Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Combined Warsaw & Katowice District Conference - preparations

This event really started back in June of 2010. Elder Teixeira was here on a Mission Tour, and he and President Nielson started talking about things we could do to get more members involved. One thing led to another. In August the idea of holding an All Poland General Conference started to take hold, and the plan was for the weekend of February 25-26, 2012. Because of the Euro Cup in Poland this year, there aren't many conference centers available with our specifications. Most Hotels have been booked for a long time. Elder Kopischke called in September and things were discussed. By chance, the Radisson became available and Elder D. Todd Christofferson was going to be in our area for other conferences. It all started coming together.Originally this conference center was booked. So we had decided on another Hotel. Brother Jarosz and President went and visited there and even had a contract ready to sign. As they were meeting regarding this they both said it just didn't feel right. They called the Radisson Blu one last time and because of a cancelation the week before, it was now available... the very weekend that Elder Christofferson would be here. Things were falling into place.Brat Jarosz was so key in all of the negotiations and planning. The stories that President would tell me about how this and that happened and changes that were made for the better makes me know that this conference is supposed to happen in Poland at this time.So, in November we finally signed an agreement and the real planning started. We thank Marta who was so great to work with. We have had some wonderful conversations with her regarding why we are holding this conference and who is coming. We have a reserved seat for her and her husband on the front row.In January 2012, we started meeting with the tech people about sound, and projections for our music and Church logo. We will be using the entire conference floor with interview rooms, Priesthood and Women's Leadership meetings, the Adult session Saturday evening and the General Session Sunday morning. The meals and other details were attended to by Brother Jarosz and Elder Jensen.This last week we met again to go over everything- coat room, children's room during the sessions, our organ hooking into their system, lunch for the missionaries, lunch for everyone following the Sunday session, close to 80 hotels rooms (sorry not at the Radisson!), chartered buses, train tickets, speakers, translators and seating for the Choir. The same details that planning every conference entails!Brat Jarosz, Elder Jensen and Pawel (the Radisson tech guy) discuss the small details to make sure what we need can be provided and who has what responsibility. We can't thank these two men enough. One other man that helped so very much is President Jagard. He helped with reservations and transportation for all the members coming in from around Poland. President Jagard and Jarosz have done an exceptional job of getting everything ready.Now fast forward to Tuesday February 28---Just to make sure we have things covered, we held a combined Warsaw l and Warsaw ll District Meeting at the Radisson so all the Warsaw missionaries knew where to go and what was going on. They will also be the ushers for the conference. Most companionships will have two other companionships staying with them Friday and Saturday nights. They needed to know the bus and trams schedules in advance so everyone can arrive well in advance.Sisters Mann, Ence, Smithee and Garcia will help and were some of the first to arrive this important training day.Elders Dopp, Curtis, Hancock and Walter were also ready. This morning when we got up,the sun was out and it was almost like Spring. As the missionaries started to arrive, it was snowing and cold! So hopefully, this storm will pass and this weekend we will have great weather.We met in the Polonia l room where we will be holding our Missionary Session with Elder Christofferson. From here we walked to the other rooms and got a feel for the conference center layout.The room will be arranged in a certain pattern and will be like that until the evening session when the seating will be changed to a different configuration to handle the congregation.Elder Dabrowski (and Krzyminski) went over the arrival times of incoming missionaries and who would be assigned to stay in what apartments. They also had instructions emailed to all the missionaries for tram and bus connections once they arrived in Warsaw. The entire mission is coming in, and it took some real coordination! Thank you, Assistants!With so many people coming and going, the missionaries needed to be aware of different rooms, coat rooms, restrooms and meeting room assignments. Elders Myler, Walter and Tanner are ready to serve in any way they are asked.All of this was done in a short time. We feel this was a good thing to go over. These are great missionaries. Elder Dabrowski, Sisters Mann, Garcia, Ence, Smithee, Elders Hancock, Siebert, Tanner, Murphey, Myler, Dopp, Krzyminski, Walter and Curtis. The Jensens were with us and helped again with these preparations and even more with.....Bedding and Towels! With all the missionaries coming in to stay with Warsaw missionaries, they needed additional items to accommodate visitors. We bagged up what they were lacking from the mission home, and the Jensens were kind enough to deliver everything to their apartments. As for President and me, we will have 10 Elders and 4 Sisters staying with us. The McGraths, our Senior Couple from Katowice, will also be staying at the mission home for 'crowd control'. We have a very busy and great weekend ahead of us! (And I will have DAYS of laundry ahead of me next week as I clean, sort and put everything away!) But it will be well worth it to be together to hear from an Apostle of the Lord. This is what it will look like for the conference. If you build it they will come! We are expecting over-flow attendance. The missionaries, members and guests are sure to have a memorable experience. Those that are planning on coming, we welcome you. Like the missionaries, come prepared to hear the voice of an Apostle with messages for each of us.
This will be a great weekend for all of us. I love this Church and the great Leaders the Lord has called.
------There will be no pictures of the Conference, see you next week some time. No cameras.


  1. We are so excited for the Polish members to have this opportunity. We are praying for each of them that they can make it, and for Elder Christofferson, and for all of you working so hard to make it happen.
    Steadman Family

  2. I also am so excited for you! We have been looking forward to this even, as our missionary son has also been writing about it. Thank you for sharing some of your preparations with us. It looks wonderful! I think the saints will feel the spirit as they come into the room and are met by the wonderful missionaries!


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