Sunday, September 13, 2015

Thoughts and Some Facts about Poland

*There are 38, 443, 967 people in Poland.  The size of Poland is slightly smaller than the state of New Mexico.

*There are 1,821 total LDS church members, fourteen LDS branches, no LDS wards, no LDS temple, and only 1 mission (Poland Warsaw Mission) with 62 current missionaries and 5 couples for the entire country. (Being called to serve here while comprehending these stats seem daunting and honestly a little bit terrifying. However, something I prayed for when I received my call was that I would feel love for the people and the place. As I continue to research about Poland I fall more and more in love with it. Poland and its people have been through a lot but continue to fight. I hope to only share happiness.) 

*The dominate religion is Catholic - 90%.

*Formal name:  Republic of Poland.

*Three people you may recognize from Poland:  Catholic Pope John Paul II, Composer Fredric Chopin and scientist Nicholaus Copernicus.

*They are part of the European Union but do not trade with the Euro.  Their currency is the zloty.

*The Polish anthem was composed in Italy where the Polish troops were fighting  on the side of Napolean.

*Poland was the only European country which NEVER officially collaborated with the Nazis at any level, and no Polish units fought alongside the Nazi army. Poland never officially surrendered to Germany, and the Polish Resistance movement in German-occupied Poland during World War II was the largest resistance movement in Europe.

*The name Poland is from the word Polska which is derived from the word "pole" or "field."

*Brief history lesson to better paint the picture of how strong the polish people are. In 1772 the Polish people lost their independence to Russia and watched as their country was portioned off among Prussia, Russia, and Austria. They didn’t regain their independence until 1918, however the polish people never lost hope. They had such a deep love and patriotism for their country that they continued to keep the language and traditions alive. 
However, again the polish people faced hardships with World War II.  With the invasion of Nazis, six million Polish citizens died during that war. They again lost their country to communism shortly after the war and did not become a democracy until 1989. 
Everything Poland went through just made its people stronger and more patriotic. That fact that they prevailed all this hardship and persevered tells me they are a people of mighty heart. 
(I picture them sitting around family tables, discussing their plan of action and why their heritage and traditions meant so much to them. I’m sure there was a great amount of love that fueled their desire to keep it alive. They loved one another, they loved their country, and they loved their culture. It was worth fighting for. 

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