Friday, February 28, 2014

Headed to Kraków

My new grey suitI used the money that I got from selling my other suit that I bought in Bydgoszcz that was too big to Elder Hubbard

So, today we are on emailing a lot earlier and for not as long because I am leaving Warsaw today on a train!!!
I am being transferred!  Elder Hubbard and I thought we'd be together for 14 weeks.  This was going to be a longer transfer, with a few mini-transfers at 7 weeks.  We thought we were safe since we'd just gotten together.  But I guess not!  

I am going to a city called Kraków!
It's in southern Poland and is one of the oldest cities in the country.  It is a old castle medieval city with legends of knights and kings and dragons and stuff. Way cool, right!  

Apparently it is also the most beautiful city in Poland and some say in all of Europe!  So that will be cool.   I think Robyn Hickerson and Roger Kaspar have both been to Kraków.

I am sad to be split up with Elder Hubbard though.  It was a SUPER fun transfer because we got along so well!   I am being sent to Kraków to open up a new area and continuing the training of a Greenie named Elder Taylor from Texas. He has only been in the country for 7 weeks. It's going to be fun!  I like having trainees for companions because I get to teach them Polish! :) which is way fun.  Elder Hubbard will be going to Katowice.

For Valentines day, Elder Hubbard's girlfriend sent him a package. In it were these two matching ties. So we wore them on Valentine's Day! :)

I went ice-skating for the first time in my life this week! We did that for culture night. We got special permission from the mission president because I think that ice-skating may technically be counted as an extreme winter sport according to the White Handbook. But it was fun! It was pretty hard at first. I don't have very good balance. haha.

They are kicking us out of the library.
I am leaving to Kraków today on a 3 hour train ride!

Love you

Elder Drake Allen

Eating Foo-Foo at Dennis's House (from the Congo -- and nope!  We didn't have to eat any dried caterpillars)

P.S.  from Renee -- Here are some photos from Maciej's baptism -- the man that Starszy Allen handed a card to on the street just before New Year's Day and got to teach briefly before he left Poznán:  

Look at that smile on Elder Peacock's face!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Legend of Adam and much more.

Hi mom,

I hope you all like the voice recording that I sent this week. It is a lot longer than the last one! :) Did you listen to the last one during FHE last week? Are you going to do that again today?

We had a good week this week. The snow is all melted. But it is rainy today. But it says in the weather forecast you sent me that it is supposed to dip super cold again this week and then snow this weekend! That is insane!

(Note from Renee -- I accidentally saved the 10 day forecast incorrectly and sent him the forecast for 2 weeks ago, so the temperature was actually going to stay in the mid-30s.  Didn't mean to give him a scare!  :) )

Today, we are going to go visit a member who lives on the outskirts of Warsaw for P-Day. His name is Dennis and is from the Congo. He is super funny. We have to take a train to get there. Elder Hubbard has been there before and he said that it is super fun. He makes a weird food he calls "Foo-foo" which is like some sort of porridge or something. I realized that I have no idea how to spell porridge. hmmm. Let me know how that it is supposed to be spelled.

Little does Drake know that Elder Stockford's mom posted a few weeks ago that her son went to the Congo member's house and was fed Foo-Foo and dried caterpillars!

I hope you guys have a good week this week. We have Zone Training. Oh, I think I am going to sell the suit that I bought in Bydgoszcz to Elder Hubbard. It fits him way better and is too big on me. So I will use that money to buy an even better suit. Yay! :)

I’m happy to be here everybody.  The language is fun. It’s always a challenge, which I like! 

Elder Drake Allen

Hair Cut
My hair is getting kind of long.  So we’re going to be cutting our own hair tonight, I think.  So right now, I think Elder Hubbard is in the bathroom, cutting his own hair, then I’m going to do my hair (♫ dom, dom, dom DOM! ) so it’s probably going to be a lot shorter because right now it’s really long and shaggy which is kind of  funny to think because this was super short comparatively to when I was back home and it was a LOT longer.  So it’s kind of weird, probably to think that I think this is long.  Okay, it’s not SUPER long, but it’s long for a missionary. I can hear the buzzer, shaver, clipper thing going on in the other room! 

Lots of milk, like always.  Chocolate milk, too!

                                                                 Adam’s Ties

Oh, I went to Adam’s this week.  So . . . (deep echo-ey voice)  “The Legend of Adam!”  So, Adam is a guy, is a man in Poland who used to be an investigator of the church and met with the missionaries and everything, and even had a baptismal date once, but since then, he doesn’t meet with missionaries. But, he owns a tie company, a tie store called Collection Adam’s.  And they’re SUPER, SUPER good ties.  And since he likes missionaries so much, He has his warehouse type store in Warsaw and on P-days, he lets missionaries come there and you get to go through the ties.  And there are TONS and TONs of ties of all patterns, shapes and color and everything, it’s crazy and he sells them to us for at cost.  So they only cost 27 zlotys each, so that’s like $9 for a super, super good tie.  But then at the end, you get to go to this box filled with this is skaza, which in Polish means Flaw.  So they just have a tiny, little flaw in them, and so he can’t sell them.  So he gives them to us for free.  So as many ties as you buy, you get to take that many skazas.  But because we had to go buy a bunch of ties for the Sheleys because they go home this week, we got to take a whole bunch of extra skazas.  So I went there and I bought 6 ties and I got 10 skazas.  A lot of them, you can’t even find where the skaza is, so you get a perfectly good tie for free.   So I got 16 ties total, which puts them at an average cost of 16 zlotys each, which is only $3.  So I got 16 SUPER super awesome nice ties that are way European looking and skinny and nice, and good material, some silk ones, too – all for just $3 each.  That’s pretty good!  

I've been teaching Elder Hubbard to play the ukulele.  He is really fast at learning the ukulele because he already has musical talent and plays the piano really well.
A little tribute to the Beatle's 50th anniversary 
of coming to the USA
Okay, maybe it's more like Elvis

P.S. on Maciej from Drake's area in Poznan.  See initial posts if you missed them -- here, here and here.  

Drake's former companion, Elder Peacock wrote this to his family:
This week for me was interesting. We weren't able to do a whole lot of contacting because we had to find a pool to be able to baptize Maciej. It has been quite an adventure trying to get something to work, but I think we have it all worked out now. Maciej has his interview with the Zone Leaders tomorrow and then he will be baptized on Saturday, confirmed on Sunday, receive the priesthood on Sunday, and bear his testimony in church. So, he has a big week. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Warsaw and the COLD

Me on the Metro
Metro Stop

(the letter below was actually from a week before -- Drake recorded it for me, but wasn't able to email it the week prior)

Hello family – 

I’m in Warsaw with Elder Hubbard.  Our area is a district in Warsaw called the Mokotów.  (Mokotów is densely populated and has some light industrializion, but is full of parks and beautiful areas).  

It’s really cold right now. Yesterday we were out and about trying to find people and it got down to negative 18 degrees Celcius, which is subzero temperatures Fahrenheit.  And I think that’s probably the coldest temperature I’ve ever been in my life.  It was  pretty cold.  My face was freezing off.  But thanks to all the thermals that mom sent me, I was warm.  My whole body was warm.  Just my face and my eye balls were freezing. :) 

 Last night it got super cold and we woke up this morning and we have no water.  What?  No!  So we have no water so a lot of the things don’t work, obviously.  And so just 5 minutes ago I called the landlord and asked him why and he said there was  a huge breakdown with the water.  The pipes got so cold that they either froze or they broke, so a bunch of buildings in our area don’t have any water right now.  And that stinks, literally, because we can’t take any showers, ha ha!  Hopefully they’ll take care of that pretty quickly.  So it was pretty cold yesterday. It’s not AS cold today.because IT’s a little bit more sunny, but it’s  still below freezing.  I filled up one of my milk bottles (it’s plastic)  with water and  put it out on the window sill and  then went and got it and it’s frozen solid.  So it’s below freezing out there, but a member told us yesterday that it is going to be negative 35 degrees Celcius next week, which is negative 31 degrees Fahrenheit.  That is so cold!  I don’t know what that’s going to feel like!  IT’s going to be crazy.  So we’re going to walk outside and freeze!

Oh, and today, right now it’s lunch break.  It’s about 13:30 right  now.  So 1:30 for all of you American talkers.    In Poland everything is  the 24 hour clock. So you don’t say 1:30, you say 13:30.  You don’t say we have a meeting at 6:00.  You say we have a meeting at 18:00.  It took awhile to get used to, but now it seems more normal now than the other way.

So we already went out today and walked around trying to find people and talk to people for 2 hours  We have studies in the morning from 8:00 until 11;00., and then from 11:00 we go out and work.  So we went out for 2 hours and we came back at 13:00 so we could have lunch.  So we were out for  the 2 hours and  ahhh, nobody stopped.    That’s what it’s like.  Sometimes you can go whole weeks without anyone stopping or even taking a pass-along card.  But um, it was COLD OUT THERE, so I wrapped up with 2 scarves and one of the scarves was the one that dad brought back from Germany and we got back and IT WAS FROZEN SOLID!  Just like dad had said. . . . because I think the wetness of your breath gets on it, so it got hard by the time I was home.  But now it's thawed out. 

But yep, that’s what’’s going on right now in Poland. And It’s pretty cool , literally, very cold, but it’s going to be fun.  Probably tonight, we’re have planned to have a meeting with a guy that I met on the street about a week ago.  He was holding a Lacrosse stick, so I just walked up to him and said, “What’s that?” and he said it was a lacrosse stick.  So I started talking to him and everything about about who were were and talked about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, so we set up to meet with him a week later.  And he was holding his  helmet and I said, “What kind of helmet do you have?” and he showed it to me and it was Riddell and I told him “My dad designs helmets for that company” and he said “That’s way cool!”  So we have a meeting today. Hopefully.  I called him this morning to confirm but he didn’t answer, so I hope that he shows up.  Probably he won’t.  Probably in 1 out of 5 meetings that you set up with people on your mission, the person shows up.  :) Most of the time, they don’t actually show up.  And we call that FLAKING!  We get flaked so much. :)  Like I went once a whole week last transfer, where we got flaked 10 times.  Wow!  Yeah. 

So we hope he shows up and after that, we’ll be tracting.  Nothing much happens tracting.  But we’re asked to do it, so we do it.  I’ve only been let in once on my whole mission tracting.  And that was because we were caroling with the Sister missionaries and the sisters are  always let let in.  :)  So we’re going to be doing that tonight. In Poland, during Communist time, they built these giant block buildings that are super tall and are super HUGE and they are just packed full of people, because they are all apartments.    And we’re going to be knocking on doors and getting doors slammed in our face and it will be really fun.  :)  And it won’t be out in the cold.  So that will be our day today and then tomorrow, we have church. 

So I love you all and I hope you have a great day.  Bye!

That pointy building is Stalin's tower.
It was built by the Soviets.