Saturday, June 30, 2012

Senior Training Meeting....Lodz. June 2012

This last weekend we gathered our great Senior Missionaries together for a Senior Training Lodz! Why Lodz? This city is located in the middle of Poland and was a centralized location...perfect for training. (LtoR): Elder and Sister Reed (Poznan); Elder and Sister Jensen (Warsaw), Elder and Sister Tarasevich (Lodz), Elder and Sister Peck (Office Couple-Warsaw), Elder and Sister Sheley (Wroclaw) and Elder and Sister McGrath (Katowice). We love and appreciate EACH of these couples for their countless, tireless service to building the kingdom here in Poland. We have the BEST Senior Missionaries in the world! Each couple had a topic of training they were to present. The Taraseviches were going over the differences of 'Shepherding vs. Herding' when it comes to helping members in their church responsibilities.Using a 'visual', Elder and Sister Jensen explained the importance of helping our YSA's have 'deep roots' in the gospel to help them throughout their lives.

Elder and Sister Reed taught the importance of this builds our branches. When Members (and even Missionaries) realize what a testimony is, how you can attain one, why you need one and what you can become with one, the church is strengthened and we have 'real growth'.
The Sheleys teaching the need to 'Serve with all your heart'...All presentations were marvelous and well prepared. Like I said, we have fabulous, talented, hard working, faithful and devoted Senior Missionaries to help love and support not only our members/investigators but our missionaries as well. Our 'Parent/Child' English class was introduced....with visuals and manipulatives neatly organized in a folder. This 9 week class will be taught on Saturdays by our junior Sister Missionaries in cities where there is a Senior Sister to oversee the program. We are anxious to see what a great 'finding tool' this will be in introducing the gospel to families. A birthday! Over the weekend, Sister Peck celebrated her birthday with us. Did you know that if a Senior Missionary has a birthday on a mission, it doesn't count towards how old you are? ;)
(Motivation to go out and serve!) With a day full of instruction, the Senior Missionaries were getting restless....hungry to be exact! As we took off for the restaurant, we ran into this! The main roads were being shut down for hundreds of bikers who were riding for a charity. We finally left the drivers in the cars as we ran to Piotrkowska Street to catch a.... Pedi-cab! Ulica Piotrkowska has claim to being Europe's longest pedestrian street. Here the
McGraths are enjoying themselves while taking in the sites of this beautiful street. Followed by the Pecks! Elder Peck's camera was kept busy as they were taking in all the monuments, street statues and more that is found on this delightful street!
Gathering everyone at the restaurant... ...we ordered 'troughs' (literally)of delicious polish meats, peirogi, vegetables.....Everyone had their fill! On the way back, President Nielson decided he needed to 'work off dinner' and made a 'deal' with this pedi-cab driver. So back to the parked car we went!
With some great training and great was time to take a short tour of what this city of Lodz had to offer. Every city in Poland was effected by the Nazi regime, and Lodz was no exception. It became the site of one of the first Jewish Ghettos in 1940, and because of the textile industry that was located there, was one of the last to close. Of the 230,00 Jews housed in this ghetto, just over 800 survived the war. This is Radegast Station, the train station where the Jews were shipped to the Nazi death camps. Each train car (these are original) was loaded with up to 100 persons not knowing that they only had hours left to live. Monuments showing the different death camps the Jews were shipped to. The size was determined by the number of persons that were sent to die at each camp.
There was a feeling of reverence for the people who suffered and died here...all could feel it. The next stop on our tour of Lodz was the 'Runoff Water Museum'. This underground oval-shaped water system was built in 1926. It was intended to drain the water away from the city. It was a storm drainage system that took the sediment out of the run off water and carried most of the water back to where it could be filtered. A section of it has been turned into a museum. It was cool....figuratively and literally. A nice break on a hot day! Our last stop...the Museam of Cinematography. With Warsaw being totally destroyed in WWII, the founders of the National Film School 'temporarily' moved to Lodz in 1948. It stayed and Lodz has been nicknamed: 'Hollylodz'. Many prominent Polish producers, directors, actors have graduated from this school. The museum is located in a 4-story mansion once owned by one of the wealthiest industrialist in Poland and houses equipment of early cinematography. Here we are with our guide, Agnieszka. It was a wonderful Training Seminar.....great presentations, great sharing of ideas and a great tour of a most-interesting city, Lodz. We love our Senior Missionaries and are thankful for each of them and the talents and abilities they bring to the mission. A special 'Thank you' to the Taraseviches for planning the wonderful tour. It was MUCH appreciated. We love you all!
Every couple needs to serve a will change your life AND the lives of others! The gospel is true. Come share your testimonies with those that need you. You won't be sorry! Have your family help you, set a date, talk with your Bishop and keep exercising (faith, prayers and your body). You are needed.

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