Tuesday, November 10, 2009

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.

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