Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We have new Arriving Missionaries!!!! April 30, 2013.

Getting ready to receive a large group of arriving missionaries takes lots of coordination and work. We enlisted the Assistants to help us. 
As they were busy removing the transporter seats and sweeping out the garage so we could store all the luggage there, they never forget WHY they are in Poland. They talked to everyone that walked by about the restored gospel...and our street has a lot of walkers!
With the transporter ready....we were off to the airport. 
First job.....find a place to park this big machine! How many Elders does it take to park a transporter? Three. One to drive, one to find the spot and one to help guide the driver as he backs up several times trying to fit into the space! (The transporter is a beast to drive!)
There! The transporter is parked....safe and sound....right next to President's car!
Now it's off to meet the incoming missionaries. (LtoR): Assistants Tiner, Mikolyski and Zelezniak...our new addition!
As we stay with tradition....everyone got a Kinder Egg to enjoy and play with while we waited for the missionaries to arrive. Anticipating a very long wait today because of the number of missionaries that were arriving....we also got pastries!
You'll never believe who came walking through the arrival gates as we were waiting.....
Brother Stohel (aka: Elder Stohel....one of our former Assistants!) and his wife. They just happened to be on the same plane as our missionaries. Our new arrivals were able to have several hours of language tutoring in the air as Brother Stohel helped them with their Polish and tips for being a great missionary. He should know....he was one of the great ones! We will see more of this great couple next week!
Sister Barth is from Cedar City, Utah.
                                                     Sister Blake is from Park City, Utah.
                                                      Elder Wolfley is from Preston, Idaho.
Elder Allen is from Scotts Valley, California.
Sister Young is from Layton, Utah.
                                                 Elder Blom is from Manorville, New York.
                                            Elder Waskiewicz is from Queen Creek, Arizona.
                                                  Sister Lidtka is from Renton, Washington.
                                                Sister Pearson is from Calgary, Canada.
                        And...Sister Wendel is from Green River, Wyoming.
Meet the newest Missionaries in the Poland Warsaw Mission. They all looked great and are so excited to finally be 'in country'....ready to use what they have been learning in the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah for the past 9 weeks.
Making our way to the vehicles with all the luggage. With the help of the transporter, President's car and 2 taxis, we made it back to the Mission Home. Dropping off the luggage...
... we made our way to the Best Mall where pictures were taken to start our residence card applications and a quick lunch was eaten.
It was an absolutely beautiful day, and this group was eager to start doing missionary work.
A nice walk to the nearby Wilanow Palace not only gave these Elders and Sisters a chance to get some fresh air.....
....but it was a great place to start contacting. Sisters Blake and Barth along with Elder Tiner talk to a woman about God's plan for her.
Elder Tiner and Elder Wolfley testify that God speaks to prophets on the earth today.
Sisters Lidtka and Pearson along with Elders Mikolyski and Waskiewicz as they make their way back to the Mission Home. Now, President will be interviewing each of them to get to know them better.  They will all have new companions tomorrow and these interviews are essential before those assignments are made.
Their first dinner in the Mission Home.....our traditional "Welcome to Poland" spaghetti served on Polish pottery. (LtoR): Sisters Pearson and Young; Elders Wolfley and Blom; Sister Wendel; Elders Waskiewicz and Allen; Sisters Barth, Lidtka and Blake.   But where are the Assistants?
With so many new missionaries, they opted to eat in the kitchen...good sports! (Elders Mikolyski, Tiner and Zelezniak)
We ended dinner with a 'surprise' birthday cake for Sister Lidtka as today is her birthday...which she gladly shared with the rest of the group! 
After dinner, President had a few words of instruction. Then after family prayer was said, it was off to bed. No one complained....and within minutes, everyone was out like a light! It was a great day.....and tomorrow will even be better. The Trainers are coming!

Baptism in Bydgoszcz!

Karolina was baptized on Saturday by Odys. We, along with the members of the Bydgoszcz Branch, welcome this good sister into the Church. Above she is shown with Elders Vernon and Gudnason who taught her the gospel along with Elder Bokinsky who was recently transferred to the Office.  We are so grateful for how the gospel truly changes hearts.  This great sister will add to the Church and Odys will continue to prepare for his mission and all the Lord has in store for him.

Katowice District Conference April 27-28, 2013

The Katowice District Conference started off with Priesthood Leadership Meeting and Relief Society Meeting Saturday afternoon. 
It was great to meet with the sisters of the District and talk about supporting the Priesthood, examples we find in the scriptures of how God loves His daughters and principles that make a good leader.
As the adults were meeting, the Primary children had an Activity Day. (A BIG thank you to our Senior Sister Missionaries-  Sisters Reed and Durrant for making this possible!) Here they are making their 'mouse ears' after they have learned about being reverent in church....'quiet as a mouse'!
Many activities were in store for the day...one being learning how to 'put on the Armor of God" to live a happy and safe life. 
An adult session of Conference was planned with Elder Olsson this night. But before everyone left to get a good rest for the District Conference in the morning, lingering and visiting was in order.
President Nielson and Spencer got re-acquainted. (There has been a special bond between these two since Spencer was just a baby.)  We have watched Spencer grow up.  He was a baby when we arrived.
And there was a 'fuse-ball' tournament between the boys and the girls...(I think the girls won!)
Following the meetings on Saturday and when everyone finally cleared out, Elder Reed was busy cleaning the chapel in preparation for Sundays General Session of District Conference.  This is what we love about our Senior Missionaries.  Whatever needs to get done, they do it. 
Sunday April 28 was a wonderful day in the District.  We were just shy of 100 in attendance.
The District Presidency was released.  Presidents Krzykawski, Pawlik and Gaskell have served so well.  We thank them for all that they have done.  President Pawlik has been the District President for more than eight years.  Thank you, President Pawlik, so very much for your leadership and service. 
The new Katowice District Presidency.  Standing between President and Elder Olsson are President Zan (Katowice District President) and President Krzykawski (First Counselor).  We are excited to see these great men continue to lead the Church in this wonderful District.
One important item of business was Marcin (front) receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood.  President Najberg (Kielce Branch President) standing next to him has helped him prepare for this great event.
Our first meeting of the morning was the New Convert Meeting.  These are some of the great new members of the Church in the Katowice District that have joined the Church since our last conference. Jacek, Agata,  Marcin, Daria, Patryk, Marcin and Adam.  Each were presented with a white corsage so all the members could greet them.
The Branch Presidents from the District.  President Kucia (Krakow), Najberg (Kielce), Urban (Katowice) and Rafal (counselor in Katowice and our great translator in any meeting)  We need these great men as the Church grows.  We thank them for serving and building these Branches.
Some of the members from the Kielce Branch-  President Najberg, Michol, Marcin, Ola, Martyna, Ela, Elders Baranowski and Lanham with Brother Pawlik.
This sweet sister from Kielce, Ola, gave me this beautiful embroidered table linen that she had made. She is very talented.....I love it!
Some of our missionaries in the District.  From Katowice-  Sisters Holmgren and Packard, Elders Rittmanic, Brown, Pofelski, Dopp, Sister and Elder Reed.  Coming from Wroclaw are Sister and Elder Durrant.  Like Elder and Sister Reed,  Elder and Sister Durrant worked the entire weekend cleaning, serving food, playing with the Primary, answering the door, welcoming arrivals and everything that needed attention.  We love our Senior Missionaries.  We love all our Missionaries.  Future, present and past.  They are the Best in the Church.
Some of the members from Krakow.  Jacek, Felicity, Sara, Spencer, Mitch and President Kucia.
The Call family recently returned to Poland.  This is one of the great Polish families in the Church.
Sisters Packard and Holmgren were welcoming Sylwia to the Conference.  This wonderful investigator brings a great spirit with her.  We were so happy she was with us this weekend.
These good members from the Ukraine were in Krakow visiting. They were going to attend church in Krakow but found out it was District Conference this weekend....so they drove to Katowice to be with the Saints here. They were a great addition to the conference.
President and Sister Zan.  They have three active sons.  They are expecting their fourth child and are another great family in the Church in Poland.  We are again thrilled for President Zan and his new calling.
A great surprise and thrill was having some of our former missionaries in town on vacation.  Sister Day (former Helfrich) and her husband along with Brother Kalinowski (former Elder) with Amanda (they will be married in the Oakland Temple in August) were all able to attend Sunday morning conference.  Gosia and Dorota were happy to visit with their great friends.
I have to include these two great friends ... President Urban and Patryk (Branch Mission Leader) are synonymous with 'Katowice Branch'. 
More good Priesthood brethren from the District: Marek, Pawel (Katowice) and Brother Dziubla (Krakow).
Since tonight President is calling the mission regarding transfers (this Thursday) he decided, because some of the missionaries were with him, to visit and let them know if they needed to start packing their belongings tomorrow during P-day for Thursday's transfer.  He found the library to be a quiet place to visit.  Yes, Elder Baranowski will be transferring (this isn't supposed to be officially announced yet...) and heading to Bialystok.  President was not aware of this, but Elder Baranowski has living relatives in that great city in the Northeastern part of Poland.  It was a great night for Elder Baranowski to receive this news.
Then the other business started.   The many phone calls of a mission president.  President has spent many a phone call in this little library.  We have some issues in Lublin, Warsaw and Szczecin that needed his attention.  All good things but when the calls come, you answer them.
We enjoyed a great Katowice District Conference.   It is marvelous for our members to come to these conferences.  When you are in a Branch and the meetings are 10-15 people and you come to a conference of 100 in attendance there is real excitement.  Yes, it's like going to the Conference Center.  The same feelings and the same spirit.  Of the meetings we will miss the most are these District Conferences.  Some of the strongest spiritual meetings we have attended in our lives are in these small Branches and these conferences.  I love this Church.  I love that the Lord blesses our lives regardless of where we live and how big the Church is in our area.  The Church is true. The Gospel is absolutely what every person on this earth needs.