Saturday, June 23, 2012

Three Weeks "Kurz und Gut" (in a Nutshell)

        June in Kiel is starting to warm up a little. So has our work load. We seem to be behind in many things. We have a long list of Young Adults we need to visit and encourage; we have paper work (reports) to catch up on; our car needs attention (it really needs more than attention… probably a new transmission to starters); and, we have a couple of large young adult summer activities to help with. Among other things we are behind on is our Blog. So in order to make up time, Sister Frank and I decided to give a quick look–short and to the point– of three weeks with a few photos thrown in. In reality, saying less might be just what some of you would prefer. So here goes.
June 3 – 9
Kronshagen Home
        A short seven minutes out of midtown Kiel lies a beautiful, quiet suburb called Kronshagen. That’s where we played house during the first week of June when we had any extra time. The apartment is small, but is on the first floor and is very comfortable for us. Here are some smaller photos: (Our’s is in the middle in the shade of the trees.)
Yes, that is the washing machine right next to the oven. The refrigerator “kuhlschrank” is on the far right and
covered by the cabinet door in the middle. It is very small, but adequate, since we don’t keep much in it.
This is our kitchen table and that is a real orchid on the table which Ben and Bethany and family sent me for Mother’s Day. The climate here is perfect for growing orchids and you see them in many home and apartment windows. In Germany, Father’s day is the following Sunday. I didn’t do any decorating so the things on the shelf were put there by someone else. I’’m going to change it. The tablecloth is hand-embroidered and is really beautiful, but not practical so we bought another that is much easier to take care of.
The beds here all have feder deckes or down comforters on them. But no one (not even in the hotels) puts one large fetter deck on the beds. Each person has their own. It’s really nice because there are no fights over who has most of the covers.
        Our living is the largest room in the house and has two desks (like the one on the left) for studying, blogging, or whatever.
I know the yellow box sitting by the hutch really adds a lot to the ambience of the room, but we keep our newspaper ads and clean papers there because we have so much sorting of garbage to do. Glass goes into recycling bins. One for clear and another for colored glass. Bio or garbage that can be composted goes into another trash bin, plastic or metal food containers into another and any other trash into another. Plastic soda bottles have a deposit that is paid when you purchase them and refunded when they are returned. Oh, and by the way, you need to bring your own bags for groceries (similar to the ones at the grocery stores at home) as they do not have brown paper bags or thin plastic bags. They are so ecologically minded! I can’t remember if I told about the time in Berlin when we purchased toilet paper and forgot to bring our bag and ended up walking about 4 blocks holding a big package of toilet paper, but no big deal, right?
Dinners with Members
        One of the first things we discovered about being a missionary in Kiel was that Sunday means distant meetings and dinners with members. Though our Young Adult Center is in Kiel, our ward is about twenty minutes away in a suburb called Neumeimersdorf. We have the normal three hour block schedule, but usually we spend another hour after meeting talking to members and visitors who may be there. Then we are off (usually taking the sister missionaries with us) to dinner at a member’s home. There is a list in the foyer where each week a family has signed up to feed the two senior missionaries, the two elders and the two sisters. We didn’t realize that we would be fed until a couple of weeks into the routine and a sister pointed out the list as we were about to leave for home and our first Sunday meal in our apartment. These meals are great blessings to us and a great sacrifice to the members. We have watched with amazement at the amount of food necessary to feed the six of us and the families who eat with us. Their homes are vey nice but smaller in scale than many of the homes in our South Jordan neighborhood. Nonetheless, we have all sat around a table and thoroughly enjoyed playing with the children and making acquaintances with the members. Prior to leaving, one of the missionaries will leave a spiritual thought and a then we have a prayer with the family.
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Above: Dinner with the Timms, their children and a couple from Nigeria (L. Jeremiah) and Cameroon (R. Genevieve a non-member) who were also invited to dinner. The couple is interesting because they are married but neither speaks a language common to the other. They communicate with what the brother (Jeremy) calls an African form of pigeon English. Sitting next to me are the two sister missionaries, Sister Peltier and Sister Tidwell.
Above: Dinner with Uwe (pro. /uva/ ) and Sabina Zickler, who are the ward member couple assigned to the Center with us. Uwe is the institute teacher, and both he and his wife are great to work with. He also likes to make special ice cream desserts that we all liked. In the picture Sabina is sitting to your left and Sister Tidwell is on the right of Uwe. Her new companion Sister Laubaugh is on the lower right hand side. Elder Cottrell is on the opposite side and his companion Elder Lloyd is taking the picture. All of them are great missionaries.
Dinner with the Labahn family. Lysaan (second from the right) is anxious to practice her English with our granddaughter, Allison, as a pen pal. I’m sure some of our other grandkids will want to do the same with other members we meet. Their sons are Lennart on the left and Levin (in the Kermit outfit and hat and Sister Labahn’s sister who also lives with them. Levin is quite a little character and we had lot of fun teasing him.
Church Meetings
        What would Sundays be without a few church meetings. On June 10, I was excited to see the Neumunster Stake Center located in the town of the same name. We had been to our three hour block, had dinner with a member family, then I left sister Frank at our apartment and took the 30 minute drive to Neumunster for a stake High Priest meeting followed by a Stake General Priesthood meeting. I think having meetings that follow one another helps because of the distances members travel to attend. The meetings were great and I was asked to offer a prayer in one. The only bad part was having to concentrate so hard on the talks. My German is coming back, but way too slowly to be able to sit back and relax while listening to a rapid-fire gospel discourse. So, after another 2 1/2 hours of meetings, I was ready to head home. We had left our apartment at 8:15 a.m. and I arrived home about 11 hours later.
Above: Neumunster stake center.
June 15-24
Institute Graduation Dance
        All of the Young Adults who had graduated from Institute within the stake got together at the ward, in Kiel, on Friday, June 15, for a dance. Some came from as far away as Hamburg and Flensburg. They had decorated the place from floor to ceiling with a “harbor theme,” since it was the beginning of Kieler Woche. The ceiling was covered with a huge sail from a large sailboat and they had lighthouses, buoys, lifesavers and seagulls. Even the stage was covered to look like water with waves on it. It must have taken all of the night before and the day of the dance to decorate it. Unfortunately, Elder Frank didn’t have his camera with him so we have to wait for Uwe to e-mail us pictures. There were at least 7 or 8 married couples and 80-100 Young Adults who came. They love dancing and they are very good at it. There was no bear hugging, but actual dancing. Even those who are dating each other don’t always dance with their partners. I didn’t see anyone not dancing at one point or another. They also had a pot luck and “grillin“ dinner (their term for barbecuing). Everyone brought a pot luck dish and their own meat to grill.
Soccer Nights
        The Young Adults are really into the “European Cup” soccer playoffs right now and not just the guys. Each time there is a game with Germany playing another team, they get together at the Zentrum to watch. One of our “Techies”, Victor, hooks up his computer to a projector (which they call a “beamer”) and they watch the game. Everybody brings some kind of snack food or drink and they really have fun getting into the game. It’s funny to hear their comments in German when there is a good or a bad play. They even have one of those big horn blasters for when a goal is scored. We really want to see Germany take the Cup!
Kieler Woche – Walking & Boating
        Though some of you may have heard us talk of Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) before, others may not understand it’s significance. Kiel is not a Munich, or Hamburg, or Berlin. It is a smaller city with a history built upon its deep ocean access, its Förde (fjord). The city has used the great sailing conditions on the water to build up a weeklong celebration and competition known world-wide. So, for about nine-ten days visitors come from all over the world to compete, or witness, or just to party as the yachting regattas and the old sailing vessals come into town and bring around 3 millions visitors with them. So, as far as missionary work goes, it’s hard not to be involved just a bit. Even our Stake President told us we had to see a bit of it. We took his advice.
        Our first opportunity came as we walked to the Alte Stadt, which is really the town center with a large walking street that extends for several blocks. It is always interesting, but, last week, it was fun and amazing. We saw different countries represented in food stands all over. Everything looked good to eat, but we had to make a choice of which food we wanted to try. If we could have, we would have had a taste of each one. A person could find anything from Argentinian Steaks, to Danish wursts, to Mexican Food, Irish, Swedish, Norwegian, Romanian, Polish, Austrian, Swiss, Grecian, Italian, Austrailian, Nigerian, Somalian, and many more. It seemed like the only nation not represented was the US. One of our favorites was a booth with Finnish waffles covered with a berry sauce, whipped topping and more berries on top. (see photo). Besides the food, there was entertainment, international jewelry and trinket vendors and the usual or for us unusual sidewalk circus type acts. We stopped in front of the Rat Haus (Town Hall) to watch a group of Romanian dancers and musicians perform on stage.
        To really see Kieler Woche, however, we knew we had to get on the water, so on our next P-Day we booked a spot on a large boat and headed into the Förde. It was relaxing and a beautiful way to see a few of the boats, get a different view of Kiel and talk to some of the Germans on vacation. The rain came briefly, as it does in Kiel, but in between was sun and kiel’s wonderful breeze.
Going out of the dock we noticed Russian sailors on the large sailing boat tying the sails up. Can’t even imagine
what it would be like out on a rough sea to have to be up there.
Several Nordic cruise lines dock their ships in the Kiel bay.
Going out we saw some of the more exclusive home sites along the waterfront.
We watched the rain come and tried to gauge how much time we had before we would go inside for a few minutes.
We passed a variety of sailing vessels, and took way too many photos for a couple of missionaries.
Hamburg, Trains and Zone Conference
        On June 21, we left Kiel for a zone conference held in Hamburg. The Hamburg Stake Center is larger that the one in Kiel, and is more centrally located, which I’m sure is why they always have the two zones come together there. Elder and Sister Marks had advised us to not drive into Hamburg because of the traffic, and instead to take the train. I’m sure it cost us more, but I was all for relaxing on the train, and it would give us a chance to be with the missionaries. Hamburg is really not that far from Kiel. The train ride was an hour with only a couple of stops. They are quite, clean, and used by a lot of people. On the way back from conference, we couldn’t even find two seats together. In the late afternoon, rush hour exists on the train, also, as many workers head home to Kiel and other smaller towns from their jobs in Hamburg. Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and to many missionaries and Germans we speak to, the most beautiful city in the country. We’ll talk about Hamburg in another blog after we have taken a good look.
         This was the last opportunity President Pimentel and his wife would have to speak to the missionaries, so they used it as their “mission farewell.” However, their talks and lessons were still directed toward the work and helping the missionaries make the best transition to President Kosac and his wife. As in our first zone conference, we were edified and taught in a way that made us want to be better missionaries.
        The relationship between missionaries and their mission parents is difficult to describe. I know that it differs from mission to mission, but these two were well-loved and there were many tears shed at the end of the conference as the missionaries stood spontaneously at the end of the last session and sang “God Be With You Till We Meet Again,” in German.


  1. It sounds like you are doing good teaching. I love and miss you guys! Joey

    It is really neat that you guys get to meet so many different families! Love You! -Sydney

    I am really excited for you. You will do a good job teaching!-Ella

  2. Great pictures!!!! The update/catch-up was perfect! You've got a nice apartment and your comforters look so comfortable and cozy. We love seeing pictures of people you meet and tell us about!
    As always, much love!!!

  3. Sorry we missed your FaceTime call on Sunday, Mom and Dad - thanks for including the detail and photos here. Can you please make a note at some point to bring home some of those Finnish waffles with berry sauce and whipped cream? My mouth is watering right to hear about Kieler Woche. But even cooler to hear about the the dinners, the hospitality and kindness of the members out there. Brings back great memories of being in the homes of the people in Slovenia.
    - Tim, Nicole and Kids

  4. You two are having such great experiences. I envy you a little bit. Maybe, you are having way too much fun. I loved all of the explanations of what you are doing, who you are meeting and places you are visiting. The picturs were awesome and I really love visiting you blog. You will always be such great friends and we are so happy to have had sweet moments with you both. You will be in our prayers.
    Our Inner City Mission continues to be challenging. I haven't blogged about it for over six months. If I ever get caught up I will invite you to visit it.
    Love to you both!


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.