Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lodz...Interviews and District Meeting

We got up early and headed to Lodz for District Meeting with the great missionaries there.  We arrived 30 seconds before Elders Johnson (District Leader) and Godwin arrived to open the Chapel.  It was a beautiful morning and a wonderful day for learning better ways of doing missionary work.
Elder Neuner and Elder Tanner were close behind....
...followed by Sister Smithee and Sister Forsey.  These missionaries are doing a great work in Lodz as they continue to find, teach and baptize.
And....we can't forget the Assistants!  Coming straight from their exchange with the Poznan Elders, Elders Jensen and Basha are ready to help the Lodz District find new investigators by teaching them through role play how to better contact with Short Bold Statements, Inspired Questions and giving Promises.
The Lodz District: Elders Tanner, Neuner, Godwin and Johnson. Elder and Sister Tarasevich. Sisters Forsey and Smithee.  We are grateful for these wonderful full-time servants of the Lord. 
A couple of these Elders that will be going home in 4 weeks.  You can usually tell by their clothes how long missionaries have been in the field.
I'd say some new shoes and a new suit are in order for these two soon-to-be returning Elders! 

Sister Young finds herself in Poland....again!!

 Several weeks ago Sister Young returned to the States to receive some medical care.  We picked her up at the airport tonight....good as new!  She even came bearing of President Nielson's favorite treats!
 Sister Young's new companions were thrilled to welcome her back to the mission.
She will be serving with Sisters Holmgren and Masters in the Warsaw II Branch.  Sister Young arrived just in time to throw her suitcases in her apartment and head to a teaching appointment.  Our Sisters are ALWAYS on the go! They will remain in a 3-some until the upcoming transfer. She will then be sent to .....
(Did you really think I'd tell you?)  ;)  Welcome back, Sister Young!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's a small world in the Church...

About a year and 1/2 ago, this great family was baptized in Lodz.  Because of work, they moved to Germany.  They live in a great ward and are strong members of the Church.
Last week, one of the ward members went to visit them.  Our former Polish missionary, 'Elder' Siebert, was that member!  Small world isn't it?  It's so great to see  Polish saints getting together in other countries. The Church is true wherever you go. 

Translation works in process.

Recently, Brother Shepherd (Scripture Translation Supervisor) with some of the members in Lodz to review part of the translations for the Doctrine and Covenants. The Church is preparing to produce the "Triple Combination" in Polish sometime around 2015. This same type of meeting was also done in the Katowice, Wroclaw, Warsaw and Bydgoszcz branches. Thank you great members, the translation team, Wioletta, Agata, Romuald, Dominika and Brother Shepherd.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Poznan "Mini Zone Conference"

 September 7th we held a Zone Conference in Bydgoszcz.  Unfortunately, when we took a picture of the Poznan District, Elder and Sister Reed were the only ones that showed up!  Why?  The rest of the District had found themselves in Konin....hours away from Bydgoszcz.  (Trains had been marked wrong!)  Not wanting to have these great Missionaries miss the instruction given at Zone Conference, we held a 'mini-Zone Conference in Poznan.
 The Poznan District.  This picture looks much better...and Elder and Sister Reed don't look so lonely!  We appreciate the Reeds so much and all they do. What a difference it makes to have a great Senior Couple in a small branch.  Here are the great Missionaries of that District:
 Elder Tiner (District Leader) and Elder Skolmoski. 
 Sister Folsom and Sister Allen.  Both of these companionships serve in Poznan and the work is going strong!
 Elder Van Bakel and Elder Garfield who are serving in Szczecin.  We have baptized some incredible members in that Branch lately.  You will meet some of them this weekend!
 The Assistants, Elders Jensen and Basha were there to teach and review the 'Kopischke Four'...principles that were taught to the Poland Warsaw Mission in November 2010 by Elder Kopischke who was our Area President at the time.  For you former Missionaries, this should look VERY familiar.  1. Teach when you find. Find when you teach.  2. Investigator prays on 1st lesson.  3. Member on every lesson after the first.
4. Ask EVERYONE for referrals.  We will teach and reteach this until we leave the mission.
After the Conference, everyone headed out.  The Assistants were there to go on an exchange with the Poznan Elders, Tiner and Skolmoski  All were excited to hit the streets and go to work! 
It was great to visit with these good Elders and Sisters.  They are working hard and striving to find those who are being prepared to here about the gospel and how it can bless their lives.....forever!  We love this work and the people we serve here!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Spending the day in Kielce...

President went to Kielce on Monday with Brother Jarosz to look at sites for a new chapel.  Today was P-day for the missionaries, so they went by to see Elders Jespersen and Waits.  Also visiting with them was Martyn.  These are great Elders, and they are making great things happen in this wonderful branch.
They looked at 6 different locations.  There was one that seemed perfect, but there was a business in the area that disqualified their best site.  Here Brother Jarosz is looking out the window while conducting business on the phone.  Well, it's back to looking for another location.
The Branch President, President Najberg (center), was with them also.  This is a wonderful man who is such a support and cares for the members of this Branch.  We thank him for his hard work and love for our missionaries.  It was a great day.  They did not find a site, but they will be back in a few weeks as people are helping us find a suitable location.  Kielce is a great branch, and we love their city.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spending Sunday with the Saints in Gdansk.

Sunday morning...early! Why are we meeting the Missionaries in front of the public library?  We are looking for a site for the Gdansk Branch.  The searching has been slow, but we know the Lord will lead us to the perfect spot to help this Branch grow and thrive in the gospel.  What are they carrying?  Everything needed for a wonderful Sacrament Meeting....hymn books, trays, etc.  "Sacrament meeting on wheels!"
Our great Elders serving in Gdansk:  Elder Harris and Elder Myler (District Leader).
Soon, the Sisters arrive...Sister Ostler and Sister Bezjian.  And now it's time to get everything ready for the meetings.
We start with the room.  This is what the 'conference room' looks like in the libray when we arrive.
After some 'remodeling'.... is turned into a very nice chapel.  Good work, Missionaries!  Yes, they do this every Sunday.
Some of the Sisters in the Gdansk Branch.  (LtoR): Anja, Lydia, Wioletta, Agnieszka, Halina, Sister Harker, Ilena and investigator.
The Primary in Gdansk is growing, too!!!!!! Claudia (brown sweater) used to be the only member. Now she has plenty of friends!
Agnieszka, Kasia and Tomek were all confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Little sister, Anna, will be baptized in December when she turns 8...which is considered the age of accountability in our Church.
Irena was also confirmed a member of the Church today.  She and her husband, Josef, are very happy for this day.
What a great group of Missionaries we have serving in Gdansk.  They work diligently every day to find those who are looking for the purpose of this life and wanting to know what God's plan is for them.  (LtoR): Elders Harris and Myler.  Sisters Ostler and Bezdjian.
After church (and some visiting!),  the members help put the conference room back in order.
Two great members of the Gdansk Branch, Brother and Sister Harker.  Just to show you how small the world is (especially in the Church), Sister Harker grew up in Hawaii and served in Church Institute with a very good friend of ours...President Teshima, of the Las Vegas Lakes Stake.  The Harkers are residing in Gdansk on business.....but we use them as  full-time Senior Couple Missionaries.  We appreciate all they do for the Branch and all they did for us while we were in Gdansk.
Visiting the Ronald Reagan Park in Gdansk where this statue was unveiled last July.  Pope John Paul II and President Reagan.  These 2 men are credited in Poland for helping to topple Communism 23 years ago.  The statue was inspired by an AP photograph taken of them together in Miami, Florida in 1987 when Pope John Paul II was visiting the United States. 
We had a great time in Gdansk visiting with members and missionaries alike.  How do you end a wonderful visit like this?  How about having a delicious Sunday dinner with our dear Sister Missionaries.  Roast beef, mashed potatoes and was just like home.  Thank you, Sisters Bezdjian and Ostler for the most delicious meal .....and great company!  They invited US to come and have Sunday dinner with them.  How nice is that?   Gdansk is doing well.  Great Missionaries, Great Members...Great City!  We love Gdansk and the people who live there!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

We had 4 Baptisms in Gdansk last weekend!

Missionaries in Gdansk have been working extra-hard lately....and it has paid off!  Four wonderful converts were added to the Gdansk Branch on Saturday.
 Agnieszka, Tomek and Kasia all had the desire to follow the example of their Savior, Jesus Christ and enter the waters of baptism.  Brother Harker baptized them, and Sisters Ostler and Bezdjian taught them.
 Irena also had a desire to follow her Savior.  Again, she was taught by the Sisters and was baptized by Brother Harker.  Irena is shown with her member huband, Josef, who is very proud of her.
There you have it.....the newest members of the Gdansk Branch.  Welcome to the Church Agnieszka, Tomek, Irena and Kasia! We will be spending Sunday with this great, growing Branch. Be watching for more photos with what is going on in Gdansk!

Quarterly CCM held in Krakow.

It's time again for the  Cordinating Council Meeting where Elder Schutze our Area Authority Seventy instructs the Mission Presidents and District Presidents of the Poland and Czech Republic Missions.  This time the meeting was held in Krakow.  Pictured Above:  Standing:  District Presidents from the Czech Republic, President Irwin, Elder Schutze, President Nielson and President Dressler (Warsaw District President).  Kneeling:  President Pawlik (Katowice District President) and President Krzykawski (1st Co. Katowice District).
Sister Irwin came over with her husband this time.  We have been friends since the Mission President's Seminar at the MTC.  We both can't believe that we are in our 3rd and final year of this great calling.  It has gone by so fast! do you feed a group of men when you are far away from home???
You call on a great Senior Couple!!! And that's what I did!  Elder and Sister McGrath brought a fabulous lunch from Katowice where they are serving.  We had plenty of help getting everything put together.
Having the CCM at the chapel in Krakow, we happened to run into 4 very hard working Missionaries.
Elder Walter (District Leader) and Elder Register and....
Elder Zelezniak and Elder Szymanski who are all currently serving in Krakow.  What are they up to?
They are going to hit the streets and do a 'white board'.  They have found the perfect spot where they plan on contacting many people this Saturday afternoon.  And that's what they did!
Elder Zelezniak explaining that the gospel principles have been restored to the earth.
Elder Register asking a young man what he thinks about God.
Elder Walter contacting a young woman to tell her that God loves her and has a plan for her.
Elder Szmanski bearing his testimony to this woman that the book which he holds in his hand is the word of God and contains eternal truths that will help her return to God.
We had an enjoyable morning and afternoon in Krakow.   President learned from and participated in another great CCM meeting.  I was able to visit with and be around the some of the great members in Krakow and from this area.  We both saw and visited with some of the best missionaries in the Church.  Nothing is better than being on a mission and involved in the work of the Lord.
After the meeting we quickly headed to the airport for another meeting in Gdansk.  A busy and wonderful weekend in Poland.