Sunday, September 7, 2014

Warsaw Week 2

September 1, 2014
Dearest Family,
Wow what a week! Sometimes I forget that I have only been here for two weeks. The language is not too hot right now but I have confidence that with harder work and time it will come. I definitely am understanding a lot more right now, but now that I know what things are kind of supposed to sound like I am afraid to talk because I know how wrong it all is. Plus I need to work on building my Polish vocabulary, so many dang words. Sometimes I wonder if year and a half will be enough time to learn this language. Some sisters still can't speak it and they are almost finished and some sisters have it by around month 8, with some prayer hopefully that will be me. Now that I am finally settling in I am so grateful to be here in Warsaw. We have a decently nice and really safe apartment, a huge branch (by Polish standards), and lots of work to do. I think that I really needed the support that comes from such a large branch, collection of missionaries, and the mission home. We get to see probably around 20-24 different missionaries every single week and it is really good for the soul to be around so many missionaries and support each other. I guess most of the other areas all over the country have maybe 2-4 companionships in a whole city. Warsaw is a blessing. Plus we get to do things like gather at the mission home for important occasions such as presidents birthday duh da da dahhh! So Sister Edgren is way more sneaky that I would have ever guessed. She snuck all of the Warsaw missionaries into the storage room of the mission home yesterday to surprise President Edgren. Then she somehow managed to make three gourmet cakes and dinner for everyone who came without President even knowing. Once everyone was crammed in this tiny little storage room in the basement she sent president down to grab something and we scared the crap out of him. It was pretty awesome. Then we had a huge barbecue out back; legitimately the best food that I have eaten in a long long time. It reminded me of momma's cooking. She made funeral potatoes and grilled chicken and some crazy good cakes. Good ole Sister Edgren. I think the missionaries who got to go were happier to be there than President was! I know I was for sure! Now we get to look forward to Warsaw holidays, which with all of the missionaries gathered at the mission home are supposed to be epic! (Side Note: I guess president Edgren is making more of an effort to keep people in the same area and companionship longer so Sister Tobler and I are crossing our fingers for two transfers together, then she goes home right before christmas). Speaking of my companion, Sister Tobler is such a blessing. Really the whole first week I was just disoriented, ok to be honest I still am, but this week I finally started to realize how great of a companion I have. The more I get to know her, the more blessed I feel that I get to be trained by her. She is patient, and kind, and loving, and smart, and has common sense, and is normal! Seriously what a good combination. She is not who I thought I would get but she is better. She is also Zone sister training leader so she has a ton of extra stuff to do that keeps us busy which I love.
So just an update of random stuff that happened this week. Tuesday, we had zone training which was fantastic. I love my zone, my companionship is the only sisters, and we have some great elders. Also on Tuesday one of my MTC buddies Sister Grgich got to come and stay the night with us because she got shipped in to go in and do legal work together on Wednesday. We spent all day on Wednesday on transfers trying to get out legal work done and should be set to go. Wednesday night President called us super late and was like... I am coming to pick you up right now, sister Benson is going to stay with the Warsaw I sisters tonight and sister Tobler is staying at the mission home. Sister Tobler had to go with President to Lodz on Thursday for zone training and they had to leave super early so I stayed the night with Sister Hemming and her companions on Wednesday night and then spent all of Thursday working with them. All the sister missionaries here are amazing but needless to say as much as I love them, I was super grateful to get my own companion back after so much separation. On Friday the office elders Elder Jaeger and Piper drove us about an hour and a half to visit a recent convert and less active family. I FINALLY  got to see some polish country side if you could even call it that but it was nice to have a break from the city. I really could use some Idaho potato and wheat fields right now even if they are all moldy from the rain haha.
So for the big news of the week. We got a baptismal date this week. My first one. Baptism is a really big thing in this mission. To be honest I was kind of surprised. I almost actually have been preparing myself not to get any baptisms because I didn't want to disappoint myself when none came, but the Lord is providing miracles. We are teaching this lady named who is fantastic. She committed to baptism on only the third lesson without even having been to church, then after she committed she was like wait... what exactly am I even committing to? So we nervously gave her a rundown of all of the commandments. She is as Drew would say... elect! I hope she will continue to progress. 
PS  Random moments of the week .. When we were visiting a less active family I had to use the bathroom, and it had no seat. NO SEAT! Just a huge gaping hole that was all nasty. What is this, the stone ages? I think I had a mid life crisis right there in the bathroom, but nevertheless survived. Then when I went out to finish the lesson the lady was feeding us cookies and I found a huge hair in mine. I couldn't eat around it or pull it out so rather than offend her I ever so slightly slid the cookie inside my Book of Mormon and smashed it a few times until it looked flat. The grease stain in that chapter of Mosiah is worth not having to eat that hairy cookie! Oh the things we experience on a mission.
Love, Love, Love,
Sister Ellis Benson

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