Sunday, January 11, 2009

Coldest night in Germany in 27 Years

Last Tuesday we stood in line waiting to have our groceries checked, when the overhead monitor screen showed the headline: "Coldest night in Germany in 27 Years." The thermometer showed a -15C or about 5F outside our apartment. We have even had a couple nights since then, when it got colder than that. When it snows, it usually only stays on the street or lawn for a couple of hours. This time the snow has been on the ground for a over a week. The children are having fun playing on any little hills with their little sleds. A lot of people are sick with the cold. The young Missionary Elders were sick with a bad cold, Anina has been coughing and threatens to come down with her second bout of the cold. One of our young adults was so sick that we took her to a Doctor to get some relief. The bad thing is that the flu has not hit Germany yet. We were told that the bad flu is in Spain and traveling toward us in Germany. It is to bad that we can't just stop it at the border and deny entrance into the country. Well, we hope for the best.
This past week we had our Zone interviews. It is like a Zone Conference where all of the Missionaries come together to be instructed and the Mission President interviews every Missionary personally. This is a process that takes most of the day.
The Zone Interviews took place on Thursday. It is the same day as our Institute Night. Anina was a little pressed for time to also get ready for the Institute Meal. It was a full day before we had everything cleaned up and were ready to go home.
We enjoyed a full week of activities at the Center. Some of the kids are back from their holiday break. We continue to work on ways to have some of the inactive come and join us. It is so hard for the young adults in today's environment to stay close to the church. We just prepared a report showing the Stakes Young Single Adult activities during the last three years. Very little has changed and at best we are holding our own. This is even with the efforts of the Missionaries. We see a study stream of a few investigators that the young Missionaries bring to the Center. Many are given the lessons, but the conversion rate is very small.
Yet the work is very satisfying as we meet with those that come. We pray with them and play with them and we learn together. Hopefully the Lord will bless them to find a companion, so they can go to the Temple together and there get married.
We just received an e-mail from one of the young adults that we learned to love from Bremen. She is a very bright and beautiful young returned missionary. She spoke of two short relationships over the last six months, but she said that it was only a one sided love affair. It is hard for the young adults to find an eternal companion.
In the Church the standards are a lot different from the way that most of the young people here do it. It is very much the norm for young people to live together, long before thy decide to get married. In our apartment house two single kids just decided to get an apartment. They are in the process of fixing it up. Even buying some furnishings together and are planing on moving in next week. The other kids that moved out of the apartment last week even bought a house together. They said that they may get married within the next few years.
In spite of all the bad news, we are fortunate to be working with some of the finest young people anywhere. Many are very strong in the Faith. We just need a few more of them. I just finished reading a book that Stephen send us for Christmas. It is a book called "Faith Rewarded" by President Monson. The whole book are quotes from President Monson's Journal that deal with his work with the Saints in Eastern Germany (the former DDR). It gave me more faith that the Lord will bless the wonderful Saints for their efforts. So, we pray that the work of the Lord will grow here in this beautiful Country of Germany.

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