From some of the trees the leaves are almost all gone. Other trees still have their leaves and the scenery is still very spectacular. The weather is a little cooler, but it is still comfortable to be outside with a light jacket.
Our activities at the Institute-Outreach-Center are going well. We are enjoying our association with the Young Single Adults (JAE's as they are called in German). It seems that every week we need to increase the amount of food Anina must prepare. It is a constant worry for her to fix something that they like to eat and stay within a budget. I have a much easier job keeping a supply of drinks on hand and watching for good sales on drinks that the stores offer.
Our mission president (Pres. Thompson) and his wife were invited to speak at our ward in Dortmund today. They came to town last evening and we enjoyed a wonderful meal together at a very nice restaurant. After church today we invited them over to our apartment where we enjoyed a nice Dinner that Anina prepared. It is so very nice to be associated with such wonderful people. They truly feel the urgency to spread the gospel. Last night at the restaurant the president talked to the waitress and gave her a pass-along card and got her name and phone number and told her that a couple of young men would call on her and give her some good news.
This past week we began our quarterly missionary apartment tour. Some apartments are sure a lot nicer than others. Some Elders know how to keep a clean apartment and other elders need a lot of help. We found everything from broken sinks, to missing shower curtains, to things that have accumulated over the years. While we were there we made some repairs and even purchased some items, such as a ceiling light fixture and a medicine cabinet, etc.. We took along some tools and even installed them. We filled up our car several times with on old refrigerator, old broken cabinets, a kitchen sink. a lot clothing, a few pair of old shoes, may old pillows and many more items. Most of the stuff we took to a city recycle place. It cost a few Euros, but some of the apartment looked a lot nicer by the time we left. We will make a few calls this week to see if some of the major repairs can be taken care of. So far we visited five of the twelve apartments that have been assigned to us. For tomorrow we made appointments with three more sets of Elders. We hope that we will find them in better shape.
To the mothers (and even Fathers) of our grandchildren, We plead with you to teach those kids to keep a clean room and let them know that they need to learn that while they are still at home. Make them clean up their rooms and have them help in the housework (to know how to clean dishes is essential). Let them know that the parents are not going to be there to clean up after them. Dirty clothes on the floor is not acceptable. There is a place for clothing that needs to be washed. Some of the Elders have not washed their bedding for several months. Let them know that you wash your bedding every week or two. Some of the elders don't even see the dirt and clutter. Our missionaries were told by our mission president and his wife that we invite the Spirit into our homes by having a clean and inviting place. We will also live healthier lives by being clean. Our mission president said that some missionaries did not get the necessary basic training before they came on their mission.
Our missionaries are great missionaries and with a little more effort they could be even better. Anina felt sorry for the missionaries and wanted to go right to work and clean up the place, but time allowed us to do only a little. It is going to be interesting how things will look in follow-up visits, but then we will be dealing with new sets of missionaries.
We had an interesting visit with an older couple (about our age) that have rented an apartment in their house to the missionaries for the last 45 year. They have never joined the church, but have been good to the missionaries for all those years. They have had the missionaries for dinner or lunch several hundreds of times in all those years. They have driven them to meetings and appointment and even came to church with them. They have been to Salt Lake and are still in touch with missionaries that served their many years ago. They insisted that we have lunch with them before we departed. Maybe some day we will understand why they have not accepted the gospel yet. They have taken an interest to see that the elders apartment looks clean and inviting. She told us that some missionaries need more help than others. They appreciated our visit and told us that this the first time in the 45 years that someone came by to look at the condition of the apartment. They made us promise that would come again some time and do do something together.