Thursday, January 26, 2017

22: Week 22 (13th week in Warsaw): Boom Clap

This has been quite possibly my favorite week of my mission. And honestly, probably, my whole life. Here's why:

Funky Town...Łódź:
Sister DeMordaunt and I went on exchanges in Łódź this week. I finally got to go on a train! Now, for some reason, Łódź gets a bad rep for being "ugly" and "dirty". Whoever said any of that is a big, fat liar. It was so cute and quaint! All of the missionaries in Łódź are was so fun to contact and teach with all of them (even if it was freeeeeeeeezing outside!). While there, we taught an English class, Sister Van and I went and taught a less active, and we had a big finding activity! Good times. And.... I ate "mexican food"...aka a 2/10 burrito. But, it was still mexican food. Count your blessings. 

When you go to teach someone and they teach you (WAY) more:
There is a member from the South that has been (REALLY) sick for months. She got so sick (can barely breathe from severe bronchitis and other complications), that she had to be brought up to Warsaw for several intensive surgeries and better care. Sister DeMordaunt and I went and visited her in the hospital on Wednesday. While we were there, we talked about JOY and read her a talk from this past conference ( She was so happy the whole time...seriously, she was so, so smiley. We asked her why/ how she could be so happy during this horrible time. Here's what she said {paraphrased}: "Today is the first day in months that I have been able to breathe on my own. Today is the first day in months that I have eaten solid food. Today is the first day in months that I have stood up. Today is the first day in months that I've been able to talk. Doctors are starting to figure out what is wrong with me. I am able to understand the care I am getting (she speaks English and doesn't know any Polish). You want to know why all these good things are now happening? Because I am feeding myself spiritually and not asking "why me" anymore. I started reading the Book of Mormon again. Missionaries are visiting me! If I focus on God, I know He will help me...I just need to trust Him and His plan. I am allowing the Atonement to work more in my life--for ALL of my pains. There is no coincedence that all this good is happening right when I was well enough to feed myself spiritually again. It doesn't mean that the road is easy, or will be easy, or will be shorter...but I know that I can rely on God and submit my will to His. I have a lot to be grateful for." Okay paraphrase over. The tears can begin. IS SHE INCREDIBLE OR WHAT? Sister D and I literally walked out of the hospital sobbing because she is so strong and happy. We can't wait to keep meeting with her through her journey and recovery. 

*Points to Americans*...Christopher Columbus! *Jumps off the Stage*...Miley Cyrus!
We had a Relief Society activity with the Warsaw 1 and 2 sisters on Saturday. We are so excited to merge branches in a few weeks! We had so much fun and SUCH a good turn out (around 25 sisters...wahoo!). We ate chocolate, mingled around, and played charades. That's where the Christopher Columbus and Miley Cyrus caption comes into play. It was a Polish sister's turn to act out. After she paused for a second to decide how to act her slip of paper out, she just stood and pointed to the American sisters. No one really knew what she was hinting at, so we all just waited for the time to run out. She then was like, "Um, duh. Christopher Columbus. The guy who discovered YOUR land". It was so funny. Sister Chadwick (American) was up next. She kept swinging off of the we were all like, "Monkey! Tarzan!....etc etc etc"....nope. What was she acting out? Miley Cyrus. On a wrecking ball. We all died. 

-My theme for the week (for obvious reasons): "When the focus of our lives is on Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening--or not happening--in our lives". -Russell M. Nelson
-I think we are officially just down to "2-pair of tights" weather :)
​​​​​​​​​​​​-I hit 5 months this week. AH! Where is the pause button??

have a great week! kocham was!
siostra talia beem

ul. Wiertnieza 135, 1 Pietro
02-952 Warszawa Poland

PICS: my district (bez sister d) and a weird....? on the patelnia, sister d selfies (what's new), exchanges in lodz, and the cutest watercolor my cousin made me (@watercolorsbyhannahlaine)! 

21: Week 21 (12th week in Warsaw):Padme Amidala

How has another week already passed?

"I just felt that":
We met with Jenosam again this week to teach him about the Restoration. We focused a lot on the Holy Ghost and the Book of Mormon. At the end of our lesson, we had him read Moroni's promise (Moroni 10:3-5), "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things". Right after we read that, he told us that he felt the Spirit as he read those words (aka the Holy Ghost was telling him that reading the Book of Mormon was GOOD and TRUE). I am going to blame the mission, but seriously, I just cry all the time now during spiritual moments. And I almost lost it in the middle of that lesson. He committed to begin reading the Book of Mormon! He will now start meeting with Elder Haskett and Elder Barlow. 

Sweetie is this cute member that just moved here from Nepal. She got baptized when she was younger...but hasn't been to church for a while. BUUUT, she really wants to come back to church and learn everything over again. We will start teaching her again this week, as well as teach her Polish and help her find a job where she doesn't have to work on Sundays! 

The cutest "nun" ever:
....sister D! In Poland, if a Catholic nun walks by, people say a little Catholic phrase/prayer to them. As we were in the metro the other day...this guy came up to Sister D and said the phrase. In other words, homeboy thought she was a nun. 

-there was a free ferris wheel in downtown Warsaw this weekend (pics below!)
-sometimes when we are walking around, we just say "good day" to people. sister d said it to this old man the other day and he said "hey, good day to you, too...but i do not know" and then walked away. 
-I'm no longer a trainee!!!!
-A cute Ukranian lady (we teach her son English) put my hair in rad Padme-esque braids. 

have a great week!
siostra talia beem

ul. Wiertnieza 135, 1 Pietro
02-952 Warszawa Poland

20. Week 20 (11th week in Warsaw): Spiritual three's


All Good Things Must Come To An End:
I'm talking about caroling, folks. Buuuut, we ended caroling on a good note. We buzzed into a building and the first person we phoned to let us in! We knocked on the door and a college-aged boy in skinny joggers and an ultra- Euro jacket answered. I thought we just walked into frat house central. Boy, was I wrong. He let us in and sat us down with his cute parents. We talked about the church, mission life, our plans after the mish, etc for about an hour. It was good to just talk about life with that show them that Mormons are NORMAL people. We left them with a song and a card--we'll see what happens! 

The Name We Can't Pronounce (and the miracle that followed): 
Our mission's new focus is on family history. Sister D and I were a little hesitant to family history contact the other day because we had straight no idea how to contact people about But we decided to give it a go! We started talking to a guy named Jenosam. He is from India, but he is studying here in Warsaw. He was very interested in family history work and starting his family tree. We met with him on Friday, and we made small talk while he was making his *free* (you all should do it!!) account. He said that he actually met with missionaries once in India, for about 15 minutes and that they gave him a Book of Mormon (miracle). We started asking him about the Book of Mormon and if he would be interested to meet with us not only for family history help, but for learning more about our religion as well. He said, "Of Course. Also, right after I met you, I called my sister in India and told her to mail my copy of the Book of Mormon to me"... but wait, it gets better. We invited him to church and we asked if he had ever been to an LDS church before. He said, "Yes, once....something was different there. It felt so good! I don't even know how to describe it though"...UM I DO. Holy Ghost. He was a blessing to us...we can't wait to continue working with him and see him progress (both in family history work and in the gospel)! 
Also, cue the "Miracles Happen" song from Princess Diaries. 

-Wise words from my brother Logan (in his email to me this week), "My city league team lost for the third time this week but it was really funny! Your boy dropped a three like steph curry so that was pretty dope to the max.!!!! It hit the net perfectly and just made that sound that makes you get that satisfying feeling! Anyways, have you been dropping some spiritual three's on anyone this week????"--Just thought it was cute. I guess I'll call a good contact a "spiritual three" now :) 
-I'm averaging 4 pairs of tights a day, 3 pair of socks a day, a pair of niiice gloves (with hand warmers inside), a hat, 5 layers up top, a know, the necessities. 
-I think I drank half of my body weight in hot cocoa this week
-It got to -20 yesterday (-4F)
-Just to give you a quick glimpse of how cold it is: Sister D and I boiled water and then immediately chucked it off our immediately turned into snow on the way down. 
-KFC is bomb here. #QuirritoGrande 

have a great week :)
Siostra Beem

ul. Wiertnieza 135, 1 Pietro
02-952 Warszawa Poland

Monday, January 2, 2017

19. Week 19 (10th week in Warsaw): Blackout Year

Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku! Happy New Year!
I have officially started my "Black Out Year"...or my one full calendar year as a missionary!

Gunshots or Fireworks:
Happy New Year! We had to be inside by 20:00, and President said that we could stay up until midnight if we wanted to, so that gave us 4 hours to kill. So, our New Year's Eve night went a little like this.....

1. Bart, our recent convert, was in charge of the New Years Eve party for the Warsaw 1 and 2 branches. We got permission to go check it out for a little bit. I was thinking it was going to be like Apples to Apples in the Relief Society room or something. Maybe with a bowl of pretzels. But holy moly. I was so wrong. Imagine a stake dance. Now imagine a stake dance for 28-88 year olds. Now imagine no one dancing. Now imagine 12 missionaries feeling really awkward. Now imagine the 12 missionaries playing the "don't touch the ground" game with a balloon. Now imagine an 80 year old grandma full-on singing opera  in the corner. That was just the beginning of the night. 
2. After getting home at 20, we decided to order some pizza. Fun fact: A dec. Large Hawaiian pizza and a 2-liter comes out to about $9 USD. Gotta love Poland. 
3. Don't really know how it happened, but we started making up a rap about the Restoration 
4. Sister D serenaded me with her lovely guitar skills
5. We then partied on our balcony until the clock hit 12...where we toasted the new year with some Orangina....wouldn't want to start my new year with anyone else but sister D!

The New Year's party church:
Well, the party didn't stop New Year's Eve! We had 4 investigators at church Sunday At 10:00 am. 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cue the happy tears. 

Caroling our little hearts away:
In Poland, you can carol until Jan. 7th! So we try and carol for about 2 1/2 hours every night. I'm for sure the worst one singing-wise in the group....but all is is going to be sad saying "bye" to caroling this week. Remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer (or Holiday cheer?) is singing loud for all to hear!

The New Year brings new beginnings! I know everyone's goal is to join a gym and get swole, but also think about ways you can come closer to Christ and follow His example! 

Siostra Beem

ul. Wiertnieza 135, 1 Pietro
02-952 Warszawa Poland

More Christmas lights in Warsaw...

The buying of the Carp:  A Polish Christmas Tradition
Poles buy live carp and keep them in their bathtubs for days.  They end up showering with the fish and then fill the tub with fresh water after the shower.
The tradition came to Poland about a hundred years ago from either Austria or Germany.
Carp, supposedly, bring luck. Fish is a must have dish. Fish is also an ancient symbol of Christ and Christianity.

Another baptism for Warsaw II.  President Turek (3rd from the right) is Talia's mission President.

The famous Diva Hat...

Because Talia is in Warsaw they get to meet all of the new missionaries coming in.
Talia said they all looked SOOOO tired.  

The only two Sister Missionaries in all of Warsaw now...they are BUSY!!!

Warsaw getting ready for the New Year's Eve festivities.

Happy New Year 2017