Thursday, July 29, 2010

The YSA Service Project in Szczyrk.

As you come into the town of Szczyrk, you see the training facilities for Ski Jumping. This is really an amazing facility. It is much taller and higher than these pictures show. You ride up on a ski lift then the grass, or artifical turf, allows you to ski down, hit the jump and land below.

There are bleachers behind the photo, so many spectators can attend and watch all the contestants.

This is one of the groups that went on the service project at the Young Single Adult conference. This group had 4 different languages going on, but everyone understood each other. 17 different countries were represented at this conference. Close to 200 were in attendance.
We were dropped off and walked up the back side of a ski run. Our assignment was cleaning up trash and making sure everything looked great. Work projects are very hard to find in these countries. If you want to do something to help a community, you are taking a job away from someone else. You need to be creative in finding things to do. The question is often asked, "Why would you want to do that? Someone has that job and is supposed to take care of that."
Outside the cities in the forest areas, you see people sitting along the roads selling jars of berries. This is one of the many men who pick berries in the hills and forests then head down to the roads and sit with their bottles of berries for sale. When we first saw these glass jars of berries just lined up on the roads, we wondered who in the world would stop (and get out of the flow of traffic) and buy berries?? But they do, and it's popular.
Siostra Nielson and Ada (Warsaw l) coming up the trail with Grzegorz (Poznan) coming up from behind.

Our group- Ada, Dorothy (Warsaw ll) and Andy (Warsaw l) Nicolas (Warsaw l) and Grzegorz.
We all wore the famous yellow vests that the Church uses worldwide for service projects and international aid- "Helping Hands"- in Polish.
Since all of our belonging are still on a ship somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, we are wearing borrowed clothing so wouldn't have to wear our "Church" clothes.
When we finished, we had collected a lot of garbage. A radio station interviewed one of the brothers and the local newspaper sent out someone to see what we were doing and WHY.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Death Camp of Majdanek

Because of our wild traveling schedule these first few weeks, we came in areas where two concentration camps were located. This was not planned; but when in the area, you better see what history has to offer. Having just visited Auschwitz a short time ago, we weren't sure we wanted to visit another camp like this. Majdanek is located just 4 km from Lublin, and we were told that we should not miss it. They were right. If I were to visit only 1 museum of this kind, I would choose Majdanek. It was the first memorial of its kind, having been founded only 4 months after the camp's liberation. The barracks, the towers, the barbed-wire fences, the crematorium, the gas chambers remain as they were during WWII. Even the 100,000's of shoes still remain in the metal cages in which they were gathered. It is chilling.
We will never be back, but we will always have a deep appreciation for the people who lost their lives here.
An over-all view of the site. Most of the barracks have been destroyed (about 100) and sixteen remain. You can see the Mausoleum and crematorium in the background. This is a very large area.
The domed Mausoleum hovers over the ashes of many victims. The words etched over my head are "Let our fate be a warning to you."
This massive stone monument is at the entrance to the memorial. It is called the Monument of Fight & Martyrdom.

The City of Lublin

We had a few hours to explore Lublin before we headed to the YSA (Young Single Adult) Conference Poland was hosting in the town of Szczyrk so we headed to Old Town...very small but picturesque. Here is one of the men who keep Old Town looking great.
The Rynek (town square) in Lublin's Old Town. This part of town dates back to the 14th Century.
Inside the castle that stands on a hill outside of Old Town. It was rebuilt as a prison in the 1820's and remained as such until 1944. Some of the finest medievil wall paintings in Poland have been found in this castle.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Church in Lublin, Poland

The Lubin Branch Sacrament meeting...along with some visitors and Starci Thomson (Branch President) and Peatrowsky.
Brother and Sister Cezary Gladun and their sons, Mikokaj i Cezary Jr, were interviewed by President Nielson and received their recommends to go to the Freiburg, Germany temple to be sealed as a family....forever!


What a great way to celebrate 'Pioneer Day' in Poland!!! Members of the Church met at a beautiful park in Lublin to celebrate this historic day in Mormon History...entering the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Great talks, food, visiting, singing, slide presentation and the biggest campfire we have ever seen helped commemorate this great day. The Guests of Honor were Walter and Mary Whipple -- the 1st Mission President of Poland. Pictured above are some of the 'Polish Pioneers' in attendance...Irena, Monika, Ania, Andrzej, Malgorzata, Beata, Kathryn
Brothers Rzeczycka i Gladun were our marvelous cooks. A big 'thanks' to these wonderful brothers. It was delicious!
President Grzegorz Pawlik (President of the Katowice District) and his family. His wife Lisa, Spencer, David, Aaron and Ewi. A fun group to have around.

 Also celebrating Elder Thomson's birthday with Beata Gladun who organized the Pioneer Day in Lublin. A huge thanks to her and all she did.
The group singing pioneer songs- "Come, Come Ye Saints" featuring, President Whipple, Elders Lewis, Peatrowsky, Thomson and Handley. Members- Monika, Malgorzata, Maciej i Dominik.
President Whipple standing next to the fire roasting a Polish Sausage- Kebab. This was a BIG fire- hopefully just like the pioneers.
The chapel in Lublin. Our cars are parked out in front. The door above the red car is the entrance and if you look above the small a/c unit on the balcony, you can see our Church sign.

Friday, July 23, 2010

SPECIAL GUESTS in the mission home.

President and Sister Walter Whipple, the first mission President of the Poland Warsaw Mission (1990-1993) were able to come by for an evening. They are on their way to Lublin for Pioneer Day and the celebration. The 24th of July also marks their 20th year anniversary when they began their service as Mission President. They currently are serving at the Jerusalem Center. Also with us are Robert and Sylwia Zelewski and their daughter, Maja. Robert was baptized in Mesa, Arizona in 1989 and was the first branch president in Lodz. He is one of the great pioneer members of the Church in Poland. This was a night of learning the history of the Church in Poland. Not only has this great country change tremendously in the past 20 years, but the Church has also.
Elder Turley shared his birthday cheese cake to end the night's activities. With him are Sister Whipple and Elders Balija, Mehner and Augustyn. President Whipple came into the MTC two years ago as an investigator and these missionaries practiced teaching him the gospel. He also met Elder Augustyn many years ago in the Chicago area and knows his parents well.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our New Home Teachers

We have great Home Teachers- Marcin Kulinicz i Dominik Lyzwinski. The lesson from President Eyring's message was great; and they threw in a Polish language lesson.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Auschwitz, built in Poland, was the largest of the German concentration camps. It operated from Spring of 1942 to January 27, 1945 when prisioners were freed by Soviet troops.
The infamous sign leading into the concentration camp - "Work Will Make You Free"
Auschwitz is in Southern Poland, then under Nazi control.
Women prisoners were on the left and men prisoners on the right.

Even in a place like this, you run into members of the Church. Brother and Sister Bill Tucker from Littleton Colorado, Brother Ryan Perkins (sunglasses) from Jacksonville Florida and his son and daughter in law, Craig and Stacie Perkins. Craig served in Poland as a missionary from 2004-2006. Our assistants Elders Mehner and Balija- of course on their P-day.


The Katowice Zone. Top Row: Starci Nielson i Guthrie; Middle Row: Staci Holden, Taylor, Anderton, Allred, Smith, Tribe, Eastman, Hinckley, Garrett i Owen; Sitting: Starzy i Siostra Neiman; Siostry Kimball, Helfrich i Hulme.
Katowice District: Standing: Starci Nielson, Tribe, Eastman i Garrett; Sitting: Starszy i Siostra Neiman, Siostry Helfrich i Hulme.
Wroclaw District: Starci Holden, Allred, Taylor i Anderton z Siostra Kimball.
Kielce i Krakow Districts: Starci Owen, Hinckley, Guthrie i Smith.
Member and Investigator Fireside held in the Katowice Chapel.
Downtown Katowice. The Church meets next to the large red billboard. This area is beautiful and full of activity.
This is a concert and convention center with rail tracks running through it. One of the main Rondos (round abouts) in the city with a large sculpture and centrum visible with a sports arena -not in the photo-but to the right.

A Great Find in Poland

After looking all over the city, I finally found a slow cooker! The store only had one--the display-and I was shocked when i saw the price---4 X what you would pay in the States! (With my busy schedule, it will be worth every penny.) It had been on display for some time. They couldn't find the box and the salesgirls didn't know why we even wanted it. The crock pots from America, even with adapters, don't work here--they can't draw enough power. The best place to find them is in Russia. One of our friends from the MTC is searching to find one but this find was an answer to prayers. The Polish people don't know what you are asking for because they just don't have them.
This slow cooker deserves a 'place of honor' in my kitchen. It's kind of like being in my own kitchen again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Welcome to our home. We have been in Warsaw for two weeks and have not spent too many hours in our mission home. It is a very nice home and we are discovering things about it everyday.

ul. Kosiarzy 22, 02-953 Warszawa, Poland

Another view of the entrance. The family room, dining room, kitchen and office are on this main floor. It is very well constructed however there is no A/C and even though we are from Las Vegas the heat and humidity are difficult for us.
This is part of the backyard.
This is from the back of the home. The stairs lead up to the family room and the President's office is to the right. I am standing on the balcony of the extra bedroom on the second floor. The third floor is the laundry room and facilities where the Sisters stay while here. The basement houses the Elders for arriving, departing and stay over occasions.
We have absolutely no complaints about this wonderful home.

Bydgoszcz Zone Conference 14. 07. 10

BYDGOSZCZ ZONE- Back row: Starci Davis, Leimer, Brown, Darowski, Rees, Contor, Loosli, Augustyn; Front Row: Siostry Marshall, Austin, Free, Spear, Sheffield, Kocaj
Gdansk District: Starci Leimer i Loosli; Siostry Free i Sheffield
Poznan District: Starci Contor i Rees; Siostry Spear i Kocaj
Szczecin District: Starci Augustyn i Darowski
Bydgoszcz District: Siostry Austin i Marshall; Starci Brown i Davis
As the Mission President's wife, I am in charge of all the medical concerns for the mission.
This in-grown toe nail was my first 'medical emergency'. It belongs to Starzy Brown who will be returning home in weeks. These are great and HEALTHY missionaries.
That evening after Zone Conference, members, investigators, and missionaries gathered for a Fireside where we were the main speakers. Among the members attending were Branch President Zalewski, his wife (Ewa) and 3 children; Andrsej Wencel, his wfe, Alicia, and their daughter; Michal Izaak, Tomek Mazuek, Leszek Szymanski, Danuta, Nasa, and Ewa. There is a great spirit amongst these people.
A view of the chapel in Bydgoszcz. The sign in the window looks as if the house is for sale. It is actually advertising 'Free English Classes'.