Last Friday and Saturday all the senior missionaries in Poland attended a conference in Lodz (located in the center of the country). It was such an uplift for all of us, and we found that we all share the same joys and fulfillment in our service. And we also found that we share the same frustrations in our service. We discussed and shared ideas as each couple taught a half hour lesson on an assigned topic. President and Sister Nielson are very supportive of all that we do, and we appreciate their counsel a great deal. This is truly the greatest and most fulfilling calling in the church. All you “more mature” adults out there, a mission will change your lives and bless your families richly. There is truly something for every “senior” to do out here in the mission field.
This is the group holding our Welcome to Lodz packets.
Sister Peck, from the Mission Office, had a birthday the day we were there, and we all sang the Polish birthday song for her.
As we drove to the center of the city for dinner on Friday night, we were met with a bike parade going through the city streets. They were riding for a certain charity that evening.
A few of us hopped out of the cars and started walking to the next appointed spot, and who did we meet? It was the missionaries contacting people on the streets of Lodz. We are all so proud of our missionaries everywhere.
It turned out the next appointed spot were the pedi-cabs waiting to take us to the restaurant. Elder and Sister McGrath are enjoying their ride.
Dinner was at a wonderful Polish restaurant. The Sheleys and the Pecks are eying what they are doing to dig into first. Six of us shared this beautiful trough of dinner.
Following that delicious dinner we strolled down P Street. It has a long Polish name, so most call it just P Street. This street is in the center of the city and is the gathering place for the natives and tourists. You can see the back of one of the Pedi-cabs we all rode in.
Some of the architecture in the city is very impressive along this street.
Another beautiful building
As we walked we noticed stars in the sidewalk. Lodz is the film capital of the country, and they call their city Holly-Lodz. These are stars for famous directors and actors from Poland.
Along the street restaurants have their outdoor eating areas which were filled almost to capacity that night.
There were a few musicians playing for the passing crowds and hoping for a few zloty to earn that night. Their monetary bills are called zloty.
This was an interesting spectacle. A mannequin reading a newspaper is walking up the side of the building where the newspaper is published.
The next day after our meetings we took in some of the other sites in the city. We visited a memorial for the Holocaust. Behind the Elders are the symbolic tombs for each of the concentration camps during WWII. The height measures how many were killed at each one.
This is one of the box cars used to transport the Jews to their unknown destination. There were as many as 100 in each of these cars with no food, water, or sanitation. Many times they were in them for 2 or 3 days.
We then visited a sewer system! This is part of an underground drainage system developed in the early part of the l9th century. It had a capacity to filter off dirty water, then the cleaner water was sent to a filtration system for the use of the citizens of the city. It was quite a good system for the times. They have now made it into a museum.
One of the old palaces in the city has been turned into a museum for Polish cinamotograghy.
The museum was filled with cameras, different filming methods, etc. - all used before modern film technology took over.
There were displays of different articles of costuming used in early filming.
This is a machine used for editing and splicing the films. Our tour guide, who is seated at the machine, said she worked for many years using this device in her job as a film editor.
Here is one of the sets used in making early cartoons.
Here some of us are in one of the cartoons.
Another part of this museum was a tour of the palace itself which was beautiful. Each room had intricately carved wood features literally lining each room. This is the dining room. The palace was built by one of the richest men in the country who owned a textile mill in the l9th century. It was the biggest mill in all of Europe at one time.
Each room had a ceramic stove used for heat. Each stove had different artistry and design - they were fascinating.
It is truly a great blessing to Elder and Sister Reed to serve in this beautiful and interesting country. There are many here ready to receive the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and all of us as missionaries are trying to find and teach them. We feel the guidance of the Holy Spirit each day as we labor in the Lord’s vineyard. We know that He lives, and we know that with outstretched arms He wants each of us to return to Him again.