We have in the past always complained that Christmas starts to early and that they should wait at least until after Thanksgiving. Well here in Germany they do not have the big Thanksgiving celebration. So thy do not have this magical start of the Christmas season. Last week we went to the Instadt (downtown) and found that they are fast at work putting up Christmas decorations. They were frantically building displays and erecting booths all over the market places. One display seems to be bigger than the other. They were assembling a large (and we mean large) Christmas Tree. The tree is build around a large steel structure and made up of thousand and more freshly cut pine trees. It reaches into the sky and is taller than the six story buildings that surround the large market place. The candles on the tree are over six feet tall and the other ornaments are likewise that big. The tree is so constructed that one could easily think that it is a real giant Christmas tree. We can't wait to see it all lit up and with the Christmas market in full swing. We understand that the city will be all transformed into a large Christmas Wonderland by next week. Anina has already seen so many thing that she said she can not do without, but that doesn't mean will get it! It is interesting as we talk with people, they all have their favorite Christmas market to go to. Some say we have to see the Christmas market in Hamburg, other say it is a must to see the one in Bremen and others say you have to see the one in Köln. We already have a list of some two dozen places people think we need to see. By the way we will be in Hamburg on the 4Th of December for a couples conference and on the way back home we will make a quick stop in Bremen, so we think that we will see at least three of those favorite Christmas markets. Just in case you have not got the point yet; Christmas has begun. You will not get any sympathy from us when you tell us that Christmas in America starts to early.
As I am writing this note, Mother (Anina) handed me a note. I will write it just as she wrote it on the note:" Please tell all of the kids and grand kids- and others --Please do not send us gifts for Christmas. The postage is way too expensive; and because of the limitations on luggage; we have no way to get it back home! Perhaps use that money to help pay for a nice family dinner. You know you will be in our thoughts and prayers. We know that you love us also.!
We have had a busy week at the Out-Reach-Center. The Center is not just to be an place for our Young Single Adults, but also a place for missionary activities for the young people of the same age. We are seeing some progress in that direction. We are seeing a greater number of discussions that are given to nonmembers by our young missionaries. We even had a couple join with us in our Church meetings today. We hope that the Christmas spirit will actually translate into thinking about the Savior and what He has done for us all.
We continue to hear from many of you and for that we are grateful. We are in good health and spirit. Anina complains a little about the cold, but that should not be new to all of you. She did not like the cold in Utah either.
Enjoy the week. Maybe some of you need to tell us if we should cheer for the Y or the U in their game a couple weeks from now. Our Mission President is a U fan and he has been putting the pressure on us.