Monday, March 2, 2015

Welcome to Gdansk

March 2, 2015 
Dear Family,
Well I have arrived and am trying to get settled into my new home here in Gdasńk. Last Tuesday my entire district spent the morning at the Dworzec sending us all off on trains to the unknown. Sister Johnston and Elder Wright are the only two who remained. It was actually really hard to say goodbye to my Warsaw II district family, I have served around a lot of my district family for most, if not all of my mission. My elders helped get me onto my train because my luggage weighed a million pounds, yeah never doing that again! Then I had a long train ride by myself up to the northernland. I retaught myself how to crochet again on the journey and talked to a cool guy, he took a Księga Mormona too. Then the poor man helped me haul my luggage off the train when I arrived haha. Gdańsk definitely feels really European. Most of the buildings are old Polish style or communist. Actually a lot of the city is kinda sketchy and ugly, but the main touristy areas are stunning, and we live 5 minutes from the main street Ul. Długa. I still haven't seen the sea yet, I am dying to do that! We don't get up to the Sopot or Gdinia areas usually because they are so far away, but maybe for a p-day I will finally get to the water!

So this last week has been a bit of a bumpy start for me here in Gdańsk. Last transfer was really challenging, but I look back now and I realized how much I loved every bit of it, I loved being a missionary, I knew my purpose. I poured my heart into the people. In the moment it was hard to realize everything happening and changing, because every day was so full and busy and crazy. But looking back now I see so much passion, drive, and I don't think I have ever tried harder in my entire life to be a obedient and hard working, even considering all of the obstacles. I knew what I wanted and I went for it, and things by far did not go perfectly, but I really appreciate all that happened. I am so so grateful for my good start and 6 months in Warsaw, and I already miss Kaja, Molly, and Anita so much. When I got my transfer call to Gdansk I was genuinely excited. I really do like the branch and feel like there is a lot of potential regardless of a down first week. Sister Bak is a good companion as well. I think I just need to turn to the Lord a little bit more and remember the vision.
On Sunday I officially met the branch, everyone is super funny! Elder and Sister Shaw are the senior couple here, they are actually from Idaho Falls as well. They have the missionaries over for Sunday dinners, so we went over after church yesterday, I seriously just about wept at the sight of a Sunday dinner with mashed potatoes and English speakers. They fed us well, and let me tell you that enriched and lifted my soul like none else! I know I am pathetic!
So let’s just say cheers to a better week. As hard as it is sometimes, I know that this is true. The gospel of Jesus Christ brings us so much peace and direction. Keep holding onto that iron rod, I promise you the alternative is not worth it, not now, and especially not in the eternal scheme of things. Christ is our brother, and Heavenly Father is mindful of every situation. God has been so good to us. I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Sister Benson

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