Tuesday, June 26, 2012

First Week in Poland

Dzien Dobry!!! Jak sie maczie??

I can't believe this is all happening.  It really is just like I have imagined my whole life! This past week has been CRAZY! Full of random, spontaneous and new stuff.  I am serving here in Gdansk and it is beautiful! Well, I guess I'll rewind a bit first. I got in the country on tuesday about 5 pm and we ate, had interviews, then hit the sac! We woke up, had a wonderful breakfast, did a bunch of paperwork stuff, then we went contacting on the Rynek (the town square).  I was a little nervous, but we had practiced SOOOOO much that I was actually really excited.  So the first 5 or 6 people weren't interested and kind of just shrug you off.  Oh well :) Then the 6th or 7th person I came to was an 18 year old girl named Ola.  She was so interested, so we (me and 2 other awesome trainers) sat down and talked for 20-30 minutes.  She took a book of mormon and set up another appointment with the sisters in that area! Soooo cool :) I was really happy about that.  So then we went back and met our companions and found out where we're serving.  I am soooo happy to be serving here in Gdansk with Sister Bezdjian :) :) :) she is wonderful.  She's been here for only 3 months and she's my trainer! We have had a blast together.

        So thursday morning we took an 8 hour train ride up here and we unloaded our stuff and went to work! :) Wow, what a first day I had! It was pooring and we didn't have an umbrella because it wasn't raining before.  I learned how to make phone calls and I called about 10-12 people to set up appointments, then we tracted 2 huge buildings.  1 person let us in! :) Miracles :) So then we contacted in the rain and I was loving it.  I have learned that the more you smile and talk to them, the more they smile and talk back :) We have a couple new investigators from that first day in the rain.  Really cool!

         So Friday was pretty hard for me.  I had a really bad sinus infection, and I kept thinking about you guys at home and I didn't want to get out of bed.  So, I did what any missionary would do, and I hit my knees.  I needed a turn of perspective and I needed to feel loved and comforted.  I needed to know that I will see you all again and that this is where I'm supposed to be.  Sure enough, after a good couple hours of studying the gospel, I was feeling good and ready to go.  We had a fantastic day.  The language is coming more and more every day.  when I first got here, I could maybe understand about 30 percent of what people were saying.  Then about 40, then about 50, now I can understand maybe 70 percent and I can be involved in the conversation a lot more.  It has been so great! I really love this language and people are just so grateful that we can speak it to them!

        So there is so much I want to tell you.  Wow. I've just learned so much.  The three biggest things that make this mission successful (I've discovered) are diligence, obedience, and perspective.  When all three of these are in order, everything just works out better.  Miracles and more visible and we find more people to teach.  It's amazing! I think this goes for life as well.  These 3 things will bring joy and success when your heart and works are centered in Jesus Christ.

       So, some of the things I wanted to share real quick.  Oh first of all, thanks so much for the info on the iron man. I was sure praying for you Daddy! I want to know how it went!!! How are you all? It sounds so beautiful! How's Kelsee and ashlee and chase and jon and zach and the kids? Ashlee, thank you sooooo much for your email! I loved all of them, mom, dad and ash :) I sure miss you all.  Okay, so saturday was fathers day here and we were contacting on our way to an appointment ( we are so busy we can hardly handle it.  Sometimes we just don't have time to eat meals, but that's okay! we love it!) and all of a sudden, about 30 priests come out of this HUGE cathederal.  We were standing in the middle of all of them at a stop light! Hahaha, it was hilarious! We got up the courage to offer a pass along card to one, and it didn't really turn out hahaha oh well! :) It was too funny :)

      So about the language - I love it! My brain hurt REALLY bad for the first 2 or 3 days, but I'm getting used to it now, and it's coming easier and easier.  Sometimes I speak polish and people don't know I'm american until they say a big ol huge sentence that sounds like a question and I look at them blankly and am forced to say, "eh..... nie rezumiem... (I don't understand)" haha, but it's all part of the experience eh? :)
      so the sun goes down at about 10:30 at night and it comes up at about 3:30 in the morning! It's nuts! I'm getting used to the mornings though.  Oh and the weather.  At any given time, it'll be sunny and hot and beautiful, and then without 10 second's notice, it's cloudy and POORING rain! Haha It makes for some serious adventures :)

      So yesterday was my first sunday.  I loved it.  Church is only 2 hours here.  I gave a 10 minute talk and I think it went really well :) I felt good about it.  Then we had to get to an appointment clear out of town and we couldn't be late, so we ran the whole way! Well, and mile or 2 and we made it 2 or 3 minutes late but we were sweating soooooo bad! Haha, it was worth it.  They are amazing.  Today we are going back to their house and they're going to teach us how to make pierogi soup! I love that stuff- so excited! :)

       Well, there is so much I want to tell you about.  Please just know that I love you sooooo much.  The people here love the pics of our family.  I think about you everytime I bear testimony of the plan of salvation.  I pray for you every day, all day.  I want you to know that I will never give up.  I am learning more and more the importance of this message.  I love it and I want to share it with everyone. Don't worry about me okay? I am happy and doing great.  I hope you like the videos and pics.  You are my heroes.  I love you soooooooo much!!!! Pa-Pa Na Razie! :)
Love, Sister Shelby Ostler

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