Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The SNOW is here!!!

No, this is not President in the backyard with a Russian Cossack hat on! After much anticipation, the snow has finally arrived! In all about 8 inches worth. The cold weather arrived all at once. The forecast is about the same for the next week- snow and cold.
Our backyard furniture where a few months ago the summer humidity was a killer. Tonight it is -4 degrees Frehenheit (-20 Celsius).
It started snowing yesterday morning and continued through the night.
This is our driveway....it's very steep in good weather, and we have had our doubts about being able to get our car out of the garage when it snowed. Well, it took President 6 (!) tries to finally get out of the garage this morning. So............ This is where the car will stay for the night!
This is really quite an adjustment for two people who have grown up as 'desert rats'!
But come the next morning, it IS really beautiful.....white and peaceful. It looks like we are in for a 'White Christmas' this year!
The traffic in Warsaw instantly became the worst and it is so great that the Mission Office was moved to this side of town a few weeks ago. It took the Office Elders 4 hours to drive one last time to the Old Mission Office today.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Gdansk Branch

This weekend we took a quick trip up to Gdansk, a beautiful city on the Baltic Sea, to check on our missionaries and the great members of the branch there.
Saturday night we met the missionaries and the Branch President and his family on Dlugi Street for dinner. As you can see, the city is getting ready for Christmas ...and it will be stunning!
In front of the Town Hall of Old town built in the 1300's. A life size guilded statue of one of the Polish Kings, August Zygmunt II, is on the spire of this great building.
We woke up Sunday morning to face our first REAL Polish snow storm. The first of many to come.....
Branch President Pawelczek, his wife, Gabby, and their 3 month old son, Nataniel. Three of the great members of the Gdansk Branch!
Saying good-bye to our hard-working Missionaries in the Gdansk area in front of the chapel. L to R: Elder and Sister Zatylny, Elder Plumb, Sister Helfrich, Sister Bailey and Elder Lundin.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Warsaw ll Talent Night (and plenty of it)

Tonight the Warsaw II Branch got together for a great Talent Night. Dominik Lyzwinski was the MC--Masters of Ceremony--and provided jokes (?) in between the acts. He did a great job!
President Hapgood favored us with a selection of songs from his own to the Beatles, "Let it Be".
Sister Gorniak displayed a portrait she had drawn.
"Lead Kindly Light" was played by the duet of Brother and Sister Lewis.
Dominik's mother, Anna, and his twin sisters, Natalie and Ashley, sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star".
Brat Herman stole the show with his great guitar songs.....many times the entire branch was singing along.....He inspired Oksana to leave the audience and sing along.
Monika Dublicka recited a poem she had written about rain.
Kasza Gorniak proudly displaying the winning dessert at the dessert competition held after the show. It took her 3 hours to make......what patience!
Winding up the Talent show were the Warsaw II missionaries (Sister LeFevre, Allen, Elders Torke, Crittenden, Darowski and Tribe) and Karina from Warsaw I singing our closing hymn. It was a wonderful night full of wonderful talent. This was the first branch activity in the new Warsaw ll chapel.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


We woke this Thanksgiving morning to the first (of many) snowfalls! It doesn't look like much, but it has stayed all day.
Another Thanksgiving surprise......a package from home with some 'essentials' for dinner.
The Missionaries in Warsaw enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner together. L to R: Sisters Marshall, Ireland, Spear, Sheets, Elders Torke, Augustyn, Garrett, Richards, President, Ireland, Berry, Darowski, Crittendan, Godfrey--member, Sisters Richards, and Briggs.
  Everything was fabulous! Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, even pumpkin pie!!! A special thanks to Sisters Briggs and Sheets for all their planning.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

President Nielson goes to Prague, Czech Republic

Our quarterly CCM meeting in Prague. L to R: Presidents Hapgood (Warsaw District) and Pawlik (Katowice District), Elder Schutze (Area Seventy), 2 District Presidents from Czech Republic, and President Irwin (Czech Republic Mission President).

President Irwin and President Nielson...good friends, neighboring missions. Standing in front of President Irwin's transfer board. Soon our friends, Jim and Diane Bohne from Las Vegas, will be seen on this board!

After the meeting, Presidents Pawlik, Nielson and Hapgood did a little sight-seeing...about 10 minutes worth!

More of the beautiful centrum in Prague.

On the way back through Poland, President Nielson stopped in Wroclaw to visit the branch there. This is the Zan family.

This is the Call family...Sister Call is the Katowice District Relief Society President...

...and Branch President Cielenski and his family.

Now...this is the coolest statue(s) I have ever seen.......and the pictures don't do them justice. On one side of the street there are 6 people (?) trying to cross the road. As they get closer to the crosswalk, they start sinking into the pavement.

On the other side of the crosswalk, people who have crossed 'under' the sidewalk are popping out of the pavement! Notice the pavers on the sidewalk.

There are 2 thoughts on these statues and what they depict. #1: These 13 statues make reference to the underground walkways you find in many European cities that allow pedestrians to go under busy intersections. #2: The statues called "Anonymous Pedestrians" depict the introduction of martial law in Poland and more specifically the many people who disappeared in the middle of the night on December 13, 1981. You decide.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Warsaw II Branch Has Moved! November 21, 2010.

Greeting the members at the New Warsaw ll Branch Chapel are Elders Stohel and Darowski. When we arrived in Poland there were three real estate/building issues that needed to be resolved. The Mission Home (purchased), the Mission Office (moved), and the third was the location of the Warsaw ll Branch. President Nielson along with Andre Lutter and Peter Vernes (from Frankfurt) and Michael Isaacs, found this location in September. There were three different sites. This one seemed to feel right. The attorneys worked on the agreement for months. Some of the owners lived in England, others in Poland and they owned parts of the building. The size was negotiated, the rooms, the parking, the terms, the amount, etc.. It was on, then canceled, then on again... In the meantime, the lease on the current site had expired; and we were down to the wire. On the signature day, as always, someone else wanted this location; so we had to hurry and negotate certain issues. The day of the signing, the four partners and President Nielson met in the foyer of the building. Five large stacks of documents were present. All followed each other around the room signing and initialing each page of these endless stacks of paper. But the deal was closed. This little story was an eight page journal entry for President Nielson with details. As he has told me, the Lord makes these things happen or not. Countless events happened to have all three real estates deals come together.
This is looking at the new chapel. For those who have been in the previous Warsaw ll chapel, you will note there is no pillar you need to look around anymore (and no more leaky roof!) It is an open chapel. Large windows to your right add cheery light --with a large park/playground to view. On the opposite side of the building is enough room to grow or plan for programs to use such as: YSA, Family History, Offices, etc.
The Jarosz family (from Warsaw 1 Branch). Bro. Jarosz, a District Council member, was on assignment from District President Hapgood to speak. He and his family were the first speakers in the new Warsaw II chapel.
After the 3-hour block the members gathered for a surprise get-together for one of the members of the branch.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The next activity....Warsaw District Relief Society Conference--"Organize yourselves...! D&C 88:119

Just 'hours' after finishing the Zone conference/Mission Tour with Elder Kopischke, it was time to get the house ready for the Warsaw District Relief Society Conference. The Sisters met at the mission home Friday night where we had a great lasagna dinner (prepared by reinforcements that had been brought into help---AKA: Sister Austin).
After dinner, we had a time where each Sister was able to share what she had been doing the last few weeks to get to know each other better. Only a few sisters stayed the night at the mission home. The next morning, we all met at the Wolska Chapel for some great instruction.
The theme of the conference was taken from the Doctrine and Covenants (Section 88:119). "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;"
Time out for a great Polish lunch....Polish pancakes and Barszcz--a delicious beet soup. Good food and GREAT company!
Two of our great Young Single Adults....Alex (Katowice) and Kasia (Warsaw 2).
Instructors for the Conference. Anja Kulinicz, Beata Gladun, and Iwona Jarosz.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our Area President, Elder Kopischke, Visits Poland

November 17-19, 2010. We were privileged to have Elder Kopischke come and tour our mission. He is our President over the Europe Area and a member of the First Quorum of Seventy. What inspired words he had for the missionaries and for us! Good changes are coming. We feel uplifted and ready to make the Poland Warsaw Mission the best mission ever! Here we are at Zone Conference with the Katowice Zone. Seated L to R: Elder and Sister Moon, Sister and President Nielson, Elder Kopischke, Elder and Sister Neiman, Sister Kimball. Middle Row: Elders Guthrie, Smith, Seibert, Sheridan, Loosli, Murphey, Hannemann, Sisters Smith and Brown. Top Row: Elders Leimer, Allred, Turley, Buckner, Curtis, Hinckley, Taylor, and Hillyard.

After we 'feasted on the word'...we had a great 'Buki Break'. The ping-pong table in the Outreach Center makes a great buffet table.

Our first Assistant, Elder Stohel. This is one busy Elder! He does a great job!
Elders Hillyard, Siebert, Curtis, Hannemann, and Hinckley.
A BIG THANK YOU to Sister Brown and Sister Smith for putting on a great lunch! And yes, Sister Smith ate everything on her plate!

The Warsaw Zone. Seated L to R: Sisters Harber, Harding, Richards, Sister and President Nielson, Elder Kopischke, Sister and Elder Ireland, Sister Sheets. Middle Row: Elders Harber, Harding, Richards, Crittendon, Augustyn, Davis, Nielson, Sisters Pritchett, LeFevre, Spear, Allen, Steadman, Marshall, and Briggs. Back Row: Elders Tribe, Klosowiak, Garrett, Kalinowski, Berry, Darowski, Torke, Lewis, Sorn, and Stohel.
The Bydgoszcz Zone. Seated L to R: Sister Austin, Sister and President Nielson, Elder Kopischke, Sister and Elder Zatylny. Middle Row: Elders Lundin, Plumb, Kennedy, Eastman, Sisters Bautner, Hulme, Helfrich, Bailey. Top Row: Elders Ball, Atteberry, Dabrowski, Contor, Krzyminski, and Handley.
'Buki Break' Time!