Thursday, May 29, 2014

Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo (and to the Mound)

church at the mound
Dear Mom,

It's getting warmer here in Poland. It's like actually starting to get hot.
Which is good because it is sunny and more people are out, but also it's getting hotter to the point where it's like not pleasant to be walking around outside. haha  It's not super hot. It's just super humid, and that makes things difficult.

This is the Kościuszko Mound. It's part of a fort.
Best view of Krakow
from below the mound
walking up to the mound
panorama from the mound
(click on photo to see detail)
windy tie on the mound
This week we went to the zoo with our English class. It was the first time I had been to a zoo in a long time. I actually think that the last time I went to the zoo was with Dad in Frankfurt, Germany when I was a  freshmen in high school. Weird.
So, for the last 5 years or so, I have only gone to zoo's in Europe. haha.
I remember going to the Zoo in Eureka quite a few times when I was growing up. I remember there being prairie dogs, maybe a bear or two, and a old orangutan.

at the zoo
Jan, my friend from India
Jan -- next to a peacock!
I talked about in my voice recording how Przemek came to church and I taught Sunday School. So that was good!  

Tonight, we are starting an exchange with the APs. So with Elder Vernon and Elder Lanham. I don't know who will be with whom. But it will be cool. Tomorrow, we have Zone Training, which means that the Katowice district will be coming over here, which means that I will get to see Elder Hubbard! Yay! :)

I'll send some pictures from the zoo and stuff.

meercats!! (Timon!)
(meercats are Drake's favorite animals; koalas, too)

Will I be an uncle this week? Maybe?
I think Nathan was on his mission when I was born.

Alex won't be in Kraków this week, I don't think. So you could always tell the Jensens to tell me when Cebre has her baby, I guess.

I'll send some pictures now!

Elder Drake Allen

It looks like the exchange was with Elder Vernon!  (a church member emailed this picture to me a day after Drake's email -- he saw the missionaries on the street and took a picture for me and Elder Vernon's mom -- love that!)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tracting Miracle

No pics this week, so I posted my favorite from last week. :)

Dear Mom,

That is super awesome that Uncle Bill will soon be the Oakland Temple President!! I am pretty sure that he is going to be an apostle someday... :) haha

Is Cebre's baby born yet?
Will she be born by the time I email next week?

No, I think that is super awesome that Racer got a Palm for scouts. That sure is something that I didn't do that I WISH I would have done!! :) And that is super cool that he is riding a scooter now. I never had a motorcycle license.
Whoa, he's going to Philmont as an Eagle Scout?? That's so crazy! What is he going to do there? Can he still get merit badges...? or what?

Whoa, looks like it is going to be warmer this week!


Last night, for the first time on my mission....
(ok there was that one time with the Sisters in Poznań, but that was just caroling and she was letting in the Sisters... and we just happened to be there...)
But yeah!
I got let in for the first time!
It was CRAZY!

So we went to a building to start tracting.
And I did the first few doors, and then was like, "Alright Elder Remy, it's your turn!"
So he went and knocked on a door and a lady answered. He told her that we are missionaries, and then looked over at me to talk.
I told her about the message that we wanted to share with her. And asked her if she had some time to listen to the message.
And she let us in!

I started like freaking out inside, I was like, "WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?!?! This isn't part of tracting!!!"
That had NEVER happened before. IT was crazy!!

And then we taught her about the Restoration, gave her a book, and got her number.

At the beginning of the transfer I told Elder Remy that I had something to tell him about tracting. But that I wasn't going to tell him until the end of the transfer. I was going to tell him that I had never been let in. But I didn't want to tell him that at the beginning of the transfer and crush his faith. So I didn't tell him.

So when we walked out of the meeting, I told him, "Elder Remy, you remember how I told you that I was going to tell you something about tracting at the end of transfer. Well, I was going to tell you that I have never been let in. But now I can't"

After the thousands of doors that I have knocked on... and never got let in, my little trainee knocks on his first door, and gets let in. I think that maybe this trainee faith thing works.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wawel Castle and the Dragon's Lair

Wawel Castle
model of the castle
In the dragon's lair -- it's a cave underneath the castle 
where the legendary dragon lived
statue of the dragon

        dragon breathing fire
   he does it like every 10 minutes
(this girl has no fear! :) )

Dear Mom,

It was fun Skyping with you guys last night. 

I sent a lot of pictures today.  Hope you enjoy them.

Happy Mother's Day again. Bad boys. :)

Elder Drake Allen

(Note from Renee -- I have always laughed when Drake referred to something as "these bad boys" and he did that in our Mother's Day call.  I told him that was my Mother's Day gift to hear him say it again :) )

Our investigator Przemek
Pronounced Psheh-mek
He goes by Willy Blake :)
Przemek and I
Talking to a man

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Short and Sweet

I got to see Elder Hubbard at Zone Training!

Dear Mom,
I think we are actually going to be able to Skype!! I am not actually sure yet! They told us that we will be able to contact you guys later in the week to work it out more. So be checking your email often!

The interesting thing about that list of things that James does that you said are like me is that I didn't even know that I did those things.
You listed them and I was like, "Huh...? I do that?"
We have 3 baptismal dates!! :)
Przemek, Zbyszek, and Marcin!
I tell you more about them on Sunday! And I talked about them in my voice recording. I'll have more pictures to send next week! :)

P.S. from Renee -- (We were in touch with Drake this week and we DO get to Skype this time for the Mother's Day call.  YAY!!!)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mission life has pretty much become my real life for now

Cathedral on the Rynek
Dear Mom,

That's awesome that you found more pictures the Salt Mines. It was kind of impossible to capture everything on camera. It was so so so cool. It was probably the coolest P-Day of my mission. It was so awesome.  

(Note from Renee -- Elder Raines came home from his mission in Poland just a little early for some health reasons and wrote a note in Polish that I sent to Drake)

Yeah, I can understand what Elder Raines wrote. Why can't you? :) haha, just kidding. That guy was an amazing missionary. He's a legend. Is he feeling better now? 

(Another note -- Drake's good friend's younger brother is the lead in South Pacific this year in Redding -- I sent Drake a pic of the poster).

What is South Pacific? Is it a musical? Thomas looks so OLD!  

I ate the Easter candy. Thank you. It was good. I thought it was interesting in your letter that you said that James is being very similar to me. How so?

On the Streets of Kraków
Street view

This was a pretty good week. We have 2 investigators with baptismal dates. Zbyszek and Przemek. Wow. Try to pronounce those names. Maybe google translate can pronounce them for you. haha :)
Zbyszek is about 17 years old. We found him in the park while doing the music board thing.

And then Przemek is probably like 30 and he was also found in the park.
He is really interesting and cool. He dresses like a cowboy and has a beard because he is in an American Folk band and plays the banjo and the guitar. haha :)

My trainee, Elder Remy
Oh! My trainee. His name is Elder Aaron Remy and he is from Plain City, UT. I think it's by Ogden. He's pretty cool. He is still adjusting to the time I think and is tired all of the time. haha :) But hey, I am still tired all the time, that's the missionary life!! haha

Tomorrow is Zone Conference in Katowice. That will be pretty awesome! I will get to see Elder Hubbard which will be so much fun. I miss that guy a ton. He's the best.
I got to talk to Maciej on the phone last night, the one that got baptized in Poznań. That was nice. I email him every week, but it was nice to get to talk to him.

Jan, the recent convert that we have been working with is having a really hard time. He got beat up and mugged this week. Maybe you guys can pray for him too.

But I am doing ok. I think that mission life has pretty much become my real life for now.

This week marks me being in the country of Poland for a full year. Crazy talk. I have less transfers left then I have been out. Only 10 months left. Very mixed feelings about that.

Have a great week!

Elder Drake Allen

Note from Renee -- Drake had so many pictures last week and none this week. So if you think you've seen these pictures before, you're right -- I stole them from last week's blog post! :)