Saturday, July 2, 2011

Senior Missionary Conference

Friday afternoon we were anticipating the arrival at the Mission Home of all our Senior Missionaries. Along with the Zatylny's, who are serving in Gdansk, was the return of Dominik Lyzwinski. He had served a mini-mission with the Elders there. After an interview with President Nielson, he was given a 'job well done' handshake and his cell phone! We hope this is a first of a few mini-missions Dominik will serve before putting in his papers to serve full-time! The Elders and members tell us he did an outstanding job while in Gdansk. Thank you Dominik.

The Zatylny's made great time coming from Gdansk and actually arrived a little early. So...

...I put them to work making hamburger patties and cleaning chicken. They were happy to serve, as usual! And they were a HUGE help to me! Thank you!

The Senior Missionaries of the Poland Warsaw Mission. Back row (L to R): Elder and Sister Moon, Sister Sheets, Elder Tarasevich, Sister Austin, Sister Tarasevich, Sister Briggs. Front Row (L to R): Elder and sister Richards, Sister and Elder Zatylny, Sister and Elder Simons. We were able to have a great meeting with these Seniors. The Moons and the Zatylny's took some time to report the group on their wonderful accomplishments in their branches. The President and I had some instruction. With the 'instructional' portion of the Conference over, it was time to get ready for the 'Grill'. I had lots of help in the kitchen...including the Tarasevich's daughter, Robyn, who had recently returned from serving a Temple Square mission.
President and I 'showed off' our aprons we had just received from a dear friend. (Thanks, Janee', they were perfect!)
Elder Tarasevich was our main 'grill man' with Elder Moon keeping him company. The hamburgers and chicken were delicious....GOOD JOB, Elders! It rained all day so the festivities were moved inside.
As in feeding the young missionaries, we have found the best way to serve a crowd is buffet style...and it worked with the Senior Missionaries, too!
We were able to 'squeeze' all 16 of us around the dining table. It was cozy...and the company was the best!
After dinner, there was time for visiting and sharing ideas. Our friend, Jeffrey Skousen, had showed me how to teach members how to play hymns by using chords. Here I am showing the Sisters this technique. We are hoping to teach those interested to play in our various branches.

That night, the Seniors who live in Warsaw returned to their homes. Everyone else 'bunked' at the Mission Home. The next morning, we met for breakfast and everyone made a sack lunch. We were all excited.....we were going on a Field Trip!!!!
At 9:30 sharp our translator, Kasia, was in front of the Mission Home with our 20-Passenger bus!

All set and ready to go see the sights of Praga....the oldest part of Warsaw which is located on the east side of the Wisla River.

Our first stop was this collection of over-sized musicians. Praga is known to attract musicians, artists and entrepeneurs. On the side of the 'drum' is a list of songs and numbers you can text to hear 'the band' play.
Many of the buildings are pre-WWII. Praga was not directly involved in the battles so they suffered little damage. The people love the 'broken down' adds to the character of this district.
This 'building', being so modern looking, seems to stick out like a sore thumb!! (It is the Polish IRS building!) Very out of place.
I had to include this picture for any electricians in America....and it had been raining all morning! No personal injury attorneys here! I am not sure if there are building codes either, or at least they don't seem to be enforced.
Another look at the buildings in this suburb of Warsaw.....Notice the wood house on the left. It is an original and the oldest house in all of Warsaw....being about 160 years old. It is now attached to a very old brick building.
There are several big factories, a Vodka Factory, a marmelade factory and others that now host as art galleries.
The building with the windows covered in red was very significant after WWII when the Russians were in control. Even though Poland supposedly had its own leaders, about 80% of the government leaders Russians. It is here that they took people to be interrogated to see what part they had played in the Uprising and how 'loyal' they would be to the new government. Many heated verbal 'battles' took place here. Many were convicted of political crimes and either executed or sent to Siberia.
After touring Praga, we passed back over the Wisla River to the Citadel, a 19th century fortress built by a Russian tsar to intimidate Warsaw after the 1830 Uprising. It was a notorious political prison for years and is now used by the Polish military. The phrase over the entrance gate: Gate of Execution. Thousands of prisioners were shipped to Siberia to work in concentration camps (working in mines or in forests cutting trees) on Soviet territory from this point.

A portion of the prison is an exhibit of life in the concentration camps of Siberia. This is a part of history that when I was in school, we never learned about this...possibly because not much was known about what was happening in these eastern block countries during Communist times.
This is a replica of the map of the Warsaw "Pact of Friendship and Cooperation" where Germany and the Soviets 'penciled' the boundaries of Poland. With one line of a pencil, millions of lives were affected. The big signature is Stalin's.
Group photo outside the Pawilon-X Museum...a part of the political prison. It was a great Senior Conference. Great instruction on how to be better Senior Missionaries, great company and great memories. Thank you to all our Seniors who serve so well. We love you and appreciate all you do to further the work here in Poland. (A special thankyou to Kasia for coming along as our translator!)

1 comment:

  1. I am an editor for the Liahona magazine and I noticed your blog. I'm working on an article about senior missionaries and I'd love to include someone from the Poland Warsaw Mission. If you are willing, please email me at

    Thank you!


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