Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Repost from Sister Nielson's Blog.

The Interview trip moves on to....POZNAN!

 We arrived in Poznan Monday night.....just in time for Family Home Evening at the chapel. It's a great way for the members to enjoy each other's company as they study the gospel, play games and have refreshments. (LtoR): Marian, Marta, Natalie, Grzegorz, Jola and the Sheleys.
The next morning (Tuesday) we were up early and heading to the was going to be a full day.
 We were greeted by the Szczecin Elders who had come in for interviews and Zone Training Meeting.
Elder Cieslak (District Leader) and Elder Kotter... both excited to be in Szczecin and serving the Lord.
 Elder Saltmarsh and Elder Godwin.  Our second set of missionaries in Szczecin who are just are great as any companionship we have in Poland.
 Our Poznan Elders, Elder Tingey (District Leader) and Elder Ciaskey, were there to open the building and make sure everything was perfect for the day's activities.
 The Sisters were hurrying to update the Branch Bulletin board....showing pictures of members and Branch activities...before the meeting started.
 They did stop, however, when I brought out the mail....and they had much to smile about! Sister Bezdjian and Sister Bown are teaching some great people....including a wonderful family!
 Our Senior couple, Elder and Sister Sheley, are wonderful and support the Branch in every way....including being the Branch President! Bringing something special for lunch, going out with missionaries to teach lessons and finding inactives are only a few of their many duties....we just love their enthusiasm for the work.
 The Bydgoszcz Zone Leaders, Elder Bokinsky and Elder Gudnason, are here in Poznan to teach and instruct what was discussed at Zone Leader Council the week before.  This is their opportunity to make sure the "water gets to the end of the row".  They did a great job of leading the discussion today.
Zone Training in this part of the Zone. (Tomorrow the Zone Leaders meet with the Bydgoszcz and Gdansk Districts in Bydgoszcz).  Front row:  Elders Gudnason, Bokinsky, Tingey and Caskey.  Middle row:  Elders Saltmarsh, Kotter, Cieslak and Godwin.  Back row:  Sisters Bezdjian and Bown.
 Sidenote: It was also a reunion for the "Valley of the Sun" Elders.  Elders Caskey and Godwin were friends in Phoenix before their missions.  They knew each other in High School and in College.  When Elder Godwin got his call, Elder Caskey came over to congratulate him and said, "It would be so cool to go to Poland on a mission".  Well, a few months later Elder Caskey's wish came true!
 A quick lunch before some headed back out to 'Find and Teach' and some headed to the train station (to do the same thing!) A train is a great place to talk to everyone you see.  It was a great day and now to apply the things we learned.  For President and me, it's on to the next city...
As we have traveled under this bridge so many many times, I couldn't help take one more picture of this colorful site.  We appropriately call this the "rainbow bridge" (not to be confused with another Rainbow Bridge that we love).
 Every once in a while you will come across something like this.  'The arches' connecting both sides of the road.   Today with the snow, the colors just jumped out.  I don't know why I took this picture... just another memory for President and me. So....where are we headed next?
Even though the car wants to veer to the left.....we have more work to do. Lodz is our next stop, and we are excited to visit with our missionaries there.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekly Email - March 3rd


This week has been crazy cool. I’ll start from the beginning. On Monday after we did our emails we had to figure out where to go shopping and all of that since we had no idea where to go. We had to walk all the way to Galaxy Mall where there is a grocery store. We bought food for 2 weeks. It was expensive. Then we went to FHE at the chapel.  The branch holds FHE together every week. It was a lot of fun. This branch is really young.

We’ve done a lot of contacting and tracting to find people to teach. On Tuesday we had district Meeting. We all had assigned topics to talk about. I talked about the role of the Holy Ghost and the authority we have as missionaries. How we have to work in order to be able to teach with power. We also met a really cool guy that we talked to for a while. We got his number and we are going to meet up with him again. We also named a lady by the name of N. She is really nice and she let us in and we taught her a lesson and gave her a Book of Mormon. We also have a return appointment with her. We also met another man while tracting that set up an appointment with us that we are going back to.

Wednesday, we did a white board. Szczecin is not very big, but we went to the center of Szczecin right off the side of the mall. There are always a lot of people there and we set up there and asked people what gives them happiness. We gave away a lot of Book of Mormon’s and we got a lot of phone numbers of people we need to contact. Elder K was really good at that. We also had English class. We have a lot of students, they are all pretty young.  We take turns teaching English because we only have one class. So the other Elders taught this lesson and we are teaching next week. It’s going to be really cool.

Thursday, we talked to a lot of people. Then we went and printed flyers to advertise our English class. On Friday we each handed out 150 flyers each. It was nice to be able to do that. We also had weekly planning day. And then we went tracting.

On Saturday we did another whiteboard it wasn’t quite as good as the first one. Elder K is really good at getting people’s phone numbers. We also went and cleaned the chapel and had a correlation meeting with the branch mission leader. He is really nice. After that we had dinner with the branch mission leader.  They had some interesting pizza like food that was really good. I would definitely go back there.

Today we had church and it was testimony meeting. There aren’t that many members there so everyone bears their testimonies. It is interesting in a small branch. Then we had lunch, tracted and then had dinner.

We are working really hard on finding people to teach. Things were pretty quiet when we got here so we are really working it. We do a lot of contacting and tracting. I really enjoy it and I’m learning a lot. I found the best Pierogi restaurant I have been to in Poland so far. I also am finding other really good places to eat at. I found a place that do “Swedish Pancakes” I bought ½ a dessert one that was stuffed full of Nutella and Strawberries. It was amazing. I haven’t found any cheap grocery stores yet. I’m only finding the expensive ones.

The members here went on a temple trip this past week. They traveled for a total of 27 hours to get to Frankfurt to go do baptisms for the dead. They met Elder C’s grandfather at the temple. He works at the temple and they were able to talk to him. Our branch is really cool. They all speak English in different degrees. They never do though because they are all trying to help us with our Polish. I really appreciate that. This is a really small branch the smallest one I have been to so far. They are all really neat people here though. There are a lot of young people that have really good energy.

The weather here is beautiful (relatively). Clear skies all week, haven't seen that since leaving phoenix. The day temps are warm enough for just a windbreaker, but the afternoons remind you that winter may not be entirely over. Szczecin is windy, but the city is gorgeous. I would dare say that Szczecin as a whole is as pretty as Krakow, it is just missing the rynek in the center.

I love you all and hope all is going well at home. I look forward to your emails. I hope you received my package. I can't wait to zone conference so that I can see Elder C.

Here are some pictures from Szczecin.

 This is the view from the apartment.

 Here is another angle with a view from the apartment.

 This is Godzilla over Szczecin. Looks interesting.