Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20th....Hanging in there!

Hey fam!

yep.... so I'm still hanging in there! :) This week has hands down
been the toughest week of my life- but looking back, I've absolutely
loved it and been so grateful for it because of all of the things that
I was able to learn throughout it all. Things are going good. I've
talked a lot with president, and things really look like they're
winding down to an end.... Essentially we're just
waiting for the results of the MRI... which is kind of unnecessary
because if the results are bad- they have to send me home to get my
back fixed. If they're good, then they have to send me home because
they don't know what's wrong with me. My only two saving outlooks are
if 1) the results come back and it's a minor problem with my back
causing all of this pain that can be fixed in Poland, or 2)
Miraculously all of the sudden I get up and am perfectly fine.
I know that God has a plan. I trust in the Lord 100% and know that His will
will be done. If He wants me to be healed, then I know I will be. If
he needs me to go home for a time, or go home for good, then there's a
reason for it. I'm just doing my best to trust in Him, and work every
single day like it's the last day of my mission. I even tried going
out the other day, out of the office,  to see if I could do real missionary work. It ended
up getting to me pretty good, so right now it's not looking good.
However, we will see! There's a huge mission president conference in
Germany these next few days that all of the doctors will be at...
which means that I will just be waiting to receive news for another
little while. It's been really hard to have absolutely NO control over
my situation, but instead have to trust 100% in the Lord. Throughout
all of my life, I have not had many opportunities to do that. My life
has been filled with situations where I had full control over
everything that was happening. If I wanted good grades, I went out and
got them. If I wanted to start on the soccer team, I had to go out
there and win it. In this specific situation, literally the only thing
I can do is work my best to keep my head up, continue to work, and be
grateful for each and every day. This trial is allowing me to learn
lots of patience and trust in God. It is also helping me learn empathy
for others like I never would have imagined. It is so much harder to
judge others and be impatient with people when I realize that at any
moment, they could be going through a fraction of what I'm going to,
which instantly makes me feel so much more patience and love and
concern for them. I am working to become more loving and kind to
everyone, despite their differences, idiosyncrasies, and
imperfections. I am grateful for the trials and challenges in my life,
and for my Savior, Jesus Christ who carries me through them. I am
grateful for the chance to be tested and tried in my life, and I am so
grateful for the gospel which gives us perspective in our lives. I
love the Savior, and I love all of y'all! Make it the best week of
your life.
-Elder Quackenbush

Caring for Others

Hey y'all!
     This week was a really good week! I was able to work a lot on
Caring for Others this week. I always feel like when I pray for the
ability to love others and work towards that goal, I'm always blessed
with situations where it's really hard to love others/be caring/etc,
which sometimes makes me ask myself WHY I would pray for such
experiences... but I absolutely love being able to progress and work
towards becoming more Christ-like. I also had a goal to leave the
house with a smile(to facilitate having a better attitude about what
we're out here doing). It was way cool to see the difference between
the times that I did start the teaching blocks with a smile, and those
times that I didn't... attitude is everything! I also tried to be less
selfish and give of myself to others throughout the week. It makes me
so much happier when I am concentrating on blessing the lives of
others instead of just focusing on me.:) This next week, I am working
on a few different things 1)Loving it 2)Being even bolder and giving
up on people less 3)Focusing. I'm really excited for this upcoming
week to learn myself, and to also work with Elders Fotu and Allen.
They are coming into Szczecin for an exchange. Elder Allen is knows
for being a Polish wizard, and Elder Fotu is one of my mission role
models... so I'm way excited!
     Sunday was really cool because the district president, President
Isaac, was in Szczecin for church. Also, I was able to have a really
cool  meeting with Elder Gay and Jan Tamborowski. Elder Gay and I were
also able to meet with Agnieszka, an eternal investigator, and help
her continue to work towards a baptismal date. I gave a talk about
Baptism in Sacrament meeting, and it was super cool because I didn't
actually write it out... I just kinda put ideas down on a paper and
then let the Polish do it's thing. I'm super grateful for how much the
Lord has blessed me in my life and over the course of my mission,
especially with Polish! We also had a special musical number, and
Elder Jourdan and I had solos, and it was a super neat experience. It
was Miłość ma tu plon... and I can't remember what that is in
English(and the translation is Really rough.... so...)
       It looks like the Lord has blessed me with another trial in my
life-one of the biggest ones I've had yet. I was able to spend almost
the entire day yesterday in a sketchy Polish hospital(Let's be real...
it looked like the hospital from the first episode of Walking Dead).
Thankfully it's not very bad. I've been in contact with a bunch of
doctors, and had a pretty bad scare the last few days-not gonna lie...
they were some of the hardest days of my life- but all is well. I just need to slow down for a
little bit and make sure I don't get hurt further. As I've thought and
pondered and prayed a whole lot the last few days, I've decided that I
really have 2 options. 1)get mad, ask "why me", and maybe even cry,
or 2)trust, love, be diligent, and learn something from this all. I
know that I'm going to have a wonderful and extensive opportunity to
rely on the Lord and to learn more about Him and to come closer to
Him. I'm really excited about that! I've decided that I'm not going to
let this slow down my missionary drive, or affect my attitude, but
that I'm going to keep going(carefully of course) and put my trust in
the Lord. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow
through trials and tests, and am determined to prove myself worthy to
stand, even through trials. I know the Church is true. I really do. I
know my Savior lives, loves us, and is always there for us. I love all
of you-make it the best week ever.
Elder Quackenbush
picture: Szpital time!

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13th...Health problems continue, sadly.

This has been a tough one to send out this week.  The Mission President is doing all he can to try to get Elder Q to the right doctors and figure this out but it sounds like we may be getting him home so we can figure out his health issues here in the US.  Thank you for all of your love, prayers and support!  They are all felt...
Tiffany Quackenbush

Hey guys!
   Well I've got some unfortunate news: Things aren't going exactly as
we had hoped. Unfortunately, this isn't going away, and actually
getting worse in a few areas. Essentially the doctors don't have any
idea what's wrong with me at this point and basically it looks like
this: I have a doctors appointment at 11 today here in Warsaw. Unless
he has some significant insight/many miracles happen, then it looks
like they will be sending me home to figure out my medical issues. I
have 100% faith, and know for a fact that if the Lord wants a miracle
to happen, then a miracle WILL happen. However, at this point I really
don't feel like that is what he is planning for me. Over the course of
my mission, I have been tested and tried with many, many physical and
other trials. Each one was significantly more challenging than the
trial before, and I have really learn and grown a lot throughout my
trials. I have been fully aware since the beginning of my mission that
the biggest trial I could possibly go through as a missionary would
probably be having to get sent home for medical problems. I have told
President Edgren, and others that if that were the case, that they
would have to track me down, find me, and then drag me onto a plane.
And so here we are... with me staring this airplane right in the face.
I'm not happy about it, but I'm definitely not letting it get me
depressed. I know that whatever happens will be 100% the will of the
Lord. I will follow His plan for me, and be faithful in every way that
I know best. Thankfully, the Lord has been walking with me throughout
this the entire time. I have had some amazingly spiritual experiences
over the course of the last few weeks that have helped me through
these trials. Miracles really have happened. Over the past week, I've
been able to serve with Elder Campora and Elder Swicegood. They were
literally the 2 missionaries in the mission that could keep me
laughing and enjoying my time throughout something like this. I have
really loved serving with them this week.  Also, throughout my trials,
I really have come so much closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. I don't
even know how to describe it-other than by referring to the talk by
Jeffrey R. Holland "Lessons from Liberty Jail". I have such a more
personal relationship with Christ than I EVER have in my entire life.
I have been fortunate enough to rely on Him for the last 6 weeks, and
know Him so much better throughout it all. I have become so much
closer to the Spirit, and absolutely love the relationship that I have
gained. Also, every time I have thought about the situation(a LOT)
over the past few weeks, I feel the Spirit so strongly, and the
thought comes into my mind Every.Single.Time. "Everything will be
okay". That doesn't mean that I will be able to stay in Poland, but
that does mean that Heavenly Father is watching over me throughout
this all. I know that He is our Father in Heaven, and that He loves
us. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and brings us true
happiness in this life. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and
has already experienced Everything that we have experienced in our
lives. I know that He can help us through our trials if we only turn
to Him. I love Him and I love all of y'all. Make it the best week
Starszy Quackenbush

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6th ...The Battle continues

Hey y'all!    Man, this week was really a good week! Some crazy stuff happened,and I'm so excited to tell all about it!    I never thought I'd say it... but Elder Berlin and I have abaptismal date with a murderer :) Czyli we met a guy on the street,had a cool talk, and then walked him to the chapel where we had amember waiting. We had a member lesson, and taught him about thegospel, and invited him to be baptized. He wanted to be baptized onthe 30th of May. Unfortunately, he's not exactly all the way there,and needs some professional and medical help.... but that was a greatexperience, and he didn't kill us. So that was a plus :)    A lot of funny things happened this week. Elder Berlin and Icontacted some guy on the street who was wearing huge headphones(likethe Beats style). We told him we were inviting others to listen to amessage about how we can come closer to Jesus Christ through acceptingrestored truths, and he just laughed. He took off his headphones andput them on me... and he was listening to hard-core satanic was awesome. It was almost as weird as this one time where some guyhad me read the poem that he had tattooed on his chest... that wasanother good time!     Really, though, miracles are happening in Szczecin. We finallywere able to meet with a referral from Poznan named Mariusz. He's afirefighter, 27years old, and has a fiance. He's the coolest. He ispreparing to be baptized on the 30th of May, and he's so ready. He hasbeen searching for the true church for 10 years. We told him aboutMoroni's promise in Moroni 10:3-5, and all about how he could gain asure witness through the Holy Ghost that what we are telling him isthe truth. Since then, he has been texting me Daily, searching thescriptures, and even watched two different live sessions of GeneralConference on his computer. He's golden. I'm so excited to work withhim. The Lord is really blessing us! I'm so grateful for theopportunity to get to work with him and help him come unto Christ. :)   Other great news is that Lech is back! He had been going throughsome tough times, and has finally come back around. Everything isgood-we had a meeting with him this week, and he even came with us tolook for less-actives Saturday morning! Also, we found Ewa!! She is amember that has been gone for a while, now. We finally caught her athome, exchanged numbers with her, and will be in contact on Wednesdaywith her so that we can meet with her at her home... we are soexcited!    General Conference has been absolutely amazing. I have loved everysecond of it. I have a sticky-note about the questions that I haveneeded answered, and prayed for help in answering my questions-andeverything they're saying is exactly for me. It's the most beautifulthing ever... the church is so true, and God has given us a prophetand apostles in our day. Please make sure and get as much as you canout of conference... I promise that something will touch your heart ifyou are seeking answers and searching with real intent! :)     Unfortunately, I did end up getting sent back to Warsaw Saturdayafternoon. Things aren't really getting better, and I'm in some prettygood pain. I'm back in the mission home, and have been in a fewhospitals here in Warsaw over the past few days. (It was actually areally good experience... I was stuck in some nasty polish hospital atlike 2:30 in the morning trying to tell people in Polish why and whereI'm hurting and all that fun stuff.... it was a really good experiencefor me! I have an appointment with an internal medicine doctortomorrow at 11:00 so that someone can finally figure out what's wrong.I don't really know what to do, other than continue to have faith andtrust that the Lord knows what he's doing with me. I know that God hasa plan for each and every one of us, and I am so grateful for theopportunity I have to be able to learn and grow so much throughoutthis earth life. I have really learned a lot, and realized some thingsthat I have never realized before. This life's a test, and I'mdetermined to make the best of it! I'm going to make this week thebest week of my life! Love y'all. Stay classy!Love,Starszy Quackenbush
Picture #1:  They have this thing called "Spring" here.... In a 30 second time
period I walked through hail, into rain, into complete sunlight.... we
don't have that kind of stuff in Gilbert.
Picture #2:  Resting at the bus stop

Picture #3:  Elder Swicegood wanted a quick pic on Sister Edgrens computer in the mission home... lol smacznego!