Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 15 Hanging around the house AGAIN!

we have a problem sleeping in. It should only have taken us about 2 weeks to get over our jet lag... but we werent disciplined enough to go to bed and then wake up early and fight the sleepiness... and so we are still sleeping in late and going to bed later. Tonight we are shooting to be in bed a hour earlier.

We have had many O days sitting around the house lately waiting for the bed frame to be delivered, waiting for the t.v. hanger man to come, waiting for the water delivery man, waiting for the internet folks to fix the internet, waiting for the electrician (where is Chris Prince when you need him?) Waiting for cleaning lady, waiting and waiting and waiting...
Today was a day of waiting... The bed frame for Bailey's bed came before noon but the water delivery man, who was supposed to also be here before noon, didn't ever come. At 4:00 we finally went to the store. I understand the water delivery man will be coming tomorrow before noon. Pray for him to be on time so we don't have to wait all day again! We have places to go and people to see. Well... place to go...

I got ripped off at the ice cream store today. They charged me for 4 ice cream cones with the 4th one with 3 scoops. I only got 3 ice cream cones and none of them had 3 scoops. I may not know Polish but I am not stupid! I didn't know how to tell her that I knew what was wrong... They knew it. I knew it. But I just shook my head and decided never to go back. Oh well... I hope somebody cool got an ice cream on me. Maybe they were hungry. They looked hungry! Everyone looks hungry for that matter. I don't think a single person is over a size 4 in this entire country!

The international school called us back. They said that they can help us out! For 1400.00 zt a month they will teach all 4 of us "intense Polish". I Love that they call it "intense Polish". And if we all 4 take intense Polish (which is 2 x 45 min classes per day x 5 days per week) then they would also teach the children school for only 1500.00 zt per month. WHAT THE?! What happened to free education?! Not here! Unless you know Polish! The children and I would all be required to learn Polish so that I could understand while talking to the teachers. And next year they would place my children in the school. I said, next year I don't know if I will be in POland. They said "same offer". Please don't get me wrong... I love that in Poland I have to speak their native tongue in order to go to school... it really does make sense. And I love that they are going to charge me for private lessons... because that makes sense. It sure isn't convinient though... and a toooooooooon of money. I said, Perhaps I could talk to my husband and get back with you? That is code for, NOT EVER! :) haha...

I worked on laundry. The washer takes 2 hours to do one load. The dryer is a dehumidifyer and doesnt take as long as the wash, however it doesn't totally dry the clothes either. So a completely dry item takes 1 day! But the dryer cycle is somewhere between 1 and 2 hours. The washer and dryer cant run at the same time. So basically I can get a total of 2 loads completely finished in one work day. At this rate I will be doing wash every day for my entire stay and I will always be behind on the washing. Good thing my kids don't need clothes to wear to school!

The missionaries made it back safely from their legal trip. There is a little rule here that every so often the missionaries have to return to the area they first served in to do legal paperwork. Elder Basha was up for legal work and so he and Plumb were gone for 2 days. We missed them terribly! What will we do when they get transfered next week and we have to get used to new elders?

something I learned today:

Education isn't free. How much would you pay per month to educate your 2nd grader, 5th grader and 7th grader?
Parents must be able to communicate with the teachers in their language so that they are not dependant upon their child to get all the information across. I am liking this rule... I just with it benefited me! haha...

I have one more homeschool cariculum to look at before I make a decision on what I will be doing. Bailey is jonesen' for some order around here! I better hurry.

Day 14 marks two weeks

Two weeks ago we embarked on our little journey to Poland. We had no idea what to expect. We were excited! We were sad. We were CLUELESS! We felt adventurous! And two weeks later we have a glimpse of what we are in for... and we are excited and sad and we feel so adventurous and sometimes CRAZY! Lots of laughing and sometimes homesick tears... but we know we are where we are supposed to be right now.
The Mecham's officially declare that we feel like we are on a mission in Poland. Everything is totally and most literally FOREIGN! The food, the amenities in our home, the roads, the language including the alphabet, the rules and laws, the smells (not to gross you out, but even our B.O.), the foilage, the toilet paper, the products we can purchase at the store, the customer service, the money, the weather, the history, the church buildings and so on. Things I didn't even think about are different. I recall my father (wise old owl) telling me that upon his return from his mission in Australia that he kissed the American soil. I always thought that was strange. Afterall, who wouldn't want to go to Australia? It is the place of my vacation dreams! I totally get it. Good old promised land... but until it isn't yours, you dont realize how good it is. The land of plenty. The land of opportunity. God Bless America. Take care of what you have!
Today we chilled around the house waiting for the tv man to come. Not to hook up television services but rather to hang our television on the wall. The landlords didn't want us to hang our pictures/ t.v. ourselves because they wanted the least amount of holes in their walls. Understandable... I am about ready to purchase a home here so that I don't have to have a landlord! I do love our Landlords, Emilia and Ernest. And I must admit that I enjoy not having to take care of my yard or any of the duties that come with being a home owner... One day I will miss that though. And hopefully before I get home and purchase another house.
The kids played with legos, wrestled until they nearly killed each other and played computer games before their scooter rides in the park. Summer Holiday officially ends on September 1 for the Polskis. And so we are enjoying another day of summer before we get into the groove!
A HUGE THANKS to all the peeps that called, fb and e-mailed yesterday and today. Whether you did so cuz you knew we were homesick or because you just wanted to, we thank you! Our spirits were lifted and we are ready to keep on going!

p.s. do I look Dutch? Somebody asked me again today if I was Dutch.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 13

Today was a hard day for us. No Pictures either... We woke up and ALL of us but Coley felt homesick. Wherever McKay is Cole is home... but ALL the rest of us were done! We knew we had to do something! We were going to go to Chelm to visit the Prez but we drug our feet far too long for a lunch time date and so we just drove around and got lost and discovered a new part of our little area! Have I noted yet that Poland is BEAUTIFUL? BOY HOWDY!!! Poland is Beautiful! The weather was chilly today... adding to its lovliness!
We also went to check out the school that we heard about! I was so excited to hear that there was an English speaking international school in Lublin! The only problem is that it is only for kids in high school. Bummer. I asked if there was any school for the kids to attend? They informed me that they wouldn't even be placed in a class until they were fluent in Polish. OUCH!! And so we signed up for some "intense Polish" classes and went back to our origional plan to home school. WE really (emfasis on the really) wanted to go to public shchool and make friends! Oh well.
I find myself shopping when I'm sad... I think I've passed it along to the children: We went shopping! More legos and scooters. It is a terrible habit!
The Prez took us to dinner. Pizza. It was amazing! I think that is the other thing I do when I am sad... Heaven help me if I pass that along to the kids. I used to run... why don't I do that any more?

Things I learned today:
1) Aunt cindy told me it would take 2 weeks to get home sick. Tomorrow marks 2 weeks for us. I learned that she is right about EVERYTHING! I already knew I loved her, but I love her more today!
2) Elder Basha told us that the 1st thing that people miss about home is the food. I can't even tell you how true that is! Aunt Cindy had advised me to bring foods from home to help with homesickness... Right again!
3) McKay gets homesick. He is so adventurous and happy that I didn't even realize he gets homesick... but he said he would do anything to hang with Grandpa, Ikey and Preston today. Poo!
4) If you have 3 scooters in your grocery cart EVERYONE at the store stares at you. It is like wearing a sign that says, "I AM A FOREIGNER. PLEASE STARE!"
5) You can't go to school if you don't speak the language? Why the $%*@ don't we have this policy in the United States? SERIOUSLY FOLKS... it blows for the man who doesn't speak... but this is a good thing!

*** Disclaimer... I type fast and i don't always spell my words right because I use spell checker... Spell checker hasn't worked on my blog for a while... so I realize that I have major errors in spelling... Sometimes I even go back and correct them because they bug me so bad... Please forgive.

Day 12

We went for a little walk to explore the surrounding of our house and down this little path we found a park! A HUGE park!
With a cool hill for sleigh riding after the snow flies

and fun playground equipment, a ping pong table, soccer goals and basketball courts... and lots of room to run and ride bikes or scooters. It is landlocked by apartment buildings all around it which is why I don't think we had ever driven past it.
Sophie and Julie, two of the cutest 10 year old girls, rode up on their scooters to introduce themselves to Bailey and asked her to play with them. They tried so hard to talk English and did an amazing job!

This morning at 10 Brother Mecham met with President Robert Zelewski (who was baptized in Mesa, AZ 21 years ago by Brother Finnlinson of the Mesa Central stake) who extended a call to be the branch President of our little Lublin branch. He set him apart after sacrament mtg. Talk about efficiency! Elder Plumb was delighted that he was released! The Elders downloaded Prez for several hours tongiht... then to thank them I fed them burned on the outside and goo in the middle skookies with vanilla ice cream that didn't taste quite right.

Things I was again reminded of today:

The tender mercies shown to our family on every level have been magnificant. Having two little girls come find Bailey at the park nearly brought me to tears. I know parents and grandparent, alike, have spent much time praying for her friends to appear.

Something I learned today:

Sister Gladun has 7 callings in our branch. They aren't light callings. Next time I feel like complaining about my one calling I will think of faithful Sister Gladun and put my head down and get to work.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Days 10 and 11

Baptism day is a big day for anyone, anywhere in the world... But we are used to baptism day being in a church in a font. Here in Lublin, we went to a baptism and it wasn't in a font. It was a big deal for many reasons but for the hard working missionaries in Lublin, it was special since there have only been 2 baptisms in this branch in 3 years. I have to say, it was cool! And I was grateful my children were able to see and be a part of it. We are thankful for strong stakes and wards and for Sundays where sacrament mtg is so full and benches are crowded!

Picture of missionaries, elder Plumb from St. George, UT and elder Basha from Arizona, nate and Lukus.

Nate and Lukus coming out of the lake after baptism. Nate baptized Lukus in Polish. He was so nervous to do it but he did a great job! Lukus said he was "so full of happy!" This is the official spot where Cole can look forward to baptism in April. BRRR!

Elder Plumb, Mecham boys and Lukus (which his name in Polish sounds like Wookash Piotr Skorkievich... that isn't the spelling though.)

Elder Bashs and Lukus

Friends from the branch who were also at the baptism. The Guadun's (x3), Arthur (had a sweet Harley!) Basia, and the 3 Taiwanese students who just got back for school. The elders bought cookies and juice for a little treat afterwards.

At the lake there was a whole lot of fishen going on! Two girls rode up on gray horses in full riding gear: boots and hats, riding pants... and they looked so cute!

Things I learned today:
1) the washing machine finally arrived and I can't read anything on it because it's in Polish... but I learned that it takes 2 hours to wash one load and I can't run the washer and dryer at the same time because it trips the fuse.
2) the dryer is actually a dehumidifyer. I am grateful for it anyway since not many Europeans have a dryer. Because it is a dehumidifyer, I not only clean the lint screen but I also dump the water collected out of the clothing.
3) Nate makes amazing tortillas. The Mexican's on his job crew taught him... bless them!
Day 10
Sleep deprivation has officially kicked our trash! Today we were home bound... fighting off naps and wishing for bed times! All of us! McKay did find some time to play his favorite; army guys. He and Cole are loving putting together their new U.S. army legos that we found at the Real store. Real loves us... or atleast they should... we show up every day, buy their groceries, check out their toys since we left all of ours in AZ and then leave with Lody on a cone. I have no clue how much money I am spending in their store yet... I just know I go there every day!

Tonight we had Polish class... insert my gratitude for my 3 years of Russian in high school here... Polish is HARD! But so was Russian! And so tonight I found myself digging deep into the holes of my brain and pulling out some recollection of the foreign language of my choice back in high school. Conjegations, plurals, masculine, femanine, neuter... etc... I am in no way good at Polish: NOT EVEN CLOSE! but it was sure fun to learn language again! The kids were in one class with Elder Basha and the adults were in another class with Elder Plumb! It was awesome! I was surprised at how close a few of the words are to Russian. They are probably the only ones I will ever remember.

Things I learned today:
1) there is an app for my phone that can translate what I am saying from English to Polish and speak it to the person I am talking to. (this is not good for learning Polish.)
2) If you pay for "transport" when you purchase furniture in Poland that literally only means transport. It does not mean that your furniture will be brought up to your house... just to the front yard. If you want it inside then its more $. And that still doesn't mean it will be put together for you... that would, of course, cost more money. Another reason I love the Promised land.
3) Garbage day is Friday. Its a new thing for our street. thank heaven! Before now Nate had to take it to work with him and dispose of it. bless the garbage man. I forgot today was garbage day though:(

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 9 Return to Majdanek

This post might be a little graphic... but I took my kids so I figured it was pretty much ok to post. I did take a few pics with the kids in them and I hated how that sounded... "stand there and smile for the picture!" Almost like I was mocking... So I stopped that and now you have pictures of Majdanek just as I saw them. I have read the history and the holocaust books... but nothing compares to seeing it first hand. The pics won't do it justice... the smell of the barraks was aweful... I could taste it for hours. There was even a shrine room that was too disturbing for our liking... and so we skipped that one.
Majdanek was a death camp.

It is HUGE! Yesterday I posted with a picture of the memorial at the front. It was big! I stood on the road about 1/4 of the way and took a picture looking toward that big memorial and to the end where the dome is. It took us over 3 hours to walk around it.

The outer parimeter is single lined barbed wire fencing. However, the barraks were double barbed fencing to ensure that the prisoners wouldn't escape at night. Lights out @ 9 up for work at 5... Guards on watch 24 hours.

Artifacts taken from the prisoners were mostly books, especially religious books, jewelry, mirrors, brushes and anything they really had. The children's dolls and toys were also taken. One of the dolls had its eyes removed because they were valuable.

Some of those who were murdered at Majdanek.

Paperwork on every adult was documented. None of the kids were ever documented. They mostly exterminated them right away since they couldn't work much.

Road going to the women's barraks. The women and men were seperated by double barbed wire fencing

Mens barraks with signage.
The beds were huge! They were built like 3 story bunkbeds... as long as my back yard in Arizona. They lined the outer walls and one running down the middle of the row. They were designed for 250 people but at some times housed as many as 500... People sleeping on top of, next to and crowded by each other... and even some on the floors.
The children's barraks weren't as big. Again, the kids weren't there long.

The signage at Majdanek was all over. They did a good job giving information and sometimes even telling stories of some of the prisoners.

These huge concrete tubs were filled with disinfectant solution. The prisoners were required to bath here before they showered. Their clothing was then taken from them. Their new clothes were worn for 2-3 weeks, no showers and then they were able to change.

showers came after the tubs but they were all in the same room. The prisoner's heads were shaved here and the hair was sold for making felt. The shower room was about as big as my family room in Mesa.

Just beyond the showers was the gas chamber. A big concrete room with a metal door and a viewing room for the soldiers to watch the prisoners from. The "ss officers" would feed gas in until the job was done.

These autopsy tables were in the crematorium and the gas houses. Before the prisoners were put in the ovens they were serched for valuable items including gold fillings, etc. They were removed and put in a "loot" room and sometimes sold.

The crematorium was mostly how the people's bodies were disposed of in this camp. It allowed for more space in the camp.

This dome is a gigantic Urn full of ash and bone fragment easily viewed by people touring Majdanek. It is placed on the execution spot of 17,000 Jews... all murded the same day.

This casket like urn is in the crematorium

These are like the urns that the Nazi's would send back to families... offering their loved ones ashes for a hefty price. As if they hadn't already taken everything from them... It was horrifying to think of.

I know that is long... it was intense. There were no less than 15 bus loads of Jewish youth and leaders from Israel visiting with us. The camp was so massive that most of the time we were still alone. We toured most buildings all by ourselves. Perhaps that gives some tangible insight on really how big Majdanek is.

I didn't realize how many consentation and death camps there were. Literally... dozens! They were mostly here in Poland, however, many in Germany and Russia. Majdanek is on the main road to Russia. It is very visible from the road and has (and had) housing butting up next to it. It makes me want to research why the heck this went on while in such visible view.

Thoughts during my visit:
1) Would I have died trying to get out? I think I would have... but surely many of these people were trying.
2) How could anyone ever say this didn't happen?
3) What can I tell my children tonight?

I am more thankful for a complete understanding of life after death. I am grateful for a merciful Heavenly Father. I am grateful that I don't have to sort through that mess upon judgement day.

On a more upbeat note... Something I learned frome Poland today:
vanilla here is not real or extract... rather it is flavoring. It made our buttermilk syrup not taste totally yummy.

I'm calling in a favor for friends back home...
Elder Basha was here for dinner tonight (we have an "open door" policy for the missionaries and they hardly ever have dinner invites so we eat with them quite often! If you want to be a well fed missionary you better hope for a call to Poland, Lublin!) and we chatted about him pulling some strings with grandpa Basha to get all our friends in AZ some jogobella yogurt. This stuff is amazing... I will cry when I leave Poland because I can't take it home. You would cry too. It's worth the tears. Bless jogobella yogurt...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 8

Today I paid for the lack of sleep last night. Mckay woke me up at 10! CRAZY! haven't done that in forever... I got up, cleaned the house (which isn't very dirty since we only have clothes to mess it up with!) and got ready for the day. Then 2 hours later Bailey got up. Yep... NOON! That is unlike her in every way! This sleep modification process is strange.
We had planned to finish our tour of the Majdanek... but the kids were ready for a break. They actually wanted to sit around and do not much of anything... and play with friends. Problem #1... They don't have friends yet... And so they played with each other and that was good enough for a lazy day around the Polish house.
I did go to the grocery store... It's a daily ritual! I planned to spend a lot of time there... and i did. I was able to see what is really there and pretend to read labels in Polish and decifer what the picture was! I left with a hefty cart full of goods to include a straightener with European plugs and a waffle iron. Breakfast for dinner tomorrow night.
Everyone stares at me. Not with a lustful look... but rather a disgusted look as to say, "why is she buying so much?" Nobody around here shops with food storage or emergency preparedness in mind at all! They even point! All I can say is that it is a good thing that I have a great self esteem... I would be in a world of hurt if I didn't. Seriously!
The missionaries joined us for dinner again tonight. We ate stirfry surprise... pleasantly surprised considering I grabbed stir fry packets with nice pictures on them and then had the missionaries tell me what they said and how to prepare. They came over to teach Mr. Mecham the baptismal prayer in Polish. Nate is baptizing Lukus in Polish on Saturday... in a lake. Pretty Cool!
Today I learned:
1) europeans don't fill their grocery carts... Most of them only need a carry basket for all their goods.
2) Kids need a break from the running a sight seeing... I didn't think that would ever happen.
3) My internet connection here stinks. They promised to come out tomorrow and get us a new modem. Hopefully!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 7... One week already

I can hardly believe we left good old Phoenix sky Harbor a whole week ago. It feels like yesterday...
Today was beautiful agian! It was nice and warm... but definately not too hot! We opted to chill around the house this morning. The kids wanted to talk to grandparents and friends. Then we ate lunch on the deck in celebration of summer! It was pretty much a short order house around here today. The bees ruined lunch. As soon as they smelt McKay's strawberry water they decided to join us... I tried to convince the kids that Polish bees don't sting, but they aren't stupid and therefore didn't believe me.
After lunch we took off to go to the Majdanek death camp which is located only 20 minutes from the house... if you know where you are going. But if you don't know where you are going then it may or may not be more like 1 hour away. So I just took pictures on the way. I can't decide if I love that people have their home on top of stores or not... but they do. And I think I kinda think its cool. So I took a picture to give an idea. Stores along the sidewalk downstairs, and apartments upstairs. Most buildings are like this. Its kinda weird when you walk downtown to go shopping and when you look up you see a man in his unders standing on the balcony. Just saying... its not like back home. I think it might take some getting used to.

This is a far view of the Majdanek memorial. It is HUGE! The camp is massive! You are driving along down this beautiful tree lined road and then out of no where there is a huge open field and a massive memorial! It is obvious what it is as you look out over the open field.

You pull in through a narrow barbed wire gate to park... or you may drive through it. The camp is definately that big! Majdanek was a death camp, which was different from the concentration camps, and is one of the most intact camps today. The German's didn't have quite enough time to dispose of it like they would've like to. It really is quite depressing.

The guard towers line the road way. The fences are still up. We got there later than we had hoped and so we didn't get to see very much before it closed. Bummer. We will be finishing our tour tomorrow. I will take more pics then. We literally barely got to the surface before we had to leave. I can't even describe how massive this place is.

Picture of the kids in front of the memorial gives and idea of how big the memorial really is.

After spending much of the day getting lost and then later in the afternoon at the Majdanek, I didn't want to make dinner and eat at 8:00 p.m. again. That gets old quick! So we went to dinner at Dulce Vita. It is the yummiest Italian food ever! Elders Plumb and Basha joined us. They were in Warsaw all day and so they hadn't eaten yet either. Plumb said he had eaten all the kabobs he wanted so he chose Italian and I was so happy he did. My spinach lasagna was amazing! Those guys are so fun to hang out with. Elder Basha reminds me of one of my fav people, Scott Holt. I get a huge kick out of him. I think he probably thinks I'm nuts because when he is talking I stare at him... it trips me out how much he talks like Scott. His manerisms are the same. It feels like Home sweet home! Plus I love his mother... she is a hoot!

Things I learned today:
1) Polish bees sting too
2) Death camps are very sombering
3) Today, the Polish people hate the Russians more than the Germans
4) Many of the Polish people were murdered along with the Jews. The Pols did not like what was going on and because of it, when they stood up for themselves they were taken out also.

Monday, August 22, 2011

day 6

Today Mr. Mecham was back at work. As soon as I got my cell phone registered so that I had phone numbers to call when I got lost, the kids and I went to lunch. We decided to get lost in Lublin! We found our way down town... luckily the kids reminded me that they are much smarter than I am and navigated us perfectly! Once down town we found parking... but it isn't free on weekdays. I was quickly reminded that I do not speak Polish. The nice man who was taking money for parking didn't speak English. He thought I was dutch... so he found somebody to translate for me in dutch. I don't speak Dutch... but appearantly I look Dutch. Luckily a man on the sidewalk translated in English to tell me that he would be willing to allow me to pay when I got back. So off we went. I immediately got on the phone with mr. Mecham who was hard at work. I reminded him I had no money and inquired where to go... which he started to tell me... we laughed pretty hard at how confused i must have looked! Not even 30 seconds after I hung up the phone, I turned around to see Elders Basha and Plumb walking toward me. I have NEVER enjoyed a familiar face so much in my life! What are the chances that I would run into somebody I know in downtown Lublin, right when I needed somebody most?! I call that tender mercys. It reminded me that we have a kind Heavenly Father who is mindful of EVERYTHING that is going on. The missionaries said they saw me from the McDonald's window and they thought I might need help. They took me to get money, then back to my car to pay for parking. I would have been in a world of hurt, probably terribly ripped off, and could've even had my car towed if they had not been there to translate and help me. Honestly... they were guardian angels today and I will forever be thankful for their goodness.
I asked the kids if they wanted something Polish to try for lunch... Cole said, "we havn't tried Subway!" Bailey reminded him that we eat Subway all the time at home. His reply, "we haven't had Polish Subway!" Funny kid. So Subway it was. And we actually found out that the spicey Italian meat tastes different here than it does in good old America.
After lunch we headed through down town on foot. We wanted to take it all in... and we had paid for 3 hours of parking! Plenty of time. It was warm outside. 81 degrees today. HEAT WAVE! At the end of down town is the Lublin castle. We had to see it!

The castle bridge looking back at downtown Lublin

Front of the Lublin castle

Side of the Lublin Castle taken from the park. It is huge!

Castle park arch entrance. The park was wide open with big huge trees everywhere! It was beautiful! And everything is soooo green.

The park toys were so old school. It was like taking a step back in time! The kids thought it was great because they haven't really seen those kind of park toys before! But I remember them from River Heights elementry school! An old metal merry go round. A teeter totter and a old swings. They did have a more modern climbing toy. But the kids were drawn to the old stuff! I laughed when mcKay quickly figured out that if he hopped off the teeter totter the other end would go down with a boom! And so he joyfully played with Bailey until he was at the bottom and then he bailed... leaving her to fall... and then he laughed and laughed. Gotta love brothers! The kids met some little boys from England and they were so happy to talk to somebody in English! I loved their little British accents. They were so blasted cute!

over looking downtown from the park. It is so pretty!

we got lost on the way home. Bailey and Mckay figured out how to work the navigation on my phone. I am having a hard time figuring out my gps so I used my phone navigation. We got home and in the house right before a black cloud moved in and it poured rain! Lightening would strike with immediate thunder! I thought it would come in my kitchen window! But it didn't last long. And then a big old rainbow appeared right out the front door. Again, a reminder of Heavenly Father's love for us. We were happy to be home.

Things I learned today:
1) water costs 1,50 unless you don't speak Polish and then its 2, 50.
2) my children are better at finding our way around than I am
3) I am going to love hauling my kids around and getting lost
4) I love the missionaries more than I realized... and to show my gratitude offered them an open invite to dinner. Which reminds me that I need to send them the menue for the week.
5) I got ripped off again... and I learned that I want to know Polish more today than yesterday and so Rosetta and I are getting ooober comfy starting tomorrow morning!

my internet connection was fixed today. My video phone is working beautifully if you would like to make a local call from the united states you may now do so. we have had to use Skype for a few days... and I couldn't be more thankful to have my phone back... It reminds me how bad I think Skype blows!

Day 5

This morning we went to church for the first time in Lublin. Wow! Coming from Mesa central stake... it is fair to say that even though I was expecting different, that would be an understatement. The blessing of strong stakes is far beyond what I ever comprehended. The church is in an old building like an office space. At the front door you ding a bell and the door opens to a concrete entry with office doors on either side. It smells like smoke. (Who was it that said, "the best smell at church is that of cigarette smoke?) You walk up a concrete set of stairs to more office doors and enter the little open one with a white piece of laminated paper saying "the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints" in Polish. Once inside there was a kitchen off to the left about half the size of my house kitchen in Mesa. The Sacrament mtg room was about as big as Bailey's bedroom in Mesa with a podium, table that had one bread and on water tray, about 15 chairs and a keyboard. Elder Plumb, the senior missionary, is the branch President who presides over and conducts every mtg. There was also a bathroom and one other classroom and the elder's office. The kids were all given a Book of Mormon in Polish and we sang our hymns in Polish... funny. Today was a busy day at church. There were 2 missionaries, our family of 5, a visiting couple with 2 kids, Marline and Sabastian, Lukus (the investigator who will be baptized on saturday in a lake. Nate gets to do the honors since he was there when Lukus accepted the invitation to be baptized) lacey and Troy Potter, and a Ukrainian lady that I didn't know and brother and Sister Guadoon and Mikial. 20 people! And that is double what it normally is. Yeah! We had sacrament mtg and sunday school and everyone was joined together. Yep... even the kids.
Things I learned at church:
1) even if you are a visitor you might be asked to speak. That's right... Elona was visiting from Canada (Native Polish) and she was the speaker in Sacrament mtg.
2) I think it will be hard to give a talk that has to be translated in to Polish by Elder Plumb. LOST train of thought.
3) The Polish members in Lublin are pioneering the church in Poland and they are very strong and faithful people.
4) My children could answer all the questions in Sunday school. this gives you and idea of the basic level we teach on out here. No Michelle Ayalla deep doctorine like I love... back to basics. It is very strange.
5) Appearantly I can now wear tank tops and slacks to church so long as I have on high heel pumps, but I can no longer drink coke because its against the word of wisdome! We were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdressed in our Sunday duds.

After church we drove to Chelm (pronounced HELM) to see nate's office. He is back to work tomorrow. It is about a 45 min drive to the Ukrain boarder where he works.

He works in a place where the Polish people worked on a cement plant during communism. It was still there but old and run down. we also saw Ancient rail cars that were used at that time! The plant isn't currently in use so it is very run down... but they've built a new one. It is just around the bend from the old one and doesn't look much cleaner... just not as run down!

nate's office is small. Portable... since this job is a temporary site for Dome.

We also did a little drive through Chelm to see some of the many Cathedrals that stand majestically over the tree line. They are beautiful buildings and were hopping today with all the worshiping Catholics. It is nice to see a religiou people. The Pols are very religious and steeped in their traditions. So much so that they are very difficult to share the gospel with.

In Chelm we stopped so I could meet Joanna (the secretary at Dome who helps all the Americans! She speaks beautiful English... Bless her!) I loved Joanna. She was at the park with her 2 year old son. The park was down a one lane pitted dirt road. It had a fish restaraunt with a lake next to it. Quite nice! On the way out we pulled to the side to let somebody go by and landed in a pit and gave the car a little damage. Mr. Mecham remembered the Sabbath and chose nice words to say but there was steam shooting from his ears. Good times.
the drive was fun. we got home late and ate dinner at 10:00. Lame! We had spaghetti... remember the story about the grocery store? Yeah... the sauce we bought wasn't good. It was sweet. And we were starving so we ate it anyway... I need to find spices and tomatoes quick if we want that meal again!
Things I learned on my drive to chelm:
1)The country out here is amazing! Rolling green hills with beautiful homes and churches placed throughout.
2) Many of the famers were harvesting hay with a rake, pitchfork and horse drawn wagon. It felt like a step back in time.
3) Storks aren't as big as I pictured them. And they are just about to make their big winter migration back to Africa until next spring.
4) Communism wasn't long ago. There are traces of it everywhere. Kinda crazy.

I can now say Hello, Goodbye, Thankyou, and ice cream in Polish. I think its time to pull out Rosetta.