Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30th ...Whew...on the mend maybe.

 Well guys, Jeszcze Żyję:) So this week was another one of those weeks
where you almost just have to laugh at the fact that you Ever had yourlife together...! This week I really learned that God really is incontrol-and if we just follow His plan, then everything eventuallyworks out! It was a really tough week, but it really made me gratefulto be able to be a missionary. After being stuck inside or in theoffice for 3 weeks, I almost went crazy! God pushed me and tried mejust to the point of breaking, and then everything turned back around.I went to the hospital again on Thursday, and everything is going tobe fine. I'm obviously not all the way better, but I told PresidentEdgren that if I stay in Warsaw for another day, then I'm going to gocrazy. He laughed and let me go back to Szczecin on Friday!!!! Itfeels SO good to be back. I've sure missed this place, and I've reallymissed Elder Berlin. I really really enjoyed being in the office withElders Swicegood and Guthrie(love those guys-they're pretty awesome!),and I really got to realize how tough it really is to be in theoffice. It used to be that trouble missionaries got sent to the officebefore President Edgren came, but President changed that. Right now wehave an AP and a branch president in there, and they're really got themission on their backs... I'm proud of those guys!     Anyways, Szczecin is doing really good. Elder Berlin and I havethe opportunity to work with some really cool people. Unfortunately, abunch of the baptismal dates have fallen off the map/went to Germanyfor a month/other excuses... but that's not going to stop us.Dawid(the one we've been working with for forever) is doing SO good.He's still searching and reading and meeting with us, and he'seven wanting to come to church! It's a miracle seeing that change! Wehave a meeting with him with Jerzy on the lesson this Wednesday! :)     We had a branch party at the Gay's on Saturday night before theyleft today. It was literally some of the most fun I've had in my life.We had investigators and members there, and it was hilarious. I ReallyReally love these people.    Also, I got sustained as Branch President in Szczecin yesterday,which was really cool! I've known for a little while, and I'm soexcited and ready to serve here in Szczecin and to work with ourawesome members in our branch! I'm really going to learn and grow alot-that's for sure!     The Gays left this morning to Warsaw. They're flying hometomorrow. It's really tough because over the last 5 months, they'rebecome my 3rd set of grandparents. We're not supposed to hugsisters(that's for sure) but I gave Sister Gay and Elder Gay huge hugsbefore they left. I promised to visit them, and even told them I'mbringing a girl to them for approval before I agree to marryanyone-because she's got to pass the Sister Gay test :) They're great,and we're sure going to miss them!     Other than that, everything's good! I'm really excited to getback to work and to work together with Elder Berlin to help peoplecome to Christ. Miracles are happening. I am grateful for the trialsin my life that help me to better myself, and come closer to mySavior, Jesus Christ. I love Him, and will follow Him! Love y'all,make it the best week ever!Love,Starszy Quackenbush

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23rd...Health Trials

Hello everyone,
Thanks so much for the prayers and love this last week- they reallymeant a lot throughout this week! It was definitely a tougher week,but it really was one of the best weeks of my life.Something really cool happened this week. I didn't want to lay down and donothing while I was down, so I made a bunch of calls through the areabook, and set up a meeting for Tuesday night with a former namedAgnieszka. The other elders met with her while I had to come down to Warsaw,
and now her and her boyfriend have baptismal dates... The Lord has reallybeen blessing me!So on Tuesday last week, I got a call from President telling me that I needed tobe on the next train to Warsaw (never thought I was going to be thatmissionary that got sent to Warsaw for health problems... but there Iwas). I had really the coolest experiences on the train. I told myselfthat I probably couldn't do normal missionary work for a little while,but I could definitely talk to people on trains. I made a bunch of newfriends. I talked to a lady and her husband who live a little waysoutside of Szczecin. They were really cool, and even gave me theirnumber when they left. I had given them an ulotka, and they werereally excited to go look us up. Then, I had a really coolconversation with this lady who had just become a grandmother like afew hours before. She was headed right then to England to see her grandson. Shewas excited to go learn more about us, also. Then, my train layover inPoznań was super late, so I was running around the train station withthis girl (It's really long and polish and I can't even remember it...oops), and we ended up spending a while together-and I got to teachher all about the Restoration in the train station. So that was reallycool! But the coolest part was that when I got onto my train fromPoznań to Warsaw, I met Ula. She's a member, about 40-50 years old, 
and from Warsaw. She's SO cool. I talked with her for literally 3 hours straight.
She bought me dinner on the train, and we talked all about her family and hermission to the United States, and her church calling. She's honestlythe sweetest person in the world-I already love her so much... I thinkI'm going to keep her;) She ended up calling me later in the week justto check on me, and then she found me at district conference onSunday, and gave me the coolest present I've ever gotten. She gave methe Poland, Warsaw mission tie that was given to her by the missionpresident 2 transfers back-it's the mission tie that all of the reallyold missionaries that have been home for years have. I almost criedand then almost hugged her, but was able to refrain myself.So in Warsaw I spent a lot of time in hospitals (I had to go to twodifferent hospitals). Essentially all three hospitals I visited told me threedifferent things. Unfortunately, they were all right lol. It's coolthough. Everything is going to be fine and work out in the end. I getto stay in Poland!! :) I'm also on a bunch of medication (I look like adrug dealer), which is really helping. I stayed at the mission home for a few days and Sister
Edgren took great care of me.  Now I'm in the office helping out the office elders while I recover.
I have another hospital appointment on Thursday night with the Specialist at 18:00,
and hopefully after that I should be able to return to Szczecin! I'm so excited to get back. Abunch of these people that we've been teaching and finding want to bebaptized. We have 9 baptismal dates in Szczecin. The Lord is Reallyblessing us:)So this week I've been really trying to understand the enabling powerof the atonement in my life-and to apply it when I didn't think Icould go any farther. I've been really turning to the Lord, and givingeverything to him. So last night in the middle of the night I woke upin just so much pain. I was somewhere between almost crying all overthe place, and just starting to punch everything in sight. I literallyhurt so bad. In faith, I said one of the most sincere prayers I'veever prayed. I prayed that the enabling power of the atonement wouldhelp lift me and carry me through my trials and that everything wouldbe alright. Instantly the pain went away. I went back to sleep andwoke up in the morning with no pain. The power of the Atonement is soreal. I am so grateful for the many opportunities that I have had overthe past 3-4 weeks to rely on the power of Christ's atonement, and togrow closer to him. I really have, and I've really come to understandthe power of the atonement on such a deeper level.This week I was also working on not "murmuring", but being positiveand thankful. I really tried my best with that. I am happy to say(Idon't want to say "proud" or that might just have to become nextweek's attribute) that I didn't complain once. Sister Edgren, my mission presidents

wife had to tell me to stop smiling and acting fine so that the hospital wouldtake me seriously. They said I would be the only person ever to smilethrough something like this. I definitely wasn't trying that to be"seen of men", but that was definitely something cool to see that agood attitude really does affect everything. Some nights I would justbe in so much pain, but stopped and told myself to look for thepositives. I usually focused on the fact that my ears almost Neverhurt. I was really grateful that night for the fact that my ears feltgreat and that everything was going well with them. I also learnedthat God has a sense of humor, because the next day my ears startedhurting... haha :)So that's me and the update... I'm actually really grateful for the manyopportunities that I've had over the past few weeks to really grow andto experience trials. I am grateful for the relationship that I havegained with my Savior. I am so grateful for the Atonement, and that wecan use it's power every single day of our lives. I know that thischurch is true. I know that Christ is my Savior and yours. I am sograteful to Him and to my God. Love y'all. Make it the best week ofyour lives.Elder Quackenbush NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Elder Q becomes Branch President in Szczecin

Don't want to make a big deal, but I am the new Branch President in Szczecin.  I'm working with Brother Gay and we will change lives.  No time to write.
Love you

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Goal work this week...

Hey Fam!! So this week was a really good week in a lot of ways, and also alittle bit of one of those disappointing weeks.... but it'sokay-things are great!    One of the good things that happened this week were my goals. Ifeel like i Actually made some improvements this week, and especiallysince the beginning of my mission, so that was such a good experienceto have-I'm super grateful that I've at least gotten a little bitbetter since I left good 'ole G-town. :) My goal with loving otherscan really be summed up into one experience this week... So onSaturday we were doing a whiteboard on this super busy street corner,and we were talking with people about how it's possible for us tofollow Jesus Christ(leading it into baptism as a choice by someonewith authority)... So we were solo-contacting, and I was using mypersonal Księga Mormona(she's my baby) to teach people on the streets.I was in the middle of this sweet lesson with a nice gentleman, andtwo Hooli's walked up(*short side-note: Hooli comes from Hooliganwhich is like their lame gang here in Poland... literally the entrancerequirement is that you've got to just be a turd to everyone(pleaseexcuse the language)... so there's that...). I had just gottenfinished reading Moroni's promise with the man, and the Hooli'sinterrupted and asked what was going on and what not. I startedtalking to all 3 of them, and the Hooli's weren't that interested. Oneof them hit the book out of my hand and walked away. I caught my Bookof Mormon(yeah, I felt like a baller), and was ready to throw punches.I decided instead to unclench my jaw and fists, and instead wish thema very good day, and went back to teaching my street buddy. It wasreally a blessing from the Lord, because the old Justin Quackenbushwould have had a real problem with that, but I was able to exercisesome love, and learn something from the experience! Building upothers-This week was a really good week for looking for opportunitiesto build up others because it was a new transfer. I was able to talkall about all the good qualities in Elder Berlin, and build him upreally well when he wasn't there, and it felt good-it really did. I amgoing to try to do better not just with not talking BAD about otherpeople, but in going out of my way to say something good about them.Being real with the people-this one was my favorite one. I surelearned to love the Polish people as I worked to be as real aspossible with them. I started talking to the people on the street likethey were my best friends, and it really made a difference! Peopleopen up so much better when they really feel the love, and havesomeone telling them about something they personally love, and whathelps them... it was a really cool experience this week! After prayingand searching, I have decided that this next week I will work on1)Caring for others(I guess God's trying to teach me something?)2)Leaving the house with a smile every single time
3)Serving someone(explicitely) every day. If you'd like to join me, proszębardzo! I will report next week... thanks y'all :)    New Transfer, New Peeps. I already really miss Elder Weiler. I'veserved around that man for almost 5 months, and we've had some reallygood times. He's a great missionary, and he's going to do some realwork in another part of the Lord's vineyard. Elder Jourdan is our newdistrict leader in Szczecin. I sure love that guy already! He's superfun to be around, and he's a lot like me when it comes topersonalities and friendships-I'm super excited for this transfer withhim. Unfortunately, the man has some Swag, and I'm worried I mighthave to hide my debit card from myself.... :/     Sooooooooo Elder Berlin and I were able to teach a bunch ofreally cool street lessons this week! Unfortunately, it was more of aplanting week as nobody would answer their phones/give theirnumbers/want to re-meet. It's okay-they'll be ready one day, maybejust not today...? We dropped Romald and Irena this week, too. She hasbeen busy at "sport" the last few times, and he just really isn'tprogressing. We told him that(lovingly), and that if he really wantedthis, that he needed to come to church. I think he'll turn up one day.:) Elder Berlin and I are trying to figure out the best way to getpolish people to come to church on Sunday. Polish people aren'texactly prone to church attendance.... but we're not about that life.We're continuing to work to get these wonderful people to church,where they can feel the Spirit and realize that this is where theyneed to be!    We did have a really cool experience with Paweł this week! Wehadn't heard from him in forever, and he hadn't been to church, and wewere out contacting one day this week in city center. We got theimpression to continue on right, even though the chapel where we weregoing was over to our left. We followed the prompting, and ran rightinto Paweł. He walked right up to us! He's been so busy with work andfinding an apartment and worrying about his family, and we were ableto offer to give him a priesthood blessing to help him through it. Hewas super excited for that, and thought it would be super helpful.Hopefully he makes it to family home evening tonight and we are ableto have that experience with him!    Sunday night we had family dinner over at our house with the Gaysand the other Elders. It was really a good time as we were able tobond with the district, and have fun together during our meal times! Iam really excited for this transfer with my district!     I absolutely LOVE being a missionary of Jesus Christ and HisChurch. I know that it is true. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christleads us to happiness in this life, and also in the life to come! I amso grateful to be a part of this church! I love the gospel, and I loveall of y'all!  Make it the best week yet!Love,Starszy Quackenbush