Germany's Open Arms

February 6, 2017

Gentz came back from his morning walk a few days ago out on the wharf of the Warnow River and said, "I could live in Rostock!!" Seems he had as usual stopped and talked to some Rostockers and just had happiness and love oozing out of him! He had stopped a couple out walking their dog and their baby which we see so much of! They had the nicest convention..they weren't interested in hearing any more about Jesus Christ, but they wished him good luck on his mission and parted ways, each one seemingly uplifted by their friendly conversation. And that is how these Germans are here. Rather standoffish to begin with, but start a conversation, and they are the friendliest people ever!

There are not just younger couples walking around, but plenty of older couples, hand in hand, arm in arm.
It is truly such a sweet sight.

One of the greatest joys we have over here is meeting people on the street and in our little branch (congregation). We have learned what dear people they are and have endured much. Many saw the wall come down; many saw their parents struggle with the changes that brought. This was  sometimes not so positive as companies closed, people lost jobs and alcoholism began to take over a depressed people. That is one of the reasons we feel  for the apparent stoicism and grim faces we often see on the faces of those we meet on the street. 
I love this quote by Susan Jeffers: 'Remember: You are too important to deprive yourself and others of the power and love you hold within. Sharing ourselves with others gives life meaning and purpose... and a feeling of fulfillment and inner peace."

Gentz is a master at getting to know someone in a very short amount of time. One other morning as he was walking along this wharf he struck up a relationship with a man who was there fishing every day and would stop and talk to him momentarily. On one occasion he noticed that the fisherman only used artificial lures and he asked him if he ever used live bait.(K√∂der) He said, "That is illegal because it is unnecessary torture of fish." Gentz reflected on this and realized that it is no surprise that a nation that can protect small fish from unnecessary torture would also be the nation that opens its doors to the majority of the refugees coming out of the Middle East and other parts of the world. It IS possible for a nation to "repent" of its "failures" and try through its good works to make an amends to humanity. 
Gentz and Rachko from Bulgaria who is trying to  earn money to bring his family over here.

Nice thoughts. We can all try to be a little kinder, to change, to be a little more like Jesus. In this video link I've included watch as people care for and love one another. At the very end is the short conclusion of a talk given by one of our church leaders in General Conference  about our need to reach out to the refugees and accept them. Following that, another church leader Elder Dieter Uchtdorf from Germany stands to introduce the Mormon Tabernacle Choir but is very choked up, having been a refugee himself with his family in post war Germany as a child. 

Oh, how we hope and pray that our country, the great United States of America will continue to be known for having open arms to those who come upon their shores seeking freedom and a better life. That is what He who is the Father of us all would want. 

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