Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day June 21, 2009

It has been a very hectic week. There has been an activity or event that we enjoyed every day this past week. The most enjoyable event was the wedding of a couple from our Young Adults (Madelein Wahle and Matthias Hiemer). Here in Germany the couple getting married had to have a civil ceremony first: before they could be sealed in the temple. We gathered at an old, but very beautiful palace, about an hour drive from here for the "Standesamtliche Trauung" (the official state wedding). The place is called "Schloss Nordkirchen". We will try to send some pictures of the grounds and palace. Both of the couple come from a fairly large family, so there were quite a few people that witnessed the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony we had a picnic type of a meal as we were gathered in the court yard. I explored some of the ground and found a group that was visiting the palace ground. As I talked to them and asked some questions, I found out that they were a singing group (chorus) from the Northern part of Germany. It was not long until I had a conversation with the conductor of the group. I just mentioned that it would be nice if the group could sing to the wedding party. The reply was instant with: "we would be happy to do that". They quickly assembled on the Stairs in front of us and serenaded the young married couple and us guests. It was cool!

The couple had a lot of pictures taken and then they were of for the 2 1/2 hour drive to the Frankfurt Temple for the Sealing. We did not go to the Temple for we had to be back for the Institute night and the meal for the Young Adults.
The celebration continued the next day with a "Hochzeitsandacht" at 6:00 PM. It was held in the Chapel with the Bride and Groom sitting under an arch of flowers. The Bishop conducted this service. The mother of the bride gave a wonderful talk about the bride and gave some timely advice. The Father of the groom did the same as he talked about his son.

The bishop concluded the service with some remarks. There even was an opening and closing song and prayer. It was a gathering that was mostly spiritual and lasted for about 50 minutes.

Next the wedding party of some 200 guests sat down to a very nice sit-down meal. Many family and ward members were asked to bring some items of food. Anina, for instance was asked to bring a large desert dish. All of this was served buffet style. Right after the meal they showed some pictures on a large screen of the bride and groom. They played some games and even had a dance as part of the festivities. It was a wonderful event. For a few it was a long night to clean up the decorated hall and do all of the dishes. (Everything had to be cleared out, for the Stake needed the hall for a young man and young women event the next day.

Earlier of the week we were asked to help in closing down an Elders apartment in the city of Meschede. Not only did we have to remove all of the furniture, but even had to paint and fix everything that needed to be repaired before we turned the keys over to the landlord. We only had two days to get all of this done. Walking up and down the stairs, to from the 3rd story apartment with all of the stuff dozens of time each day was more than I should have done and I paid for it with some very painful leg cramps most of the night. (I promise to be more careful next time). By the way there was a small Branch of the church in that town and the Branch was dissolved and the few remaining members were added to the Una Ward.
Today, Sunday, we said goodbye to a wonderful family (Roark) that is moving to Budapest. This Ward will miss them very much. She was our Relief Society President and he was on the High Council. In a Ward like we have here in Dortmund it will leave a real void.

In the USA it is Fathers-day today. I am glad that some of the family called today, or we would have missed it since it not celebrated here in Germany.

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