Saturday, April 20, 2013

Senior Missionary Training April 19-20, Lodz.

We look forward to meeting with our Senior Couples for training in Lodz.
Six of us departed from the Mission Home Friday morning.  Elder and Sister Jensen along with Elder and Sister Hutchinson came and picked us up.  President was thankful Elder Jensen drove.  It is hard to see, but the back of the "transporter" was completely loaded with supplies for our various cities.
We started on time with Elders and Sisters Jensen, Reed, Hutchinson, Tufts, Durrant, Sheley and Lloyds.  The weather has been so wonderful all week; but unfortunately today it started to rain. It takes more than rain and cold to dampen the spirits of these great Senior Missionaries, though!
Instruction started with President Nielson then each Senior Couple took time to teach, inspire and share ideas of what they were doing in their specific areas and assignments.
Elder and Sister Lloyd helped out tremendously as this training was held in Lodz where they serve.  Sister Lloyd is explaining how to drive to our restaurant Friday evening following a busy afternoon. It is not an easy task 'to caravan' during rush hour traffic and not get lost. But all our Seniors did well!
Once we all arrived, and found parking spots,  we enjoyed a wonderful evening and dinner just visiting and getting better acquainted.
Above (LtoR): Elder and Sister Sheley, who serve in Poznan. Elder Sheley is the Branch President. Elder and Sister Hutchinson who serve in the Mission Office. With those many responsibilities, Elder Hutchinson also serves as 1st Counselor in the Warsaw I Branch.
(L toR): Elder and Sister Lloyd who serve in Lodz. Elder Lloyd is the 2nd Counselor in the Branch Presidency.  Elder and Sister Tufts with Elder Tufts serving as the 2nd Counselor in the Branch Presidency.  These Member Leadership Support missionaries are so valuable in our Branches.
Elder and Sister Reed who serve in Katowice and Elder and Sister Durrant serve in Wroclaw. (Both Brethren serve as Counselors in their Branch Presidencies).  
Elder and Sister Jensen who serve in Warsaw with our Young Single Adults.  All of our Senior Couples serve with our Young Singles Adults in their various cities.  Elder and Sister Jensen assist with the YSA Center and many other assignments from President. (Elder Jensen is also the Executive Secretary in the Mission Presidency and Sister Jensen handles legal/Residence Cards for our missionaries).
The following morning, we all met for Breakfast in our Hotel before heading to the Lodz Chapel for Saturday training and events.  While having breakfast a most interesting thing happened....
We were all eating and visiting when all of a sudden, the fire alarm sounded.  We thought nothing of it until the doors to the restaurant began closing. We found ourselves cut off from the rest of the hotel.  We also heard and saw truck engines coming our way.
This is looking at the entrance to the restuarant.  It is sealed off and our Senior Couples are all inside.
The fire trucks arrived, and the firemen were all heading our way.
The firemen were now looking for the cause and contemplating evacuation of not just the restaurant but the entire Hotel.  There was a lot of excitment going on.  But where was the fire?  With three fire trucks and a dozen firemen this must be something big...
Finally the culprit was found!  There was some burning toast that apparently set off the alarm.  (We are certain that none of us Senior Missionaries had toast!)  It was quite the morning.  As everyone was scurring around us, the Senior Couples continued to visit and get better aquainted through all of this.
Yes, even the head chef thought this was a little too much.  She loved the attention, but not this kind of attention.
After everything was checked out and all was in order, it was back to the Fire House.
The alarm was turned off and the restaturant was open again.  Off to the left our Senior Couples were ready to leave and get on with the day...
Before we headed back down to the chapel to resume the Seminar, distributing supplies out of the "transporter" to get to our various cities was the next order of business.  Elders Sheley, Durrant, Hutchinson, Jensen (who is crunched in the back helping push everything out), Lloyd, Tufts and Reed.Every car was 'full to the brim' by the time everything was sorted and packed.
With the Seminar completed, it left a short amount of time to see some of the beautiful sites in Lodz.
Manufaktura was the chosen site! This incredible red brick entryway was the entrance to a series of textile factories (constructed between 1852-1892) which employed 4000 workers who lived onsite. It was later transformed into a massive shopping mall/entertainment area which was finished in 2006.
Lodz was selected as the textile center in the early 1800's because of its (then) location to the Russian border AND the fact that numerous underground rivers run under this city. (Lodz means 'boat' in appropriate name as it sits atop these waterways.) Water was essential at the time in the manufacturing of textiles....needed for steam to run the machines and to dye the fabric.
As a group, we were able to tour the Manufaktura Museum and see how these textiles were produced...from the cotton plant to the finished product.  Above (RtoL): Elder and Sister Lloyd, Dominika (our guide), Elder and Sister Durrant, Elder and Sister Jensen, Elder and Sister Sheley, Elder and Sister Reed. Elder and Sister Tufts had had to leave early to attend a baptism in Gdansk...and that's what it's all about! Enabling children of God to follow the example of their Savior and be baptized by one holding the authority of God.
It was a great Seminar! We love and appreciate EACH of our couples for all the talents and abilities (and testimonies!) they bring to the Poland Warsaw Mission!

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