Saturday, February 28, 2015

September 2014 - Wilhelmshaven (WHV)

September 2014 - WHV

Sorry we are so behind in getting or keeping our Blog up to date.  It just shows we are not taking charge of our time and priorities:-)  Most of our September was spent in many meetings and some very nice places to visit.  Buckle up - here we go----

First thing, there was a combined missionary Zone Meeting of Oldenburg (OL) and Hannover Zones with President Kosak in Hannover.

After the meeting, our Elders (Young & Williams) asked if we could find a bank so they could "reboot" their budgets.  We found a very nice little place in the Hannover area  and some pictures seemed in order:-)

Here are the Elders coming back from "hitting" the bank. They did seems to have a little more spring in their steps, as they had discovered the joy of budget "reboot".

 We also found this building that was built in the 1500s in the parking area where we stopped.

OF COURSE - great opportunity for a quik pic!
Brigitte likes so much of the German architecture. I find them both beautiful:-)

And as our grandkids like to say: "And then guess what".  Elder Young was transferred  on the 4th. It takes a team effort to move missionaries out and in to apartments. Elder Young seemed to be here for such a short time and we were sad to see him move on.  This was his start as a DL in the field and he did well.

Elder Young loading the Porter Shuttlecraft at Gödenser Weg. (Go ahead and try to pronounce it. If you can, then next step is to put in your papers to join us in the field) :-)

L-R: Elder Young, Elder Williams, Sister & Elder Porter at the train station (Banhof -- bon - hoaf) in WHV. Behind us are some of the back views of shops and businesses in the "Innenstadt", or inner city.

Of course, the best picture is when Sister Porter comes out of the shadows to stand with "her" missionaries.

Later in the day, Elder Wilde arrived at the WHV train station and Elder Williams hurried to help his friend. 
Elders Wilde and Williams are BOTH from Cedar City, UT and knew each other in high school there. It was quite a reunion.
We did our usual "initiation" and took the Elders to lunch at the BBQ right near our branch building. They serve up very good hamburgers and fries. Haven't found an Elder yet who didn't like this part of the program. Will have to get some pictures for our memory book - our minds don't work that well anymore:-)  We also have a "Henkersmahlzeit" - which is literally a "hangman's meal" - or a last meal before the victim is executed.  It dose make parting such sweet sorrow - and it keeps the Elders well fed and a bit uplifted.

But back to work.  We have a contract for the buildign that a landscape company trims the hedges around our building twice a year. We like that, as our active branch members are becoming quite elderly. There are fewer less than 50 than over 50 yrs old.
This is one of the younger ones - Reinhold Ramic. Br Ramic has always been willing to step in when someone is in need.

I took this with my iPhone 4S - and it shows!
It was also later this month that my 4S seemed to "crash" and I had to buy an iPhone 6. I can attest that the prices for such in Germany are quite a bit higher than in USA, but I couldn't get one shipped from USA here because of German law. So I bought it out of Berlin Apple and then had Apple USA help me set it up and get operational again.  There are many such instances, but one learns to accept it and also learns how to  work with it or around it in the spirit of the law - if not always by the "letter".
It is true - the "letter of the law killeth". If I had to follow the letter of the craziness I don't understand, I would be dead of a heart attach from frustration:-) Learning to adapt and succeed is also a very important life experience.

OH YES - i also got my monthly haircut from Sr Beuster who does a great job!  She keeps Sister Porter and me in good trim.

We also had a great experience on Sep 14th. Elder Bednar and two other General Authorities from the US, visited many sites in Europe, etc.  Elder Bednar came to Berlin and we had a mission-wide meeting with him.  The evening before, he had a special meeting for young adults and we were able to attend.  The next morning, he held a leadership meeting with Stake/District Presidencies and Ward/Branch Bishoprics/Presidencies. The sisters had a special meeting with Sr Bednar. It was very interessting to watch and experience them work and interact with the attendees.

Toward the end of September, 23-26, Sister Porter and I received approval from the Mission President to drive to southern Germany to visit some of Brigitte's relatives from her Father's side of the family.
As Russian forces came closer to the outskirts of Breslau, Germany - where Sister Porter was born - their family caught the last train out to the "West". Her father's family all stayed behind in what became East Germany under Russian rule. That part of Germany was annexed to and became territory of Poland and the name was later changed to Wroclaw.
In any case, the last surving sister (Ruth Priesnitz) of her father Kurt Max Priesnitz - lives in Wurzen, near Leipzig. Gigi also has an Aunt Eva Priesnitz who lives there. Eva was married to Gigi's father's youngest brother, who died some years ago. So - off to Wurzen we went.
We like to go to a new Greek restaurant right across the street from where Aunt Eva lives. We invited Eva, her friend Harry, and Gitti's cousin Joachen and his wife, Heidi to all have dinner together.
Joachen and Heidi had made the trip down from Bad Doberan on the coast of the Ostsee (Baltic) to also travel together from there to Tanne where the most of the known Priesnitz cousins lived.

L-R: Kent & Brigitte, Harry & Eva,  and Joachin and Heidi.

L-R Eva, Brigitte & Heidi

L-R Kent, Joachen, Harry

We also were able to visit Aunt Ruth (Tante Ruth) in the hospital in Wurzen.

 Joachen & Heide then led the way in our drive to Tanne to visit the cousings. Tanne is a little dot on the German map in the neighborhood of Hof and Thüringen Germany.  Here is one pic of the area as we came into Tanne.

Along the way, we stopped for a "true" Thüringen Wurst at a littel roadside "grill".

We saw this old vintage car with was one of the DDR built vehicles - mostly out of plastic.  I assume it still would run,

but the fellow who was minding the store was sound asleep in his chair be the grill and we waited for about 2 minutes to see when he would wake up. He did and we got our Wurst with mustard between a slided hard roll. I should have taken a picture as it is like a foot long hotdog being put between two halves of a doughnut sized roll.

We found our hotel and also got to visit some cousins the next day. 

The hotel restaurant is off to the right and our rooms were on the left as we came thru the Hof entryway.

The restuarant entrance - but we were eating out for lunches and dinners. Breakfast was nice and the people were friendly:-)

Interesting bike rack at the entrance gate to the Hof.

We stopped along the way to the hotel to see Margita (Priesnitz) and Thomas Hegner in Tanne. Brigitte had been talking with Margitta to make all the arrangements and coordinate the cousin meeting.  Thomas is a teacher and does quite well with English. They also travelled in the US by bus and saw Grand Canyon and also stayed overnight in St George. They thought the area was really beautiful, but admitted it was not during July or August in the Dixie Desert:-)

Brigitte meets Margitta's twin sister Monica (L-R) Brigitte, Margitta, Monica and Heidi (Bordelle)

Just up the street from Monica's house, the old homestead of Brigitte's grandfather Priesnitz still stands. It has had a number of modifications, but there was much to talk about and recall of the "old" days of the family. Joachen also remembers sledding down the streets and running around this rural area.  It must have been fun for kids, as kids can find all sorts of things to have fun with.  We seem to forget how to do that as we age:-)

 Just saw this unusal building and colors and took a pic while we stopped to pick up a few Euros from a bank for Joachen and Heidi:-)  Nice plaza and lots more pics, but will hold off overloading you with them.

We also visited Wolfgang and Liana Priesnitz.  Wish the weather had not been so overcast, but we were just happy to meet the cousins who we had never seen. 

Notice that Liana sets a mean plate of "snacks". She insited all the calories had been baked out of them.  We accepted that and enjoyed our visit and getting to know them a bit.

The cousins met at Gasthof Ganz for dinner 25Sep14.  As you can see, Ganz means Goose. The cousins stand in the street awaiting the arrival of all and for a group picture.

L-R front: Monica (Priesnitz) Leisner, Brigitte (Priesnitz) Porter, Margitta (Priesnitz) Hegner.

L-R back row: Manfred Priesnitz, Joachen Bordelle, Wolfgang Priesnitz

Dinner: L-R around the table -
Thomas Hegner, Joachen Bordelle (hidden), Manfred Priesnitz, Wolfgang Priesnitz, Heike (Manfred) Priesnitz, Monica Leisner.

L-R: Monica Leisner, Heike Priesnitz, Margitta Hegner, Brigitte Porter, Thomas Hegner (standing), Manfred Priesnitz (Heike).

L-R Kent Porter, Thomas Hegner, Joachen Bordelle, Wolfgang Leisner, Manfred Priesnitz, Wolfgang Priesnitz

Brigitte having a great time with her "Priesnitz" cousins.

L-R Liana (Wolfgang) and Heike (Manfred) Priesnitz


Brigitte next to Monica

The next day (26Sep), we all took a trip to look at a castle in the neighborhood. Along the way we came to an observation tower and decided to stop and climb it. There was something like 105 steps, and we took it slooooow with rest stops along the way. Some of these folks demonstrated that they stay in shape with lots of walking and biking, and just went right on up.

It was very foggy and overcast so the view was not really great. But this view was just fine:-)

This view shows you what living off the fat of the land can do for/to you.

The parking lot from the top.  The cars look a long ways off, but in fact, they are a bit smaller than we are used to. 

The folks like to live within their means and also favor frugality.  Not a bad idea.

Here's what one view is supposed to look like. Hmmmm.

Another one in how it is supposed to look.

The actual - no - it is foggy and not just a low pixel camera:-)

supposed to look like - but actual was not very visible.  Would have been pretty.

Oh wait - there it is. Yup, it would have been much nicer with the sun showing brightly:-)

Ok - one last supposed to look like and then off to the castle.  Not off with their heads - this is not a fairy tale with a Cheshire cat.


Right - let's go down to the river and eat. 

Manfred shows Gitti where we are.  Lots of fishing around here.

We're here- This looks good:-)

Boy does it ever:-) Very nice.

NO!  Not there ---HERE!!
We going for the ambiance of the area, and remember, we talked about frugality:-)

OK - so is it quain, rustic, or just rusty?
Doesn't matter, the foods good and the price is right.

Hmmm  I recommend something fried or well cooked as opposed to fresh and raw or smoked.

JUST EAT & quitcherbellyachin!



 OK - now let's go to the castle.

Stay with us and try to keep up.

OK - I will apologize up front for not labelling all of these pics - but enjoy going thru them and visiting Schloß Burgk with us.

After the castle, we visited Manfred and Heike's home. Manfred is a fireplace and chimney specialist and wanted to pass it on to his sons. He isn't sure they are interested in this line of work - as many father learn:-)

Very nice property and well kept. The rabbits above were also interesting as many families raise rabbits for food and subsistence support vs buying everything.
We had a great dinner at the same Gasthof to the Goose, much like the pics above. It was a great time and everyone really enjoyed each other.. Gigi got to see many books and notes, pictures, etc. from the families at dinner that night. We were also able to get copies of some of it and it was great to have this otherwise "lost" information.

We left the next day for WHV and were so happy to have had this wonderful experience.
See you in the next issue as we catch up October (Oktober):-)