For those of you who don’t know (I think everybody on the site), my Mom is serving a mission in Germany. I’m very proud of her. I thought some of you might like to read about what she’s doing. I cut out the names of people to protect their privacy.
We had a wonderful experience in the MTC but certainly not long enough to learn either how to speak or preach in German. But they fed us really well and we had some great devotionals (Elder Wood, Elder Pinegar) and I do love to hear the elders sing. We were able to teach “investigators” and “less actives” with people from the community playing the role.
We were up at 4 am Mon, Nov 20 to get ready to catch the shuttle to the airport. We were limited to 50 lbs per suitcase so I had to leave some things for Kimball/Rochelle to pick up. Very sad. We had a layover in Atlanta then on to Germany arriving at 8 am the following morning. They wouldn’t let us sleep because they wanted us to get acclimated so we went to the office where they began our training. For the time being we will be working in the office, but we didn’t get the office training at the MTC: We had lunch at the office then continued working until 4 pm when we went to President and Sister R—‘s(home for a very nice dinner. But apparently I made several faux pas as they eat with the knife in the right hand and the fork in the left and never start eating until everyone is served and the hostess starts eating. Oh well. Live and learn.
As I mentioned I am in charged of all supplies, ordering from Frankfurt or SLC or from office suppliers, and taking orders from all the missionaries. We are the ONLY senior sisters in the entire mission. I think there are three couples. I am also in charge of the vehicles, making sure they are serviced, keeping track of mileage and sending in reports. I also do filing and other assorted chores. We have two assistants to the president and two other elders one who is the mission secretary and one who handles finances. They are great to work with.
We were housed for about 10 days in a little hotel, Hotel Haustein, with a very small room with two beds not quite twin size, night stands, a closet, and that’s about it. We basically lived out of our suitcases. But we weren’t there much. We were often in the office until 7. We had a nice breakfast each morning but Sister F— was getting pretty tired of the same thing every morning by the time we left. But I was happy to eat someone’s cooking. We had a nice Thanksgiving Dinner at the R— with all the trimmings except mashed potatoes and gravy 8-(But we did have German dumplings the size of tennis balls (Knödel) and a sweet purple dish of cabbage and applesauce. We had pumpkin pie and cherry cheesecake and played a card game like Nertz. It actually comes with four sets of cards in each box.
On our first Preparation Day (P-Day) we went to Oberammergau with the sisters we are replacing. Our excuse was to drop off a Book of Mormon to someone who had requested one, but then we got to see all the shops. The place is famous for its woodcarvers and passion play. We got some pictures which I will try to send eventually when I learn how.
Sunday we attended the ward missionary council and the ward council with the bishop and then the 3-hour block, Relief Society, Sunday School, and Sacrament meeting in the International Ward which is English-speaking. Currently they meet at 11 but will change to 9 in Jan.
Each Monday we have staff meeting with the President and all office staff, followed by district meeting which is composed of just four of us. The elders are so good to help us with German tips, proselyting tips and we have a spiritual discussion and end with a testimony meeting.
Tuesday thirteen very tired young men arrived from the Provo MTC. Bravely trying to stay awake for interviews with the President and Orientations with Elders C— and B— and Sisters S— and A—. This will be our job next time a group comes in. We fed them lunch and kept them awake until they went to dinner at 4 pm. at the Rakows then they were sent on their various ways, some by bus or subway, some were at our little hotel.
Wednesday elders and sisters completing their missions came for final interviews and dinner with the president. We again fixed lunch for them. Some of the elder’s parents came to pick them up. Sweet reunions after two years! We spent our last day at the hotel. We still did not know where our apartment was or how to get there. But we packed up and were ready to go.
Thursday the elders came for our luggage and after work we were taken to the apartment. It is nice and seems big since our cramped hotel room. There is a bedroom, bathroom, small kitchen, and living room with deck (It is on 4th floor except Germans called the first floor something else and call our floor the 3rd floor). We have a tiny elevator and underground parking and storage in the cellar.
Friday we girded our loins, studied our maps and drove to the office, a considerable distance, but we arrived safely and on time much to our astonishment. We had a busy day, lots of orders and referrals and also zone leader’s conference. We didnät have to feed them. Sister R— brought soup, bread, apples and chocolate mousse which we got to share. Then we again braved the autobahn and made it home much to our amazement. We went out again to the big Walmart and arrived home again without incident.