Monday, May 13, 2013

Drake -- Week 2 in Poland

Drake with Starszy Wilson, his companion, Starszy Harris, and Starszy Vernon, all the Bydgoszcz missionaries.

Hey Mom,

It's my second P-Day here in Poland. It was really nice to get to talk to you all yesterday, But I already told you so much yesterday about my time here so far, that I don't really know what else to say!

I accidently left my camera back at the apartment, so I won't be able to send more pictures until next week.

Zone meeting last Monday
Things are going pretty well here, I guess. Like I said, we do a LOT of walking around. We just go contacting on the street all day.

Yummy pizza from Marcin's
Here's a NBC news article about Marcin's :)

We went shopping today. Bought some food. I just buy milk, eggs, bread, cheese, and bacon. Oh, and I also got some pierogis, which are like Polish raviolis with potatoes and cheese inside.

Sunday is probably my favorite day of the week because we get to go to church and actually talk to people in Polish. Because like nobody talks to us on the street. Yup yup.

Members of the Bydgoszcz Branch
I love you all.

-Elder Drake Allen

P.S. from Renee -- Since Drake didn't send any pictures, I posted the ones that Sister Nielson took and put on her blog.  I will also add our two fine missionaries here in Santa Cruz who surprised me yesterday morning with a special MOTHER'S DAY song. They decided to go sing to the mothers with missionaries in the field.  How sweet is that!!  Elder Lewenilovo is from Hawaii (also Fiji) and Elder Lavelua is from New Zealand.  Elder Lavelua leaves to go to another area tomorrow.  He's been here since last October.  We will miss him!

Elder Lewenilovo and Elder Lavelua Drake spent a few full days (overnight, even) with them for  to help prepare for his mission.  They are amazing.  

Also, I'll highlight some things Drake told us when we talked with him for our Mother's Day phone call yesterday:
  • You pronounce Bydgoszcz  -- Bid - Go - sh - ch -- so he said, "Think ebay for bid" -- he knows us well :).
  • They don't have a car or bicycles like most missionaries in the world.  They walk pretty much everywhere or they take trams.  He said it's like being at Disneyland because you just hop on the tram when you need to get somewhere you can't walk to!
  • They walk and walk and walk, trying to find someone who wants to hear their message.  Most people put up their hands like "I don't want to hear it" as soon as they hear the word "God" or "Jesus."  Some take off their headphones to listen for a bit, then realize what they are saying and take off.  Some just ignore them completely.
  • When that 1 out of 100 does stop and talk with them, they talk to Starszy Harris and can tell he is from America.  Then they talk to Drake and they ALWAYS tell him that he sounds Polish -- that he has no American accent.  Pretty amazing!
  • They don't have dinners at church member's homes like they do in the United States.  They cook their own breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Drake likes to cook and Scott asked him if he cooks for Starszy Harris.  Drake said they usually just make their own meals and occasionally share.
  • Occasionally they will write a question about life on a white board and stand by it to spark discussions in the street.  Last week while Drake was standing by the board, someone walked by and kicked him in the leg from behind.  Drake said it didn't hurt that bad or cause a bruise (of course as a mom, I asked those questions), but his knee was locked and it knocked him off balance.  He was a little stunned, too and the guy just kept walking.
  • Another man once responded to their conversation on the street by saying, "I don't speak Polish" in German.  Drake replied in German, "I speak German, too!"  The guy was a bit surprised!  :)
  • Their apartment is in a nice part of the city and is new and nice, but small.  When I asked him if he keeps it clean, it sounded like his room at home.  It's not completely clean during the week, but he will clean it up each P-day when they have more time.  I can picture it pretty easily :).  He said the missionaries on the other side of Bydgoszcz have a HUGE apartment!
  • He found Pokemon cards in Polish and has bought a few packs for James.  James was, of course, ecstatic!
  • He says that Poland looks just like Germany -- the architecture is the same, there are cobblestone streets everywhere, a river running through the city, the signs look similar, and the cars are the same. He loves that!
  • He reminded me to put Catholic pictures of Mary and Jesus on the outside of any packages I send and to send them to the mission office.  The Polish postal service opens every package from America and will give it more respect if they think it is religious.  The mission office only sends its mail to them once a month.  Kind of crazy, but I'm sure they all survive it!  :)
Drake smiling once again!

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