Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Elder and Sister Curtis arrive 27 Sep 2011

The Curtis' have arrived from the Mission Training Center and are ready to serve. They come from Sandy, Utah.
Receiving instructions from our new Office Couple, the Pecks, the Curtis' are now ready to get everything in order to start serving. They are assigned to Warsaw and will help run the Center for Young Adults. They will also serve in the Warsaw ll Branch as Member Leadership Support missionaries.
There is also a transfer happening tomorrow for some of our great Senior Missionaries. Elder and Sister Richards (who have had many assignments: office couple, YSA leaders and Elder Richards was released last Sunday as the Branch President in the Warsaw II Branch) are preparing for their transfer to Poznan. They are getting their bags packed ready to serve the members in that great city and Branch.
Back to the Curtis'...
After the Curtis' learned some of the things that will get them going, it was off for pictures for their "residence cards" and a visit to the Mall. President and Elder Curtis are looking at mobile Internet options at the Plus store (like AT&T or Verizon in the States)...
Meanwhile it was Sister Curtis' turn to take a tour of the grocery store and the customs of shopping in a new environment. She is selecting some of the delicious rolls and bakery of the best things about Poland!
As we finished at the Mall and headed back to the Mission Office, we saw one of our favorite sights of the month- our order of Books of Mormon had arrived. Our standard shipment is just under 700 copies each month not counting 'add on' orders we need and copies in other languages.
Here our great Office Elders begin carrying all of this shipment up to the 2nd floor (in Poland that would be the 1st Floor since the ground floor is Zer0). They are such a great help.
After getting everything in order, Elders Sheridan and Johnson explained the process of applying for a "residence card" in Poland. These take the place of a Visa and are good for 2 years.
Finally, the Elder and Sister Curtis arrive at their 'Home Away From Home'. They can now unpack, get ready for English Classes (tonight!) and everything else they will soon have going on. It is such a blessings to have Elder and Sister Curtis here. We love our missionaries and all that each one does. Our younger missionaries are out tonight working hard and talking to everyone. This is such a great blessing to be in Poland, on a mission and to see what wonderful things are taking place. We love these wonderful Polish people and the special souls they are. Welcome to the Poland Warsaw Mission Curtis'!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A great welcome!

All the 'women' in the Wroclaw Branch had a surprise for Barbara and her daughters when they came to church today! They were presented beautiful bouquets of white flowers, welcoming them into the Relief Society (women ages 18-109!), the Young Women's Program (girls ages 12-18)and the Primary program (girls and boys ages 3-12). A great welcome from a great branch!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What a great day in Poland...6 Baptisms!

On September 24, 2011 Poland had some wonderful events going on. Besides service projects in many branches, SIX great souls entered into the waters of Baptism.

In Wroclaw this mother with three of her daughters were baptized in a beautiful service that was attended by members and investigators. Elders Ball and Marsing met this family a month ago and since then, their lives have changed.
At the top of Poland in Gdansk, Ania and Patryk were baptized by President Kempa in another beautiful service. Elders Garrett and Gladun had taught them the discussions with Elder Waits assisting them. The Branch members also helped in bringing these wonderful people into the Church.
After the Baptismal service, the Gdansk Branch got together to visit, to welcome their new members and to enjoy each other's company. What a great branch! It is growing and becoming stronger with the example and combined help from leadership, members and missionaries.
Leading up to this baptism that took place in Gdansk was a great Institute and Seminary "Kick Off" Grill . Over 40 were in attendance, most being investigators and neighbors. This Branch has great participation in these activities and more and more people are attending.
But let me go back to the beginning of the day....
It all started when we picked up the Assistants, Elders Dabrowski and Hillyard, and our traveling trainer- Elder Tribe, at 6:00am and headed to Wroclaw. Besides interviews and the baptism, these Elders will be on exchanges and work on the area maps for that great city and district.

What would be travel without eating on the road! (And there was a lot of eating going on!)

We dropped off the missionaries and then headed to the Wroclaw Chapel. As we were walking into the building, down the street we saw this little family walking in our direction. They glowed! We instantly knew that it was the family that was going to be baptized that day. It was a highlight to see them. We met Barbara, Daria, Weronika and Wiktoria.

Barbara has seven daughters. Three were baptized today, and we pray that the others will see the change that comes with accepting the gospel. We met two of the other daughters and they are just as wonderful. What a blessing to this family and to the Wroclaw Branch.

Barbara and her daughters with some of the wonderful sisters who belong to the Wroclaw Branch...Sister Malinowska, Jolanta, and Ula.
Barbara with Sister Jensen (a new Senior Missionary), Ula and Wioletta. These great Relief Society sisters have welcomed Barbara into the Branch with open arms! (This is what I love about this Church!)

Barbara's children have also fit right into the branch! Here they are with the Call kids (and their cousin), Emilie and Dorian.
We had several Investigators and people who attend English class come by. Barbara is already being a missionary as she talks to these young women about her conversion to the gospel.

The Wroclaw District: Standing: Elders Roberts and Hooker. Sitting: Elders Ball and Gladun, Elder and Sister Jensen. These missionaries are working hard...concentrating on families and are talking to everyone about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It can change anyone's life, and it is for everyone!

Interesting Mission Fact: We have 3 Elders from Lindon, Utah,who all attended High School together....Elders Ball, Hillyard and Tribe. We call them the 'Lindon-ites'!

After the baptism, it is back to work and back on the streets. There is no rest for these hard-working missionaries.
Lessons, tracting and contacting can make a missionary VERY hungry. So, where do you take a bunch of hungry missionaries????
You guessed right!!!!! PIZZA HUT! And they did partake!
Wroclaw is in very good hands. The Branch here is thriving, the missionaries are working hard, and great things are happening! The members here are great fellowshippers! That means...a strong, unified Branch with more baptisms to come! I can't wait! I love to see the gospel change lives. It has changed mine. I will be eternally grateful for the blessings that have come into my life and the lives of my family through living gospel principles. It is the ONLY way to live!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Elder and Sister Jensen Arrive!

Elder and Sister Jensen arrived from the MTC and are ready to hit the road running. This was an easy arrival. Flight BA 850 was only 35 minutes late, no lost luggage but BOTH parking garages at Warszawa Chopin Airport were closed. Where to park? The Marriott Courtyard had a few spots open, and we took one!
Elder and Sister Jensen will be assigned to Wroclaw as YSA/MLS missionaries...serving with the Young Single Adult program and Member Leadership Support. The Jensens are eager to serve and have a wonderful desire to assist wherever they are called. We are so excited to have them in our mission.
Elder Jensen arrives and even though he did not sleep for 20 hours, he looks energized and ready to serve!
Sister Jensen may have slept for one hour, and she looks even better. They arrived and we couldn't help but realize what a great spirit they both bring to Poland.
On to the mission home for more visiting, dinner and then quickly to bed to prepare for "transfers" tomorrow. The Office Elders came by, later that evening, for a minute to explain how to obtain a Residence Card that they will apply for in Wroclaw.The next morning, orientation was provided by the Richards and Pecks. Elder and Sister Richards are training Elder and Sister Peck as the new Office Couple. The Jensens were instructed on the 'nuts and bolts' that senior couples need to know such as... purchases, finances in the mission field and some of their responsibilities. Now, we are ready for some purchases and final departure for Wroclaw.

Since missionaries do not open checking accounts in Poland and checks are non-existant here, cash or wire transfer is the mode of payment. Here the Jensens make their first (of many) visits to an ATM. With a little cash, they are ready to make their first purchase in Poland!

After a stop at the mall to take pictures for their Residence Cards, we decided to show the Jensens how grocery stores operate in Poland. (Just a little differently than in Alpine, Utah!) As the cashier scans the items, they are pushed to the end of the counter and the customer is responsible to "bag" everything. If you don't have your own plastic sack, you can buy one.
Then you hurry and get everything put into your grocery bag. These are busy lines and people are not thrilled if you slow things down. As crazy as this sounds, shopping for groceries can be one of the scariest moments for new arrivals from the States.
Back at the Mission Home for the final send-off! One important entry into the GPS is their new address in Wroclaw. The Jensens have a long drive ahead and were brave enough to want to head out directly from the Mission Home (without following us to the edge of Warsaw through the traffic!)

Welcome to the Poland Warsaw Mission, Elder and Sister Jensen. We are thrilled you are here serving the Lord alongside our great missionaries and other senior couples. We love you and will see you in Wroclaw on Saturday. (There is a great event happening there, and it has to do with a family!) Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Elder and Sister Moon leave for home.

We've got couples coming and going this week so we are busy! We love our couples! They do so much in establishing a strong foundation for the church here in Poland. This week we said 'good-bye' to two of the best.....Elder and Sister Moon who have been serving in Wroclaw.

Elder Moon had been serving as a counselor to the Katowice District President. His leadership has helped that District and the Wroclaw Branch grow and strengthen.

Sister Moon had been serving in the YW Presidency in Wroclaw where she taught not only the Young Women but Relief Society sisters as well such skills as quilting! She also did extensive work on helping the Primary with music for the children....which will be shared with all the branches soon!

These two great Senior Missionaries not only served a successful 2-year mission but won the hearts of the people they served. Here they are leaving 'a piece of them' with me to add to the quilt that will someday be created.

Early Tuesday morning, the Moons were at the airport ready to take the long journey back to the States.  Sister Moon and I were having such a fun time visiting as our husbands were working out the luggage issue....we didn't even think to get in the security line. As you can tell from the picture below, we should have been paying attention. Don't these people know that summer vacation is over and the airport is not supposed to be crowded?

Thank goodness, it moved quickly! We have never seen the line through security stretch almost out the terminal door.

Elder and Sister Moon....thank you for serving the Lord for 2 years in Poland. Your sacrifices have been appreciated, and you have left the church in this country better than you found it. We love you and wish you the very best! Remember us in your prayers!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lodz Branch for meetings on Sept 18, 2011

We got up early Sunday morning to get ahead of the Warsaw traffic and to get to Lodz for meetings. Along the way, we stopped to take a picture of these huge "Windmills" that are being constructed all over Poland. I am not sure how tall they are (I would guess 8-10 stories?) and the blades they install are just as huge. Another way to produce electricity.

As we were getting back in the car, we see this nice elderly man out walking his milk cow. The modern next to the real down-to-earth...and both providing for our needs. Poland has it all, just look around.
We arrived at the Chapel and were greeted by these great missionaries. We brought cases of copies of the Book of Mormon and other proselyting pamphlets. The work is going well with a baptismal dates set in a couple of weeks. Elders Berry, Darowski, Pofelski and Leimer. With them is Elder Tarasevich, Branch President.
Just around the corner came the Sisters. Sisters Stay and Allen. They are the best. They work as hard as anyone and are never without a smile and a greeting.
The weekly Missionary Coordinating Meeting in Lodz...set up so the Missionaries can update the Branch Council on investigators. It is in this meeting that plans are made for fellowshipping, member lessons and to assess the needs of investigators that members can assist with.
Branch leaders- Mussa, 1st Counselor, Elder Tarasevich the Branch President and Marek the 2nd Counselor/Young Men President.
Wioletta and her daughter, Orianna. Wioletta heads the translation team in Poland, and she is busy. We thank her for all she does. They are getting ready for General Conference in two weeks where they will translate in the Wolska Chapel the entire weekend.
Dominka, Sabastian, her sister Basia and son Oliwer. Its always great to visit with these good members and friends.
Sister Tarasevich with Emily who is in her last year of Medical School here in Lodz. If you will remember a few months ago, we visited her brother in the hospital. Emily is a blessing to the branch.
President and Jakub. What a great man. We appreciate him and are grateful for having him as a friend and support to us. We look forward to our visits in Lodz and especially meeting with Jakub.