Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bydgoszcz Christmas Zone Conference...December 27, 2012.

After a long traveling day but a great Zone Conference yesterday,  we woke up in Poznan and are excited to be with the Bydgoszcz Zone for their Christmas Conference.
The Bydgoszcz Zone: Seated: Elder and Sister Reed.  Middle Row: Elders Stumpf and Cieslak, Sisters Masters, Forsey, Bown and Bezdjian, Elders Roberts and Gladun.  Top Row: Elders Finch, Zelezniak, Dodge, Raines, Gudnason, Tiner, Stockford and Tingey.
The Bydgoszcz District: Elders Dodge, Raines (District Leader) and our Zone Leaders, Elders Gudnason and Tiner.
The Gdansk District: Elders Zelezniak (District Leader) and Finch with Sisters Masters and Forsey.
The Poznan District: Elder and Sister Reed, Sisters Bezdjian and Bown, Elders Tingey (District Leader) and Stockford.
The Szczecin District: Elders Roberts, Gladun, Stumpf and Cieslak (District Leader).
Following the instructions this morning is was time for the Preach My Gospel Chase.  Elder Reed assisted with the scoring as Elders Gudnason and Tiner found answers along with Sisters Forsey and Masters. Just behind them were Elders Roberts and Gladun.
This Zone did a great job with finding the quotes as shown by Elders Zelezniak and Finch.  Sisters Bezdjian and Bown, Elders Cieslak, Stumpf, Raines, Dodge, Stockford and Tingey were all outstanding.
In the end, it was our Zone Leaders who tallied the most points and claimed the prize...a peanut butter and jelly mix called 'Goober'.  Congratulations Elders Tiner and Gudnason.
The day before Christmas, it was Elder Gudnason's birthday so we celebrated that great event with him.
Thanks to 3 crockpots that were borrowed from other Branches around Poland, a delicious Christmas dinner was prepared by Elder and Sister Reed.  A big THANK YOU to them for a great meal!
Everything was perfect!  Elders Jensen, Gudnason, Zelezniak, Finch and Tiner.
Elders Stockford, Cieslak, Mikolyski, Raines, Dodge and Tingey.
Elder Roberts, Sisters Masters, Bezdjian, Bown, Forsey, Elders Finch and Gladun. And then is was time for our "White Elephant Gift Exchange".
Elder Dodge opened a box of Mistle Toe...(interesting gift for a missionary!)
Elder Robers opened up the gift he chose and found polish legos.
Elder Gladun received a Polish UNO game.
Sister Bown received the gift she had been hoping for-  a toy car.
Sister Forsey's gift was colored pens and a 2013 journal book.
Elder Reed received a special souvenir Horn from Szczecin.  He was thrilled about this- I think. (It quickly became the coveted gift that everyone wanted.)
Elder Zelezniak received those special house slippers he wanted...
as did Sister Bezdjian.
Elder Stockford opened up his gift and found a Polish Cookbook.
Elder Tiner received a Polish history trivia game and some NERDS.
Elder Stumpf received cute ear muffs with pink hearts on them....but he should probably only wear them inside his apartment.
Elder Cieslak recieved a Spiderman lunchbox!
Elder Raines received a very nice scarf and everyone had their eye on it as well...
Elder Tingey quickly acted by using his choice...
The Polish scarf now belongs to Elder Tingey.
Elder Raines used Elder Tingey's number to chose again and received everything needed to fight off a cold....vitamins, tissues, throat lozenges, vitamin C, packets of chicken soup, cold medicine.....Guess who brought that gift? Could it be the lady everyone calls when they are sick? (Maybe!)
Everyone had a great time.  And more or less received something that made them happy.
Everyone in the mission also received new state-of-the-art water bottles to purify water of 99.999% of all contaminants.  Elder Gladun was the first to test his.  Elder Raines was next.
Everyone headed out and the "clean up committee" took over...the home town district...The Poznan District.  It was a great Zone Conference.  We had fun, enjoyed a wonderful Christmas program, received and gave gifts and most of all appreicated Christmas a little more.
It's back to Warsaw to get ready for the weekend.
We love our missionaries and just being with them.  They are so talented and valiant.  These are days never to be forgotten.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Katowice Christmas Zone Conference Dec 26, 2012

After a wonderful conference in Warsaw and phones call from our family yesterday, we were up early this morning and drove to Katowice.  Today we are blessed to meet with the Katowice Zone.
 The Katowice Zone.  Seated: Elders and Sisters Sheley and Hutchinson.  Middle Row: Sisters Smithee and Howells, Elders Weir and Garfield, Sisters Holmgren and Ence.  Back Row: Elders Szymanski, Godwin, Neuner, Lanham, Brown, Bokinsky, Harris and Hayes.
The Katowice District.  Elder and Sister Hutchinson.  Elders Brown and Bokinsky (District Leader), Sisters Ence and Holmgren, Elders Harris and Hayes (Zone Leader)
 The Wroclaw District.  Sister and Elder Sheley.  Elders Weir and Garfield with Sisters Smithee and Howells.
The Krakow District.  Elders Godwin, Szymanski (District Leader), Neuner and Lanham.
 We arrived and were loaded down with gifts from home.  We could not fit in one more box. Both myself and the Assistants were holding things on our laps. (President was exempt!) Gratefully, we were able to get everything in the car that we had received from the Poczta.  Elders Brown and Bokinsky were nice enough to help carry everything into the Chapel.
Sister Hutchinson had planned a 'Cafe Rio' lunch for the Missionaries. It was fabulous....and tasted like the real thing! Sister Sheley brought yummy desserts.  Thanks so much to our great Senior Missionaries for making everything special for our Christmas Zone Conference!
                                          We had some very happy (and hungry!) Missionaries! It was now time to test our Missionaries knowledge of Preach My Gospel.
 Elders Hayes and Harris were the fastest in finding quotes and statements in Round One.
In Round Two, Elders Neuner and Lanham along with Elders Weir and Garfield search for statements made by President Monson regarding "Preformance measured".  (Hint: page 150).
 Elder Brown and Bokinsky found the next question easy soon to be followed by Sisters Smithee and Howells.
Elders Szymanski and Godwin write down all 9 Key Indicators in order...followed by their "Purpose".
Elder Sheley and Elder Hutchinson not only acted as judges, but tallied up the scores to find a 'winner'.
...Elders Garfield and Weir earned the most points and took home the Grand Prize...(American) CHEETOS....(There IS a difference!)
The entire Zone did marvelous in the Preach My Gospel Chase and everyone collected a prize as well.  Now it was time to enjoy our White Elephant Gift Exchange.  Eveyone brought one gift and you could not spend more than 20 zl on any item.
 Sister Smithee choose number 1 and she was up first.  She unwrapped a framed picture of Elder Lanham (!?)  We are not sure if he ran out of money, had an extra frame and picture of himself or just wanted to inspire others with his great smile.
Elder Brown was next.  He opened some Polish games.
 Elder Garfield's choice was "Princess" dinnerware!
Sister Ence received a small game of Monopoly.
                                                      Elder Bokinsky got a brand new tie!
Elder Hayes (from Wales and new at this Christmas tradition) opened a toy of some sort.
                         Elder Szymanski opened a packet of Pokemon cards, but he did not keep them long...
Sister Howells received a small game.
Elder Lanham got a nice piggy bank.
Elder Neuner received some Hot Chocolate mix and knew exactly who brought them.
 Sister Holgren opened a bag of Cotton Candy.  Apparently it looked a lot better two days and one long train ride ago.
Elder Weir was one of the last to choose and a very small gift was left under the tree. To his surprise, it was an amber pendant....great things come in small packages!
Losing the Pokemon cards, Elder Szymanski was sent back to the tree to pick another gift. When he opened the 'Jedi' sword, he was ALL smiles!  (My grandsons would have loved it!)
In the end, there was trading and taking as everyone got something they needed or at least laughed about. 
Another successful Zone Conference full of fun, instruction and of course, the Christmas spirit. Tonight we drove to Poznan for our final Christmas Zone Conference.