Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Zone Conferences Begin. First Stop....

KATOWICE!!!! Here's how it began... Waking up very early this morning...

...we met our Assistants, Elders Jensen and Basha, at the main train station in Warsaw at 6:00am. It was a 3-hour train ride to Katowice, which would give us plenty of time to 'finalize' plans for the conference.

Our great Assistants even thought to bring breakfast! These two think ahead!
Arriving in Katowice, we found everything torn up (as usual)!

This is a rendering of what the new train station/shopping mall will look like. It will be first-class once it's built! Each time we come, however, we see great improvements...

Like this water fountain on the peron. Water fountain? Yes, it's the first I've seen in Poland! Elder Basha is trying to figure out how to use it.... You just don't see water fountains in Poland especially in an open area like this.

We were met at the Katowice chapel by this great group of missionaries who are currently serving in the Katowice Zone. (We'll name them later!) This group is full of energy and many 'young' missionaries who are learning fast to keep up with their Senior Companions. It was great to see them all.

We also had a special visitor at this Zone Conference...Adam! He is our newest Polish member called on a mission to the England Birmingham Mission. He reports to the Preston Mission Training Center the end of October. President Nielson and Elder McGrath (Katowice Branch President) will continue to work with Adam to make sure he is prepared to serve the Lord with all his heart, might, mind and strength! He is so ready and anxious to serve.

Today was training from Elder Kopischke's 4-points of missionary work and Elder Teixeria's "Prayer with a Promise". Most of our missionaries were not here when our Area Presidency came and trained us on these important items to help us become better missionaries.

President also went over his "good, Better and BEST" (social, honorable and consecreated) discussion. It was a good review, and a great way to change your life and your mission.

After some insightful instruction, it was time for lunch. Our Senior Missionaries provided a wonderful meal for our Missionaries. Thank you for all your hard work! You make my life so much easier....you are loved and appreciated! (LtoR): Elder and Sister Sheley (Wroclaw) and Elder and Sister McGrath (Katowice).

After lunch, it was time to celebrate the birthdays that have taken place since the last Zone Conference in May. (Lto R): Elders Sheley, Marsing, Tingey, Mikolyski and Zelezniak. A big STO LAT to all!
Let me now introduce you to the Missionaries currently serving in the Katowice Zone:

Katowice District: (Sitting): Elder and Sister McGrath, Sisters Howells, Ence and Peterson. (Standing): Elders Vreeken (Zone Leader), Rittmanic, Mikolyski (District Leader) and Vernon. Elder Vernon has been in Poland now for two weeks and he is a great addition to our mission. This is an outstanding district and anxious to serve and teach.

Members of the Wroclaw District. (Seated): Elder and Sister Sheley. (Standing): Elders Bode (District Leader), Cieslak, Marsing and Tingey. We welcome Elders Tingey and Cieslak into the mission and to Wroclaw.

The Krakow District. (Seated): Elders Jespersen and Waits, both serving in Kielce. (Standing)- Elders Zelezniak, Szymanski, Walter (District Leader) and Register. This is a new group of Elders in their assignments. Because we received so many new Elders a couple of weeks ago, Krakow really changed. Elder Zelezniak is the only "long timer" in Krakow, and Elder Jesperson remained in Kielce from last transfer. Great things are in store from this great group of Elders.

The wonderful Sisters in Katowice. Sister Young is still on Medical leave (and we are praying for her speedy return) so these three are together for a short time. Sister Howells (her Polish is great considering how long she has been here), Sister Petersen who transferred from Warsaw and brings great experience, a tremendous singing voice and energy, and Sister Ence who is the Senior Companion and guiding all their work. She is wonderful and has really taken hold of things. We love our Sisters. They are the BEST.

It was a great day. We ended with a wonderful testimony meeting, and everyone quickly headed to the train station and for home.

At the train station, we barely catch our train back to Warsaw. On the way home,we talked with a man about the Church, and planned for exchanges and meetings for the next few weeks with our Assistants. We had a chance to sit and think about the wonderful blessing it is to be with our missionaries at a Zone Conference. The hand of the Lord is in this work. If you could be at a meeting like this, you would know exactly what I am talking about. This is the best place in the world to be. These days are days never to be forgotten.

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