Friday, June 9, 2017

Coburg, Franconia, 3 June 2017

Veste Coburg, By Presse03 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Coburg is almost 3 hours east of Frankfurt in northern Bavaria. It is a beautiful old city overlooked by a fortress, portions of which date back to the 11th century. The hilltop was inhabited beginning in Neolithic times. The castle was hosting a special exhibition focusing on life in the peasants, priests, and knights. In particular, the focus was on Martin Luther who was sheltered here after being excommunicated and banned by the Roman Catholic church. The fortress is extremely well-preserved. A couple serving in Regensburg and isolated from everyone else joined us, and it was a wonderful day. We met some nice people on the street and shared a few pass-along cards. Our sweet returned missionary Libbie Bakker served in Coburg and recommended several things - she recommended more things than we could see. We won't have time to go back, but it would be worth it.
View of the fortress from the west - Von Störfix, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,
Just below the walls
Meeting up in the courtyard - Sister Aiken, Sister Mumm, Sister Snapp, Janet, Elder Aiken

Well in the interior courtyard. We had a perfect weather day.

Courtyard monument to World War I dead

One of the castle buildings from an interior courtyard

View to the west from a battlement
Part of the standing exhibit (we were not allowed to photograph any of the great things in the special exhibit). How about this desk?

Carved and painted paneling in one of the rooms

Ornate chest. These were used for sitting and storage

Beautiful inlays in this table

Carved wooden entry

Loved the carving on the door

Gilded ship model

Wood carving depicting Mary and Joseph's flight into Egypt with the infant Jesus

Spectacular wooden ceiling and carved panels along the upper part of the wall

Close up of one of the carved panels at the top of the wall
Original painting by Lucas Cranach (the elder or the younger) entitled The Unequal Pair - looks like her wealthy dowry could buy her a handsome young husband, despite her looks.
Portcullis in a tunnel leading into the fortress off a bridge over a moat (now dry)
Got this great shot walking back to where we parked the car (climb up a steep hill that left us panting a little)
Gate tower in the old city below the fortress
We have loved getting to know Elder and Sister Aiken
There was a market in the main plaza near the city hall. Elder Markle is ready for some lunch.

There is a sausage called a Coburger - delicious. Elder Neilson, Sister Neilson, and Sister Mumm
Janet liked her Coburger, too
Flowers for sale surrounding the statue in the center of the Marktplatz
Germans love to eat outdoors in good weather (and sometimes in bad weather)

Elder Dale and Sister Suzan Aiken

Can't beat the ice cream

Jeff went for the spaghetti Eis - delicious and cool
Apotheke (pharmacy) at this location since the 1500s

Picturesque end of the Rathaus (city hall)

View of the front of the Rathaus after the market cleared out

The front of Ehrenburg Palace (now a museum)

Another of the ornate buildings surrounding the market square

Tower that was part of a wall in medieval times
Tower of the Protestant Church of St. Moritz

In the church choir - an epitaph to a wealthy patron

Central knave

Faith, hope, and love

Baroque organ

Taken from the upper balcony
A handwritten choir book (bass part) from 1635

The group found a quiet place to sit down for a few minutes
Bust of Martin Luther. While in Coburg he preached a series of sermons in St. Moritz in the year 1530
Exterior building decoration

Whimsical fountain - labeled "drinking water" but we weren't that thirsty
Elder Snapp demonstrating how to use a slide rule - haven't seen one of these in almost 35 years

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sad to Say Goodbye 31 May 2017

Janet and Sister Haylee Jameson
Missionary life seems to be measured in "transfers." About every six weeks, a new group arrives and a group goes home. This transfer is the last for President and Sister Stoddard. We love them, and saying goodbye will be especially hard. President Jacob Boyer and his family arrive June 29, and the Stoddards leave right after that.

This transfer was also the end of the mission experience for some young men and women we deeply love. We love them all, but there are some that we get to know better because they serve in Frankfurt or in a leadership role in the mission. Sister Jameson above was in Frankfurt for a while, and we grew to love and appreciate her commitment and testimony. Following are pictures of some others we bade goodbye this past Wednesday night.

Elder William Walker is from South Carolina. He was in Frankfurt when we arrived, and his German was atrocious, but he was determined to learn. He was extremely successful during his mission. He and his companions in Frankfurt taught and baptized many Iranians.

Elder Michael Evans was a zone leader in Frankfurt and then served many months as an assistant to the President. He is fearless and shared his love for the Savior with everyone he saw. 
Lucas Frey has been home for a while, but he came to say goodbye to his companion Elder Walker (he was his trainer). Elder Frey is German, and he served in the office with us, too. It was wonderful to see him again. 
A group was all in the office at one time, and we took this picture in the kitchen. We love having them drop in, and Elder Markle keeps a supply of peanut M&Ms handy for them (and for him).

In the office kitchen - Elder Scott Hughes, Elder Connor Stiles, Elder Michael Evans, Elder Kyle Ault, Elder Samuel Graf (arrived the day this picture was taken), Elder Zachary Jones, Elder Christopher Allan
Elder John Penrod and Elder Connor Stiles are best friends and worked in the office with us - Elder Penrod was a "tech elder" for many months. We love these two, and they both went home this transfer.
John Penrod, Connor Stiles, Hayden Blanchard in our apartment. Who can resist loving these wonderful young people?
Elder Stiles with his parents and sister. What a nice family.
John Penrod and Connor Stiles with us. These two were in our apartment often. 
Elder Steven Sommer was a zone leader in Frankfurt. 
Office Elders we love - John Penrod, Connor Stiles, Zachary Jones, Robert Merkley, and Michael Evans. These are young men of great integrity and have great futures ahead of them.
We are amazed at the maturity displayed by these young men and women.They serve with distinction. They boldly testify of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. They deal with fatigue, homesickness, and rejection, but they keep smiling and they keep looking for those who want to know a better way. God bless them now and in the future.