A Trip Around the Country

The last ten days in Poland we spent with our daughters who came to share our mission with us.  And what a great reunion and ten days this was with them.  We started in Warsaw where we met them at the airport, and from there it was a well-planned excursion around the country planned by Elder Reed.  We shared and sites and the people we have grown to love so much, and they came away with the same feelings as we have.  At the conclusion of the trip, each one of our girls said that they enjoyed everything, but meeting all the people we know and love here was their most favorite part of the trip.

Poland and its wonderful people will forever be a part of our lives and our hearts.  Serving a mission for the Lord and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is an experience which has changed our lives as nothing else could.  When retirement commences as another era in our lives, serving in this way is unbelievably enriching, both spiritually and temporally.  Our testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ have been strengthened even more, our knowledge of people and cultures has expanded, and our love for those we have met has forever enlarged our hearts.  We are forever thankful for this unique opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

When our daughters arrived in Warsaw, the first place we went was to visit the park in the city where President Spencer W. Kimball dedicated the country for missionary work.  Then it was off to Krakow in the southern part of the country where we stayed for three days  -  Karna, Meghan, Elder Reed, Kirsten, and Sister Reed.

When our daughters arrived in Warsaw, the first place we went was to visit the park in the city where President Spencer W. Kimball dedicated the country for missionary work. We read together the dedicatory prayer given by our great prophet around 40 years ago. Then it was off to Krakow in the southern part of the country where we stayed for three days – Karna, Meghan, Elder Reed, Kirsten, and Sister Reed.

The Salt Mine just outside of Krakow was on our agenda the next day.  This was an absolutely amazing tour where all the sculptures are carved out of salt.  The miners did the carvings in their spare time.  Some of the carved out rooms in the mine are massive - the largest being the chapel, which took several decades to carve out.

The Salt Mine just outside of Krakow was on our agenda the next day. This was an absolutely amazing tour where all the sculptures are carved out of salt. The miners did the carvings in their spare time. Some of the carved out rooms in the mine are massive – the largest being the chapel, which took several decades to carve out.

As in any mine, the working conditions were not the most pleasant.

As in any mine, the working conditions were not the most pleasant.

This is one of the carvings on the chapel walls.  The chapel room even had chandeliers made out of salt.

This is one of the carvings on the chapel walls. The chapel room even had chandeliers made out of salt.

Another carving on the chapel wall.

Another carving on the chapel wall.

On Sunday we drove up to Katowice to be with our Katowice Branch for the last time.  After church they all gathered and sang, "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again".  This was a pretty emotional time for us.

On Sunday we drove up to Katowice to be with our Katowice Branch for the last time. After church they all gathered and sang, “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again”. This was a pretty emotional time for us.

Nathan presented us with a picture he made for us to take home.  Sister Reed will miss this warm, beautiful smile which she saw all the time in Primary.

Nathan presented us with a picture he made for us to take home. Sister Reed will miss this warm, beautiful smile which she saw all the time in Primary.

Visiting the old castle ruins in a village about an hour from Katowice was a must for our daughters to see.  The pictures of this castle are on the blog at an earlier date.  We  had to put Meghan in the stocks during the visit because of misconduct!

Visiting the old castle ruins in a village about an hour from Katowice was a must for our daughters to see. The pictures of this castle are on the blog at an earlier date. We had to put Meghan in the stocks during the visit because of misconduct!

After seeing the sights around Krakow - Auschwitz, Wawel Castle, the city square, and enjoying a wonderful concert - we headed up to Wroclaw, visited the old wooden church just south of the city, and then had a great evening with the Durrants and the young Elders.  We spent the evening wandering around the city square and marveling at the beautiful architecture in the city.

After seeing the sights around Krakow – Auschwitz, Wawel Castle, the city square, and enjoying a wonderful concert – we headed up to Wroclaw, visited the old wooden church just south of the city, and then had a great evening with the Durrants and the young Elders. We spent the evening wandering around the city square and marveling at the beautiful architecture in the city.  We are so thankful that we had the opportunity to see the Durrants quite often as we served in Katowice.  They will always be highly valued friends.

In Poznan we visited the Antkowiak family (Marta's family - she is serving a mission now in Chicago) and just had to get in a few games of Cornhole.

In Poznan we visited the Antkowiak family (Marta’s family – she is serving a mission now in Chicago) and just had to get in a few games of Cornhole.

Here is most of the Antkowiak family - one brother and his family and Marta were the only ones missing.  We love this family, and we were so glad we had the opportunity to visit them before we left the country.

Here is most of the Antkowiak family – one brother and his family and Marta were the only ones missing. We love this family, and we were so glad we had the opportunity to visit them before we left the country.  We will miss them.

We spent a few hours at the 1800's Polish village close to Poznan and then went to Lednica to walk around the island which has ruins of one of the power centers of Poland in the 11th and 12th centuries.  Here on Meghan, Kirsten, and Karna on the ferry to the island.

We spent a few hours at the 1800′s Polish village close to Poznan and then went to Lednica to walk around the island which has ruins of one of the power centers of Poland in the 11th and 12th centuries. Here are Meghan, Kirsten, and Karna on the ferry to the island.

Before leaving Poznan, we had another opportunity to say good-bye to those we love.  At the Sheley's apartment  we had a gathering of the Branch members and a couple of people we had in our English class at our apartment.  What a great event this was for us to give some good-bye hugs.  (Sorry for the blurriness)

Before leaving Poznan, we had another opportunity to say good-bye to those we love. At the Sheley’s apartment we had a gathering of the Branch members and a couple of people we had in our English class at our apartment. What a great event this was for us to give some good-bye hugs. (Sorry for the blurriness)

We will miss seeing the Sheleys, but we know we'll see them when they come home in March.  It will be a great reunion with this wonderful couple who have served so well in Poznan after we left for Katowice.

We will miss seeing the Sheleys, but we know we’ll see them when they come home in March. It will be a great reunion with this wonderful couple who have served so well in Poznan after we left for Katowice.

Then it was on up to Malbork Castle after spending the night in Torun.  This massive castle has been restored beautifully since the war, but the restoration is and will be ongoing for quite some time.  We spent many hours touring this fascinating site.  This view is only a small part of the castle grounds.

Then it was on up to Malbork Castle after spending the night in Torun. This massive castle has been restored beautifully since the war, but the restoration is and will be ongoing for quite some time. We spent many hours touring this fascinating site. This view is only a small part of the castle grounds.

Gdansk, on the Baltic Sea, is only a short drive from Malbork Castle.  This is a view from the window of our hostel room of the beautiful city sight which greetedus in the morning.

Gdansk, on the Baltic Sea, is only a short drive from Malbork Castle. This is a view from the window of our hostel room of the beautiful city sight which greeted us in the morning.

On the day we spent in Gdansk we went to the Solidarity Museum with the Tufts who serve there.  The Solidarity Movement, whose leader was Lech Walesa, was started in this city.

On the day we spent in Gdansk we went to the Solidarity Museum with the Tufts who serve there. The Solidarity Movement, whose leader was Lech Walesa, was started in this city.

We took a wonderful tour of the port in a small yacht owned by a man who has his own touring business.  The port was beautifully rebuilt after the War, and w we saw a variety of boats and ships there.

We took a wonderful tour of the port in a small yacht owned by a man who has his own touring business. The port was beautifully rebuilt after the War, and we saw quite a variety of boats and ships there.

The port was entirely destroyed by the Soviets after the War, and some of the ruins have been left to remind all of us of the devastation and heartache which is caused by war.

The port was entirely destroyed by the Soviets after the War, and some of the ruins have been left to remind all of us of the devastation and heartache which is caused by war.

It was a bwarm, sunny day, and we enjoyed spending some time with Elder and Sister Tufts.

It was a bwarm, sunny day, and we enjoyed spending some time with Elder and Sister Tufts.

 

The first shot of World War II was in this spot.  Little did everyone know what was to follow this shot in the way of death and destruction.

The first shot of World War II was firedin this spot. Little did everyone know what was to follow this incident in the way of death and destruction.

AFfter the girls were on the plane on their way back home, we went to church in Warsaw and then had dinner with our wonderful senior couple serving there, the Jensens and the Hutchinsons.  The senior couples have all become such treasured friends.  We look forward to seeing them again.

After the girls were on the plane on their way back home, we went to church in Warsaw and then had dinner with our wonderful senior couple serving there, the Jensens and the Hutchinsons. The senior couples have all become such treasured friends. We look forward to seeing them again.

AFter spending the night at the Mission Home, we boarded the plane for America and 23 hours later we were greeted with this heartwarming sight - friends from our ward in Colorado Springs.  What a wonderful surprise this was for us to be greeted back home by those we love here.  Thanks, Broadmoor Ward, for such a warm welcome!

After spending the night at the Mission Home, we boarded the plane for America, and 23 hours later we were greeted with this heartwarming sight – family and friends from our ward in Colorado Springs. What a wonderful surprise this was for us to be greeted back home by those we love here. Thanks, Broadmoor Ward, for such a warm welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Last Lunch With Our Missionaries

This week after our District Meeting, all the missionaries went to Pizza Hut for lunch.  With transfers coming up next week, some of them won’t be in Katowice for the next transfer.  It was a good time to express our appreciation for each other in a relaxed atmosphere.   Working with young missionaries is one of the best parts of being a senior couple on a mission.  We love these outstanding servants of the Lord.

Elders Wilson, Neuner, Boyce, and Godwin, Elder and Sister Reed, Sisters Petherbridge, Packard, and Pearson

Elders Wilson, Neuner, Boyce, and Godwin, Elder and Sister Reed, Sisters Petherbridge, Packard, and Pearson

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A Farewell Gathering for the Reeds

Saturday the Branch had an activity for us at one of the parks in the city.  We had the gathering in an area at the edge of the park which has a village reconstructed in the 1800′s fashion.  We didn’t get around to see all the little cottages and buildings, however, since there was so much to do with our group.  It was an authentic “Polish grille” type of activity, and it was a real memory builder – for us and for some of the others.  The food was delicious, the conversation was great, and the games brought laughs and cheers from everyone.

As the group gathered, President Urban welcomed everyone to the activity.

As the group gathered, President Urban welcomed everyone to the activity.

Here is the gathering  -  we had members, investigators, guests, and people from our English class.  It's a pretty special group of people.

Here is the gathering – we had members, investigators, guests, and people from our English class. It’s a pretty special group of people.

The starting point of enjoying this good Polish "grille" was roasting the kielbasa (sausage) over the open pit.   The potatoes were waiting at the side for the coals to glow before they were put into the fire.  Everything was so delicious.  The man on the right is our District President beside one of 3 sons.  They live in Wroclaw and came down for the grille activity.

The starting point of enjoying this good Polish “grille” was roasting the kielbasa (sausage) over the open pit. The potatoes were waiting at the side for the coals to glow before they were put into the fire. Everything was so delicious. The man on the right is our District President beside one of 3 sons. They live in Wroclaw and came down for the grille activity.

Patryk, Joanna, and their baby, Etan  -  Patryk, who is our Branch Mission Leader, gave the spiritual thought after Adrian welcomed the group.

Patryk, Joanna, and their baby, Etan – Patryk, who is our Branch Mission Leader, gave the spiritual thought after Adrian welcomed the group.

Members and guests enjoying their kielbasa  -  the man who is waving is Kris, who is being taught by the Elders.

Members and guests enjoying their kielbasa – the man who is waving is Kris, who is being taught by the Elders.

Virginia and Teresa with the Sisters

Virginia and Teresa with the Sisters

Adam, who is in our English class, is at the end of the table.

Adam, who is in our English class, is at the end of the table.

President Krzykawski, a member of our District Presidency, is talking to Sylvia and Adrian.  Sylvia has been taught by the Sisters for several months.  We already consider her "one of our sisters."

President Krzykawski, a member of our District Presidency, is talking to Sylvia and Adrian. Sylvia has been taught by the Sisters for several months. We already consider her “one of our sisters.”

We all love Gosia, who is our Relief Society President.

We all love Gosia, who is our Relief Society President.

Carolina and Konrad come to the English class when they can.  They have also come to some of our Branch activities.

Carolina and Konrad come to the English class when they can. They have also come to some of our Branch activities.

After such great food, the Sisters said, "Let the games begin!"  They had planned some great games, the first one being an egg toss.  Elder Wilson and Elder Neuner ended up winning this one.

After such great food, the Sisters said, “Let the games begin!” They had planned some great games, the first one being an egg toss. Elder Wilson and Elder Neuner ended up winning this one.

After one false catch, Teresa ended up with the egg right down the front of her.

After one false catch, Teresa ended up with the egg right down the front of her.

We then divided into four teams and had a dart contest.  The dart was a Q-tip dipped in paint.  We then shot the dart through a straw to the target to receive points.  The two winning teams then played the two losing teams.  Sister Petherbridge even got a red dart in her hair!

We then divided into four teams and had a dart contest. The dart was a Q-tip dipped in paint. We then shot the dart from a straw to the target to receive points. The two winning teams then played the two losing teams. Sister Petherbridge even got a red dart in her hair!

The dart contest winners

The dart contest winners

We've all tried this before!  The cookie on the forehead and into the mouth.  Elder Godwin almost has his in his mouth.

We’ve all tried this before – the cookie on the forehead and into the mouth. Elder Godwin almost has his in his mouth.

Elder Godwin is celebrating his accomplishment.  Just then Sister Reed got hers into her mouth.  (We both must have big mouths!)

Elder Godwin is celebrating his accomplishment. Just then Sister Reed got hers into her mouth. (We both must have big mouths!)

Sylvia was the most persistent in trying to land her cookie in the target.  After lots of coaching, she finally just put it in her mouth!

Sylvia was the most persistent in trying to land her cookie in the target. After lots of coaching, she finally just put it in her mouth!

This was such a heart-warming send-off gathering for us.  We truly love our Branch members and the others we have gotten to know so well.  We have learned a great deal from them, and, hopefully, they have learned from us.   This errand from the Lord which we have enjoyed and grown from these past 18 months has changed our lives forever.  Our brothers and sisters in the gospel are all over the world, and we are basically all the same.  We love our Savior and we want to be back in His presence again.

Our three daughters are coming this week to visit this beautiful country with its gentle and loving people.  We are so thrilled to be able to share our mission with them as we tour the various parts of Poland.   The Branch members will be able to meet them this Sunday as we attend church for the last time here in Katowice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Missionary Zone Conference

Tuesday was the Katowice Missionary Zone Conference, and some wonderful instruction was given to our missionaries.   There are new guidelines being given to these outstanding representatives for the Lord, and more responsibility is being given to them to use the Spirit as their constant guide in this great work.   It was inspiring to hear the words of President and Sister Edgren, as this was their first Zone Conference since taking over the responsibility of leading the directing the Poland Warsaw Mission.  President Edgren has had much leadership experience, and we know the Mission is in good hands under his direction.

It’s exciting to be a part of the escalation of this great missionary effort we have seen in the past year.  There is an urgency in the work, and we all, as members of the Church, need to be a part of it in some way or another.  We know we will blessed for our efforts as we serve the Lord in this way.

Between sessions of the conference, we snapped this picture of the group of missionaries from our zone.  Pretty great bunch of young adults striving to be the best missionaries they can be.

Between sessions of the conference, we snapped this picture of the group of missionaries from our zone. Pretty great bunch of young adults striving to be the best missionaries they can be.

President and Sister Edgren talking with two of the sister missionaries.

Between sessions President and Sister Edgren have a minute to talk with two of the sister missionaries from Krakow.

President Edgren had the missionaries break up into small groups and receive instruction from different leaders in the Mission.  Here, Elder Raines, one of the Assistants to the President, is giving instruction to a group.

President Edgren had the missionaries break up into small groups and receive instruction from different leaders in the Mission. Here, Elder Raines, one of the Assistants to the President, is giving instruction to a group.

Elder Wilson, Zone Leader from Katowice, is advising his group.

Elder Wilson, Zone Leader from Katowice, is advising his group.

Elder Neuner, Zone Leader from Katowice, used the white board for his instruction.

Elder Neuner, Zone Leader from Katowice, used the white board for his instruction.

 

 

 

 

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Family Home Evening

Monday was FHE once again, and we had a great lesson on watching our thoughts, words, and actions by Elder Reed.  We all became more aware of striving to focus our thoughts on the positive in order to find the happiness we want in this life.  Our game was a fast-moving dice and numbers game, which all of us enjoyed.  Just to laugh and smile helps everyone to have a better day and a better outlook on life.

At the end of the evening after game time, we had our dessert and sat around the tables talking with each other.  This is such a great time for Branch members, visitors, and missionaries to relax and socialize a bit.

At the end of the evening after game time, we had our dessert and sat around the tables talking with each other. This is such a great time for Branch members, visitors, and missionaries to relax and socialize a bit.

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The Scrabble Competition

Last night Rafal (2nd counselor in the Branch Presidency), Eva, and Ania were at our home for dinner and an “intense” Scrabble game.  Eva and Ania, who are not members of the church, have come to some of our activities and Family Home Evenings.  At the games night the Branch had several months ago, the Americans (the Reeds) and the English Students ( Rafal, Eva, and Ania) had a great game of Scrabble.  The Reeds barely won the game, so they challenged us to another match (if we can call it that).  These three individuals all attend the same university studying English, and they have quite a command of our language.  It was a great evening with them, we laughed a lot, and we did manage to squeak by them again to victory. (It would have been quite embarrassing to lose since we are the English speakers!)

Sister Reed, Rafal, Eva, and Ania

Sister Reed, Rafal, Eva, and Ania

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The Museum of Bread, School, and Other Curiosities

Last Friday we had some time, so we decided to visit a museum we saw advertized on one of our jaunts to Tarnowskie Gory.  It was a unique museum of household curiosities (and some really were curiosities!) from the past centuries.  Bread as the staple of life was stressed throughout the tour.  This museum is extremely conducive to students from schools around this area, we imagine that during the school year, there are numerous classrooms of students enjoying this tour.  A father and son own and operate this establishment, and they all seem to enjoy running their unique offering to the public.

The is the man who started this family-owned museum, and he serves as the guide for the tours.  He has collected everything you could possibly think of in the way of antique "curiosities" used in homes in years past.  It is quite apparent that he loves what he is doing and is proud of all the things he has collected throughout the years to make his museum very unique.  He made sure we understood everything he was explaining to the group.  This is the machine that made buki (rolls).

The is the man who started this family-owned museum, and he serves as the guide for the tours. He has collected everything you could possibly imagine in the way of antique “curiosities” used in homes in years past. It is quite apparent that he loves what he is doing and is proud of all the things he has collected throughout the years to make his museum very unique. He made sure we understood everything he was explaining to the group. This is the machine that made buki (rolls).

The old time kitchen equipment was fascinating.

The old time kitchen equipment was fascinating.

One of the rooms in the museum was a historic schoolroom.  He had a great time showing the children in our group how the students were disciplined and some of the clothing they wore years ago.

One of the rooms in the museum was a historic schoolroom. He had a great time showing the children in our group how the students were disciplined and some of the clothing they wore years ago.

In this room our guide gave a lecture about bread being such a staple in our lives.  When he speaks to a classroom of children, he stresses the importance of never throwing away bread because so many people in previous years in their country would have given anything for just a piece of bread.

In this room our guide gave a lecture about bread being such a staple in our lives. When he speaks to a classroom of children, he stresses the importance of never throwing away bread because so many people in previous years in their country would have given anything for just a piece of bread.  During the tours for the children, they each make their own little piece of bread, sculpted any way they want it to look.

He again stressed the importance of bread in our lives as he talked about this picture from the early 1900's which shows thousands of people in bread lines.  The modern day Polish children have no concept of what it must have been like to have been in this line of hungry men, women, and children.  We Americans really have no concept of this either.

He again stressed the importance of bread in our lives as he talked about this picture from the early 1900′s which shows thousands of people in bread lines. The modern day Polish children have no concept of what it must have been like to have been in this line of hungry men, women, and children. We Americans really have no concept of this either.  The Polish people have been through so many difficult times in the country’s history.

The tour was in Polish, but we found a doctor in our group who had spent some time at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, so he helped us out when we were in the dark as to language.  The tour was most interesting, and we were glad we had some time to visit this unique museum.

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Another Day with Ela and Nathan

On our last visit to Ela and Nathan’s home in Tarnowskie Gory, she asked us to come one more time before we leave, and we gladly accepted the invitation.  We visited a park with an elegant palace built and enjoyed by a Polish family many years ago.  We spent several hours there enjoying this beautiful park, and then went back to Ela’s home for an afternoon dinner of salmon and all the trimmings.  It was delicious!  Ela then guided us to a huge recreation lake just a few kilometers from her town for another taste of what that area has to offer.  When a native takes us places, we always have the opportunity to see things that we would have never known were there.  It was a great day with the two of them, and we again experienced something new in beautiful Poland.

Upon entering the park on our way to the palace, we saw an interesting planter  for flowers  -  it was a hollowed out tree stump..  It was a good place to stop for a picture of the four of us.  Ela, Nathan, and the Reeds

Upon entering the park on our way to the palace, we saw an interesting planter for flowers – it was a hollowed out tree stump. It was a good place to stop for a picture of the four of us. Ela, Nathan, and the Reeds

the palace, once owned by a Polish family, is now a hotel and an event place.  They were setting up for a very elegant wedding party inside, but they let us look around the building at the different rooms.

The palace, once owned by a Polish family, is now a hotel and an event place. They were setting up for a very elegant wedding party inside, but they let us look around the building at the different rooms.

The grand staircase was beautiful as we entered the front door.

The grand staircase was beautiful as we entered the front door.  The rest of the palace, now hotel, was just as elegant.

There were beautiful ponds throughout the park, and with no wind, the water reflected just like a mirror.   We continue to marvel at the magnificent parks in every city we have visited here in Poland.

There were beautiful ponds throughout the park, and with no wind, the water reflected just like a mirror. We continue to marvel at the magnificent parks in every city we have visited here in Poland.

As we walked around the park, we saw that they were renting some pedal go-carts.  Elder Reed thought Nathan would love these, so we decided to try them out.  Nathan loved it!

As we walked around the park, we saw that they were renting some pedal go-carts. Elder Reed thought Nathan would love these, so we decided to try them out. Nathan loved it!

The old "kids" loved it, too!

The old “kids” loved it, too!

Nathan and Ela at the large lake Ela wanted us to see.  This lake is lined with cabins for rent and some beautiful summer homes.  There is boating on this lake, and in the summertime, it is a hub of activity with people enjoying the refreshing summertime here.  Because of the dark, cold winters here in this country, the natives are out enjoying the sun in summertime every minute they can.

Nathan and Ela at the recreation lake Ela wanted us to see. This lake is lined with cabins for rent and some beautiful summer homes. There is boating on this lake, and in the summertime it is a hub of activity with people enjoying the refreshing summertime. Because of the dark, cold winters here in this country, the natives are out enjoying the sun in summertime every minute they can.

The sun was setting as we finished our walk by the lake.  It was such a wonderful day with Ela and Nathan  -  precious time spend with two people we have grown to love.

The sun was setting as we finished our walk by the lake. It was such a wonderful day with Ela and Nathan – precious time spend with two people we have grown to love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Birthday!

Sister Pearson turned 21 this week, and we had a little celebration dinner for her after our English classes on Wednesday.  It’s always so much fun to have them over to our apartment, and we know they enjoy a “real dinner” whenever they have that opportunity.  But her birthday made it even more special that day.

Sister Pearson with her birthday cake  -  we didn't have a 1 candle to put on the cake, so the one is a match (actually two matches - the first one went out right away).  You make do with whatever you have when you are on a mission!

Sister Pearson with her birthday cake – we didn’t have a 1 candle to put on the cake, so the one is a match (actually two matches – the first one went out right away). You make do with whatever you have when you are on a mission!

Our wonderful missionaries in Katowice  -  Elders Wilson, Neuner, Godwin, Boise, and Sisters Packard Petherbridge, and Packard.  They are a pretty dynamic bunch and we sure do love them.

Our wonderful missionaries in Katowice – Elders Wilson, Neuner, Godwin, Boyce, and Sisters Packard Petherbridge, and Packard. They are a pretty dynamic bunch and we sure do love them.

 

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A Day With Ela and Nathan

Last week Ela, one of our Branch members, invited us to spend the day with her and Nathan, her son, in Tarnowskie Gory, the town where they live which is about a half hour drive from Katowice.  She had asked us some time ago if we would like to see the silver mine in her community, and we took her up on the offer.  Nathan, who is seven, is the boy Sister Reed teaches in Primary, and he is learning all about preparing for baptism from the Primary 3 manual lessons.  It is so much fun to teach him, and he is a willing learner and seems to love the gospel.  We have gotten to know Ela and Nathan quite well, and we are so thankful for this great blessing of friendship in our lives.

The mine was another fascinating experience for us (this country is full of fascinating experiences, we have found).  The Poles have preserved, and now exhibit, their culture and heritage extremely well.

We started our tour of the silver mine by walking through   a damp, cold tunnel.  This was only one of many as we went through the mine.

We started our tour of the silver mine by walking through a damp, cold tunnel. This was only one of many as we went through the different areas of the mine.

As in the coal mine which we previously saw, this work was also grueling and extremely dangerous to human life.  As one of the figures shows, there were even some women who worked in these mines.

As in the coal mine which we previously saw, this work was also grueling and extremely dangerous to human life. As one of the figures shows, there were even some women who worked in these mines.

Saint Barbara is the Saint who offers protection for the miners.  In each mine there is at least one shrine with her statue and other symbols of worship.

Saint Barbara is the Saint who offers protection for the miners. In each mine there is at least one shrine with her statue and other symbols of worship.

These are the modern day pylons used for support against cave-ins.

These are the modern day pylons used for support against cave-ins.

Many of the areas in which the miners did backbreaking work were so low they couldn't stand up and almost had to crawl into the space to be mined.

Many of the areas in which the miners did backbreaking work were so low they couldn’t stand up and almost had to crawl into the space to be mined.

Here are some old original wooden pylons and an old mining car which was pushed through the mine by the miners themselves.

Here are some old original wooden pylons and an old mining car which was pushed through the mine by the miners themselves.

We are looking down through the tunnel for water drainage.

We rode in a boat to a different part of the mine by floating in the water drainage tunnel.  Water in the mine was always a big problem, and sometimes the miners were working in water up to their knees.  They continually tried to find new ways to pump it out or drain it to other areas.

Ela and Nathan in the boat in the aqueduct that drained the water from the silver mine.  The the water is pure and has "magic power".  (Ignore Elder Reed who tried to get out of the picture!)

Ela and Nathan in the boat in the aqueduct that drained the water from the silver mine. The water is pure and has “magic power”, as the folklore of the country says.

OWe were sitting right by our guide in the boat so we had a chance to talk with her.  She is a student at one of the universities in this area and has worked as a guie for about 4 months.   She was a delightful young woman and did a great job as a guide.

We were sitting right by our guide in the boat so we had a chance to talk with her. She is a student at one of the universities in this area and has worked as a guide for about 4 months. She was a delightful young woman and did a great job as a guide.

After traveling though the mine by boat we came to an area which showed several more types of support pylons against cave-ins.  In the foreground we see a wood and rock support, and in the background just to the right is a piled rock support.

After traveling though the mine via the aqueduct, we came to an area which showed several more types of support pylons against cave-ins. In the foreground we see a wood and rock support, and in the background just to the right is a piled rock support.

This is an original wooden support used when the mine was fairly new.  The calcium deposits can be seen on the wooden logs.  All of this was such labor intensive work for the miners.

This is an original wooden support used when the mine was fairly new. The calcium deposits can be seen on the wooden logs. All of this was such labor intensive work for the miners.

At the entrance to the mine there was a mural depicting the mine image.

In the reception area as we exited  the mine, there was a mural depicting an image of the mine.

At the entrance to the park next to the mine, we saw one of the old wheels used to pump water out of the mine.  This was run by manpower, a man walking inside the wheel for 12 hours a day.

At the entrance to the park next to the mine, we saw one of the old wheels used to pump water out of the mine. This was run by manpower, a man walking inside the wheel for 12 hours a day.

A panoramic view of the park which was filled with train engines, pumps, and other equipment used in mining and transporting the ore.

This is a panorama of the park next to the mine which has historic mining equipment ranging from pumps to train engines.  The equipment was mostly steam driven in that early mining era.

We had to get this picture for our grandsom, Talon, who loves trains.  Talon, wish you were here to help us drive this train!

We had to get this picture for our grandson, Talon, who loves trains. Talon, wish you were here to help us drive this train!

This old steam driven crane was particularly interesting to us, and Nathan was trying to figure out how it worked.

This old steam driven crane was particularly interesting to us, and Nathan was trying to figure out how it worked.

After this mine experience, we went to Ela’s home for a delicious lunch.  We then went to an underground aqueduct not far from the silver mine which was dug as a drainage system for that mine.  We rode a boat through this aqueduct which was about 25 meters under the ground.  The entire day was wonderful and another choice experience to be with some of our most favorite people and to experience another part of the rich Polish heritage found in this fascinating country.

The lush, green forests of Poland have been wonderful to walk through in the various places we have visited.  These memories of beautiful Poland will always be in our hearts.

The lush, green forests of Poland have been wonderful to walk through in the various places we have visited. We walked a ways through these woods to the entrance to the underground aqueduct.  These memories of beautiful Poland will always be in our hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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