Last weekend was our District Conference for this area of Poland. Our District includes four cities – Katowice, Wroclaw, Krakow, and Kielce. When you have such small Branches in an area, it is so wonderful for 100 or so Saints and investigators to get together for a spiritual feast of inspiring messages from our leaders. Area Authority Elder Olsson from Sweden attended our meetings, and his heartfelt words were an inspiration to all of us. A new District Presidency was announced at this Conference, so that was also a special event during the weekend meetings.
Sister Reed and Sister Durrant from Wroclaw were in charge of the Primary activities for the children during the Saturday afternoon meetings and the food for the two days of meetings. We are so happy to have the Durrants in our District and only a couple of hours away by car. They have only been here a couple of weeks, but already they have “their feet wet” and are serving so diligently in their Branch and in the District. We love getting to know them and work with them.
This District Presidency was released at our Conference, President Krzykawski (1st counselor), President Pawlik, and President Gaskell (2nd counselor). They have served the District faithfully and diligently for the past 7 years.
Here is our new District President and his Counselor – Mission President Nielson, new District President Zan, returning 1st Counselor President Krzykawski, and our visiting General Authority, Elder Olsson.
The Relief Society sisters who attended the Conference met on Saturday afternoon, while Sisters Reed and Durrant were doing the Primary activities with the children.
The Branch Presidents from the cities in our District – President Kucia (Krakow), President Najberg (Kielce), President Nielson, President Urban (Katowice) and Rafal (counselor in Katowice Branch and translator for most of our meetings)
After a lesson on reverence and a “mouse” story and activity about being as “quiet as a mouse” in sacrament meeting, we had a lesson on “Putting on the Whole Armor of God”. The children each colored, cut out, and glued the armor on to their boy on the paper. They are also holding their little stuffed mice which they can bring to sacrament meetings to remind them to be as “quiet as a mouse.”
The mouse ears are completed. Evi (center) who speaks English and Polish fluently, was our translator for the activities and helped the little ones with cutting.
Coloring the pieces of armor – doesn’t Sister Durrant look great in the mouse ears? She and Sister Reed had to make ears, too, in order to be a part of the group!
Each of the children cut out and glued their own special popcorn bowls to hold the special treat.
Spencer wanted his own special place to eat his popcorn.
Balloon fun finished up all the activities.
Elder Reed enjoyed chatting with Elder Olsson.
A wonderful surprise at the Conference was to see some of our former missionaries who have now gone on with their lives in most wonderful ways. Sister Day (former Helfrich) and her husband (they are looking forward a their new baby boy in September), Brother Kalinowski (formerly Elder) and Amanda, who will be married in the Oakland Temple in August. Gosia and Dorota from our Branch in Katowice enjoyed seeing their old friends once again.
Sister Packard and Sister Holmgren are with one of our favorite investigators, Sylvia. The Sisters have been teaching her for about 6 weeks now, and she comes to church almost every Sunday. Elder and Sister Reed have helped on a couple of lessons – this is the part of the mission we love the most, testifying of the Savior and His great Church.
Our missionaries from Katowice – Sisters Holmgren and Packard, Elders Rittmanic, Brown, Pofelski, and Dopp, the Reeds, and Elder and Sister Durrant from Wroclaw
These beautiful children, Leon, Nadia, and Patryk are from our Branch. Patryk and his Mom were baptized in December, so they are very new members of the church. The children had never had any church experience before, so being reverent at sacrament meeting was not something they knew how to do. One Monday the Reeds went with our missionaries to their home for a Family Home Evening. Sister Reed taught a lesson on reverence using a primary lesson and the mouse story. The next Sunday they came to church with their little mice, and they sat through the whole meeting as “quiet as little mice.” We have had another FHE with them with a lesson and games, and we all loved it. They are darling children and we love having them in the Branch.
After the Relief Society and Priesthood meetings on Saturday, some of the children and teenagers had a Fooz Ball battle. We never did find out who won . . . . the girls look pretty powerful, though!
After meetings, Primary activities, and pizza, the chapel needed sprucing up a bit. Elder Reed is hard at it. The Senior Couples are the cooks and janitors some of the time along with sharing the gospel on a mission. It’s all great fun!
We are so thankful for these wonderful experiences on this mission. These wonderful Polish Saints will always be in our hearts. We pray for them daily, and we strive diligently to help them learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that their testimonies can truly fill their hearts and guide their actions. The gospel is true, Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and this testimony brings joy into our lives.