Family Home Evening

Last  Monday evening our lesson was on patience, another Christ-like attribute.  The lesson, taught by Sister Reed this week, got us into the scriptures and into good discussions.  There were a couple of activities during the night  -  one was an attention-getter, and the other was a relay game which got everyone running and racing against the other team.  As usual, the evening ended with some goodies.  We certainly do enjoy our “little family” each Monday night.

The "patience" activity was the attention-getter to start the evening.  The M&M's were transferred from one paper to the other using a straw.

The “patience” activity was the attention-getter to start the evening. The M&M’s were transferred from one paper to the other using a straw.

The other table moving their straws.  Chris was trying to see how long he could hold his in the air.

Here is the other table moving their straws. Chris was trying to see how long he could hold his in the air.

 

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Bedzien Castle

On the way home from Czestochowa we decided to stop at the Bedzien Castle in the city of Bedzien just a few kilometers from Katowice.  The castle is right in the city, and we have driven by it several times when we are out visiting people.  So we decided we would stop and have a look.   Originally built in 1358, it has been restored from its ruined state.  On the inside are displays of weapons and armor used through the years which were very interesting.  The southern part of Poland where we serve is dotted with castles, and we find them all fascinating.

This is the Bedzien Castle on a hill in the city.

This is the Bedzien Castle on a hill in the city.

Every castle had it's church close by, and this was no exception.  Looking down from the high turret in the castle we could see the church with it's beautiful grounds surrounding it.  The original church was on this same site.

Every castle had it’s church close by, and this was no exception. Looking down from the high turret in the castle we could see the church with it’s beautiful grounds surrounding it. The original church was on this same site.

 

Inside one of the rooms in the castle was a model of what it looked like in the 1300's when it was first built.

Inside one of the rooms in the castle was a model of how it looked in the 1300′s when it was first built.

 

We walked around the castle to view the grounds and the back of it.  The restoration of this required many months, and probably years.

We walked around the castle to view the grounds and the back of it. The restoration of this required many months, and probably years.

 

 

 

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The Match Factory

This week we had a day with no meetings, so we decided to see something unique which our Mission President’s wife had told us about.  We drove to Czestochowa, a town fairly close to Katowice, and found the Match Factory Museum.  This was something totally different than our usual sights in Poland.  The original factory was built in 1881, destroyed by fire around 1915, than rebuilt to what we see now as a museum.  Because no one at the museum spoke English, we were at a bit of a disadvantage, but we still learned a great deal about the production of matches in those years when they were a total necessity in every household.  It was a unique and fascinating place, and we were glad we took the time to experience another part of this country’s history.

When we drove up to the address we put on the GPS, we at first thought that we were at the wrong place.  It looked like everything had been closed for years at this building.  Then we discovered a little sign by the brown door on the right, and, sure enough, this was the place.

When we drove up to the address we put on the GPS, we at first thought that we were at the wrong place. It looked like everything had been closed for years at this building. Then we discovered a little sign by the brown door on the right, and, sure enough, this was the place.

We tried the door, but it was locked; so we rang the doorbell.  This man let us in, and with our limited Polish language skills, let him know that we wanted to see the factory.  He said he didn't speak English, and we told him we didn't speak Polish.  But he still managed to give us a good tour, and we understood most of what he was pointing to and making hand gestures to illustrate.

We tried the door, but it was locked; so we rang the doorbell. This man let us in, and with our limited Polish language skills, let him know that we wanted to see the factory. He said he didn’t speak English, and we told him we didn’t speak Polish. But he still managed to give us a good tour, and we understood most of what he was pointing to and making hand gestures to illustrate.

Aspen wood was used to make the matches, and the log was shaved into thin strips with this machine.

Aspen wood was used to make the matches, and the log was shaved into thin strips with this machine.

The strips of wood were cut into match-size pieces, and the pieces were put into individual slots in this machine.

The strips of wood were cut into match-size pieces, and the pieces were put into individual slots in this machine.

They were three tiers of matches in their slots as they moved along a conveyer belt type thing and dipped in the igniting solution which is at the end of a match.

They were three tiers of matches in their slots as they moved along a conveyer belt type thing and dipped in the igniting solution which is at the end of a match.

Here is a closer view of one of the tiers.

Here is a closer view of one of the tiers.

At the end of the machine, the matches come out of the slots.

At the end of the machine, the matches came out of the slots.

They are put into trays, making them ready to be put in the boxes.

They were put into trays, making them ready to be put in the boxes.

This is a picture we took of a picture showing the entire machine.

This is a picture we took of a picture showing the entire machine.  One machine can produce 1,000,000 matches per hour.

The matches are then put into boxes by another machine, moved along this conveyer belt, and closed by an arm that comes out and closes the box.

The matches were then put into boxes by another machine, moved along this conveyer belt, and closed by an arm that came out and closed the box.

In the museum was a display of all the different match box covers that have been on the boxes produced by this factory.  They even had John  F. Kennedy on one of them, plus Grace Kelly on another.

In the museum was a display of all the different match box covers that have been on the boxes produced by this factory. They even had John F. Kennedy on one of them, plus Grace Kelly on another.

Another display showed match art forms, each one made with an individual match.  Quite interesting and creative.

Another display showed match art forms, each one made with an individual match. Quite interesting and creative.

This model of a little Polish hut and yard was made of matches.

This model of a little Polish hut and yard was made of matches.

This structure was made of 25,000 match boxes.

This structure was made of 25,000 match boxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family Home Evening

Monday evening was another fun Family Home Evening with investigators and members.  We continued our study of Christ-like attributes, and the topic taught by Elder Reed was knowledge.  It involved some good scripture study and discussion.

After the lesson we played an animal sound game and then had strawberry and banana crepes for our treat.  What a great group it was – we learned, we laughed, and we had food.  For what more could one ask?

Elder is using an object lesson to demonstrate the importance of learning and acquiring knowledge our entire lives.

Elder is using an object lesson to demonstrate the importance of learning and acquiring knowledge our entire lives.

The game is Animal Sounds where each blind-folded person has to find their partner making the same animal sound.  It was loud and hilarious.

The game is Animal Sounds where each blind-folded person has to find their partner making the same animal sound. It was loud and hilarious.

Chris, Elder Wilson, and Pavel were all horses, and they finally found each other.

Chris, Elder Wilson, and Pawel were all horses, and they finally found each other.

 

 

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Katowice Zone Training

Monday we had Zone Training for the Elders and Sisters from Katowice and Wroclaw.  The Zone Leaders, Elder Wilson and Elder Neuner, presented valuable instruction to the missionaries given to them from our new Mission President, President Edgren.  The Edgrens were in attendance, and this was the first opportunity we had meet them.  They are a wonderful couple, and  we welcome them with open arms to this beautiful country of Poland.  We know the Mission will do great things with them at the helm.

What a handsome (and beautiful) group!  Is it the thorn among the roses, or the rose among the thorns?!!

What a handsome (and beautiful) group! Is it the thorn among the roses, or the rose among the thorns?!!  Sister Packard, Elders Neuner, Wilson, Zelezniak, Stumf, Godwin, and Boyce.  Elder Smith was having an interview with the President at the time.  They are all wonderful missionaries who are serving the Lord valiantly.

Sister Ellis (serving in Wroclaw), Sister Petherbridge, Sister Pearson, Sister Packard, and Sister Blake (Wroclaw)

Sister Ellis (serving in Wroclaw), Sister Petherbridge, Sister Pearson, Sister Packard, and Sister Blake (Wroclaw)    We love these Sisters!

The Assistants to the Mission President  -  Elder Zelezniak and Elder Raines

The Assistants to the Mission President – Elder Zelezniak and Elder Raines

The Durrants (serving in Wroclaw) and the Reeds with Sister Edgren, our Mission President's wife

The Durrants (serving in Wroclaw) and the Reeds with Sister Edgren, our Mission President’s wife

Our new Mission President and his wife  -  President and Sister Edgren.  We know the Mission is in good hands.

Our new Mission President and his wife – President and Sister Edgren. We know the Mission is in good hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Branch Outing to Krakow

Last Saturday the Branch had a most enjoyable outing in Krakow, a city about 70 kilometers from Katowice.   Train was our mode of transportation, and our feet the rest of the day.  We had members and investigators join in on the fun, and the day created a great memory for all of us to savor.

Krakow is a city which has not suffered devastation from wars and battles throughout the centuries.   It has been renowned for hundreds of years as one of the jewels of Poland.  The Germans used it as their main headquarters during their occupation of the country.  It truly is a beautiful city.

We all gathered for a group picture after getting off the train.  We're all set to have a great day together!

We all gathered for a group picture after getting off the train. We’re all set to have a great day together!

As we walked toward the town square, we witnessed the beautiful streets in Krakow.

As we walked toward the town square, we witnessed the beautiful streets in Krakow.

This monument commemorates   the battle with the Teutonic Knights when Poland overcame their oppression.  We are standing with Alex, who is from Ukraine and is being taught by the Elders.  Alex is in our English class at church.

This monument commemorates the battle with the Teutonic Knights when Poland overcame their oppression. We are standing with Alex, who is from Ukraine and is being taught by the Elders. Alex is in our English class at church.

As we left the battle monument, we walked toward a restored fortification for the city dating back several hundred years.

As we left the battle monument, we walked toward a restored fortification for the city dating back several hundred years.

Music was in the air as we passed through the archway into the city square.

Music was in the air as we passed through the archway into the city square.

100_6046The archway through which we we passed to enter the city square.

Carriages were carrying the tourists around to enjoy the sights of the square.

Carriages were carrying the tourists around to enjoy the sights of the square.

Elder Reed valiantly fought with one of the Hussar warriors and prevailed!  Notice the "wings" included on his warfare attire.  It is said that as the legion rode in full speed on their horses in a charge, the wind going through the wings made a very eiry sound and would frighten the horses of their opposition, causing confusion in their ranks.

Elder Reed valiantly fought with one of the Hussar warriors and prevailed! Notice the “wings” included on his warfare attire. It is said that as the legion rode in full speed on their horses in a charge, the wind going through the wings made a very eerie sound and would frighten the horses of their opposition, causing confusion in their ranks.

This little fellow much have found a lot of delicious green grass after he crossed the bridge of the troll!

This little fellow much have found a lot of delicious green grass after he crossed the bridge of the troll!

Every city square has it's beautiful church.

Every city square has it’s beautiful church.

Beautiful Polish attire was worn by many of the vendors.

Beautiful Polish attire was worn by many of the vendors.

As we walked toward the castle in the city, more music filled the air, and it sounded really quit good.

As we walked toward the castle in the city, more music filled the air, and it was quite melodic.  .

The architecture in the city is a study in itself.

The architecture in the city is a study in itself.

Wawel Castle is one of the larger castles in the country.  The grounds inside the walls cover acres and acres.  These are some of the interesting structures inside the castle walls.  The castle is located in the center of the city on a hill  and is almost a city within a city.

Wawel Castle is one of the larger castles in the country. The grounds inside the walls cover several acres. These are some of the interesting structures inside the castle walls. The castle is located in the center of the city on a hill and is almost a city within a city.

Here is a view of the city from the castle walls.  The river was quite muddy from the rain the previous day.

Here is a view of the city from the castle walls. The river was quite muddy from the rain the previous day.

Rafal and Eva from our group are resting their feet as we walked around the castle grounds.

Rafal and Eva from our group are resting their feet as we walked around the castle grounds.

Time for a rest and some food!  We enjoyed some delicious food from a sidewalk cafe - polish sausage form some and kebobs for others.  Foreground - Sister Pearson, Adrian, Ania; in back - Elder Wilson, Elder Neuner, Sister Packard, and Sister Petherbridge.

Time for a rest and some food! We enjoyed some delicious food from a sidewalk cafe – polish sausage for some and kebobs for others. Foreground – Sister Pearson, Adrian, Ania; in back – Elder Wilson, Elder Neuner, Sister Packard, and Sister Petherbridge.

Eva, Rafal, Alex, and Agata

Eva, Rafal, Alex, and Agata

Krystyna, Chris, and Basia enjoying their kebobs.

Krystyna, Chris, and Basia enjoying their kebobs.

The wedding day for a handsome Polish couple.

The wedding day for a handsome Polish couple.

We couldn't resist purchasing something for the grandkids.  These women were surprised that we had twelve of them.

We couldn’t resist purchasing something for the grandkids. These women were surprised that we had twelve of them.

This was an interesting piece of art work in the city square.  The children could climb into the head and peek out the eyes.

This was an interesting piece of art work in the city square. The children could climb into the head and peek out the eyes.

A street as we walked toward the castle lined with beautiful architecture.

A street as we walked toward the castle lined with beautiful architecture.  Krakow surely is most deserving of its reputation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Visit to Ornontowice

This past week we visited Grzegorz, our Branch clerk, who lives in this town about a half an hour from Katowice.  He is a soft-spoken man who is very faithful and  dedicated to the Lord, as evidenced by his diligent service in his calling in the Branch.  We enjoyed, along with President Urban, our Branch President, talking with Grzegorz and his Dad (his mother was out of town for the day).   Grzegorz’s Dad build their lovely house years ago from a structure which was just a shell of a building, and he made a comfortable home for their family of five.  The yard around the house is filled with trees, among which are several fruit trees.  They also have a couple of small garden plots.  We’re thankful to get to know Grzegorz and his parents.

Grzegorz, on the right, and his Dad, along with the Reeds  -  their dog wanted to play, but wouldn't give Elder Reed the ring in his mouth.  It turned into a game of "get it away from me if you can!"  The dog won.

Grzegorz, on the right, and his Dad, along with the Reeds – their dog wanted to play, but wouldn’t give Elder Reed the ring in his mouth. It turned into a game of “get it away from me if you can!” The dog won.

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A Wonderful Evening in Ornontowice

This past week we visited Grzegorz, the clerk for the Branch.  He lives with his parents and his brother in a beautiful home which his father built years ago from a structure which was only the shell of a building.   President Urban, our Branch President, and we had a great visit with Grzegorz and his Dad (his Mother had traveled out of town for the day).  They have a lovely yard around their home with fruit trees among the many trees they have planted and small garden plots.  It’s  peaceful in these small towns around Katowice, and we can see why people consider themselves very blessed to live in these areas around the city.  We’re thankful for Grzegorz’s faithfulness and dedication to the Lord as he serves the Branch in his calling.

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The Church of Peace

A few weeks ago we visited  one of Poland’s most historic wooden churches, the Church of Peace, in Swidnica.  It was built by the Swedes in the 1600′s when this country had control of Poland.  This church, which is Lutheran by denomination,  was built completely without nails.  Taking pictures of the inside of the church is forbidden, much to our dismay, since it is stunningly beautiful.  The renovation of the building has been going on for several years and is funded by a Swedish organization that wanted to see this part of their history preserved here in Poland.

This is the back side of the Church of Peace.  There is a grave site enclosed in the iron fence on the lower right of the picture.

This is the back side of the Church of Peace. There is a grave site enclosed in the iron fence on the lower right of the picture.  The church is massive and has seating for three to four thousand people.  It can accommodate seven thousand people (standing and sitting in the isles).  The balconies are three to four tiers high which makes these numbers so vast.

Behind the church is a vast graveyard with markers several hundred years old.  The yard around the church hasn't as yet been part of the renovation project.  But there is a great deal of charm in just leaving it as it as.  It was quite interesting to walk around through the graveyard and read names and years on the markers.

Behind the church is a vast graveyard with markers several hundred years old. The yard around the church hasn’t as yet been part of the renovation project. But there is a great deal of charm in just leaving it as it as. It was quite interesting to walk around through the graveyard and read names and years on the markers.

The graves are overgrown with thick vegetation from all the rain which blesses this country.

The graves are overgrown with thick vegetation from all the rain which blesses this country.

This was one of the more interesting markers as we roamed around the site.

This was one of the more interesting markers as we roamed around the site.

 

 

 

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Family Home Evening

Last Monday evening our FHE lesson was on another Christ-like attribute, virtue.  As part of the lesson, we each memorized a scripture which we could pull out of our heads when negative thoughts might creep into our minds.  Each person recited their scripture to the group, and everyone did it beautifully.  One investigator bore a beautiful testimony after she recited her scripture.   We closed with the 13th Article of Faith which enumerates the things we “seek after” as Latter Day Saints.   After the closing prayer, we had a treasure hunt around the church building to “seek after” our refreshments for the evening.  We love to be with these faithful members of the Branch and those who are learning about the gospel.  It truly is like family when we get together.

We had three investigators at FHE along with members of the Branch.  It was a great group.

We had three investigators at FHE along with members of the Branch, and we love to have them join us.

Here is the rest of the group.  Rafal (in the black shirt) is our translator.

Here is the rest of the group. Rafal (in the black shirt) is our translator.

Everyone was very intent on reading the scriptures and deciding which one to add to their memory bank.

Everyone was very intent on reading the scriptures and deciding which one to add to his/her memory bank.

There was good food and good conversation after the lesson.  Elder Reed is speaking with Syliva, who is being taught by the Sisters.

There was good food and good conversation after the lesson. Elder Reed is speaking with Syliva, who is being taught by the Sisters.

The Sisters are enjoying a laugh with Rafal.

The Sisters are enjoying a laugh with Rafal.

 

 

 

 

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