Saturday, December 31, 2011

YSA New Year's Dance

Part of the 'decorating committee' for the YSA sponsored New Years Dance held at the Wolska chapel on December 30, 2011. Marta, Alex (Chairman of the Dance) and Dominik. There were many who helped in the decorating but we missed getting a picture of everyone. Sorry. This was a YSA event but everyone was invited.
When the Saints in Poland gather, there is always lots of food; and tonight was no exception. We want to thank this great group of 'volunteers' for the magnificent food that just kept coming and are angels!

Elder and Sister Jensen have been transferred to Warsaw and will be the new missionary couple serving in the Center for Young Adults, located at the Warsaw 2 Chapel on Wiktorska. We are delighted to soon be able to keep this Center open during the week...during the day and evenings. It will be a great place for our YSAs to gather, visit, do a little homework and just hang-out! We invite all our YSA's to join in!

Marta, our Warsaw YSA Rep, is not losing any time discussing 'items of business' with the Jensens. Their first assignment......attend the dance! This center will provide many things the YSA's want and need.

Sister Peck, part of our Office Couple, and Sister Jarosz who is our 'head' (volunteer) translator when we run into problems at the office! Sister Jarosz can solve anything...or knows someone who can!

Not only did YSAs come from Warsaw for the dance, but Katowice and Kielce were well-represented. (Marta with Damian, Adrian and Karol). We truly have some outstanding Young Single Adults in Poland.

Brother Jarosz showed up to the dance as a 'gangster'......Sister Jarosz is taking credit for his 'shiner'!

As the music started to play....the crowd started gathering....
There was a lot of talking at first, then......
Everyone was dancing....young and old! It was a great time. Polish people can dance!

Some had 'moves' that were too fast to even catch with the camera!

It was getting late for a missionary, but President and I found time to pose with our newest Missionaries in Poland...Dominik, who is headed to the Washington Tacoma Mission in May and Alex who will serve in the Romania Moldova Mission in March. We are VERY proud to send these great YSAs out into the mission field....representing Poland AND their Savior, Jesus Christ. They will both be great missionaries.

Another bonus! We were able to meet Patryk from Katowice. Patryk has recently returned from serving a 2-year mission in Scotland. We are so glad he came with the other YSAs from Katowice to attend the dance and celebrate the New Year in Warsaw. We could tell he was a great missionary!
As a tired Mission President and his wife went home early (by YSA standards), we unfortunately missed many wonderful activites....such as letting off paper lanterns into the sky...I wanted to see that :( A big THANK YOU to our YSA's for putting on a wonderful New Years event! It was enjoyed by all!

Siostra Modzelewska receives her Mission Call !

As we were all gathering for our New Years Dance at the Wolska Chapel, there was some important business that needed to take place...
Alex has received a very important letter from the Prophet.
She announced to everyone, with great joy, that on March 6, 2012, she will be reporting to the MTC in Provo. She will be serving in the ROMANIA MOLDOVA MISSION.

Just a small part of the group that was gathered for the announcement. We are all so excited for Alex to serve her mission. She is prepared and will be the first Polish member to serve in Romania. Congratulations on this wonderful blessing and assignment! We love you, Alex!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day after Christmas... Wolska Chapel 2011

The 26th of December is a holiday in Poland. There was little activity on the streets; and it's Monday, that means P-day for the missionaries. We gathered at the Wolska Chapel and had a great pick-up basketball game(s).
We were blessed as there were no "casualties". A few bumps and bruises but nothing too bad.

Brother Wood explaining to Brother Jarosz why he shouldn't 'dunk' the ball. We found out that Brothers Jagard and Wood are real "ringers". They still have it.

After the game there were stories to tell... I wonder how much of this Sister Jarosz believes. She was a good sport to come all the way here to support her husband. The Jaroszs were very kind to the missionaries (as were many other members in Poland) during the Christmas season.
All ended well. Elders Dabrowski (his knee is still working well) Murphey, Sorn, Johnson (no concussion after being slammed into the wall), Krzyminski, Brother Jagard (he controlled the boards), Hillyard and Elder Curtis (we tried to get him to not wear the Utah shirt but he stayed true...). Brother Jarosz wearing the appropriate basketball head wear (he is a pretty good ball player!). Brother Wood was off visiting and getting ready for the trip back to Kansas. A great P-day had by all.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

Being in Warsaw for Christmas, we were able to attend the Warsaw II Branch this morning, where President participated in the Blessing of Izabella Nabozny. Her parents,Richard and Asia, were visiting from Hungary for the Holidays. Dominik and Brother Rzeczycki assisted in the Blessing.

Sisters Bailey and Jones with Ewa (right), who will be baptized on Friday and her member friends.

Iza and her family: Richard, Dougie, Asia and Grandmother all attending Church on this wonderful day.

After Sacrament Meeting, many of the missionaries in Warsaw came to the mission home for the afternoon to wait for phone calls from home. Sisters Jones and Garcia, Elders Curtis and Murphey, Sister Bailey, Elders Walter, Sorn, Dabrowski and Sister Mann.

Downstairs, an exciting game of 'Settlers' was being played to wait out the time that these Elders would get to talk to their families. (LtoR): Dominik, Elders Dopp and Johnson.

Each missionary brought a gift to contribute to the 'white elephant gift exchange' we held that afternoon. In this game, you could either choose a gift under the tree OR 'steal' a gift that your neighbor had already chosen. Once it had been 'stolen' twice, it could not be taken again.

So....there was strategy involved!

Sisters Mann and Garcia ended up with the 'coveted' basketball backboard and rim...

... while Elder Krzyminski ended up with this 'gem' of sweater brought by Elder Curtis who purchased it at a store that sells clothes by the kilogram. It IS warm....100% wool. It did have a different smell and was a little itchy...

The Warsaw II District presented President Nielson and I with a great gift for a 'date night'! It included hot cocoa, popcorn and a puzzle that we must put together to see the messages they wrote to us! We can't wait to put it together...together! (Elders Curtis, Murphey, Hillyard, Dopp, Sisters Bailey and Jones, Elders Johnson and Dabrowski.)....... Date night- maybe next year.

(Below): Sisters Jones and Bailey enjoying watching the church produced film, 'The Testament' while waiting for their parents to call.

I managed to get some photos of missionaries talking to their families.....they were in practically every room in the mission home. It was great to see the smiles on their faces as they talked to those they loved back home. Elder Sorn was one of the first to hear from his family. Being from Germany, we are on the same time zone.
Elder Hillyard talking with his family in Lindon, Utah.
Elder Krzyminski talking to his family in Ohio.
Elder Curtis talking to his family in Salt Lake City, Utah.
And Elder Murphey talking to his family in Washington. Calling home is a BIG DEAL! Missionaries are only allowed to talk to their families by phone 2X a year.....Christmas Day and Mother's Day. Each missionary had 40 minutes to visit with their families as per the 'Missionary Handbook'.
Elder Myler and Walter head back to their apartment on the other side of Warsaw to open a few more packages that came the day before. They also went and visited some members.
As the 'party' was dying down, the missionaries got together to sing a round of Christmas Carols...which they never get tired of singing. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day! What a blessing to be able to spend a day celebrating the birth of our Savior with those that are on full-time missions representing Him. We are truly blessed! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve in the Mission Home 2011

Our Mission Office Elders (Elders Curtis and Johnson) along with the Assistants (Elders Hillyard and Dabrowski) came over early to help prepare for our Christmas Eve dinner. There was plenty to do ...

In the Mission Home the stereo system we have uses cassette tapes and FM/AM radio. The only real "modern" option was to play a CD... and that was broken. So for Christmas, we bought ourselves a new and rather inexpensive CD player with small speakers. Elders Hillyard and Johnson are "transferring" the old speakers to the basement in case someone in the future has a need for them.

Elder Dabrowski is updating President's iPad with all the new arriving Missionaries who are either at the MTC or soon will be. It's amazing what information he now has available and stored in that gadget.

Everyone pitched in to help get dinner ready. The mothers' of these Elders would be proud if they could see how their sons efficiently maneuver around the kitchen.

Then there's Elder Curtis. He worked in catering at the Joseph Smith Building in Salt Lake City. He knows how to set up a dinner table. He is demonstrating how to fold napkins and how to have everything presentable for a banquet.

And when its done, this is how is should look. Elder Curtis is amazing. Every missionary has such great talents, and this is just one of them.

Soon the rest of the missonaries arrived: Elders Dopp, Sorn, Krzyminski, Murphey, Myler and Walter. We truly had a wonderful dinner. The place settings were fabulous and the meal the missionaries prepared was one of the finest we have enjoyed while in Poland.

The real treat of the night was the Christmas hymns that the missionaries sang. If you want to hear angels sing, listen to the missionaries at Christmas time. Elder Myler is so gifted musically and the "Men's Choir" was breathtaking. (Left to Right) Elders Johnson, Dopp, Murphey, Curtis, Krzyminski, Dabrowski, Hillyard, Walter, Sorn and Myler playing the piano. This was one of our best Christmas Eve's.

We sang and visited for some time. Finally, it was time to head home and get ready for Christmas and Sunday.

After the missionaries left, we received a few calls from home. The above is one of my favorite tree ornaments. This year it has another duty...hiding the star that no longer lights up because it fried!

Our stairway leading to the second floor with the stockings from our family. It's late and time to retire... but the doorbell rang. This late at night, we wondered who could be at our door now?

Guess who showed up? At first we thought is was Ed Torrance (people in Las Vegas would know him); but no, it was 'Mikolaj'...the Polish Santa Clause! This is a great man in this costume. We won't tell who it is; but we love this man as does everyone else in Poland!

BOOK of MORMON 2012 reading schedule

Beginning January 1, 2012, the Poland Warsaw Mission will be reading the Book of Mormon as a mission, following this schedule. We will finish on April 30, 2012. We invite you to join us and discuss thoughts and ideas with your missionary or family.
Between Christmas and January 1. 2012 begin reading the Introduction, the Testimonies of the Witnesses and Joseph Smith's own account of the First Vision.