Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A trip to Lodz

As we were driving to Lodz last Sunday morning, we went through a small town and were amazed at the number of nicely dressed people who were walking the streets.
Down every little street, we could see people coming...
...it was as if they were being drawn to one central location.

We soon were in view of it...the local Catholic church located in the center of town. The Polish people, especially the elderly, are very religious. They are a church-going people.
As we left the town, we spotted a familiar sight.....a police car in hiding!
As we spotted the black BMW that had 'blown us off the road' as he passed us at a very high speed a few miles before, we chuckled...."He deserved that!"
But wait.....who's in the other car?????
It was a car full of nuns who must have been going a little fast, because they were late for the church that we had just passed! What police officer could give 4 nuns a ticket on a Sunday morning?! Well, that goes to show you, the polish police are 'no respector of persons'!
As we entered the city of Lodz, this huge Catholic Church was in view...parking lot full to capacity!
This is the new location of the branch in Lodz. Today is the first meeting held in the building; hence, the reason for our visit. It is very nice, very accommodating, and in a great area with lots of visibility.
This is Hubert. He is 15 and is already looking like a missionary. He is doing all he can so he will be ready to serve the Lord when he is 19. The Duty to God program was just translated and is now available for the Aaronic Priesthood young men. Hubert will be one of the first to start this wonderful program. President Nielson brought his medialion just to show it to the great young men in Poland.
Some of the Lodz Branch members.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Night Ritual

This is the day we get to talk to our children and grandchildren. We always look forward to Sunday night to catch up on family news. Often, our grandchildren 'show off' new talents and abilities. Here is Lexie (age 4) reading a book for us. She read 30(!!) books and earned an Ariel Barbie doll. She was one motivated little girl...and a very good reader!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Last Day for a wonderful Group- The Mission will miss these Elders and Sisters

In keeping with our tradition of "leaving a part of you" in Poland, after the dinner, interviews and testimony meeting, the ties and scarfs are cut off. We will remember this group for a long time. Great missionaries departing. Their ties and scarfs will be on display in the Mission Home for all to see and remember their service and goodness. Elder Mehner, one of our first assistants. The hardest decision he has made in a long time was which tie to wear this night.
Elder Balija, our other first assistant, also a big decision with the tie.
Elder Clemons, the soft spoken dancing wonder.
Elder Holden who gave a great story about his father in his last testimony that we all will remember.
Elder Owen, the tour guide in the DVD that was sent to us about the Mission Home while we were still in Las Vegas. A remarkable talent in front of the camera.
Elder Anderton, everybody loves Elder Anderton.
Sister Kocaj, a great Polish Sister who returns home about 4 hours away and we hope she comes and visits us- soon.
Sister Sheffield, heading back to finish up at BYU and she majors in Dance. We will all miss her.
Here they all are after the ceremony. Happy faces and yet this is the last night, and they still have a few hours of packing to do.

We got up at 4:30am to catch their 7:55am flight. Everyone was going through Vienna then to either JFK or O'Hare and then home. Just a long day ahead... But waiting loved ones to greet them.
President and I caught a 9:55am flight to Frankfurt, Germany for a new mission presidents seminar with our Area Presidency. We were there for 27 hours and then home again. We walked in late at night and forgot about all the sheets, towels and dishes we left behind, but it was also too quiet. Last week was full of the ups and downs of being a mission president. The thrill of greeting great new missionaries and hours later saying good bye to the best in your mission. It's so great to be a part of this and see it right in front of your eyes.
Tomorrow are District Priesthood and Auxiliaries Leadership Meetings, Sunday we should be in Lodz because they will be meeting in a new building and then a new Elder arrives (Elder Ball) on Monday and then we start over again....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The New Missionaries receive their assignments- Off they go--------

The BIG DAY has arrived. All trainers of new missionaries have arrived in the Mission Home. We sing a moving chorus of "Called To Serve", the President has a few remarks and now we learn where our new missionaries are off to serve and who their great trainers and companions are---- Each trainer comes into the mission home to greet their companion and help escort them to their new area- what an exciting morning and occasion.
Elder Curtis, meet Elder Plumb.
They will be serving in Warsaw and Elder Plumb is a new Zone Leader as well.
Elder Hillyard, meet Elder Garrett.
They will be serving in Wroclaw and Elder Garrett is the new District Leader.
Elder Kalinowski, meet Elder Nielson.
They will be serving in Katowice and Elder Nielson is the District Leader.
Elder Kennedy, meet Elder Davis.
They will be serving in Bydgoszcz and Elder Davis is a Zone Leader.
Elder Lundin, meet Elder Leimer.
They will be serving in Gdansk and Elder Leimer is a new District Leader.
Elder Murphy, meet Elder Tribe.
They will be serving in Katowice and Elder Tribe is the Zone Leader.
Elder Sheridan, meet Elder Allred.
They will be serving in Wroclaw.
Sister Allen, meet Sister LeFevre.
They will be serving in Warsaw.
And Sister Bailey, meet Sister Free.
They will be serving up in Gdansk.
What a wonderful day this was. From the smiles, the work will go forth with power and goodness. They are heading to the trains in two minutes after these pictures were taken.

The beds changed, dishes, towels, laundry washed, house cleaned, garbage taken out, a grocery store run, transfer board revised, travel documents finalized, trip to Adam's for ties, dinner in the oven. Here they are at the door......

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Arriving Missionaries- 22 Aug 2010

The arriving missionaries after a LONG trip from Salt Lake City which included a 7 hour layover in London. L to R- Elders Sheridan, Kalinowski, Curtis, Murphey, Kennedy, Hillyard and Lundin. Sisters Bailey and Allen.
HERE THEY COME------ Elder Kennedy from Port Matilda, Pennsylvania.
Elder Hillyard from Lindon, Utah.
Sister Bailey from Mantua, Utah.
Elder Kalinowski from Granite Bay, California.
Sister Allen from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Elder Curtis from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Elder Murphy from Spokane Valley, Washington.
Elder Sheridan from Harrisville, Utah.
And...Elder Lundin from Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
First words of encouragement from the President.  Now off  to the Transporter.
Loaded and ready to go!
Having their first (of many) 'Buki Breaks'----'Buki' means rolls. This is an amazing and energetic group. They are anxious to get out and spread the gospel.