Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Best Part of the Mission Experience

Baptism of Dori Lentino by Elder Nilson
We attended the last meeting of Elder Kress and Elder Nilson with Dori before her baptism. She loved Janet and asked her to speak at her baptismal service. It was a wonderful evening. We welcomed 11 new missionaries from missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, and in Preston, England, on the same day, so these fresh young elders and sisters attended a baptismal service on their first evening in Germany. Dori is really special, and it was a wonderful experience to be there on this occasion. The entire meeting was in German except for Janet's talk. Dori and many other speak English, so it wasn't a big deal, and a young single adult named Sophie who works in the Church's translation department here acted as Janet's interpreter. One thing we need to learn -- when you have an interpreter, speak in sentences rather than paragraphs. Nevertheless, Sophie did a masterful job of interpreting Janet's remarks. Another young single adult named Joseph is the ward mission leader and he conducted the service. The church is in really good hands.

One other really happy thing about this occasion -- Elder Nilson left two days later for home. Wow, we miss him, but what a wonderful way to conclude your mission to invite people to come unto Christ and make covenants with Him.

Elder Kress and Elder Nilson
We absolutely love our association with these young elders and sisters. They are more mature than we were at their age, we think. These two assistants to President Stoddard have been best friends and were a great team. They work really hard and long hours. They travel to every part of the mission, sleep on couches and on floors, eat when they can, and fill all of their responsibilities. And as many of you have heard, Elder Nilson is a gifted and talented singer. Good luck to him as he returns to school at BYU in Provo.

Sister Parker and Sister Bakker
Sister missionaries are the best. These two had dinner with us one night. We were so impressed with their self-confident manner. You can tell by these smiles that they make everyone love them.

We welcomed these 11 new missionaries. Transfer days are stressful for us because there is so much to do. The logistics alone are daunting -- who picks them up at the airport, who orients them, how do we keep them awake . . . And of course, we feed them. We made 30 sack lunches first thing this morning assembly line style. Sister Newman has this whole thing down, and we can put together 30 complete sack lunches that the missionaries love in about 30 minutes.

Elder Newman walking them through filling out their registration papers -- aah, German bureaucracy!

New elders hard at work filling out forms. The grinning Elder Harrison is one of our capable "tech" elders. His companion Elder Pfleumer (from Basel, Switzerland) is probably working on a snack below the table in the background.

Sister Meure is from Australia

Janet is keeping an eye on their work to help them fill out the forms

Jeff is giving his best song and dance about money matters
We managed to put in a few hours in the office also on that very busy day and do a few other things.
Janet taking a few minutes in the office to make little gifts from the office to all of the other senior couples in the mission
Jeff took a quick walk to the dry cleaners and passed this house being painted an awful yellow green with olive trim. Wow, who chose those colors?

There were banners for children's puppet show. Wish we could have gone.
This last picture is just for fun. We were in a mall one night looking for winter coats, and Elder Jarrard, Jeff, and Elder Newman were doing what all men do in malls -- sit on a bench and talk. The wives instigated this pose.

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