Monday, April 30, 2012

Elder Lyzwinski is on his way to the Provo MTC.

Elder Lyzwinski is the 5th Polish missionary in the field currently. He was set apart Sunday evening. Since he has served mini missions and been out so many evenings with the missionaries, we feel like he is one of us. So we saved a "momento" from him. When Elder Lyzwinski returns, we will no longer be in Poland. My memory quilt of Missionaries in Poland would not be complete without this Elder's tie! Some of those that were in attendance at Elder Lyzwinski's setting apart. (L toR): Ellie, Ryan (family home teacher) Wanda and Wojczek. Elder Lyzwinski with his grandparents. He is now a full-time Missionary, set apart to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to those in the Washington Tacoma Mission.

Elder Lyzwinski was well prepared and only a few things needed attending to the night before he left for the Mission Training Center in Provo.

The next morning, the line was long at the check-in desk because of the week long holiday. But all was well, and Elder Lyzwinski was able to check his bags without any 'hiccups'. Sending Elder Lyzwinski off on his mission was harder than I thought. Yes, there were a few tears (on my part)...but he is ready and anxious to serve. Elder Lyzwinski, we love you; and we will miss you! You, and the rest of our missionaries serving IN Poland or serving FROM Poland or have served in POLAND, will always be in our prayers. You LOOK the part, you ACT the part...Now, it's time to BE the part! The Lord will bless you AND your family! Watch out, he comes!
Many hours later.....Salt Lake City, Utah airport 11:30 pm.

This was the group of Returned Missionaries that had come to welcome him not only to the States but to the Mission field! Many of these faces I don't recognize so I'm not even going to try to name them. But Dominik has had an impact on all their lives.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Baptism in Warsaw I Branch!

Shown above is the newest member of the Church in Poland...Krzysztof. He is pictured with the Elders who taught him, Elders Fletcher and Hancock and with his friend, Slawik. Krzysztof will be attending the Warsaw I Branch. He has followed the example of his Savior, Jesus Christ and has been baptized in His Church. We are learning the great difference it makes in having members involved in teaching and fellowshipping. We are especially grateful when members attend baptisms. President and I will always make every effort to attend convert baptisms for the rest of our lives. It makes a difference to the branch, the members, the missionaries and the new members. Welcome!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Polish Names make it to the Prophet.

Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.Remember this handmade wooden box that was sent to America with 10,000+ Polish ancestor names ready for temple ordinances? President Monson sent this picture and the letter posted below to thank the people in Poland and all others who helped research these names. We love our living prophet, President Monson. He is a great example of love, service, kindness and always thinking about 'the one'. He is a VERY busy man leading a worldwide church of 15+ million, but he took the time to send a 'thankyou' to those who are serving others. Thank YOU, President Monson, for all you do. Millions pray for you each day. I am grateful to belong to a church which is led by a living prophet under the direction of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This church is true!

Thank you, again, to those who delivered the box to the Church Office Building in behalf of the Saints in Poland. (L to R): Ada, former Missionaries: Garrett, Plumb, Hobbs, Darowski, Tribe and Smith. Elder Fussek, the 1st missionary sent to Poland with his wife in the 80's, is holding the gift.

'Flat Chloe' comes to Poland!

FLAT CHLOE!!! Who is that? In 1964, the children's book "Flat Stanley" was published. The story begins with a boy named Stanley who is given a big bulletin board which he hangs over his bed. In the middle of the night, the board falls and 'flattens' Stanley. Stanley survives and makes the best of his 'altered' state. One special advantage that he has is he can now visit his friends by being mailed in an envelope. Every year, thousands of American children read this book, make a flattened rendering of themselves and mail themselves to friends all over the country.

Our granddaughter, Chloe, has been wanting to come to visit us in Poland for months. Making the best of a situation, she decided to send 'Flat Chloe' to Poland in hopes that someday her 'real self' might make it there!

A mission is no vacation...and it wasn't for 'Flat Chloe' either. The first thing she did was go tracting with Elders Tanner and Murphey.

Getting home from tracting with the missionaries, Flat Chloe needed to help Grandpa with transfers. She gave a few suggestions, but she knew that ultimately it is up to the Lord where he places his missionaries. With transfers done, it was now time to help Grandma.

We headed to the laundry room to help wash and fold the never-ending laundry that seems to accumulate at the mission home. When the laundry was done, it was time to send 'Flat Chloe' back to Las Vegas where she needed to go back to 'Real Chloe's' classroom and report on her adventure. Of course, you never leave Poland without a treat...and 'Flat Chloe' didn't either. She brought a round of Kinder-eggs for the grandkids as well as Chloe's class!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An Assistant has a Birthday!

Enjoying the soon to be beautiful summer weather...we decided to have the Office Elders and Assistants over for a special occasion. What better way to celebrate than with a BBQ----the first of the season! Elder Tanner and Murphey showed up a few minutes early to help with the cooking. Oh Oh...we have a problem with the hamburgers staying together! These missionaries serve in Poland...they are tough. They know how to solve matter how hot the heat! With the hamburgers well on their way to being done, President and Elders Krzyminski (the Birthday Boy), Tanner, Myler and Murphey discuss mission business over a toasty fire! Inside it's time for the cake. It was my first ever from scratch German Chocolate cake. With a little 'tweeking', it turned out great! Happy 21st Birthday, Elder Krzyminski---our 1st Assistant. You are President's right hand man. Thank you for your diligent service, your strong example and your love of the work. We love you!

Our New Missionaries at the MTC

We currently have two groups of new missionaries in the Provo MTC learning Polish. Two of these Elders are learning Polish but will serve in the England Leeds Mission. Everyone else will be heading to Poland soon.Above and starting third from the Left are (L to R) Elders Raines, Jespersen, Bokinsky, Register, Rittmanic and Skolmoski. Sisters Allen, Ostler, Howells, Peterson and Holmgren. Elder Watene-Zelezniak is in front. We love them and are excited for them to join us.
Sisters Holmgren and Peterson with Elder Watene-Zelezniak join us in three weeks. The rest will arrive in Poland on June 19. We love them all and cannot wait for them to be here!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Night At The Opera!

We have passed the Opera House hundreds of times and each time we would say, "Someday let's go to the Opera!" (time could be the problem). Well, that night finally came. And we had some educated escorts to take us there. Above in front of the Grand Theatre-National Opera: (L to R): Ola and Justyna (Dominik's friends), Wanda and Wojciek (Dominik's Grandparents), and Dominik. This magnificent structure was built in 1833. Like everything else in Warsaw, during the Warsaw Uprising it was almost completely destroyed except for the facade above the entrance. When it was rebuilt in 1965, it was one of the best equipped, state-of-the-art theatres in Europe.
Inside the Opera House. Can you spot President Nielson? He would feel a little more at home in a sports stadium, but he was excited to come. He was taking a few calls before the opera started. Outside the theatre, Dominik, his Grandparents and I were touring the building. Wojciek and Wanda are fans of the theatre. It was nice to go with someone who knew their way around. This foyer was full of beautiful glass sculptures that were all handblown in Poland, of course! During each of the Intermissions, we would see more of the beautiful statues, costumes and other artifacts this great building had to offer. These great people have been here hundreds and hundreds of times over many years. They can tell us some much history its unbelievable. A great time was had by all. It was so nice to go out to a cultural event. Thank you, Wojciek, Wanda and Dominik, for making it memorable! I thought these two were discussing the Opera but actually they were planning the next issue of the Dobra Strona...

Sister Sheets returns home.

I have good news, and I have sad news. First the sad news...Sister Sheets, who has faithfully served in the Family History Centers in Wroclaw and Warsaw, is returning home after 18 months. The good news is that the members of the Church here in Poland are now running the Centers on their own. They have been trained, and they are ready to go. We thank them for their diligent service!

As with all of our missionaries, Sister Sheets has been asked 'to leave a little something behind in the mission field'.

Sister Sheets has opted to donate her beloved red scarf!

Here she is shown with our great office couple, Elder and Sister Peck, who had come for dinner and a wonderful testimony meeting afterwards. Sister Sheets, you will be missed! We wish you much happiness as you return to your loved ones! Remember Poland in your prayers!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday is District Meeting Day all over the Country.

Today we visited the Warsaw I District. As you can see, summer has finally come to Warsaw. No more coats, gloves, scarves.....even suit coats are optional except for church. Everyone is ready for this great change in the weather! Sisters Sheahan and Garcia celebrated by bringing homemade cookies to District Meeting...the Elders always appreciate that! Elders Hancock and Tiner (!) What is Elder Tiner doing in Warsaw? The Zone Leaders (Elder Hancock and Elder Fletcher) are on exchanges....So, Elder Fletcher is in Lodz with Elder Dabrowski and Elder Tiner is here with Elder Hancock. Elder Tiner brought JUMBO kinder eggs for my grandkids ....a belated Easter present that will be heading to America soon. (Thank you Taraseviches for finding them!) Elder Manwill and Elder Jensen (District Leader). Elder Jensen gave a great lesson in District Meeting helping our investigators to learn the importance in coming to church...even though his suitcoat is MIA. Don't worry, Sister Jensen....we will find it! While at the Wolska Chapel for District Meeting, I popped my head into the Family History Center....which has a new location in the building. It looks great, and it was good to see Brother Rzeczycki who was working the Center today. Our FHC is now run by members, and they are doing a great job.
Tonight we found ourselves visiting the YSA's in Warsaw where President Nielson and I taught a lesson on the Standards of the Church and the importance of keeping them. With the Matura (a very important test in Poland that determines where you can study after High School) in a few weeks, our numbers are few....but we had a great time. This was Dominik's last YSA for 2 years as he leaves Monday for the states where he will enter the Provo Mission Training Center.
A new face at YSA....Mateusz. He has been investigating the church 'on-line' for awhile. He happened to view a youtube video of Sister Sheahan singing and saw that she was serving a mission in Poland. Everywhere he turned, he kept seeing things about the church. He decided that God was trying to tell him something, and he needed to find out more about this church. He walked into the Mission Office and asked to be taught....Our Office Elders, Tanner and Murphey, were more than happy to do so! He has a baptismal date in May. (L toR): Sisters Garcia and Sheahan; Matteusz; Elders Tanner and Murphey. MIRACLES LIKE THIS ARE HAPPENING EVERYDAY IN THE LIVES OF OUR MISSIONARIES. Our message is true.... I love this Church!

Monday, April 23, 2012

P-day, Warsaw Mini Grand Prix ll and Dominik's party.

It's Monday, and the Office Elders and Assistants with Elder and Sister Peck decided to participate in the second Annual Warsaw Mini Grand Prix. Elders Tanner, Murphey, Myler and Krzyminski all are ready for this test of endurance and skill.

The first item of business was to dress and look the part (race drivers). The suit coats came off ...

the protective hair nets (???) came on...

...followed by the real "cool looking" race car driver suits. Joining us was Dominik for his last "P-day" in Poland before heading to the Provo MTC in one week.

Elder Myler heads out and is focused on the target...

Elder Krzyminski follows him and the rest are behind. And it's off to the races!

It was a wild race. They had 15 minutes to go as fast as they could.

About five minutes into the race it was everyone for themselves. However, there was some courtesy shown (occasionally) such as...

On the last lap when the checkered flag came out, everyone politely let each other pull in instead of hitting the car in front of them...

Everyone survived and had a great time. Elder Tanner, Dominik, Elders Myler, Krzyminski, Murphey and Peck. What a great "Crew".

They all faired very well. Each car was electronically timed so we knew who did very well and who did good.

We didn't keep score (and only played half court as the White Handbook suggests), but Elder Tanner was the winner and received a medal for his efforts. Congratulations!

Elder Peck and President had a great time. On the way out the door, they spotted the perfect 'New car' for President Nielson. We'll be getting in touch with Germany about this.

Later that night we were with Dominik and his family and friends for a dinner honoring the race car driver and the soon to be full-time missionary. The Staples family and Marcin and Ania were in attendance at this fun evening.

Domink with his wonderful family. (L to R): His Grandfather (we were celebrating his Name Day also), Mother, Sister, Grandmother (who cooked a delicious dinner and plenty of it) and twin sisters.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wroclaw Branch Conference...April 2012

The Wroclaw Primary: Today they combined the 'big' Primary with the Nursery for a lesson. The 'Nursery' was so well behaved...everyone listened and everyone had a great time. (LtoR): Cynthia, Emilie, Samuel, Damian, Sister Pawlik (teacher) Aaron, Ewi (translator), David, AJ, Johan, Spencer. (Remember everything was being done in 2 languages!)
We started Primary with an Opening Song, "I Love to See the Temple". Everyone sang in their own language. Aaron then showed everyone the proper way to reverant, fold your arms, bow your head, close your eyes.
AJ and David taught the group a new song: "Choose the Right Way". It was new to the Polish speakers, and the English speakers learned it in Polish. They all did a great job!
Sacrament Meeting was wonderful as we heard some great testimonies from different members and leaders. This 'Sister Choir' sang "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus". They sounded like angels! (LtoR): Ola, Cindy, Garysia, Agata, Kim and Ola)
Some of the Priesthood in the Wroclaw Branch. Brother Lee, Mariusz, President Cielinski, Adam, Brother Zan. We appreciate all these men do to help this Branch run smoothly.
After church, the Relief Society Presidency got together for a little planning. Sister Zan (Center) and her counselors, Agnieszka (Left) and Ola (Right) do such a great job planning lessons and activities for the women.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, this group of Sisters were busy making lunch for everyone. Many of these Branch members have to travel more than 1 hour to get to church...and they faithfully come each week! That's the kind of members we have in Wroclaw! (LtoR): Cindy, Wioletta, Sister Malinowska, Ewi and Sister Pawlik.
Elder Hayes and Elder Hannemann (District Leader) talk to Ula about the calling she just received today....Seminary Instructor.
Sister Folsom and Sister Young with Edyte, their new investigator.
Just before we left for Warsaw, the Missionaries and I had a short meeting regarding the changes that are coming to our English Classes. Teaching English is a great finding tool, and we are striving to make it even more effective. Having answered lots of questions, Sisters Young & Folsom and Elders Hayes & Hannemann are ready to implement the new format. And we headed for home....It was a beautiful, uneventful day until we came across this situation...
This truck had run out of gas 50 feet from the gas pump! (See the gas station on the right side of the picture?) It was a traffic stopper even though they were trying to get everything worked out quickly. The driver just needed a strong tailwind to push him into the pump...or maybe a very long gas hose!
A welcome sight! There's no place like home....especially when you have been on a 2 week Interview trip! I'm excited that this week we do not have to travel...but there are some exciting events happening! You'll soon find out what!