I am a missionary and I am sometimes a tourist in Germany. As a missionary this week, my favorite companion, Elder Franz and I rode a train with our two young missionaries Elders Clyde and Behrndt to Berlin for a double Zone meeting (area of missionaries) called ZOKO. These are held once a transfer which is once every six weeks.
Dear Elder Clyde from Utah, always happy!
My traveling and cooking buddy, Elder Behrndt from Southern Germany!
My dear husband hates driving in Berlin and so I figure that every time we go there now, it will be on the train which was very relaxing for him of course. It took quite a bit longer than a car simply because of schedules but I felt like a real missionary, running to catch the bus just in time to get to the church building. There is nothing I love more than seeing a missionary run...it fills me with such a love and gratitude for them and all they are willing to do and sacrifice for the Lord. Gentz used to do this quite regularly 40 years ago as a young missionary in Southern Germany.
At the Zoko, there were 12 young sister missionaries, 32 elders and four of us senior missionaries. I can't quite describe to you what it is like to be in a chapel with all of them and their wonderful mission president, President Fingerle and his dear wife. There is a strength and a spirit that fills my soul with awe and reverence as I see them and the work that they are so freely doing. They all stand and in unison recite from memory their missionary purpose and Doctrine and Covenants 4, all in German.
“My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”
Then Doctrine and Covenants 4:
Then we are instructed...by our Mission President and His wife, by other missionary leaders. Some of the gems I wrote down:
We need to continually improve ourselves...even just 1% can make a huge difference. If your discipleship is serious it will show. We can't go home after the mission and retire. We need to stay involved in people's lives. Become like the Savior.
Sisters Gines and Harger are both going home in ten days. They have been awesome missionaries. Here are a just a few more:
Sister Ingalls, from Minnesota, the home of our heart and yes she is related to Laura Ingalls Wilder!!
Our dear Mission President Fingerle and his wife. A mission president serves for three years with his family; he and his wife are from Southern Germany and still have two daughters at home. They are dedicated, fearless and valiant in their testimonies and wonderful teachers! How we love them!
It is always good to renew ties with our fellow senior missionaries. Elder and Sister Ball (the one with the hat) are going home in September after having served 23 months in the mission office tirelessly. My they have worked hard and we will miss them!! The Schwicks on the other end from Alaska will be replacing them. Sister Brown next to me is from Germany,.left 50 years ago and married her husband who had served as a young missionary here.
And so our day went and then we headed home. After a stop at Elder Berndt's favorite Doner place to eat supper! If you don't know what a Doner is...google it! Like my favorite place to eat!!
An old church on a busy Berlin Street. There is always something interesting to see.
Elder Berhndt reading a letter from home. He goes back to Southern Germany, his home, in ten days after serving 24 months. How we will miss him! He's such a great missionary and an excellent cook as well:))
It was a good day, a full day and a fun missionary day!!
Then the Hansa Sail was here in Rostock this weekend and so like good tourists, we went and checked out all the ships. It is like a car rally but instead all these huge ships come sailing into the harbor. And on the wharf side there are carnival rides, lots of merchants selling whatever you might want....think state fair and like a million people. Our apartment is like two blocks away from the harbor so there was a steady stream of festive people heading down there for three days.
Such Beautiful old ships!! It would have been fun to take a ride on one but we figured it was probably too pricey, so we just enjoyed walking around.
We attended on Thursday with Katrine and Alex from church. They are great and Katharina the other family member is on a mini mission in Southern Germany. She is seventeen and just joined the church last August. They are a wonderful family whom we have grown to love so much!
Beautiful day and not too many crowds
Then on Saturday after a little grocery shopping we went with our "adopted daughters", Nosheen from Pakistan and Vimal from India. We always have a great time with them. Such fun!
So, all in all it was a great week as a missionary and a tourist and we continue to be astonished at the beauty here, both in the countryside and the people and the missionaries. What a rich experience we are having and how grateful we are to God for it!! Life is good!
Tchüss till next time!
Jeri and Gentz