Monday, November 18, 2013

Drake -- Funeral in a Tiny Village in the Middle of Nowhere

Elder Peacock doesn't like his picture taken
But here he is!
Dear Mom,

You are probably wondering what the subject of this email is all about!
So on Tuesday we got a phone call and I talked to a lady who works at a rest home in a tiny village called Lisków in the country almost 2 hours away from Poznań. She told me that a man named Jerzy had died that very day and was a member of our church and before he died, had requested that he had a Mormon funeral. There are not any other Mormons in that town (or anywhere nearby) so she had no idea how to run a funeral "Mormon style."  So she got a hold of the office and then us and asked if we could come down to the funeral to do a Mormon funeral for him. 

So the next day, when President Edgren was in Poznań for Zone Training, we talked to him about what we should do. He said that from a mission president stand point, it would be a lot of lost hours for missionary work and would take up a whole day, but from the stand point of the leader of the church in Poland, it would be the right thing to do to help fulfill the request of a member of our church who had died.  So he told us we should go. He told me that I would be the speaker at the funeral and that Elder Peacock would dedicate the grave. 

So on Friday, we drove with the Sheley's down to this tiny little village on old country roads. We met at the rest home and met the staff and Jerzy's daughter, his only family. Then we headed over to this tiny funeral chapel next to a church. In was a cold little chapel with a few rows of church prayer pews. The only people there were a few members of the staff, a few old friends from the rest home, a Catholic Priest, the morticians, and 4 Mormon Missionaries. A total of maybe 15 people. Elder Sheley conducted. There was no piano in the chapel, so I played the guitar as the opening hymn and sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" in Polish. Then I gave my talk. I talked about the Plan of Salvation, the Atonement, and the Resurrection. I read scriptures from out of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. After my talk, for a closing hymn, I played and sang "Nearer My God to Thee" in Polish. 

Chapel in Lisków

Then we left the chapel and walked behind the hearse on the street to the cemetery through this tiny old Polish town. We got to the cemetary and Jerzy was buried and Elder Peacock dedicated the grave. Then we returned back to the rest home and thanked the staff for everything. They asked us lots of questions about who we are, what our religion is like, etc. Elder Peacock and I taught them about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration and left them with a Book of Mormon. Then we journeyed back home. We stopped at a little restaurant in that town and ordered burgers. They were the equivalent of about 2 dollars but they were HUGE. I'll send a picture. Anyway, that was a really neat experience that I will never forget.

I couldn't help feeling that perhaps Grandpa Allen would be proud of me for helping with a funeral and speaking at it. Maybe you can share this story with him.

Walking in the funeral procession

I got one package from Amazon that is not wrapped, but the sisters looked inside and said it's probably a Christmas present. Is that one from you or grandma? Should I open it now or on Christmas?
I have worn the gloves, but for now I just keep my hands in my pockets a lot. I think I will probably be fine for now with my coat. I have two. The one that Elder Harris gave me (the one I am wearing in this picture) and the London Fog one I bought in America. So, if it gets really cold, I can probably just wear both because the London Fog one is bigger. So maybe I'll try that.

Giant burger
April and Jeff have a Japanese foreign exchange student? Do Steve or Jeff talk to her in Japanese?

Can you send me a weather forecast for Poznan next week! :)

I'll send some pictures.


Elder Drake Allen

From last transfer

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