Monday, May 7, 2012

Arrival in Berlin

Our last couple of days at the MTC were just as full as the first days were. We were taught about teaching the gospel in seminary and institute. It isn't the same as teaching In school. You teach principles of the Gospel with love and by the spirit. The last Sunday's devotional featured Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Council of The Twelve Apostles. Of course, all of the missionaries stood as he and his wife entered. It was silent and reverent. He spoke about nine things that all missionaries should include in their missions. We have them in our notes and will talk about them when we have more time (not sure that happens.) The flight over was like most except for our a one hour plus delay on the tarmac at Chicago which put making our flight from London to Berlin in jeopardy. The William's couple missed their flight to France and we left the Capece couple so rapidly once we were inside Heathrow airport that we never discovered whether they made their flight.

Sister Frank: 

When we arrived in Berlin on Saturday, April 28, President and Sister Pimentel met us at the airport.  We visited with them until we got to the mission home where they told us to take a 2-hour nap while they picked up another missionary couple who had taken the train from Frankfurt.  The other couple was Elder and Sister Smith.  The Smith's are from Provo, Utah, but Sister Smith is from Germany and they met while he was serving in the military in Germany.  After meeting them, we went to the mission office (located a short drive from the mission home) and signed several documents needed for our visas.
Sister Pimentel made lunch for all of us at their home and then both Sister and President Pimentel took us to the hotel where we were staying, until our temporary assignments were made.  The rooms were wonderful and the smorgasbord breakfasts were beautifully displayed and delicious.  On Sunday morning, we went to the Lankwitz Gemeinde (Ward), where we were introduced to all of the mitglieders (ward members), as the newest missionary couples.  Everyone was very friendly and outgoing.  The ward is small, but the meetings were great.  Although I couldn't understand everything that was said, I got the gist of the meetings and the spirit was really wonderful.  Elder Frank was asked to say the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting, a great opportunity for him to use his Deutsch.  Afterwards Elder and Sister Gibson, the office couple, took us to their home for lunch and we took a little walk to see the little garden homes.  They look like a tiny cabins or homes with flowers and vegetable gardens, but are all laid out in small plots in miniature neighborhoods.   Later on they took us back to the mission home where President and Sister Pimentel had a great dinner prepared.  (Does it sound like we were fed enough?)   Then the High Priest Quorum from Lankwitz came to the mission home for a fireside.  The ladies sat in the President's office and visited while fireside took place.
The Pimentels are so busy, but manage to do everything that is necessary to take care of the 200 missionaries.  They are so dedicated!  After that, they took us back to the hotel for the evening.  Did I mention that we were exhausted from jet lag?  We were.  It felt so good to fall asleep, but then we awakened just a couple of hours later because we had not adjusted to the time difference.

Pres. & Sister Pimentel seated in Mission home
Elder Frank:

The hotel was very nice and had an extraordinary breakfast buffet each morning as Sister Frank mentioned.

I'll also mention a couple of things about church at the Lankwitz ward.  What a great experience for both of us.  After so many years it was nice to begin with a ward house that had been constructed while I was serving my first mission in Berlin.  Missionaries in the area had helped in the construction and we all participated in the dedication.  It is still a beautiful chapel and the members were so warm and considerate.  They welcomed us and even asked if I would give the closing prayer sacrament meeting.  Later, that day  we went to the Gibson's who are working in the mission home and had us over for lunch.  They work long hours trying to take care of all the missionaries and their needs.  The Smith's were also with us.  They were in the MTC with us and were also coming to Berlin with us.  They have since been assigned to help the members near Rostock in northern Germany.

Elder Frank:
Monday, once again, we had a huge smorgasbord breakfast before leaving for our first real missionary work.  First we went to what President Pimentel calls the "Mauer" dedication.  He takes all new missionaries on a small road not far from the mission home and stop near a large wooded area and field.  

After walking along a trail for a few minutes we came to a deserted road beyond which was another field.  I knew it was where the border between East Germany and West Berlin had once existed. "Mauer" means wall, and Pres. Pimentel likes to bring missionaries to a particular spot in the woods near where the border between East and West once existed.  There we all take turns reading parts of Pres. Monson's dedicatory  prayer given after the Berlin wall had come down.  He then sends us out to find a spot and offer a prayer dedicating our own missions to the Lord.  
Our prayer was a continuation of many prayers we have offered over the last few months.  We are committed to serving however and wherever the Lord wants us to.
My thoughts went back 47 years.  Together with several companions and over the course of two and a half years, I had been around a lot of Berlin looking at the wall and the border areas wondering about the people living beyond the borders and wall of concrete, barbed wire, mine fields, guard dogs, and guard towers.  Now, I was back again to spread the gospel my eternal companion.  Wow, what a tremendously humbling and spiritual feeling
Sister Frank:
After our “Mauer” dedication it didn’t take long for us to get started on our first assignment.  It was a service project where we helped a member sister who was catering a 30th wedding anniversary party.   She is a cook by profession and wow did I learn a lot about making a fruit tray look beautiful.  I also learned how to make deviled eggs with ketchup and mustard--it doesn't taste any better than it sounds, but the Deutch people seem to like it.  While there we met and talked to other members, all helping each other and wanting to know all about us.  It made us feel  very welcome.  By the end of the day, we were plenty worn out--still on US time.  

We were three days in a hotel and and that was enough. Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m., the other office couple Elder and Sister Williams came with President and Sister Pimentel to take us to our temporary apartment in Dahlem.
Great breakfast!

Using the Chapel & Overflow for the reception
Pres. & Sister Pimentel with Sister Stolze.
She was mastermind of food.
Spandau Church - helping members prepare reception food.
At the "Mauer" Our Mission Dedication

Nancy in front of our hotel in Lankwitz

Gibson's apt. with Smith's, and us.
Some of the food for the reception.  Baptismal font in rear.

Too much food- stored in baptismal font
Sister Pimentel and son (Mike)



  1. I hope I get to stay in that hotel and eat that delicious breakfast buffet if I ever make it to Germany again someday! That's the life!!! :)

    Sounds like quite an adventure so far! Glad you got a little rest at least when you first arrived, but I bet that hasn't happened again so far... :)

    You both look great! LOVE looking at pictures and reading stories, thanks for making the time to share your experience with us!

    Love you both!

  2. Glad I checked again!!! Sounds like the Pimentels are wonderful. The spirit is so strong in your letters and I love it!

  3. I'll check again in a half hour too!
    P.S. I think it only fair that you each have a picture posted with your eyes shut! :)

  4. I spoke to President Pimentel last week in a phone call for work. I told him I was your sister-in-law. He said he had just spent 3 days with you and that you are both wonderful. He is impressed with how well you, especially Nancy, are speaking German! Happy to be able to read about your experiences.

  5. It's so great to read your updates. I'm glad you have been able to slip in a post here and there. I can only imagine how busy you must be. I know you are being blessed for your willingness to serve. Deviled eggs with ketchup and mustard? Interesting. I love you both!!

  6. As the others have mentioned, you both look great! You have the countenances of eager and devoted missionaries--and possibly a hint of fatigue j/k :-). Great photos. You know, it's great hearing about the meals you're preparing for others as part of your service assignment. It reminded me that many of the stories of the Savior's ministry occurred while he "supped" with disciples. We love you, and the kids were excited to see these updates. We're keeping you in our prayers! - Tim & Nicole

  7. It is great to see you both and read that you are both now fluent in German. J/K We feel the blessings that come from you serving the Lord. James came home from school the other day and told me he had a great day at school. He said it was because his grandparents were in Germany on mission. We love you both and hope that you can get a little more rest. Sure right? I remember the exhaustion of some days on my mission. But the spirit and happiness that come from serving helps sustain you through those times. Thanks for being such great examples to us.
    Love, Nicole

  8. Hi Mom and Dad! Great posts from both of are great too! The Mauer experience sounds so spiritually uplifting and memorable. We can't wait to talk to you. Hopefully the internet connectivity is getting better for you. We love you and pray for you daily. Love Ben Beth and kids.

  9. Excellent posts. I know you are doing valuable work. I love stories like your Mauer experience. I bet every day has similar experiences. You both look very happy. We hope to talk to you soon. Love Jon and Larissa


About Us

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Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
We have been called to serve the Lord in Germany as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (sometimes referred to as the Mormons). We are witnesses to the Savior, Jesus Christ, who has blessed our lives in every way. We hope to help others in their efforts to find true joy and happiness in their lives and in the lives of their families.