Hello all - our apologies for being so slow in updating our blog :-(
We have had a very busy December. Aside from our weekly district or zone meetings, we also enjoyed a 'senior retreat' with the older folks who are serving in so many ways here in the Berlin, Germany Mission. We appreciate ALL the well wishes via email and usual postage (we assume we got it all, but never know:-) ). We enjoyed hearing from so many during this Christmas and Holiday Season. Germany is really special during Christmas time, and we were pleased we were able to share so many things together and with friends and family.
However, FIRST - Sister Porter wanted to thank the grandkids in Lantana, TX for sending her a 'get well' card while she was a bit under the weather with a cold. The card was better than anything I could come up with as a misplaced pharmacist :-)
This is our Senior Missionary Group - 31 of us (15 couples & 1 Sister). We met at the Stake Center in Dresden and it was a very uplifting and spiritual experience. However, it was even more outdone the next day when we went to the hilltop where President Monson re-dedicated the Dresden Mission to missionary work.
The place where President Monson said the dedicatory prayer was just below this water tower that has been in place for many years. It was a very picturesque place.
President Kosak read the dedicatory prayer to us while she stood on the hillside overlooking Dresden. We are working on getting our own copy of the prayer as a keepsake for our mission and experiences.
Brigitte met Sister Kessler while at this retreat. She is from the State of Washington, but met her husband in Duesseldorf. Her parents were building missionaries there at that time, and her husband to be was in the German Air Force. In any case, she knew Brigitte's family quite well and Sr Kessler also met Brigitte in Salt Lake many years ago. Did someone say, "It's a SMALL world."?
She is now serving in Rostock where Sister Porter has a cousin, Jochen. We have visited them in the past during our trips to Germany, and Jochen and Heidi came to stay with us last May for a few days. We have high hopes we can open their hearts to listen to the Plan of Happiness/Life/Salvation:-) They can enjoy all of what our Father in Heaven has for us.
You can see Dresden down below us in this picture on the hillside, but - as you can see - it was overcast and foggy. You can't see the wind, but take our word for it, it was an attention getter:-)
Later this same day, we visited the Dresdener Christmas Market. What a place and what a crowd. Here are some pictures we took - and no, these are not ALL of them:-)
Dadblasted PHONE - at least I'm not a technonerd. Techno just doesn't apply.
One of the great pyramids from the Erzgebirge - Dresden is in this area and the Germans there make wonderful wood workings - especially for Christmas. The nutcrackers, pine trees, nativities, and a ton of etceteras of fine workmanship are all over the place during this market season.
We will try to find some of it during the off season and see if it fits our budget better, but it is certainly fine things to have to decorate the home with.....
You get another great insight into their craftsmanship with this little 'shop' in this market place. Some of you may know that this is a Gluwine and Schnapps stop. A lot of people are busy getting into their sense of the Christmas spirit there on the left. There are high table tops where you can stand and enjoy your warm Gluwine, etc.and even get lucky to have a tabletop near an outside heating unit:-) It smelled wonderful, but we just sniffed and looked:-)
A very nice opportunity it get some nice pics while walking in the market place.
There are also some excellent works of art in many buildings in Dresden. Sadly, we didn't have time for them, but hope to put them on a 'bucket list'. If you look on the internet for Dresden, you will see what we mean:-)
And no - we didn't go away empty handed. However, I used to be able to hold my arms MUCH higher without difficulty.
And - YES - I could say the same thing about my tummy:-) I knew you would ask yourselves that question.
We had to head back to the North Sea and our part of the vineyard, as we had meetings to attend and a lot of people yet to visit -
Love you all and miss you - but the work is picking up fast now - we are about to finish our 4th month in the mission field:-)