Monday, August 20, 2012

Special Visitors from Home! Willis and Avery come to Poland.

Our son, Willis, is the last of our children to visit Poland. We were thrilled to pick him and...

his wonderful wife, Avery, up at the airport last week to spend a few days with us on our mission. Its been over two years since we have seen them. Time flies but it was so wonderful to see their smiling faces again.

We were excited to show them the country and the people we have grown to love so much! We had a few surprises in store for them; but THEY had a surprise for us!

Why are we stopped in the middle of the street in downtown Warsaw? Because we wanted to remember that at this very spot, Willis and Avery told us that they were going to have Baby #3!... and we wanted to remember the moment! This is a very busy intersection but President has learned that if you put on your flashers you can stop about anywhere. This was a special spot with a very special annoucement.

Trying to help them adjust to the time change as quickly as possible, we took them on a short tour of the city which included a walk around one of our favorite palaces....Wilanow located within walking distance of our house. If you haven't been here lately, you need to see it. The grounds are beautiful and they are improving them every day.

We did our best to try to keep everyone up but it didn't do any good! Let him rest....he needs to be at the train station to leave for Krakow at 6:00 am in the morning!

KRAKOW: Having only a few days to spend in Poland, President headed to the YSA event while I took Willis and Avery on a 'whirlwind' tour of Krakow and the surrounding area. Our schedule was tight and it didn't help that we missed the train to Krakow because we were standing on the wrong Peron! A few prayers and some nice people got us to Krakow .... only an hour behind schedule.

So we RAN to catch the bus leaving for the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Willis and Avery loved it...especially the salt cathedral where everything....floors, walls, statues, even the crystals in the chandeliers were carved from salt.

Schindler Enamel Factory Museum was next on the list. This Museum is a exhibit of the Nazi Occupation in Krakow....featuring the German factory owner who saved over 1000 Jews by employing them. Truly worth seeing.

You don't go to Krakow without visiting the Auschwitz/Birkenau Memorial and Museum. It was a fitting day....overcast, visit such a solemn place. Memorable. This is the fateful spot where the trains would arrive and the destiny of lives were determined by a glance or a gesture.

Returning to Krakow, we used several modes of transportation to see the city. Walking was minimal because time was short!

A boat cruise down the Wisla for a great view of Wawel Castle.

Spotting the hot air balloon......

We thought that would be a great way to view the entire city and get our bearings where everything is.

This 'Eco-Taxi' came in handy to get us to the Krakow Rynek....

...which was just starting to get crowded for a lively Friday night. We decided to invite a couple of special people I know in Krakow to join us for a quick dinner.

It was nice to visit with Elder Zelezniak and Elder Krzyminski...two of our outstanding missionaries serving in Krakow. They put Willis and Avery to 'work' helping to spread the word that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored!

Later that night, we visited the pedestrian 'Lock Bridge' that spans the Wisla River. Of course, Willis and Avery added their 'lock of love' to the rest. Looking around the bridge, we were able to find two other locks that looked familiar...

Our family has been here before!

Back in Warsaw, Willis and Avery were able to attend church with us and see an incredible Missionary Musical Fireside put on by the missionaries and members of the Branches in Warsaw. It was so fun to introduce our family to some of the great members and investigators of the church that we love so much.

Monday morning, it's time for Willis and Avery to head home to their kids who they are missing like crazy...but first....

...a fast trip to 'Adam's Tie Factory' to load up on 'supplies'.
We are so grateful that Willis and Avery took the time to come and visit us here in Poland. We love serving the Lord and we love sharing our mission with our family members. A big THANK YOU to those at home who watched their kids. We are certainly aware of the blessings that come to all members of a family that have a missionary in the field. We see firsthand how the Lord is blessing our "growing" family.

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