Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crazy Week

We both decided that it was time to find some medical help. We found a good urologist near our apartment and so started a roller-coaster journey of the week. I, Hugo, received a real royal verbal spanking from the doctor, for waiting so long to ask for help. After a short examination and x-rays, etc, he send me directly to the Hospital. Once in the hospital they took me to a surgery room where they relieved me of a blockage between the bladder and the kidney. When I woke up in a hospital room I felt a lot better and thought that we could go home. When later the doctors came into the room, they informed me that they would schedule surgery to remove the kidney stone on Wednesday morning.
On Monday evening a few from the Young Adult Center came to the hospital for a visit and to have our Family Home Evening right in the hospital room. At the conclusion of the Home Evening we all had a prayer to ask for the Lords blessing. It must have seemed strange to the patient next to me. He is recovering from a cancerous bowel surgery. We even asked him before the prayer if he would like us to also pray for him. He did not know what to say, so he just said, no. After they all left, the man asked me what that was all about. That gave me a chance to tell him about a God in which he did not believe. For the next two days we had some wonderful conversations about the gospel of Christ. He told me before we parted that he wished he could believe the things I told him. I told him that this was a good start and for him to pray about it, and the Lord would let him know that there really is a God.
On Tuesday I was told to relax and heal, so I would be ready for surgery on Wednesday morning. On Wednesday morning they took me into surgery to remove the stone. When I woke up after surgery, I felt right away that something went wrong. My thoughts were confirmed later on that evening when a team of doctors came into the hospital room and they told me that could not reach the stone. So, they stabilized the stone and inserted a couple of stints and rod. That way they will try to expand the opening. This process will take about eight days. The bottom line is that I am scheduled to go back to the hospital on Monday the 30th of November for another attempt to get the stone removed. They told me to count on another 3 day hospital stay. We will all be glad to have this experience behind us.

All of the above is probably more than you want to know or more than I should have written.

The institute and out-reach center is still doing well. Today was a busy Sunday with several appointments. Tomorrow morning is our conference call when we will all find out who of the missionaries will be staying and who will be transferred throughout the Mission.
The Lord is directing His work and truly blessing us. We feel of His spirit especially in times of difficulties.
May you all be blessed, We will be thinking about all of you on Thanksgiving day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The picture is one that Anina took in front of our apartment. It is a couple that has walked by our apartment a few times. Anina one day ran to get the camera and asked the couple if she could take their picture. They just smiled and in German told her that they could not understand her. So, she pointed to the camera and just said "smile". They did and this is the result.
Anina came back into our apartment and said:"I just met and took a picture of Mr and Mrs Santa Claus before they head for the North Pole". For all that I know, she may be right. There is only one problem -- I thought that Santa Claus understood English. Well!!!!!!!


There are lessons we must learn many times during our journey hear on earth. In order to really enjoy and appreciate our heath one must go through some periods of pain. I have had a few moments like those as a kidney stone decided to move. To some of you, I don't need to tell you the pain such a stone can cause. On the other hand it feels so great when that little stone (I hope little) decides to go to a place that does not hurt. So far it has not decided to exit yet. The whole day today was great and we were able to go to church. We will see what the next few days has in store.
It is late and we will make this writing short. The regular Church block was great. We enjoyed having a few investigators to church.
The young adults conducted a special Sacrament meeting this evening. President Zarse, our Stake President was the main speaker. Following that meeting we enjoyed some refreshments that Anina prepared. We concluded the evening by listening to the broadcast of the CES Fireside where President Uchtdorf was the Speaker. We had about 40 of our young adults that really enjoyed what he had to say. Anina and a few others went into another room to hear it in English.
We are doing great and are enjoying our association with all of the Young Adults. We also enjoy our work with the Elder and Sister Missionaries. We have a good group serving within our "Outreach Area". Some are bringing some young investigators to our Institute Classes and to some of our activities like we had tonight.

Halloween in Germany

Anina was home on Saturday evening to answer the door bell for any Halloween "trick or treater's" and we had only one group of three that came to our door. As I came home, I noticed a lot of kids in the town square making a lot of noise. Each of our missionaries carved a pumpkin and that was about all of the Halloween experience for us this year.
The young missionaries have been teaching a wonderful family. The whole family is not yet ready to be baptized, but the mother told us today that she wants to be baptized on the 21st of November. We hope that the rest of the family will not be far behind. The family is a neighbor of the Bishops family and the Ward has been very supportive in befriending them. The announcement was made in our Fast and Testimony meeting today. We had a good and spiritual Sacrament meeting and I was moved to talk about the gratitude for having the Gospel in our lives. We, back home take so much for granted. We sometimes feel that we have to much to do. There seem to be so much more that is expected from the Saints to do here in a part of the world where there are few faithful members of the church. This morning in our combined priesthood meeting the priesthood leaders handed out an updated list of Home Teaching assignments. Most of the Home Teaching pairs have between 12 to18 families to visit each month. They are scattered some 30 to 35 Kilometers apart. Some are very hard to get a hold of and some may have even died or moved away. The priesthood leaders said, that they tried to give at least 2 active families to each pair of Home Teachers. The Bishop said that he would like a report if possible during the next three months about everyone on the list. The thought came to me about how many of us at home (Cottonwood Stake) would be up to that task, besides supporting the missionary efforts, the Temple assignments and others. Some have done this long before we came to help and they will continue to do the work after we go home to our own comfort zone. The longer we are on this mission the less critical we become and the more we are in awe of what they are doing year after year. Many of the faithful members are young families with small children. It makes us tired to just think about the task.
This past week we spent some time working and updating (cleaning) some of the missionary apartments. It seems to be a constant struggle to have the Elders apartment in an acceptable condition. The Elders are hard on apartments and are able to turn a nice place into a disaster very quickly. Oh, Mothers, teach your prospective Missionaries how to clean a place. Fathers, teach your Sons how to make minor repairs. Even if it is a temporary repair with duck tape. Tomorrow morning we will drive some 125 Kilometers away from Dortmund to try to repair a broken drain pipe. We hope that we have enough time so that we are back for our home evening at our Young Adult Center.
We are still experiencing some good attendance for the institute and the meal for our Young Adults. It is a joy to associate with them and feel of their spirit.