Thursday, January 17, 2013

Interviews (continued!)...Katowice, Krakow, Kielce...January 2013

Two days to interview 3 cities....It doesn't sound that hard, does it? But in Poland, it can be a little tricky!  We have so much to do this month. President is getting behind on his interviews with his missionaries; so he decided we needed to take off this morning and get some things done.
 We left mid-morning, making our way down to Katowice in dense fog.  The highway to Katowice was completed a few months ago which makes this trip now bearable.  Only the fog slowed us down a bit.
The Missionaries in the Katowice District were eager and ready to start interviews. They had a busy night ahead of them with English class and lessons.  (LtoR):  Elders Hayes (ZL), Brown, Bokinsky (DL), Harris.  Sisters Holgren and Howells with Elder and Sister Hutchinson.
Sister Howells and Holmgren were busy teaching discussions in the Chapel tonight.  One of their investigators set a date for baptism which is exciting.  In the rest of the building, English classes were being held.
Elder Bokinsky and Brown are teaching the Beginning English Class.  Here they have break out sessions where they are individually helping students with words and pronunciation.
In the Intermediate Class are Elders Harris and Hayes.  They did a great job in explaining future, present and past tense verbs to these students.
Teaching the Advanced English Class are Elder and Sister Hutchinson, with great help from Rafal on the right.  He is in the Branch Presidency, and he such a great help with everything in the Branch.  Elder and Sister Hutchinson do such a wonderful job.  We use the Liahona as our course manual. Each 9 week period the advanced students receive a new 'testbook'.  We read the articles to learn English vocabulary, but also the students hear doctrine and principles of the Church. Afterwards, questions are answered regarding doctrine and lessons taught. English is a great finding tool in Poland....especially with our advanced students.
After English Classes it was time for Institute Class.  The instructor is Adrian, also the Branch President.  President Nielson is holding one of the most recognizable items in the Branch- Adrian's cap.  He wears this all the time, and it is his trade mark.  We all love this great man.
After all the events of the night, it was snowing hard and we needed to head to Krakow.  So off we went and said Goodbye to this wonderful Branch.
The next morning we found ourselves in beautiful but cold Krakow.  The Elders met us in our Hotel for interviews and breakfast. (We were there for only a few hours. The only thing I could take a picture of was this bridge....which those of you that have served in Krakow will recognize.)
Elders Godwin and Szymanski met President in the Business Centre in the Hotel.  They switched off for interviews.  One would meet with President while the other one was with me in the restaurant having the Breakfast Buffet.  I think it was a pretty good morning for everyone.  As we visited with two great Elders, at least I know they had one good meal today.
It was an all-you-can-eat buffet, and I enjoyed watching these missionaries take full advantage of it.
We left and headed to Kielce but also delivered the needed supplies to the Branch and our missionaries.  These Elders are working hard and really making wonderful progress in their lives and the lives of members and investigators.  It was a great morning to visit and shares success stories.
Now off to Kielce.  Normally this is about a 90 minute drive but this morning it took quite a bit longer.  There were a lot of slow trucks on the road today.  Add the snow and it took us longer to arrive in Kielce.
On many of the new highways in Poland they have these helpful signs.  The top temperature (22 F) is the outside temperature and the bottom number (29 F) is the temperature of the pavement.  This is very helpful in driving when the roads are icy and slick.
In Kielce, President met Elders Neuner and Lanham in the Food Court at the Ecco Mall for lunch and then interviews.  They found a quiet spot to meet and visit individually.  Again, we had the trade off going on as one would interview with President and I visited with the companion over lunch.  I have always believed that if you want to know what is going on in a young man's life, ask him while he is eating a good meal. It holds true for missionaries as well.  The weather was getting bad, and we needed to get to Warsaw before evening. These two great missionaries are doing so very well.  Not only are they getting along wonderfully, they are dedicated to the work and as their smiles show- they are having great success.
A VERY familiar sign on the roads we travel.  Notice anything different about this sign?  Some of the McDonald's in Poland are promoting their "eco-friendly" image with environmentally friendly refrigeration and converting used oil into bio diesel fuel.  Away with the red and in with the green!  Lets protect the environment...  :)   We finally made it back to Warsaw and it seemed like a week ago that we left for Katowice (30 hours later).

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