Monday, August 31, 2009

Senior Missionary Conference

The senior missionary conference turned out better than we had dreamed it would. All of the planning paid great dividends. It was a little stressful to keep a tight schedule and do all of the things we had planned. We learned that it is much harder to get those senior missionaries to follow a planned schedule than it is to get a bunch of scouts to follow instructions. There were always a few that could not keep up and two or three that had a hard time walking. We were glad that we build in some extra time to arrive at the next location. As we visited the small villages, the comments from everyone were "that's the way we pictured Germany" or "finally I see the Germany I thought we were going to see". All of us missionaries work in large metropolitan areas and those cities are very much like the large cities in America. To visit the smaller communities was a real treat for all of the senior couples. The visit to the small country church in Meissner-Vockerode was especially neat for all of us. One of our senior sisters plays the organ very well and it was a joy to hear her play and hear all of us sing some of the stirring LDS Hymns. We are sure that the church has not heard such wonderful music for a very long time. The church building dates back to the year 1540 and the latest restoration work was completed in 1996.
The accommodations for the evening meal, a good nights rest and the breakfast the next morning were very good. Every one could not talk enough about the wonderful food that was provided. We held our conference meetings, Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, in the dining room at the hotel where we were staying. The hotel was in the neighboring Village of Meissner-Germerode (only a 5 minute drive from Vockerode). The conference sessions (two hours Tuesday evening and 2 hours Wednesday morning) were very inspiring and motivating.
Our Mission President just returned from a week long of conferences in England where they met with the new Area Presidency. He tried the best he could to relay the vision that the brethren see for the European Area. We were told that the day of a new awakening in Europe is just around the corner, and that we must prepare the Saints for the challenges that brings. We just kept thinking that we can't wait for that wonderful day.
During the rest of the week we tended to our regular Out-Reach Center of activities. This Saturday evening we held our Young Adult Summer Party. It started at 4:00 PM and ended at 11:00 PM. We had a live musical group from Holland that provided the music for the dance and entertainment. Of course we had a lot of food for all of the young people. After the clean up we finally returned to our apartment way past our bed time.
Today is Sunday and it was nice to relax at church and feel of the Spirit and not have a speaking assignment.
Right now the apartment is filling with lots of good smells from Anina's cooking. At six tonight we are having 8 young missionaries and one student from England join us for Sunday dinner. Anina hopes that we have enough for the "ever hungry" Elders and Sisters.
The every six week "transfer call" was moved from Saturday morning to Tuesday evening. We will learn at that time who will be going where. Those who are being transferred will only have one day to pack up and go to a new field of labor. We feel pretty secure and think that there will be no change in our companionship.
We hope that all of you have a wonderful week. We are being blessed every day. We find great hope in the promise that our families will be blessed during our absence.

All of the Senior Missionaries on the steps of the "Rathaus" in Hann. Muenden. There were 18 of us, and someone is always missing.

The Senior Couples at the "Border Museum" near Bad Sooden-Allendorf.

We are all waiting for dinner to be served. Some of you in the Family will recognize this to be some place where we had a great dinner one evening in Germerode, while Phillip, Heidi and Stephen visited Germany with us a few years ago.

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