Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day of the Dead Open House at the Wolska Chapel

Bright and early this morning (November 1st--Day of the Dead) things were happening at the Wolska chapel. We were ready to greet passers-by that wanted to tour our chapel and have some fruit tea and cookies. Some only asked to use the restroom facilities and once they got through the door, were interested in looking around. Vojtek and Slawik (from Warsaw I Branch)were some of our first greeters, and they did a great job.

Inside the building the 'break room' was being set up by Sister Briggs (who manned it all day long!). This was a place were our volunteers could sit down, rest and have a bite to eat. It was going to be a long day 9 am to 7 pm. and we didn't want anyone to go hungry!

Outside one of best 'greeters' was Godfrey. Everytime I looked around he was talking to a small crowd of people. Here is a rare moment when he was only talking to one.

Singing hymns in Polish and English brought a nice spirit as people were walking back and forth taking flowers and candles to decorate the graves of loved ones. Our chapel sits between two large cemetaries so people are going from one to the other all day long. (L to R): Sisters Ellis and Mann; Elders Vreeken, and Bode. Elders Basha and Marsing serving in Lublin came and helped out. They had been in Warsaw for their District Meeting and had short time to wait until their bus left to take them back to their city.

A new convert, Jerzy, offering fruit tea and a tour. He was talking to everyone that passed by.

Elders Curtis and Sorn and Sisters Jones and Bailey singing as Elder Dabrowski talks to a couple about our beliefs.

We had 'set up' a Family History Center in the cultural hall. People were able to view microfilms and see how finding your ancestors is done. Some of our member volunteers who helped take people on tours were (L toR): Agnieszka and Rafal--(baby Maria due on December 25!); The Dreslers, Magda and President (at the monitor) and Malgozata and Zbigniew (whose daughter, Aleks, is getting married next week!) We are grateful for all the members of the Warsaw I Branch who came and helped with the open house. They are great missionaries and do a wonderful job telling others about the church. Thank you! and we love you! We had many people take tours today. I wish we had kept a count. It was a successful day.

President and I decided to walk over to one of the cemetaries near by. What a beautiful sight...tons of candles at this memorial honoring those who died in the 1944 Uprising.

A beautiful little girl lighting a candle to remember those who have fought for freedom.

While at the statue, we ran into Brother Pew (Warsaw II Branch) who had come to see this beautiful cemetary. This good brother is here studying and helps the Church in many ways.

Back at the Open House.......Look who just got a Baptismal Date from taking someone on a tour, then they wanted a lesson, and then..........you know the rest of the story. Many great contacts were made today. The missionaries were able to set up appointments with families that had been walking by, saw the sign and decided to come and see what was inside. It was a good day for missionary work.

As it is getting dark, people are still walking by. Elder Curtis talking to a couple as they partake of some refreshments.

Sister Bailey and Sister Jones taking a mother and daughter into the building for a tour.

The singing was so inspiring that I had to jump in and join our Missionaries. It is amazing how good you sound when you sing next to a good singer! (L to R): Elders Sorn, Myler, Sisters Ellis, Mann and Elder Johnson.

A typical scene of the day- a family walking by and the missionaries visiting with them, offering some cookies, handing out pamphlets and inviting them to take a tour of the Chapel. Here Jerzy, Elders Sheridan, Hillyard and Curtis are talking with people as the singers are having others stop and listen.

This holiday is one of the biggest in Poland. Flower and candle stands line the streets way into the night. One Polish person told me it is like Thanksgiving in America....It's a holiday you spend with family, you eat alot and you remember the loved ones that have gone on by cleaning, visiting and decorating their graves.

Having left the Open House, President and I decided to check out the cemetary that is very near to the Mission Home.

It was beautiful! It was so lit up with candles, that you could easily see where you were going. What a wonderful holiday! What a great day to tell people you can be with these loved ones forever! And we were able to do that today as we took many people through our chapel and explained the Plan of Salvation to them. God loves us. How do I know this? Why else would he have such a wonderful Plan for his children to be together and return to Him someday? I love this church!

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