Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Elder Lapot Arrives in the Mission Field!

Heavenly Father is really blessing our mission...He has just sent us another Polish speaking Elder! Our native Polish speakers are such a blessing to the work here.

This is Elder Lapot from Nova Scotia, Canada. He was actually born in Krakow, Poland; and he has been a member of the church for a year and a half.

After spending 3 weeks at the MTC (Mission Training Center) in Provo, Elder Lapot has arrived--on time and no lost baggage! His testimony is strong and he is anxious to bring the gospel to his home land. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared as I usually am to serve dinner right when we got home from the airport. No worries! I had plenty of help in the kitchen. Elder Lapot with the Office Elders, Murphey and Sheridan.

The Assistants, Elders Eastman and Garrett joined us, and we had a great time getting to know Elder Lapot.

Dessert was hit! Yes, Dane, it's your favorite dessert with a Polish twist!

What a wonderful addition Elder Lapot will be to our mission. He is a great young man who is ready to work and give his 'all' to invite others to come unto Christ. Welcome! We love you, and President Nielson and I are excited to serve along with you in this beautiful country. (Above L to R): Elder Lapot with 4 new 'brothers'...Elders Garrett, Sheridan, Eastman and Murphey.

Where will Elder Lapot be serving?? You'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Sunday in Wroclaw...

Since the quarterly CCM meeting took us to the western part of the country, we decided to visit the saints in Wroclaw on Sunday.
One of the entrances into the Centrum area is this cool bridge.

Wroclaw is a very beautiful city and many people feel that it has the most beautiful rynek. But as in all things, there are opposites...

How could such a beautiful city also be the home to these ugly monstrosities!!! They are even uglier in person.....and there are 6 of them! Back to the reason why we are in Wroclaw....
Lots of things were happening after the meetings. There were several Investigators at church today. Here are Elders Marsing, Johnson and Darowski with Julita.
Brother Zan was helping Sister Malinowska with the microfilm machines used for looking up names for family history.
Elder Tribe and Adam were exchanging ideas about the 'power' of the Book of Mormon.
Elders Marsing and Tribe were visiting with Robert and Mariusz...the newly called Elders Quorum President.
Sister Call and her daughter Cindy were in the kitchen making some lunch.
Sister Sheets and Agata were involved in some family history planning. We appreciate all that Sister Sheets does to keep the Family History Center working! It is a busy place!

Now...you might be saying where is President Cielinski, President Nielson, Elder Moon? In meetings, of course!
Just before we left for a very long drive back to Warsaw, Sister Moon had us over for a very delicous Sunday dinner....with homemade rolls and President Nielson's favorite salad!! And where was Elder Moon? Still in meetings! We love our Senior Missionaries. They serve faithfully and endlessly and never complain. Thank you, Sister Moon for a very nice meal. It sure beat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the way home!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our Quarterly CCM meeting held in Gorlitz Germany

We are on our way to the quarterly CCM (Coordinating Counsel Meeting) being held in Gorlitz Germany. We alternate between Warsaw and Prague, but this time we met half way. Because this city contains some great buildings important to church history, Elder Schutze, our Area Seventy, invited the wives to come along this time!So we headed to Germany. What would a trip be unless there was an interesting bridge to be seen???
Here is a name from the past! Last August I had an opportunity to go with some YSA's to bring some much needed flood relief supplies to the city of Bogatynia. It was on the way to Gorlitz, so we decided see how this little city had recovered from the great floods that hit it last year.
A reminder of what Bogatynia looked like last August.

Today, the streets are clean, houses and roads are rebuilt.....Bogatynia seems to have recovered quite nicely! It is a beautiful little city.
Passing through Bogatynia, we soon came to the Polish/East German Border. It is desolate today, but could probably tell a lot of stories from the past. As we pass through,
we come into Gorlitz, Germany. This city has special meaning to the Church and the German saints who attended it during Communist times.

As we were driving to find our hotel, we looked over and saw a steeple! It looked familiar...
Taking a second look, we thought it HAD to be an LDS building. We made a U-turn and saw this...
..."Church of Jesus Christ"! We were right and we continued to follow the signs that led us to...
...this beautiful little chapel!
This is the chapel. This building was dedicated in 1995 with President Monson and Elder Utchdorf. You need to read "To The Rescue" the biography of President Thomas S. Monson. (The information on the dedication is on pgs 488-89- "To The Rescue") .
In front of the Gorlitz chapel, President Pawlik (Katowice District President), Elder Schutze (pgs 331 & 339 "To The Rescue") and President Dresler (Warsaw District First Counselor).
This is the meetinghouse where the saints met for 65 years during the communist years. Look in "To The Rescue", and the pictures just before page 301 show what this building looked like when the church was renting it.
This is President Lehmann, the current Branch President (in his second term) of the Gorlitz Branch. He is standing at the entrance to the original meeting house in Communist East Germany and pointing to where the church's sign once was. He was our guide through this historic site and you will soon learn why! He was 8 years old when President Monson came to East Germany in 1968 to speak to the saints. At the time the new chapel (shown previously)was dedicated on August 27, 1995, he was the Branch President (1st term). This is the pulpit where President Monson addressed some 250 saints in 1968, and "as he stood at the pulpit, filled with emotion, he felt the inspiration and followed it, departing from his prepared text. The words he spoke were life-changing for him and for the German Saints as he made this promise- If you will remain true and faithful to the commandments of God, every blessing any member of the Church enjoys in any other country will be yours" (To The Rescue pg 291). They would one day have a temple in Freiberg Germany, a miracle to many but something the saints held dear to their hearts. This was in communist East Germany.
The backside of the pulpit. The left side of the pulpit was the Sacrament table. The little desk on the right is where the clerk would sit. It is amazing this pulpit is still there. The original windows (in a stack in the middle of the room) have just been replaced.
With Elder and Sister Schutze in front of the new Gorlitz chapel. Again, in the photos just before page 301 in "To The Rescue", this is the spot where President Monson and Elder Utchdorf greeted German friends. The young man on the far right in that photo is President Lehmann, the Branch President then (and now also). If you have your book, look at the photo below the one with President Monson and Elder Utchdorf. You will see President Monson and Elder Nelson presenting the statue "First Steps" to Erich Honecker, who had lost a grandchild the week before and was grateful to accept this kind gift. In that picture is Elder Schutze. Next to him is the Freiberg Temple President, President Frank Apel, who was so kind to allow President Nielson into the temple last year after he left his recommend in the hotel. It is fun to see this history.

The bridge connecting the city of Gorlitz, Germany (on the left) with Zgorzelec, Poland (on the right). At one time, there was a Branch of the church located in Zgorzelec. The members had to walk across the bridge to the German side to attend church.

As we were leaving Gorlitz to go back to Poland, I kept noticing people with yummy ice cream cones. Realizing that they were buying them on the German side of the bridge, I decided to see if I could talk the ice cream stand into letting me buy some ice cream with zlotys...Polish money!
They took my money!!!! And I was able to bring President Nielson a well-deserved treat! What a great city and a real treat to see where a prophet made a prophetic promise that was fulfilled. This was a wonderful experience to see and hear the entire story. I love this Church!!! (And the ice cream was great, too!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mission Tour with Elder Teixeira. May 24-27, 2011

Elder Teixeira is a counselor in our Area Presidency and a member of the First Quorum of Seventy. We picked up he and his wife Tuesday night and spent the next 3 days with them. We had a wonderful and enlightening mission tour with these tremendous servants. The mission learned so much and if we apply if will help us bring more people into the gospel.
And where did this tour start???
KATOWICE....the 'skyline' gives it away! These power plants are everywhere; but it was actually a beautiful day.
And of course more bridges. We take pictures of these but they are so much more colorful and interesting than the photos show. Bridges are now a part of my life... as we travel to the Saints in Poland! The Katowice Zone. Second row: (L to R) Sisters Mann, Allen, Austin, Sheets, Moon and Elder Moon. Third row: (L to R) Elders Davis, Hancock, Hillyard, Johnson and Jensen. Back row: (L to R) Elders Marsing, Bode, Tribe, Hinckley, Darowski, Sorn and Dabrowski.

Sister Moon helping and serving Elders Hinkley, Eastman, Hancock, Sorn and Garrett. Lunch break during Zone Conference in Katowice. We started at 11:00am (it takes around 3 hours on the train for many to get to Katowice) and ended at 4:30pm. A BIG THANK to Sister Austin who did so much work in getting the lunch together...it was great!

Elders Sorn and Hancock with Sister Mann. Elder Hancock is in Krakow and Elder Sorn and Sister Mann are serving in Katowice.
Sister Allen, whose is serving in Katowice, along with Elder and Sister Moon, who are serving in Wroclaw.
Elders Bode, Garrett, Darowski, Davis, Eastman, Hinckley and Hancock.
Elders Dabrowski (zone leader) Marsing ( serving in Wroclaw) Hillyard (zone leaders) and Tribe (district leader in Wroclaw).
The "birthday boys", Elders Moon, Hillyard and Hancock.

We ended the Zone Conference and drove back to Warsaw. The roads are all under construction, so we arrived back in the mission home around 10:30pm. The next morning was Zone Conference in Warsaw with the Warsaw and Bydgoszcz Zones.
The Warsaw Zone- seated L to R- Elder and Sister Richards, the Nielsons and the Teixeira's, Sisters Harding and Garcia. Middle row L to R- Elder and Sister Harber, Elders Berry, Plumb, Lundin, Basha, Augustyn, Garrett, Rogers, Gladun, Taylor, Sheridan and Sisters Leppanen and Bailey. Back row L to R- Elders Ball, Hannemann, Hooker, Murphey, Curtis, Kennedy, Sisters Stay and Ellis, Elders Smith, Vreeken and Eastman.
The Bydgoszcz Zone- seated Elder and Sister Tarasevich, the Nielsons and Teixeiras, Sister and Elder Zatylny. Middle row- L to R- Sisters Marshall, Jones, Steadman, McAdams, Smith, Elders Torke, Gladun, Fritzsch, Waits, Myler, Leimer and Tanner. Back row- L to R- Elders Buckner, Nielson, Kalinowski, Seibert, Fletcher, Krzyminski and Klosowiak.

L to R- Sister Zatylny, Elders Smith, Vreeken, Leimer, Sisters Harding and Tarasevich, Elder Hanneman and Sister Bailey.

Elders Waits, Tanner, Sisters Smith and McAdams. On the Left- Elders Krzyminski, Kennedy, Buckner, Taylor, Garrett, Kalinowski and Eastman.

L to R- Elders Taylor, Gladun, Murphey, Lundin, Sheridan, Fletcher and Curtis.

Elders Myler, Hooker, Basha and Fletcher.

The "birthday group". Elder Curtis, Sister Leppanen, Elders Berry and Krzyminski, Sister Briggs, Elder Buckner, Sister Ellis, Elder Waits, Sister Harber, Elders Tanner, Kalinowski, Murphey, Ball, Lundin and Sheridan. They all received homemade chocolate M & M cookies.

The great Sisters of these two Zones! Seated: (L to R) Sisters Garcia, Steadman and Jones. Back row: (L to R) Sisters Bailey, Leppanen, Ellis, McAdams, Stay, Marshall and Smith.

These were great conferences and it was so wonderful to see all of the missionaries again.

We then took the Teixeiras to the airport, packed again and headed to Zgorzeloc (Gorlitz on the German side) to a CCM meeting with Elder Schutze. Only an 8 hour drive that starts Saturday morning. Wroclaw on Sunday and District Meeting Monday and back to Warsaw when Elder Lapot arrives from the MTC on Tuesday. Departing couples on Wednesday, Zone Leader council on Thursday and we start over...