Sunday, March 31, 2013

Visitng Gdansk...31 March 2013.

Gdansk always reminds me of San Diego... well sort of.  Today it reminded me of Milwaukee.  We headed up to this wonderful city at the top of Poland for the Easter weekend.  We left Warsaw on the train (President's hip and leg have had it from all the driving for 32 months). The weather was nice, and the sun was trying to come out as we left.  We arrived, and so did the snow.
One of my favorite streets in Poland-  Dluga.  (This is just one street over from another one of my favorite streets in Poland-  Amber Alley.) Even on a very cold Easter weekend, a few people ventured out.
A great reason to come to Gdansk every so often is for Mexican food.  Today was not such a pleasant sight.  President is hoping that they are remodeling, but all of the windows are blacked out like business hasn't been good.  For some reason Mexican food is not very popular with the Polish people.
But Friday night was a great occasion to meet with President Kempa and his wonderful wife.  We love to have them show us around.  They know the city and all the best places to eat at, shop and visit.
Saturday afternoon the Branch held an Easter Egg hunt at Brother and Sister Lewis' home.  It was a great turn out, and the children certainly had a good time... I think the adults even had a better time. (100% of the Primary was at this Primary activity!)
Since it had been snowing, where is the best place to hide Easter Eggs?  You guessed it...in the snow.  So the 'Easter bunnies' were out making things ready.  Brother Lewis and Elder Tufts.
Sister Swenson and Sister Masters helped the primary children decorate cup cakes and have a fun time.  Then they all bundled up and went out and found the Easter Eggs.
What a fun activity for the children of the Branch.  Thank you Lewis' for opening up your home to all of us!
There is ALWAYS something going on in the Gdansk Branch!
(Earlier in the week, the Relief Society held their 'birthday' dinner.  The Brethren helped serve and provided the entertainment.  Elder White, Elder Zelezniak, Krzystof, Brother Lewis,  Josef  and Elder Tufts.) It was a lovely night!
Saturday evening after the hunt, we met with our missionaries had a wonderful time visiting.  Elder and Sister Tufts (doing an outstanding job as Branch Clerk, Primary teacher, and everything the members need), Sisters Swenson and Masters, Elders Zelezniak and White.
We had the opportunity to visit Elder and Sister Tufts' new apartment. It was very nice, with a wrap- around balcony on the 5th floor.  I could live in Gdansk!  We are so thankful for this wonderful Senior Couple who are out on their second mission.  They would do anything for you!
One of the interesting things about their apartment was this floor light in the middle of the kitchen.  It was pretty neat but it took some getting used to stepping on a bright light with marbles in the floor.  I kept thinking I had to step around or over this.
Easter Sunday: The Chapel in Gdansk is on the 9th floor of a building downtown.  The view all around the city is very nice, and the inside was very appealing.  The Branch has done a wonderful job having things arranged and making this home.
The Primary room was all arranged for lessons and activities.
Sunday Easter morning, Brother and Sister Lewis provided some beautiful prelude music before Sacrament meeting and as the members arrived.
Some of the members (and investigators) of the Gdansk Branch...Josefa, Ania, Irena, Sumtee, Halina,  Agnieszka and her children (middle right) had made a surprise Birthday cake for Sister Lewis.
Because it was Easter, everyone was home with their families.  President was the lone man at the train station this afternoon.  We headed back to Warsaw after Sacrament meeting and not only were we alone on the Peron, but we were the only passengers in our train car.  There were only a few us of on the entire train.  It was a very calm and peaceful ride...
About two hours outside of Gdansk, it started to snow (Easter Sunday!).  It snowed hard and heavy for the next four hours as we arrived into Warsaw.  We went to get off the train, and the door was stuck.  We had to run to the next car and basically kick the door open.
The door handles on the outside of the train were frozen from the snow and ice.  Again no one was at the train station.  This is Warsaw Central at 8:00pm on a Sunday evening.  Empty.
We arrived home and found a very welcome sight.  Home sweet Mission Home.  It was a wonderful and fun trip to Gdansk.  We meet with some of the best members in the Church and had such a great time with them.  Our friends, members and missionaries are just the best.  We are so blessed and fortunate to be around such wonderful people.  The weather was not so pleasant as this storm was one of the biggest we have had all winter.  We say goodbye to March and welcome in April.  Where are the flowers and isn't there a custom to throw water on people tomorrow?  They are going to freeze...

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