Last week we had a Missionary Zone Conference here in Katowice. Our zone includes four cities which are in the southern area of Poland. We were all once again edified and uplifted by the inspired messages we heard from our leaders. We were privileged to have an Area Authority and his wife attend the conference. Elder Schutze and his lovely wife, Marta, who live in Germany, were the conference’s special guests. Elder Schutze brought us a wealth of experience and knowledge from his past experiences as the Eastern European CES Director, the Frieberg Temple President, Patriarch, Berlin Mission President, Stake President and Bishop. We were also privileged to learn at the feet of our Mission President, President Nielson. We truly are led by faithful and inspired leaders in the the Lord’s Kingdom here on earth. What a great blessing to all of us!
This is the Katowice Zone here in our mission. These wonderful missionaries are the future leaders in the Church. We are in good hands! Elder and Sister Schutze are in the center.
Our District in the Zone. Back row – Elder Dopp, Elder Hayes, Elder Rittmanic, and Elder Brown. Front row – Elder and Sister Reed, Sister Packard, and Sister Holmgren. We love working with these wonderful missionaries.
The Sisters were first in line for lunch (due to our polite Elders!). Sister Ence and Sister Smithee serve in the city called Wroclaw, just north of Katowice. We served with Sister Smithee in Poznan, and it was fun to see her again. The senior couples are always in charge of the food for these conferences in their respective areas, and barbeque beef sandwiches were the faire for the day.
Sister Nielson always recognizes the birthdays which have rolled around since the last conference. Elder Reed had a birthday in January, so he received a package of homemade cookies along with the other birthdays. We are singing a rousing “Sto Lat” birthday song. This is the Happy Birthday song in Poland. It essentially says, “May you live l00 years!” The young missionaries have a long ways to go for that to happen, but Elder Reed gets closer and closer every year!!!
In the foyer of our chapel we have just put up a plaque for a missionary from our Branch, Elder Adam Novak, who is serving in the England Birmingham Mission. It’s wonderful to see this as we walk into our chapel, and we know that many more of these faithful young adults from Poland will be out in the field in days to come. We will not get to meet Elder Novak since we’ll be home when he returns to Katowice, but it’s nice to get to know him by means of this plaque.
We have just had our one year anniversary of serving in this wonderful mission in Poland. To be on the Lord’s errand as missionaries has been a life-changing experience for us, both here and in Ukraine. To unite ourselves with these faithful Saints who have a different language and a different culture cements our testimonies to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Common goals, beliefs, and love have no boundaries. Our “enlarged” hearts will forever feel this love, and we will always treasure the experiences we have had. We are so thankful to the Lord for giving us this unique blessing in our lives. We know that He has guided our footsteps through the Holy Spirit as we have served, and we have witnessed many little miracles along the way. By serving together our love for one another has grown as we recognize how our respective strengths and weaknesses are compensated by each other. As we are “in the service of our fellow men, we are only in the service of our God.” Thanks be to God for this wonderful experience.