Elder Camron Stockford is currently in Poland, serving a two-year
mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Poland is looking vrey similar to Oregon lately. Meaning it’s been constantly wet, but not too cold to where your body shivers, but not warm enough to really prevent you from shivering. Lovely.
But, last P-Day, Elder Szymański and I took it upon ourselves to make Pierogi and Naleśniki! Naleśniki (Nah-lesh-knee-key) are like crepes, but WAY better, because you fill them with basically anything you want. We made two types of pierogi: 1) spinach & cheese, and 2) apple cinnamon. Both turned out DELICIOUS. Then we filled the naleśniki with nutella and banana’s. Awesomeness. Pics later.
We visited an investigator a few days ago, who lives with his Grandfather. His grandfather is kind of senile, and keeps telling us whether or not things are “wolno nam” (Free to us) to do/eat based on the Bible. Basically, he said Pork and Blood Sausage are off the menu (due to Mosaic Law), but Alcohol and Smoking are perfectly fine (although he thinks smoking is unhealthy, he’s convinced drinking is). Kinda funny.
We’re going to go make said naleśniki for him tonight for dinner. His grandson is our investigator, but he can’t make it tonight, even though he’s the one who is dragging us into making it (long story short, he heard we knew how, and told his grandfather we were coming over Monday to make it for them).
This last week we went to a place called “Moa Burger” on the Rynek. It’s a burger place modeled after New Zealand style things, and one of Elder Szymański’s former companions who was from New Zealand/Australia said it seemed pretty close. Each burger ranged from 20zł to 25zł ($8-$9.50), but were absolutely huge. Like, the size of my head. Bigger than my head actually. Probably one of the best burger’s that I have ever had too. Pretty awesome. Pics later, as well.
I’ve noticed lately that, since I’ve lost about 20 pounds, and seemed to have stopped at 165lbs again, my suits don’t quite fit me anymore. They’re way baggy, and I look like the Stay Puf’t Marshmallow Man (10 Points to everyone who gets the reference in 5 seconds or less). I’m probably going to get them both tailored while I’m here, since we live way close to anything and everything we could ever want, except grocery stores which are a tram away.
Last night was pretty awesome. We tracted an entire building of 7 klotka’s (blocks? Not sure if “klotka” really translates…), or about 88 doors, in approximately 1hr and 10 minutes. Absolutely nobody was interested, and a couple people yelled at us, including the very last door we had left.
This was where Elder Szymański demonstrated a Christlike quality that I see I definitely need to work on. This woman yelled at us for a good straight 10 seconds the second she heard the words “Jesteśmy Misjonarzami…” (We are missionaries) about how we aren’t needed, we’re deluded (I think that’s what she said), and we shouldn’t be knocking on doors, that we should just go home and leave everyone alone. She then pointed to the door, and said “The door’s right there, leave, good-bye.” Elder Szymański then politely asked her if he could leave her with a pass-along card. She stared at him, and again began to yell at us as, saying things like “Are you deaf? Did I not say anything?” Finally I said “Have a good night” and started to walk off, but she kept yelling things (I had stopped listening), so I loudly told her to have a nice night as I began storming towards the door, then when she continued to yell at me louder and louder I just said “BYE!” and walked out the door, Elder Szymański close behind.
Looking back, I should have taken the yelling, as I normally have done in the past, and just been more kind to, as Elder Szymański demonstrated was his desire. Instead, I let my feelings get the best of me. The door literally was right there, we had only been nothing but polite to her, and I guess I just felt that I didn’t have to take it, and I could walk out. And I did. I learned the valuable lesson of bearing afflictions with patience. I’ve always thought I was patient, but I guess everyone has a limit, and limits get stretched, and mine was stretched farther than normal. I’m very sorry for how I acted, and I do wish I could take it back. I’m so grateful for the lesson I have learned though. That was indeed a blessing, as was my quick return to good spirits with Elder Szymański.
The other blessing was on our way home. We were contacting through the park on that same night, and we tried stopping a few people, but nobody stopped at all. Finally one young man, about our age, did. He listened to me and Elder Szymański, was interested, and took a Book of Mormon. Sadly, his phone was dead and he didn’t remember his phone number, but he did want to give it to us, instead we left him with ours.
Right after that, we briefly discussed what we could have done to improve, mainly me letting Elder Szymański talk more. I also mentioned that I didn’t have a Book of Mormon on me, and we had 15 minutes to be home. Elder Szymański said “I have one, let’s give it out!” I agreed, and even pointed to the next person on the pathway, and said “Let’s give it to that guy!” We stopped him, and HE LISTENED! He took a Book of Mormon and seemed even MORE interested than the first person we talked to less than 3 minutes beforehand! Sadly, he didn’t feel comfortable giving us his number, but he still took a Book of Mormon.
The funny thing was the combination of “coincidences” that happened there. Two men, on the same path, with less than 3 minutes in between, to both we taught a decent length lesson, both took a Book of Mormon but we didn’t get their number, and even both of them were named Michał!
Well, that’s really all!
Ja bardzo was kocham! I Djiekuję za każdy modlitwe dla mnie! :D
First, I was just going to leave the subject as “The Sun is Shining” but I immediately thought of Finding Nemo, and decided to quote it.
I have a story of my first day here that I forgot to tell you all. Another funny Jehovah’s Witnesses story.
I was plugging in my power strip through a converter when it sparked a bit, and all the power went out. We checked the breakers, and it was fine, but no electricity was coming through to any of our lights, appliances, or even our electricity meter. We didn’t quite know what to do. We called our Landlord, who called the electric company, who told him that everything was in order on their end. The Landlord said he would try and send somebody to help. We continued on into our Weekly Planning Session.
About 20 minutes later, Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on our door, a young man (late 20’s) and older woman. Apparently they tracted into the Elder’s a couple weeks before, and had been coming back occasionally to try and see if we could meet. As usualy we were nice to them. They asked if we could meet, and we said no, because we were planning for the week, and on top of that our power was out. Well, turns out that the older woman is a retired electrician, and she immediately asked what the problem was, asked where our breakers were, what happened, etc. She told us the fuse was probably out, but then noticed another set of breakers on the outside of our apartment. We got a ladder, looked up there, and there actually was a set of four breakers, the one with our apartment number switched off. We switched it again, and everything worked! We then recreated the situation to make sure that was the solution, and it worked again!
We expressed our deep gratitude, but still said we couldn’t meet right then. We said good-bye, and then called our landlord. He asked us how we solved the problem, and we told him. He just busted up laughing that two Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on the door of two Mormon missionaries, and we all fixed the problem.
Things are going great here. The sun is really shining a lot lately, which makes the city look a whole lot more beautiful than before. I also found out a couple of things from Elder Szymański about Kraków. Apparently, this area (the mountains, or right by them) is famous for a few things. In this case, namely hand carved goods, especially chess boards. I then found out about the fact that people here have a 3 person chess game. So, hearing the stories of this, I went and bought one. Pictures will follow. It’s kind of mind-bending how the pieces move sometimes, but way fun. I’m also going to buy a normal chess board today. It’s all hand made too, which is way cool.
Being in a city with only two people is interesting. Normally, Kraków is a four-man city, but due to loss of missionaries, re-organization of districts and zones, and such, it’s been a two-man city for some time now. That means we have to take care of all of the other apartment’s stuff, such as a phone, and ocassionally checking up on it. It also means that the only other missionary contact we have are short nightly phone calls to report in each night. Kind of an interesting new situation I’m in.
We’ve been seeing a lot of tender mercies of the Lord lately. One of the bigger ones is Elder Szymański’s recent miracle of renewing his tram card. We get monthly cards, and renew them each month. Being caught on the tram by ticket checker’s results in a HUGE fine (up to 300 Zł or so), and they randomly get on trams, walk along them and check everybody’s cards or tickets, then issue tickets and exit the tram with people who are ticketless. Basically, being caught without a ticket is bad.
Elder Szymański had to renew his ticket at the ende of February, but didn’t remember which day exactly. He knew he was good for a while though, and put it out of his mind for the moment. The other day, the 1st actually, we were out contacting, and the thought occurred to him to renew his card. We immediately went to a kiosk to renew it, and when we put it in the machine we found that not only did it expire at the end of the month, but it expired the 27th! We luckily had not needed to use the trams much during those two days. He renewed his card and we went on our way.
That night we went tracting on the other side of town. On our way back, the tram got ticket checked. Two men got on and started coming towards the middle from both ends, one from each end. Elder Szymański and I were in the back, and were the first ones checked. Sometimes, people are able to get away with not being checked by getting off at the next stop before the checkers get to them. That wasn’t our case. Luckily, mine was only about 8 days old, and I was fine. Even more luckily, Elder Szymański had renewed his that very day! Had he not, he would have faced a huge fine.
I know the Lord takes care of his children, and especially His servants. I’m thankful to be one of them.
I hope y’all know that I love you! :)
Ja was kocham! :D
This past weekend Slawek was baptized in Krakow by President Dziubla. He was taught the gospel by Elders Szymanski and Stockford (and Elder Godwin who was just tranferred to Szczecin). This is a wonderful man who will add to the great spirit in the Krakow Branch. The highlight of our mission is to witness the mighty change of heart as one receives and accepts the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Welcome Slawek to the Kosciol Jezusa Chrystusa Swietych w Dniach Ostatnich.