Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bydgoszcz in the Spring....March 25, 2012

The weather is warming up and everything is starting to bloom. We were in Bydgoszcz this weekend for several temple interviews and to visit the Branch. We arrived before President had to start his interviews, so we decided to take advantage of the sunshine and go on a walk. What better place to walk to than down the Bdra River to the Old Town. The Opera House is straight in front of us. As we got closer, we saw a familiar sight... The balancing statue is back! The last time time we were in Bydgoszcz, it had been taken down to be refurbished and cleaned. Today, an added attraction...a large branch is caught between the bird and the tightwire. I don't envy the guy that has to retrieve that. This statue glistened in the sunlight! It is mesmerizing to watch it sway in the breeze. It was unveiled on May 1, 2004...the day Poland joined the European Union. It is designed so it's center of mass is below the wire which prevents the 50 kilogram statue from flipping! It is worth the trip to Bydgoszcz to see this cool statue.
Close to the statue, across from the Opera House is the bridge that President Nielson and I put our 'lock' on....We walked by to see if we could still find it; and after 15 minutes of searching, we finally did. (See Blog Post Nov. 13, 2011 for details!) Bydgoszcz is FULL of one way streets. It can be frustrating at times when you know where you want to go, but can't find a street that you can drive down. The above is an example of a typical one way street....shared with a tramvaj. In the busiest intersection in this great city are these tunnels leading down to underground walkways for pedestrians. I think they look like giant catapillars. You can cross the streets underground and avoid the traffic above.
Saturday night was spent holding temple interviews.
Sunday morning we were at the church early....but there was one family we didn't beat there! We were met by Kornilia and her two great kids, Weronika and Konrad. Their family is too big for their car, so every Sunday these 3 get up early to catch a 7 am. bus from Torun where they live to Bydgoszcz to meet the rest of the family who drives to church in their car. And they are faithful attenders! As we walked up the steps to the church, we were met by Artur their father. He was there with their other children to greet everyone.
Artur and Kornilia were there for temple recommend interviews. A very big family in Poland was the first to arrive...all seated and ready for church to begin! Way to go! I had a special surprise for those who came early to church today...American Gold Fish Crackers. This is probably the #2 treat that American moms bring to church to help keep their kids quiet...the first being Cheerios! These Polish kids had never had a 'fishy cracker', and they were excited to try them. (The rest of the box is in the Primary room cupboard. Emergency stash!) Shown above: Alicja, Adam, Denis, Ola (faking asleep!), Weronika, Konrad, Daniel, Weronika and Emilia. Emilia and Ola (now awake!) couldn't wait for church.....they found a comfortable (?) seat at the coat rack and started snacking! Jerzy taught the Gospel Doctrine class. Our lesson was on The Doctrine of Christ, 2 Nephi 31. He gave a great lesson. PRIESTHOOD MEETING: Is this a great sight, or what? This is the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood combined. What a powerful group! Bydgoszcz has the largest Aaronic Priesthood in the church in Poland. I see lots of future missionaries! Andrzej is the Elders Quorum President and did a great job teaching fathers how they can raise their daughters. Answer? Love their mothers! It was taken from an October 2011 General Conference talk by Sister Dalton, the Young Women General President. You cannot visit the Bydgoszcz Branch and NOT visit the Primary. What a great group of kids. Ewa (gold sweater) is the Primary President and all the kids love her. Today, Weronika...(on Ewa's right) taught a lesson on 'Everyone is Different'.Relief Society: The Relief Society combined with the Young Women today for the first part of the meeting. What a wonderful group of Sisters we have that belong to this great organization (or will belong someday!). There is always a good feeling when the Sisters gather. We have an anniversary! Marek was baptized into the church 1 year ago. Here he is with Elders Hooker and Sorn and his Branch President, President Isaac.
The Bydgoszcz Branch....well, some of them outside on the front steps of the church building. This Branch is like a 'mini-ward'. They have all programs in the church functioning well. We love visiting the Saints in Bydgoszcz. Many had left before I could get a picture but this was a great day with all of the wonderful members and investigators.


  1. I loved seeing these pictures and your thoughts! I was in Bydgoszcz just the previous week with other District brought a smile to see faces I recognized!

  2. Love the Bydgoszcz entry. Thanks :)

  3. Posts like these make me teary- I just love those people so much. Thank you so so much for your posts and for helping me feel connected. I wish I was there!


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