Monday, February 28, 2011

Poland Warsaw District Conference- Releases & Sustainings

The members of the new District Presidency in the Warsaw District are... Sitting L to R: Presidents Dresler (1st Counsleor), Zelewski (President) and Shaha (2nd Counselor). Standing L to R: President Nielson, Elder Gessati (Area Authority Seventy from Milan, Italy), Brother Jarosz (District Council) and President Nabozny (1st Counselor in Mission Presidency). Brother Piotr Skolik was sustained as District Clerk. Released after years of service was President Brian Hapgood.
The Zelewski family. Robert, Maja and Sylwia.
The Dreslers. President Dresler will be released next Sunday from serving as Branch President in the Warsaw I Branch.
The Shaha family. President Shaha served in the District Presidency that was released and then was called into the new District Presidency.
The Nabozny family. President Nabozny was released from the District Presidency and called as 1st Counselor in the Poland Warsaw Mission Presidency.
President Pawlik from the Katowice District was in attendance along with his life long friend, Jakub, from Lodz. These two brethren joined the Church as teenagers in Lodz, attended BYU, served Missions and are great members in Poland.
When you get a group of LDS people together there is always food! There was a dinner provided members between the Saturday District Conference Sessions. It was great to mingle with these wonderful saints! They came from Bialystok, Poznan, Bydgoszcz, Lodz, and Lublin!
  There was plenty of pizza to go around! We had enough pizza for the army.
The Jagers, Shahas and Nebozny found a quiet room to feed their kids...
...while the missionaries greeting people in the foyer of the chapel caught a fast bite to eat.
Also going on this week was a Warsaw District YSA activity day. Elders Klosowiak and Curtis were able to bring two great investigators to this event, Karol and Bartek. They were also able to attend the Saturday evening session of District Conference along with many other YSAs who were in town for the event.
That night, the Mission Home housed these great YSA's: Back Row L to R: Marta (Poznan), Karol (Kielce), Ewa (Bydgoszcz), Lukasz (Szczecin), Patricia (Kielce). Front row L to R: Elder Curtis, Bartek (Kielce), and Elder Klosowiak. Late as it was, there was always time for... ...ICE CREAM, and BROWNIES!!! It was also a 'thank you' to the Office Elders, Taylor and Darowski, for transporting them all back to the Mission Home. What a great group of YSA's! They were a joy to have stay with us. The next morning, after District Conference they headed home.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Elder Gladun leaves for the MTC in Preston, England. He will be returning to serve in his native land, in the POLAND WARSAW MISSION.

Elder Cezary Gladun reported this morning to the MTC in Preston. He will be there for 3 weeks and will return back on March 16 and will be assigned to ____________, Poland. (Did you really think I was going to tell you?)
On his last night, before being set apart, Elder Gladun and his family came in to the Mission Home from Lublin. He poses with his father and President Nielson after being set apart and is now an official Missionary and Representative of the Lord.
This is a great picture. This is a great family. This is what a mission does for a family. The smiles on their faces say it all.
Earlier in the day, Mom and Dad helped in the kitchen. Beata made her first batch of American "Brownies". Licking the spoon must be universal.
Our Welcome Dinner, where the assistants were invited. It was good to have them there to help with the translation and to be with their "Fellow Servant".
We headed to the Warsaw Chopin Airport. We can write a book about the experiences we have had here. For some reason, we thought today would be easy and what could happen, right? Here Elder Gladun is checking in. He was first told that the last 90 passengers on the flight were unable to check in. One of the pilots was ill and they had to limit the passengers. That didn't make sense so we found someone who could speak better English. Apparently one of the flight attendants did become ill and they couldn't allow the last 90 passengers to board because they wouldn't have adequate service for the beverages and snacks on the two hour flight to London. Yes, you heard that right. So he could not board the flight. We were sent to another line.
This is our friend at LOT Airlines, the Polish Airlines. Over the last few months, he has taken good care of us. He was able to get Elder Gladun on another flight to London and no harm was done. The line consisted of 90 people who for some reason were bumped from a British Airways flight to London.
There was a large group of the Jewish Brethren also traveling to London, probably not on to Preston and the MTC. Elder Gladun will have plenty of time to talk religion on the flight.

The last good bye. It doesn't matter if it's around the world or around the corner, sending a missionary off is not easy. The Gladuns live in Lublin, Poland. About the only city in Poland that Elder Gladun will not serve in will be Lublin. This young man will be an outstanding missionary. The change that has come over him in the last two months is marvelous! We pray that every young man (especially in Poland) reads this and knows that you go where the Lord needs you. You will be blessed; there will be a change come over you and your family that can only happen because of the Lord. It will be the greatest thing you can do at this point in life!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back in Warsaw...District Meeting with Warsaw II District.

We are spending a few days in Warsaw getting ready for Warsaw District Conference. That means we have a chance to visit a District Meeting in attended the Warsaw II District meeting.
Elder Lundin, the District Leader, is teaching his District "Revelation through The Book of Mormon". As a good District Leader should, he left plenty of time for role play.
The Office Elders, Taylor and Darowski, then take a turn with the Assistants, Elders Garrett and Tribe. The Assistants and Office Elders both participated in baptisms last week. Great Examples for all of us.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wroclaw Branch Conference and more...

This first picture is of Jolanta...the woman on the right. She was baptized yesterday by Elder Sheridan. She was taught by Elders Vreeken and Sheridan. Here she is shown with a friend she had brought with her to church. Jolanta is already a great missionary! While we had 5 baptisms going on the Warsaw, Jolanta was being baptized in Wroclaw, being number 6 on Saturday.
Sunday was Branch Conference is Wroclaw. The Wroclaw primary (plus a few guests)! The Zan kids, the Call kids and the Pawlik kids.
The Wroclaw Young Womens class....Cindy, Gabrysza, Chonga, Sister Moon (Counselor in the Young Women) holding Emilia, and Sister Cielinska--the Young Women's President.
The Wroclaw Relief Society: Standing L to R: Ola, Agata, Sister Sheets, Dorota, Lisa, Sister Malinowska, Sister Moon. Kneeling L to R: Monika, Jolanta, Wioletta

We had a great Branch Conference. After church the members all stayed for lunch and some visiting. Because most of these members travel a great distance to their meetings, on special occasions, lunch is provided after the meetings.
The Kitchen Crew! Sister Moon, Sister Malinowska, Przenek, and Sister Call.
Some were not as happy as Spencer Pawlik. He wanted to go home and knew he had a long drive ahead of him!
President Nielson was able to put Spencer out of his misery. Now, which 'talk' did you give him?

Some great members of the Wroclaw Branch......
Brother and Sister Zan and their three boys, Jakub, Samuel, and Damian. Sister Zan is the Relief Society President in the Branch. Brother Zan is Gospel Doctrine instructor and Sunday School President. He also is great with Family History.
Wioletta Call and her three children, AJ, Cindy, and Cynthia. Sister Call is the District Relief Society President.
Two of our great YSA's...Adam and Andrzej with Elder and Sister Ireland who were here visiting. They are in charge of Institue and Seminary in Poland.
Branch President Cielinski and his wife, Agata, and daughter, Emilia.
District President Pawlik with his wife, Lisa, and their four children--David, Spencer, Ewi, and Aaron.

That night a fireside was held at Elder and Sister Moon's apartment.
It was a well attended event by members and investigators. This was a fun fireside and those attending stayed and visited for some time. A wonderful spirit was present this night.

After the fireside, President Nielson and I decided to 'ride' around town and see the sights. (It was 17 or 18 degrees Fahrenheit and we were not 'up' for a walk!)
  Beautiful Wroclaw at night....
...which included a beautiful bridge:) I think this goes to "Cathederal Island".
A beautiful building with a unique feature....
...a road running through it!

The next morning, it was time to visit District Meeting at the Wroclaw Chapel.
Just down the street from the chapel is this unique white building on the left...When Germany occupied Poland during WWII, it was from this infamous balcony on the 3rd floor (2nd floor in Poland!) that Adolf Hitler came out and stood and addressed the people of Wroclaw.


After all this role-playing, the missionaries had worked up an appetite so it was off to (their) favorite place, Pizza Hut. Elder Vreeken is challenging Elders Hancock, Nielson and Hillyard (none of which are shown here) as "biggest eater" winner in the mission. These are some hungry missionaries- but also some of the hardest working too.
At a table close by were our dear Senior Missionaries who take on any assignment asked of them. Elder Moon, shown below, is not only a support in the Branch and Center for Young Singles, but is also the 2nd Counselor in the Katowice District in Poland.
It was a nice visit to a very nice town. After lunch, it was time to go back to work....there are 'people looking for the truth' to find!
So, we left Elders Vreeken, Berry, Smith and Sheridan in the middle of the most beautiful Rynek in Poland (in my opinion!) dressed for the weather and ready to work! We love Wroclaw but in our four visits here, it has been either raining, snowing or just COLD! Hopefully in our return visit in eight weeks, it will be a little warmer.
There is a special spirit in this great Branch. The members and missionaries are Great!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A GREAT DAY IN POLAND....6 Baptisms!

Saturday, February 19th, was truly a great day! We had 5 baptisms in Warsaw and 1 baptism in Wroclaw....a total of 6 in one day! The chapel was full, ordinances performed in two languages; and the spirit was strong and powerful.
Liwia and Anna (Warsaw I Branch) were baptized by Slawomir Kodym and taught by Sister Marshall and Sister Hulme.
Emmanuel (Warsaw II) was taught by our Assistants, Elders Garrett and Tribe; and Elder Garrett baptized him.
Of course, a great event like this had to be followed by food ....
  ...and lots of mingling! There were around 70 people in attendance at the baptism. This was a memorable event for Warsaw. The members were a huge support helping these wonderful people come into the Lord's Church.
Posing with YSA's ( and a few others!) after the Baptism: L to R: Dominik and his twin sisters, Ashley and Natalie, Dorota, Liwia, Kasia, Agnieszka, Marta, Kinga, Emil, and Agnieszka.

After the baptism, President and I got in the car and headed for Wroclaw where we will spend two days attending Branch Conference and a District Meeting. (We traveled on a poor road in a 'white-knuckle' snow storm; another 5 hour drive late at night, but we didn't had been a great day!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wednesday night. Finally home and getting caught up.

First, our faithful Home Teachers came by and gave us a great lesson. Emil and Dominik visited, made sure we are "doing fine" and got caught up on the latest and greatest in the Branch...
In the middle of this, Kasia and Alex came by for a YSA "get up to speed" meeting and dinner. So all four of us visited and talked about the great YSA conference that is being planned for July in Romania. Afterwards, we went to a little ice cream store (E. Wedel Chocolate) and had a great treat and did some missionary work with a young man who served our table. There is a YSA activity on the 26th just before the Warsaw District Conference where many are coming in from around the country. As we left, they all invited our waiter to come and attend the YSA event---I think he will come. Kasia and Dominik are doing a great job in organizing everything.