In Church today we were greeted by most everyone with a friendly "Guten Morgen" and wishes for a wonderful fourth advent. In our apartment the fourth candle has been lit. To all of you children and those of you who think you are still children, we assure you that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is about to make it's appearance. Just to make you feel jealous, let me remind you that those events will get here eight hours earlier. We would gladly give up this benefit if we could celebrate this special event with our Family and friends. We are convinced that Christmas is meant to be celebrated with the Family and others who have blessed our lives.
People are feeling sorry for us and have invited us to share Christmas with them. Early on Christmas Eve the ward has scheduled a Ward Christmas Worship Service ( at 3:00 PM). Christmas Eve we will spend with the Nabrotzky Family (their children will not be to see them until Christmas Day). It will probably be a rather quiet and relaxed evening. On the First Christmas Day we have an appointment in the early afternoon with the Wahle Family and in the evening we will enjoy Christmas with Deppe Family. We have no plans yet for the 2nd Christmas day, so you are invited to come to our apartment in Dortmund. We have a few decorations and we will keep them up for the event. We also have lots of goodies that have been sent by many of you. We will make sure that we will have some drinks, like "Apfelschorle" or "Traubenschorle", on hand. Anina may even bake some special cookies, just so she will not get out of habit.
At the Center we will not have any Institute Classes or Activities during the next two weeks. The only scheduled event at the Center is Family-Home Evening.
Yesterday we drove to the city of Münster, some 75 km from here. We closed down an apartment and moved the Elders to another apartment. It was a hard and physical strenuous job. I can still feel it in every part of my body. The Elders were asked to have all of the packing done. We found out that thy did not understand what that meant. The one Elder had one suitcase packed and that was the extent of the preparations. They were to have asked some of the members for some help, and that did not happen. We moved furniture and bedding from the third floor of one building to the third floor of another building. We were lucky that the new apartment had an elevator. I don't think that I ever climbed so many stairs in one day. We filled up two dumpsters of stuff. There were some old suitcases, old books and magazines, old maps, old shoes, a couple old suits, old bedding and more. The old bedding was stored under one of the beds next to an outside wall. We had to threw it away because it was all moldy. The only explanation from the Elders was: " a lot of Elder died in this apartment". ( That means a lot of elders were released while serving the last part of their mission in this city.) I had cramps in my legs most of the night and had a hard time sleeping. We had an easier activity at the first part of the week, when we purchased and delivered a new set of bedding (including new pillows, sheets and comforters) to the Elders in Hagen.
Church attendance was quite low today. Many people are sick with the flu. We were hit with it and are just getting over it. It took me about three days to get over this crazy stuff. To get the flu shots here in Germany we have to make an appointment with a doctor, then get the prescription filled and go back to him to receive the shots. So, like most people, we did not go through the trouble to have it done. If next year I am able to remember how terrible it is to have the flu, we will probably go through the hassle to have the flu shots.
This picture shows a Farewell dinner at our apartment on December 17, 2008. Elders Dahle and Petty are going home tomorrow. Around the table from left to right is: Sister Diederich, Elder Dahle, Elder Diederich, Elder Petty, Elder Hartmann and Elder Wilcox.