Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wroclaw District Meeting

The Wroclaw District. Standing L to R: Elders Sorn, Smith,Vreeken, and Sheridan. Sitting L to R: Sister Sheets, Elder and Sister Moon. Elder and Sister Moon do a fantastic job with member support in the Wroclaw Branch. Elder Moon serves as a Counselor to the Katowice District President, while Sister Moon works with the YW and does all-around training for Relief Society, Primary and Young Womens. THANK YOU!Elder Sheridan, the District Leader, was giving his last district lesson. Tomorrow, he is being transferred to the Warsaw Zone to be the District Leader in the Warsaw I District. He has served 7 months in Wroclaw, loves the people but is ready for a change.

Sister Sheets is busy in the Family History Center keeping the microfilms ordered and checked in as they arrive and serving the patrons who come there. She does a great job. Thank you, Sister Sheets, for all you do.

Monday, March 28, 2011

On the way to Wroclaw....

Having had a great District Meeting in Katowice, we were on the road again....this time we were headed to Wroclaw. We were pleasantly surprised by the great road we had and even more surprised when we passed this...
...the first camper we have seen in Poland. At home, we travel alot through Utah, and campers are everywhere. We actually pulled off the road, let the camper pass and then caught up with it again so we could get a good picture of it. Right after that, we passed this little beauty....
...a 2-seater mo-ped! President is considering this as the Assistant's next car. That will humble them!
We kept passing these VERY tall towers. President thought they looked a lot like 'deer stands' that you see in the states. That's odd....why would they have 'deer stands' here in Poland?
Ohhhhh....we started passing fields of deer grazing. Hope they know when deer hunting season begins!
I couldn't pass up taking this picture of this one-of-a-kind chimney. I wouldn't want to live to close to this "leaning tower"... Or...
this riding stable. I especially like the horse head sticking out of the building! The horse on the roof was what caught our eye (great's marketing and advertising). In the picture you can figure out what the Toi Toi is. And finally, this beauty....
I guess every town has it's "Big Fat Greek Wedding" house! There is always one guy who beats to a different drum. This one was the brightest blue! (and a bunch of other interesting ornaments)
We came across this cool bridge that was very long....and found ourselves entering...
BOLESLAWIEC!!!! The Polish Pottery capital of the world. They say the best polish pottery comes from this area in Poland because of the clay that is in this region. The area is full of polish pottery factories.
It is a quaint little city where their rondos (round-abouts) are decorated with larger than life Polish pots.

Someday I am coming back here and going to "shop 'til I drop".
We only had time to go into one shop because they were all closing. But I WILL BE BACK!

Changes in Katowice....

Sunday morning, one of the changes in the city of Katowice was the view. We had never seen such a clean, clear day in all our travels to this great city. Katowice is part of a group of 14 cities and other small towns that make up one of the biggest industrial regions in Europe...population in this area is 3+ million.
Here you can see how sprawled out the area is.
The landscape is lined with countless smoke stacks. One can usually 'smell the coal' when you are getting close to Katowice.
I apologize for the number of pictures, but we were amazed at what we saw....or were able to see!
This would be my favorite picture.....because just a few months ago, we took a picture of this same view and this is what we saw......
I'm not kidding.....this is the same view. It is not raining....it is pollution. Katowice is one of the 'dirtiest' cities in Poland. But it is also one of the favorite places to serve according to the missionaries. They love this city and the people in it.

But changes were coming to the Katowice branch this week. Branch conference was well attended; and afterwards, members were able to linger and say 'good-bye' to 4 special missionaries who had been serving there...Elder and Sister Neiman who had finished their 18 month mission as YSA Directors and over the Center for Young Adults, and Elder Kennedy and Sister Smith who were being transferred.

Members visited....
Here is Sister Neiman, Damian--new convert, Adam and Adam's grandmother---who is not a member but attends faithfully every week.

Another group pose....L to R: Adam, Elder Kennedy, Sister Smith, Gosia, Damian, Helena, and Dorota (sitting in front).
A few members and missionaries gathered for a special tradition that we have in our mission.
The Tie Ceremony! Elder Neiman 'willingly' adds his tie to our 'tie board' at the mission home. They each leave a piece of themselves (usually their favoriate tie) with us. We will remember them and think of them.
As does Sister Neiman.....who donates a piece of a scarf in her favorite color!
Thank you, Elder and Sister Neiman, for all your hard work and diligent efforts. You have truly made a difference in the church in Poland. YOU WILL BE MISSED. We love you and wish you the best!

Monday Morning: As the Neimans headed out of town, missionary work went forward as usual. The Katowice District Meeting.....led by Elder Kennedy, the District Leader.
The Katowice District.....well, at least until Wednesday.
L to R: Elders Leimer and Dabrowski ( Zone Leaders), Sister Smith (who is being transferred to Poznan), Elder Hooker, Sister Mann, Elder Kennedy (who has just been made a Zone Leader in the Warsaw Zone), and a GREAT BIG WELCOME to Sister Austin who just arrived last week. She will be taking the Neiman's place with the Young Single Adults. Some great missionaries who have worked hard to keep the Katowice Branch growing.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Baptisms, Baptisms, Baptisms!

As we left Warsaw after the YSA Mini Mission at the Mission Home to head south for Baptisms taking place in that part of Poland, a very special event was taking place in the northern part of the country in the town of Bydogoszcz.....
Marek was being baptized! Here he is pictured with Elder Nielson, Brother Holderny (1st Counselor in the Branch), and Elders Buckner and Tarasevich. It was a great day in Bydgoszcz. Welcome to the church, Marek! Meanwhile.....
We had driven to Kielce where Karol was scheduled to be baptized. Elders Krzyminski, Klosowiak, Karol, and President Nielson....you can tell what is on President Nielson's mind as Karol 'tries on' Elder Klosowiak's name tag. After singing and hearing some great talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost, we set off walking to the pool where the baptism was going to take place.
(I had to add this!) On the way there, I spotted this young girl....you couldn't pay me enough to sit on a bench and feed pigeons...birds scare me! Back to the baptism.....
A few of the people walking to the pool.....Karol, his friend, Bartek, Patricia, and Sylvia.

The congregation gathered at the pool....
and Elders Klosowiak and Krzyminski pose before Karol enters the waters of baptism.
After the baptism.....the look on Karol's face says it all. Branch President Najberg waits to the right to welcome him into the Kielce Branch as Elder Krzyminski couldn't wait to hug Karol (soaking wet and all). After the baptism, we got back in the car and headed to Katowice where 2 more baptisms were to take place today.
Some of the men of the Katowice Branch. Adam, Damian, Elder Kennedy, Szymon, and Elder Neiman.
Szymon and the missionaries who taught him the gospel.....Elders Hooker and Kennedy.
Sisters Smith and Mann taught Damian (on the right) and Adam (who has been a member for only 3 months) performed the baptism. That was great to see this special occasion bless so many.
The church is growing in Katowice....keep up the good work, Elders and Sisters and Members!!! The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings happiness to everyone .... and everyone needs it in their lives.

It was a great day in Poland......4 baptisms! I LOVE THIS CHURCH, and I love that we are finding those who are looking for the truth!

YSA Mini-Mission Held at the Mission Home

The YSA's planned a missionary activity at the Mission Home this weekend....a mini-mini mission! They arrived Friday night at 18:00 for the traditional 'welcome to the mission' dinner. Which was followed by...
a 'welcome to the mission' talk by President Nielson. He also introduced our speakers for the special missionary fireside we had.
Karina from the Warsaw I branch talked about the mission she served in St. Petersburg, Russia; and
Ellie, from Warsaw ll branch, told of her experiences serving in Poland on a mission. Both these returned missionaries did a great job. Thank you Sisters! Following mission rules, lights were out at 22:30.
The next morning, Elder and Sister Richards (the YSA Leaders for Warsaw---and our Office Couple---joined the YSA's for breakfast.
President took his 'new missionaries' through the Little White Handbook and reviewed some points in Preach My Gospel. So....let's meet the YSA missionaries....
Nasa!! Yes, that is snow behind us....it snowed last night.
and Dominik!
The whole group! Just after this picture was taken, our full-time missionaries showed up to pick up their 'trainees'. The first thing they did with their companions was 'companion planning and study'.
Elders Waits and Kalinowski studying Preach My Gospel with Dominik.
Our full-time Sisters arrived at the Mission Home and everyone waited to see who was going to be paired with who.
Sister Leppanen (Warsaw II Branch) and Nasa planning out their day.
Alex and Sister Stay (Warsaw I) studying for the lessons they had lined up today.
Our threesome of Sisters...Kamilla, Sister Allen (Warsaw II) and Sister McAdams (WarsawI) were busy finding the right scriptures to go with their Investigator lessons.
And it was time to go!!!
Books packed, umbrella in hand these Elders (Waits, Kalinowski, and Dominik) are ready for anything.
It was a very cold day but Sisters Kamilla, Allen and McAdams are well protected.
Nasa, who was so excited to go 'white boarding', and Sister Leppanen.
And finally Alex and Sister Stay are ready to find that 'special investigator' that is ready for the gospel. And what about President and I????
As our missionaries headed out the door...so did we. Packed and ready to go, we are driving first to Kielce for a baptism and then to Katowice for 2 more! We have everything timed out perfectly. Hope the weather cooperates! Stay tuned for info on the great baptisms we will be attending today!