22 June 2014 - Wilhlmshaven, Germany :-)
WOW - where does the time go?? We have not even caught up on APRIL, let alone May, and now June is almost gone. It is said that time flies when one is having fun - but as there are two of us - it must go by twice as fast!!! Actually it is also true when we are busy.
The days are much longer and it remains fairly light even at 10:30 PM.... what is that all about??
April was "Elder Porter's" first month as Branch President here. We both survived it, and apparently so did the Branch members - although a number of them were hospitalized --- with illnesses that we had nothing to with - but we did a lot of visiting, chauffering, helping with shopping, and the usual Relief Society lessons and Sunday programs.
English class has showed down and we wonder if it is us, or if those who were attending lost interest as there is no place for them to really use it unless we are chatting around the table.
One of the highlights (if not thee highlight) of April was General Conference. It is always great to watch/listen to great talks and see the Conference Center in SLC. We have to watch much of it via our computer because of the time differences in Germany and USA. It is interesting to see and hear in English and also in German at other times. We hope the repetition will help some of it stick:-)
We also drove down south to Freiberg (about 5-6 hours, depending on the road maintenance that ALWAYS goes on!) One of our routine comments while driving around is, "Baustelle" which means "Construction". We have a LOT of practice with that phrase:-)
While on our trip to Freiberg to get our lease car serviced and tires changed for the season, we went to the Temple and it was very nice. We met a young couple who had just gotten married and were travelling in Germany/Europe on their honeymoon - how would it be??? They are from Arizona - big change from AZ desert to German countrysides in Spring:-)
We also were able to visit Brigitte's Aunt Eva in Wurzen, which is a little NE of Leipzig. they posed for a little snapshot because the building/house behind them was very pretty.
This is a "shot" of Harry (Eva's friend from Berlin), Eva & Brigitte taken on our way to lunch at a recently opened Greek Restaurant. It is just across the street from Eva's place - which is the yellow bldg just to the very right above the cement open fence. It really made a nice difference in this area where the cars are parked as when were then in 2009, it was still mostly an unkempt and trashy looking place. The restaurant really spruced things up nice and they also like to eat here very much .... so we were very willing to do a "Quality Assurance" test to see if we agreed with the bragging rights:-)
Eva, Harry and Brigitte.
The Greek restaurant entrance - the desserts looked yummy - and, of course, we wanted to try them out. However, the food was so good, and so plentiful, we passed on dessert:-) NEXT TIME --
Eva said, "Goodbye" once again. This time thru the fence:-)
It was a very nice trip, and this visit really made it nice for us on the drive back to WHV - 4 hours worth, except for a big "Verkehrs STAU" around Hannover. This is another German term we get to practice every time we drive on the Autobahn around a big city such as Hannover, or Hamburg - and OTHERS!
This gives us a chance to reflect on the old VW commercial about: "Fahrvergnügen" - which = pleasure in travel :-) It is more difficullt without an ice chest and ICE - which is rarely available:-)
14April2014 - Elder Matthews, just a few months from heading back to the States, and Elder Billings who arrived on his mission in February. Both Utah lads and did some very good things in WHV area.
They also took the time to POINT THE WAY for all of us in missionary efforts to bring all closer to Christ and His gospel messages:-)
Note - Right Hand -- Left Hand...that's balance.
Elder Matthew's, however, BROKE the Branch Bldg's toilet seat in the bathroom. Now I ask you - how did he do that, as he is not "heavy"?????
Nevertheless - the Branch President (Kent) got to put on his "fix-it", and also took the opportunity to recall that in Texas, we're always "fixin" to do something.
Good news is, he did it and it continues to work well in supporting the brethren in bringing relief to WHV. (Sorry, couldn't resist)
On a more colorful note, the cherry blossoms are beautiful along the street where our branch bldg is.
Here are a couple of pics we thought would be nice to share :-)
Oh yes - I also get to keep up with my eye injections to try to reduce any progression of sight loss, and perhaps even help the sight get better.
Here's hoping - it was interesting to compare German style vs. Southlake, TX style. Actually, this time it really did not get very uncomfortable at all:-)
That week, we also were able to go to Kniphausen, which is part of WHV. Kniphausen was here BEFORE WHV! It was part of Jeverland - which Wikipedia wrote: Jeverland refers to the northern part of the present-day district of Friesland in northern Germany with the town of Jever as the seat of its local government. The Jeverland was formed in the 15th century from the Barony of Jever, which itself descended from the Banter Viertel, part of Östringen and the Wangerland. The town of Wilhelmshaven, founded in 1853, no longer belongs to Jeverland, but is an independent district.
This is Brigitte with a lady we met and friend. She is an artist and we went with her to see an art diplay which was presented at Kniphausen. Ute Pohl is her name, and she was very nice, but didn't think our "Church lifestyle" was not what she wanted - we hope to see her now and again, just to say hello and see how she's doing... In any case, Kniphausen has been around since 1438!
We also found a troll that had been turned into a tree along the very beautiful walking paths on the Kniphausen grounds :-)
A picture of the main entranceway to Kniphausen Burg - it also seems to have been around for a very long time - and yes, the squeak and could use a little oil and polishing, except it would likely degrade the ambiance of the whole thing:-)
Elder Billings gives Metwurst a try - this is rare, lean pork loin mixed with finely chopped onions. One can add salt, pepper or whatever to taste, however, Elder Billings is NOT a fan, but choked it down:-) A reall sport:-)
Tartar is the same sort of thing, but with lean beef - and we like them BOTH :-)
It is transfer time AGAIN - and Elder Billings and Matthews came with us to Oldenburg (OL) so they could keep Elder Brown company while Elder Brown's companion and Zone Leader was transferred to Magdeburg.
Did you follow all that? - I just go along and depend on our Garmin to get us wherever we are going:-)
Elder Brown and Elder Stephens (go back to our Blog just before this one and see our WHV Putztag for more on these two) :-)
Elder Stephens went home in May:-)
This was on our way to Freiberg early in April and it was very convenient to pack up Elder Stephens and his FOUR bags. We managed without heavy equipment and got him where he needed to go, and got us where we needed to go -- and we were happy to help. The missionaries - including the Senior Couples - are all GREAT!!!
Hope you are all doing well - we love and miss our family and their families,Texas & the USA - but we are also enjoying being part of real PROGRESS in our assigned mission area here in Wilhelmshaven (WHV). We still hope for growth thru new members - and that includes "move-ins" as well as converts and baptism:-)