Monday, July 6, 2015

Cześć Wam,

July 6, 2015

We have just been settling into this week as the start of a new transfer and companionship. I was really surprised at how many goals we had nailed down within the first few hours of living in the same apartment. Both Sister Gustafson and I want to make something good out of this transfer and we already have seen some miracles along the way. We are trying to find ways to do service in the community, strengthen the branch, and also find families to teach.

Our first couple of hours back in Lodz we had people talking to us, not the other way around which is the usual. It is honestly easier to bring up the gospel to me when someone is asking why we are wrestling luggage on a bus than to just get someone to stop on the street. I am weird that way haha. We had another lady approach us while we were on our way home to ask for directions and we were able to invite her to church, she seemed interested and I really think she is going to come! Small miracles that boost you up!

My dear friend Linda from China
The one person that I have been consistently able to work with here in Lodz thus far has been our friend Linda from China. She received the lessons in English last year and got baptized without really understanding a lot, but boy has she made a comeback. Now I am just grateful she made that choice because we were able to pick it up later on. It started to change when we started Skyping with the Mandarin Elders in Boston who are reteaching her the discussions in Chinese.  We are meeting once a week with them, and it has been very helpful. Linda is yet another person on my mission that I have seen change because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She started coming to church again, even in a Polish branch where she hardly even understands the English translations. I love Linda. She has honestly been such a good friend! Sadly sometimes good things come to an end, she finished school here in Poland and is leaving. On Friday we had our last lesson with her and the Boston Elders. Sunday she came to church and now she is off back to China. I feel that she can return to China on a bit more solid foundation. Even though the church has not been officially established in China, there are members there and small congregations. I guess a lot of people have gotten baptized outside of the country and then return and now their membership growing. We hooked her up with the director of the church in Bejing and hopefully he will help her get connected to her local congregation. After some time in China, she is going to try to head to the states for school. I am grateful for the time we had to teach and be with her and am praying that she holds onto the rod!

New Companion Siostra Gustafson
For the fourth of July we went out to this supposedly American restaurant called the American Bull for burgers over by Manufactura. Alas, it was definitely not American. Basically every Polish restaurant here that claims it is Chinese, Mexican, or American is not really authentic. They don't have the same access to a lot of the ingredients so it is Polish- American/Chinese/ Mexican. I could kill for some Cafe Rio right now! Other than that we didn't really do much other than melt in the heat, whoo it got hot. I have never seen my district so cranky and delirious as out tracting in the evening heat. The Air Force has a big group stationed nearby for a couple of months so we had a member from the military from Arizona with us in Church, then we ran into some other military personnel yesterday. Being the American I am I couldn't help but stop by and be like... "oh my goodness, you speak English, with that accent you have to be from America." They probably thought I was an idiot haha! Of course I already knew who they were from their patriotic tattoo's but we chatted anyway and I wished them a late happy fourth of July and thanked them for their service. Even in Poland we got a taste of America. Funny thing is my companion is Canadian, so when we introduced ourselves she was awkardly like... "Well Actually I am from Canada."

This week I have been reading a lot of general conference talks. Honestly if you are looking for a spiritual upliftment, read read read away. General conference not only blesses us during the conference season, but also it can for long afterward. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Siostra Benson

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