Saturday, October 30, 2010

Departing Missionaries...the Ceremony!

Continuing with the tradition that when our Missionaries depart, they leave something behind with us so we will always remember them....Elder Rees was my first 'victim'!
Our office couple was next. This being their 3rd mission, the Thuesons decided to leave something they had worn on all 3. Elder Thueson left his tie that had been to Viet Nam and Mongolia (and Poland!)...
and Sister Thueson left a part of her favorite turtleneck shirt.
Another Senior Missionary, Sister Powles from Wales, left a piece of a favorite scarf behind... did our young Sister Missionary, Sister Free!
A Family History Center missionary, Sister Galbraith, left a piece of a scarf she hade crocheted herself! That was a sacrifice!
These great Missionaries left the Poland Warsaw Mission on the morning of October 29, 2010. They will all be greatly missed by not only the other missionaries in the field but the members of Poland as well! We love you and wish you happiness as you start the next chapter of your life!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Day in the Life of a New Missionary...

This looks relaxing, doesn't it? These Missionaries deserve a good meal...they have had quite a day! First it's up at 6:30 a.m.; get ready for the day; a little scripture and language study; breakfast; the office staff comes over for orientation on residency and finances;
reviewing important items in the Missionary White Handbook with President Nielson; then it's out the door! Next come pictures taken for residency cards at a photo store; lunch at a Milk Bar; and contacting on the Rynek with the Missionaries in Warsaw (where phone numbers were aquired and Books of Mormons placed). Finally home at 7 pm for a good dinner, testimony meeting, and family prayer. Tomorrow is a most exciting day....they meet their trainers! The trainers are coming into the Mission Home to greet their new "trainees" and pick up their luggage and assist them back to their new areas.
Assistant Stohel going over a few 'housekeeping items' regarding luggage and train travel. Now the moment has's time to meet the trainers!
Elder Berry will be serving in Warsaw and will be trained by Elder Garrett, who was just called as the new Zone Leader.
Elder Krzyminski will be sering in Bydgoszcz and will be trained by Elder Eastman who was just made the new Zone Leader in that zone.
Elder Siebert and his trainer, Elder Turley, will be serving in Krakow. We now have four Elders in Krakow and that city is ready to take off again.
Elder Sorn and his trainer, Elder Lewis, will serve in Lublin where Elder Lewis has been called to be the new Branch President.
3 Sisters together? No, Sister Spear is not training both Sister Steadman and Sister Marshall...
The train that Sister Steadman's trainer is on has been delayed for 2 hours. Sister Marshall and her trainer, Sister Spear, will serve in Warsaw.....While Sister Steadman will be serving in Lodz.
Elder Hannemann's trainer, Elder Buckner, was also on a train that had been delayed. He will be serving in Katowice.
Yes, Sister Steadman finally found her trainer, Sister Prichett. Now it's back to Lodz!
Now, you might wonder what I am doing while President is orienting and teaching.....Well, it all begins here.....
My favorite little market down the street from our home. Fresh vegetables, meat, and baked goods are brought in daily. I came up with this brilliant plan (more like a revelation!) to place an order with the owners of the store for what I needed for the three transfer days. I go in with my list and with some Polish, some English and a lot of hand gestures, I place my order to be picked up the next day. It worked fabulous and has made a HUGE difference in my life!
Here I am (with two of the owners) picking up fresh Paczki at 7 :15 this morning. They are so helpful and friendly....I love shopping here! This is a life saver not having to go to the Mall to pick up groceries (yes the Mall, that's where most of the big grocery stores are).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Missionaries Arrive!!! October 26,2010

Our latest group of Missionaries just arrived from the MTC in Provo, Utah. After a VERY long plane ride where Books of Mormon were placed and contact phone numbers were acquired, they arrived safe and sound and willing to smile for the camera. Welcome to Poland!!! I'd like to introduce them......
Our new Senior Missionary, Sister Sheets. She will be working in the Family History Center.
Elder Siebert from Mannheim, Germany.
Elder Sorn from Duisburg, Germany.
Elder Berry from Rexburg, Idaho.
Elder Hannemann from Alpine, Utah.
Sister Steadman from Murray, Utah.
Sister Marshall from Centerville, Utah.
And last but not least, Elder Krzyminski from Cincinnati, Ohio. A great group! We are really excited to welcome them all to the Poland Warsaw Mission. Witam vas!
After meeting everyone, we head back to the Mission Home (during rush hour traffic!) for a good dinner, a few interviews, family prayer and BED! These were 8 tired Missionaries who will be up at 6:30 ready to start their first day of missionary work in the country!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bydgoszcz Conference & Baptism

Elders Kennedy and Davis with Sister Renata as they go into the waters of Baptism. This is such a wonderful Sister. She is humble and so sincere about her commitment and testimony.
The gathering where a small service was held, speakers and music was sung before we watched the Baptism.
Elder Davis and Sister Renata, with Sisters Marshall and Austin in the background.
When the group returned to the Chapel following the Baptism, Elders Davis, Dabrowski, Kennedy and Eastman sung, "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing" acapella. This was one of those, "you had to have been there to believe it" moments. Not a dry eye in the chapel. Absolutely beautiful. We will hear from these Elders again at the next Zone Conference!
Bydgoszcz Branch President Zalewski and his family.
Another wonderful family in the Branch, the Skurzynski family and their seven children.
Before the Branch Conference and the Baptism, Elder and Sister Riley Cutler, from Frankfurt, came for training with Brother Michael Isaac, who serves as the National Public Affairs Director. Sister Ewa Kolesinka also serves as the Webmaster for the Polish Church website.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mission President's Seminar: Dresden, Germany

Every year, the Mission Presidents and wives, from the 32 missions in the Europe Area get together for a Mission President's Seminar where we receive invaluable instruction pertaining to missionary work. This year we met in Dresden, Germany. Elder Kevin Pearson of the first Quorum of Seventy was the presiding authority. Here we are with him and his wife, June. Elder Pearson set me apart with Elder Russel M. Nelson, as a missionary back in June. It was great to spend time with them.
The main town square in Dresden. We are in front of the Lutheren Frahenkirche. Notice the statue of Martin Luther, one of the great Reformers setting the stage for the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ--- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The church in the background was completely destroyed during World War II and reconstruction started in 1992. The variation of color of the stones are the mixing of original and new.

 Not only did we get to see some of the sights in Dresden, but we also got to go to the Freiberg Temple. This is our one chance in a year's time to go to the Temple. We have missed not being able to go to the Temple frequently.

The grounds are beautiful and quite impressive. They include a chapel building with a family history center and living quarters for those that travel far to come to the temple. Poland is in this temple district.
An extra surprise!!!

At the end of the Seminar, each couple was given a copy of President Monson's biography, "To The Rescue". Each book was signed by our prophet.
A personal mission of President Monson was to bring the gospel to the people in this area. He told the people that one day a temple would be in their land. This seemed impossible because this was in Eastern Germany. Dresden, where our conference was held, has special meaning to our prophet, as you will learn as you read his biography. Sister Heidi Swinton, who served with her husband as mission president in the London South Mission and attended this seminar last year, wrote this book and requested from President Monson to sign each copy for us to be presented at our training. Elder Kopischke, our Area President, grew up in this area and knew of all of the promises and visits from President Monson. A wonderful few days where we saw and learned of fulfillment of prophecies.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How can we be in 2 places at one time??? Easy, split up! And that's what we did!

Ross and Jean Richards, dear friends from Las Vegas, have finally arrived here in Poland. We have served together in ward, stake and temple callings. I had anticipated a quiet dinner for 4 at the mission home to catch up on all the news;'s how it went......let's go back to the airport.....
The plane coming from London is usual....Sister Richards, as always, is leading the way "power-walking" out to the airport waiting area. She is ready to serve.
Elder Richards brings years of dedication and wisdom into the mission field.

 We are thrilled that the Richards have been called to serve in this great country of Poland. But wait...where am I in this picture? I am at the mission home hosting a Single Adult Fireside for the Warsaw District.
District President Hapgood gave a wonderful presentation on the Book of Mormon. Helping him with translation for the non-polish speakers in the group is Brother Kodym.

President Nielson and the Richards showed up towards the end of the fireside and were introduced to many of the people they would be working with here on the mission.
 Of course, no Fireside is complete until the refreshments are passed out and the mingling begins. Barbara, Monika, Anja, and Karina are enjoying the apple crisp dessert.
At any Mormon function, there is always a crew in the kitchen......Some of our great Senior Sisters: Sisters Richard, Harding and Briggs. It was a great night and it had been so nice to get to know the members in Poland a little better. After everyone left and I had finished the last dish in the kitchen, I heard the SKYPE ring on my computer. Much to my surprise when I clicked on the button......there was DARTH VADAR himself (breathing deeply) glaring at me!!!!

 No worries, Grandma!!! It's just 'DAX Vader'......even though he is only 2, he stays 'in character' most of the day. WHAT A PERFECT ENDING TO A PERFECT DAY!!!! To all my friends...."Serve a mission! It is truly the best time in life!" We love you!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baptisms Warsaw and Katowice October 16, 2010

Brat Krupa with Elders Lewis, Torke and Darowski. Warsaw ll branch.

Siostra Modzelewska with Siostri Smith and Helfrich. Katowice Branch.

Brat Wilk with Elders Kalinowski and Nielson. Katowice Branch.

Brat Drab with Elders Plumb and Curtis. Warsaw l Branch.

The missionaries sang at the baptismal service in Warsaw. It was truly music from heaven. They have such great spirits and desires to spread the gospel. I wish you could have heard their voices. Siostri Spear, Brown, Allen, Helfrich, LeFevre and Smith. Starzi Plumb, Lewis, Torke, Stohel, Darowski and Curtis.