Urzula Adamska is a modern-day pioneer.
Sister Adamska, a missionary serving in the Washington Tacoma Mission, is the first missionary to have been called from her homeland of Poland. As such, her name will likely go down in Church history as the gospel rolls forward in that eastern European country.But the desire for fame is not what stimulated Sister Adamska to accept the gospel three years ago in Warsaw and to answer a mission call two years after that.
"I felt the Spirit the first time I attended Church," Sister Adamska said in a Church News interview. And it was that Spirit, bearing witness of the gospel, that brought such a momentous change to her life.
At the time of the interview on Sept. 21, she was on special assignment for the Church Translation Services Division in Salt Lake City. She spoke in fluent English, even though she only started to learn the language during her three weeks at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.
An elementary school teacher by profession, she was working at a summer job guiding school children on a tour when she met and was impressed by a Church member who was working at a travel agency.
They struck up a friendship, and he introduced her to a missionary couple serving in Poland. During the second missionary lesson, she was impressed that it was right for her to be baptized. She recognized that feeling again a couple of days later at a fast and testimony meeting as she listened to members testify of the truthfulness of the gospel.
"I really felt something special," she said. "It was the Holy Ghost, although I didn't know what to call it at the time."
During this period her study of the Bible convinced her that her own religion did not have the full truth. "I decided to pray about it, and after the prayer, I had a really strong answer. I knew that Heavenly Father answered my prayer. He's really close to me."
She said she then felt an anxiety to be baptized as soon as possible for fear that an accident or some other event would prevent her baptism. Ten days later the baptism did occur.
Sister Adamska said she experienced a difficult couple of months immediately following her baptism, in part due to opposition from her family, and she became somewhat inactive. One day she decided she needed to start attending Church again.
It was then that she met two young elders who had been called as missionaries in Poland. During a vacation, she visited with them during a teaching appointment, and was touched by the experience.
The missionaries later told their mission president, Dennis B. Neuenschwander of the Austria Vienna East Mission (which included Poland at the time), about Sister Adamska. On a subsequent trip to Warsaw for a conference, Pres. Neuenschwander asked her to consider serving a mission. She left on her mission 10 months later.
"It has been wonderful," she said. "I'm so glad I made the decision to go. I have learned so much, and it's just wonderful to be able to serve other people."
The Church in Poland has made great progress in a short time, she said, adding that there were fewer than 100 members when she left on her mission. While she has been gone that number has increased to more than 200 members in four cities. She said she looks forward to serving in the Church when she returns home, adding that her patriarchal blessing promises that one day Poland will have a stake, and she will be able to serve in a ward and stake in Poland.
Sister Adamska expressed a fervent testimony of Christ and the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith and President Ezra Taft Benson, and emphasized her love for her Heavenly Father.