about 5 pm.... next train was at 8... so we chilled at the dworzec for a few hours in the warm winter weather of kato. Got into wroclaw about 11 pm last night.. didnt get to sleep till midnight.. so im pretty tired today to be honest. And its not pday today b/c we had zone pday on saturday.. so after this ive got a sweet bonus day of work ahead. woot sauce! > > I have a package waiting for me at the Poczta here in wroclaw so hopefully ill finally get one! :-) im pretty sure the other was is still in bytom.. im not sure if sending packages through dearelder is going to work very well. Your best bet is always to send it to the mission home.. Ill get it for sure that way.. just probably not in a timely manner, but i will get it. I havent had the chance to write letters so ill see if i can get some off later in the week... > > thanks for the love :-) have a great week I love you all> > elder daly

Sunday, February 3, 2008

PARIS!!! Our group had the amazing opportunity to go to Paris this last week. It was so much fun because we got to see countless wonders and famous places. Paris also holds exquisite art...we spent much of our time at museums and for our art class, we sketched some sculptures. We got around by using the Metro, which is kinda like a subway system...however, it was very dirty and stinky - I guess that comes with a city. I have grown a bigger appreciation for London and the cleaner tube system lol :)

Our first excursion in Paris was to Montmartre where we visited the Basilica of Sacre Couer. It stood atop a huge hill overlooking the city. We even climbed like 300 spiraling stairs (the first of many stairs to come lol) to the top of the dome and had an amazing view. In the view was my first glimpe of the Eiffel Tower...I couldn't believe I was actually in Paris. So cool!

The Eiffel Tower!!! We chose our first night in Paris to climb the 700 stairs up the Eiffel Tower. The very top is closed during the week, but we still got pretty high up and were able to do it at sunset. Then has it got darker, the Eiffel Tower lit up and we were even on it when they turned
on the glittering lights. So pretty!!!

Of course the Louvre was a must among the many other museums we went to. I saw beautiful art. The Italian paintings were my favorite...so much detail and color! I saw the Mona Lisa, Madonna on the Rocks, Aphrodite, Winged Freedom statue, and Napoleon III's decked out apartment! I loved it, but it was very easy to get lost in the massive building.

Here is me in the Hall of Mirrors where Louis IV used to walk down when he lived at Versaille!! The palace was so amazing....Louis lived quite the rich life with rooms encrested in gold, silver, red velvet, and beautiful paintings. The gardens looked amazing from the window, but it was way to cold to walk around in them. I'm sure it would be fun to do in the spring. At the end of our visit there, we went in the chapel and heard amazing singing...it seriously sounded like angels. Turns out it was a choir made up of kids from age 5 to 12!! It was amazing...I couldn't believe such magical sound could come out of such young kids!

The other pic is a nice shot of us jumping off chairs in the middle of Luxembourg gardens. Yay for Paris!

Notre Dame!! We of course climbed the many stairs of this sweet building too! Loved the gargoyles and climing to the big bell :

Here is the Arc de Triomphe, which Napoleon built for his victorious army to march through. We climbed to the top of this as well. It is in the middle of like 12 different cross roads. One of the roads is Avenue des Champs-Elysees - one of the most famous roads in the world. It is a very broad street with lots of fun shopping on it and where we ate our first Paris crepe!

The last few pics are just some random ones from the many I have. The stained glass one is from Sainte Chapelle - very famous for being one of the most comprehensive collections of stained glass of the 13th century period. The next pic is of Napoleon's burial sight - a whole palace to him and others close to him. Then there is a pic of Van Gogh I think...I saw a lot of art lol. And then of course we had to get a pic of one of the many spiral staircases we climbed up!