Monday, June 15, 2015

Oh The Humidity!

June 15, 2015
 Hello Family,
It was wonderful to hear from you all this week as usual! The Polish weather is starting to get hotter and more humid. I look like a sweaty wet puppy by mid afternoon these day's. I have never experienced humidity like this before. The instant I walk outside on a hot day and I start to get this panic feeling and want to start ripping my clothing off and running down the street to the closest lake or pond. July is going to be an adjustment!

Happy Birthday To the Most Adventurous Grandpa Ever!
This week we had some really wonderful experiences and activities. There is a member here from China, her name is Linda (He Chong), who we have been helping out lately. The best part was helping her included calling back to the homeland of America and spending hours on the phone with the admissions offices. Man it was wonderful, I definitely believe that my English communication skills are much improved, maybe not grammatically just in general. We called via skype phone on Monday evening, then again on Thursday to about four universities in America trying to figure out her school applications. Just a little bit stressful, but I am grateful for any opportunity to serve. Serivce opportunities in Poland are far and few between sometimes, any chance we get is great!

We also finally had the opportunity to meet and have a lesson with one of our eternal investigators here Ewa. She is so spunky, I love it. Ewa has such a desire and passion for faith yet is so confused about what sources are true and how to know for sure. I kind of understand where she is coming from. As I have progressed steadily along on my mission I really started to wonder about how unfair it is to expect people to accept the gospel immediately. I used to be a little bit flippitant about the idea that if you reject the gospel the first time that is all the chances you get. Being a missionary has changed that perspective. Whether you don't accept the gospel the first, second, maybe even third time, or whether you have drifted away from the gospel you once held dear, I truly believe that God gives us as many chances as we need to get it right. He wants us to succeed. The world we live in is very big, loud, so many different ideas and beliefs, how can we expect people to understand immediately with so many other influences leading them in a thousand different directions. That doesn't mean that God does not have justice in His plan, we are still free to choose, accept or reject, but I believe that He truly does give us as many chances as we need.

Radagast Station where Jews were deported
Friday was a really warm humid day. In the evening we decided we were going to venture out to Aleksandrów Lódzki (a small town outside of Lódż) and explore a new area to tract. It went steaming hot but the moment we got on the tram to travel out there these big angry clouds started to roll in. Our tramwaj headed out straight into the fury of the storm. Aleksandrów is far out so we were only about halfway out in our journey waiting at a bus stop to take us the rest of the way, and the storm hit! These howling winds and the rain just dropped heavier than my shower! We started to walk back to try to find shelter and ended up getting soaked and trapped under a tiny little bus shack with a crowd of fifteen other people trying to hide from the water. We were soaked! It was slightly humorous yet slightly miserable. The roads started to flood so then every time a car drove by they would splash us with a wave of water. We finally made a run to the Biedronka grocery store, and ended up having to go wait at another tram stop because we were too wet to be inside. Quite the adventure. I have a video that is pretty sweet! You will have to see it someday!

Sunday evenings my district usually finds some nice house area to go and tract in. Yesterday while tracting we got let in again!!!! This is the second time my entire mission. It was this beautiful little Polish neighborhood, half of them were działki (little Polish gardening houses, like a very minature cabin where they spend summer weekends). We rang this doorbell to what I thought was a house, turns out it was this ladies działka. She didn't want to let us in at first, but then she had us come and sit with her on her porch. All around us was these beautiful rose gardens, arches of vines and flowers. So beautiful, and perfect setting for the spirit. We had a good conversation, she was religious but not really interested in changing anything. We hopefully left her with a good opinion of the "mormons" and she said that she would come to our open house maybe this upcoming Saturday! Whoot! Such a tender mercy, I love it when the Lord provides us with opportunities to teach!

Today we went to the Radagast museum and train station for p-day. It was the main station used in the deportation of Jews from the Lódż ghetto during WWII. It is just just the main station/ museum now, a couple of trains, but yet another good reminder of the sad history that Europe carries regarding the Holocaust. Most of the Jews from the Lódż ghetto were killed and if they made it out of the ghetto they lost their lives in death camps after being shipped through the Radagast station. Look up in the information online, very interesting. The people here in Poland have had a difficult past.

Well I am really looking forward to this week. We have exchanges today, I will be staying here with Sister Gustafson. Friday we are going to see Fiddler on the Roof (yes dad you should be jealous) and then Saturday we have a great open house planned at the chapel. We shall see how it all goes. The week after next should be even better. The 27th and 28th of June we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the dedication of Poland for missionary work in Warsaw.
All of the missionaries from the whole mission (I have never had that happen before) and all of the members will meet in Warsaw for a party on Saturday and then a conference on Sunday. We will have transfers during the party so I will be with a new comp after the conference. I am so excited, it is going to be great!

Love you all, have a good week!
Sister Benson

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