Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Our Favorite Thing About Being Here

Mission Leadership Council, December 2016
Whether it is attending meetings, working in the office, inspecting apartments, feeding them dinner, or even saying goodbye, what we love most about our mission is the opportunity to rub shoulders with other missionaries. The young elders and sisters are remarkable young people giving up 18 months to 2 years of their young lives in service. They work hard, endure bad weather for long periods out of doors, face rejection, and do it all with a smile (for the most part). It's just a joy to be around them. We are fortunate, too, to have especially close relationships with the leaders of the mission. They are truly gifted leaders, and the church is in good hands in the future. They come from all over. As I look at this picture of our Mission Leadership Council, I see sisters and elders from Tasmania, the United States, Germany, and Brazil. And the ones from the U. S. are from states ranging from South Carolina to California.

We love President and Sister Stoddard. President Stoddard spent his working life as a neo-natalogist saving the lives of critically ill babies. He leads gently but firmly. He and Sister Stoddard truly love these young people.

Following are a sample of pictures of some of the missionaries we have had the joy of working with.
Seems like we just sent him home. He and a sister who served here while we have been here are getting married in February.

A gentle giant with a heart as big as his height would indicate. He got married today.

We loved this young man. He worked in the office with us for several months. He will do great things in his life.

Another one of our office elders who was also a good zone leader. We miss him.

It was really hard to say goodbye to Eric. He worked in the office and ate great quantities of raw vegetables.

The elder on the left is still here with us. He is mature beyond his years. His companion proposed recently to another former sister from our mission who is French. They plan to marry in the new Paris temple when it opens in May.

Another one of the assistants to the President we loved serving with.

One of the Frankfurt zone leaders. He and his companion had us come to their apartment for dinner one night. 

Some of our Frankfurt favorites just before they transferred to other areas.

A church service missionary we enjoyed having in the office until he went to Salt Lake City to serve full-time at the Family History Library.

Frankfurt District 2. Three of the six have gone home.

Who could resist these faces?

One of the most self-confident, exuberant people we have ever met -- and one of our favorites.

A pure soul who volunteered to go serve in a Spanish speaking branch and succeeded in teaching himself  good conversational Spanish (spoke great German, too). He spent his last two transfers in the office with us and did a great job.

The Frankfurt crew (two districts) on New Year's Eve. We had a "party" for them and had a wonderful time watching them enjoy themselves. 
We can't leave out the senior missionaries we serve with. Something we really didn't expect was to make such dear friends. Maybe we will put together an entire post on our senior friends, but we need to have one recent picture here from a night out together.
Elder and Sister Markle, the two of us, Sister and Elder Steineckert, Sister Keyser

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