Monday, September 24, 2012

Meeting with Family and Friends

Jon and Larissa in Germany

        Over the past few weeks, we have been very busy with young single adult events. But, during September we have also had a couple of events with family and missionary friends. On September 7, we took a train to Berlin to meet one of our sons, Jon and his wife, Larissa, in Berlin. We went to a symphony performance at the Berlin Philharmonia that evening, then did a little touring around Berlin the next day before heading to Kiel. Of course, it was a joyful reunion with the two of them and we enjoyed just being in the car with them and talking as we headed back to Kiel.
        Though not listed as high priority in the “Sites to See in Germany” brochures, Kiel and surrounding areas of the German State, Schlewsig-Holstein, have their own beauty and we were proud to show them a few before they left for Hamburg on September 12.
Jon and Larissa at the restaurant
After Jon and Larissa arrived in Berlin, it was afternoon so we took them to a small restaurant in an area of Berlin near Friederichstadt called the Gendarmenmarkt.  The square has several great buildings including the Berlin Music Hall situated between two large domed churches.  As you can see behind Jon and Larissa, the walls are full of wines, but we were really there for the Potato Soup, which we love.

The Gendarmenmarkt

Sister Frank and Larissa standing in front of the Berlin music Hall
Later that evening we attended a concert at the Berlin Philharmonic (not the Berlin Music Hall), and the next day we briefly toured some of Berlin before heading north to Kiel.  Though it wasn't a lot of time in Berlin, we all enjoyed the music, architecture and just the unique tempo of Germany's capital city.

Laboe and the U-Boat Monument

On the way to Kiel we stopped at Laboe, a resort town on the Baltic only 20 minutes from Kiel.  There we watched large numbers of windsurfers with their multicolored sails out from the beach at Laboe.  Then we visited the U-Boat monument and museum dedicated to those who lost their lives in the 1st and 2nd World Wars.  It is an enormous and very respectful monument that started out honoring just the German sailors whose lives were lost, but then changed after WWII to a monument honoring the lives of all those from any country who have lost their lives in submarines.  There is also a replica WWII submarine that we went through that added a little realism to our visit.
The beach at Laboe from the top of the monument.
The U-boat we went through--claustrophobic, but it made us grateful for those men and women who serve our country  in these boats.
We all climbed to the top of this huge monument.  The inside is not only an interesting museum, but the view from  the top is spectacular.

I decided that we needed to try a little traditional Kiel fish, called Kieler Schotten.   Not knowing much about presentation, we put our smoked sardine-like fish between a roll (German Brötchen) and began.  Jon and I went for the head first...not good.  Too much bone snap and crackle.  The middle wasn't much better as I squeezed down and felt some semi-liquid stuff come out.  I was impressed that all four of us tried the Schotten before moving on to an ice cream bar that washed away the "sardine like" taste--not bad,  just too bony for our tastes.
Nancy finishing off her Schotten.

The next day was Sunday, and we left for the Neumünster Ward where Robin Lohmann, a great young single adult from our area was speaking prior to leaving for his mission to South Africa.  He had attended institute and attended, briefly, our missionary preparation class.   We had promised him we would be there.  Afterwards, we had to hurry back to Kiel because we had been invited to the Zicklers for dinner.  We were excited for Jon and Larissa to meet Uwe and Sabina Zickler and they were excited to meet the Zicklers.  The Zicklers left for Salt Lake City the last of September and Jon and Larissa would be one more family they might visit while there. 

The Zicklers have all the missionaries from the Kiel area over for dinner once a month, and it is a real treat.  Not only is the dinner good, but Uwe is a master of creating ice cream delights.  They are wonderful people who love the gospel.  Uwe teaches institute this year and together they are the ward couple to work closely with us at the institute center.

Having family close is always a blessing.  Of course we would like to have all of our children visit, but through the great technology of our time (Skype and FaceTime) we talk to children and grandchildren weekly.  It was a special treat for us to have Jon and Larissa here.  They immediately loved everyone they met and we think they were loved in return.  It was hard to see them go.  

Senior Missionary Conference: Berlin
        It was only a week after Jon and Larissa were here that we returned again to Berlin, but this time with our "little red" Opal, the only red car left in our mission, as the new Opals are all dark blue--It was much easier finding our car in parking lots with the other missionaries.
       This was our first Senior Missionary Conference with our new Mission President.   President and Sister Kosak had sent out information and the itinerary a few weeks before and we were excited to meet with the other missionaries to discuss their work, and to hear from our Mission President. Though we know many of the senior couples by name, our mission is so large, that we rarely get to meet more than a handful, so this conference was really a treat for us.

Dinner at the Hotel 
Elder and Sister Gibson handle finances, supplies, phones, much more in the mission office.
The APs having Elder Johnson demonstrate a concept. 
Elder and Sister Böhm from Alpine, Utah
Elder and Sister Wilhelm - He served with Elder Frank in Berlin on their first mission.
Sister Stank and her husband supervise the Centers for Young Adults.  Here she uses two seniors to help make a point.
For the fireside at their home, Pres. and Sister Kodak sing an old Russian folk song for all the senior missionaries. 
Sister and Elder Williams work in the office and handle transportation, housing and all logistics concerning missionaries.
Our conference started with a dinner at the Lankwitz chapel
The hotel had a great breakfast bar for all of us. 
We tried to get a photo shoot outside the Lankwitz ward house.
The courtyard at the Nazi Resistance Museum

Fireside at the Mission Home

Sister Böhm and Sister Frank

Elder & Sister Wilhelm & Elder Frank

Elder & Sister Frank

Fireside at the Mission Home


  1. How fun to see pictures of you both with Jon and Larissa. It almost seems like you aren't that far away... I sure hope I get to see pictures of me and Jake in Germany with you two!

    Even though you were only together for a short time you were able to do and see much! FUN, FUN!!!!

    From busy to busier! I can't believe how much of the Lord's work is going on daily! It is amazing!

    Love you both so much!

  2. It sure made us happy to read this post. We had a wonderful time there! When we see pictures of us with you it almost seems like a dream that we were even there. We truly do feel like we were able to get to know some great people in the short time that we were there. It was especially fun to just spend time with you. It was hard to leave. We are excited to have Uwe and Sabina come to our home tomorrow. We know you are doing great work! Please say hello to our new friends in Germany for us! Love, Jon and Larissa

  3. Great posts! We love the updates. The kids love to see and hear all of the stories and adventures. We are excited to see you soon. All of our love,Tim and Nicole

  4. You both look great! I can only imagine how much fun it was for Jon and Larissa to be able to talk to you and see you in person. It's also fun to hear about their trip a little since I haven't talked to them about it yet. It sounds like you have met a lot of neat people in the short amount of time you have been there. What an awesome experience! I can't wait to hear about your experiences with Tim and Nicole. Love you!


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.