Tuesday, April 26, 2016


You all thought I was leaving. I even thought I was leaving! PSYCH! Guess where this email is coming from- GDAŃSK! Now there are a few ways one can interpret why I am still here:

1. There is something I still need to do here that I haven't done

2. They need me to keep doing whatever I'm doing (I'm just irreplaceable I guess you could say)

3. They don't know what to do with me and they know I love it here, so they figure why not?

4. I'm at a loss for words, I really don't have a clue

I think it is safe to say, I am the new Queen of Gdańsk. The hardest part was saying goodbye to my baby. They grow up so fast! She is now in Wrocław and I stinking miss her!! However she is going to be the STL for the South Zone and so we will see each other on Saturday when we have a meeting in Warsaw.

This transfer I'm with lovely and too cute Siostra DeMordaunt. She was in the MTC with Siostra Dekker and has been in only Szczeciń. We've already gotten to know each other a bit from exchanges and I am excited to serve with her. I feel like this 8 week transfer though is just going to feel like one long exchange! And well exchanges are a blast and full of wonders so, I think it's going to be a good adventure! 

Oh crazy fun bit: apparently S. Demordaunt had seen my blog before going into the MTC and had said to her mom, "Wouldn't it be fun to serve with a sister like her?" What's that, I look like fun? Kidding but HOW COOL IS THAT? Miracles. Anyways, I'll have to let you know more about Siostra DeMordaunt next week.

This last week we met with some members and really just tried to make the most of our time here. Quick update on the couple G & J we met around Easter time. We've been in contact with them and are set up to meet with them at the beginning of May. (They're a pretty busy family.) Anyways J had told us he is almost finished reading the Księga Mormona! Who does that? People who are seriously interested in the Gospel, that's who. He is probably finished by now. Siostra Dekker and I were so shocked, why is this couple so amazing? And their son came again to our English class.

One of our goals from the transfer was to build up our English class. We started fresh, new day of the week, new time. We really wanted to target intermediate level speakers and especially student. We kinda thought it was a failure except these last couple of weeks we have had so many people! By so many I guess I mean 12 not including the missionaries. They are 12 super awesome students though. One of them just did a crazy Red Bull challenge across Europe. He basically hitchhiked around Europe with his team, and they had to do a bunch of challenges and checkpoints as they traveled. You can check out his team's blog if you want at "Adventuretime.com.pl" and he is the one in the picture on the left. We met him when we did a uni presentation about our faith and beliefs. Anyways, basically we get to meet the coolest people and English is one of those ways. 

I am excited to see what this transfer holds in store!

Here are some pictures from the last week of the transfer:
-Westerplatte take two (there will probably be a take 3 and four and...)
-we kept walking by this pasta house and so we made a goal to go and eat there before the transfer was up. It's the kinda place you would like Dad, very simple with fresh ingredients. You choose from the selection of pasta noodles for the day, then you choose from the selection of sauce's for the day and then you can add things like cheese, olives, itd.

-some days not even the pigeons listen, but that doesn't stop us from trying

well here goes another 8 weeks in Gdańsk! Stay tuned next week when I'll be one year older and wiser too, 

Siostra Young

MALBORK (A Pday Special)

We spent culture day this week at Malbork Castle. It is the largest brick castle in the world! We met a lovely Mormon family from Washington State and so we got to get to know them a bit. They had a Polish exchange student and so they came to Poland to visit her. They also payed for out tickets to enter the castle. There are kind people everywhere.

-the gang

-district picture

-comp picture

gdańsk is my home

b-b-but Gdańsk is my home, I can't leave! I WON'T LEAVE. 

Transfer calls are this week. I really have no clue what is going to happen. S. Dekker and I just aren't going to think about it because it makes us sad. Next week I could be emailing you from a different computer. (It'll probably be on a Tuesday as well.)

This week we (Siostra Dekker i ja) started taking advantage of the opportunity we have to serve in this beautiful city. We started by taking some classic tourist photos with the lions. They're a classic symbol of Gdańsk.

-fierce lion

-sleepy lion. Oh how that sunshine felt so good.

We did a lot of finding this week. Generally when I think about finding all day everyday, I get a little exhausted and it can seem a little daunting. I was surprised when we reviewed our week that that is exactly what we did though. Lots of contacting and trackting. We had so much fun and we met some of the coolest people. Maybe that's just one of the perks of being companions with Sister Dekker. We always seem to enjoy whatever we're doing. Maybe that's one of the perks to missionary work. There is a satisfying joy that comes from sharing the gospel. 

Last night as we met with a less active, I was reminded of Mosiah 2:17, "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.".As I helped wrap one of the injured fingers of my dear sweet friend, I thought about the Savior and his ministry, along with the Apostles. They had such compassion and performed wonderful miracles. I love the word miracle in Polish, "cud". The adjective "cudowny" means wonderful. So a miracle is a wonder. I definitely

 performed no miracle, but I felt great compassion as I tried my best to tenderly wrap her finer and tie the not at the end of the material in a little bow. I felt so much love for this daughter of God. How much more love our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us. The Savior Jesus Christ also loves us so, he came to this Earth specifically for each and every one of us, to teach his gospel, minister unto us, and perform his part of the Plan so that we could return to live with out Heavenly Father. I know that if only there was one person on the Earth, Christ would have still atoned for the sins of the man. What a supreme act of infinite and inspiring love. I am not the best example of remembering to look outwards and serving, but I can tell you that when we love our neighbours and serve them we are serving our Father in Heaven, and we will feel an empowerment of divine love.

Until next week, when I'll maybe not be emailing from Gdańsk- jej-ku. I've got to stop thinking about transfers, 

Siostra Young

Tender Mercies

We are finally all caught up on general conference! I love conference. I also love that we can still read and ponder the words from past conferences and messages shared by our wonderful Church leaders who have been inspired to help us.

Earlier this morning I was reading an article by Elder Bednar about tender mercies. He said, "the Lord's tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness, obedience, and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord's timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings." 

When I look for the tender mercies, I also find them. Heavenly Father is constantly doing little things for us. Sometimes though, I forget to spend some time to think and express gratitude for the little things, the mercies and the blessings. However, I know they are there. I am excited to look for them this week and to more fully express my gratitude to my Father in Heaven. 

Being here in Gdańsk, this beautiful city has been one of the greatest tender mercies of my mission. I love it here.  Last week we visited the muzeum solidarności. Here are some pictures:

-the monument outside, there were supposed to be three crosses facing each corner of the world in honour of four men who had died. Then they found out only three had died and so they erected three crosses.
-comp head sets. We're lookin' fly.

-classic Gdańsk view from the top of the museum (shipyard and cranes)

hedgehogs, hot hibiscus herbata, hymn books, and harkening to the prophet

Hedgehogs, hot hibiscus herbata, hymn books, and harkening to the prophet. Oh and harmless missionaries doing less active finding. That about sums up our week here in Gdańsk.

Hedgehogs- there is a little park by our apartment that we walk by on our way home and we've noticed the cutest little hedgehogs! Jeż is one hedgehog and jeże is plural. 

Hot hibiscus herbata- one of my favorite people in all of Poland invited us over. She served us some delicious hibiscus drink. She had spent some time in Egypt a while back and well, still had some dried hibiscus flower. She boiled some water, put the flower for a coupel mintues and voila, you add some sugar (trzeba becaise it is pretty bitter) and it is REALLY GOOD. More importantly though were the things we discussed with her. She shared her conversion story with us and some crazy adventures she has had. One of my favorite pictures of my parents is them standing on a bridge with some beautiful building behind them and a river. Maybe it is in Amsterdam. Anyways I carry it around with me in my scriptures. Turns out the archtiect for those buildings is the same who designed most of the old town here. How cool is that? When she saw the picture, she asked if my parents had been in Gdańsk. "Not yet," I said. 

Hymn Books- we finally FINALL got an official copy of the hymn books in Polish. It only took how many years? It is pretty exciting. There are so many more songs to sing now in Church and for our other meeting in Polish!

Harkening to the prophet- I love general conference. We watch most of the sessions here. Some on Saturday and some on Sunday. We had a little RS party here on Saturday and then we watched the Women's session together. 

Harmless missionaries doing less active work? Sister Dekker and I were cruising with the Taggart's searchign for less actives and addresses. We were at one apartment which I have visited before but no one was home. We got inside and made our way to the apartment. When we got there, a man abruptly opened the door and we asked if the pani Monika lived there. He shouted the man's name and closed the door. Not too long after that did pani Monika come out and she was not a happy women. I understood everything she said, but it was so fast and abrupt, I couldn't quite process it. Basically she opened the door, told us to leave. I was confused because she didn't even know what we wanted. Then she told us she is calling the police! She kind of pushed Siostra Dekker aside and thrust her hand at my name tag on my coat and ripped it off. She loudly said she is calling the police and then disappeared into her sad and crabby apartment. Siostra Dekker and I just kinda of looked at each other and thought, "let's get out of here!" So I'm one name tag down now. I am still not sure what happened, she was so unhappy. We just hope her day got a little better because that was weird weird weird!

We also met with the couple who came to church last week! They are totally awesome! And it was the greatest craziest meeting i've had. Turns out we got their address wrong and were on thte complete other side of town. When we were late and tried to rescedule, they wouldn't here any of it and came and picked us up. Tea and herbata as usual were served (#classic). We had a really great discussion and they were full of so many questions. It was lovely though and I hope we will be seeing them soon!

Well that's it for this week! Next week will be week 9 of our week 10 transfer! Crazy!!

we "massed"

Wesołego Allelujah! I guess I have to wait a whole year before i can say that one again. Sister Dekker and I were wishing as many people as we could a joyful hallelujah. 

We used our dinner hour one night to go to an evening mass at the Church nearby our apartment. It was our first time ever going there. It was cold! And old. The demographics of the people there were elderly too. It is so interesting and fascinating to think that the prayers and songs recited have been done so for years and years! The people strive so diligetnly to preserve the little things. We sat through one of the longest four note songs/prayers I have ever sat through too! I do admire them for dutifully acting on their faith. It was a beautiful service to observe and be apart of. They love the Saviour too and I think it is our love and our gratitude that help us understand one another. 

This week has been all over the place. We had District cofnerence last last Sunday in Bydgoszcz, then Zone conference on Wednesday in Poznań, Sister Dekker turned 21 on Thursday, then we had an Easter Egg hunt for the kids on Saturday and then Easter on Sunday! Tie all of that in with some lessons and some studying and some finding. Needless to say it was another awesome week. 

Sister Dekker and I have a "Miracle Wall." We write the little miracles we have and then stick them to the wall. Our most recent addition was Saturday as we were doing some street contacting. Near the end we met two beautiful people, J and G. They're probably in their 40's. They are so awesome! They have heard of Mormons and they told us they were actually wondering when they would run into missionaries. (These kind of conversations don't really happen all that much.) We shared a simple message with them and then they asked US when and where we meet for church. (Sister Dekker and I were in shock.) They commited to coming to church on Sunday and they took a Book of Momron. All day, night, Sunday morning we were praying for them. 

Sunday morning came and guess who else came! J and G. Not only that but they were dressed so nicely too. I would have thought they were visitors from somewhere else. Anyways they came and they stayed and Sister Dekker and I kinda just wanted to sit and cry because we really didn't know what to do and we were so happy. It's funny being a missionary sometimes (all the time). You prepare lessons, study hard, go out and find people, and have some lessons. We get to do a lot of studying, preparing, and finding. I love when we get to teach, I wish we had more of that. However I know we have been so blessed to have as many lessons as we have had, so I'm very grateful. Havign people come to church, to sacrament meeting is kinda new. That part of the equation doesn't happen as much as we hope it does. But it did!! Not only that, they asked some really good questions and we are set up to meet them in their home later this week! 

This whole week was really in it's own unique way the greatest. Sister Dekker and I were blessed with an opportunity to serve an elderly woman carrying some grocery bags all by herself. Often we ask people if they need help and they kind laugh and say "no." However she said "Yes!" And no wonder because they really were the heaviest grocery bags. As we talked and walked she told us a little bit about herself. She told us she is very poor and that each of the bags we were carrying was from someone else. She shared her testimony with us about God's love and that she knows he is aware of her. "He always watches out for me," she said, "He always sends me help, like right now, he sent me you." This poor sister may be poor in circumstances but she is so rich in Spirit. I got to experience a beautiful truth that our Heavenly Father is aware of us and our needs. He loves this woman. He sent her people to help her get food and then he cared enough to help her have help taking the food back to her home. This work is beautiful and Sister Dekker and I are so blessed to be apart of it. That old babcia has a piece of my heart. 

Have a beautiful week, the sun is shining here and it's warming up. I hope things are defrosting where ever you find yourself!
Siostra Young

Pictures from this week (killing it with the alliteration.)
-Trainee trainer twinning at zone conference 

-it's been a slice serving with you Starszy Cotou (Zone leader and fellow Canadian)


First I thought I'd start things off with a "missionary nightmare." Early last week I had a dream that Zone conference was changed to Saturday Which meant that our meeting with the mum Ewalina would have to be changed! I thought "oh no! Do we have to go to zone conference?" Anyways that just shows how excited Sister Dekker and I were for this meeting with Ewalina. Thankfully it was just a dream and zone conference will be this Wednesday. 

Speaking of our meeting, boy oh boy was it an adventure to get out to her home! She lives a bit out of town so we had to catch a bus. The problem with the bus is that not all of the bus stops are labeled clearly. We asked someone on the bus at one of the stops if it was the one we were looking for, they said yes. We got off the bus. It wasn't the right stop. And the next bus wasn't coming for at least an hour. We may have panicked a little because we are out of the city and away from trams. We didn't really know what to do. Our lesson with Ewaline was supposed to start within the next 15 minutes. We didn't really have many options. 

I maybe tried stopping some passing cars, most of them just smiled and waved. THEN we saw one car slowing down as it dropped someone off at a store. We went up to the car to ask for directions. The man pulled out a map and told us we had about 3ish km left to go. We smiled and said thanks and started to get on our merry walking way. He then offered us a ride which we enthusiastically took in a heart beat. He really was a miracle. Not only that (you're going to love this Sydney and Dad) He was German and from Hambourg! His wife is Polish and so they were here for the week visiting with family. I love old German men! We thanked him over and over again, told him a bit about why we were there. It was so cool! And we made it our meeting on time! (Sorry mum you're probably not too big of a fan of that story.)

It just shows that Heavenly Father has a plan and that he isn't going to let two young sister missionaries who accidentally get off at the wrong stop prevent his work from going forth. Which is a comfort to us because we make lots of mistakes. He always provides a way. 

The day got better though as we met with mum Ewalina in her home! That was my first meeting with a Mum and in her own home! It was glorious! We are hoping to go back there after the holidays. 

Well exchanges are over for the transfer. It was such a delight to have Sister Kamp and Craig up here in our beautiful city. Serving with Siostra Craig for a just a bit of time was so fun. It is remarkable to see the growth from our time in the MTC. Her Polish so so beautiful too. I really admire her confidence and faith to go out and find those miracles. I feel like she is always marching somewhere or to someone, following the Spirit and going where she needs to go. She is so great and such an example to me. 

-Siostra Craig's foot is kinda... out of commission so we went for a early morning walk for out exercise in the pretty park

-saying goodbye to our Bydgoszcz siostry

I am though so happy to be with my lovely companion Sister Dekker. After our exchange we kind of momentarily collapsed again a wall and closed our eyes.

Well because it is Spring I thought I would share one of my favorite talks by President Uchtdorf, called the Reflection in the Water. Here is the link:

and here is a picture from one of our morning runs in a beautiful park we just recently discovered. It's been right by our apartment this whole time!

​-in polish a swan in łabędż

Happy Easter! Love you,