Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My birth-place

This past Friday we took our P-Day and made the 35 minute drive to the place of my birth. I have not been there before, at least not for the last 72 years. I certainly could not remember the place since I was less than a year old when my parents and I moved from there to Kassel.
From my dad's history that I have in my computer we were able to get the exact address of the house. We programmed that address and the address my parents first lived after they were married into our "TomTom" (GPS Device). It guided us right to the place. The house where my parents first lived is no longer there, but the house just around the corner and down the street, where I was born, is still the same house. The old front door had been filled in and the entrance is now from the back of the house. It is an old neighborhood, but it is well taken care of. This whole storry will not mean anything to most of you, but I had some special feelings that came to my mind. It was a special moment for me. Here are some pictures:

A cool July in Dortmund

The weather is just fine for me in Dortmund. It seems to be raining a little just about every day. The sun comes out only a few minutes for it is cloudy most of the time. Anina is cold most of the time and wears a coat when she goes out. I wonder what she will be doing when it really gets cold. Everything is very lush and green everywhere. At this time of the year there are a lot of fruit and berries that are available and we sure enjoy them.

Last week I was asked to give the High Priest Group Lesson this Sunday and I accepted because I thought that it would be easy with only 4 or 5 in the class. Well, it was a shock in Priesthood on Sunday to hear the Bishop say that the Elder's Quorum instructor did not show and that we would all meet together with the High Priests. The group leader then said "I don't have anything else to say and we will turn the time over to Elder Diederich for the lesson." I responded by saying "I have a lesson for 5 of the High Priests only." After they stopped laughing the Bishop said "That's ok, all the others will just sit here and listen." I made it through the lesson with the help of some in the audience who helped me find some of the words and expressions that I could not draw from my mind. It all seems to work out.

We are in Dortmund

We are almost moved in. It will take us a while to be able to get around. We can drive the short five minute car ride from our apartment to the outreach center or the Stake Center. This town is a lot bigger than Bremen. I am sure we will get lost a few times before we know our way around.

Our church experience this past Sunday was good, except that they asked us to sit up front and give a talk and introduce ourselves. Tonight will be the third activity for us in the Outreach Center. Last Thursday we had 24 kids attending the Institute class and dinner afterward. This is a more active center than we had in Bremen. It is interesting to see the difference as we go from one ward to another. We enjoyed the ward and meeting the people yesterday. In Bremen, the missionaries are treated very well and are loved by the members and there is a lot of interaction. Here in Dortmund there is not that same feeling and concern for the young missionaries. As an example are the invites to members homes for dinner and a gospel discussion. In Bremen, we had at least three or four invites a week and usually two on Sundays. In Dortmund, none of the three sets of missionaries had and invite for dinner this past Sunday. If we would have known that, Anina would have made something for the young missionaries. I asked if this is normal and they told us that they get an invite very seldom. As I think over the past few weeks, it is clear to me that the people I know the best are the one's that we visited with in the home and enjoyed a meal and had a one on one gospel discussion. It is not that we need the meal, but we need the association and friendship.

Here are some pictures of our new place:

Friends from St. Charles, ID

This is Lynn and Johanna Pugmire. Lynn was riased in St. Charles and Johanna in the Sugarhouse area. They know all of the old timers in St. Charles. They have been in Germany for more than 25 years and raised a family here. They have been very nice to us and even had a couple of meals in their home.

Leaving Bremen

(Sorry I am just getting this posted, Hugo!)

Today is June 22, 2008. It was the day that it became public that we will be leaving Bremen. Many were very surprised that we were asked to move to Dortmund. We tried to let them know what brought our Mission President and the Stake President to make the decision. In fact, our Stake President was in our meetings today in Bremen. He did not release me from the stake high council until after the meeting block. He had me participate in the installing of a new Elders Quorum Presidency. I set apart the new second councilor. In our Sacrament meeting Anina and I were asked to speak. There were not many dry eyes in the congregation by the time Anina was through with her talk. She tried so hard to speak German as she bore her testimony and she surprised so many including myself of how well she did. The saints could feel the great amount of love she has for all. This experience surprised all of us how quickly, in only nine weeks, we have become so attached to the wonderful people in Bremen. All wished us well. I am amazed of how wonderful the people have been to us. We have been in many of their homes for dinner. Every week we have had at least three or more invites to have a meal with the members. Often they ask us to bring the young missionaries with us. Today after church we had dinner at the home of the ward Relief Society President. We could not even stay and visit afterwards for we had to take the Elders to an appointment that they had with an investigator. In a few days we will begin our 3 hour car ride to Dortmund with all of our belongings. I don't know how we will do it, but we will do what we have to.