Monday, February 23, 2015

Staying in Szczein....

Elder Quack is doing great.....
Hey y'all!This week was definitely a highlight week! I was able to make somereal progress with my goals this week, too! 1)Humility went reallywell this week, especially as we ended the end of the transfer. Theend of the transfer always makes you a little tired-I mean come one...we've spent the last 10 weeks together. I was able to practicehumility as I forced myself to stay patient and humble, and not letmyself just give up on the transfer during the last week and take onthat "I know what's going on" attitude with my companion. It'sdefinitely really easy to slip into, sometimes, and I was really gladthat it wasn't me this last week :)    2)Giving Everything to theLord: I've really enjoyed working on this goal this week. I was ableto realize that every single minute I'm out here is dedicated to theLord-so whether or not our teaching time was destroying our lunchschedule, or if we were supposed to do something out of the ordinaryin order to accomodate the Spirit, we did it! I could really tell thatas we did so, and as we focused on doing the Lord's will through thepromptings of his Spirit, that we had His Spirit more with us, andthat we were able to be really successful missionaries. 3) living inThanksgiving. Literally I loved this one. I always try to bethankful/grateful for the things that I've been given, but working onthis goal this week has helped me realize even the smaller blessings,and the blessings that I normally miss when I'm not paying attention!I really was able to recognize the blessings of the Lord as I focusedon being grateful for the blessings that I actually did recognize.This weeks goals were pondered and prayed about, and I'm going to beworking on 1)love 2)building others up 3) Being "real" with people andthus showing my true love. If you'de like to join in with me,zapraszam! :) Thanks y'all!   So this week was CRAZY!!!! We met with Grzegorz in his home, andtaught him about God is Our Loving Heavenly Father, the Gospel BlessesFamilies, and the Book of Mormon. We were able to feel the Spiritthroughout the entire lesson, and were bold enough to explain theSpirit, ask him to focus on it, and to tell him that we were feelingthe Spirit. At the end of the lesson he said "I feel the Spirit, too".We almost died..... that is literally one of the sweetest parts ofmisisonary work-helping others feel the Spirit and build theirtestimonies!   Edmund(Formerly known as Henryk) has a BAPTISMAL DATE! 14th ofMarch. He was so ready and excited to be baptized, he said "why do youthink I'm here right now...?" Unfortunately, he sees wine in the bibleand has a problem with the word of wisdom. We tried to explain it, andit didn't work... so we committed him to live without wine for thenext few weeks, and to continue to ask God is that is right. Wepromised him blessings, and invited him to church! Unfortunately, hewasn't in church(even though he was present last week), and his phoneis off. (I'm not too worried about that being intentional-he doesn'treally know how to use his new phone... and it wasn't working thenight we got his number... so we're praying that he comes to familyhome evening to night, or to institute, or to church next Sunday, orthat we find him on the street!)   Transfer calls came... Elder Berlin and I are staying together inSzczecin! I know it's a blessing that I have Elder Berlin as acompanion as I prepare for some big things in the future... it's goingto be a great transfer! I know that this is where the Lord needs me tobe, and that I'm doing what He needs me to do. I've had that Spiritualwitness many times over the course of the last week-before and aftertransfer calls. I am so grateful for the companionship of the HolyGhost! He really does testify of truth! I love the Gospel with all myheart, and I'm so grateful to be a missionary!Love y'all! make it the best week ever!
LoveElder Quackenbush

Picture #1  Romald and Dziadek(czyli Grandpa)
Picture #2  So that's pretty cool. Pasteciki-I've been avoiding them for the last 4 months due to theirtendency to cause obesity, but for Elder Weiler's last day inSzczecin, we went as a district.
Picture #3    Me and my comp Elder Berlin
Picture #4   A holiday in Poland where you
eat as many donuts as you can..... the record is 38.... and I got 5.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Attributes to report....

Hey y'all!
    I've gots to start with the attributes report this week! This last
week I was working on 1) not judging others 2) joy in the journey
3) getting up and moving in the morning. I really feel like I made some
real progress with my goals this week! Here's what I learned: 1) it's
so much easier to not judge others when you try to look at things from
their perspective.... People have some pretty rough lives over here,
and I don't really blame them for sometimes getting mad when people
on the street try to start talking to them. I did a lot better
replying kindly to the negative and frustrating comments this week-but
there's always room for improvement! Next time I work on that goal, I
want to do better at actually Meaning what I say to the nastiest of
comments-that's the end goal!  2) joy in the journey.  I've been
praying and searching about this one for a while, now... and last
night I finally found my answer. It's very long and it was actually
brought about through the 'Riccardi letter' if any of you have heard
of it. I love it and it's going to be one of those things that I look
back on and realize that it changed my mission. The Lord is so good to
me. 3) getting up and moving. I did real good this week! It almost
became a game to see who could get to the alarm first. I won for the
first 2 times this transfer at beating Elder Berlin out of bed... I'm
taking my medal and running with it:)
     This next week, I'm working on humility, giving everything to the
Lord (trials, challenges, pains, entire week, etc), and living in
Thanksgiving more for what I do have.... I invite you all to play
along with me and to try it out yourselves... let's see what we can
learn this week!
     This week was really one of the best weeks of my mission (I feel
like I've started saying that a lot...?). It was one of those weeks
where you're kind of proving to the Lord how far you actually will go
to be obedient and to continue to work, even though not many people
actually are wanting to talk to you. Elder Berlin and I worked really
hard, and actually found some pretty cool people-even though the
"numbers" were low this week.
   I started off the week with an exchange with Elder Hon (our zone
leader from Bydgoszcz). He's an Arizona Boy, too! Higley high... so
that's pretty cool! We had a really good time and I sure learned a
lot. It is always good to get another perspective on my missionary
work, so I can see the things I can improve, and work on them. It was
a really good experience!
    On Saturday, we met Henryk Myk. He's an older guy(looks like a
branch president already), and is super wise. We contacted him on a
super awkward contact, and ended up walking him to the chapel and
inviting him to church the next day. He came to sacrament meeting, and
ended up staying at the church for 4 hours-sacrament, sunday school,
mission prep, and an hour of meeting with members and us. He's solid,
and I'm so grateful to get to work with him! He is so excited for the
missionary lessons-we got his number and we start on Friday at 18:00!
    Paweł came to church, again!! I love that guy so much! He's been
to church for 2 weeks in a row, and that is such a blessing in both of
our lives! He is really learning a lot, and loves to be in church...
he just has to get that desire to make the baptismal covenant, too...
because he's doing a lot of the other stuff!
    So funny story: we met this guy named Piotr on the streets like 4
weeks ago. We got his number, and tried to set up with him a few
times. Finally, he set up, and his son, Piotr Jr ended up coming (I
think it was him on the line the whole time). We taught him about the
Book of Mormon, and talked about english, too. We met with him like on
Saturday, and he had read out of the Book of Mormon since last
week-and didn't bring it because his whole family was wondering about
it and reading parts of it that day...! We are hoping and praying that
something will come of that...! I have this dream of Piotr being the
next missionary out of Poland.... we'll see!
     Dawid. Dawid is the man! He is still reading a ton and praying
and searching for an answer! He wants to know, and he wants to come
closer to Christ... he just has to come to church!! Ahhhhhhhh... pray
for that man for me.
    Romald and Irena are doing good. We met with Romald this
week(Irena was too tired), and had a decent meeting. He keeps getting
sidetracked by minute details like "why are the Lamanites
dark-skinned... how is that fair?"........ so we're still working on
them! They are still praying and reading and wanting to come to
know..... we're having faith!
    Transfer calls are on Saturday.... and transfers next Tuesday...
I'm so excited to find out! Unfortunately, I don't think I'll end up
staying with Elder Berlin. I have really come to love that guy-and
he's an awesome missionary! We'll see what next week brings!
     I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is
true. I really do. I know that God hears and answers our prayers (and I
know that sometimes the answer can actually be 'no'). I know that God
loves us, and wants to help and bless us-we just need to turn to him
and do what he asks! I love the gospel so much, and I love my mission!
I wouldn't trade it for anything! I had the awesome experience
yesterday to have a P.I. with myself and the Lord-and see where I'm
at, and how the first 8 months of my mission have been. I am so
grateful to be able to say that I am proud of the work I've done, and
so excited to continue to work and to learn and to grow in the future!
I love y'all.. make it the best week yet!
Love you,
Elder Quackenbush

My MTC companion Elder Wilcox

First two pictures:  My MTC companion

Pic Dsc402: this pic is a sweet chill lesson I had with a guy named Darek. Ilook really mad for some reason-but we were both actually loving thelesson

Monday, February 9, 2015

Applying Christ-like Attributes....

Hey Fam!
Before I start talking about what a sweet week I had this week, I want
to start something new with my weekly emails. I've had a list of some
things that I feel inspired to work on for the next little while, and
I've struggled to find a way to apply them into my life. As I've
searched for inspiration on how I can best apply these Christ-like
attributes to my life, and how to improve myself, I've been blessed
with some good things I can do. The last step in applying some of
these things to my life is making myself accountable-first to the Lord
and to myself, and then to you all. With that being said, this week
I'm going to work on 1) Not Judging others(even if they're not exactly
being Christlike to me in the first place)  2)Finding Joy in the
Journey(if you haven't watched or listened to that talk, go right now.
It'll change your life.) and 3) Getting up in the morning, no matter
how tired I am. I'm going to focus on improving these things this
week, and I'll get back to y'all next week with how I did! Thanks for
your help! Love y'all!

    So this week was a really good week! I really had a chance to
learn a whole lot! So Monday morning(which may or may not have also
been my birthday), I messed up my back pretty bad.... like I could
barely walk. It was pretty awesome. It was actually an answer to
prayers, because for the past little while, I had been praying and
asking for "mountains to climb" out here on my mission. I had fasted
and prayed for those trials on Sunday, and God Definitely heard my
prayers. I have had an awesome time learning to rely on the Lord, and
learning to know my limits.(I guess I hadn't learned that lesson
during all of the other trials I've had... So I think Heavenly Father
was giving me another chance to actually learn something) Other than
that, my birthday was awesome! Elders Weiler, Blunt, and Berlin helped
me have the best birthday ever! They snuck into my apartment and
jumped me as I walked in the door, and we ate cake and sang and had a
real dandy time. It was awesome!
     We also had Zone Training in Poznań this week. I got to see my
boys Elder Wilcox and Elder Jeffs, and we were taught by the zone
leaders and sister training leader(the one and only Sister Grgich). It
was exactly what my district and I needed, and we have some really
good ideas, now, that we can apply to our missionary work.
     Our English class killed it this week! We have been English
Contacting a lot, recently, trying to get people to come to our
English class so that we can teach them the gospel via spiritual
messages and feeling the Spirit in the chapel. We had a bunch of
really cool people come, and I was even able to teach a sweet guy
named Michał the restoration while we were talking(I switched into
Polish, just because it would be SO much easier to teach it in
Polish... lol). He's really cool, and he's coming back this next week!
     On Thursday(as a birthday present from Elder Blunt), I was able
to go out to visit Jan T. with Elder Weiler and the Gay's.
He's the long-lost member that Elder Weiler and I were blessed to find
last transfer. He's my favorite. We taught him the Plan of
Salvation(he wants us to re-teach him the lessons since it's been so
long), and he played the accordian for us. It was literally the
sweetest thing I've ever seen. I was also able to give him a blessing
of health. I love exercising my priesthood, and I absolutely love the
feeling of being led 100% by the Spirit in knowing what to say and
what to bless him with. It was such a neat experience for me.
    On Friday, we were able to have a meeting with Jacek and his
grandmother at his grandmother's home. She made us legit Polish
food(literally the best food ever) and we talked and visited for a
while. That morning, actually, while Elder Berlin and I were preparing
for our lesson with them, I felt prompted that we should prepare a
lesson on prayer. Lo and behold, we finish eating, and what does he
want to talk about? Prayer. Dzięki Bogu, we were able to be prepared
to have a wonderful lesson with Jacek, and able to strengthen
   Saturday was a super sweet day, because we got to have some really
good meetings with some recent-converts and less-actives. We hadn't
been able to get a hold of Zbyszek for a little while, so we just
showed up at his apartment earlier in the morning, and he let us in
and we had a wonderful lesson about the Restoration. We are trying to
reteach the less-actives the missionary lessons, hoping and praying to
strengthen their testimonies and help them into activity through
building, and remembering their testimonies. We also had an awesome
lesson with Lech about how to deal with addicts, and people not of our
faith who have different beliefs and ideas than we do. Literally I
almost cried when I saw just how much he's grown and matured in the
gospel in the last 3 months. That's my boy! Dagmara also taught us how
to do indexing and family searching in Polish so that we can teach
Tadeusz and Ula sometime how to do that.
    PAWEŁ CAME TO CHURCH............
now stop and everybody fist pump and dance and say a prayer of
gratitude for life for me. He came and he loved it and he couldn't
stop smiling, and he's meeting with us on Tuesday, and life is just so
good. I love that guy, and I am so excited to see him progressing so
    Oh yeah... we also kinda got stolen from by a drunk guy. We were
talking to this 28 year old guy, and everything was normal, and then
things just got so weird. He kept trying so hard to get us to go to
this one place where we could meet "cool people like him", and
everything. We told him we had a meeting, and tried to just get his
email so that we could try to talk to him some other time when he
wasn't completely off his rocker. He ended up taking Elder Berlin's
planner, and telling us he was going to call the cops and keep the
planner if we didn't go with him. Thankfully I didn't actually fight
this guy-I was really like 3 seconds away from punching out a drunk
guy in the middle of a public square. So that was pretty sweet.
Actually miraculously, the next morning we saw him just outside the
apartment walking his dog. We talked to him, and he apologized for
being drunk, and went and got the planner for us(He lives across the
street in an apartment)..... good times...!
    I absolutely love my mission, and I love the gospel so much! i
know that this church is true, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has
been restored in it's fullness upon the earth-and that it changes
lives. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have, and that nobody can
take that away from me. I love y'all, I'm so grateful for you, and
make it the best week ever!
Love You,
Elder Quackenbush

Monday, February 2, 2015

Elder Q's 19th Birthday

Hey Fam and Friends!!
It's so great to hear from so many of you this week for mybirthday! Thank you so much! The love and the support made my day!!Y'all are the best!!
So this week I started off an exchange with Elder Weiler. I prayedabout it, and decided to go out into his area instead of bringing himinto mine. We had a really good time. It was like we had never stoppedbeing companions! I honestly love that guy so much, and was sograteful for the opportunity to serve with him for a few more days! Wemet some really cool people, and taught some solid lessons on thestreet! I am really grateful for all the awesome experiences we hadtogether!
Miracles were happening this week! We met with Romald and Irena intheir home, again. It was a pretty good lesson. Romald has beenreading and praying, and wants to receive an answer, so that was soooamazing to hear! I know he'll receive his answer if he continues tosearch for it! Unfortunately, Irena was sick, so she didn't come outto meet with us.
The Woman with her atheist son is still sooo excited to meet. We callher tonight to set up a meeting for this week, and she really wants tobring her son, too. She really thinks our message can help him, aswell!
So this week I had a spiritual prompting to go through our phone, andcall all the people I don't know. We sat down and made a billioncalls, and SO many people wanted to meet with us/come to church. Wefound a guy named Jarek. We called him at like 7 at night, and he toldus he had wanted to meet that very night. He told us he would be tothe chapel in an hour. We met with him, and he was SO prepared! Wetalked about the Book of Mormon, and the part about preparing for the2nd coming of Christ hit him soo hard. He asked us: How can I be readyfor that?" We told him that if he followed the things we would tellhim, that we promised that he would be prepared. We committed him toread, pray, come to church, and be baptized when he knows it's true.It was awesome.
We were a little disappointed this week (but not discouraged) whennone of the people we were working with came to church. It's almostheartbreaking when you have these people who say they will be inchurch, but don't end up making it.... but we'll just keep working withthem, and teaching with the Spirit until they decide that it'ssomething they need in their life!
So the coolest thing happened. Last night after nobody came to church,and we went tracting and got shut down and denied by like everyone, wewere walking home at like 6:30 so we could finish our fast. It was areally tough time, I'll be honest. We were praying for help andsupport. We decided to English ulotki home to try to get people out to ourfree English class, and as we were talking to a couple, we said wewere from the states, and they said " let's go take a tea break. Let'sall go right now to our house." so we followed them, and spent somewonderful time in Tateusz and Ula's home out in Warszewo(the place weare tracting). They fed us fruit, (offered us homemade wine), showedus their entire coin and stamp collection (this guy is a coin andstamp-aholic... it's super sweet), and told us we can come backanytime! He said "Unfortunately we can't change religions... we'vebeen a part of this religion for generations." and his wife said:"well why not? anything is possible"... so that was really cool! Wethink we will go spend part of a Preparation Day down with them one ofthese weeks!
This week was an awesome week, and I'm so excited for the week tocome! It's going to be a great one!
Love y'all! make it the best week ever!Love,Elder Q