Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bialystok Baptism - Helena 11 Feb 2012

Saturday morning we slept in until 6:30am. This was going to be a great day. We couldn't wait for today. The Branch in Bialystok was having a baptism. There has not been a baptism in Bialystok since President Libbert (in the picture) was baptized in October 2008. This great sister was contacted by the Elders a short time ago and has read the entire Book of Mormon and through Alma on her second time. We could not wait for this great occasion in this small but significant branch in Poland.

As we were leaving Warsaw, as usual, we entered construction areas. We entered these huge tunnels and had no idea what they are for. So please, my polish friends, let me know...

They are really cool looking! We ended up driving through them for several kilometers.

Well, I heard back from my good friend Marcin K on these tunnels. He informed me- "The tunnels are going to serve as "sound tubes" - innovative version of noise barriers. The road crosses there through a densely inhabited residential area". The Polish people are smart and do amazing things. Thank you, Marcin.

We got to Bialystok in the late afternoon. When we come here it is usually dark. So it was nice to see the city as we drove in. This is a familiar church that we have posted before. Bialystok has more snow from what we have seen than any other city in Poland.

This is a monument honoring those in the city that were killed during WWII (1/2 of the entire population); but the people have also turned it into a snow tubing park. It was fun to see families having fun. We remember days like this.

Bialystok is near the eastern border of Poland very close to Belarus. The architecture here is like no other city we visit. There are many Orthodox churches. The one shown above was huge! It is the largest Orthodox church in Poland. The onion-shaped dome is topped with a large cross symbolizing Christ, while 12 smaller crosses around it represent the apostles.
Again...the picture doesn't do it justice.

Back to the baptism...

Finally we arrived at the Church and met for a few minutes....sang songs and had two talks regarding the baptism. Then the congregation walked over to the pool we had rented for this special occasion. It was a chilly 15 minute walk and bus ride. The outside temperature was 0 degrees Fahrenheit or -20 C. Inside it was warm and wonderful. This truly was a spiritual occasion.

Some of the members and investigators of the Bialystok Branch at the water's edge. What a wonderful group of Saints. Helena will blend into the Branch wonderfully.

A great big THANK YOU to Zoja for organizing some great refreshments after the baptism. She is an outstanding Relief Society sister. It was great to eat and visit together after this wonderful baptism. Zoja and Helena are great friends already.

 Elders Hannemann and Roberts with Helena. Elder Hannemann said something to President a number of weeks that made a difference. That little comment led to something that led to something else and Helena was found. Elder Roberts was transferred in. Inspired planning and contacting followed. Helena was an answer to prayer and the missionaries were an answer to her prayers. There are no coinsidences.


  1. Those tunnels are going to serve as "sound tubes" - innovative version of noise barriers. The road crosses there through a densely inhabited residential area.

  2. Amazing buildings, those churches!! We saw pictures of ice sculptures recently that look like the while one. You are doing great work there. They will never forget you.


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